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!

8 thoughts on “Apple iTunes in a Box”

  1. I think your write. I don’t know if there is a market. It would have to be something that would also add content to your computer. Like a TV input card.

    Now here is my next device:

    iPod with wifi card. Not connection for itunes radio, music store, playlist sharing… All that good shit! 😀

  2. Well, if it was a DVR that let you transfer recordings to the computer over the network, it could be used like a TV input card sort of. Oh yeah, and I agree it makes sense for the iPod to get wireless connectivity at some point as well. That might come along even in the next generation iPod!

  3. But you think TV networks/cable companies are going to let Apple do a DVR that can input to computer easily. Tivo right now has the features to block commercials but it is disabled because the cable companies threw a fit.

    I really do agree with you thought that this would be a cool device and that Apple might try it (I hope so).

  4. Tivo already has a product in the works that will let you get your recorded programs off of the Tivo and onto your computer. It’s going to become the norm after awhile, I think. Apple could probably strike a deal with the networks and apply some sort of DRM wrapper to the recordings if they really wanted to get the feature to market.

  5. All I want is something like an Airport Base Station that has a (replaceable) hard drive, a remotely controllable copy of iTunes, and audio out. Then I could get rid of the PC I’ve been using for just that purpose.

  6. Okay, I know this’s an old-ass dead thread, but I’m reading blogs on a Saturday night. I’ve clearly got nothing better to do.

    I think that the kind of feature you’re talking about for the iPod will come out on a PC device, like a Nomad Zen. I ain’t just sayin’ this ‘cos I’ve got a Zen that I love way more than the iPods I know, but it seems like Apple is really good at the big, visionary things then gets outpaced. The first generation of a device or program, the groundbreaking one, will be an Apple oftimes, and then the PC-centric stuff will start really innovating and refining and adding features that bring the device to a new plateau.

    Meanwhile, Apple’s off working up the next thing…

  7. But you think TV networks/cable companies are going to let Apple do a DVR that can input to computer easily

  8. Yeah, well… hehe. Considering some of the developments since I first proposed this I think it may be a bit of a stumbling block for sure. TiVo’s been having a lot of trouble satisfying the content producers while also keeping their users happy and the FCC has been a lap dog for the big media companies. Apple may be able to sweet talk them and they do have more clout than TiVo, but I’m not feeling as optimistic and I was last May.

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