Imagine being able to listen to any song ever recorded any time you wish. Watch part of any movie ever made in seconds. Enjoy any TV show wherever you are.
To a certain extend, with iTunes and an iPhone or iPod Touch today you can. Maybe not any song, or any movie or any TV program but many of them. Fast forward a few years and pretty soon you may have them all in one delivery vehicle accessible wirelessly wherever you are.
The days of creating your own physical library of LPs, or video tapes or DVDs is nearing an end. For a small subscription and an even smaller performance fee you will be able to watch and listen to any content anywhere in the world any time you desire. This is not a matter of if, but when. The digital writing is on the wall.
If you think about the above you may notice something I did a few years ago. Media and software are basically the same thing but we tend to think about them differently. If I said you will be able to use any program any time you want for a small fee you might think me nutty. But the Apple App Store is actually the ultimate software distribution system. Developers create programs, upload them to Apple and users download them wirelessly on their devices, all wrapped in a very nice micro-payment system. Right now Apple only supports the iPhone and iPod apps but they can soon support other types of computers and operating systems just as easily. Soon you may be able to buy, install and use Microsoft Word on your tablet just as easily as you can watch yesterday's episode of Heroes.
While the rest of the world rushes to cloud based computing platforms (like Dimdim) Apple has created a cloud-based, wireless media distribution system that has already revolutionized the entertainment industry and is poised to rock the software industry as well. And so that begs the question. Is Apple a hardware – or software – company? Chime in!