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AOL Members Get Access to iTunes Music Store

“America Online, Inc. and Apple today announced that AOL members can now preview, purchase and download songs available on AOL Music, the world’s number one music destination, by simply clicking an iTunes button placed next to featured tracks. The iTunes button will immediately launch Apple’s iTunes Music Store, the world’s number one download music service, and automatically select the featured track for preview or one-click purchase and download. In addition, AOL members can use their AOL Wallet or card-on-file to conveniently purchase and download songs from iTunes. Starting today, AOL is also offering iTunes Music Store customers the opportunity to purchase exclusive and original music from its popular music programs Sessions@AOL and Broadband Rocks.”

Apple blasť about online music rivals

“Jobs says he has no plans to lower prices or dramatically change iTunes to address the new threats. “We’re going to continue on our winning strategy,” he said in an interview. [...]

Rivals such as Dell have introduced more flexible portable players for other services. Jobs says Apple “trounced Dell this quarter” in music player sales. Researcher Jupiter predicts the $80 million digital music market will hit $1.6 billion in 2008. The field is quickly getting more crowded.”

Technology News: No Other Internet Music Service Has Touched iTunes Music Store

“While piracy continues to threaten the music business, Apple Computer’s iTunes Music Store is the digital hit of the year with 20 million 99-cent-a-song download since April.

The thunderous response to iTunes helped push four other music services to market, with several more planned. But their initial success has been much more muted.

The first to take on Apple was BuyMusic.com in July. It expected 1 million daily song downloads. ‘We’re not achieving that at all,” says BuyMusic CEO Scott Blum. “I’ve spoken with my competitors, and we’re nowhere near (Apple’s) numbers.’”

iTunes Music Store - More than 25 Million Songs Downloaded

“Apple today announced that music fans have purchased and downloaded more than 25 million songs from Apple’s iTunes Music Store since it launched in April 2003. The 25 millionth song, purchased last Friday afternoon, was “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” by Frank Sinatra.”

Napster’s making deals with beer companies. How low will Steve Jobs go to keep iTunes on top?

You know, it seems like only yesterday that I pointed out that all (both) of the players in the soft drink space were spoken for when it came to digital music. In fact, it was yesterday. The good folks at Roxio must have been reading my article, and realized that they were in a bit of a pinch now that both Coke and Pepsi sponsorships were off limits, because they’ve moved on to other beverages in search of sponsorships, and no I’m not talking about Fresca. In what may amount to a new all-time low for the high-tech industry, the brains behind the Napster mini-revival have signed up a beer company as their new sponsor. Yeah, you read that right…

Fortune names iTunes Music Store Product of the Year

“Napster proved that tens of millions of consumers were eager to download digital music from the Internet. They just weren’t inclined to pay for it, which led music companies to believe that the Internet was the superhighway to ruin and that most Internet users were thieves. All of which makes the achievement of Apple’s iTunes Music Store impressive from both a diplomatic standpoint and a technical one.”

iTunes Music Store in Japan by next year

“Apple Computer Inc. will open its iTunes Music Store to customers in Japan by as early as next year, CEO Steve Jobs, in Tokyo for the opening of Apple Store Ginza on Sunday, told The Asahi Shimbun. [...]

Online music sales have yet to catch on in Japan, the world’s second-largest music software market following the United States, but growing interest from companies such as Apple underscores the market’s potential.”

Macworld UK: Euro iTunes petition raised

“Europe’s Mac users don’t want to wait three years for Apple to arrange licensing arrangements, so Swedish Mac user Jacob Landefjord has launched a petition entreating Apple to launch its service: “We, the undersigned feel that the opening of the iTunes Music Store in Europe would be a great success and sell a lot of music and iPods,” the petition reads. It has attracted 415 signatures so far.”

iTunes sells more than 20 million songs

“Indeed, the download services are seeing some signs that many music listeners are accepting the 99-cent price tag, despite some downward pressure. Apple Computer said Monday that it has now sold more than 20 million songs in fewer than seven months through its iTunes song store.

Online buying patterns are also beginning to emerge, pointing to potential ground rules for the new services. Apple director of marketing Peter Lowe said that 45 percent of songs downloaded through iTunes had been sold as part of a full album, rather than in single song form. That indicates many people are still interested in purchasing large numbers of songs, or full albums, despite having a la carte options, Lowe said.”

iTunes Music Store coming to Australia?

“Apple declined to comment on when its service might be available in Australia, but sources indicate that the company has been in local negotiations with record companies, music publishers and rights bodies. Those negotiations should bear fruit in the first quarter of next year, when Apple will extend the iTunes Music Store to a number of markets beyond the US, sources said.”

How the iTunes DRM hack works

CNET News has posted information on how the recent iTunes DRM hack works.

“Johansen’s program works by patching Apple’s QuickTime software with a new software component of his own. Because he called the program a “memory dumper,” programmers on message boards around the Web speculated that QTFairUse made a copy of the raw, unprotected song data from the computer’s temporary memory after it was unprotected for playback, rather than simply recording the audio stream as it played. But this was not independently verified by Apple or Johansen.”

Using iTunes to obtain new songs on greatest hits collections

I’ve posted an article on my blog about using the iTunes Music Service as a means to obtain new tracks that are included in greatest hits collections without having to buy the entire album. I thought I’d pass it along in case the other readers of this site would be interested.

Send iTunes Gift Certificates via USPS Mail

MacMinute reports one of its readers has discovered that you can now send iTunes Gift Certificates purchased from the online Apple Store via United States Postal Service. Previously you could only send gift certificates to someone via email. Gift certificates are available from $10 to $200 to purchase and download music from the iTunes Music Store.

The Register: DVD Jon unlocks iTunes’ locked music

“Jon Lech Johansen, better known as DVD Jon for his authorship of the DeCSS decryption software, has turned his attention to Apple’s locked music format. [...]

Apple negotiated a loophole for its iTunes Music Store that allows a playlist to be burned to a CD ten times. When Johansen’s program completes, it displays the message “Success! Fair Use Enabled”.

When iTMS began selling locked music in April, Johansen described it as the least fair-use hostile. Johansen’s program defangs it one step further.”

McDonald’s 1 Billion Song Promotion Confirmed?

MacRumors is reporting that during an Interim Results 2003 Conference, EMI Music Chairman and CEO, Martin Bandier, while discussing the growth of music download services said, “... but there is real potential for the future especially when PepsiCola makes a commitment to giveaway up to 100 million downloads and McDonald’s commits to 1 billion in download giveaways as part of a promotional campaign.” The New York Post had reported that McDonald’s was expected to announce a deal with Apple to offer a 1 billion iTunes song giveaway, but McDonald’s later said in a statement that the deal was ‘pure speculation.’

Macworld UK: ‘iTunes will drive switching’ - Anderson

“Apple’s chief financial officer Fred Anderson pressed home the innovation at the heart of Apple’s strategy during a speech at Lehman Brothers Semiconductor and Computer conference yesterday.

With its market lead on competing music download services and its leading music product, the iPod, Anderson explained: ‘Many who experience buying songs from iTunes will go on and buy an iPod and maybe they will buy a Mac when they think about buying a second or third computer for the home.’”

Macworld UK: SuperBowl kickoff for iTunes/Pepsi offer

“In October, Apple and Pepsi-Cola North America announced they would give away 100 million free songs to Mac and Windows users from the iTunes Music Store.

This promotion begins on February 1. Pepsi is randomly printing 100 million winning codes in 20-ounce and one-litre bottles of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Sierra Mist. The winning codes will be redeemable for a free song from the iTunes Music Store.”

iTunes Music Store Wins Webby Business Award

The first annual Webby Business Awards has presented Apple’s iTunes Music Store the Business Award in the Retail category.

“By seamlessly combining elegant ease-of-use, an extensive music library, integration with the world’s most popular portable digital music player - iPod, and copyright mechanisms that protect both intellectual property and customersí rights, Apple has redefined what an online music distribution business should be—and become the number one music download service in the world.”

Economic Analysis:  iTunes/iPod vs. RIAA/CD Retail Distribution

I’m currently working on my MBA and was required to do an economic analysis of a product lifecycle.  Being a new iPod/iTunes convert, I decided to talk about how Apple has taken on the old RIAA/CD retail distribution model.  This website has been a great source of information for me and I would like to share my analysis with the group. This posting does not represent the view of my employer.

What if Apple paid you in music to rate your own tracks?

Not really news, more of a what if?  Some iPod users have discovered the power of Smart Playlists (a peek at smartplaylists.com gives users some great ideas). What if Apple were to pay users to rate their songs, so that info could be uploaded to the iTunes store to make recommendations more accurate?

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