It's all over but the shouting and it looks like Apple's hit another home run. No Beatles, but Apple did announce:Roll-your-own ringtones for 99 cents. The "fat" nano, a squarish nano with coverflow and video. 4 GB for $149, 8 GB for $199. Higher capacity "classic" iPods. 80 GB for $249 and 160 GB for $349. The new iPod Touch, which is basically an iPhone without the phone. $299 for 8 GB and $399 for 16 GB. Coming in a couple of weeks. A version of the iTunes Store for both the iPod … Read more
At a special event in San Francisco today, Apple's Steve Jobs announced that a new version of iTunes (download for Windows or Mac; CNET review) will allow users to create their own ringtones from more than 500,000 songs in the iTunes store. The ringtones will cost 99 cents, in addition to the price of the songs themselves. The custom ringtones can last up to 30 seconds and can be created from any section of a song.
The new version of iTunes, expected later tonight, will eventually add a bell icon next to songs in the iTunes store that … Read more
I'm following the special "Beat Goes On" event being put on by Apple this morning in San Francisco's Moscone Center. Here are my first reactions....
Do-it-yourself ringtones for the iPhone. Great idea, but I want to be able to do it with any song in my iTunes library, not just songs I've purchased from iTunes. And only 500,000 songs are approved for this usage. And you have to pay an additional $0.99 per ringtone, in addition to buying the song. Kind of a snooze. I've seen people hack together custom ringtones from … Read more
Here's the Macalope's take on what will get announced in about an hour (hey, it's at least as useful information as predicting touch-screen iPods 20 months early).
New iPods and iPod nanos, naturally, both based on OS X. Yes, the iPods will be touch-screen and video will be added to the nano, which will retain its scroll wheel. The brown and furry one thinks it would be a shame if Apple totally forgoes larger capacities for an all-flash lineup, but that does make design much easier. Perhaps one big honkin' non-OS X hard drive-based iPod will remain.… Read more
Rick Rubin, the man who coaxed some of the best studio performances out of the Beastie Boys, L.L. Cool J and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, threw the curtain open on the music industry this weekend. What was exposed was perhaps more uncertainty and frustration than many may have expected.
A celebrated record producer who was recently named co-chairman of Columbia Records, Rubin made startlingly candid statements in Sunday's edition of The New York Times Magazine about the effects of the iPod, digital downloads and piracy on the music industry.
"Columbia is stuck in the dark ages,&… Read more
NBC's attempt to spin this back in its favor ("Investment Tools" indeed) is pretty weak tea:
We never asked to double the wholesale price for our TV shows.
Yes, because $4.99 is not two times $1.99. It's two and a half times! Advantage NBC!
In fact, our negotiations were centered on our request for flexibility in wholesale pricing, including the ability to package shows together in ways that could make our content even more attractive for consumers.
Yeah! Because everyone enjoys being forced to spend more money than they wanted to, right?! Let's … Read more
Apple really shouldn't hold back its true feelings about the iTunes Store no longer having NBC's TV shows like this:
The move follows NBC's decision to not renew its agreement with iTunes after Apple declined to pay more than double the wholesale price for each NBC TV episode, which would have resulted in the retail price to consumers increasing to $4.99 per episode from the current $1.99. ABC, CBS, FOX and The CW, along with more than 50 cable networks, are signed up to sell TV shows from their upcoming season on iTunes at $1.… Read more
In news that comes just weeks after iTunes' loss of Universal Music Group, NBC has officially canceled its contract with iTunes, citing the need for stricter piracy controls and higher pricing that Apple was unwilling to provide. That said, NBC will still continue to sell its programming on iTunes until its contract runs out in December.
In other words, January will be the month that NBC sees a severe increase in the piracy it's trying to so hard to curb.
I'm not quite sure what any of these companies are thinking. First, Universal Music Group steps away from the third-largest music retailer in the world because it thinks iTunes is suffocating it, then NBC walks away to make more money and stop people from stealing its media. But what both companies don't understand is that they need Apple far more than Apple needs them.
Let me paint a scenario for you of what happens as soon as NBC pulls its programming off iTunes.… Read more
As one of my colleagues at Directions on Microsoft pointed out, MacWorld's speculating that the Sept. 5 Apple announcement will include the big news that The Beatles will finally be available on iTunes.
Specifically, my colleague pointed to some comments (scroll down) noting that Apple's promoting the event with the tagline "The Beat Goes On," which appeared twice at the end of the Beatles' final press release, issued on Apr. 10, 1970.
Jupiter Research's Mark Mulligan gives a run-down of what Nokia's new digital music strategy looks like and, well, let's just say Steve Jobs isn't exactly shaking in his Nikes.
Nice hardware with 99-cent Windows Media-DRMed downloads and, inexplicably, a PC-only subscription-based streaming service that doesn't do mobile streaming.
Wow. That's anticlimactic. And, frankly, a little confusing.
The one feature the Macalope sees that Apple really should implement is the ability to buy and download songs from the phone. Of course, there's currently no interface to add songs to playlists on an iPhone and … Read more