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PC World: Piracy Worries End ITunes Streaming

Paul Roberts, IDG News Service for PC World reports on iTunes sharing/swapping, and websites offering a catalog of users sharing their iTunes library.

“Only days after the appearance of Internet-based music streaming services that capitalize on Apple’s ITunes technology, many of the Web sites that hosted them have removed the feature, citing concerns about piracy.

[...]

Within days of its first public release, however, programmers outside of the company found ways to expand ITunes’ reach. They harnessed an ITunes client feature called Rendezvous that enables Mac users to share downloaded songs with other systems on a LAN or over the Internet.”

AAC vs. MP3: Tested and Rated Part 2

Gunnar Van Vliet has written Part 2 of his “REPORT ON THE RELATIVE QUALITY OF AAC AUDIO TO MP3” at RecordStoreReview.com.

“The purpose of this test is to compare more codecs at a low, medium and high bit rate. I think from this sampling it will be easy to estimate where other bit rates fit in with various types of music.”

Apple KBase: iTunes 4 Tips & Tricks

Apple has recently posted a new Knowledge Base article for iTunes 4: Tips & Tricks. Here is a sampling of 3 of the 14 tips and tricks listed:

  • To quickly add a song from a CD to an existing playlist, insert the CD, then drag the song from the CD (in the Source list) to the playlist. The song is automatically imported into your library and added to the playlist. To add a song from a CD to a new playlist, drag the song from the CD to the white area below the items in the Source list. The song is imported into your library and added to a new playlist.
  • To open a playlist in a new window, double-click the playlist icon in the Source list.
  • To quickly create a playlist containing an album in your library, click Library and choose Edit > Show Browser (if you see only Hide Browser, then the Browser is already visible). Drag an album from the Album list in the top-right section of the library to the white area below the items in your Source list. A playlist named after the album is created.

ShareiTunes Offers New Search Features

ShareiTunes has added a new keyword search feature, which searches share name, genres, artists, albums, and songs and returns all the shares that match. ShareiTunes offers a catalog of members sharing their iTunes playlist for others to find. iTunes sharing on the Interent has become the hot topic in recent news. Though it isn’t illegal to share a streaming playlist from iTunes, many are finding ways to exploit the stream with software to capture and download the song to their hard drive, which is illegal.

Apple: iTunes Music Store Tops Two Million Song Downloads

Today Apple announced in a press release that it has sold over two million song downloads through its wildly successful iTunes Music Store.

“‘Response to the iTunes Music Store has been phenomenal - we’ve clearly hit a chord with users,’ said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. ‘We?re adding new songs every day, giving music lovers even more reasons to legally download their favorite music.’”
“Over 4,300 new songs were added to the iTunes Music Store yesterday, including five albums from The Doors; new featured artist Fischerspooner?s album ‘#1’ plus an exclusive remix of their hit ‘Emerge;’ new albums from Cold, Lizz Wright, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs; pre-release tracks from upcoming albums by Michelle Branch, Da Brat, Jesse Harris and Kenna; and, completing her catalog of music now available on the store, Alanis Morissette?s albums ‘Under Rug Swept’ and ‘Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie.’ Additionally, albums representing diverse genres of music - from rock and alternative to jazz and classical - were added from artists including John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Nina Simone, Paul Oakenfold and Staind.”

LA Times: Song Sharing by iTunes Users Stirs Piracy Concerns

Los Angeles Times staff writer Jon Healey writes about the brewing debate over the Internet sharing capabilities of iTunes.

“In the two weeks that iTunes has been on the market, several Web sites have sprung up to help users find others who are sharing songs online. And some adept programmers have developed a way to let people copy those songs.”
‘“It sounds as if it is a hole in the security that needs to be closed,” Cary Ramos, an attorney for the National Music Publishers Assn., said Tuesday. ‘I don’t know what Apple can do to achieve that, but I would certainly hope that they would take steps immediately to address this issue.’”

ShareiTunes Adds Playlist Browsing

Share iTunes has added playlist browsing to its list of features. Click on “View Playlist” and you can browse any persons song collection by Artist and songs. There are also links provided to search the iTunes Music Store or Amazon Music Store for any given Artist or songs.

AAC vs. MP3: Tested and Rated

Gunnar Van Vliet has written an informative article at RecordStoreReview.com comparing the quality of AAC vs. MP3. Although the tests were unscientific, Vliet posted the results of one songs performance compressed at 96, 128, 160 and 192Kbps in both AAC and MP3 formats. He rated each test group for tonal accuracy, imaging/soundstage, naturality, and musicality.

“On the whole, there weren’t any surprises.  My observations echo what most people have said about AAC vs. MP3.  AAC is higher quality at the same bit rate, so you can use a smaller file to achieve the same quality as MP3 which is a good thing for portable and computer users.  Ultimately, both formats still sound pretty bad in their practical ranges compared to CD.”

CNET: Hackers: iTunes can be shared over Net

CNET‘s staff writer, John Borland reports on the latest music trend sweeping the Internet as iTunes 4 users have discovered that they can share their music collection with others. It was thought that iTunes 4 only supported sharing over a LAN (local area network), but several programmers have discovered that iTunes 4 does have Internet sharing capabilities built-in and are beginning to exploit the unsupported feature.

“Apple itself did not release documentation on the over-the-Net sharing features and does not officially support the efforts. 

iTunes ‘is not meant to be used in any other way than for personal use,’ said an Apple representative. The company said it will be monitoring the trend, but had no further comment.”

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