The Boy Genius Report was sent some supposed screenshots of iTunes 9. The images show a number of features rumored to be in the upcoming release of iTunes.
One of the features shown in the screenshots is Facebook integration (which The Boy Genius Report has rumored before), allowing a user to create a playlist and then share it on Facebook.
Another screenshot suggests that iTunes 9 will be capable of syncing with third party devices. While Apple has previously blocked the Palm Pre from syncing with iTunes, (playing devil’s advocate) it is possible that Apple was just blocking them until they put a system in place for Palm to do it legitimately. I don’t expect this to happen. However, with Apple’s latest trend of giving in to user demand it wouldn’t be too out of the question. Especially if they offered the feature to third party manufacturers making sure they know that Apple isn’t going to bend over backwards to make sure their devices continue to work, if something breaks that manufacturer will have to fix it with a software update on their own device.
The most interesting of these screenshots appears to show iTunes reading a DVD with the options “Play DVD,” “Preview Selected,” and “Import DVD.” This is the image that brings the whole batch to its knees. Although it would be brilliant for the movie studios to give us a legal option to put our purchased DVDs on our iPods and iPhones, it is not going to happen. And, why would Apple put a “Play DVD” button in the bottom right corner? iTunes already has a play button in the top left corner.
I have already predicted iTunes 9 at the September iPod event but I was recently perusing the Mac Rumor’s forums and came upon an interesting post. The forum user MikeDTyke pointed out that iTunes, DVD Player, and Frontrow are all missing from the list of applications that are moving to 64-bit. This lead him to speculate that Apple may be rolling all three of those applications into one, completely rewriting iTunes in Cocoa (just as Apple is doing with Finder) and adding DVD playback and a fullscreen interface. I don’t have any inside information indicating that this could be the case but it doesn’t seem unlikely at all. But, I don’t know if Apple would want to put DVD playback in iTunes, it doesn’t seem like the right place for it, it would feel more natural in QuickTime.
It’s hard to say what this theorized change would mean for the Windows versions of QuickTime and iTunes, I doubt Apple would want to pay the licensing fees for every Windows user who has QuickTime installed and without the Apple remote why would anyone want Frontrow on a PC?
Update 8/31/09: Apple Makes September 9 Event Official
Update 9/10/09: iTunes 9