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iTunes Music Store attracts criticism

“The backlash has started. Having enjoyed a free ride from the media and from users since its inception last year, Apple’s iTunes Music Store is beginning to attract serious criticism.

There have been mutterings of opposition before, concerned with both the price of downloads and the quality, but the ongoing success of the store has largely silenced those. However when a website as widely read as The Register describes the latest iTunes TV advertisement as ‘shameful’, Apple should start to listen.”

Pepsi+iTunes ad ranked poorly

USAToday published the ‘16th Annual Ad Meter’ ranking yesterday’s SuperBowl commercials. The Pepsi+iTunes giveaway ad is near the bottom of the list with a 5.90 out of 10.

art4iTunes.com - generate album art for your iTunes song library

Announcing art4iTunes.com - a website that generates album covers and track listings from your iTunes song list. The album cover can be dropped back into iTunes and displayed whenever the track is played. Artwork can be from US or UK album covers. Have a look and let me know what you think - there’s a demo button to see what it does before uploading your own song list.

Apple posts Pepsi+iTunes commercial

picApple has posted several sizes of the Pepsi+iTunes commercial scheduled to air during today’s Super Bowl game.

Pepsi iTunes Music Giveaway begins

picApple has officially launched the Pepsi iTunes Music Giveaway by updating its previous teaser page with How to Play, Enter Code, Official Rules, FAQ and System Requirements. There are 100 million songs being given away, 1 in 3 wins. The iTunes Music Store has been updated with a ‘Redeem Song’ button to enter your winning bottlecap code. It asks to enter your birthdate then the code to redeem your song. Official rules indicate the giveaway expires March 31, 2004 and the “maximum number of valid Codes per email address/person that can be entered at the Web Site is 10 per day and 200 total throughout the Promotion Period.” Today during the Super Bowl Pepsi will air its iTunes giveaway commercial featuring teens sued by the RIAA.

WHERE TO FIND GAME PIECES:
Look for game piece printed underneath bottle caps on specially-marked “iTunes” 20 oz. and 1 liter bottles of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Sierra Mist and under the rim of specially-marked 32 oz. fountain cups available at participating 7 Eleven convenience stores during the Promotion Period. Not all brands and package sizes may participate in all areas. No Purchase Necessary. To receive one free game piece and a copy of Official Rules, while supplies last, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope postmarked on or before 3/31/04 to: Pepsi iTunes Game Piece, P.O. Box 9205, Young America, MN 55558-9205. Residents of the state of VT may omit return postage. Limit one free game piece per request per stamped outer envelope. Pepsi-Cola Company (“Sponsor”) assumes no liability for lost, late, stolen, illegible, misdirected, mutilated, incomplete or postage-due mail or requests.”

RIAA applauds Pepsi iTunes promotion

“The RIAA applauded the ad, even though it may serve to remind some of the trade group’s legal campaign, which many music fans thought went too far.

‘This ad shows how everything has changed,’ said RIAA chief executive Mitch Bainwol. The debate is not digital versus plastic, it’s legitimate versus illegitimate.” [...]

‘I would like to see more of this,’ said Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M, part of Universal Music Group. ‘We’re starting to see technology companies come on our side, now soft drink companies are coming on our side.’”

Ex-Paramount Pictures exec berates Pepsi iTunes ad

“‘I still can’t get over the fact that these fresh faced teenagers are being attacked by companies just to preserve a business model in need of freshening up itself,” says Wattles. ‘I don’t want my kids treated that way by business and I don’t want other people’s kids treated that way.’

And on the choice of language, ‘Prosecutions are usually understood to be actions by the state to enforce criminal laws,’ he says. ‘Prosecutions aren’t generally understood to mean civil lawsuits. The word ‘sued’ would be appropriate and accurate in this context.

‘The ad falsely pumps up the music industry’s enforcement effort, and its suggestive criminalization of the kids’ behavior building up to the tag line ‘we’re still gonna download music for free off the Internet - and there’s not a thing anyone can do about it,’ reinforces the ad’s presumption that their behavior had been criminal.’”

Pepsi iTunes promo: Analyst says Apple will sell “5-10 million songs per week by summer”

“Pepsi this week shipped 300 million specially marked 20-ounce bottles of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Sierra Mist to convenience stores and other retailers. Consumers who find a numerical code for a free download in the bottle caps can type it into the iTunes program for a free download. [...]

Analysts expect Apple will reap huge rewards from the contest. Analyst Charles Wolf of Wall Street research firm Needham & Co. estimates the firm is selling 2 million songs per week. ‘‘This campaign will get them to 5-10 million per week by summer, or 200 million songs for the year,’’ he says.”

TuneRecycler.com launches Pepsi iTunes bottelcap recycling to support indie labels

“With the Tune Recycler, you can send us your unwanted iTunes bottlecap codes and we’ll use them to support independent music. Easy for you, and good for music. [...]

When you submit a winning Pepsi code to the Tune Recycler, we’ll redeem it for music from honest, independent labels. There are a few great independent labels in the iTunes store that give their musicians up to 40-50 cents, right from the first sale. When you use the Tune Recycler, you know that no money is going to support price fixing, payola, or lawsuits against families with children—and most importantly, the money goes to a musician. That way, you don’t have to sign up with iTunes to get one song, but you can still put that cap to use.”

AppleInsider posts Pepsi iTunes Super Bowl commercial

AppleInsider has posted the upcoming Pepsi iTunes Super Bowl commercial featuring 16 teens that were recently sued by the RIAA for illegally downloading music from the Internet. The commercial also features Green Day’s version of ‘I Fought the Law.’

‘From KFOG to iPod’ in Less than 48 Hours

“Today, a record company, radio station, recording group and online music store teamed up to achieve a new level of speed to market in the digital realm.

The exclusive digital EP “From KFOG to iPod” by critically-acclaimed Virgin Recording Group “The Thrills” was released early this morning on Apple’s iTunes Music Store, less than 48 hours after the band recorded the tracks at a KFOG-FM Emerging Artist Concert in San Francisco on Sunday, January 25. Five songs from the show, including the single “One Horse Town” are available for purchase, allowing consumers to download the live recording from iTunes to their Macs or Windows-based PCs and iPods.  The entire EP can
be downloaded for $4.95 or single tracks are available until February 24th for 99 cents each.”

MacMinute: Music store launches - offers iTunes-compatible AAC

MacMinute reports that “Nupha has announced the launch of its international, cross-platform digital music store. The “nupha musicstore” features “a growing library of tunes from many independent music labels” [Ed. note: Selection appears to be very limited at this time.]. Songs on the store are encoded in 128 Kbps AAC for Macs and 192 Kbps WMA for Windows. Nupha is the first independent music provider compatible with Apple’s iTunes (requires Mac OS X 10.3 Panther and iTunes 4 or greater). According to the company, Mac users must download and install a small package (known as the nupha kit) which allows iTunes to play nupha encrypted music, which sells for 99 cents a track and $8.99 an album.”

Pepsi officially announces iTunes 100 million song giveaway

picPepsi today in a press release announced its upcoming Super Bowl commercial titled ‘I Fought the Law’ “featuring 16 real-life teenagers who were sued by the recording industry for illegally downloading music from the Internet, shows music fans a new way to freely and legally download music—the Pepsi iTunes 100 Million Song Giveaway. The commercial is set to Green Day’s version of “I Fought the Law.” Apple has also posted three screen shots from the Pepsi/iTunes commercial on its Apple/Pepsi promotion website.

iTMS discussed in ‘The Tyranny of Copyright?’

The iTunes Music Store is used as an example of the future of copyright policy in the United States in a New York Times Magazine article by Robert S. Boynton.

“In opposition to the cultural commons stands the ‘permission culture,’ an epithet the Copy Left uses to describe the world it fears our current copyright law is creating. Whereas you used to own the CD or book you purchased, in the permission culture it is more likely that you’ll lease (or ‘license’) a song, video or e-book, and even then only under restrictive conditions: read your e-book, but don’t copy and paste any selections; listen to music on your MP3 player, but don’t burn it onto a CD or transfer it to your stereo. The Copy Left sees innovations like iTunes, Apple’s popular online music store, as the first step toward a society in which much of the cultural activity that we currently take for granted—reading an encyclopedia in the public library, selling a geometry textbook to a friend, copying a song for a sibling—will be rerouted through a system of micropayments in return for which the rights to ever smaller pieces of our culture are doled out. ‘‘Sooner or later,’’ predicts Miriam Nisbet, the legislative counsel for the American Library Association, ‘you’ll get to the point where you say, ‘Well, I guess that 25 cents isn’t too much to pay for this sentence,’ and then there’s no hope and no going back.’”

iTuneAgent.com Launches

iTuneAgent.com provides users with a simple and easy way to see what is new and happening on Apple’s iTunes Music Store. Users can choose which genre of iTunes Music Store matieral they would like to view.  iTunesAgent.com will quickly allow users to browse not only new releases and new additions to the iTunes Music Store, but also current top songs and top albums within those particular categories.

iTunes Music Store Europe held up by red tape

“Old-fashioned red tape is delaying the eagerly awaited European launch of Apple Computers’ (nasdaq: AAPL -news - people) Internet music store iTunes, a company official said on Saturday.

A maze of licensing contracts, music release dates that differ by country and incompatible billing systems have combined to sidetrack the service, which many recording executives still hope will make its European debut in the first half of 2004.”

First Pepsi iTunes giveaway bottles appear

“Apple and Pepsi announced in October that they would be giving away 100 million songs. The giveaway will officially launch on Feb 1st with a Superbowl Ad.

The first specially-marked bottles are already making their way into circulation… with one reader (MacBoyX) buying an iTunes-marked 20oz Diet Pepsi bottle (and winning a song) in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.”

Pepsi ads to feature teens sued by RIAA

“A new sort of Pepsi Generation will get air time on the Super Bowl: music downloaders.

Some 20 teens sued by the Recording Industry Association of America, which accuses them of unauthorized downloads, will appear in a Pepsi-Cola ad that kicks off a two-month offer of up to 100 million free—and legal—downloads from Apple’s iTunes, the leading online music seller. The sassy ad, to be seen by Super Bowl’s 88 million viewers on Feb 1, is a wink at the download hot button. Pepsi hopes the promotion will connect its flagship cola, as well as Sierra Mist and Diet Pepsi, with teens who’ve shown more affinity for bottled water, energy drinks and the Internet.”

Apple launches ‘iTunes Music Store RSS Feed Generator’

“Several MacMinute readers pointed out that the iTunes Music Store now has customizable RSS feeds that can be used with news aggregators such as Ranchero’s NetNewsWire. Apple’s “iTunes Music Store RSS Feed Generator” allows you to create feeds of New Releases, Just Added, Top Songs, Top Albums, or Featured Albums & Exclusives with custom genres and feed length.”

An Interview with Apple Director Chris Bell on iTunes

“Chris Bell, director of product marketing for iTunes, talked with the E-Commerce Times about how Apple has always paid attention to music—and why it always will.

How do you see iTunes in comparison to current competitors?

Bell: I think as other companies work on the first versions of their music stores, we’re already on to our second and third generation of innovation. We’ve passed the initial phase, and we’ve moved into finding new ways to collaborate with artists, forge deals with other companies and develop relationships with independent labels. Now that we’ve established the gold standard for ease of use, our goal is to grow the catalog and expose customers to even more music. We think there’s still a great opportunity for growth in this market.”

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