October 12, 2005 @ 3:26 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Strategy, Events)
Job posting and sources hint at video related plans

Many signs that Apple is planning to make video-related announcements appeared during the last seven days. With almost all analysts and Mac-centric sites expecting Apple to introduce a video iPod, we thought it was interesting to publish the little information we got along with a rumour roundup.

Apple to announce deals with video content providers?

First, what our sources are saying? We actually had very little information related to a video iPod or a video store. The only thing we could confirm is that Apple has been talking with video content providers over the past several months. These content providers are studios and TV channels. We can’t name any of these content providers and we don’t know if it’s for paid content or free video podcasts (or paid podcasts?).

Engineer hired to implement DRMs on video content?

Now what the facts are saying? We found something that strongly suggests that Apple is planning to sell video content in the future. Check out this job listing posted on September the 14th on Monster.com:

Apple Computer is looking for a Senior Software Engineer/Designer to work on our Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. Must possess strong skills in the area of digital rights management, cryptography, code protection (obscuring, certification and verification) reverse engineering and code disassembly and software optimization. Have a strong understanding of consumer expectations and behaviors in this space. Multiple platform experience is highly desired. Communication skills
required to interface with other groups within and outside the company.

Demonstrated industry expertise in the area of Cryptography is required.

B.S. or better in Electrical Engineering or Computer Science. Required skills include C, C++, SSL,x86/PowerPC, DRM, Mac/Windows APIs. Requirements include strong experience with current digital audio/video technology as well as a strong mathematical knowledge for algorithm analysis and implementation. Minimum of 5 years of directly related experience.

Though it does not prove any iPod video or Video store announcement is imminent, what has attracted our attention in that job listing is that Apple is hiring someone who has skills in DRM and in “modern audio-video content” at the same time. That suggests Apple is willing to implement its DRM technology to video content and along the way, sell video content.

However, considering the recent date of the job posting (Sept. 14), that would either mean that Apple is not immediately ready to sell video content or that it has already implemented a video DRM but needs more engineers to continue working on it.

Other signs?

Here are some signs that Apple has video-related plans. They were discovered by readers and other sites:
- Apple has locked access to the following URL: http://www.apple.com/movies”. The page returns a 403 (Access denied) error instead of the usual “page not found” page.
- MacRumors readers claimed that the iTunes section of the South African Apple’s site was referring to the iPod video on its title. Apple removed these mentions later in the day.
- The Special Event invitation that was sent to the press by Apple also shows signs (red curtain) that the event will deal with video related announcements.

What other sites are saying?

A short time after Apple sent invitations for today’s Special Event, AppleInsider reported hat Apple would launch a video-enabled site.

On the other side, ThinkSecret is one of the Mac-centric sites that tended toward suggesting that Apple will launch new iPods this month without video. It may be due to the fact Apple does not appear to be ready to sell video content, even from insiders’ point of view.

The site now confirms and claims Apple will release 30GB and 60GB video-enabled iPods.

What do we say?

With all these rumours and facts, we can speculate that Apple is likely to launch a video-enabled iPod during today’s Special Event. However, the content that Apple will make available with this product launch will be free video podcasts rather than paid content at least for now.


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