Apple’s iTunes quietly adds PDF subscriptions, are eBooks next?

“iTunes has quietly started to offer PDF enclosures subscriptions in the podcast section of the store. First up is the Wikinews print edition. You can search for and subscribe to Wikinews in the iTunes Music Store. Instead of receiving an audio enclosure, iTunes will download a special PDF for you every day on cue,” Steve Rubel blogs for Micro Persuasion. “The addition of PDFs to iTunes is more than just a mildly interesting occurrence. iTunes, as a ubiquitous cross-platform app, has its own embedded browser that powers the music store. It’s conceivable that Apple could turn iTunes into a dedicated RSS reader that operates like Safari and become a clearing house for all subscription-based content.”

Rubel writes, “Taking this a step further, it’s also highly possible that if iTunes enhances its DRM to include other enclosures it will move into e-books and or e-magazines. Oh, and where might those eBooks be consumed? How about on one of these rumored babies?”

Full article with links and iTunes screenshots here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Too Hot!” for the heads up.]

Get the new iMac with Intel Core Duo for as low as $31 A MONTH with Free shipping!
Get the MacBook Pro with Intel Core Duo for as low as $47 A MONTH with Free Shipping!
Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
Apple’s brand new iPod Hi-Fi speaker system. Home stereo. Reinvented. Available now for $349 with free shipping.
iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.
iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.


  1. hmmm, the FrenchPodCast has been regularly including individual episode PDF texts as part of it’s French language lessons podcasts since July of 2005. I think it may be just a matter of the author choosing whether or not to format any given podcast in PDF?

  2. Maybe its a way of testing different ways of delivering content. The only drawback is that iTunes is no longer just about “tunes”. Maybe it needs to be re-named to include all the video, pdf, podcast, etc features that have been added to it.

  3. ” iTunes, as a ubiquitous cross-platform app”

    If Apple wants iChat AV to become the kind of standard iTunes is, they MUST release a windows version of iChat ASAP. It only makes sense. As of right now iChat gets very limited use considering 95% of other users are running Windows. Considering they already have it running native on Intel, I don’t think it would be that hard to make a Windows port. I really whish they would, then maybe I could actually use it. Right now, I never use it.

  4. I want to know if the PDFs will open in Preview automatically? If so, will Adobe cry foul? This reminds me of when Microsoft got sued for tying Internet Explorer to the system. Can Apple get sued for doing this? Or is the fact that iTunes is on PCs and PDFs would launch into Acrobat Reader enough to keep them out of trouble

  5. It all fits together: the patent for a tablet-like PC, rumours of partnerships with Google and now this.

    Imagine an Apple version of the Sony Librie plus a book version of iTunes.
    Download your entire library on to an Apple e-book! One of those tablet patent drawings shows a vertical orientation of a device about the size of a novel.

    If it’s as successful as the iPod, this could revolutionise publishing.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.