This morning 7digital announced that they would be preloaded on the BlackBerry PlayBook. To follow up, RIM decided to give us a sneak peek of not only the music store, but also the dedicated Podcasts app for their first tablet.
The 7digital store has a layout similar to the PlayBook’s home screen, having a slim function bar at the top, followed by a big featured section, and a medium-sized secondary ticker at the bottom. Tabs include Featured, New Releases, Best Sellers, Genres, and My Purchases, plus a search bar and Recommended list to help you find new tunes. Using a downwards gestures from the top shows your recent activity, if you want to scroll back to something you were listening to or looking at earlier. Playback ties in with the native media player, and if you ever want to listen to your tunes elsewhere, you can pull down tracks from the cloud whereever else you might be. Music will cost as little as $0.79 a pop, with quality up to 320 kbps, and be DRM-free.
Podcasts will offer similar functionality to the handheld app, namely pulling in audio and video episodes as they’re available (though it was mentioned that you had open the app to start downloads, while the smartphone version would would download in the background without having to be launched). Tabs along the top include Featured, Categories, Downloads, My Podcasts. Along the bottom, you see a ticker of the last 20 episodes downloaded. Categories range most of the standard subject matter, like tech, lifestyle, sports… There’s an HD channel there to take advantage of the fully-capable 7-inch 1024 x 600 display and dual-core 1 GHz processor.
Finally, the video gives us a glimpse of how the PlayBook will interact with BlackBerry Desktop Software to sync up music, pictures, and video. The interesting thing there is that the Desktop Software shows the PlayBook as having a PIN number, something it’s not supposed to have. BlackBerry smartphone have PIN numbers to identify devices to carriers and the rest of the RIM’s infrastructure (be it BIS or BES), and is the core component to BlackBerry Messenger. This is a pretty big hint that not only will the PlayBook be able to handle proper enterprise-grade management like RIM’s handsets soon, but that you’ll also be able to get push e-mail and BBM without resorting to Bridge.