“The latest Media Center PCs from HP come with a special iTunes-related feature built into Microsoft’s new Windows XP Media Center Edition software. The computer maker created the feature, called HP Tunes, to let users of its Media Center PCs play songs and playlists from iTunes within the Windows Media Center interface, the special Microsoft software designed to be controlled using a remote while sitting back in a chair or couch in the living room. [...]
Without the HP Tunes feature, Media Center PC users would need to exit the Windows Media Center interface and use the ordinary Windows desktop to access their iTunes music. That’s because Microsoft’s music software doesn’t play songs encoded in the AAC format that Apple uses.”
Apple’s iTunes and Steve Jobs have been nominated for several awards in the Billboard 2004 Digital Entertainment Awards. iTunes has been nominated for “Innovator of the Year” and it’s up against BitTorrent, Sony Eyetoy, and XM Radio. iTunes has also been nominated in the “Best Downloadable or Subscription Music Service” category with competitors Musicmatch on Demand, Napster, and Rhapsody by Real Networks. Apple has been nominated for “Brand of the Year” competing against EA Sports, Virgin Mobile and XM Satellite Radio. The “Visionary of the Year” category nominees are Steve Jobs - CEO, Apple/CEO, Pixar; Mark Cuban - Chairman, HDNet; Rob Glaser - Chairman & CEO, Real Networks and Will Wright - Game Designer (SimCity and The Sims). The awards will commence on November 5 in Los Angeles.
Users of iTunes 4.5 or earlier are being urged by Apple to upgrade to 4.6 in order to access the iTunes Music Store. The warning reads, “You are using a version of iTunes that will soon no longer be supported. Upgrade today to take advantage of the latest application features and music store enhancements.”
The Broadband from BT Digital Music Awards 2004 has awarded the iTunes Music Store “Best Download Music Service.” iTunes beat competitors Napster, Sony Connect, MyCokeMusic and KarmaDownload for the award.
Entertainment production company Cinemafactory has placed a casting call on Cragslist seeking “unique and interesting” people for an upcoming iTunes commercial. “Are you addicted to iTunes? Do you take your iPod everywhere? The CinemaFactory is looking for dancers, performers, and uniquely talented people of all ethnicities and ages who enjoy using iTunes/iPods for an upcoming non-union commercial shooting in early November in Los Angeles.”
Note: iLounge’s publisher, Dennis Lloyd will be attending the event and may be participating in the commercial.
“Apple today announced that music fans have purchased and downloaded more than 150 million songs from the iTunes Music Store, marking another major milestone for the online music business. The 150 millionth song was “Ex-Factor
According to new data reported from analyst firm NPD Group, iTunes remains the leader in legal downloads by retaining a 70 percent market share for digital downloads between December 2003 and July 2004. Napster had a 11 percent share for the same period and MusicMatch, RealNetworks and Wal-Mart each had six percent share.
Apple has posted a new extended iPod commercial starring U2 in the iTunes Music Store. The ad features the boys of U2 as silouettes peforming their new song “Vertigo.”
“Apple Computer is planning the next wave of expansion for its popular iTunes online music store with a multi-country European launch in October, the service’s chief architect said on Wednesday.
“We are well on pace to launch more EU stores. We will do it next month,” Eddie Cue, Apple’s vice president of applications told music executives at the annual Popkomm conference in the German capital.”
“Apple’s iTunes music download service has been accused by the Consumers’ Association of overcharging UK users.
The group accused the service of charging UK-based customers nearly 20% more than those with addresses and payment details in France or Germany.”
“TunesTracker.com makes the iTunes Music Store even better by keeping music fans up-to-date about their favorite artists. The service is free.
After registering with TunesTracker, users can enter the names of up to 50 of their favorite music groups. Once a day, TunesTracker checks the iTunes Music Store for new songs by those artists. When there is something new, TunesTracker sends an e-mail alert listing the vital information about the new tunes, including the song title, album name, and composer. By clicking a link, users can open the song in the iTunes Music Store, listen to a clip, and buy the song.”
“A German company is offering what it claims is a legal method of making iTunes Music Store music playable on devices other than the iPod.
RapidSolution Software claims its Windows only software, Tunebite, ‘legally provides the user with new music files without restrictions’.”
“According to the report, ITMS Japan has met with opposition from a number of local music labels who claim that FairPlay is “inadequate” and are thus refusing to license their songs to Apple.
At issue is the Mac maker’s insistence that consumer should be allowed to burn downloaded songs to CD, a facility offered by the US, UK, German and France versions of ITMS.”
“The first signs are positive. Apple Computer Chief Executive Steve Jobs launched versions of the online music service in the U.K, France and Germany at the beginning of the summer. The services have taken off quickly, selling more than 5 million songs in the first ten weeks.. It has left a European-based service that had a head start singing harmony and major music labels are listening to its appeals. [...]
‘It’s still too early to judge exactly how successful the service is,’ says U.K.-based Jupiter Research analyst Mark Mulligan, who believes that after the holiday season will be a better time to appraise the success of the iPod/iTunes duo. But one thing is sure, Mulligan says, ‘It has revolutionized the online music market.’ [...]
Largely because of this tortured rights landscape, iTunes initially debuted in only three countries. But the rest of the European Union shouldn’t have to wait much longer: Apple says its plans for an English-only pan-European store are on track for October.”
“Apple Computer Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs offered Nobuyuki Idei, chairman and group CEO of Sony, the chance for Sony to come aboard Apple’s ITunes Music Store service, the Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun newspaper reports in its September 2 edition.
The offer would have allowed for joint operation of the service, the newspaper says.”
The iTunes Music Store today added speeches from day one and day two of the Republic National Convention being held in New York, New York. The free downloads include speeches by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator John McCain, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, First Lady Lauraa Bush, Senator Bill Frist, and George P. Bush, nephew of President George W. Bush.
On July 30th, 2004, Apple did the same for the Democratic National Convention.
Apple today launched the iTunes Affiliate Program, making it the first download music store to offer direct links to a la carte singles and albums that generate paid commissions to affiliate websites. The iTunes Affiliate Program will complement successful iTunes programs including iTunes on Campus, offering free site licenses to colleges and universities, and the iTunes Volume Discount Program, providing bulk song downloads at a discount. The iTunes Music Store is the world’s number one music service with over 125 million songs purchased and downloaded to date.
In the Keynote presentation at Apple Expo Paris, Apple Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller has announced that the iTunes Music Store will be available to all European Union countries in October. Schiller also noted that Apple is the first company to sell 100 million songs online since its debut in April 2003. The iTunes Music Store has also sold 5 million songs in its first eight weeks since being introduced in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, a rate of 625,000 songs per week.
MacMinute reports: “The iTunes Volume Discount Program allows companies and educational institutions to purchase iTunes Music Store download codes in bulk, which can then be distributed and redeemed for free music. There is a minimum purchase requirement of 25,000 song downloads for commercial entities and 10,000 volume song downloads for educational institutions. ... The company revealed that it is able to offer discounts of as much as 20 percent off the standard 99 cent pricing for certain bulk purchase levels.”
So much for Apple’s “10 cents a song” profit margin on iTunes songs. MacMinute also notes that Apple is offering new iTunes encoding and marketing tools to music companies.
“Apple today announced that the iTunes Music Store now has over one million songs available for download in the US, becoming the first and only online digital music service to offer consumers a million song catalog. The iTunes Music Store features music from all five major record labels and over 600 leading independent labels from around the world. With more than 100 million songs downloaded and more than 70 percent market share of legal downloads for singles and albums, the iTunes Music Store is the world’s number one online music service.
‘The iTunes Music Store offers the world’s most extensive collection of downloadable music with over one million tracks available,