You can find the details for all the new stuff on the Apple site. I did want to comment a bit on what some of these new things mean. It looks like Apple is definitely moving (albeit a little slower than their competitors) into the computer as a set top box, or a home entertainment PC. The biggest indication is the new Front Row software plus remote that now comes preinstalled on every iMac. It pretty much does what Windows Media Center Edition and all the other HTPC apps are doing without one piece the TV recording capability. That one piece is a little surprising to me since the DVR market is becoming more and more popular. Way back when, Apple used to put TV tuners into several models of the Macintosh. Maybe this is the direction that Apple is ultimately moving and they’re just going a little slower than I’d like (why would they care what I’d like?). It just seems like an obvious move especially with the introduction of the iPod Video and the ability to download a TV shows they would want you to be able to move those shows around either from an entertainment computer to your iPod/iTunes etc. And maybe that is what they want, but are limited by the wishes of the entertainment industry. I guess that’s what happens when you make deals with the devil. It just would be pretty slick if you were seamlessly transfer media from DVD or TV shows to your TV, or your new entertainment Mac to the new video iPod without having to jump through a million different hurdles. Maybe that’s what Apple has on tap for the future, but all their competitors (w/out the standard slick Apple interface) are starting to do that now, or have been doing it for quite some time.
Just take a look at Windows Media Center Edition. It handles all of the media that the new Front Row does plus it records TV in a Tivo-like fashion. Plus it allows you to move your media around via wireless or onto portable devices (both video and audio players). There is even a Media Center Extender for Xbox to view/move your media to an Xbox on your network. How tough would it be for Apple to add this functionality to their platform? They’ve got the perfect sized container for it now with the Mac Mini (it just needs some sort of TV tuner). How hard would it be to connect this all together with your iPod, making it possible to move audio, photos, or video into the device? Now with the ability to buy $1.99 TV shows via iTunes, you could even get content via the internet to watch on the entertainment Mac attached to your TV, or on the road via your new iPod Video. Just think what audio podcasting has done for creation of new audio content and imagine what would be possible with video if there were a nice platform to play it on.
This all just seems like a no-brainer to me. Maybe it is to Apple too, and we’ll see something like this coming down the road in the future. I just hope that these companies are too married to the entertainment industry that they aren’t able to deliver what people want because they’re so locked down with DRM to be worth anything to anyone.