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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 customers’ 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?

Macworld UK: Mixed outlooks for iPod, iTunes

“However, music-industry executives believe Apple will face fierce competition from established heavyweights in the digital-music download market.

MusicNet CEO Alan McGlade told CBS MarketWatch he thinks Apple’s service may be an early leader, but that others will dominate the new market in future.

He said: ‘The big companies are going to dominate. AOL is going to be a significant player. Companies like Yahoo, MTV, Microsoft, Sony. I don’t think it’s going to be iTunes.’”

MacCentral: MyTunes Exploits ITunes Playlist Sharing

“Now that Apple is offering ITunes software and access to its music store to Windows users, the company has an opportunity to significantly increase its market share in the area of downloadable music. But the company also has to contend with applications like the recently released MyTunes, which allows Windows users to circumvent the intended use of the software by downloading music from an ITunes shared playlist over a network.

Bill Zeller, a 20-year-old Trinity College student, wrote and released MyTunes just ten days after the official release of ITunes for Windows. His Web site claims that the application is intended to enable users ‘to save music from other computers to your hard drive.’”

Wired: ITunes Undermines Social Security

“As if it weren’t hard enough to be cool already, Apple Computer has introduced a new way for people to ruin their social standing.

Thanks to the ability of Apple’s iTunes to share music collections over local networks, it is now possible to judge someone’s taste in music—or lack of it—in a way that previously required a certain level of intimacy.”

Popular Science includes iTunes Music Store in “Best of What’s New”

Popular Science has included the iTunes Music Store in the Computing section of their annual “Best of What’s New” issue (December 2003), along with the Power Mac G5. Popular Science does not provide “rankings” within the category, although the Grand Prize winner in the Computing category was 802.11g, which Apple was first to commercially adopt.

iTunes Music Store Gift Certificates Available at Apple Store

Apple has now made available gift certificates for the iTunes Music Store through Apple Store online.  You can purchase gift certificates for any persons residing in the U.S. from $10 to $200, or you can also try your luck by entering our Happy Birthday iPod Giveaway.

TIME Names iTunes Music Store Coolest Invention of 2003

“Other inventions this year may have more altruistic intentions (like Dean Kamen’s water purifier) or be more visible on street corners (like those ubiquitous camera cell phones). But for finally finding a middle ground between the foot-dragging record labels and the free-for-all digital pirates and for creating a bandwagon onto which its competitors immediately jumped, Apple’s iTunes Music Store is Time’s Coolest Invention of 2003.”

The Register UK: iTunes is ‘not a money maker’

“‘Most of the money goes to the music companies,’ admitted Jobs.

‘We would like to break even/make a little bit of money but it’s not a money maker,’ he said, candidly.

So now we have it on record: the music store is a loss leader. Jobs said Apple would pay its dues to the RIAA, then seek to make money where it could, from its line of hardware accessories. When the conversation turned to rivals such as eTunes and Napster, Jobs said: ‘They don’t make iPods, so they don’t have a related business where they do [make money].’”

iTunes stomps Napster in sales

“Music fans purchased and downloaded 1.5 million songs from Apple’s iTunes Music Store during the same period that Napster reported selling 300,000 songs during its first week of operation. More than 17 million songs have been purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Music Store since it launched in April 2003. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the iTunes Music Store had more than 80 percent market share of legally purchased downloads last week.”

MacDonald’s: No Deal To Announce

“Responding to inquiries about a story in Thursday’s New York Post that the fast-food giant will team up with Apple Computer Inc. (NasdaqNM:AAPL - News) to offer up to one billion free iTune downloads, McDonald’s issued a statement saying, ‘There are no agreements to announce, so anything else is pure speculation.’”

NY Post: McDonalds to give away 1 billion iTunes songs?

“Less than a month after Pepsi announced a blockbuster deal to give away 100 million downloads from Apple’s iTunes music service to its customers, McDonald’s is close to a announcing a much bigger deal, The Post has learned.

In a dramatic move that gives a thumbs up to the music industry’s efforts at creating legal alternatives to file sharing, McDonald’s plans to give away up to 1 billion songs in a marketing campaign, according to sources familiar with the matter.”

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