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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.’”

Blender 100 names iTMS No. 2

The iTunes Music Store was awarded the number 2 spot in this year’s Blender 100 of the most sizzling stars, gadgets, bands and booties. The list is only available in the print edition. What’s really strange is that the iPod did appear anywhere in the list of 100. How could this be?

“Apple’s new music service is saving the record business, one download at a time,” writes Rob Tannenbaum in the August 2003 issue of the popular music magazine. ‘It’s a phenomenal success,” says Lyor Cohen, CEO of the Island Def Jam Music Group. ‘Kids are the laziest human beings on Earth, so I was thankful that someone made it easy to get music delivered in the comfort of your home.’”

Source: MacMinute

Peter Frampton touts iTunes

Live onstage in front of 500,000 people, Peter Frampton promoted iTunes. While performing outside the Philadelphia Art Museum before the big 4th of July fireworks display, Frampton gave a plug for his new album which is being released in late August.  He then encouraged the crowd to buy it on the iTunes Music Store. He even said something to the effect that it’s only 99 cents a track.

European iTunes Music Store Delayed

Independent UK is reporting that Apple is delaying its European version of iTunes Music Store due to licensing disagreements.

“Attempts by Apple Computer to launch a European version of its online “Music Store”, where people can download individual songs, has been held up until next year by disputes between record companies and their artists over licensing.”

Source: Macminute

Workaround to share your music with iTunes 4.0.1

Recently I wrote this tutorial on how to enable the feature of sharing your music collection in iTunes 4.0.1 again… which Apple disabled with the latest update. The funny part is it can use freeware made by Apple itself! The tutorial shows you how to set up a proxy for the iTunes server and makes iTunes think the stream is coming from a local area network.

Have fun, but don’t steal music!

Wired: iTunes Music Swap Just Won’t Die

Leander Kahney has a report about Apple axing iTunes’ Internet sharing feature and how developers are answering back by programming new solutions to keep the sharing feature alive and well. Two software solutions and a tip are presented in the report, including iCommune 401(ok), Andromeda and author Jim Heid’s simple solution to use both iTunes 4.0 and 4.0.1 on one Mac.

“MP3.com backs Apple’s new iPod”

Internet Magazine reports MP3.com Europe will be promoting its service to registered iPod owners by offering exclusive tracks.

“‘With the launch of iTunes Music Store in the US and now the new iPod, Apple is leading the industry in the delivery of pay-per-track online music,’ said Leanne Sharman, VP of sales & marketing, MP3.com Europe. ‘This represents a resounding vote of confidence in our European marketing and distribution mechanism that they’ve chosen to market this exciting new product on our sites on the back of the successful campaign we ran for the company at the end of last year.’”

Daring Fireball vs. Knee-Jerk Critics

John Gruber of Daring Fireball has weighed in on the iTunes Internet Sharing issue, offering a sound rebuttal to the several digital pundits levying criticism against Apple for disabling the feature in iTunes 4.01.

“I think it was more of a social experiment. Rendezvous networking is built on top of IP networking, so once the programming work was done to support sharing locally, it was likely very little extra work to allow it to work between any two IP addresses. The potential for abuse was obvious, but so was the potential utility. And so I think Apple tried giving everyone the benefit of the doubt with iTunes 4.0’s sharing capabilities. “

NY Post: Apple, Amazon in Online Music Talks

It seems that Amazon might soon be jumping on the iTunes Music Store band wagon. Tim Arango at the New York Post reports Apple and Amazon are negotiating a deal to make iTMS available on Amazon.com.

“The parties are in advanced talks and a deal is expected, though sources warn that negotiations might still unravel.

[...]

At Amazon’s annual meeting last week in Seattle, Jeff Bezos, the company’s chief executive officer, talked about opening a digital music store, telling reporters, ‘We’ve been looking at it for years.’”

CNET: Microsoft, again: Apple’s old nemesis

“In a masterstroke of technological and marketing acumen, Apple Computer appeared to have seized the digital music industry last month by boldly creating its own retail download service.

The Macintosh maker, diagnosed being near death in the 1990s, seemed to have pulled off another miracle: Its iTunes Music Store sold 2 million songs in its first 16 days, dwarfing rival download services and drawing raves from Silicon Valley to Hollywood. Yet even before the initial euphoria could subside, the company began hearing familiar rumblings from points north—namely, Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash.”

“How to Upgrade iTunes Without Losing Sharing”

Author Jim Heid of Avondale Media has posted a great tip on keeping iTunes 4.0 Internet sharing capabilities with the recent release of 4.0.1.

“Anyone who listens to AAC audio will want to upgrade to iTunes 4.0.1, since it fixes a playback problem that existed in version 4.0.

But you may have become fond of iTunes 4’s Internet sharing features, which, as I wrote yesterday, are no more.

The solution? Keep both versions—they’ll coexist on your hard drive.

Before installing version 4.0.1, simply drag the iTunes application icon out of the Applications folder and into a different folder. Then install the 4.0.1 update.

When you want Internet sharing, simply launch version 4.0.”

Note: Jim also has some good info on what’s new in 4.0.1 and how it handles sharing.

NYT: Apple Finds the Future for Online Music Sales

‘The Pop Life’ columnist, Neil Strauss writes about Apple’s success with iTunes Music Store and the recent disabling of iTunes Internet sharing capabilities.

“In just its first month of operation the service, by the company’s estimate, has sold three million songs online, at 99 cents each. This is an impressive figure considering the limited access that music fans now have to the service.

[...]

“We designed it to allow friends and family to easily stream (not copy) their music between computers at home or in a small group setting, and it does this well,” the statement said. “But some people are taking advantage of it to stream music over the Internet to people they do not even know. This was never the intent.” A spokesman for Apple, Chris Bell, said the company made the decision by itself.”

KBase Documents updated for iTunes 4

iTunes 4.0.1 for Mac OS X: Information and Download
iTunes 4: Shared Music Library Is Not Compatible Alert
iTunes 4: Effects Can Cause Some Sound Fluctuation During Playback

WSJ: Real Networks to compete with Apple iTMS

Apple’s iTunes Music Store is to face competition from Real Networks, which will today announce a music download service for only 79 cents a track. According to the Wall Street Journal, the service will be based on the Rhapsody service from listen.com, which Real bought last month.

The move means Real won’t push Musicnet any more, a joint venture between it and major firms EMI, AOL and Bertelsmann. But the Journal points out that Real Networks owns 40 per cent of Musicnet and has already plunged an estimated $4 million into the service. Most people are waiting to see what Microsoft will do, as the race to sell music online gathers pace.

CNET: “Apple limits iTunes file sharing”

Ian Fried, staff writer for CNET News.com reports on the latest iTunes upgrade which limits sharing to local networks.

“‘The new iTunes 4.0.1 update limits Rendezvous music sharing to work only between computers on a local network (its intended use) and disables music sharing over the Internet,’ Apple said in a statement provided to CNET News.com.

‘Rendezvous music sharing…has been used by some in ways that have surprised and disappointed us,’ Apple said. ‘We designed it to allow friends and family to easily stream (not copy) their music between computers at home or in a small group setting, and it does this well.  But some people are taking advantage of it to stream music over the Internet to people they do not even know.’”

Apple Disables iTunes Sharing with 4.0.1 upgrade

Apple has released iTunes 4.01, a small upgrade, with “a number of performance and network access enhancements”, some AppleScript changes and, most notably, the disabling of Internet Sharing.

From the Apple Knowledge Base: “iTunes 4.0.1 only allows music sharing between computers using iTunes 4.0.1 or later on a local network (in the same subnet).”

TechTV: AAC Developer Interview

On Tuesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. Eastern, The Screen Savers cable show will have Gary Valan, Director, Computer Audio Initiative (Dolby Laboratories) talking about MPEG-4 and AAC. This episode can also be watched on Wed., May 21 at 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Eastern.

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