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MusicMatch to support iPod after iTunes for Windows debuts

“A MusicMatch spokeswoman said it was unclear how the Windows version of Apple’s online music store would affect its relationship with the Mac maker.

‘We were partners (with Apple) but always expected we would one day be competitors once they launched the iTunes download service,’ a MusicMatch spokeswoman said. ‘MusicMatch jukebox will continue to support iPod, but it’s up to Apple to decide if they’ll ship iPod with MusicMatch jukebox. It’s totally in their hands at this point.’”

CNET: Apple to launch iTunes for Windows next week

“The Mac maker has scheduled an event for next Thursday at San Francisco’s Moscone West convention hall. ‘The year’s biggest music story is about to get even bigger,’ Apple said in an invitation to journalists. 

The company is expected to launch the long-awaited Windows version of the iTunes Music Store at the event, according to Wall Street brokerage Needham. Apple earlier said it would release the Windows service sometime before the end of the year.”

iTunes for Windows next week?

MacMinute reported that in today’s Yahoo In Play financial news that a Wall Street Journal column suggests the possibilty of iTunes for Windows being launched as early as next week.

“The Wall Street Journal’s “Heard on the Street” column suggests AAPL’s iTunes music store is not necessarily a moneymaker. When the co originally introduced the store to the public, Apple’s shares quickly skyrocketed from a 52-week low of around $13 to more than $20. The article suggests a repeat performance may be in the works as the co introduces the product to a wider audience next week.”

SmartPlaylists.com Launched

SmartPlaylists.com is a new website focusing on Apple’s iTunes Smart Playlists. “This new website is a resource for creating, sharing, and chatting about iTunes’ Smart Playlists. Why? Because they’re cool and there are many ingenious ways to use them to keep your music fresh.” Some of the website features include Tunes Top 20 Smart Playlist Strategy, How to Create a Smart Playlist, Top Rated, How to Edit Smart Playlists, Recently Played, Announcements, and iTunes Tips.

iTMS for Windows: Will Apple be successful?

“‘In this case,’ he added, ‘opening the iTunes Music Store up to Windows users simply expands Apple’s market without in any way harming the company’s core business in selling Macs. In fact, it even enhances sales of the iPod, which, while not a core business, shows where Apple is heading.’

Engst said he thinks opening up iTMS to Windows users will significantly increase iTunes downloads. Although download percentages likely will not correspond to OS market share (in other words, Mac users still will make up far more than 3 to 5 percent of all iTMS downloads), he said he believes the number of overall downloads (after an initial burst of enthusiasm by Windows users) will increase between three- and five-fold.”

iTMS Shutdown to prepare for iTunes for Windows?

I was heading over to the iPod discussions on Apple.com, and I noticed this header in bold:

“The iTunes Music Store will be unavailable on Sunday, September 21, 2003 from Midnight to approximately 2:30AM Pacific Daylight Time. Please plan to visit the iTunes Music Store either before or after this temporary outage.”

This is just pure speculation, but it is encouraging. Hopefully, the shutdown is for a server upgrade or something.  You know, to upgrade their hardware in preparation for a massive spike in visits…?  With recent reports pegging the release of iTunes for Windows as sometime in October, it looks like Apple is finally going to give all us Windows iPod users a present soon.

Reuters: iTunes Music Store Europe next year & iTunes Windows update

“‘We’re clearly working on it (but) I think we’ll do it next year,’ he told journalists on the fringes of the annual Apple Expo in Paris. He said it took time to sort out distribution rights with the music publishers who own the songs.

Jobs reiterated that, before the end of the year, Apple would bring iTunes and the online music store which has sold 10 million songs since its launch four months ago, to owners of personal computers that run on Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

‘We’re very much on track to execute iTunes for Windows,’  he said.”

NEWSWEEK: Apple moves up iTunes for PC to mid-October

“In another hopeful sign for the industry last week, downloading sites Rhapsody and Appleís iTunes bragged that paying customers were flocking their way. And Apple, NEWSWEEK learned, quietly informed some music insiders that itís moved up the date for expanding its current Mac-only iTunes for the vast universe of Windows-based PCs to mid-October. Apple couldnít be reached for comment. As weeks go, it was a good one for the record industry.”

CNET: Apple: Reselling iTunes songs ‘impractical’

“‘Apple’s position is that it is impractical, though perhaps within someone’s rights, to sell music purchased online,’ Peter Lowe, Apple’s director of marketing for applications and services, told CNET News.com in an interview. Lowe’s comments came after eBay last week pulled an auction seeking to sell an iTunes download, saying the attempted sale violated the site’s listings policies.”

CNET: iTunes auction treads murky legal ground

“Consumers can resell CDs purchased in a record shop, but what about digital music files downloaded from an online store?

George Hotelling wants to know. In a move that could spark a novel legal test of Internet music resale rights, the Web developer in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Tuesday night put a digital song he purchased online at Apple Computer’s iTunes Music Store up for auction on eBay. [...]

The effort has apparently resonated with online music aficionados, many of whom have expressed anger at copyright controls used by licensed Internet music services, including iTunes. With the auction set to end Sept. 9, the price on the song had gone up to $15,099 as of Wednesday evening.”

iTunes Music Store coming to Australia

“Legal, pay-per-track music sites are about to proliferate. Australia should have its first by Christmas. It is likely it will be a local version of the successful Apple iMusic Store, which operates only in North America. Locally, Telstra is working on a licensing deal with at least one record company.”

New Media Age: iTunes beats music rivals for awareness

“Market research body NPD Group found that Apple’s iTunes music service registered the highest awareness, with 20% of consumers aged over 13 knowing of the service. Among Macintosh users, the initial target market for iTunes, the awareness level jumped to 46%.

6% of Mac users also said they’d paid for a song or album via iTunes.           

In contrast, services like Rhapsody and Pressplay, which have been on the market for longer than iTunes, only showed 14% awareness among consumers. Less than 1% said that they had downloaded music from either site.”

TechTV: BuyMusic.com vs. iTunes Music Store

“Digital music expert Kevin Arnold, founder of the Independent Online Distribution Alliance, says BuyMusic.com lacks Apple’s seamless, one-price-fits-all approach to downloading music. But that’s the nature of Windows, a multitude of platforms and very few licensing rules. Apple, he says, is the epitome of refinement.

‘I would compare Windows to the wild, wild, west,” says Arnold. “And Apple is like a gated community.’”

“iTunes Sales Continue to Fall”

“In the first day April 28th iTunes sales were at 200,000 per day. By May 5th CNet were reporting that sales had topped 1,000,000 meaning 140,000 songs were been sold per day. By May 14th this figure had fallen to 125,000. While figures published in the The NY Times on May 28th translate the figure into 100,000 per day.

The decline continued from there. 5 million tracks had been sold by June 23rd meaning the average daily sales had now hit 89,000. The figure hit 6.5 million on July 22nd translating into 52,000 sales per day.

The sales figure may reflect seasonal variance and other launch hype related factors. However there is a clear decline in place and with iTunes still failing to sign up some big bands the perceived success of iTunes is not quite what all are making it out to be.”

Syllabus: iTunes and the Technology Beyond MP3

“What’s the difference between MP3-encoded sound and AAC-encoded sound? AAC became part of the MPEG-2 standard in 1997 to provide efficient encoding for surround sound audio. It supports up to 5.1 channels (Left, Center, Right, Left and Right Surround, plus a low frequency channel). Its quality at 64Kbps is comparable to MP3 at 128Kbps. MPEG-2 AAC is a continuation of the MP3 coding scheme. Like MP3, AAC exploits the psychoacoustic properties of human hearing, using sound-masking techniques to achieve efficient compression with very little noticeable degradation in audio quality. Finally, it provides a compression advantage of about 1.3 to 1.4 that of MP3 with better sound quality.”

O’Reilly: Unsung Heros and Other iTunes Tips

Derrick Story has written a tip on how to create a smart playlist for those songs that don’t get played often on i iTunes/iPod.

“So I created a new smart playlist titled “Unsung Heros.” In the parameters for the list I set Last Played -> is not in the last -> 30 days, and then I set up a couple more limiters such as Album -> does not contain -> Christmas so Bing Crosby doesn’t constantly appear at the top of my list. One other parameter I set is Limit to 50 songs -> selected by song name.”

Reuters: Rivals Ready to Take a Bite of Apple

“Spurred by the runaway success of iTunes, Apple Computer Inc.‘s online music store, competitors are readying their own music download services in a surge of activity that record executives see pulling the music industry out of a three-year slump.  A crowded field is gearing up to offer single songs for sale,  including retailers Amazon.com Inc. and Buy.com, and leading Internet service providers like AOL Time Warner’s America Online.”

Fast Company: Digital Squared: Living in an iTunes World

“The success of Apple Computer’s iTunes venture is a harbinger of something big. In the first two weeks, Apple supplied nearly 2 million songs to be downloaded onto personal computers all over the world, at a cost of 99 cents per song. Assume for a moment that Apple continues to sell 1 million digital tracks per week for the next 12 months. By next year, the company will have collected nearly $52 million in revenue to divvy up between the partners in the enterprise. That is the beginning of a real business.”

NYT: What Albums Join Together, Everyone Tears Asunder

“The pop album made its way through the 20th century by staying adaptable, transforming itself from analog grooves to digital bits. But can the notion of an album — a collection of songs sold as a single unit, to be heard in a certain sequence — survive the Internet?

That question has been raised more insistently since Apple Computers started its iTunes store, where songs can be downloaded for 99 cents and complete albums for $9.99. Apple recently announced that 6.5 million songs have been downloaded since the store opened on April 28, fewer than half of them as part of albums. Its competition, Buy.com’s buymusic.com, is expected to announce its opening on Tuesday, selling downloads for the much more widely used Windows operating system.”

Macworld UK: iTunes ‘will become Net-songs king’

“Apple’s iTunes Music Store could capture 20 per cent of the US paid-music download market, claims Needham’s analyst Charles Wolf in a report this week.

Wolf believes Apple could generate annual revenues of $600 million through its store, and that this figure could increase. He describes the Store as ‘providing an arguably superior customer experience.’”

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