SoundJam/iTunes Cocreator Leading Apple’s TV Effort

Apple TV?Apple has tapped Jeff Robbin, the cocreator of SoundJam MP and the company’s own iTunes, to head its not-so-secret TV project, according to a report from Bloomberg. Citing three unnamed sources “with knowledge of the project,” the news organization said that Mr. Robbin’s involvement in developing a TV is a sign of how serious Apple’s commitment to the project is.

The story builds off one of the many revelations in Steve Jobs (US$16.99 on Amazon Kindle and iBooks), where Mr. Jobs said that Apple had “finally cracked” the code for making a TV integrated with settop box functionality with, “the simplest user interface you could imagine.”

This is one of the few times that Mr. Jobs or his company has effectively acknowledged a product before it was ready to officially be announced an unveiled. With that as a backdrop, Bloomberg tapped the above-mentioned sources “with knowledge of the project.”

Part of the code that Apple, Steve Jobs, and Jeff Robbins have been trying to code involves things like searching for content. According to one of Bloomberg’s sources, rather than having to look for a movie on Netflix, iTunes, or a cable channel, Apple’s interface would allow users to find those results in an integrated fashion.

Like Apple’s existing settop box, called “Apple TV,” this new TV would also sync with Apple’s iCloud and be able to access one’s iTunes content like music, TV shows, and movies.

Mr. Robbin was one of three developers responsible for SoundJam MP, a very popular “jukebox” music player for the Mac before the release of iTunes. Apple hired the developers, including Mr. Robbin, to create iTunes, which was modeled closely on SoundJam MP. He also worked on the iPod interface for Apple.