Apple has an opportunity.iTunes is slowly becoming a behemoth. Bloatware with so many different bells and whistles that its lists its original purpose..
Now iCloud was a huge step towards to getting us out of iTunes and I believe this is a good thing. I couldn't' wait to put down the $25 to be able to delete entire music collection. I now listen to all of my music off my iPad or Apple TV.
I'm one of those that downloads movies off the internet and converts it to a .x264 file and import into iTunes, having it available to watch on my TV downstairs through the AppleTV. Its quite convenient and enjoyable. I personally am one hoping to cable cut any day now.
Ok, back on point, I think Apple might find a way to do away with iTunes all together. I mean its a program that you kinda want to keep open all the time: + for random music listening + keeping your library open to the AppleTV in the living room + keeping your iOS devices synced + organize your mac media to consumption (playlist management file metadata etc.)
Some ideas I have and the directions I believe Apple may take in the future with iTunes are: + Bake iTunes into the operating system. Breaking down each of its capabilities into a small alternative. + iClouds becomes free
Apple scrapping the overall iTunes code and integrating its myriad of features into OS X would be along the lines of Apple philosophy. Make things that just work. What if they combined the iTunes store with the Mac App Store. It'd be a good excuse for a redesign, making sure customers knew the difference between Mac apps and iOS apps. Hey, wait, lets go a step further. What if Mac Apps and iOS apps became the same thing; a universal binary type of situation. Everyone knows the too forks are slowly being merged together. I like the saving of money for one, should I have to buy a iOS version of my favorite app and a separate desktop version? Additionally, all our media files, music, tv shows, movies, podcasts; they're metadata could be baked into finder someway. Now this seems the most difficult to implement but I liked the idea so much. This might open up the possibility for plugin support with your media. More formats could be supported natively by iOS devices, maybe, I know this is more a hardware decoding reason, x.264 is fine but the required container format; come on, MKV is just cool. Also, if there is a background service running always on the Mac -- not taking up 150+ MBs of memory -- that might allow always on access to media on your computer, not having to keep iTunes running. Playlists might be a menu item click away. I was thinking along the lines of Finder Quick Look capabilities on crack.
What if the iOS sync background (ath and iTunesHelper) process were standalone or similar. A user could just right click on a file and add to a playlist of send to my iPad or iPhone. Let iOS figure out which app takes the sent file, thats trivial actually. One more reason to not need iTunes running.
And please Apple, give us complete Document folder cloud syncing and backup, the capability at least.
So why open up iClouds to all, well to be more specific iTunes Match? Well the costs to keeping the program is minimal to Apple, they've built the center but the reason they charge $25 a year for it is to pay the record companies.
Dropbox and Apples iCloud are moving in the same direction. They're both moving to the end of a race where each started from a different starting point. These two companies are shot o look for in a complete ubiquitous experience living in the Clooud.
I just realized I wrote that last point for the wrong post. Huh, maybe I should cut back on the coffee.
So why do we need to keep iTunes now? appstore…..music….sysncing….orgainizing. I've offered all possible neat little alternatives that could change the experience to the Apples ecosystem.
Addentum: What about iTunes on Windows? Right now, IDGAF. I'll think on that more.