Items tagged with tunes

While it's pretty hard to get a leg-up in a music industry that's already saturated by mega-corporations, Rhapsody has done a fine job of keeping up. And now, there's a deal out there that'll surely have MetroPCS fans thinking twice before spending another dollar on iTunes or Spotify. The two have partnered to introduce a new mobile music offer: a $5 unlimited on-demand plan for monthly subscribers. Available now, MetroPCS customers can add Rhapsody for $5 to its newly simplified $40, $50 and $60 monthly smartphone plans. "We are thrilled to work with MetroPCS to bring on-demand music to the consumer with these amazing plans," said Jon Irwin, president, Rhapsody. "The future of digital music... Read more...
If you were one of the lucky people who wanted to try the new "Genius" feature of iTunes 8, and had an HP USB printer driver installed and said printer connection --- or perhaps a few other drivers --- you might have experienced the (yes, it's still part of Windows) tried and true BSOD when you plugged in your iPod.The BSOD was happening in usbappl.sys, and a few various workarounds were posted at the Apple support forums, including unplugging or turning off your HP printer when plugging in your iPod (or iPhone, whatever).  Low-tech, right?Well, today Apple re-released iTunes 8.0.0.35 with a fix.  No more BSOD.  Of course, they did it the lazy way.  They removed the new driver... Read more...
Tuesdays are typically the day the Apple reserves to make big announcements, and today was such a day for Apple. Steve Jobs took to the stage Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco to announce a number of new iPod-related products and new iTunes features. Apple billed the press event as "Let's Rock." Here's what's new: iTunes will start offering some TV shows in HD format for $2.99 (SD shows stay at $1.99).NBC is coming back to iTunes. Which means shows such as The Office, 30 Rock, and Battlestar Galactica will be available for download from iTunes once again. And they will be available in HD.iTunes 8 was also just officially announced. It adds a new feature called "Genius," which automatically... Read more...
People close to the situation have been reporting that HBO content could finally be making its way to iTunes:“The HBO insiders said that the new service would be launched and announced simultaneously, most likely in a week or two.Details of the agreement are not yet known, but it is clear that HBO was able to secure better terms from Apple than other content providers, they said.”We’re not sure what better terms might be, but we’re assuming that it is a break from the $1.99 price structure. As we reported before NBC Universal recently started testing the iTunes waters again with a revised price structure and now it seems that others are following suit.Now if only somebody could convince HBO to... Read more...
After a public spat concerning pricing caused Apple and NBC Universal to part ways last year, it seems that NBC might be returning to the fold.  At this time only customers in the U.K. have access to the restored content, but there is a little surprise waiting for eager fans: “Early visits to the restored content, however, reveal that NBC may have gained the upper hand in negotiating its reappearance and struck a deal for variable pricing: legacy shows cost as little as £1.19, while in-production shows sell for £1.89 [~$3.70].” It remains to be seen whether or not NBC’s apparent victory might have wide-reaching effects on iTunes pricing, but it might very well be the case.... Read more...
Apple recently came to an agreement with a group of film studios including the 6 largest that would enable the Cupertino firm to release movies via iTunes the same day that they are available on DVD.   The problem is that Apple might actually be taking a loss on them for the short term:“Apple said that starting this week, iTunes customers will be able to purchase newly released movies for $14.99, while most catalog titles are $9.99.The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is paying the studios nearly $16 for each sale, but a source close to the negotiations told CNET News.com that Apple is paying closer to $15.50 than it is $16.”It’s not unheard of for companies to take a loss on new products,... Read more...
Apple just made it that much easier to watch movies without leaving your house:"Apple® today announced that new movie releases from major film studios and premier independent studios are available for purchase on the iTunes® Store (www.itunes.com) on the same day as their DVD release. New releases and catalog titles will be available from 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate, Image Entertainment and First Look Studios. Movies purchased from iTunes can be viewed on an iPod® with video, iPhone™, Mac® or PC or on a widescreen TV with Apple TV®, with... Read more...
At the Ad:Tech conference in San Francisco this week George Kliavkoff, Chief Digital Officer at NBC Universal, discussed their interest in returning to digital distribution via 3rd parties.   They didn’t name any names, but it seems clear that they were talking about Apple because they already distribute digitally and via third parties, but iTunes seems to have gained a lot of momentum. We know that initially Apple and NBC broke off their relationship over pricing issues, but apparently that’s not the only thing that could be impeding NBC’s return to iTunes.Here is what Kliavkoff had to say: "One of the big issues for NBC is piracy.  We are financially harmed every day by piracy.  It... Read more...
Many have written about how Apple was using iTunes Update to push Safari onto PCs. It was listing Safari as an update even if Safari wasn't on the computer originally. Humorously, since then stories have emerged about IT departments having to scramble to remove Safari as the default browser on PCs as it (naturally) wouldn't work with many Intranet sites.That practice got many people riled up, complaining that Apple was essentially deceiving people into installing a new program--Safari 3.1 for Windows XP--through a program meant to update already installed applications, namely iTunes and QuickTime.Among those complaining was John Lilly, the CEO of Mozilla which makes the competing Firefox browser.In... Read more...
A copy of an internal Apple email to employees indicates that iTunes has surpassed Wal-Mart as the #1 music retailer.  Or has it?The news was announced in an e-mail sent this afternoon to some Apple employees, a copy of which was seen by Ars Technica. It includes a screenshot of an Excel file showing the top ten music retailers in the US for January 2008, and Apple is at the top of the list. The iTunes Store leads the pack with 19 percent, Wal-Mart (which includes the brick-and-mortar stores as well as its online properties) is second with 15 percent, and Best Buy is third with 13 percent. Amazon is a distant fourth at 6 percent, trailed by the likes of Borders, Circuit City, and Barnes... Read more...
Apple has been trying to add content to the iTunes Movie and TV store in an attempt to push the Apple TV and iTunes in general.  The latest content to be added are from Starz and Manga, but sadly these seem somewhat limited compared to the complete Starz and Manga libraries:“The first offerings from Starz include two half-hour sitcoms, Hollywood Residential and Head Case, as well as four Anime favorites from Manga Entertainment : Tokko, Noein, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and Tactics.”Anime fans may be displeased with the four initial offerings, especially given the lack of the legendary cult-classic Akira.... Read more...
Sorry, Beatles fans: two sources are throwing cold water on rumors that Paul McCartney has sold the rights to the Beatles back catalog to iTunes.Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the joint venture owned by Sony and singer Michael Jackson, has thrown cold water on newspaper stories out of London that The Beatles catalog would soon be available on iTunes. A spokeswoman for Sony/ATV Music Publishing told CNET News.com that the reports are "untrue."Sony/ATV is a pretty good source. While EMI Group owns the recording rights to The Beatles catalog, Sony and Jackson own the rights to the vast majority of the catalog's publishing rights. Had a deal been cut, Sony/ATV would "absolutely be informed," the Sony/ATV... Read more...
If nothing else, it appears that the contentious divorce between Paul McCartney and Heather Mills has led to one good result - well, not for either of them, but for music fans. McCartney has authorized the release of the Beatles' back catalog on iTunes in a deal that is valued at $400 million.The deal has been much delayed. But industry insiders say that by the end of the year fans using iTunes will be able to buy songs from albums such as Help! and Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.Although the Beatles last recorded together almost 40 years ago, the deal will provide huge rewards - estimated at £200million - to Sir Paul, Ringo Starr and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison.... Read more...
Despite Apple's promise of 1000 movies available for rental by the end of January, iTunes has less than half of that available in the start of March.  The good news is that of the 384 available movies 91 of those are supposedly high-definition.  The bad news?  Not all of those 91 titles would really measure up to what most would consider a true high-definition viewing experience.Some HD titles lack Dolby 5.1 and others are simply older movies that were probably upscaled and are not really providing the true HD experience.“Some of these HD movies, such as the Kirk Douglas movie Lust for Life, date back as early as 1956 and predate most modern filmmaking techniques. Other movies,... Read more...
iTunes recently overtook BestBuy to be the nation's #2 retailer of music.  If the sales trends continue, it's only a matter of time until Walmart is toppled.“The latest sales figures, which holds every 12 songs downloaded as the equivalent of an entire CD, is not just a win for Apple, but also proves that the entire paid digital music download industry is rapidly growing. According to NPD, legal digital downloads "sharply" increased in 2007. Interestingly, there was also a 10 percent decline in overall music spending -- most likely because online digital music retailers give consumers the ability to purchase single songs in place of entire albums.”We can't help but wonder if major retailers... Read more...
We'll save a lot of time if we stop arguing over whether copyright infringement is stealing. It's possible, so it's going to happen. Some of the record companies are tired of playing whack-a mole with file-sharers and have agreed to participate in a free peer to peer network, supported by advertising, that promises 25 million available songs, with no limit. It's called Qtrax.The service has been endorsed by the very same record companies - including EMI, Universal Music and Warner Music – that have chased file-sharers through the courts in a doomed attempt to prevent piracy. The gamble is that fans will put up with a limited amount of advertising around the Qtrax website’s jukebox in return for... Read more...
As with all rumors, please take the following news item with a grain of salt until we can receive official confirmation or denial from Apple or NBC Universal.NBC and Apple parted ways after negotiations broke down between the two companies last year over an alleged pricing dispute.  NBC has since explored numerous distribution options, and it seems that they might have discovered that iTunes may not have been so bad after all.“It is obvious right now that iTunes is the preferred method for consumers who want to buy digital music and video. Much of the success is being driven by the iPod family of devices. While no specific details of the deal were released, the initial split was said to... Read more...
Gizmodo thought they had come up with a way to fool iTunes into giving them an extended video rental.  They tried mucking with the system clock when downloading the video.  Oops, they were wrong.Alright so it appears to no longer work. Here's what happened on our end. Before, we had set our computer date to 2009, and started playing Ratatouille (and Benny started playing The Simpsons) to start the 24-hour timer in 2009. Came back to 2008, everything was gravy. We go to play it again just a few minutes ago, and it tries to connect to iTunes, and then gives us a 5103 error. Benny gets the same deal. So we delete the busted file and try a fresh download, this time with our computer dated... Read more...
Apple has been on the hotseat in Europe because of different pricing between the U.K. store and the rest of Europe.  Today, it announced changes, but it also gave U.K. music labels a warning.Apple today announced that within six months it will lower the prices it charges for music on its UK iTunes Store to match the already standardized pricing on iTunes across Europe in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain. Apple currently must pay some record labels more to distribute their music in the UK than it pays them to distribute the same music elsewhere in Europe. Apple will reconsider... Read more...
When NBC Universal said it would not renew its deal with iTunes, Apple upped the ante by saying it would not sell any NBC shows once the new season started, so as not to "confuse" customers.  Apple said this wouldn't happen, but iTunes is selling NBC's shows for the upcoming season. Listed at iTunes on Wednesday were episodes of Chuck and Journeyman, two shows that premiered earlier this week. The reason that Journeyman and Chuck are showing up is that both shows are produced by companies other than NBC, and Apple is under contract to offer them. Based on this, don't expect to see Heroes on iTunes.  Oh, and ... do you want to know if Nathan and... Read more...
The recent feud between Apple and NBC Universal had it all: accusations, frustrated customers, threats, and even a new download service from NBC Universal.  While it is fairly clear what customers think of the drama where do other broadcasters stand?We reported earlier that FOX is either content or playing their cards really close to their chest, but what about CBS?  They also seem content to stick around:CBS Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves said that his company would be staying out of the battle with Apple. "We like our relationship with iTunes," he said.Moonves said that iTunes wasn't a significant source of revenue for CBS, but the company looked at it as much for promotion as it did for... Read more...
As the launch of Apple and Starbucks' partnership nears (October 2nd) Starbucks has announced a promotion running from October 2nd to November 7th, in which customers at participating locations can download the "Song of the Day" (selected by Starbucks, naturally), free from iTunes.From Oct. 2 to Nov. 7, baristas in the company's more than 10,000 U.S. stores will hand out about 1.5 million "Song of the Day" cards each day. The cards can be redeemed at Apple Inc.'s online iTunes Store.Thirty-seven artists with featured songs include Paul McCartney and Joni Mitchell — the first two to sign on with Starbucks' Hear Music label — along with Joss Stone, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Annie Lennox and Band... Read more...
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