Steve Gillmor writes that Apple is organising around the iPod:
1. The iPod Shuffle
Though most of us boomers cant fathom the idea that “life is random” is a feature, the Shuffles secret sauce is its Playlist mode, turned off by default. Attention: iPodder developersif you develop SmartPlaylist functionality in your aggregators, you can use attention and other explicit metadata to program iTunes to download, sort, and sequence podcasts while you sleep. Remember, the iPod is the delivery system, the data cache at the end of the pipeline. Of course, if some smart 3rd-party vendor adds a microphone that clips onto the Shuffle, its a data recorder hanging around your neck.
2. The Mini
For podcasters, this is a $500 studio-in-a-box. GarageBand now supports multitrack recording (eight channels each with their own eq and effects) and the ability to create your own loops. Combine GarageBand with Smart Playlists and slice and dice your podcasts up into “songs” that you can sequence and, more importantly, pull “quotes” for inclusion in other podcasts. Once again, remember that the iPod is the endpoint of the production environment. The Mini is the studio, the mastering lab, where you cut the virtual grooves between the tracks of these next-generation podcasts.
The next version of OS/X will load just fine on the Mini, too. It comes with Automator, which, if hooked up to GarageBand, would provide an automated way to refactor existing long-form podcasts into this new track model. Automator could also build consoles to automate real-time, radio-style production with multiple audio inputs, taking advantage of Tigers enhanced ability to handle multiple virtual audio devices.
4. iWork and iLife
Keynote, Pages, and iMovie are morphing into a podcast-to-video porting environment. Use Automator consoles to load in podcast segments and annotate them with links, iPhoto transitions, and attention-influenced intelligent caching of related pod- and Mini-casts, and youre well on your way to a read/write version of the RSS-powered multimedia Web. While DRMForSure coddles the cartel, the iPod Platform plays to the customers in the seats.