C'mon Steve Just Do It
A couple years ago I went out and bought a cheap dell desktop and connected it to my home stereo. I wanted to play Rhapsody through my home music system. It was pretty simple. Audio out on the dell into audio 2 on the amp.
Over time I have added music resources to that Dell. iTunes, last.fm, hype machine, napster, yahoo music, mp3 blogs, etc, etc.
When I first did that, the PC was maybe 10% of the airtime on the home stereo. It competed with the CD player, the turntable, the casette deck, the radio.
Today it's close to 90% of the airtime on the home stereo. It does more, its flexible, I can add services to it, I can customize it, I can download software to it, I can run the web on it.
So the next thing I have to do is connect a PC to my flat panel TV. I used to think I was going to use a media center PC for that. But why would I want to do that?
All I need to do is connect a mac mini, which costs all of $600, to my flat panel. I can buy TV shows on iTunes and watch them. I can subscribe to TV shows with an RSS feed and watch them. I can subscribe to videos tagged with the world "funny" in delicious and watch them. I can go to YouTube and watch stuff. With Front Row and the Apple Remote, the mac mini can easily be a living room appliance.
To start, it's going to be like it was with my audio PC. It will get used about 10% of the time. The set top box will get 90% of the airtime to start.
But mark my word. Within two years, the airtime will be reversed and the mac mini will be getting 90% of the airtime.
But of course I am a geek. I know how to do this stuff. What Steve Jobs needs to do is outfit a mac mini with the software that does this out of the box. Make it as easy to use a mac mini as a set top box compliment/replacement as it is to use an iPod out of the box.
It's trivial really. It's all there for the taking. A few UI tweaks, a few icons on the dock, a few deals with the cable channels, and he's good to go.
What's the over/under on the number of months until he does this?