Apple has become a media distribution giant, and they’re poised to get even bigger. iTunes has shown itself to be the digital hub, allowing you to organise, purchase, and play digital media. Now we have the Apple TV, also being piloted by iTunes, allowing you to watch videos on your television. There is however, a missing piece.
Long ago, when MP3s were becoming popular and Napster was all the rage, there was another type of MP3 sharing application and website called Audio Galaxy. It was wonderful to share information with other fans of mainstream and obscure music. Audio Galaxy’s position was unique. It had an actual community associated with their product, and an application called “Satellite”. You used the website in conjunction with the application to get music. All you had to do was keep your computer at home plugged into the internet, with the Satellite application up and running, then hit the AG website to look for music. Clicking on a song would put it into your Queue, managed on the website. The Satellite application would sense music in your queue, and begin downloading. This allowed you to search and queue music from any web browser, and have it waiting for you when you get home. It was genius, and it’s a shame they had to go away. Why does this matter?
Currently, Apple’s video service is pretty good, but there is a lag. You can’t click on a video in the iTunes Store, and immediately start watching it. You have to download a good chunk before your remaining time to download is equal or less than the amount of time required to watch the show, and obviously skipping ahead is straight-out. What if I could keep iTunes open on my machine at home, and set it up as the “default downloader”, allowing me to use iTunes on another machine to buy and queue up my purchases? When I get home, I can have all my new videos synched to my Apple TV.
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