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All posts tagged "itunes"


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Apple Intros iTunes Movies in Germany

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple News" @ 11:00 AM

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/200...4/16itunes.html

"Apple® today announced that movies from major film studios including Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), The Walt Disney Studios, Sony Pictures Television and independents including Universum and Shorts International are now available on the iTunes® Store in Germany for purchase and rent (www.itunes.de). Making its debut with over 500 Hollywood and German films, the iTunes Store offers favorites including “Quantum Of Solace,” “The Dark Knight,” “Pineapple Express,” “High School Musical 3: Senior Year,” “Eagle Eye,” “Die Fälscher,” “Keinohrhasen” and “Aimee & Jaguar.”"

Good news for Germany! Honestly, my AppleTV is pretty much the only way I rent movies anymore which leads me to think that once Germany is turned on to something like this, if they're like me, it'll be a pretty big success there too.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Variable Pricing Hurts Sales Rankings

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 10:00 AM

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/feed...~3/xhoGpdf1yEs/

"Two days after the Apple iTunes Music Store raised prices on some individual tracks, there was evidence the increases have hurt the sales rankings of songs given the higher $1.29 price," Glenn Peoples reports for Billboard. "On Wednesday, one day after the price increase, the iTunes Top 100 chart had 40 songs priced at $1.29 and 60 with the original $0.99 price point. The $1.29 songs lost an average of 5.3 places on the chart while the $0.99 songs gained an average of 2.5 chart positions," Peoples reports."

Just proves the point that when you increase price, demand will go down and vice versa. I think I learned this in economics. If this continues, the record labels might not like this tiered pricing after all.


Are You Going to be the Billionth Customer?

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 08:00 AM

http://www.appleinsider.com/article..._downloads.html

"Apple said Friday that App Store shoppers have downloaded nearly 1 billion applications since the service launched less than one year ago and is running a promotion that will award one lucky customer with over $13,000 in Apple goodies."As of today, nearly one billion apps have been downloaded around the globe. So we just want to say thanks - a billion," the Cupertino-based company wrote in a new posting to its website that was accompanied by a digital counter that's racing towards the 1 billion mark."

A nice collection of prizes await one lucky customer in celebration of the billionth sale at the App Store, such as a fully loaded MacBook Pro, Time Capsule and $10,000.00 USD iTunes Gift Card. You can enter by purchasing an app on your Mac, iPhone or iPod Touch, or just go to the entry page and fill out a no purchase required entry


Friday, April 10, 2009

New iPhone Ads Debut

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 10:00 AM

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2...r-wwdc-2009.ars

"Apple has released three new ads, each highlighting three apps that might appeal to certain demographics-the idea being that whatever you need, "there's an app for that." Apple has released a new series of short iPhone ads that highlight more apps available from the App Store. Each one of the spots shows three apps that might come in handy for a particular type of user."

I always enjoy the new iPhone ads, usually I find out about an application that is slick and that I want to buy. Oh, wait, I guess that is the point of advertising isn't it? Seriously though, the ads are always well done and I do discover interesting apps, so I for one enjoy it when the new ads come out. You can go to the Apple site to view all the ads in one sitting.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Comparison Shop on iTunes and Amazonmp3 Stores

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 12:00 PM

http://www.tuaw.com/2009/04/08/adva...rison-shopping/

"The most recent iTunes update introduced variable priced, with many popular tracks now priced at $1.29. Needless to say, this makes Amazon MP3's 99 cent tracks that much more attractive. Advantageous mp3 is a little script and application combo that makes comparison shopping between iTunes and Amazon a snap."

So with the recent news about variable pricing on iTunes in full swing, as well as at the Amazon mp3 store, out comes this handy sounding application. Advantageous mp3 is a free download, and adds an AppleScript to iTunes as well as a small application to your Mac. You can start the script from the iTunes script menu and it does a search in Amazon via your default browser. It appears, however, that it doesn't work with all browsers. Sounds like, if it does work with your browser, it is a handy way to do some comparison shopping.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Variable Pricing Now Live in iTunes

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 12:00 PM

http://theappleblog.com/2009/04/07/...cing-goes-live/

"We warned you that this day was coming (OK we were actually off by one day, but that only means you had more time to buy that coveted All-American Rejects track), and now it's here: Apple has finally made good on their promise to introduce variable track pricing in the iTunes store. Songs now range from 69 cents to $1.29, with most still occupying the 99-cent mid-point that, up until today, was the only price tag available."

Kind of interesting, in the article it notes that individual tracks on some albums have variable pricing, from $0.69 USD to $1.29 USD, but you can still buy the album for the normal album price of $9.99 USD. As a counter to that there are also some that have all the tracks priced individually at $1.29 USD and have increased the album price. The point I got from the author was that it isn't easy to find the low priced tracks on iTunes, rather it is more hit and/or miss. It will be interesting to see how this all sorts itself out.


Crazy Daisy Game Available in iTunes

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 10:00 AM

"Spin the daisies to match the colored petals and watch them pop in this fun color-matching arcade game. Touch the daisies to spin their heads, match the colored petals and aim for big petal combinations to score super bonuses like ‘Daisy Chain' and ‘Flower Power'."

Astraware has released several games for the iPhone and iPod Touch. They have a variety of board type games like Sudoku and Chess, as well as several very colorful and entertaining ones such as Bubble Shuffle. This new game called "Crazy Daisy" looks rather whimsical, based on what I've seen of it by viewing the YouTube video. And if I had to guess, I'd say it is probably challenging as well.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Yahoo Releases Beta Version of Yahoo Music

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 08:00 AM

http://www.electronista.com/article...o.music.revamp/

"Yahoo today unveiled a reworked, public beta version of Yahoo Music that significantly changes the company's philosophy on content. The new version serves as a central hub for third-party music services and will let users buy songs from a number of sources, including Amazon and iTunes. It likewise collects Internet radio streams from Last.fm and Pandora as well as music videos on YouTube."

The beta site will also use a recommendation engine of some kind, grouping relevant music and videos into a single area. They estimate about 500,000 artists will be in the library, which according to the article is about twice the number as the previous version of the Yahoo music site. Poor sales ended the previous version so I guess being an aggregator of sorts is more appealing.

Tags: itunes, yahoo, music

Friday, April 3, 2009

Let Stanford Teach You to Program for the App Store

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 10:00 AM

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and...-477640/?kc=rss

"The Apple iPhone and the applications written for this smartphone have become so popular that Stanford University is now broadcasting a free, 10-week course from the university that will show would-be developers how to write apps for both the iPhone and iPod Touch. While those interested in writing iPhone apps cannot get credit, they might find some useful tips for getting their application into the App Store."

Sounds like it might be a good primer if you are interested in programming. I've never listened to or watched one of their podcasts, but they have a nice variety in their iTunes U section. I checked it out after I saw this article, and nothing was found as today about the new series. However, they did say it would be posted a few days after the lecture was done so give it a few days if you are interested. Sorry, no college credit for you if you don't attend in person!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Library of Congress on iTunes

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 02:00 PM

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/arti...s_joins_itunes/

"The U.S. Library of Congress audio archives are becoming even more accessible now that the recordings are being added to Apple's iTunes Store. The move is part of an effort to bring some 15.3 million digital recordings to the public in an easy to access manner."

The Library of Congress is also making it's video library available via YouTube. Among the items that will be accessible are first person accounts of slave life and book talks with authors. So far they have made available 39 podcasts. Yes, 39 podcasts out of a library of 15.3 million recordings. They haven't said when the expect to be done, but based on what they have completed so far, I'd say we are in for a long wait! Seriously though, it is always a good thing to get more of this type of stuff accessible to the masses, nice to see they are finally getting into the digital age!


Monday, March 30, 2009

Stock Up at iTunes Before Tiered Pricing Hits on April 7th!

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 10:00 AM

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2...-99-pricing.ars

"Apple is about to flip the switch on its tiered pricing model in the iTunes Store. Gone will be the blanket 99¢ track in favor of 69¢, 99¢, and $1.29 varieties. Not everyone in the industry agrees that this is the best idea, however."

And the switch is due to be flipped on April 7th, according to a bit of intel the Los Angeles Times picked up from "industry executives" that said Apple notified them the date was set. I'm glad they are at least dropping the DRM in conjunction with the tiered pricing, as announced by Phil Schiller in January at Macworld. This was the tradeoff for switching the pricing scheme apparently. The pricing is based on the relative "hotness" of the track, but I wonder if Amazon MP3 store is following suit? I suppose if the tiered pricing is a success they just might. If not, I'd imagine there will be people doing price shopping as they would for anything other product, myself included. Especially since Amazon MP3 Downloader makes it so easy to get the music into your iTunes library.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Blockbuster Before Netflix?

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Other Apple Hardware" @ 10:00 AM

http://www.tuaw.com/2009/03/25/bloc...ntent-to-apple/

"In the latest move to rejuvenate its weathered brand, Blockbuster plans to make its premium digital movie catalog available to TiVo subscribers before ultimately extending the service to devices made by Apple and other hardware vendors."

I wonder if Apple will even let Blockbuster on their devices (the un-hacked ones that is) since this would be direct competition to iTunes. I suppose if they had a different catalog in which to draw from, that might make sense for Apple to allow it, and take a cut of the profits. I'm not sure if Blockbuster has access to movies that iTunes doesn't, and I suppose the same can be said about Netflix, so who knows if this is just posturing or part of their overall plan. I guess all we can do at this point is hurry up and wait.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wordpress 1.2 for iPhone Now Available

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 10:00 AM

http://www.appleinsider.com/blogs/i...ted_to_1_2.html

"Wordpress for iPhone has been updated to 1.2, bringing some new features to the portable blogging app. The popular online publishing system that allows people to start and maintain their own blog, with Wordpress for iPhone allowing users to update their blog while away from a computer."

This update gives the app landscape mode which is a welcome addition to any application, but especially one like this. It also brings in shortcuts for creating links, built-in photo resizing to speed up the loading of photos and moderation of comments for your posts. The update is available now, or if you haven't, head over to iTunes and download the app.


Genius Now Suggesting TV and Movies

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 08:00 AM

http://www.appleinsider.com/article...for_videos.html

"Apple this week flicked the switch on its iTunes Genius recommendation engine for movies and TV shows, a feature it originally planned to introduce alongside the release of iTunes 8.1 earlier this month."

The Genius sidebar was introduced with iTunes 8.0, and was limited to suggesting music. Now they have opened it up to TV shows and movies. For example, if you select a TV show in your iTunes library, the Genius will suggest additional episodes from that show, other seasons (if there are any) and up to 10 recommendations for similar shows. Reminds me of what Netflix does with their site, suggesting movies once you have added something to your que.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

iTunes HD Doesn't Like Older Displays

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 01:00 PM

http://www.theiphoneblog.com/2009/0...-hd-display-hd/

"Yesterday, Dieter told us Apple had finally pulled the trigger on HD downloads for iTunes. Today, the internets (led by iLounge, via Gizmodo) are up in arms because said downloads are infected with Big Media-enforced DRM to such a degree that they can’t even play on older, non-HDCP (high definition copy protection) compatible devices. What does this mean? Even if you forked over $2K for a ginormous Apple 30″ Cinema Display, that “cinema” part of the branding will be just plain useless to you except for the very helpful popup you’ll get reading: This movie cannot be played because a display that is not authorized to play protected movies is connected."

Just for the record, I'm still annoyed by this. One of the first columns I wrote for this site smashed Steve Jobs for his hypocrisy in regards to how he handles DRM on video versus DRM on music. I think little by little there's more backing for my opinion than there even was when I wrote it. Jobs has no problem telling the music industry they need to abandon DRM, but when the time comes for Hollywood to do the same, he blindly accepts their demands to the point where he allows them to tell you that on your authorized computer, you can't play a movie you bought legitimately if you don't have a certain kind of connection to your monitor.

No amount of arguing will ever convince me that this is anything else but a blatant double standard loaded with hypocrisy.


Even Venture Capitalists Like Games

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 12:00 PM

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2009/03...ss_WSJBlog?mod=

"If anyone had doubts about the viability of a business that is purely focused on making videogame applications for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch, venture capitalists aren't among them. Ngmoco, known for iPhone games like puzzle-adventure game Rolando and word game WordFu, said on Monday that it raised $10 million in a new round of financing led by Norwest Venture Partners."

It doesn't hurt to have the connections that Neil Young, the founder of Ngmoco, has when you are looking for investors. Young was a longtime executive at Electronic Arts before he quit EA last year to start Ngmoco. He expects to launch at least 15 premium games, priced between $5.00 USD and $10.00 USD, this year to go along with the 5 they released last year. I guess the VCs are expecting big things with the games, and can hardly blame them since out of the 25,000 apps available on iTunes, almost 7,000 of them are games.


Monday, March 23, 2009

iTunes Trailers on Twitter

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 12:00 PM

http://www.appletell.com/apple/comm...-things-coming/

"It's no secret that Apple has been known for their secrecy. Even when the iPhone, one of their biggest products today, was first announced, it came as a major surprise to people worldwide. However, in a random act of openness, Apple's iTunes Trailers team has created a Twitter account for themselves."

When this was posted, itunestrailers had just over 5,000 followers and now they are approaching 7,500. They certainly aren't the first company to post on twitter to provide help and a sounding board for feedback, but is rather public way for Apple to do it. They aren't exactly known as an "open" company. I've read through some of the tweets and whoever is posting to the account appears helpful. If you want to keep updated on the latest additions to iTunes, or just throw down a comment or ask a questions, this seems like a good way to connect.


Friday, March 20, 2009

iTunes Now Has HD Movies For Sale

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 11:00 AM

http://www.tuaw.com/2009/03/19/hd-m...-way-in-itunes/

"Got $20US and a hankering for lots and lots of pixels? iTunes has a deal for you: Apple announced earlier today that it is launching HD movie sales and rentals in the iTunes Store, beginning with a small selection of titles (Transporter 3, W. and more) and with a couple of big-ticket films up for pre-order: vamp-rom-teen thriller Twilight drops on 3/21 and James Bond in Quantum of Solace on 3/24. Sales will be $19.99US and rentals will cost $4.99."

Choices are limited so far, but I'm glad it is finally here. Nice to have the option even if the selection isn't that large, especially since I don't have a Blu-Ray player, yet. Of course when I do get a Blu-Ray player, the price isn't going to be too appealing. I can get the Twilight movie in Blue-Ray from Amazon.com for about $4.00 USD more that what iTunes is charging.

Tags: itunes, hd, movies, blu-ray

Friday, March 13, 2009

If Only They Could Spell iTunes

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 12:00 PM

http://www.appleinsider.com/article..._algorithm.html

"$200 iTunes Gift Certificates are selling for less than $3 in China now that a group of local hackers has circumvented Apple's algorithm for creating the digital vouchers and built their own gift certificate generators."

Apparently you don't actually get the "card" per se, you get sent a code sent to you that is supposed to work in the iTunes store. This is becoming big business and they are selling them now for about $2.00 USD since so many are doing it (that old supply and demand equation). According to music industry site Outdustry, 6 months ago they were selling for about $50 USD. Adding to the pressure to make as many sales as they can is the belief that Apple will soon come up with a software fix for the algorithm trick they are using to get these codes to work on iTunes. Some have been found on ebay for use with the US iTunes store so it doesn't appear this is strictly an overseas problem.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

App Store Renewal Source of Frustration

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 10:00 AM

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2...v-contracts.ars

"We are now just one month out from the time when the first iTunes Connect/App Store contracts are due to expire. To date, iTunes Connect has yet to offer any renewal option on its website to developers. This is despite the fact that the page itself says, "Within 90 days of your contract expiration, a renewal contract will be available to you in the 'Request New Contracts' section above."

One developer was told "As soon as a process is in place, you'll be notified via e-mail or the website," the represenative said. "It's a new program. This program was not yet in place last year, and Apple needs time." Apple did say they wouldn't pull already approved apps just because the contracts haven't been renewed. I guess that is some consolation, but it seems like this should have been in place already since the program is a year old.


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