[Updated 8/31/10 9:30PST; see final paragraph]

You know that big press conference Apple is holding tomorrow? The one that’s music-related, and kind of a big deal, we guess, if you like that sort of thing? It starts at 10am on September first, and you can watch the whole thing unfold live on Apple.com. Apple announced as such in a press release today. The release starts: “Apple® will broadcast its September 1 event online using Apple’s industry-leading HTTP Live Streaming, which is based on open standards.” Open standards, you say? That sounds pretty cool!

Joke’s on you, peon.

In a truly breathtaking display of doublespeak, the very next sentence reads, “Viewing requires either a Mac® running Safari® on Mac OS® X version 10.6 Snow Leopard®, an iPhone® or iPod touch® running iOS 3.0 or higher, or an iPad™.”

look of disapproval

That’s right. To watch the live video stream, which is based on open standards, you have to be using a Safari. On a Mac. Running Snow Leopard. Or an iOS device. Sorry, Windows, Android, and Linux users. We don’t serve their kind.  (Cue surly bartender saying “Your ‘droids. They’ll have to leave.”)

Star Wars references aside (which is a struggle for us), this is an interesting tactic. First, it demonstrates that Apple isn’t interested in reaching an audience that doesn’t already use its most recent products. Second, it shows that Apple understands something many others don’t: that a technology can be based on open standards while being anything but open. Third, it gives an official source of info for Mac owners who would otherwise tune in to a liveblog. Wired’s Dylan Tweney tweeted, “I’m really hoping that liveblogging is about to get the death it has so richly deserved for so long,” though Wired still plans on liveblogging the event.  

At this point, we’re not that curious about what Apple’s unveiling tomorrow. We’re still in awe of the massive middle finger they unveiled today.

[Updated 8/31/10 9:30PST to add the following paragraph] According to ReadWriteWeb, Apple’s HTTP streaming tech is built into QuickTime X, which shipped on Snow Leopard and recent iOS builds. The Windows version of QuickTime, bloated and steaming mangle that it is (we’re editorializing here), hasn’t been updated in 20 months. And forget Android and Linux.  So it’s not that Steve doesn’t want you watching his press conference tomorrow. It’s just that Apple wants to use QuickTime to stream the event, and QuickTime for Windows is an unholy and aged monstrosity that hasn’t been updated in years.  But that’s hardly news. [/update]

[Props to Adam Pash for his tweet on the subject, which brought today’s adventure to our attention.]