I had a brain flash last night and I think I’ve figured out what the next Apple digital lifestyle product is going to be. I won’t bore you with my thought process, so without further ado:
The next Apple digital lifestyle device will be essentially a hardware version of iTunes with ethernet (wireless optional). It will connect to your television and stereo and will come with a combination DVD and CD-R (combo drive in Apple lingo) as well as an internal hard drive. It will allow you to import music into MP3 and AAC from CDs as well as burn playlists onto CD-Rs. It will also allow you to browse through the iTunes Music Store and buy music with a remote control from the comfort of your couch. Purchased music will be downloaded directly to the device. You would authorize it as one of your 5 computers (is this why the limit was raised from 3 to 5 computers?) and you would be able to play any music shared from other iTunes on your home network. It would share its own music so you could play it on your home computers as well. It would sync directly with iPods.
I suspect the device would also include DVR functionality (perhaps licensed from Tivo, but Apple is more likely to create their own) and it would of course act as a DVD player. The slam dunk would be the ability to easily copy music, photo, and video (and other?) files back and forth over the network so it could act as your local file server.
Unfortunately, I predict the device will be priced at around $600 which is a little too high for me to buy one right away. That’s the way Apple seems to like to do things.
Only time will tell if I’m right!