Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Starbucks-Aware iTunes

Ok, this is kinda cool and kinda creepy. I fired up iTunes while connected to the WiFi at Starbucks and it knew what song was playing in the store. I wonder how this works. iTunes must connect back to Apple every time I fire it up. There must then be some process by which it looks up where I'm connecting from. If it's a Starbucks, then they can figure out what's playing and show the correct thing.

I wonder if Starbucks are all playing the same songs at the same time? That might make it a bit easier to show what's playing. The satellite jockeys at Hughes Network Systems used to provide a system like that.

No, wait. I see that there is a flat screen on the wall showing the current music as well. The song showing on my laptop changes at the same time as the display on the wall. Nice. Perhaps iTunes is connecting to the same box that is driving the display and the audio here in the store to get the now playing information.

Now for a challenge, how do we change what song is playing? That sounds like a good hacker challenge to me.