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All posts tagged "itunes"


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

App Store Version of MacUpdate

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 08:00 AM

http://theappleblog.com/2009/03/09/...-the-app-store/

"For the first time in the App Store (at least as far as games are concerned) competing developers are joining forces to release their wares as one in the 5 Fingers Bundle ($5 in the App Store). Similar in concept to MacUpdate, these five developers are offering their great games as one, for almost a 60 percent savings."

So what do you get for your $5.00 USD? Chopper (previous #1 game), BurnBall, Up There (previously featured by Apple), Blackbeard's Assault (a Zuma-style game) and Sneezies (a bubble popping game). Doesn't seem like a bad deal for a wide variety of games. Makes you wonder how many other developers will band together and offer similar packages in another genre.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Slim Shady Loses in Court Over Royalties

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 11:00 AM

http://www.businessinsider.com/univ...lty-case-2009-3

"Well, that was quick! After a trial that lasted just over a week, a jury has ruled in favor of Universal Music Group in the label's court battle against Eminem's former publishing company. This means that the royalty rates doled out by digital music outlets to publishing companies won't change."

Eminem wanted 50% of the net proceeds from online sales instead of the normal royalty figure they use for online and record store sales. The court disagreed and he is stuck with the standard arrangement. If he had won, according so some of the witnesses in the court case, it would have fortified the case for artists refusing to sell their recordings on iTunes because they feel they don't recieve adequate compensation. So I guess this would have raised the song and album prices on iTunes or iTunes would have had to take a hit in order to keep the pricing as is. Moot point, at least for now.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Its Time Again for Free Music From SXSW

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

http://www.macworld.com/article/139...html?lsrc=mwnws

"The South-by-Southwest (SXSW) festivals and conferences kick off at the end of next week and that means it's free-music time. Every year, artists appearing at SXSW offer a track for free public consumption and this year brings the largest collection of music so far-over 5GB of MP3s (1,045 tracks at last count and more are reportedly on the way)."

Image Credit: SXSW

You can stream the available tracks direct from the SXSW '09 Music Player or if you are into torrents you can go to the "unofficial" torrent site where they have two torrents running. There are over 500 songs on each torrent and apparently they are going to be adding more as it gets closer to the opening of SXSW. More info can be found about the festival at the official SXSW '09 website.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Media Center Computer? Control It With Your iPhone or iPod Touch

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

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/macworld...amediacentermac

"I've been impatiently waiting for the arrival of the new Mac Mini, so I could run out and buy one to use as my living-room media center. So on Tuesday, I did just that. (Yes, I left work and walked down to the local Apple Store on day one, put down my credit card and left with a Mac in a bag. Told you I was impatient.) Then I went home and attached it to my high-definition TV. It looks great, and the Apple Remote works well with the built-in Front Row software to display media files on my hard drive and in my iTunes library."

But the reviewer found out his Apple Remote only goes so far, so he had been thinking of getting a bluetooth mouse and keyboard, until he found this program. My findings with the remotes limitations are similar although my situation is a little different. I use my MBP as my DVD player and Front Row interface for my TV in the bedroom, and when I'm done watching my programs, I've always had to get out of bed and turn the computer off. Yea, lazy I know, but when I relax I don't want to have to get out of bed to turn off my computer!

This program works pretty much as it says it will, turning your iPhone or iPod Touch into your keyboard/mouse. So now I don't have to get out of bed to shut down my computer! There is much more to it than that of course, and regardless of your opinion about my laziness, if you have a similar situation with a media computer, you might want to give this a look.


Watchmen Game Coming Soon

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

http://theappleblog.com/2009/03/04/...-to-the-iphone/

"First it was a critically-acclaimed comic by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons that took a darker and more sinister look at superheroes than had ever been taken before, then it was a movie locked in a nasty dispute over distribution rights between Warner and Fox, and now it's going to be what one could argue will be the first full-featured MMO for the iPhone and iPod touch. According to G4tv.com, the game will use Amazon's web services to create a persistent universe for Watchmen players to occupy and interact with."

I'm a fan of the series, so this piqued my interest. The release date for the movie is March 6th, and while no release date for this game has been announced, it is expected to coincide with the movie release date. Coverage is also found at G4TV and the official game site. I'm more interested in console games, but I know some of you out there enjoy games on the iPhone/iPod Touch so here ya go!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Get Your Emoji While You Can!

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

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2...-down-order.ars

"Apple has issued a store-wide take-down order to all App Store products that offer Emoji support, Ars has learned. Emoji icons are part of the device's Japanese language support and not meant for general use around the world. Emoji is disabled by default and hidden on all phones outside of Japan."

I still don't understand why they won't allow this "officially" on the iPhone. I have had since this article appeared here at Apple Thoughts and my family has had a great time sending various icons back and forth. From what I understand, Apple is having all the apps that allow the emoji removed, but if you already have it, it will continue to work. That is, I guess, until the next iPhone update removes it.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Independent Music Recognized by iTunes

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

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2...tunes-store.ars

"Apple has added an Indie Spotlight section to the iTunes Store, giving independent music its own breathing space on the store's virtual shelves."

Long overdue in my opinion, since I'm a big fan of independents. There are several sections that give information on touring bands, new releases and something called "heavy rotation." I'm assuming its music that is being played a lot but not clear yet as to how they get the data on that. There is a wide variety of music listed, sure to have at least one band for everyone no?


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Paid App Prices on Steady Decline

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

http://www.businessinsider.com/ipho...-tanking-2009-2

"Apple (AAPL) is famous for keeping its gadget pricing steady. But the iPhone app store is a much different market: App developers have cut prices significantly in the last few months. And the market for $10 premium apps seems to have evaporated."

Two months ago the average price for one of the top 100 paid apps was $3.15 USD, but over the last two months it has dropped to an average price of $2.55 USD. The average price of a top 50 paid app dropped even lower to $2.39 USD from $3.63 USD two months ago. The drops are 19% and 38% respectively. Per the article, its not clear on why developers are doing this as none have responded to the request for information, but it sounds like basic economics to me: supply and demand. That may be why the $10.00 USD prices have all but disappeared from the top 100 lists too.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Curious What Apps Apple Bans? Here are a Few

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

http://www.pcworld.com/article/1598...apprejects.html

"A 'throw shoes at Bush' app, a breast-jiggler, a naughty entry from the South Park guys--these are some of the iPhone apps for which Apple unceremoniously denied shelf space."

Figure 1: Screenshot from Obama Trampoline, a recently denied application.

Don't forget about "Obama Trampoline", the app that shows President Obama bouncing on a trampoline as you attempt to break some balloons! At least they are bi-partisan by also banning the shoe throwing app with President Bush. Is Apple trying to avoid controversy in the App Store? I think its more of a bottom line concern, as evidenced by an email the developer of Freedom Time received from Steve Jobs regarding the denial. The app in question was a countdown clock, that counted down the days until the Bush Presidency was over. The developer was told it was denied because it "either defamed or demeaned a political figure" ie President Bush. When the developer emailed Steve Jobs about it, Jobs replied: "Even though my personal political leanings are Democratic, I think this app will be offensive to roughly half our customers. What's the point?"


Monday, February 23, 2009

Bubble Your Way to Word Mastery!

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 09:00 AM

Product Category: Games
Manufacturer: Astraware
Where to Buy: iTunes
Price: $4.99 USD Normally, now on sale for $0.99 USD
System Requirements: iPhone/iPod Touch, iPhone 2.0 Software Update or later

Pros:

  • Simple yet challenging;
  • Hitting home button on iPhone saves game in progress;
  • Fun game for kids as well as adults.

Cons:

  • Letters in the completed list are very small;
  • Can only silence Smartygills, cant get rid of him/her.

Summary: I wasn't sure what to expect with this game, because at first glance it seems to be a game more suited to children. However, I found that it is actually challenging, educational and a fun game for both adults and children. Read more...


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Idol Performances Now on iTunes

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 01:00 PM

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/...mericanIdol2009

"American Idol and iTunes are teaming up once again for Season 8 of the No. 1 show on TV. The national superstar-making phenomenon is returning to the iTunes Store with music from the contestants on a weekly basis. Watch the program when it airs and follow up on iTunes to download your favorite performances, or just pre-order music from the contestants in advance. It's an easy way to get the music from American Idol's rising stars."

I was really happy that they did this last year and had all the great performances from what was one of the better seasons of Idol, and while there weren't a whole ton of great performances on Tuesday, it's only going to get better as the season goes on. Sure it's just a way for Fox to cash in on some amateur singing, but if you're a fan of the show or one of the contestants, this is a great way to stay up to date with their performances.


AMBER Alert for the iPhone

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 08:00 AM

http://macdailynews.com/index.php/w...comments/20168/

"The iPhone AMBER Alert System is now pending approval and not only provides up-to-the-minute detailed information on all AMBER Alerts, but revolutionizes the way that sightings are processed."

Pretty cool app from the sounds of it, allowing you to report potential sightings tied into the GPS of the iPhone, that will then be routed to the correct agency. It would be even better if it only gave you alerts based on your geographical location since this is a nationwide service. This will be the official app for AMBERalert.com and will be available as a free download from iTunes once it is approved.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rotary Dial for the iPhone, Fun if You Have the Time

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 09:00 AM

Product Category: Entertainment
Manufacturer: ObjectGraph
Where to Buy: ITunes
Price: Normally $2.99 USD, but for limited time it is $0.99 USD
System Requirements: iPhone, 2.0 Software Update

Pros:

  • Graphics very responsive, sound is just like the old telephones;
  • Interfaces with your address book.

Cons:

  • Can't stop the auto-dialer once it starts until it switches to phone mode;
  • No help option.

Summary: A fun application if you have the time to wait for the rotary dial to do it's thing. Read more...


Monday, February 16, 2009

Another iTunes "Competitor" Bites the Dust

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

http://www.ipodobserver.com/ipo/art..._kiss_of_death/

"iTunes Store competitor Total Music won't be giving Apple a run for its money now that its backers have pulled the plug. Universal Music and Sony BMG decided to stop funding the subscription-based music service because of the weakening economy, and competition from online streaming music services and the iTunes Store, according to Billboard."

This was destined to fail, initially building the subscription into the cost of the device so I have to use their device if I want to get this type of service from them. That had no appeal to me at all. When that wasn't working they made it a subscription service that could be bundled with the your own music player, but then there was that pesky Justice Department probe into the acquisitions the company was making. Say what you want, iTunes just works, especially now that they are DRM-free. Best part is iTunes is legal and not in any danger of going away anytime soon.


Combatting Pirates in the High Seas of the App Store

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

http://www.tuaw.com/2009/02/11/ripd...one-developers/

"Last week, the iPhone cracking app-cracking tool, Crackulous, was released, igniting discussions amongst developers and users over App Store security, piracy and how to combat these threats within the confines of Apple's walled-garden. Because of the iPhone SDK, and Apple's Terms of Service for letting apps into the App Store, individual developers are severely limited in what they can actually do, code-wise, to address the issue."

I didn't realize pirating was such an issue at the iTunes App Store until I read this article. Some of the developers are reporting figures such as low as 20% legitimate users. This software from Ripdev works within the constraints of the SDK (they say) so it doesn't violate any of Apple's policies, by creating another shell a "pirate" would have to break through in order to get the application to work. Pricing seems kind of steep, setup fee of US $100 for apps costing less than US $9.99 and US $300 for apps costing more than US $9.99. And they charge a royalty based on number of sales after the initial setup fee is charged. Not sure how many developers are going to be interested in this, but if you do any kind of volume, this might actually keep more of the money in your hands.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Hey Gamers, Rockstar is Switching to iTunes

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

http://theappleblog.com/2009/02/12/...azon-to-itunes/

"Rockstar Games, makers of the extremely popular Grand Theft Auto franchise, are picking up and moving a very lucrative music partnership from Amazon to iTunes, which offers players of GTA IV the opportunity to purchase tracks used in the game's soundtrack."

iTunes going DRM-free was the deciding factor, as Rockstar Games didn't want it's customers restricted by the music they purchased. iTunes is the place to be in the market, so I wonder how many other companies that have been held back by DRM are now contemplating making the move? Wonder if Niko Bellic will help convince them?


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

iPhones in China! Well, Not Officially

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 12:00 PM

http://www.alleyinsider.com/2009/2/...le-out-of-china

"Apple is still having a hard time agreeing on terms so that China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator, can sell the iPhone. The latest hurdle: China Mobile -- like many carriers -- feels threatened by Apple's wildly successful App Store, according to Interfax TMT China."

Apple doesn't want to give up control of iTunes, and China Mobile doesn't like the idea of not having control of the apps that the customers of China Mobile can put on the iPhone. China Mobile also wants their customers to use the planned China Mobile store and not iTunes for their applications. So for round 3 of the negotiations they are once again at a stalemate. This hasn't stopped the iPhone from coming to China, however, where there are an estimated 400,000 unlocked iPhones.

Tags: itunes, iphone, china

Marvel Comics to Join iTunes

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 10:00 AM

http://theappleblog.com/2009/02/10/...mics-to-itunes/

"Comics being sold via iTunes is not, in itself, new. You can currently pick up versions of "The Watchmen" and the excellent Image title "Invincible," but this marks comic book powerhouse Marvel's entry into the fray, and it's bringing something special to the table, in pre-releasing some issues on iTunes before their print alter-egos hit the stands. No word yet on pricing, but it will probably be comparable to what's already currently available to buy."

This is cool in that you get pre-release date comics to read, but I'm sure the collectors will still buy the hard copy when it comes out. I am a big fan of having everything I read (magazines, books, etc) available on my laptop for convenience sake, or on my Kindle if its available there, so if I still read comics it is something I might be interested in.

Tags: itunes, marvel, comics

20,000 Apps at Your Disposal

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 08:00 AM

http://www.tuaw.com/2009/02/10/app-...es-20-000-apps/

"Our friends over at Apptism, a site that tracks and rates App Store apps, have pointed out that their counter recently flipped over the big two-zero... zero zero zero. That's right, only three months after hitting the 10,000 mark (and that took only six months), the amount of apps in the store has doubled, and there's no sign the acceleration will be stopping any time soon."

Pretty impressive, doubling the inventory only three months after hitting number 10,000. And download numbers appear to be going along with it, hitting 500,000,000 mark about a month ago. It doesn't hurt that Apple appears to make it pretty easy to write applications for the iPhone/iPod Touch, and the approval process appears to go smoothly for most of the companies.


Monday, February 9, 2009

A Yawn of an Update for the iPhone

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

http://www.theiphoneblog.com/2009/0...carrier-update/

"Apple today is pushing down a "Carrier Update" via iTunes. As usual, explanations are scant to none."

This update came out on Friday, and appears is only for US based iPhones. There is an article in the Knowledge Base that discusses carrier updates in general, but as far as this one is concerned, the only things it appears to update are logos and some carrier settings for the Mobily network. However, this does lend credence to the expected 2/15 launch of the iPhone in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


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