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AOL announces iTunes Europe alliance

“AOL announced today it has teamed up with Apple to integrate the popular iTunes Music Store throughout AOL Music channels in the UK, France and Germany, providing AOL Members with instant, one-click registration to the popular online music store in each of the three countries. The iTunes Music Store, which launched in the UK, France and Germany today, offers users the ability to preview, purchase and download music from a catalogue of more than 700,000 songs.”

iTunes UK, France, Germany: 79 pence, 99 cents per song

In London, England this morning, Apple has announced the immediate availability of the iTunes Music Store for Europe, starting with three territories - the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. With the launch of these new European iTunes stores, Apple now claims to be serving sixty percent of the world’s market for music.

As in the United States, a single per-song rate will apply to downloads. Songs will be available for 79 pence (U.K.) or 99 cents (France and Germany), with most albums at 7.99 pounds (U.K.) or 9.99 euros (France and Germany). Local content will be available in each of the European territories, and a full European Union version of the iTunes Music Store will launch in October.

Apple announcements tomorrow 6:00EST/3:00PST

“Apple, the US computer maker, is expected to launch its popular internet music store in Europe tomorrow, in an attempt to build on the company’s considerable success in the US online music market. [...]

One person in the industry said Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, was expected to be on hand to announce Apple’s music store would immediately be available to consumers in the UK, Germany and France. Mr Jobs was also expected to announce plans to eventually roll out the service to other European countries.”

Apple’s press event will take place at approximately 11:00AM local time in London, England (6:00AM Eastern Standard Time and 3:00AM Pacific Standard Time, United States). Additional announcements regarding new iTunes and iPod pricing, availability, and accessories may be included in the presentation. Join iLounge tomorrow morning for full coverage of the event.

Indie labels a no-show for iTunes Europe launch?

“A source from within the UK’s Association of Independent Musicians (AIM) explained: “Talks have been ongoing over the weekend, but I’m hearing they broke down today.” It appears Apple has presented terms to Europe’s independents that are unacceptable to them, and the computer company is not prepared to shift its position.

If this report proves true this will mean Apple will launch its store

Mac/Windows: iTunes 4.6 released

You can use iTunes to create your own personal digital music library and easily organize and listen to your collection of digital music files. You can also create your own custom audio CDs and transfer your music to an Apple iPod portable digital music player. If you are installing iTunes for use with an iPod, after installing iTunes, use the cable that came with your iPod to connect your iPod to your computer.

iTMS tops 85 million downloads

“Apple has had more than 85 million downloads from its popular iTunes music store, which officially only works with its market-leading iPod digital music players. Songs typically cost 99 cents each and users can download them onto as many iPods as they like and on up to five computers.”

How does AirTunes work?

Macworld’s Jason Snell spoke with Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Vice President of Hardware Product Marketing, on how the new AirTunes works. “Essentially, AirTunes is a method of creating remote speakers for a copy of iTunes, and sending data to those remote speakers via a wireless network. That network can be formed by connecting an AirPort Express to another AirPort Express, to an AirPort Extreme Base Station, or even to a non-apple 802.11b or 802.11g access point.”

AirTunes, wireless iTunes music streaming; iTunes 4.6 coming soon

picMacMinute reports that “Apple today introduced AirPort Express, “the world’s first 802.11g mobile base station that can be plugged directly into the wall for wireless Internet connections and USB printing, or thrown into a laptop bag to bring wireless freedom to hotel rooms with broadband connections.” Airport Express also features analog and digital audio outputs that can be connected to a stereo and new AirTunes music networking software that wirelessly streams music to any room in the house. AirPort Express features a single piece ultra-compact design weighing 6.7 ounces, and will be available to Mac and PC users in July for US$129. AirTunes requires the next version of iTunes (iTunes 4.6), which is expected to be available later this week as a free download.”

iTunes Music Store Europe on June 15?

“Apple Europe will present a special music-focused event in London on June 15. The company describes the event thus: “The biggest story in music is about to get even bigger,” and is inviting selected members of the press to the event in London. The show starts at 11am.

Apple is likely to announce the extension of its iTunes Music Store into new territories at the show, putting the company in the frame against chief US rival Napster which launched last month; Sony’s much-criticized Sony Connect service and existing European services such as OD2 or London’s innovative Wippit music service.”

iTunes subscription service needed for Apple to stay on top?

“What should Apple do to stay on top? Plenty. For starters, it needs to embrace the new ways consumers want to buy music. While the iTunes store offers 99 cents downloads, Apple has yet to provide a subscription service for folks who want to listen to whatever they want for a monthly fee. To stare down a raft of new music players, Apple needs to broaden its product line. It should consider forming partnerships to add iPod technology to cell phones and other futuristic devices. And it needs to address nagging quality problems, such as scratchy-sounding headphones and disappointing battery life. While most buyers love their iPods, Apple has to hit a higher standard to keep its market share, premium prices, and good buzz it has with buyers.”

David Crosby says iTunes is “brilliant”

PBS’ Frontline interviewed David Crosby, a music legend known for his solo performances as well as his work with the Byrds, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. In it Crosby mentions how iTunes looks “really, really, really promising.”

Why did that work? Because it was simple, and it was already existing hardware. And anybody could have done it, but Steve Jobs put it together. It works like a charm. You upload it; they download it. They pay you a buck or two. It’s that simple.

You getting some hits from that? You bet. And I’m going to get a lot more. No packaging cost, no promotion, no lairs of distributors, each taking 20 percent off as it goes by. No returns, no free goods, nada! [laughter] No costs! That’s a good business model that works, and it’s working for them. They’re a brilliant company, and that’s a brilliant idea. And if I were in a position to invest in the stock market, which I wouldn’t be, it certainly would be Apple, because that’s the one that works.”

iTunes Music Store UK launching mid-June?

“Apple could be ready to launch its iTunes Music Store (ITMS) in Europe by the middle of June, sources said to be familiar with the company’s plans have claimed.

They reckon that the Mac maker may now have secured licences from the major labels and others it needs in order to open ITMS to UK and other European buyers.

Separately, we’ve heard the date 4 July bandied about, though since the date is far more relevant to the US than it is to Europe, it seems an odd choice, if correct.”

W Hotels launch ‘iTunes Days’ promo

MacMinute reports that “W Hotels is launching a new promotion dubbed “iTunes Days” starting next month. The monthly events—scheduled for June, July and August in Chicago, New York and San Francisco—will feature live DJs spinning music from iPods, free iTunes Music Store downloads, “AppleiTini” drink specials, and iPod/iMac giveaways. W Hotels has also put together a number of compilations on the iTMS that aim to ‘take you on a journey of mind and body, heart and soul… the perfect complement to every mood, emotion, and experience.’”

iTunes for Windows SDK released

Arstechnica reports that “Apple has released another iTunes Windows SDK (Software Development Kit). This particular SDK exposes some iTunes functionality through the Windows Component Object Model (COM) interface and will allow developers to write code to control certain functions of iTunes.”

“This SDK provides header files, documentation, and sample JScript files demonstrating how to use the iTunes for Windows COM interface. COM is the Microsoft technology, similar to AppleScript on Mac OS, that allows programmatic control of iTunes from languages like JScript, Visual Basic, C#, and C++. This SDK requires iTunes for Windows version 4.5 or later.”

How to play your iTunes music on other devices

“So you’ve got an iPod, you go and buy music but then your machines dies, or have many many computers and devices you listen to music on, or maybe sometimes you use an operating system not supported by iTunes, how can you listen to your purchased music? Well, usually you can’t- why? Because the songs you purchased are DRM protected, that means you can only listen to them on specific computers and devices. For most folks the limits of a few computers or devices are fine, but for the gadget geek- nope, we have too many computers and devices. It would be like buying a DVD but only being able to watch it in some rooms, or only some TVs.

Now to be clear, this isn’t a way to take music you bought and give it to someone else, this is so you can listen to your own purchased music on other systems or devices. In fact, your personal info is still in the file.”

Chinese PC maker to preinstall iTunes

“Apple Computer has announced that Founder, a major supplier of personal computers to the Chinese market, will preinstall the Windows version of Apple’s iTunes digital music software on all of its PCs beginning in June.

With iTunes installed, users of Founder PCs will be able to copy music from their own audio CDs, create playlists, share music on LANs using Rendezvous, and listen to music on the iPod, Apple’s popular digital music player.”

iTunes wins Webby Awards

iTunes has won two out of the three nominated categories in this year’s Webby Awards for best ‘Commerce’ and ‘Music’ website. It lost to Google in the ‘Services’ category. Apple was also awarded for best ‘Music’ website as the People’s choice winner.

Apple plans to add rare and out-of-print songs to iTMS

“ITunes, the leader of the digital music services pack, has a catalog of over 700,000 songs—but that’s not nearly enough for Apple. To maintain its lead, the company is on a hunt to find exclusive music, everything from out-of-print singles in music company vaults to songs that have never been pressed onto a CD and even recordings from the estates of deceased artists. [...]

And if anyone can get the labels to open the vaults, Jobs can, analysts said.

‘What Jobs is saying is, ‘We’d be happy to take all this content that is rotting away in warehouses and turn it into a new revenue source for you,’ said Barry Ritholtz, a market strategist with Maxim Group, a money-management firm. ‘It’s probably a bit much to say Jobs is saving the music industry, but he’s showing them the way into the digital age. They have been stumbling around drunk in the dark.’”

iTunes interface patent awarded to Apple

“Apple Computer has won a patent for the interface of its iTunes music software, underscoring the growing importance of the multimedia business for the company.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Apple a patent for its media player software interface on May 4, along with several other features of the company’s high-profile products. Other parts of the iTunes software, including the ability to stream songs over a network to another copy of the program, had been the subject of earlier patents.”

PlayFair is back, again

“The PlayFair free software project is back online, with both the maintainer of the project and the hosting service willing to face a legal challenge from Apple.

Apple last month shut down the free software project, which enables advanced audio coding (AAC) files downloaded from Apple iTunes to be played on platforms that Apple does not support. It does that by stripping the

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