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Who knew that the new movies in the iTMS would *really* be yesterday's big news?


Yesterday morning, I posted a prediction that proved incorrect. Apple didn't announce movies in the iTMS to be the big announcement of the day. Nevertheless, I feel that the Academy Award Nominated Short Films appearing in the iTMS yesterday actually ended up being the biggest news of the day. As I noted yesterday, it's the first appearance of non-Pixar/Disney shorts in the music store, so it paves the way for more great content (although all of the films are presented by the Sundance Channel, so it is kind of like another TV network releasing shows on the iTMS).

As for all the other announcements from yesterday, I can sum them all up—explain why they are all dud announcements—in one simple word: overpriced. $1.99 for the new short films in the iTMS is a bargain. Everything else was overpriced. Overpriced like the $99 leather iPod cases that don't actually provide the user with any access to the controls of the iPod. Overpriced like the $349 boombox that still needs the addition of a $300 iPod to make it as cool as it can be (and even then it is not that cool; I mean "Hi-Fi" is a 70s term, and the boombox is an 80s device; how is this expensive iPod peripheral indicative of Apple's innovation?). Overpriced like the $599 and $799 Mac minis. One of the great things about Apple's Mac mini line should be its affordability, and yesterday, we saw little value added to the Mac mini line and yet the most expensive one of them runs just fourfive hundred less than the faster iMac line that lacks the need to provide your own screen, keyboard, and mouse. I mean, what was added? The expected shift from PowerPC to Intel processors? The fastest they offer in the mini is still only 1.67Ghz. The Apple Remote? If it's so much simpler than all the other remotes I own, then how come it alone is priced at more than any of those full-featured remotes? The new Bonjour-savvy Front Row? Well, that is cool, but all Macs with Front Row will be getting this feature, so I don't think it warrants the attention, especially when nothing really innovative has been done with the new mini to make it an effective media center. Sure it can work with an HDTV, but where's the built-in PVR? I mean, if you want to pipe your HDTV digital cable connection into the mini you are still going to need to spend a couple of hundred dollars on something like an EyeTV. I don't see any HDMI / DVI in on that new expensive mini.

I, like Jan, am under-whelmed by yesterday's announcements, and I agree with Damien that Apple clearly dropped the ball and our disappointment is not the creation of our fanaticism, but rather Apple's failure to live up to the innovation we've come to expect from them.

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