Tuesday, June 12, 2012
iTunes Outs Queen Latifah
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iTunes Outs Queen Latifah

Click here to enlarge the image.

Saturday, May 19, 2012
Donna Summer Tops Charts Ahead Of Private Farewell 
The NY Daily News reports:

Donna Summer's sudden death turned her ’70s and ’80s classics into hot stuff once again.
“The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer” soared to No. 1 on Amazon’s list of best-selling CDs, while the disco diva’s “On the Radio: Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and 2” sat at No. 6.
The musical story was the same on iTunes, where “On The Radio” climbed to No. 9 and “The Journey” hit No. 13.
Five Summer albums were listed in the iTunes Top 40, while seven selections from the Queen of Disco reached Amazon’s Top 50 following her Thursday death.
While the public eagerly snapped up her music, a private funeral for family and friends was announced Friday as the “Last Dance.”
The chart-topping singer’s family announced their low-key plans in a statement thanking fans for their support, while asking for privacy in mourning the 63-year-old singer.
“On behalf of the Sudano family, the overwhelming outreach from the media, fans and friends alike has been most truly appreciated,” said the statement from Brian Edwards, Summer’s publicist.
“The services being planned will be private to include only family and close friends. Thank you for continuing to respect the family’s privacy during their time of loss.”
The statement provided no other information about the funeral service.Summer — who had a daughter from a previous relationship — was married to songwriter Bruce Sudano for 31 years, and the couple had two daughters.
The five-time Grammy winner died at her Florida home after a secret 10-month battle with lung cancer. Few outside her husband and kids were aware of Summer’s plight.
While fans [couldn’t] attend her funeral, they turned out on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to leave flowers and cards on Summer’s star.

Donna Summer Tops Charts Ahead Of Private Farewell 

The NY Daily News reports:

Donna Summer's sudden death turned her ’70s and ’80s classics into hot stuff once again.

“The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer” soared to No. 1 on Amazon’s list of best-selling CDs, while the disco diva’s “On the Radio: Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and 2” sat at No. 6.

The musical story was the same on iTunes, where “On The Radio” climbed to No. 9 and “The Journey” hit No. 13.

Five Summer albums were listed in the iTunes Top 40, while seven selections from the Queen of Disco reached Amazon’s Top 50 following her Thursday death.

While the public eagerly snapped up her music, a private funeral for family and friends was announced Friday as the “Last Dance.”

The chart-topping singer’s family announced their low-key plans in a statement thanking fans for their support, while asking for privacy in mourning the 63-year-old singer.

“On behalf of the Sudano family, the overwhelming outreach from the media, fans and friends alike has been most truly appreciated,” said the statement from Brian Edwards, Summer’s publicist.

“The services being planned will be private to include only family and close friends. Thank you for continuing to respect the family’s privacy during their time of loss.”

The statement provided no other information about the funeral service.
Summer — who had a daughter from a previous relationship — was married to songwriter Bruce Sudano for 31 years, and the couple had two daughters.

The five-time Grammy winner died at her Florida home after a secret 10-month battle with lung cancer. Few outside her husband and kids were aware of Summer’s plight.


While fans [couldn’t] attend her funeral, they turned out on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to leave flowers and cards on Summer’s star.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
 
Apple’s Event “Let’s Talk iPhone” Breakdown
Cult Of Mac reports:

Confused by the whirlwind of Apple news from today’s Let’s Talk iPhone event? Don’t worry. We got a quick break down of all the new stuff Apple released today, including details on the iPhone 4S, Siri, iPod Nano and the highly anticipated Cards app.

iPhone 4S – Looks just like the iPhone 4 but the guts have been revamped for speed. The  new A5 chip (Same chip in the iPad 2), has a dual-core CPU making it 2x as fast at CPU tasks. Graphic performance on the iPhone 4S will be Up to 7x faster in the previous iPhone. 8 hours of 3G talk time, 14 hours of 2G talk time, 6 hours on 3G browsing. Also of note, the wireless system in the phone has been updated to include two separate antenna. iPhone 4S can intelligently switch between antennas to transmit and receive. This will lead to improved call quality and 2X faster download speeds (Apple was calling it 4G speeds, but we’ll save you the debate on what is and isn’t true 4G).

iPhone 4S is a world phone with both CDMA and GSM capabilities. The camera has been improved to an 8MP sensor (that’s a 3264×2448 resolution). 60% increase of pixels from the iPhone 4 camera. Added a backside illuminated sensor that increases light performance of camera by 73%. Better color accuracy and uniformity have also been added thanks for hybrid IR filter and five element lens. Face detection and improved shutter speed. The camera on the iPhone 4S will be the best on any cellphone on the market. To make it even better, Apple added 1080p video capture. Real time video stabilization and temporal noise reduction will allow users to capture professional quality HD video.
Another feature for the iPhone 4S is AirPlay Mirroring. Now you can watch videos or play games on your big screen. You can connect your iPhone wirelessly to your Apple TV, or buy an attachment to hook it up with wires (no word yet on price of cable we saw).
The iPhone 4S will come in three versions, 16GB for $199, 32Gb for $299 and 64GB for $399 with both black and white an available color at launch. Preorders on October 7th.Available October 14th.
Siri – The intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. Simply hold down the home button and Siri will listen and find an answer for you. Users can ask Siri a real question, in real language, and get an answer. Siri will read new messages, check if you have any conflicting appointments and capture your voice-to-text response. Make appointments just by talking, or have Siri pull up directions to an address just by speaking. “Gets better” as it learns your voice. Requires a 3G or Wifi data connection. Supports English, French and German (was really hoping Tagalog would be included) Exclusive to the iPhone 4S, though we’re not sure why, other than to sell new phones. Only explanation I can think of is because Siri requires a data connection maybe Apple is worried the older iPhones don’t have fast enough data to make it work seamlessly.
iPod Nano - UI changes have been implemented to make navigation easier. Apple improved the fitness experience so you don’t need to go to Foot Locker and buy a Nike+ sensor for your running, you can start running right out of the box. Plug iPod Nano into your Mac after a run and it will update Nike+ with all your workout data. 16 new clock faces for people who like to wear their nano as a watch (including a Mickey Mouse face). iPod nano is 8GB for $129, and 16GB for $149. Available today

iPod Touch  didn’t get much love other than a price drop and a new color. Sounds like the iPod Touch is keeping all the same internal specs. It will support iOS 5 but won’t include Siri. Price has been reduced to $199 for 8GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB. Available on October 12.

iPhone 4 – now $99 for 8gb
iPhone 3GS – free with a two year contract (supports iOS 5)
.iOS 5 - Apple pretty much gave a recap of their WWDC keynote regarding iOS 5. They reviewed features like  Notification Center, Camera, News Stand, Twitter Integration, iMessage, Reminders, Safari Reader, Mail, and wireless sync. iOS 5 will be supported on iPhone 4 & 3GS, iPad 1 & 2. Drops on October 12th as a free update for all.
Find My Friends - a new location tracking app similar to Google Latitude except better. You can share location for just a few hours by creating a temporary event an invite friends. Location sharing ends at the end of the preset time so you don’t get creeped out knowing your friends can tell when you’re sitting at Golden Coral stuffing your face with  mashed potatoes.
iTunes Match – No new features were announced, but Apple said that it won’t available till the end of October.
Cards app - You choose the pic, Apple will print it and even mail it automatically and you’ll even get a push notification for when the card is delivered.
Infinity Blade 2 - comes out December 2nd. New features. Customizable weapons.

The iPod Classic was killed and it seems like Siri Assistant is gonna run on the iPad, according to what can be read on iTunes USA.
You can know watch the full event on Apple’s website.

 

Apple’s Event “Let’s Talk iPhone” Breakdown

Cult Of Mac reports:

Confused by the whirlwind of Apple news from today’s Let’s Talk iPhone event? Don’t worry. We got a quick break down of all the new stuff Apple released today, including details on the iPhone 4S, Siri, iPod Nano and the highly anticipated Cards app.

  • iPhone 4S – Looks just like the iPhone 4 but the guts have been revamped for speed. The  new A5 chip (Same chip in the iPad 2), has a dual-core CPU making it 2x as fast at CPU tasks. Graphic performance on the iPhone 4S will be Up to 7x faster in the previous iPhone. 8 hours of 3G talk time, 14 hours of 2G talk time, 6 hours on 3G browsing. Also of note, the wireless system in the phone has been updated to include two separate antenna. iPhone 4S can intelligently switch between antennas to transmit and receive. This will lead to improved call quality and 2X faster download speeds (Apple was calling it 4G speeds, but we’ll save you the debate on what is and isn’t true 4G).

  • iPhone 4S is a world phone with both CDMA and GSM capabilities. The camera has been improved to an 8MP sensor (that’s a 3264×2448 resolution). 60% increase of pixels from the iPhone 4 camera. Added a backside illuminated sensor that increases light performance of camera by 73%. Better color accuracy and uniformity have also been added thanks for hybrid IR filter and five element lens. Face detection and improved shutter speed. The camera on the iPhone 4S will be the best on any cellphone on the market. To make it even better, Apple added 1080p video capture. Real time video stabilization and temporal noise reduction will allow users to capture professional quality HD video.
  • Another feature for the iPhone 4S is AirPlay Mirroring. Now you can watch videos or play games on your big screen. You can connect your iPhone wirelessly to your Apple TV, or buy an attachment to hook it up with wires (no word yet on price of cable we saw).
  • The iPhone 4S will come in three versions, 16GB for $199, 32Gb for $299 and 64GB for $399 with both black and white an available color at launch. Preorders on October 7th.Available October 14th.
  • Siri – The intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. Simply hold down the home button and Siri will listen and find an answer for you. Users can ask Siri a real question, in real language, and get an answer. Siri will read new messages, check if you have any conflicting appointments and capture your voice-to-text response. Make appointments just by talking, or have Siri pull up directions to an address just by speaking. “Gets better” as it learns your voice. Requires a 3G or Wifi data connection. Supports English, French and German (was really hoping Tagalog would be included) Exclusive to the iPhone 4S, though we’re not sure why, other than to sell new phones. Only explanation I can think of is because Siri requires a data connection maybe Apple is worried the older iPhones don’t have fast enough data to make it work seamlessly.
  • iPod Nano - UI changes have been implemented to make navigation easier. Apple improved the fitness experience so you don’t need to go to Foot Locker and buy a Nike+ sensor for your running, you can start running right out of the box. Plug iPod Nano into your Mac after a run and it will update Nike+ with all your workout data. 16 new clock faces for people who like to wear their nano as a watch (including a Mickey Mouse face). iPod nano is 8GB for $129, and 16GB for $149. Available today

  • iPod Touch  didn’t get much love other than a price drop and a new color. Sounds like the iPod Touch is keeping all the same internal specs. It will support iOS 5 but won’t include Siri. Price has been reduced to $199 for 8GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB. Available on October 12.

  • iPhone 4 – now $99 for 8gb
  • iPhone 3GS – free with a two year contract (supports iOS 5)
  • .iOS 5 - Apple pretty much gave a recap of their WWDC keynote regarding iOS 5. They reviewed features like  Notification Center, Camera, News Stand, Twitter Integration, iMessage, Reminders, Safari Reader, Mail, and wireless sync. iOS 5 will be supported on iPhone 4 & 3GS, iPad 1 & 2. Drops on October 12th as a free update for all.
  • Find My Friends - a new location tracking app similar to Google Latitude except better. You can share location for just a few hours by creating a temporary event an invite friends. Location sharing ends at the end of the preset time so you don’t get creeped out knowing your friends can tell when you’re sitting at Golden Coral stuffing your face with  mashed potatoes.
  • iTunes Match – No new features were announced, but Apple said that it won’t available till the end of October.
  • Cards app - You choose the pic, Apple will print it and even mail it automatically and you’ll even get a push notification for when the card is delivered.
  • Infinity Blade 2 - comes out December 2nd. New features. Customizable weapons.

The iPod Classic was killed and it seems like Siri Assistant is gonna run on the iPad, according to what can be read on iTunes USA.

You can know watch the full event on Apple’s website.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The View: Hot Topics - “Is My Son Gay?” App

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Apple Ends Christianist Affiliation

Joe.My.God. reports:

Apple has pulled their iTunes store from a Christianist sitethat funds anti-gay hate groups like the Family Research Council. This move comes after pressure from petition site Change.org convinced other major companies such as the BBC to end their affiliations as well.
Apple has removed their iTunes store from the “Christan Values Network” (CVN.org) after more than 22,000 people signed a petition on Change.org started by Ben Crowther, a student and Apple customer concerned about CVN’s funding of anti-gay, anti-women organizations like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. The Apple campaign, which picked up significant momentum after 13,000 AllOut.org members signed another petition on Thursday, follows Microsoft’s decision to leave CVN two weeks ago, prompted by another customer-driven campaign on Change.org. Several other companies have removed their online stores since then, including REI, Macy’s, Delta Airlines, BBC America, and Wells Fargo.

Apple Ends Christianist Affiliation

Joe.My.God. reports:

Apple has pulled their iTunes store from a Christianist sitethat funds anti-gay hate groups like the Family Research Council. This move comes after pressure from petition site Change.org convinced other major companies such as the BBC to end their affiliations as well.

  • Apple has removed their iTunes store from the “Christan Values Network” (CVN.org) after more than 22,000 people signed a petition on Change.org started by Ben Crowther, a student and Apple customer concerned about CVN’s funding of anti-gay, anti-women organizations like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. The Apple campaign, which picked up significant momentum after 13,000 AllOut.org members signed another petition on Thursday, follows Microsoft’s decision to leave CVN two weeks ago, prompted by another customer-driven campaign on Change.org. Several other companies have removed their online stores since then, including REI, Macy’s, Delta Airlines, BBC America, and Wells Fargo.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Apple Snubs U.K. Again – iTunes Cloud Services Not Coming Anytime Soon

Cult Of Mac reports:

As much as I love my Apple TV, I’m still rather irked that Apple is yet to offer a Netflix substitute for its U.K. users. It now seems that Apple has snubbed those of us across the pond once again with its iTunes cloudservices, which apparently won’t be making their way to the U.K. anytime soon.When Steve Jobs presented iCloud and all of its wonderful features at WWDC yesterday, the one that really impressed me was iTunes in the Cloud. There’s nothing enjoyable about downloading a song on your iPhone, then having to sync it to your computer and back to your iPad, iPod touch, etc., just to listen to it on all of your devices. iTunes in the Cloud means your new purchases are “automatically everywhere.”Then there’s iTunes Match: another awesome feature that lets you “store your entire collection, including music you’ve ripped from CDs or purchased somewhere other than iTunes,” allowing you to access your entire library on any of your devices, anywhere.Unfortunately, however, right now these features are only available to those in the U.S. only, and they may not be touching down in other countries anytime soon. CNET UK contacted Apple for comment, but its U.K. representatives say that there’s currently no information on either of these services for Britain.Isn’t that a kick in the teeth?While I can understand that iTunes Match may require Apple to negotiate with all of the necessary record labels before it can enter the U.K., I can’t understand why iTunes in the Cloud cannot be available to all – regardless of where you reside. We can sync our music to all of our devices anyway, all this feature does is makes our lives a whole lot easier.

Guess that’s going to be the same case with Canada and Mexico. Damn it!

Apple Snubs U.K. Again – iTunes Cloud Services Not Coming Anytime Soon

Cult Of Mac reports:

As much as I love my Apple TV, I’m still rather irked that Apple is yet to offer a Netflix substitute for its U.K. users. It now seems that Apple has snubbed those of us across the pond once again with its iTunes cloudservices, which apparently won’t be making their way to the U.K. anytime soon.
When Steve Jobs presented iCloud and all of its wonderful features at WWDC yesterday, the one that really impressed me was iTunes in the Cloud. There’s nothing enjoyable about downloading a song on your iPhone, then having to sync it to your computer and back to your iPad, iPod touch, etc., just to listen to it on all of your devices. iTunes in the Cloud means your new purchases are “automatically everywhere.”
Then there’s iTunes Match: another awesome feature that lets you “store your entire collection, including music you’ve ripped from CDs or purchased somewhere other than iTunes,” allowing you to access your entire library on any of your devices, anywhere.
Unfortunately, however, right now these features are only available to those in the U.S. only, and they may not be touching down in other countries anytime soon. CNET UK contacted Apple for comment, but its U.K. representatives say that there’s currently no information on either of these services for Britain.
Isn’t that a kick in the teeth?
While I can understand that iTunes Match may require Apple to negotiate with all of the necessary record labels before it can enter the U.K., I can’t understand why iTunes in the Cloud cannot be available to all – regardless of where you reside. We can sync our music to all of our devices anyway, all this feature does is makes our lives a whole lot easier.

Guess that’s going to be the same case with Canada and Mexico. Damn it!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Apple Announces iCloud, iTunes Match At WWDC 2011

The Huffington Post reports:

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled several new Apple services, including iCloud, that underscore a major shift taking place in the tech world as users’ information moves from gadgets to the cloud, where it is stored on remote servers and accessible from any device with an Internet connection."We’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device," said Jobs, according to a live blog of his remarks at the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. “We’re going to move the digital hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud.”Apple described iCloud as a service that is integrated with apps and “stores your content, and wirelessly pushes it to all your devices.” In essence, it will provide a way to ensure that users’ data, whether contacts, photos, appointments, or apps, is consistent and equally accessible across Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and PC.Jobs highlighted how iCloud will work with several different apps, including iBooks, the App Store, and iWork. For example, contacts that are added to an iPhone will be sent to the cloud, then synced across all other Apple devices a user has. Likewise, a Calendar update will be pushed across multiple devices, automatically. Jobs noted that iCloud will regularly back up certain information, via WiFi, such as purchased music, device settings, and photos, then push this data across a user’s devices. A photo taken on an iPhone will instantly be accessible on a user’s iPad and Mac.iCloud will be available for free and there will be no ads on the service, as had been rumored. The cloud-based storage system will work on iOS devices (the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch), as well as on Macs.Jobs also announced iTunes in the Cloud, a service that will download any song a customer has purchased on iTunes on all of her devices without additional cost.The CEO’s trademark “one more thing” announcement focused on iTunes Match, a $24.99 per year service that will help users put any music they’ve uploaded to their computer (but not purchased via iTunes) on the cloud by scanning and matching the songs (more about it here).The process will take “minutes, not weeks,” said Jobs, with an implicit dig at Google, which launched a music service that has been criticized for taking hours to upload songs to its servers. He also explained that whereas Amazon charges $50 for 50GB of storage (or around 5,000 songs, by Apple’s estimation), and around $200 for 20,000 songs, iTunes Match will cost the same—$24.99—whether you’re uploading 20 songs or 20,000."It’s an industry-leading offer, let’s put it that way," Jobs remarked.Read more about Apple’s other announcements, including iOS 5, Mac OS X Lion, and more, here. See Jobs onstage at WWDC here.

Apple Announces iCloud, iTunes Match At WWDC 2011

The Huffington Post reports:

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled several new Apple services, including iCloud, that underscore a major shift taking place in the tech world as users’ information moves from gadgets to the cloud, where it is stored on remote servers and accessible from any device with an Internet connection.
"We’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device," said Jobs, according to a live blog of his remarks at the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. “We’re going to move the digital hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud.”
Apple described iCloud as a service that is integrated with apps and “stores your content, and wirelessly pushes it to all your devices.” In essence, it will provide a way to ensure that users’ data, whether contacts, photos, appointments, or apps, is consistent and equally accessible across Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and PC.
Jobs highlighted how iCloud will work with several different apps, including iBooks, the App Store, and iWork. For example, contacts that are added to an iPhone will be sent to the cloud, then synced across all other Apple devices a user has. Likewise, a Calendar update will be pushed across multiple devices, automatically. Jobs noted that iCloud will regularly back up certain information, via WiFi, such as purchased music, device settings, and photos, then push this data across a user’s devices. A photo taken on an iPhone will instantly be accessible on a user’s iPad and Mac.
iCloud will be available for free and there will be no ads on the service, as had been rumored. The cloud-based storage system will work on iOS devices (the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch), as well as on Macs.
Jobs also announced iTunes in the Cloud, a service that will download any song a customer has purchased on iTunes on all of her devices without additional cost.
The CEO’s trademark “one more thing” announcement focused on iTunes Match, a $24.99 per year service that will help users put any music they’ve uploaded to their computer (but not purchased via iTunes) on the cloud by scanning and matching the songs (more about it here).
The process will take “minutes, not weeks,” said Jobs, with an implicit dig at Google, which launched a music service that has been criticized for taking hours to upload songs to its servers. He also explained that whereas Amazon charges $50 for 50GB of storage (or around 5,000 songs, by Apple’s estimation), and around $200 for 20,000 songs, iTunes Match will cost the same—$24.99—whether you’re uploading 20 songs or 20,000.
"It’s an industry-leading offer, let’s put it that way," Jobs remarked.
Read more about Apple’s other announcements, including iOS 5, Mac OS X Lion, and more, here. See Jobs onstage at WWDC here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What Percentage Of Your iTunes Library Actually Gets Played?
That’s why something like Spotify or iCloud is so needed. There’s loads of tracks that are never played and just occupied a lot of space.

What Percentage Of Your iTunes Library Actually Gets Played?

That’s why something like Spotify or iCloud is so needed. There’s loads of tracks that are never played and just occupied a lot of space.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Apple iCloud Rumors: What Apple’s Cloud Music Service Might Look Like

The Huffington Post:

The rumor that Apple plans to launch a new streaming music service at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June has spurred a huge amount of speculation.Apple is said to be planning a cloud-based music storage service that allows users to access their music collections from any device with Internet access and stream music from the web. Amazon’s Cloud Player and Google Music Beta, the first two major entries into cloud music services, offer similar functions.But new information has emerged to provide a fuller picture of just what an Apple offering in the space might look like. Apple has reportedly signed licensing agreements with EMI Music, Warner Music, and Sony Music and is thought to be close to completing a deal with Universal Music, the last of the four major record labels.With licensing agreements in place, Apple would be able to offer upgrades to the upload and listening process that Google and Amazon, two companies without deals with the record labels, cannot. According to Businessweek, sources close to those negotiating the deals say that Apple could scan a customer’s music library and mirror the songs on Apple’s servers, a method that would drastically reduce the length of time it takes to upload a music collection. Critics of Amazon’s and Google’s services have singled out lagging upload times as a key frustration.Appleinsider also uncovered a patent that suggests Apple might be able to improve playback speeds by storing segments of songs locally on devices and filling in the rest by streaming from the cloud. Such a method would avoid the delays typically experienced when streaming, as songs must download a certain percentage of the file from the cloud before beginning playback.But, Businessweek warns, it’s unlikely the service will be free, considering the amount of money Apple has likely spent obtaining these licenses. Apple’s MobileMe service, which syncs user data such as address books, bookmarks and calendars across devices, costs $99 a year. Engadgetguessed that Apple might choose to bundle a cloud music service in with MobileMe as a pay-per-month subscription in a move that might appease music labels aggravated by the spread of pirated music.Apple purchased the domain name iCloud in late April, leading many to believe that it could be the name of Apple’s cloud music service.

Apple iCloud Rumors: What Apple’s Cloud Music Service Might Look Like

The Huffington Post:

The rumor that Apple plans to launch a new streaming music service at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June has spurred a huge amount of speculation.
Apple is said to be planning a cloud-based music storage service that allows users to access their music collections from any device with Internet access and stream music from the web. Amazon’s Cloud Player and Google Music Beta, the first two major entries into cloud music services, offer similar functions.
But new information has emerged to provide a fuller picture of just what an Apple offering in the space might look like. Apple has reportedly signed licensing agreements with EMI Music, Warner Music, and Sony Music and is thought to be close to completing a deal with Universal Music, the last of the four major record labels.
With licensing agreements in place, Apple would be able to offer upgrades to the upload and listening process that Google and Amazon, two companies without deals with the record labels, cannot. According to Businessweek, sources close to those negotiating the deals say that Apple could scan a customer’s music library and mirror the songs on Apple’s servers, a method that would drastically reduce the length of time it takes to upload a music collection. Critics of Amazon’s and Google’s services have singled out lagging upload times as a key frustration.
Appleinsider also uncovered a patent that suggests Apple might be able to improve playback speeds by storing segments of songs locally on devices and filling in the rest by streaming from the cloud. Such a method would avoid the delays typically experienced when streaming, as songs must download a certain percentage of the file from the cloud before beginning playback.
But, Businessweek warns, it’s unlikely the service will be free, considering the amount of money Apple has likely spent obtaining these licenses. Apple’s MobileMe service, which syncs user data such as address books, bookmarks and calendars across devices, costs $99 a year. Engadgetguessed that Apple might choose to bundle a cloud music service in with MobileMe as a pay-per-month subscription in a move that might appease music labels aggravated by the spread of pirated music.
Apple purchased the domain name iCloud in late April, leading many to believe that it could be the name of Apple’s cloud music service.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

iCloud Coming? Apple May Be Close To Signing Cloud Music Deals

The Huffington Post reports:

CNET reports that Apple has already signed a cloud-music licensing agreement with EMI Music and is close to closing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, according to music industry sources.In addition to these labels, Apple already has a cloud music deal with Warner Music Group in place.Cloud-music services allow users to store their music in servers online, instead of just on devices, so that it can be accessed from any gadget with Internet access.Competitors Amazon and Google have already introduced unlicensed cloud-music services to the public, a move that has had some music industry executives grumbling. Apple’s deals would make them the first to launch a licensed cloud-music service.Though Apple’s offering would not be the first cloud-music service on the market, Apple’s licensing agreements would give it the power to possess features that Amazon and Google cannot. CNET described one possibility:

One example is that instead of requiring users to spend hours uploading their songs to the company’s servers, as Google and Amazon do, Apple could just scan a user’s hard drives to see what songs they own and then provide them almost-instant streaming access to master recordings. The process is sometimes referred to as “scan and match.” The music service Lala, which Apple acquired in December 2009, made this process famous.

Sources did not know when Apple would announce the service, though CNET speculated that Apple might close deals with all four of the major record labels by June 6, when Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference begins. A recent report claimed that Apple had purchased the domain name iCloud.com, in preparation for this service.

iCloud Coming? Apple May Be Close To Signing Cloud Music Deals

The Huffington Post reports:

CNET reports that Apple has already signed a cloud-music licensing agreement with EMI Music and is close to closing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, according to music industry sources.
In addition to these labels, Apple already has a cloud music deal with Warner Music Group in place.
Cloud-music services allow users to store their music in servers online, instead of just on devices, so that it can be accessed from any gadget with Internet access.
Competitors Amazon and Google have already introduced unlicensed cloud-music services to the public, a move that has had some music industry executives grumbling. Apple’s deals would make them the first to launch a licensed cloud-music service.
Though Apple’s offering would not be the first cloud-music service on the market, Apple’s licensing agreements would give it the power to possess features that Amazon and Google cannot. CNET described one possibility:

  • One example is that instead of requiring users to spend hours uploading their songs to the company’s servers, as Google and Amazon do, Apple could just scan a user’s hard drives to see what songs they own and then provide them almost-instant streaming access to master recordings. The process is sometimes referred to as “scan and match.” The music service Lala, which Apple acquired in December 2009, made this process famous.
Sources did not know when Apple would announce the service, though CNET speculated that Apple might close deals with all four of the major record labels by June 6, when Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference begins. A recent report claimed that Apple had purchased the domain name iCloud.com, in preparation for this service.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Music Industry Insiders Say Apple Will Blow Google Music Out Of The Water

Cult Of Apple reports:

When Google and Amazon launched their cloud music services, they did so without signing deals with the four major music labels. Apple will not be following suit, and according to music industry insiders, having all the contracts signed is what’s going to let Cupertino kick the competition’s teeth in.When Amazon launched Cloud Locker, they took the position that they didn’t need to sign contracts with any music publishers: all they were providing was a storage locker for users to play their own music, uploaded manually from their computer. It’s a position that Google has similarly taken, largely because their own talks with the labels to launch their own iTunes-competing music store have totally stalled.On the other hand, Apple appears to be lining up all the proper signatures for when it launches its own music-streaming service. And those signatures are going to be a big asset to Apple.Multiple music industry insiders are now confirming that Apple’s cloud-based offering will afford a far wider array of options to users than Amazon or Google’s service can legally provide.What those services will actually be, we won’t know until Apple officially unveils their new baby. That’s probably going to happen next month at WWDC, but in the meantime, anyone want to hazard a guess on what Apple will be able to do with all the contracts signed that Cloud Locker and Google Music can’t?

With Spotify making its way to the Americas, it was predictable that the Silicon Valley Giants would try to emulate it. For sure neither Amazon nor Google will be competition to Apple when it releases its new “baby”. Still, I’m expecting Spotify to make its arrival soon enough to make a decision.

Music Industry Insiders Say Apple Will Blow Google Music Out Of The Water

Cult Of Apple reports:

When Google and Amazon launched their cloud music services, they did so without signing deals with the four major music labels. Apple will not be following suit, and according to music industry insiders, having all the contracts signed is what’s going to let Cupertino kick the competition’s teeth in.
When Amazon launched Cloud Locker, they took the position that they didn’t need to sign contracts with any music publishers: all they were providing was a storage locker for users to play their own music, uploaded manually from their computer. It’s a position that Google has similarly taken, largely because their own talks with the labels to launch their own iTunes-competing music store have totally stalled.
On the other hand, Apple appears to be lining up all the proper signatures for when it launches its own music-streaming service. And those signatures are going to be a big asset to Apple.
Multiple music industry insiders are now confirming that Apple’s cloud-based offering will afford a far wider array of options to users than Amazon or Google’s service can legally provide.
What those services will actually be, we won’t know until Apple officially unveils their new baby. That’s probably going to happen next month at WWDC, but in the meantime, anyone want to hazard a guess on what Apple will be able to do with all the contracts signed that Cloud Locker and Google Music can’t?

With Spotify making its way to the Americas, it was predictable that the Silicon Valley Giants would try to emulate it. For sure neither Amazon nor Google will be competition to Apple when it releases its new “baby”. Still, I’m expecting Spotify to make its arrival soon enough to make a decision.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
 
Like Flipping A Switch On Your Gayness, Exodus International’s iPhone App Disappears 
Cult Of Mac reports:
 

It looks like Apple has responded to the outcry over an app from Christian group Exodus International aimed at “homosexual strugglers” by removing it from iTunes.
Some 145,000 people signed an online petition demanding it be removed. (That’s the entire population of Pasadena, California, Rochester, England or Beihei, China).
The real issue: Apple has no coherent policy about what kind of content gets approved and remains in iTunes.
Apple has not yet released a statement about why it yanked the app, which had been available since February 15 and marked 4+ for containing no objectionable content.
Our obsessive checking for it just showed that poof! The Exodus International app was no more.
There’s nothing about it in Apple’s online press room, though it is likely a spokesperson will issue some kind of statement when reporters start ringing tomorrow — since they took the app out after close of business today here in California. (We’ve also put in another request for comment.)
As of this writing, Exodus’ site still has a prominent front page splash for the app and gay rights group Truth Wins Out hasn’t updated the poll with the news, either.
UPDATE: At change.org they are still urging folks to sign the petition — until Apple releases a statement about why it was pulled.


Does that means Apple has pulled the app, like more than 140,000 customers have asked? It’s hard to tell; Apple hasn’t issued an official statement yet. Until they do, it’s important that we keep up the pressure, so that Apple hears loud and clear that “ex-gay” therapy deserve no place in the App Store.


More to come.

(Title, which is hilarious, was borrowed from Queerty.com) 
UPDATE:
Cult Of Mac reports:

As promised, here’s the statement from Apple over the removal of the Exodus International “gay cure” app.Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said Wednesday:
“We removed the Exodus International app from the App Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.” (Emphasis ours).
It’s short and sweet — but opens up a big can of worms for other groups or companies who may have apps approved that later are targeted as offensive to “large groups of people.” In the case of removing the Manhattan Declaration, a “large group” was about 6,700 online signatures, for Exodus it reached 150,000.Apple has never re-instated an offensive app after pulling it — but I suspect there will be some backlash on this one.

 

Like Flipping A Switch On Your Gayness, Exodus International’s iPhone App Disappears 

Cult Of Mac reports:

 

It looks like Apple has responded to the outcry over an app from Christian group Exodus International aimed at “homosexual strugglers” by removing it from iTunes.

Some 145,000 people signed an online petition demanding it be removed. (That’s the entire population of Pasadena, California, Rochester, England or Beihei, China).

The real issue: Apple has no coherent policy about what kind of content gets approved and remains in iTunes.

Apple has not yet released a statement about why it yanked the app, which had been available since February 15 and marked 4+ for containing no objectionable content.

Our obsessive checking for it just showed that poof! The Exodus International app was no more.

There’s nothing about it in Apple’s online press room, though it is likely a spokesperson will issue some kind of statement when reporters start ringing tomorrow — since they took the app out after close of business today here in California. (We’ve also put in another request for comment.)

As of this writing, Exodus’ site still has a prominent front page splash for the app and gay rights group Truth Wins Out hasn’t updated the poll with the news, either.

UPDATE: At change.org they are still urging folks to sign the petition — until Apple releases a statement about why it was pulled.

Does that means Apple has pulled the app, like more than 140,000 customers have asked? It’s hard to tell; Apple hasn’t issued an official statement yet. Until they do, it’s important that we keep up the pressure, so that Apple hears loud and clear that “ex-gay” therapy deserve no place in the App Store.

More to come.

(Title, which is hilarious, was borrowed from Queerty.com

UPDATE:

Cult Of Mac reports:

As promised, here’s the statement from Apple over the removal of the Exodus International “gay cure” app.
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said Wednesday:


“We removed the Exodus International app from the App Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.” (Emphasis ours).


It’s short and sweet — but opens up a big can of worms for other groups or companies who may have apps approved that later are targeted as offensive to “large groups of people.” In the case of removing the Manhattan Declaration, a “large group” was about 6,700 online signatures, for Exodus it reached 150,000.
Apple has never re-instated an offensive app after pulling it — but I suspect there will be some backlash on this one.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Apple Said To Be In Talks For
Unlimited Music Downloads

The Huffington Post reports:

According to Bloomberg, who spoke to “three people with knowledge of the plans,” Apple is in talks with the record companies to provide customers with the ability to download any purchased song as many times as they want or need.  Apps can already be downloaded multiple times. Apple’s current deal with record companies restricts downloads to one per purchases. Apple is charged for each download. Recent reports that show digital music sales stalling as users turn to free streaming sources may influence the music companies to work with Apple, so that customers have more incentive to purchase music.  Bloomberg reports that such a deal would let iTunes users hold a permanent backup of their purchased music, as well as letting various devices linked to one account download previously purchased music. It would be iTunes first step into the cloud.  Rumors suggest that the change might come alongside a revamped MobileMe, Apple’s $99 a year online storage service. In the makeover, MobileMe would become free and allow all Apple devices to access files—music, movies and more—right off the cloud.  Apple bought streaming music service Lala back in 2009, sparking speculation that they might be considering changes to their music model. Furthering the rumors is Apple’s recently purchased $1 billion data center in North Carolina, which Apple confirmed will be used to support iTunes, and MobileMe.

Definitely not the approach that I was expecting from Apple to get something like Spotify.  

Apple Said To Be In Talks For

Unlimited Music Downloads

The Huffington Post reports:

According to Bloomberg, who spoke to “three people with knowledge of the plans,” Apple is in talks with the record companies to provide customers with the ability to download any purchased song as many times as they want or need. Apps can already be downloaded multiple times. Apple’s current deal with record companies restricts downloads to one per purchases. Apple is charged for each download. Recent reports that show digital music sales stalling as users turn to free streaming sources may influence the music companies to work with Apple, so that customers have more incentive to purchase music. Bloomberg reports that such a deal would let iTunes users hold a permanent backup of their purchased music, as well as letting various devices linked to one account download previously purchased music. It would be iTunes first step into the cloud. Rumors suggest that the change might come alongside a revamped MobileMe, Apple’s $99 a year online storage service. In the makeover, MobileMe would become free and allow all Apple devices to access files—music, movies and more—right off the cloud. Apple bought streaming music service Lala back in 2009, sparking speculation that they might be considering changes to their music model. Furthering the rumors is Apple’s recently purchased $1 billion data center in North Carolina, which Apple confirmed will be used to support iTunes, and MobileMe.

Definitely not the approach that I was expecting from Apple to get something like Spotify.  

Monday, January 31, 2011

Spotify Blames Apple For Difficulties Launching In The US

Cult Of Mac reports:

Although wildly popular where it’s available in Europe, streaming music service Spotify has had a hard time breaking into the United States, having missed their self-imposed, end-of-year 2010 deadline due to music label recalcitrance.Recent reports indicate that Spotify has finally managed to sign a deal with Sony, and it’s expected that more labels will soon follow suit. But why did it take so long to make this progress? Spotify’s head of business development Faisal Galaria thinks it’s because of Apple:Galaria explains the problem in an interview with StrategyEye:
If you’re the digital team [at a label] and 80% of your revenue was coming from one place, how much are you going to p*ss them off until someone else can guarantee all that revenue from a new source?Put yourself into their shoes for a moment – you’re a nice, fat big executive at label X, Y, Z. You’re getting half a million dollars a year as long as you hit your bonus. Your bonus means that 80% of your revenues comes from iTunes. Are you going to tell iTunes where to go? Because your half a million dollar bonus has now gone.
Galaria goes on to suggest that Apple might be actively cock-blocking Spotify’s entry into the US because of their own cloud music ambitions, which may well be true. If Cupertino’s going to go on standing in Spotify’s way, though, it would be nice if they’d compensate for it by introducing their own, equally excellent streaming music service. Some of us are really sick of waiting.

A friend of mine just recently explained and showed to me what Spotify is all about. And it’s brilliant! I really do hope it does make it to this continent, or as Cult Of Mac suggests, Apple comes with its own proposal. 

Spotify Blames Apple For Difficulties Launching In The US

Cult Of Mac reports:

Although wildly popular where it’s available in Europe, streaming music service Spotify has had a hard time breaking into the United States, having missed their self-imposed, end-of-year 2010 deadline due to music label recalcitrance.
Recent reports indicate that Spotify has finally managed to sign a deal with Sony, and it’s expected that more labels will soon follow suit. But why did it take so long to make this progress? Spotify’s head of business development Faisal Galaria thinks it’s because of Apple:
Galaria explains the problem in an interview with StrategyEye:


If you’re the digital team [at a label] and 80% of your revenue was coming from one place, how much are you going to p*ss them off until someone else can guarantee all that revenue from a new source?
Put yourself into their shoes for a moment – you’re a nice, fat big executive at label X, Y, Z. You’re getting half a million dollars a year as long as you hit your bonus. Your bonus means that 80% of your revenues comes from iTunes. Are you going to tell iTunes where to go? Because your half a million dollar bonus has now gone.


Galaria goes on to suggest that Apple might be actively cock-blocking Spotify’s entry into the US because of their own cloud music ambitions, which may well be true. If Cupertino’s going to go on standing in Spotify’s way, though, it would be nice if they’d compensate for it by introducing their own, equally excellent streaming music service. Some of us are really sick of waiting.

A friend of mine just recently explained and showed to me what Spotify is all about. And it’s brilliant! I really do hope it does make it to this continent, or as Cult Of Mac suggests, Apple comes with its own proposal.