iTunes Extras was easy to see as a DVD extras competitor, offering a similar feature set to what's already on the market, and users are already familiar with using. iTunes LP, on the other hand, harkened back to a time decades ago when vinyl albums and turn-tables were how people experienced music -- something decidedly not familiar to modern MP3 and iTunes music listeners.
Why then -- aside from Steve Jobs' nostalgia, did Apple expend resources on iTunes LP? TNL.net, like us, saw the 720p resolution and immediately thought of the Apple TV -- and TV in general. (We also thought of the rumored iTablet). Going further, however, they posit this might be the first step in a grander game. Could Apple be seeking to replicate the success of the App Store -- tens of thousands of mostly independent developers creating mostly low cost, high volume content -- for iTunes music and video? Could they be gearing up to give music and video creators the same easy distribution channel, and 30/70 split, they've given App developers?
The components all seem to be there and it seems to me that it won’t be long before Apple starts pushing the idea that we are all content producers (an old idea at Apple, which was at the source of their creating the iLife suite) and we can all make some money at producing that content. Having done so, Apple would not only have control of the music industry but could also assert itself in the TV and movie space.
Dr. Horrible was an experiment by Joss Whedon during the writers strike, and one that we enjoyed thoroughly. Could we see a world where the Dr. Horribles aren't the experiment, but the norm? (And will they bring endless "cat on piano" videos -- fart apps of the media space, the lot of them -- along for the ride?)
Alex Lindsay from the PixelCorps has likewise been saying for a years that Apple now has everything in place, from Final Cut Pro on the backend through to Macs, Apple TVs, and iPods and iPhones on the front to offer a totally integrated media ecosystem with lower barriers of entry than have traditionally been in place.
Will Apple pull that trigger? Do we want them to?