2005-07-16

Personal Content Production

In my efforts to give Apple as much of my money as possible, I've recently been experimenting with creating books in iPhoto and ordering up large prints of some photos. For the most part, I've been quite satisfied. I like iPhoto a lot, even if it is a bit slow on my admittedly low end Mac mini. I have had iPhoto crash on me a couple of times and when it crashed, it took some of my work with it. That's no good, and now I don't trust it completely. Every half hour or so, I'll do a Quit and Restart of iPhoto, just to gurantee my changes aren't lost. Man I hate doing that.

Anyway, while looking through my nicely bound and printed iPhoto books, I got to thinking..."Why doesn't Apple do this for all sorts of content production?". Apple likes to make a big deal of their Made on a Mac slogan. It even says so right in the back of the iPhoto books. They are also looking to pull more people to their platform and they've always been known to have the full solution. For instance, with iPhoto you can import and organize your own photos and then you can order prints and books. You can make your own songs in Garage Band. How come you can't order your own CDs with your own art on them? You can make your own DVDs in iDVD. How come you can't order your own DVDs with disc art and cover art? Sure you can burn these things and write on them with a sharpie. You can even print decent looking art on your home printer, but you can print decent looking photos too, but I'd still rather pay a few bucks to get the size I want, the quality I want, and get it right the first time.

I first thought this might be a copyright thing. Apple probably doesn't want to get in the middle of producing small runs of bootlegs, but this issue exists with photos too. There are even cases of some places refusing to print photos because they look too professional and therefore are probably covered by someone else's copyright. So maybe they lack an ordering system. No, wait, they already built that for their online store and the iPhoto books. So, they have content producing users. They have content producing apps that they own and can update easily. They have an ordering and distribution system. What's the hold up? Can any of you think of a reason they aren't doing this (other than cost of running the business)?

Maybe this will get solved when the iTMS lets the little guy upload and sell their stuff. I'm still waiting for that one :)

5 comments:

Jason said...

My crackpot theory:
Apple wants to be selling to end-consumers, not being a facilating middle-man for businesses. If they are going to do that, they want to find a way to get a piece of the pie.

Photos have a very limited resale market in general. Sure, there are some that become stock art fodder, or a few that are cool enough to actually be sold, but most are simply throwaway snapshots with purely sentimental value.

This might become less true with video, and almost certainly does with audio. I think your point about copyright is a large reason as well. Although photos can be copyrighted, I think the proportion of legit to illegal photos is much lower than the same ratio for music.

I agree though, it would be great if they went all the way with this. I hate having a ton of CD's with sharpie on them because I don't have time for anything else. I would pay a small amount to have them done right.

-- I said...

They only run the photo business because of the occassional chance at ameature porn. Duh!

-- I

crturboguy said...

But think of the opportunities for amateur porn if they did DVD's!

--JOsh

Shannon said...

I really like those books and they are more affordable and WAY less work than my scrapbooks are. I think our 4th child someday may have one of these instead? But then you have to wait till their first year is over to make one and I make the pages as they grow. Hmmmmm, something to think about though. I would like to have one! Also I would like to look at yours that you have ordered.

Jeff McMahan said...

In a way, the little guy can upload stuff to iTunes in the form of podcasts (I'm currently mulling over a podcast I want to put together). Also, I've been increasingly impressed with the content from independent labels on the iTMS.

Perhaps one of the issues with Apple producing DVDs and the like is that making that stuff work well can be tricky at times. This, of course, coming from my pseudo-professional experience.