Jobs Bows Indie Producer-Friendly Apples

At the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco, Apple chief Steve Jobs unveiled Mac computers with new high-speed Internet chips, but didn’t announce an “iMac for the living room” with television-recording capabilities, as expected by many.

The hardware announcements, built around Intel's Core Duo processor, mean much faster, more powerful features at an affordable price. But what is relevant for television programmers is how Apple has built-in content marketing into each product.

All four computers (two iMacs, two MacBook Pro's) come with enhanced Front Row media playback software, which includes automatic links to the online iTunes store where consumers can purchase music and videos.

And each of the new iLife digital media creation suite of programs--which enable video editing, music and podcast creation, photo management and now Web site creation---are so powerful that they can be used as a low-cost substitute for basic professional media editing and production.

That will make it more affordable for small broadcasters to set up an attractive Web site and/or offer streaming or downloadable content.

Jan Phillips, president of Media design firm OneSixEight and a past president of the Broadcast Design Association, now merged with Promax, was impressed, saying, "In the immortal words of Tom Cruise in Top Gun, 'I've got the need for speed.'" --Arthur Greenwald contributed to this report.