Though the iPod hardware is more than capable of playing WMA, and iTunes appears to be prepared to be capable of playing it (iTunes’ icon resources house icons for WMA and OGG, among others), Apple will exclude the functionality until a court order forces their hand. That’s my prediction.
Apple already considers itself to be the Microsoft of music downloads… and what could be more Microsoft–like than being sued to anti–competitive behavoir? Their aim in the music arena is, obviously, to sell iPods; and since their iPod/iTunes/iTMS combo is so exclusory to competing products, enabling support for the one DRM format that every other online music store is using (WMA) would be counter–productive. But one day… one day when they’ve thoroughly annihilated the competition on the hardware, software, and music–store front (I’m talking thoroughly), the competition will sue. It’s the way the world works; Apple doesn’t want to open up the iPod for competitors to knock them from their perch, and the law says that just ain’t fair.
The law is, after all, an ass. But so is the corporate personality.
On Wednesday, 12 March 2003 at 1:29 AM, I launched TextEdit and jotted down a few software ideas that had been floating around in my head. The way I saw it, if I didn’t write them down I’d forget them; and they’re pretty good ideas as far as I’m concerned, so they warranted some keyboard time. I saved them there in my Documents folder, and not here on decaffeinated, because I didn’t want anybody else to see them. My reasoning being, of course, that I can’t actually build this software, so I may as well maintain a secret “software ideas diary” to keep for when I can turn my ideas into reality.
Now, a year later, I’m studying Computer Science at UWA and, being a lowly first–year, the time when I’ll be able to realize my ambitions is several years away. But, as always happens when you have a good idea and lack the means to follow through… someone else gets there first. Graham Parks, creator of Shrook, is the first to roll out an RSS/Atom feed reader with an iTunes–like interface complete with smart groups, type–ahead find, and something close to column–view. I doubt he’ll be the last. Congratulations are due, though I’m secretly pissed as hell that somebody got to my idea before I could.
Let that be a lesson to you. And to me. Act, for inactivity is akin to death.