iTunes has won two out of the three nominated categories in this year’s Webby Awards for best ‘Commerce’ and ‘Music’ website. It lost to Google in the ‘Services’ category. Apple was also awarded for best ‘Music’ website as the People’s choice winner.
“ITunes, the leader of the digital music services pack, has a catalog of over 700,000 songs—but that’s not nearly enough for Apple. To maintain its lead, the company is on a hunt to find exclusive music, everything from out-of-print singles in music company vaults to songs that have never been pressed onto a CD and even recordings from the estates of deceased artists. [...]
And if anyone can get the labels to open the vaults, Jobs can, analysts said.
‘What Jobs is saying is, ‘We’d be happy to take all this content that is rotting away in warehouses and turn it into a new revenue source for you,’ said Barry Ritholtz, a market strategist with Maxim Group, a money-management firm. ‘It’s probably a bit much to say Jobs is saving the music industry, but he’s showing them the way into the digital age. They have been stumbling around drunk in the dark.’”
“Apple Computer has won a patent for the interface of its iTunes music software, underscoring the growing importance of the multimedia business for the company.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Apple a patent for its media player software interface on May 4, along with several other features of the company’s high-profile products. Other parts of the iTunes software, including the ability to stream songs over a network to another copy of the program, had been the subject of earlier patents.”
“The PlayFair free software project is back online, with both the maintainer of the project and the hosting service willing to face a legal challenge from Apple.
Apple last month shut down the free software project, which enables advanced audio coding (AAC) files downloaded from Apple iTunes to be played on platforms that Apple does not support. It does that by stripping the
MacMinute reports that Apple on Friday denied a report in the New York Post that it plans to raise the prices of some tracks on its iTunes Music Store to US$1.25 a song. “The rumors aren’t true,” Natalie Secqueira, an Apple’s spokeswoman, told CBS Marketwatch. “We have multi-year agreements with the record labels and our price remains 99 cents a track.”
“The five major record labels have been in negotiations recently with Apple over pricing and other issues associated with the year-old download service, which was launched to great fanfare last April.
All five of the deals - with Universal, Sony, BMG, EMI and Warner Music - have already been signed, sources say, and the new pricing is already being rolled out for albums.
EMI and Sony Music, which this week launched its own download service called Sony Connect, were said to be the most aggressive on pricing.
Under the terms of some of the deals, the prices for some of the most popular singles could rise to $1.25, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. Songs have previously been priced at 99 cents across the board.”
“Music labels are dragging their feet in licensing their songs to Apple Computer because they fear its long-promised European music download site will dominate the online business, industry insiders say.
The five main record labels are understood to be scared that Apple, which makes the iPod digital music player, will become as successful in Europe as it has in the US, where it has 70 per cent of the legal download business. That could let it dictate which stars or records succeed or fail by deciding which to promote on its site.”
“Apple today announced that music fans have purchased and downloaded a record setting 3.3 million songs from its third generation iTunes Music Store since its launch one week ago. Highlighting the popularity of its innovative new features, iTunes users have already published more than 20,000 iMixes, and those iMixes have been rated by fellow iTunes users over 50,000 times. In addition to the 3.3 million purchased songs, iTunes users have downloaded more than 500,000 free songs from popular artists including Foo Fighters, Avril Lavigne, Courtney Love, Annie Lennox, Jane
“Motown is emptying its archives into Apple’s iTunes Music Store to mark its 45th anniversary. The famed label is making available the first 45 singles it issued as well as 45 hard-to-find albums from such superstars as Marvin Gaye, the Supremes and Diana Ross, the Four Tops and Smokey Robinson, among many others.
According to Motown, the “vast majority” of these albums are being made available for digital download for the first time. The promotion will run through May 25 and coincides with the May 17 ABC broadcast of the “Motown 45” TV special.”
McGraw Hill Osborne is giving away three prizes of $500 iTunes Gift Certificates between now and January 15, 2005. “Three (3) separate winners will be chosen at random. The first winner will be chosen August 2nd, 2004, the second winner will be chosen October 29th, 2004 and the third and final winner will be chosen February 15th, 2005.” No purchase necessary. Only open to U.S. residents.
“But some popular albums are inexplicably higher. Buying all 14 tracks on Jessica Simpson’s “In the Skin” on iTunes cost 13.86. The physical album, including a bonus DVD with scenes from her wedding, is $13.39 from Amazon. Sheryl Crow is perhaps the artist who has most aggressively promoting legal downloading.
XtremeMac has announced they will be giving away a $100 iTunes Gift Certificate in their May Music Giveaway. Place an order with XtremeMac and you are automatically entered into the giveaway. Contest ends May 31.
“I don’t know about you but when I invest in a certain type of media I don’t expect the rules to be randomly changed on me. While Apple
Although the redemption deadline for the Pepsi/iTunes song giveaway has officially expired as of Friday, April 30, the “Redeem Song” page is still available via iTunes. For those still hanging on to winning codes redeem them quickly, before it’s too late.
“But what’s needed next is the additional layer of information that typically goes with music sold in brick-and-mortar stores: the packaging.
The new iTunes feature that lets those who buy an album print out the cover art addresses this, to a point. But what’s missing are the other bits of information about the album that typically come with CD packaging—liner notes, jacket copy, lyric sheets and so on. Jazz and classical fans in particular often enjoy reading the jacket copy.”
The Mac Observer has posted a complete transcript of yesterday’s iTunes anniversary conference call with Steve Jobs. Here he describes the new WMA to AAC conversion feature in iTunes 4.5:
SlashDot reports that in less than 24 hours someone in Australia has cracked the new authentication algorithm in iTunes 4.5. “iTunes 4.5 uses a new authentication algorithm. However, not even 24 hours after I downloaded it, and that includes a little sleep and lots of uni time, I’ve broken it. Hah. Anyhow, libopendaap 0.2.0 and tunesbrowser 0.1.4 are now available.”
“To celebrate the first anniversary
Jim Heid, author of “The Macintosh iLife” has published more tips for iTunes 4.5 on his website. Here’s one of his tips on iMix, the ability to share your own playlist in iTunes.