Apple home page makes breathless, vague iTunes prediction (update: WSJ says it's the Beatles)
Tomorrow will be Tuesday, Nov. 16. Apple, however, thinks it'll be something more significant: Its home page, stripped of the usual marketing graphics, declares that it will be a day "you'll never forget" and invites people to check back at 10 a.m. Eastern tomorrow for "an exciting announcement from iTunes." Below that message, clock graphics illustrate that time in California, New York, London and Tokyo.
(I can already see the groundless speculation: "Wait, California's not a city... that must mean something!")
What? And, huh?
Even by the nonstandard ways of Apple PR, this is a strange stunt. First, the Cupertino, Calif., company almost never tips its hand publicly like this. If it has a press event scheduled, it doesn't bother to announce it on its PR page, much less on its home page. Second, iTunes? Exciting? Are we all talking about the same program?
I can think of changes I'd like to see in iTunes, but having Apple implement them would be less a thrill than a relief. A short list:
- Syncing music to non-Apple phones without enlisting third-party software.
- Actual usefulness for its Ping social-networking feature.
- A Mac version that doesn't require command-line tinkering to look like a normal Mac application.
- A Windows version that's less bloated.
The most educated guess about Apple's news is that it will involve a music-streaming service. But that, too, won't be world-changing, inasmuch as a) iTunes already streams Web radio on its own from numerous sites, and b) if you want a more interactive music service, just visit a site like Pandora or Slacker in your browser.
My other thought: Doesn't this invitation to stand by for a special announcement from Cupertino remind you of the Apple parody in the "Simpsons" episode "Mypods and Broomsticks", in which Lisa Simpson and other shoppers at a Mapple Store breathlessly await a special message from bespectacled Mapple founder Steve Mobbs?
All I know is, I'd better not hear Bart Simpson's voice reading out this news tomorrow morning.
6:49 p.m. The Wall Street Journal, citing "people familiar with the situation," says the news will be the Beatles arriving on the iTunes Store. Seems plausible to me, but that rumor has come and gone so many times already that it's become the Verizon iPhone--make that, the white Verizon iPhone--of digital-music stories. So I won't believe it until I see the press release on Apple's site and a "Buy" button in iTunes next to a download of the White Album.
| November 15, 2010; 11:24 AM ET
Categories: Apple, Mac, Music, The business we have chosen
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