I gave it a short try and found that overall it is a competent start. It's not a significant step beyond iTunes in terms of functionality or usability (more on that in a moment), though it's price/quality ratio is very good: 89-99 cents for 256kbps bit rate, DRM-free MP3s. Albums vary a lot in price, from a bit over $4 to $8.99 so … Read more
While at Starbucks this morning, I noticed some signs on the tables announcing that the "Now Playing" feature was live. This lets you log onto the iTunes music store from your laptop, iPod touch or iPhone and instantly see what song is playing in-store, plus browse and buy music on iTunes.
After adding two Sugar in the Raws and some half-and-half to my Grande drip, I decided to put that iPhone in my pocket to good use. I fired up the iTunes Wi-Fi music store by clicking the little logo and voila!
If only it was that easy...… Read more
Getty Images, one of the biggest stock-photo houses, has launched a music licensing business designed to give broadcasters, movie makers and advertisers quick access to songs.
The commercial service was built with the help of Pump Audio, which Getty acquired in June. The music unit is only the start for Getty, which plans to expand the kind of content it offers.
The service will start with 20,000 original tracks by independent artists, the company said in a statement Monday. That number is tiny when compared with music libraries offered by consumer services.
For example, iTunes now boasts more than … Read more
Finally, the iPhone's first major update!
My optimism for this 1.1.1 update was muted as, after a couple of months of waiting, I was excited for the ringtone feature that has ultimately proven lackluster. If my iPhone is in my pocket, I honestly cannot hear the ringtone portions of songs I've picked - even the jarring ones! The only reason I know I'm getting a call is because of the vibrate feature. So, with yesterday's major update, I was cautious. It should follow, however, that the speaker adjustments in the 1.1.1 update … Read more
Listed at iTunes on Wednesday were episodes of Chuck and Journeyman, two shows that premiered earlier this week.
NBC Universal touched off a public relations war when it announced that it would not renew its contract to sell digital downloads of its TV shows via iTunes. Apple responded by saying it would refuse to offer NBC's shows for the upcoming season.
But don't look for a full rollout of NBC's fall season. The reason that Journeyman and Chuck are … Read more
Writing for the BBC, Bill Thompson asks the question "Time for Apple to face the music?" (tip o' the antlers to Dominic Bassett.)
Forgive yourselves if you think you've heard this one before. You have.
The recent launch of the new range of iPods, including the video Nano and the iPod Touch, has shown just how far Apple is willing to go to make life difficult for its users in order to shore up its dominant position in the market for music players and downloads.
Do tell, Bill.
No! Wait! Don't! That was rhetorical!...if … Read more
Remember when Amazon.com was just a bookstore? On Tuesday morning, the online retailer launched the public beta of its much-anticipated rival to Apple's iTunes Store: Amazon MP3, which features over 2 million songs free of digital rights management copy protection, which means they'll play on any computer, music player, or music-enabled cell phone.
Because of Amazon MP3's DRM-free focus, that means the selection isn't as wide as the iTunes Store's. Several major-label conglomerates, like Sony BMG and Warner Music Group, have not jumped onto the bandwagon and hence aren't offering their music for … Read more
When the iPhone first hit store shelves, Apple was on top of the world. Not only did the company enjoy the biggest product release of the year, its stock price was on the rise, Mac sales were soaring and, for the first time, it looked like Apple might be able to supplant Dell and HP as the proven leader in the hardware business.
But just a few months later, it's amazing how quickly things have changed. Mac sales are still strong, but the iPhone has become the topic of heated debate, Apple has come under fire for dropping the iPhone price too early and too substantially, and its iTunes Store is under attack from content producers and new, formidable competitors.
Could it be that Apple has lost its touch and is doomed to follow the path of Microsoft--loved, highly regarded, then utterly hated? Will the Mac faithful finally lose confidence in the company it feels so strongly about? Even worse, will Apple's two big moneymakers--the iPhone and iTunes--meet an early demise? It could happen.… Read more
With NBC and ABC both making free downloads of their shows available this week, Fox jumped on the trend with free downloads of new shows available on iTunes.
The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that Fox and Apple have reached an agreement to offer free downloads of the shows Fox is trying to promote this sweeps season: that is, the ones people aren't watching as much as they'd like. No Simpsons or Family Guy clips are among the five shows currently available for free on the iTunes Store. But episodes of shows sure to be forgotten in the … Read more