While in my hotel room in Phoenix this past week, instead of turning on the TV, I ended up watching a presentation by Steve Jobs about the new iPods, iTunes, and a new thing coming called iTV. The presentation ended up being much more impressive that I thought as I saw how Apple is becoming a network for music, televisions shows, and movies. You will be able to watch and listen when you want either in the car, on the go, on your laptop or desktop, or in your living room on your big TV screen. The latter is possible with a $299 box that will talk wirelessly to the Mac in the next room to play music, TV shows, or movies. The box doesn’t store anything. It just hooks up to the big screen TV.
One of the new features of iTunes is “Cover Flow” which I’ve now been enjoying for two days. Apple will automatically update all of your music with any album cover art it can find. I went from about 2% to about 70% album art in one update. I’ve since been making some manual updates.
Cover Flow lets you “rediscover your music” as Steve said. Basically it lets you flip through albums as you would do physically with the added advantage of iTunes keeping everything sorted for you.
The funny thing was I watched half of Steve’s presentation, got called to dinner, and then finished it when I came back from dinner. I felt like I was already watching iTV.
Oh… one other thing about iTunes. The new “gapless album” feature is terrific. Now songs that were meant to flow into one another (Duke by Genesis, Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd) play as intended with no interruption between songs. Not sure how this works, but iTunes auto-detects this and just seems to know. You can also manually tell iTunes to act gapless if it doesn’t guess right. So far it has guessed right on my albums.