“Already dominating the digital music market, Apple hopes to broaden its reach into video — and the living room,” Troy Wolverton reports for TheStreet.com. “CEO Steve Jobs on Wednesday announced three updated products, all with the video theme, including, as expected, a pair of new iPod models that will play movies and music videos. But Jobs didn’t stop there, introducing an updated version of Apple’s iMac desktop computer that enables owners to launch and play digital videos, DVDs and music using a remote control.”
“And he announced a new version of the company’s iTunes music store that will allow customers to purchase videos, including first-run television programs, including the hit ABC series Desperate Housewives, and short films from the Jobs-headed Pixar,” Wolverton reports. “Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, Van Baker, an analyst with Gartner, was skeptical that Apple would launch a video iPod because of the lack of potential movie content. But following the presentation, Baker said he was impressed by the content that Apple lined up, particularly the deal with Disney.”
“Although the amount of content that Apple has in iTunes won’t be enough long-term, Baker says it’s a good start and predicted that other media companies soon will be calling Apple to strike their own deals,” Wolverton reports. “Baker also was impressed with the new remote-control software. Baker envisions Apple possibly putitng the same software, called Front Row, on other models and incorporating a TV tuner on those computers for a full multimedia experience. Contrasting Front Row with Microsoft’s rival offering, Baker said ‘Front Row is Media Center PC done right. It’s simple.'”
“Apple representatives declined to say whether Front Row would be made available for other Apple computers. The new remote control will work with both the iMac and iPod accessories, but Apple wouldn’t say if it would work with other Apple computers,” Wolverton reports.
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