Who Has An Apple Household?

Last week, one of my Facebook friends asked if it made sense to share one Apple ID between he and his wife so they did not have to buy their apps twice on each of their iPhones. The short answer here is yes, but does it really make sense in a world where individuals personalize their devices?

As a family with more iOS devices than I would like to admit, we use the same Apple ID on all of our devices and in iTunes on all of our computers. This works for us now because my wife and I don’t mind using the same Apple ID, and our kids are too young to have accounts of their own. In less than a year, the oldest will want an account of her own, and I can’t really blame her. I would too.

So, how does Apple solve this issue with an insanely great solution? Well, here’s my plan.

It is time for Apple to implement the Apple Household. A Household will be comprised of one or more Apple IDs. All purchases made with any of the Apple IDs in the Household will roll up into one iTunes in the Cloud library. This will make purchases available to anyone in the Household.

So what are the benefits of having several Apple IDs rolling up into one Apple Household? The biggest advantage is that a family will be able to easily consolidate their purchases in the cloud and will be able to take advantage of iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match as a family while still maintaining individual accounts on iOS devices.

Of course, an Apple Household would also create a lot of opportunity for parents to monitor and control the purchases of their minor children. Apple already provides a way for parents to give an iTunes allowance to their kids. The Household could take this even further by using the concept of a head of household. The head of household, most likely a parent or guardian, would have the ability to easily set parental controls over all of the minor accounts in the Household via a simple iTunes-based control panel.

So, to summarize, the Apple Household provides the individualism that typical Apple users need, families get the consolidated iTunes library they want, and parents get the controls they require. Seems like everyone wins. Apple, let’s make this happen!

Send Some Holiday Cheer with iMix

The iMix feature in Apple’s iTunes Store is one that I have never really gotten in to. Sure, I used to mix cassette tapes when I was a kid, but for whatever reason, I’ve never really been one to build a lot of playlists in iTunes. That’s not to say that playlists and iMix aren’t really cool.

My buddy Terry Brown of Lazy Revolution fame sent an iMix to me today of some excellent jazz Christmas music. I’m not talking about the normal stuff you hear on the radio. Check out this iMix and see for yourself.

Now, to me, this is a great use of iMix. What better way to pass along some holiday cheer than to hip a friend on to some cool jazz music. If you have some favorite music you’d like to share, feel free to post a link in the comments section of this post.

Some New (Old) Posts

Some time ago, I wrote three blog posts as part of an application to join the blogging crew over at TUAW. Having not heard from them since I sent the application, I figure that it is time to make those posts public on Probstisms. All of the posts have been back dated to when they were written.

The first post is about the iPod halo effect.

The second post is about the Apple/Starbucks partnership.

The third post is a review of Google Docs from a Mac user’s perspective.

I felt pretty good about the posts at the time, and I hope you enjoy them too.

George Harrison Catalog Added to iTunes

George Harrison

I have written about the eventual availability of the Beatles music catalog on iTunes before here, here, and here, but Apple and the band have fooled me each time. Yesterday, George Harrison’s catalog was added to iTunes so now all four of the former Beatles are available through the store.

I have always been a fan of the songs George wrote while he was with the Beatles. His songs had a different vibe than the typical Lennon-McCartney compositions, and George brought sound elements from all over the world into his music. I remember listening to my dad’s vinyl copy of All Things Must Pass when I was a kid, and I eventually bought the remastered CD when it came out. Great memories!

This time, it’s pretty clear there is only one more big release that these fine gentlemen and their estates can announce. That’s right; I am once again predicting that the Beatles catalog will soon be added to the iTunes Store. You have to admit, it is the perfect time. People are starting to think about their holiday shopping, and what better gift can you give to a Beatles fan than every track the Beatles ever recorded and then some? Maybe Apple will offer something similar to the package they put together for U2. How about a Beatles iPod packed full of tracks you can’t find anywhere else? Now that sounds like something worth the wait.

So, Should I Be Excited about This Starbucks Thing?

At the special Apple event on Wednesday, Apple introduced a collaboration with Starbucks. Basically, if you go into a Starbucks Coffee shop with an iPhone, iPod touch, or laptop running the latest version of iTunes, you will be automatically connected to the iTunes Store and Starbucks Now Playing content for free. Really, how many times have you walked into a Starbucks and wondered what song was playing? Now, you can buy the song right from your iPhone, iPod touch, or laptop.

The announcement was pushed to the side by most of the media, but this partnership has huge potential. Let’s think for a minute about other restaurants that play music as part of their concept. Two that come to mind immediately are Chipotle and Potbelly Sandwich Works. Surely other restaurants will want to get in on the action.

If we take this a step further, where else do people listen to music while they may have an iPhone or iPod touch with them? Now, concert venues of all shapes and sizes come into the picture. It would be pretty cool if while you were at a place like the House of Blues listening to a concert, you could buy the song being played or perhaps even the entire album from the artist. This is especially true of opening acts that just blow you away.

Apple and Starbucks may have started something truly revolutionary with this new partnership.