DVD Jon has a new target in his sights, and it’s a big piece of fruit.
He has reverse-engineered Apple’s Fairplay and is starting to license
it to companies who want their media to play on Apple’s devices.
Instead of breaking the DRM (something he’s already done), Jon has
replicated it, and wants to license the technology to companies that
want their content (music, movies, whatever) to play on Apple devices.
This may not be good news for iTunes the store, but it could make the
iPod even more popular.
Normally, an iTunes update wouldn’t be much news. But this one has lots of mentions of a “mobile phone” that can play video and display pictures. As far as we know, the ROKR and RAZR V3i can’t do that.
Here’s a taste of the strings:
“4301.022″ = ” ^0 was not copied because the video format is not supported by the mobile phone ^1 .”; “4301.043″ = “Are you sure you want to manually manage music and videos on your mobile phone? You will need to manually eject your mobile phone before it can be disconnected safely.”; “4301.045″ = “Are you sure you do not want to manually manage music and videos on your mobile phone? All existing content on the mobile phone ^1 will be replaced with content from your iTunes library.”;
The iTunes Monoploy/Failure Myth debunked the idea that Apple has a stranglehold on the digital media market by demonstrating how Apple contends in a competitive market for both music players and digital downloads. The other half of the myth–that the iTunes Store is being “shunned” by users–is taken apart by showing that not only is Apple’s online strategy a success, but that there are clear reasons why Apple has maintained its lead while rivals have failed miserably: Why iTunes Works
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RDM
One of my favorite new products on the iTunes Store (in addition to the games, of course) is the NFL’s Follow Your Team subscription. Being a huge fan of the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles I was excited to sign up for the service which went online on Monday.
It works like this, a subscription (or Season Pass) to Follow Your Team costs US$24.99 or US$1.99 per episode. The day after your team’s game you receive an email notification to download an 8-12 minute video with highlights of the game. It was perfect for me to catch the highlights of the Eagles game that I missed while I was at ACL this weekend. Too bad the ‘birds lost in OT and Kearse got a season-ending injury. I’m actually glad that I missed the game.
In addition to individual team highlights iTunes also sells a Season Pass to the NFL Network’s NFL GameDay for US$19.99 or US$1.99 per episode. NFL GameDay is hosted by Rich Eisen with Steve Mariucci and Deion Sanders. The all-inclusive Sunday night wrap-up show offers the most comprehensive NFL coverage on television, with highlights from every NFL game plus post-game reaction and expert analysis. New episodes are supposed to be available each Sunday night at 11:30pm ET, but week 2′s GameDay didn’t arrive until midnight eastern time last night (Tuesday). Perhaps it was delayed to include the Monday night game?
NFL GameDay is 90 minutes on the tube, but only 70 minutes on iTunes thanks to the lack of commercials. If you’re into football and can’t always be planted in front of the plasma screen all weekend. Check it out!
I mentioned in a post yesterday that I attended my first Austin City Limits over the past weekend (Matisyahu, Tragically Hip and The Flaming Lips were my favorites). Anyway, on the way into Zilker Park people were handing out lanyards with laminants that included a redemption code for “30 free iTunes” on the back.
I thought that this was really cool until I realized that the code wasn’t redeemable for any 30 iTunes, it was for “a special collection of songs from this year’s artists.” Ok, no such a a bad deal, I thought. Once I got home, I fired up iTunes 7, clicked on the Store, then Redeem (hint: it’s a text link on the right). Here is the list of free iTunes that the redemption code gave me…
(Click through for the list and a free redemption code to the first reader.)
This just hit me. Allowing customers to download album artwork for their whole library, regardless of where the music came from, is brilliant, instant market research by Apple.
Apple’s been careful this time to tell the user that iTunes will have to send data to get the album art back, and to say that no personal data is sent, and that’s good. But nobody ever said they’re not keeping the statistical info, and it’s an insanely smart move.
How should the iTMS team know what they’re missing in their catalog, what their customers want but aren’t getting from iTMS? That’s hard to know, because customers are reluctant to take the time to share that sort of thing. But when iTunes goes to iTMS to get album art, it has to send info (artist, album, track…) and I’ll bet that they know whether or not the track was purchased from iTMS.
Apple, in turn, gets a massive database of missed hits. And good hits, too. They can instantly find what tracks and artists people want and aren’t able to get via iTMS. They can learn what percentage of tracks they do have didn’t come from iTMS. If they’re smart they’re analyzing much more from what they are getting, and all of it for free, instantly, without causing any customer to do anything (actually while giving them a gift), and all without running afoul of anyone’s privacy concerns.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens. If I’m right, those holes that iTMS left in your album art because it didn’t have the art will miraculously start filling in across the coming months.
And frankly, everyone wins. Insanely brilliant.
(Contributed by: Steve Abrahamson)
I’ve seen several rants about iTunes 7 floating around the web, but no one ever seems to ever talk about what I consider to be an essential feature that’s continually been missing from the iTunes application. And one, I might add, that’s trivial to add.
What is it? Simple. There’s no way to make the movie/TV/video playback window “float” on top of all of the other windows.
This, in my mind, dramatically reduces the usefulness of those types of media, as it’s extremely difficult to watch a TV show or movie AND engage in other work at the same time. This is especially true if you’re on a smaller screen system like a MacBook, or when working with full-screen applications like Excel or Dreamweaver.
C’mon Apple it’s not that hard. Provide an option to float the window.
For an example of how to do it right, check out Trans Lucy, a DVD player that allows you to float the window, and that even gives you the ability to make it translucent so you can “see though” to your other applications.
Make it a right-click or preference option if you don’t want to clutter up the interface, but let us watch our movies and get something useful done at the same time.
Contributed by: Michael Long
(You can open iTunes videos in their own window, just double-click on the video window in the lower-left corner of the iTunes window. However, there’s no way to change the opacity of the player window – Ed.)
Being a DJ I’ve been complaining about one of my biggest grievances in iTunes for a while: the silent gap that iTunes (and the iPod) insert between songs. For a lot of people this “gap” isn’t a big deal because the music they listen to was intended to have a second or two of silence between tracks. The problem is with music that was intended to play from one song into another without gaps like DJ mixes, live performances, operatic rock ‘n roll, jam bands and classical.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.