What Will Apple Do Next?

When it comes to Apple, that’s always the question

Apple prides itself on an impenetrable veil of secrecy about what it’s next move is going to be. But of course with the internet and it’s armies of zealous Apple watchers, there’s always chatter. Sometimes the chatter is wrong, but often there are grains of truth in all that speculation.

Right now, there are plenty of rumors to go around. What’s the deal with the iWatch? What about an Apple TV—meaning, an actual television? Will it run OS X? Will Apple Maps ever be any good? And what about this alleged music streaming service?

So many questions, and next week or next month or next year when some of these things actually happen, we’ll all start taking stabs at predicting what will come after that. It’s part of the fun of being Mac users.

If I had to guess, I’d say the most likely of the current crop of rumors is Apple launching a music streaming service. It’s the low-hanging fruit, since they’ve already got the music, the infrastructure to deliver it, and the gigantic database of music fans—along with their credit card numbers. All they need to do is ink some streaming deals with the labels, and Apple would be an instant powerhouse in the streaming business.

I’m a die-hard Rdio fan, mostly for their excellent recommendation engine, and the discovery features that make it easy to see what my music-loving friends are listening to. But the reality is that I only follow about 30 people on the service, because my many of my friends either use one of the other guys, or don’t currently use any music service.

While Rdio’s recommendations are usually pretty good, imagine how much better they would be if more of my friends were using it. Practically everyone I know already uses iTunes, and this is where Apple could really get ahead in the streaming biz. By aggregating data from my music library with those of all of my friends, Apple could easily find people with similar libraries, and then based on those matches, point me to albums and artists that I’m likely to enjoy. It’s a win-win for Apple and their customers—although I shudder to think of how much more money I’ll be spending in iTunes once it learns to make hyper-specific recommendations this way.

What do you think? Is Apple’s streaming music service a good idea, or are there already too many? And what’s your favorite Apple rumor right now?  Leave us a comment below, or tweet us at @DollyDrive. Oh, and speaking of music, I’ve got one more thing…

A Quick Dolly Tip

Did you know that you can use Dolly Space to sync your library to multiple machines? It’s a bit of an Easter Egg, but here’s how to do it:
Sign into Dolly on two or more Macs using the same account credentials. In Space, type Command-Comma. In the pane that pops up, check the box for Enable iTunes Library Sync (you can use Sync with your iPhoto library too). Click Save and you’re done. Dolly will take it from here, and keep your iTunes libraries in sync, so you can listen to all your music no matter where you are. Rock on!

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