Today’s Apple announcement was mostly as-expected, and ho-hum for music listeners. Wait, what’s that? John Lennon on iTunes! Fantasti— uh, sorry. That’s John Legend. Never mind. (One of these artists is not like the other.)
Apple did offer improved iPods, long-awaited movie service and high-resolution TV shows, an upcoming video and audio streaming device for US$300, and two features I think music lovers will enjoy:
First, the new “AlbumFlow” feature in fact comes direct from CoverFlow, the homemade app that created gorgeous 3D versions of album art and let you flip through them. Apple can’t be accused of stealing from the Mac developer community in this case: they purchased the technology outright, as can be seen on the CoverFlow site’s announcement today. (Thanks, Lee!) Microsoft recently added a ripped-off version of this look in Windows Media Player 11 beta’s album view and URGE music store, but the iTunes version — in both the store and library — looks much better.
Even if you just use iTunes to store music and never buy from the iTunes Music Store, the new album display will work with your music; Apple will download album art for you. (And, as always, you can copy-and-paste custom artwork into an album if it’s, say, your own music.)
The other minor announcement you may have missed is that Apple is now rolling out seamless audio playback across all its players, from iTunes to iPods. That’s a small detail, but it makes a big difference for listening to music, especially if you’re a classical lover. Now if we could just get OGG/FLAC playback in iTunes.
It’d be nice to see more on the pro music side of things from Apple, but I expect that’ll come soon, especially with AES around the corner.