Friends have been hounding me for years — actually, two seasons, but who’s counting — to watch The Big Bang Theory. Everyone kept telling me how amazingly funny the show is, how I’d be able to see my world played out in the characters, and how the geek and nerd factor would be right up my alley. Yes, they were all right, but it still took no end of cajoling on the part of my friend Lesa Snider King and the gifting of season one from the iTunes Store before I started watching.
It’s true: The Big Bang Theory totally rocks and I should have started watching it sooner. But that’s not the point. The point is that those guys at Apple are frakking smart and anyone that’s worried the little Cupertino-company-that-could will lose relevance now that Steve Jobs is on a medical leave of absence needs to take a big step back and look at the bigger picture.
Let me illustrate. I’m given season one as a gift. All I have to do is click a link in an email to open iTunes and start downloading all of the episodes. When I’m ready to start watching, I plug my MacBook Pro into my TV and even though everything works easily and just as it should I immediately get why people that have an Apple TV love it. The Apple guys already have me contemplating a new Mac hardware purchase.
I don’t start the episode by pressing keys on my Mac. Instead, I whip out my iPhone and start tapping away with Apple’s own Remote application. Now I’m starting to feel like I’m an Apple commercial, but it gets even better.
Between episodes I realize that I really like the show’s theme song — not a big surprise since the Barenaked Ladies have always put a smile on my face. I fire up the iTunes Store app on my iPhone, do a quick search for the theme song, download it and start listening to it in under a minute.
The point is that Apple gets how to fit all the pieces together and make it easy to get and use music and video, and they know how to design the devices and software that tie all the parts together in a way that makes you want to use this stuff. They pulled all this off in a compelling way that no other company has been able to match so far, and they did it in a way that makes people feel OK about spending money — well, relatively OK. There’s only so much one company can do when the recording industry and the RIAA are involved.
OK, one little rant: Music and video download prices are still higher than they should be. Someone really needs to turn the oxygen flow back on for these guys and help them see that their 100 year old ideas on recordings needs to go. It’s a new world, people. Welcome to the 21st century.
Now to head outside and see if Apple TVs grow on trees.