In a recent poll, Macworld UK readers were asked what features should be added to iTunes.
“The most popular choice was a means of automatically identifying and deleting duplicated songs (26 per cent). One reader suggested Apple could add a “flag duplicates” option.
Close behind (21 per cent) was the ability to mix tracks like a DJ
“‘Napster is a Windows Media Audio house designed around that digital rights management,’ Gorog [Napster CEO] says. ‘We are a believer in the technology and we believe it’s going to be, and basically is, the ubiquitous platform. Companies pushing a propriety agenda are consumer-unfriendly experiences because they’re cloistering them in an experience that they can’t leave and eliminating choice.’
Gorog believes pressure from iPod owners will force Apple to reconsider its stance: ‘The iPod is great if you’re happy to only shop at one record store. It’s like buying a car and finding you can only drive down one road. I think consumers, when they understand that, will be kind of pissed off,’ he says.”
“Specially marked bottles of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Sierra Mist offer free download codes in bottle caps. But they arrived in New York last week, four weeks after 90 million viewers saw the Super Bowl ad. The bottles have yet to show up in Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest media market, and won’t get there until mid-March, Pepsi says.
‘You can’t spike sales in February if the bottles aren’t there,’ says Charles Wolf, an analyst with Wall Street research firm Needham & Co. ‘My guess is there’s going to be a sales increase, but a month later than expected.’”
“Over the past two weeks, a second round of AAC listening tests was carried out across five different AAC codecs at Rarewares.
“It was a breakthrough deal that would have put the Napster kitty on millions of Hewlett-Packard computers.
But in the days leading up to Napster’s re-launch in late October, HP suddenly—and without explanation—returned Napster’s $250,000 check and canceled the agreement to install a link to Napster’s online music service on its computers. Worse, in January HP announced a surprise partnership with Napster rival Apple Computer to feature the iTunes Music store on HP computers and sell Hewlett-Packard branded iPod music players.”
The iTunes Music Store now features a “Tell a Friend” link for sharing with others. Simply click the link, fill out the form and tell a friend about your new discovery. “‘Tell a Friend’ links let you send email (that includes an album cover and a link back to the iTunes Music Store) to all your friends. You can even include a personal message. Try it today.”
MacMerc has posted instructions, photos and a diagram on how to “spy” the inside of specially marked bottles of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Sierra Mist to make sure it has a winning code. “The secret is the angle. I’ve found it to be 25 degrees, but that’s really no use when you’re out in the field. Just tilt it until it seems about that, and look up towards it (hold it above your head). With luck, you should be able to see under the cap.”
In a recent news story we mentioned that Target will have gift (prepaid) cards available starting this Sunday, February 15. Readers have commented that some Target stores are already selling them, and we suspect that other department stores will offer them as well. Apple has updated the iTunes Music Store with a new section to redeem prepaid cards and Terms & Conditions. Prepaid cards expire two years from date of issuance with exceptions in some states. Redemption codes appear on the back of prepaid cards. iTunes 4 (free download) or later and an iTunes Music Store account is required.
One of our readers has submitted evidence of a new partnership between Apple and Target stores, resulting in $15 Gift Cards to purchase music from the iTunes Music Store. The new promotion is expected to start on Sunday, February 15.
The Register UK has received open letters to Apple from its readers in disgust with the Pepsi iTunes Music Giveaway ads featuring several RIAA sued teenagers. One of the letters read, “I was planning on purchasing a new Ibook, it would have been my 5th Mac. Tell Steve he can take this “Jobs” and shove it. Putting that obnoxious Pepsi ad on the website was not a good decision.
MacFixit reports a problem and solution regarding iTunes 4.2. “We previously reported an issue where iTunes 4.2 crashes shortly after connecting an iPod (under Mac OS X 10.3.x) The crash generally results both in the iPod not getting updated and a force-quit required for iTunes. Some users have had success disconnecting all other external peripherals - particularly FireWire devices other than the iPod (and USB components), but for others the problem persists under the same conditions. Reverting to Mac OS X 10.2.x also alleviates the problem.”
“Magnatune is a record label, but don’t let that make you wince; as the company’s motto says, they are not evil, and they mean it. Take a look in the ‘Information’ menu on the Magnatune site and browse the essay on why Magnatune owner John Buckman created the site, and check out his business model and other topics of interest. Once you’re done reading, go check out some of the music.
Again, what you’ll find is something completely different: The music is unique and high quality. The Magnatune business model is similar to shareware, and artists get 50% of the proceeds from each sale from the company’s Web site. While its library of music is relatively small, it contains such a uniquely eclectic collection of albums and artists that nearly everyone is bound to find something he or she likes.”
“Among the hundreds of thousands of downloadable songs for sale at Apple Computer’s online music store are at least nine tracks of silence, a fact that has prompted quite a bit of discussion. The chatter over the inaudible music tracks began this week at Mac enthusiast site As The Apple Turns.
As the site notes, Apple treats the silent songs just like their more musical counterparts. The silent tracks sell for the same 99 cents as other songs, feature free 30-second “previews” and are all wrapped in Apple’s usual digital-rights management software to prevent unauthorized copying.”
“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.”
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.
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 has posted several sizes of the Pepsi+iTunes commercial scheduled to air during today’s Super Bowl game.
Apple 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.”
“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.’”