“Apple Europe will present a special music-focused event in London on June 15. The company describes the event thus: “The biggest story in music is about to get even bigger,” and is inviting selected members of the press to the event in London. The show starts at 11am.
Apple is likely to announce the extension of its iTunes Music Store into new territories at the show, putting the company in the frame against chief US rival Napster which launched last month; Sony’s much-criticized Sony Connect service and existing European services such as OD2 or London’s innovative Wippit music service.”
PBS’ Frontline interviewed David Crosby, a music legend known for his solo performances as well as his work with the Byrds, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. In it Crosby mentions how iTunes looks “really, really, really promising.”
“Why did that work? Because it was simple, and it was already existing hardware. And anybody could have done it, but Steve Jobs put it together. It works like a charm. You upload it; they download it. They pay you a buck or two. It’s that simple.
You getting some hits from that? You bet. And I’m going to get a lot more. No packaging cost, no promotion, no lairs of distributors, each taking 20 percent off as it goes by. No returns, no free goods, nada! [laughter] No costs! That’s a good business model that works, and it’s working for them. They’re a brilliant company, and that’s a brilliant idea. And if I were in a position to invest in the stock market, which I wouldn’t be, it certainly would be Apple, because that’s the one that works.”
“Apple could be ready to launch its iTunes Music Store (ITMS) in Europe by the middle of June, sources said to be familiar with the company’s plans have claimed.
They reckon that the Mac maker may now have secured licences from the major labels and others it needs in order to open ITMS to UK and other European buyers.
Separately, we’ve heard the date 4 July bandied about, though since the date is far more relevant to the US than it is to Europe, it seems an odd choice, if correct.”
MacMinute reports that “W Hotels is launching a new promotion dubbed “iTunes Days” starting next month. The monthly events—scheduled for June, July and August in Chicago, New York and San Francisco—will feature live DJs spinning music from iPods, free iTunes Music Store downloads, “AppleiTini” drink specials, and iPod/iMac giveaways. W Hotels has also put together a number of compilations on the iTMS that aim to ‘take you on a journey of mind and body, heart and soul… the perfect complement to every mood, emotion, and experience.’”
Arstechnica reports that “Apple has released another iTunes Windows SDK (Software Development Kit). This particular SDK exposes some iTunes functionality through the Windows Component Object Model (COM) interface and will allow developers to write code to control certain functions of iTunes.”
“So you’ve got an iPod, you go and buy music but then your machines dies, or have many many computers and devices you listen to music on, or maybe sometimes you use an operating system not supported by iTunes, how can you listen to your purchased music? Well, usually you can’t- why? Because the songs you purchased are DRM protected, that means you can only listen to them on specific computers and devices. For most folks the limits of a few computers or devices are fine, but for the gadget geek- nope, we have too many computers and devices. It would be like buying a DVD but only being able to watch it in some rooms, or only some TVs.
Now to be clear, this isn’t a way to take music you bought and give it to someone else, this is so you can listen to your own purchased music on other systems or devices. In fact, your personal info is still in the file.”
“Apple Computer has announced that Founder, a major supplier of personal computers to the Chinese market, will preinstall the Windows version of Apple’s iTunes digital music software on all of its PCs beginning in June.
With iTunes installed, users of Founder PCs will be able to copy music from their own audio CDs, create playlists, share music on LANs using Rendezvous, and listen to music on the iPod, Apple’s popular digital music player.”
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.