iTunes Gifts

October 13th, 2005 12:57 AM

A year and a half ago, I said:

Instead of giving people an iTMS gift certificate, I think it would be a much more personal and enjoyable gift to be able to construct a mix that they could download.

With today’s iTunes updates, Apple has taken a big step closer to this: You can now “Gift” any album or song to someone. It doesn’t look like you can do this with full iMixes yet, and iMixes are still always public, but I like where things are headed.

Also, the new iTunes video stuff is interesting. The quality is still pretty poor, and the DRM is annoying, but the ability to download television shows for $2 an episode is pretty amazing. (And I’m thrilled to see Pixar’s For the Birds available as a download on iTMS.) Some of these videos are topping out at around fifty minutes, so we’re definitely getting close to seeing movies available for download. As soon as that happens, things are going to change fast. I like the idea of everyone having an iPod dock next to their TV instead of a DVD player. A friend might stop by, drop an iPod into the dock, and queue up a new movie. Very cool.

Update: According to Lifehacker, you can indeed gift a custom playlist. It took me a while to figure out the reference to an “arrow just to the right of the play list name.” It turns out the arrow only shows up next to the currently selected playlist. What the hell happened to the principle of not having functionality that wasn’t available through the menus?