Mystery Solved (Or Not) (10/23/03)

Here's a quickie that isn't exactly overflowing with drama all on its lonesome, but it just might provide closure on a previous plot twist that we know has been eating you up inside for over a month now. Faithful viewer Tuner Equalizer tipped us off to new iTunes Music Store developments allegedly described in Billboard Bulletin. We say "allegedly" because Billboard Bulletin isn't just some online rag; it's just some industry online rag, and as such, it costs $54.95 a month to read-- meaning, we're about as likely to check this news at its source as we are to throw away Twinkies because they're past their expiration date. So we're relying on the summary at MacMinute, which is probably safe, since those guys have, like, a commitment to accuracy or something. Weirdos.

Anyway, so one such development is that Apple has reportedly partnered with Google to get record labels cheaper rates on advertising if said labels promote iTunes-- you know, sort of how Intel subsidizes ads for computer manufacturers who stick that "Intel Inside" tag in there, only less unsavory. (How, we're not sure. It just is. Shut up.) Neat and all, but the bit that made us go "hmmmmmmm" was this: "Apple is preparing an application called iTunes Producer, which will help labels submit content for inclusion in the store." Apparently this thing will let labels encode music properly for iTMS resale, add all artist/album/track info, include cover art, and send the whole package off to Apple with a minimum of muss and just a teensy bit of fuss. A beta is due on Halloween and the software will be free.

Once more: neat, but not terribly exciting, right? But the reason why it made us go "hmmmmmmm" is because we got to thinking: could "iTunes Producer" be the mysterious product originally destined to bear the trademark "Garage Band," which Apple registered a few months back? It fits, right? If so, we're a little disappointed that Apple blandified it with a name as prosaically descriptive as "iTunes Producer" (why not call it "iTunes Music Store Song Encoder and Uploader That Has a Self-Referential and Really Uninteresting Name"?), but hey, they're the ones making $44 million a quarter while we're passing over $54.95-a-month web sites and saving Twinkies from the mesozoic era, so clearly they know what they're doing.

And anyway, maybe iTunes Producer was never meant to be Garage Band in the first place, and Garage Band, whatever it turns out to be, is still just around the corner. Fingers crossed for a classic rock supergroup with Steve Jobs on keyboard and vocals! Freebird! FREEEEEBIIIIRD!!

SceneLink (4290)
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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


The above scene was taken from the 10/23/03 episode:

October 23, 2003: Night of the Panther is nearly upon us; can your heart take the excitement? Meanwhile, Virginia Tech's Mac-based supercomputer gains three-quarters of a teraflop in mere days, and Apple prepares software called "iTunes Producer" that lets labels encode and upload their music for inclusion in the Music Store-- but was it going to be called something else?...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4288: Break Out The Party Hats (10/23/03)   This is it, people: Panther gets unleashed tomorrow, so make sure you eat your Wheaties in the morning-- you're gonna need your strength. Why, we're feeling faint with excitement already!...

  • 4289: No "I" In "Breakfast" (10/23/03)   The Big Mac Saga continues! To recap, Virginia Tech's cluster of 1,100 dual-processor Power Mac G5s came online for performance testing at the beginning of the month, and on the 15th, WIRED quoted a Mr. Jack Dongarra ("one of the compilers of a Top 500 list") as saying that "early benchmarks" from a test of 128 of Big Mac's 2,200 processors showed performance a whopping "80 percent of the theoretical peak" of 17.6 teraflops...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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