iTunes Announcement: Wordplay

See? Now this is how an entire day’s worth of productivity goes to hell. I can’t leave this Apple iTunes announcement alone.

Read this morning’s blog post if you haven’t already. I’ve been pacing the floor ever since. I’ve been sitting on the sofa, actually, but this episode of “Columbo” has been on pause for two hours and that really should carry some weight

Regardless: I still lean towards the conclusion that fundamentally, the announcement relates to an expansion of content availability.

Why? Look at the nature of the thing: Apple’s making an announcement and not hosting a live event. You don’t need to demo the availability of new content on the iTunes Store. All you need to do is issue a press release. Something as broad as “stream your iTunes library and/or your purchases to anyplace in the world” implies new features that require a live presentation.

Secondly, I find it hard to believe that a “stream your content from iTunes” feature could be done without a new edition of iTunes and (if Apple wants it to reach all the way to the iPhone and iPad) new updates to iOS. There’s been an unexpected delay in the release of iOS 4.2, a fact that would be more interesting to us today if not for the fact that Apple went ahead and released iTunes 10.1 last week. New Apple releases are usually examined pretty closely for signs of future products and services and so far, nobody’s found anything in the new iTunes to tip off anything as big as this.

Thus my money’s on “expanded content.” That’s based on a lot of assumptions, o’course. But hey, we’re just speculating while we run down the clock to 10 AM.

Just a few days ago I was speaking to a couple of different user groups in Philadelphia and I found myself talking about previous Apple media events. I explained that the people who compose the invites seem to love puzzles. There’s usually an double-meaning to the text that remains hidden until the actual announcement makes everything clear. “Back To The Mac,” the invitation to last month’s event said in big bold letters. Everyone thought “Aha! So they’re going to show off the new edition of the Mac OS!”

And everyone was correct. But it also meant “A few years ago, we brought OS X from the Mac to the iPhone and iPad. Now, we’re bringing concepts that worked so well in iOS and the iDevices back into the Macintosh operating system and hardware.” See? Clever.

I’ve been thinking about this all morning, and re-examining today’s tagline. “Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget.” I feel a little bit like one of those desperate treasure-hunters who examined every line of “Masquerade” looking for hidden meanings. It’s a trite phrase and usually, Apple does better. It encourages me to sift through its atoms for additional clues. Is the news related to things that are scheduled, and things that iTunes will be able to do for you automatically so that you don’t forget?

Clearly, I’ve been spending way too much time on this. I had a flash of insight and was so excited by it that I rushed here to write a new blog post instead of just Tweeting about it but thankfully, I took a moment to re-examine the wording. Oh, dear: “You’ll remember where you were” isn’t anywhere to be found. So much for my “There’s going to be just one global iTunes store and localization won’t be an issue any more” theory.

Nonetheless, I do note that all of the clocks point to the same day. Perhaps that explains why the announcement happens at 7 AM in Cupertino (which seems early) or 10 AM in New York (why not 9?). It seems as though they were solving for the variable “Midnight in the largest world market city farthest East from San Francisco” came up with the answer “Tokyo,” and then (after one or two geography-challenged Apple employees verified that Japan is east of China) they worked backwards from there.

Ugh. I should put this away before I find myself downloading the graphic and searching for embedded EXIF information.

54 thoughts on “iTunes Announcement: Wordplay”

  1. What a crock. Honestly, who really cares about the Beatles. I think I will quickly forget what I was doing on this day.

  2. Upon further reflection, the positioning of clock hands in particular positions, meant to mimic the semaphore symbols seen on the cover artwork from the “Help!” album, would have been an incredible semi-oblique way to announce the addition of the Fab Four to the iTunes catalog.

    Curse, CURSE the universe for causing the division of the earth into regularly-spaced time-zones, which made the formation of the semaphore letters “H” and “E” impossible to form in this cryptic manner.

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