Posts with tag itunes
Games, apps, music, shows, movies - it's all fair game
Responding to a requests from the European Union, Apple has begun allowing European customers to return any and all digital purchases sold on Apple’s iTunes Store or App Store services for up to two weeks for a full refund, with or without a good reason. You’ll still need to pay the fee upfront – so that $15 movie is still going to cost $15 – but if you watch the movie and decided you don’t like it, back it can go.
The new policy is now in affect in all countries governed by the European Union, which means that American customers are still out of luck if they decide that crummy port of Soulcalibur isn’t up to their standards. Of course, there are fears that this sort of system is ripe for abuse, but good on the European Union and Apple for choosing not to treat would be customers as potential criminals.
That Beats deal at work
Ever since Apple unofficially closed the deal to acquire Beats just a couple of days ago (I say unofficially because, despite how obvious it seems, neither party has yet to confirm that a deal has been made), the media has been spinning around and around wondering what the details of the deal are, and how it fits into Apple’s future business plans. Today, Billboard is reporting one possibility – according to the publication, both Beats founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Lovine have been assigned executive roles at the fruit company, a fact that Apple is planning on introducing at WWDC ’14 in just a few short weeks.
According to the report, Lovine will be made leader of the company’s music initiative, shepherding the future of Apple’s music business, including iTunes, the iTunes Store, iTunes Radio, and – presumably – Beats’ own music streaming service, Beats Music. This news comes as music sales are to believe have plaeued in the industry, with consumer interest largely switching over to streaming services such as Spotify and, would you look at that, Beats Music.
You should learn to expect more regarding Apple’s purchase of Beats at WWDC in early June. We’ll keep an eye on all Apple, Beats, and WWDC news until then – so stick around.
It could make sense
Here’s one out of left field – according to a new report by Billboard, Apple may considering bringing the iTunes Store to the chief competitor of the company’s iPhone and iPad, Google’s Android platform. Android is, of course, the platform used on some of the world’s most popular and best selling smartphone and tablet lineups, including the Samsung Galaxy and the HTC One.
iTunes Store on Android would likely be very much like what Apple did all the way back in 2003 when the company brought iTunes onto Windows. The move allowed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of users to purchase music (and later movies, television shows, books, and podcasts) legally without the need to switch to an Apple device. Likewise, iTunes Store on Android move would allow Android to purchase and store media directly on the smartphone or tablet they likely already have without the need to switch to an iPhone or an iPad.
Steve Jobs was infamously quoted in 2011 saying that Apple would “never” bring iTunes to Android. That said, Steve Jobs also said the company would never release an iPod that could plat videos, a tablet computer, and then later a small form factor tablet – all of which the company went on to do.
Excited for the release of iOS 7 today? Don’t worry, we totally are too. But don’t let that stop you doing from the things you have to do in life, like preparing to download iOS 7 today by first downloading and installing iTunes 11.1. Though it doesn’t seem like much, iTunes 11.1 is actually a fairly large update that includes a couple of significant features which you’ll be wanting – namely, iOS 7 support and iTunes Radio.
Apple has included the following release notes with iTunes 11.1, which is available for both Mac and Windows:
This version of iTunes comes with several major new features, including:
iTunes Radio. iTunes Radio is a great new way to discover music. Choose from over 250 stations or start a new one from your favorite artist or song. Enjoy iTunes Radio ad-free once you subscribe to iTunes Match.
Genius Shuffle. Introducing a magical new way to experience your music library. Choose Genius Shuffle and iTunes instantly plays songs that go great together. Click it again to hear something new—enjoying your music has never been this easy.
Podcast Stations. You can now create custom stations of your favorite podcasts that update automatically with new episodes. Your stations, subscriptions, and current play position sync over iCloud to the Podcasts app.
Sync with iOS 7. You can now use iTunes to sync your favorite music, movies, and more to devices with iOS 7. In addition, iTunes now makes it even easier to quickly organize and sync apps to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Note: If you are using OS X Mavericks, your book library can now be found in iBooks for Mac.
iTunes 11.1 is required in order to sync your fancy new iOS 7 device (including existing devices as well as the upcoming iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c) with your iTunes library.
Well, there's always the September music event
When Google announced their new Google Music All Access service at I/O 2013 the other day, many began to wonder whether Apple’s eagerly anticipated iRadio service was all that far behind or not. Many have held out hope that Apple would finally announce the new service at this year’s WWDC event, however a new report by The Verge reveals that Apple will be unable to complete negotiations with the labels by the time WWDC rolls around. Apple will be unable to announce or release anything unless they have the full support of the music labels.
In the article, The Verge writes that the reason for the delay is because Apple’s “iRadio” service will be substantially different from the current streaming services, including Spotify, Pandora, and Google Music. “iRadio” is said to be an “on-demand” recommendation system, unlike Pandora which systematically selects music without much input from the user. Such a system has reportedly yet to be tried before, requiring Apple to start from zero in an effort to make terms with the labels, something they have to date been hesitant to do.
Apple has reportedly already completed a deal with Universal Music and Sony Music, meaning that the delay would be coming from Warner Brothers and the remaining big labels.
Source: The Verge
The labels will not be pleased
A new security hole discovered today allows users to download any pre-release album streaming from iTunes entirely free of charge. Though we won’t get let you in on a step by step tutorial on how to pull this off here, we will say that the security hole is incredibly easy to pull off, requiring nothing but iTunes and a free application to snoop on HTTP requests.
The resulting file is a high quality, 256 kbps, DRM free file of the entire album, equipped with nothing but an iTunes FairPlay wrapper to stop people from playing this on anything other than i-devices. Anyone who pulls this off will be able to put the album on any Mac or Windows PC running iTunes, as well as an iPod, iPhone, or AppleTV.
Remember – doing this is most definitely illegal (or at the very least, a major breech in your agreement with Apple), and takes away any profits an artist might have otherwise made on a purchase – so we’re definitely not suggesting you all go out and try this out for yourselves. Musicians are incredibly gracious allowing users to stream their entire albums for free days and weeks before the actual release, so we wouldn’t want to take advantage of their good will, would we?
Apple doesn't appear interested
I’m going to let you in on a little secret – The iTunes ecosystem is the most massive and influential media ecosystem in the world. Whether a person has an iPod, an iPhone, a Mac, an AppleTV, and these days even just your run of the mill Windows PC – they’re very likely connected in some way to Apple and iTunes. For this reason, it shouldn’t be at all a surprise that, according to Windows CFO Tami Reller, Microsoft has been actively trying to convince Apple to release a version of iTunes native to Windows 8’s new “Metro” (or Modern or whatever you want to call it) environment. In an interview with CNN Money, Reller says that “iTunes is in high demand. The welcome mat has been laid out. It’s not for lack of trying.”
However, it appears that Apple is reluctant to embrace Microsoft’s new Metro filled future, apparently denying Microsoft’s requests for a Windows 8 native version. Apple may not be yet convinced that allocating resources to a product makes sense – Windows RT tablets have been under performing badly, and the traditional iTunes for Windows app works fine on Windows 8 on the classic “Desktop” interface.
Warner Music agreement close
It’s been a long time coming, but it’s almost here – Apple is apparently just days away from signing an agreement with the world’s largest music publisher, Universal Music, on the rights necessary for Apple to launch its long expected new music streaming service, which many have taken to calling “iRadio”. The service is said to have been the reason behind Apple’s purchase of a similar service, Rdio, over a year ago.
Of course, Apple needs a couple more major players on board before they could ideally launch such a service. Universal Music is large, but a service that only includes Universal is a service that might not necessarily be worth using. Luckily for Apple, The Verge is reporting that Warner Bros. Music is right behind Universal Music on a potential pending agreement. Other music publishers are reportedly not quite there yet.
Apple hopes that their new “iRadio” music streaming service will have a halo effect on iTunes Music Store sales. Purchasing individual copies of music files has fallen somewhat out of favor in recent months and years, with consumers rapidly switching to streaming services – such as Pandora and Spotify – to satisfy their music listening needs. Pandora and Spotify both offer high quality music free to consumers with commercials and the caveat that they do not actually own the music, but merely stream them.
Apple will reportedly be paying royalties similar to those paid by Pandora for the right to stream music. It is not yet clear if Apple plans on allowing users to play individual albums and tracks at will similar to Pandora, or if music will be chosen via their “Genius” recommendation system and played at random with no playlist organization capabilities.
Source: The Verge
Over 15,000 downloads every minute
We knew Apple’s iTunes was big, but now we have a better picture of exactly how big it is today – the company just announced that they’ve officially sold 25 billion songs on the digital music store since it launched and started counting in January of 2001.
Apple also revealed a few other numbers in their announcement today, such as the fact that there are over 15,000 songs being downloaded every single minute. Apple in total now offers over 26 million songs on iTunes. The store currently operates in 119 countries around the world.
To mark this milestone, Apple will be giving a €10,000 gift card to Phillip Lüpke of Germany, who purchased the 25 billionth song just the other day. For those curious, the song that earned Phillip this lucky honor was “Monkey Drums” (Goksel Vancin Remix) by Chase Buch.
Reinventing the jukebox, again
Finally, after a month of delays, Apple has today released the latest and greatest version of their immensely popular music jukebox application, iTunes 11. iTunes 11 for those who don’t remember brings a large scale redesign to iTunes, something it hasn’t seen in many years. iTunes 11 is said to be the biggest single release of iTunes to date.
iTunes 11 introduces a redesigned library, a newly redesigned MiniPlayer, instant recommendations, and a new “What’s next?” feature that allows users to queue songs.
Apple also redesigned their Music Store today, bringing it more in line with the modern design of the App Store and the iBookstore on iOS devices. Apple also took this opportunity to give the iTunes icon a fresh coat of paint, which looks – in my opinion, anyways – far nicer than the old icon.
iTunes 11 is available free of charge to most Windows users and Mac users, given you’re running Windows XP or later or Mac OS X Snow Leopard or later.
A little bit longer in the oven
Those who were holding out hope that Apple would release iTunes 11 to meet their “late October” deadline for iTunes 11, it’s time to stop holding your breath – an Apple representative has just confirmed to AllThingsD that the company is officially delaying iTunes 11 until “late November”, saying that Apple ” wanted to take a little extra time to get it right”.
iTunes 11 features a dramatically simplified UI, tighter iCloud integration, and better performance. It was announced alongside the iPhone 5 and the fifth-generation iPod touch. People were previously expecting Apple to ship iTunes 11 alongside the iPad 4 and the iPad mini (as the current version of iTunes has yet to support the new hardware), however it looks like Apple will be shipping a minor update to iTunes 10 instead.
To go with the new hardware announcements today, Apple has also updated the popular MP3/media player application for Mac OS X and Windows, iTunes. iTunes has maintained what has been relatively the same design since its inception, however not anymore – the new iTunes has been totally redesigned.
Most noticably, the new iTunes appears to take on yet another application UI chrome separate from the rest of OS X Mountain Lion. This time, off white to gray gradients make a heavy appearance, and gone are the traditional “button” designs, instead replaced with free floating, borderless button symbols.
The new iTunes will be available “late October”, which is noticeably later than the launch of the new iPhone.