Is Steve Jobs building a “DisneyPod?”

Astute reader Diego Barros noticed this note in Apple's Shareholders meeting notes:

"In a response to a question about Microsoft's Media Center, Jobs replied, "we hear you loud and clear." "

If I were at Apple, what would I do? Come out with a "DisneyPod." Huh? How about a Media Center style Mac that has a ton of Disney content on it? Every five-year-old in the world would beg their parents for one.

What do you think?

36 thoughts on “Is Steve Jobs building a “DisneyPod?”

  1. I don’t see the whole Disney thing helping Apple. If anything, it would hurt more than help. I think the whole Disney-Apple relationship makes other studios feel nervous (as if they aren’t already).

  2. I don’t see the whole Disney thing helping Apple. If anything, it would hurt more than help. I think the whole Disney-Apple relationship makes other studios feel nervous (as if they aren’t already).

  3. Apple is not about about giving away content. It is all about making you want to pay for content. They did it with MP3′s and they will do it with video. If Apple makes a DVR it will only work as advertised if you pay a subscription fee to iTunes. That will give you features you will not find in a media center PC or a Tivo, but it will work like both and then some. With a subscription they can do things like video conferencing with anyone that has the new Apple media center device with built in iSight. They can make it so you can accept calls from your tv, maybe the remote will be a handset. They can integrate a viewer rating system for tv shows that is made through user input. Your TV, phone, VCR, DVD player, emai, web, and music will all be integrated in a way that makes sense. When Apple goes after your living room they will use the full power of a modern computer to do things that are just not done well or at all these days.

  4. Apple is not about about giving away content. It is all about making you want to pay for content. They did it with MP3′s and they will do it with video. If Apple makes a DVR it will only work as advertised if you pay a subscription fee to iTunes. That will give you features you will not find in a media center PC or a Tivo, but it will work like both and then some. With a subscription they can do things like video conferencing with anyone that has the new Apple media center device with built in iSight. They can make it so you can accept calls from your tv, maybe the remote will be a handset. They can integrate a viewer rating system for tv shows that is made through user input. Your TV, phone, VCR, DVD player, emai, web, and music will all be integrated in a way that makes sense. When Apple goes after your living room they will use the full power of a modern computer to do things that are just not done well or at all these days.

  5. That’s like Brian Turner leveraging relations with Wal-Mart in favor of Microsoft. I’m not so sure that’s ethical.

    Jobs probably has a real razor’s edge to honor in his new position on the Disney BoD.

  6. That’s like Brian Turner leveraging relations with Wal-Mart in favor of Microsoft. I’m not so sure that’s ethical.

    Jobs probably has a real razor’s edge to honor in his new position on the Disney BoD.

  7. “Not hard to use at all?” That’s a living in a bubble comment if I ever heard one. I tried replacing my Tivo set up with WMC. My wife found it impossible to use in comparison to the Tivo. Back came the Tivo.

  8. “Not hard to use at all?” That’s a living in a bubble comment if I ever heard one. I tried replacing my Tivo set up with WMC. My wife found it impossible to use in comparison to the Tivo. Back came the Tivo.

  9. Disney/Pixar content would be a great boost for any Apple DVR/Media Center. But it seems funny how everyone is just assuming that Apple’s solution will be more elegant than everything else out there. They haven’t even built anything and everyone is already saying that it will be the standard by which all other Media centers will be judged. Same with phones. 2% market share, 98% mind share. Maybe there is something to Steve’s RDF.

  10. Disney/Pixar content would be a great boost for any Apple DVR/Media Center. But it seems funny how everyone is just assuming that Apple’s solution will be more elegant than everything else out there. They haven’t even built anything and everyone is already saying that it will be the standard by which all other Media centers will be judged. Same with phones. 2% market share, 98% mind share. Maybe there is something to Steve’s RDF.

  11. Robert, if it’s as easy to use as Tivo then it would work in our house. That’s still the benchmark, IMO.

  12. Even if Apple does come out with a Media Center, the comparisons to iPod is still valid. Because, what differentiates Apple from others is their packaging – software, hardware, accessories etc. Apple is a complete product company, while Microsoft can only do the software for MCE and ‘suggest’ designs to their hardware design partners.

    (BTW, Microsoft is an acknowledged computer accessories manufacturer (Mouse/Keyboard) and they even have the Xbox 360 to show. Why can’t Microsoft design something good for a Media Center and get it manufactured? Oh yeah, hardware partners would be unhappy, but that will be a wake-up call to them to design something good and something that can be put in the living room. Current solutions are not good enough. XP MCE is replacing XP Home in a lot of places, but without the full MCE capabilities.)

  13. Even if Apple does come out with a Media Center, the comparisons to iPod is still valid. Because, what differentiates Apple from others is their packaging – software, hardware, accessories etc. Apple is a complete product company, while Microsoft can only do the software for MCE and ‘suggest’ designs to their hardware design partners.

    (BTW, Microsoft is an acknowledged computer accessories manufacturer (Mouse/Keyboard) and they even have the Xbox 360 to show. Why can’t Microsoft design something good for a Media Center and get it manufactured? Oh yeah, hardware partners would be unhappy, but that will be a wake-up call to them to design something good and something that can be put in the living room. Current solutions are not good enough. XP MCE is replacing XP Home in a lot of places, but without the full MCE capabilities.)

  14. Brett: your post shows just how badly we’ve failed at getting the Media Center word out. It’s not hard to use at all. It is a little hard to hook into an AV system, but then hooking up my AV Receiver was a pain in the ass (at least 20 cords since I have a fairly sophisticated surround sound system with lots of gadgets).

  15. Brett: your post shows just how badly we’ve failed at getting the Media Center word out. It’s not hard to use at all. It is a little hard to hook into an AV system, but then hooking up my AV Receiver was a pain in the ass (at least 20 cords since I have a fairly sophisticated surround sound system with lots of gadgets).

  16. you must be joking.. Disney is totally irrelevant.. Pixar (now owned by Disney) themed Macs would be a laughing stock.

    The point is NOT to load of the Macs with content, but to finally roll out the Video Store for Quicktime (sigh, though it will probably be iTUNES which makes almost no sense)

    And of course, we’ll see a big screened iPod when the movies store is rolled out.

    Apple is NOT making a DVR

  17. you must be joking.. Disney is totally irrelevant.. Pixar (now owned by Disney) themed Macs would be a laughing stock.

    The point is NOT to load of the Macs with content, but to finally roll out the Video Store for Quicktime (sigh, though it will probably be iTUNES which makes almost no sense)

    And of course, we’ll see a big screened iPod when the movies store is rolled out.

    Apple is NOT making a DVR

  18. My seven year old daughter just read your blog entry… I am now just so hosed…

    She wants that Disney Mac NOW!

  19. My seven year old daughter just read your blog entry… I am now just so hosed…

    She wants that Disney Mac NOW!

  20. DVRs and MMCs don’t do much in terms of selling content. In fact, the content providers don’t like them one bit. Apple is playing nice with the big boys and will not want to piss them off. Any MMC solution from Apple will take these things into mind. Anything they make will be something that will make everyone think “now why didn’t we think of making that simple and elegant?”

    Seriously – Apple did learn from their mistakes in fighting Microsoft. It’s not always best to be out there first. ;-)

  21. DVRs and MMCs don’t do much in terms of selling content. In fact, the content providers don’t like them one bit. Apple is playing nice with the big boys and will not want to piss them off. Any MMC solution from Apple will take these things into mind. Anything they make will be something that will make everyone think “now why didn’t we think of making that simple and elegant?”

    Seriously – Apple did learn from their mistakes in fighting Microsoft. It’s not always best to be out there first. ;-)

  22. A Disney pod would feature a mini-me Ivies inspired Mickey logo. His ears would be for previous/next, his eyes as forward/back and cheeks and chin as the scroll wheel. His nose as select. Kids would, especially go bananas if it emits such Mickey-esque “Ahh, Shucks!”, “Hey Minnie, way to go!” when playing the controls.

  23. A Disney pod would feature a mini-me Ivies inspired Mickey logo. His ears would be for previous/next, his eyes as forward/back and cheeks and chin as the scroll wheel. His nose as select. Kids would, especially go bananas if it emits such Mickey-esque “Ahh, Shucks!”, “Hey Minnie, way to go!” when playing the controls.

  24. Yes, yes Scoble, a apple media center with mickey mouse all over will get a ton of 5 year olds lined up at walmart.. =P Maybe not!

    Apple needs a more powerful media center. It is somewhere where their bare bones approach on things will not be effective like the iPod was. Frontrow is great for people who have never used Media Center before, but those who have know that Microsoft already has a more feature rich (and still simple n stupid) thing going for them. The iPod is completely different because there wasn’t really anything like it in it’s time so they got a major head start. Just as media center did on frontrow, they have a head start and unless they blow it in Vista like Paul Thurrott is proclaiming, then they will more than likely maintain that lead for years to come.

    Btw, this is my first comment here, hope it’s constructive and on topic. :)

  25. Yes, yes Scoble, a apple media center with mickey mouse all over will get a ton of 5 year olds lined up at walmart.. =P Maybe not!

    Apple needs a more powerful media center. It is somewhere where their bare bones approach on things will not be effective like the iPod was. Frontrow is great for people who have never used Media Center before, but those who have know that Microsoft already has a more feature rich (and still simple n stupid) thing going for them. The iPod is completely different because there wasn’t really anything like it in it’s time so they got a major head start. Just as media center did on frontrow, they have a head start and unless they blow it in Vista like Paul Thurrott is proclaiming, then they will more than likely maintain that lead for years to come.

    Btw, this is my first comment here, hope it’s constructive and on topic. :)

  26. I gotta believe Jobs will be much more innovative than simply trying to copy the Media Center. Or simply making a “DisneyPod” (how limiting) Copying is MS’s MO, not Apple’s.

  27. I gotta believe Jobs will be much more innovative than simply trying to copy the Media Center. Or simply making a “DisneyPod” (how limiting) Copying is MS’s MO, not Apple’s.

  28. My kids would go nuts. Even if we’ve bought most of their DVDs. But the key for a young family like ours is ease of use. I’d trust that someone made by Apple could be used and enjoyed by my entire familiy. Media Center would be too complex.

  29. My kids would go nuts. Even if we’ve bought most of their DVDs. But the key for a young family like ours is ease of use. I’d trust that someone made by Apple could be used and enjoyed by my entire familiy. Media Center would be too complex.

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