Apple to let you sample media on the iPod before purchase?

Here's another bit of Applespeculation to get your weekend started right -- our favorite fruit company appears to be working on a way to let you sample music while out and about. But Apple's patent lawyers explain it in much more eloquent terms than we ever could: "Techniques for facilitating purchase of media items, such as digital media assets, are disclosed. A computing device, e.g., a portable media device, can save media indicia pertaining to one or media items of interest to a user. The media indicia can thereafter be use to purchase the one or more media items or other products associated therewith." From our reading of the patent filing (we're not lawyers, mind you), that means Apple is possibly working on a way to let you taste music "by tuning into a wireless signal" (e.g. terrestrial radio, digital radio, or satrad). You'd then be able to tag the songs you want to buy, and when you get back to your computer and fire up iTunes (or, "electronic commerce environment"), you could download that new Decemberists track that you fell in love with while your car was stuck in traffic. Now of course, this doesn't quite go as far as the MusicGremlin MG-100, which lets you download whole songs directly from WiFi hotspots, but this could be a good intermediate step.

[Via OrbitCast]