I was reading Tom Watson’s post on making iTunes better tonight. I agree with everything he has to say.
I think iTunes as a vehicle to sell music is a great consumer benefit but not a great business opportunity. I think iTunes as a vehicle to sell more iPods is a better business opportunity, but someday everyone who wants one is going to have a portable MP3 player. But iTunes as a digital audio hub is a huge opportunity and Apple is as well positioned as anyone to pull that off.
Tom’s ideas for making iTunes better are all good. The one that really gets me going is sharing playlists. Tom has put a playlist up at the music store that all of us can go and buy. What I don’t know is what happens if I have all of those songs already in my iTunes and just want the mix? That’s a big deal to me. I have a lot of music in my various computers around my house. And I have even more on my Audio Request servers. While I always want to find more music, I also want to find great mixes that allow me to listen to the music I already own in different ways.
So Steve Jobs, start thinking of iTunes as a digital audio operating system, not just a commerce system.
UPDATE – I created a shared playlist of my own. It’s at the iTunes Music Store.