Wednesday, February 07, 2007

iPod to become the new CD?

Wired reports on an idea originally mooted by Jeremy Horwitz at iLounge: [edited]

On Monday, Apple Inc. and the Beatles' Apple Corps announced that a 15-year legal spat over the "Apple" trademark had been settled in Steve Jobs' favor.

The new contract clears the way for Jobs to sell iPods loaded with music. Imagine a whole range of inexpensive, special-edition iPods branded with popular bands containing a new album, or their whole catalogues.

Apple was prevented from doing this until now by the 15-year-old contract between Apple Corps, the Beatles' music company, and Apple Computer. This contract precluded Jobs' Apple from acting as a music company and from selling "physical media delivering prerecorded content".

That's why the U2 special-edition iPod ships with a voucher for downloading the band's catalog online. The Beatles contract prevents Apple from pre-loading the U2 iPod with U2's music.

Apple [could] also start loading sample tunes onto all new iPods, as Microsoft's Zune currently does. Getting a band's new single loaded onto a hot-selling iPod could prove so desirable that a new type of payola is born.

These album iPods could be sold at bus stations and airports: instant music, no computer required. Bands could sell pre-loaded iPods at concerts, maybe containing the concert they just played. There could be Broadway show iPods, movie soundtrack iPods and iPods burned at retail stores with custom play lists.

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