Ever since Macworld San Francisco I’ve been wondering about the future strategy for the iTunes application in regards to it’s name. I mean I know that the Store is known just as the ‘iTunes Store’ and not the ‘iTunes Music Store now but ‘iTunes’ is still a pretty specific reference to Music really.
Not just music…
As the iTunes Store has for a while sold TV Shows and Movies (at least if you live in the US, not for me in the UK though) then it’s pretty obvious that there’s more to it than just music. However, what I’m really talking about is the actual iTunes application. For the last couple of major versions it has supported playback of video as well as audio, this hasn’t been hard to miss. However, the changes that have been slightly under the radar has been the fact that synchronisation of non-music features such as Contacts from the Mac OSX Address Book application, once something handled by the (increasingly redundant!) iSync application, is now handled inside iTunes.
The iPhone effect
With the announcement of the iPhone then it’s a no-brainer that this handling of Contact information is going to be even more important, perhaps even genuinely useful! (I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve looked up contacts on my iPod).
One of the innovative aspects of the iPhone is the visual voicemail feature which allows you to browse a list of all the voicemails you’ve received. It’s just a guess but I would imagine that this will be added to the list of things that may be synchronised to your computer via iTunes. Ok, so adding audio voicemail into iTunes is still just dealing with audio files, but I reckon it’s just just the tip of the iceberg in regards to the data that will be contained on the iPhone.
So, with all these different data types in the mix it’s interesting to ponder how the name ‘iTunes’ fits in amongst all of this. Will we see a change of name? Perhaps there is a different iApp required? Maybe, but perhaps it’s a likely outcome that it’s just a further evolution of the iTunes app name to encompass the broader capabilities and functions it contains? Ok, doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come up with that theory I guess.
What’s in iName?
Ok, there’s not a completely consistent ‘iName‘ format here so it doesn’t mean that any new name would have to be in that format. However, I think it probably would be purely because of the core association of iPod and iPhone with iTunes as it is now.
GarageBand as a name is a bit of an odd one out really as it’s the only app in the iLife suite to to have the ‘iName’ format. Of course neither of the iWork apps are in that format either but they are part of the iWork package, I wonder if this is a possible scenario for iTunes as an app? Perhaps it could split off into two or more apps as part of a renamed ‘iTunes’ package? Maybe…
This is just my little bit of idle pondering, but I’m really not sure what the future of the iTunes application and/or name is. Any ideas?