“Apple Computer is planning the next wave of expansion for its popular iTunes online music store with a multi-country European launch in October, the service’s chief architect said on Wednesday.
“We are well on pace to launch more EU stores. We will do it next month,” Eddie Cue, Apple’s vice president of applications told music executives at the annual Popkomm conference in the German capital.”
“Apple’s iTunes music download service has been accused by the Consumers’ Association of overcharging UK users.
The group accused the service of charging UK-based customers nearly 20% more than those with addresses and payment details in France or Germany.”
“TunesTracker.com makes the iTunes Music Store even better by keeping music fans up-to-date about their favorite artists. The service is free.
After registering with TunesTracker, users can enter the names of up to 50 of their favorite music groups. Once a day, TunesTracker checks the iTunes Music Store for new songs by those artists. When there is something new, TunesTracker sends an e-mail alert listing the vital information about the new tunes, including the song title, album name, and composer. By clicking a link, users can open the song in the iTunes Music Store, listen to a clip, and buy the song.”
“A German company is offering what it claims is a legal method of making iTunes Music Store music playable on devices other than the iPod.
RapidSolution Software claims its Windows only software, Tunebite, ‘legally provides the user with new music files without restrictions’.”
“According to the report, ITMS Japan has met with opposition from a number of local music labels who claim that FairPlay is “inadequate” and are thus refusing to license their songs to Apple.
At issue is the Mac maker’s insistence that consumer should be allowed to burn downloaded songs to CD, a facility offered by the US, UK, German and France versions of ITMS.”
“The first signs are positive. Apple Computer Chief Executive Steve Jobs launched versions of the online music service in the U.K, France and Germany at the beginning of the summer. The services have taken off quickly, selling more than 5 million songs in the first ten weeks.. It has left a European-based service that had a head start singing harmony and major music labels are listening to its appeals. [...]
‘It’s still too early to judge exactly how successful the service is,’ says U.K.-based Jupiter Research analyst Mark Mulligan, who believes that after the holiday season will be a better time to appraise the success of the iPod/iTunes duo. But one thing is sure, Mulligan says, ‘It has revolutionized the online music market.’ [...]
Largely because of this tortured rights landscape, iTunes initially debuted in only three countries. But the rest of the European Union shouldn’t have to wait much longer: Apple says its plans for an English-only pan-European store are on track for October.”
“Apple Computer Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs offered Nobuyuki Idei, chairman and group CEO of Sony, the chance for Sony to come aboard Apple’s ITunes Music Store service, the Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun newspaper reports in its September 2 edition.
The offer would have allowed for joint operation of the service, the newspaper says.”
The iTunes Music Store today added speeches from day one and day two of the Republic National Convention being held in New York, New York. The free downloads include speeches by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator John McCain, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, First Lady Lauraa Bush, Senator Bill Frist, and George P. Bush, nephew of President George W. Bush.
On July 30th, 2004, Apple did the same for the Democratic National Convention.
Apple today launched the iTunes Affiliate Program, making it the first download music store to offer direct links to a la carte singles and albums that generate paid commissions to affiliate websites. The iTunes Affiliate Program will complement successful iTunes programs including iTunes on Campus, offering free site licenses to colleges and universities, and the iTunes Volume Discount Program, providing bulk song downloads at a discount. The iTunes Music Store is the world’s number one music service with over 125 million songs purchased and downloaded to date.
In the Keynote presentation at Apple Expo Paris, Apple Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller has announced that the iTunes Music Store will be available to all European Union countries in October. Schiller also noted that Apple is the first company to sell 100 million songs online since its debut in April 2003. The iTunes Music Store has also sold 5 million songs in its first eight weeks since being introduced in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, a rate of 625,000 songs per week.
MacMinute reports: “The iTunes Volume Discount Program allows companies and educational institutions to purchase iTunes Music Store download codes in bulk, which can then be distributed and redeemed for free music. There is a minimum purchase requirement of 25,000 song downloads for commercial entities and 10,000 volume song downloads for educational institutions. ... The company revealed that it is able to offer discounts of as much as 20 percent off the standard 99 cent pricing for certain bulk purchase levels.”
So much for Apple’s “10 cents a song” profit margin on iTunes songs. MacMinute also notes that Apple is offering new iTunes encoding and marketing tools to music companies.
“Apple today announced that the iTunes Music Store now has over one million songs available for download in the US, becoming the first and only online digital music service to offer consumers a million song catalog. The iTunes Music Store features music from all five major record labels and over 600 leading independent labels from around the world. With more than 100 million songs downloaded and more than 70 percent market share of legal downloads for singles and albums, the iTunes Music Store is the world’s number one online music service.
‘The iTunes Music Store offers the world’s most extensive collection of downloadable music with over one million tracks available,
“When Apple unveils the Danish version of its successful online music shop, iTunes, this October, the company will already be bracing for stiff competition from IT giant Microsoft. Just a few days before the grand opening of iTunes, Microsoft will debut its own music download site, MSN Music.
Music industry insiders have long been aware that Microsoft was planning a rival online service, but Microsoft has kept the specifics tightly under wraps.”
“Apple has agreed to pay undisclosed royalties to a company that challenged the core concept behind the iTunes Music Store.
E-Date Corp. owns European and US patents that describe a “system and method of distributing [commercial] digital content over electronic and wireless networks”. The company claimed that ITMS was just such a system, and as such required Apple to license its intellectual property.”
“CodeWeavers, which specializes in software that lets Windows programs run on Linux, said on Monday that it has a new version of its software that adds support for Apple Computer’s iTunes.
The company said CrossOver Office 3.1 adds support for the jukebox and music download software. The version is currently in preview form and is being made available only to existing CrossOver Office customers.”
The iTunes Music Store has recently added speeches from day one and day two of the Democratic National Convention: America 2004 held in Boston, Massachusettes. The free download includes speeches by former Vice President Al Gore; former President Bill Clinton; Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton; former President Jimmy Carter; Senator Ted Kennedy; and Ron Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan and many more.
RealNetworks has responded to Apple’s statement (below) saying “consumers, and not Apple, should be the ones choosing what music goes on their iPod. Apple has suggested that new laws such as the DMCA are relevant to this dispute. In fact, the DMCA is not designed to prevent the creation of new methods of locking content and explicitly allows the creation of interoperable software. We remain fully committed to Harmony and to giving millions of consumers who own portable music devices, including the Apple iPod, choice and compatibility.
Harmony follows in a well-established tradition of fully legal, independently developed paths to achieve compatibility. There is ample and clear precedent for this activity, for instance the first IBM compatible PCs from Compaq. Harmony creates a way to lock content from Real’s music store in a way that is compatible with the iPod, Windows Media DRM devices, and Helix DRM devices. Harmony technology does not remove or disable any digital rights management system.”
Apple today released a statement in response to RealNetworks’ recent announcement that they had created a method to offer iPod-compatible song downloads through its new Harmony software. “We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod, and we are investigating the implications of their actions under the DMCA and other laws. We strongly caution Real and their customers that when we update our iPod software from time to time it is highly likely that Real’s Harmony technology will cease to work with current and future iPods.”
Motorola, Inc. and Apple today announced they are partnering to enable millions of music lovers to transfer their favorite songs from the iTunes jukebox on their Mac or PC, including songs from the iTunes Music Store, to Motorola’s next-generation ‘always with you’ mobile handsets, via a USB or Bluetooth wireless connection. Apple will create a new iTunes mobile music player, which Motorola will make the standard music application on all their mass-market music phones, expected to be available in the first half of next year.
“Apple today announced that it has signed licensing agreements with three of the largest European independent music labels, Beggars Group, Sanctuary Records Group and V2, adding tens of thousands of additional independent tracks from leading artists to the iTunes Music Store in the UK, France and Germany. With three of the most influential independent record labels on board, iTunes Music Store customers in Europe now have access to an impressive catalog of independent artists including Basement Jaxx, The Crystal Method, Interpol, The Libertines, Morrissey, the Pixies, Prodigy, Stereophonics, Paul Weller and The White Stripes.”
Need something to do while waiting for more details on the fourth-generation iPod? Formerly available through Audible’s web page (linked below), Apple has added 36 free downloads from Audible and C-SPAN to the iTunes Music Store’s Audiobooks section, encompassing hours of testimony before the 9/11 Commission in Washington, D.C. dating from March to June 2004. Highlights include former and current U.S. Attorneys General Reno and Ashcroft, former and current Secretaries of Defense (Cohen and Rumsfeld) and State (Albright and Powell), and former and current Mayors of New York City Giuliani and Bloomberg.