updated 09:40 am EDT, Tue August 11, 2009
iTunes 9 social ties?
(Updated with images) The social networking aspects of iTunes 9 could be more elaborate than previously suggested, says a source responsible for earlier rumors. Beyond just providing basic interaction with sites like Twitter and Facebook, Apple is said to be looking to tie iTunes to a separate social networking app, which could function similarly to Yahoo's OneConnect and merge multiple services. It is not known if the app is intended for Macs or iPhones and iPods.
Users would be able to announce their current listening habits, and share music with others. Some other features could involve discovering new friends through mutual connections, and updating status text on several websites simultaneously.
On the subject of an unrelated iTunes option, organizing iPhone apps, users will allegedly be able to sort titles by name, genre, and the date they were added. Alternately, icons could be placed into a custom arrangement to suit personal preference.
The software's main feature is expected to be support for Blu-ray, finally enabling native playback of the format on Macs. Though now the de facto HD standard, Apple has been generally resistant to adopting it because of licensing and copy protection, as well as competition with the iTunes Store.
Update: Leaked photos purport to show some of the social features of iTunes 9, including a dedicated Last.fm library, which can display relevant info such as tags, artist information and recommendations. Also visible in the images are Facebook and Twitter icons, and a new "Social" playlist. The leak is said to have come from a Chinese Apple forum.