The Apple Core: iTunes 7 and iPod 1.2 update confound users

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Date: Friday, September 22nd, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

sad-ipod.jpgWhen Steve Jobs announced iTunes 7 I couldn’t reload the download page fast enough. I was anxious to try out the first whole number upgrade to Apple’s venerable jukebox application in almost a year. In the 10 or so days that I’ve been using the new iTunes I’ve had little or no problems with it. Unfortunately others haven’t been so lucky.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Free iTunes Giveaway at Austin City Limits

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Date: Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 09:07
Category: iTunes

acl-itunes-promo.jpgI 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.)

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Apple’s Artwork Olive Branch is a Treasure Trove of Data

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Date: Tuesday, September 19th, 2006, 08:00
Category: iTunes

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)

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Hacking iPod Games: How Apple’s DRM Works

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Date: Saturday, September 16th, 2006, 00:08
Category: Opinion

RoughlyDrafted takes a look at some iTunes 7 quirks and the hack potential of the new iPod games, including a detail of what’s inside a game, and why iTunes is where all the of Apple’s DRM action is and how it works. Plus a review of some of the games Apple has released. Read More…
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RDM

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The Apple Core: Best iTunes 7 feature: gapless playback

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Date: Wednesday, September 13th, 2006, 09:23
Category: iTunes

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.

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Apple to offer Disney-only movies?

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Date: Thursday, September 7th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

Variety magazine is reporting that Amazon.com is preparing to enter the movie download market this week with a new service. The interesting part is that it claims that Apple’s service will only offer movies from Disney (at least initially)…
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Coming to an iPod near you: streaming and subscriptions

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Date: Monday, August 28th, 2006, 08:05
Category: The Apple Core

Apple hasn’t released an updated iPod since October 2005 and anticipation is building as the market waits for the next development from the industry leader in portable music players. A WiFi-equipped iPod would be able to stream music from Internet radio stations and even purchase and download songs Over The Air (OTA) from the iTunes Music Store.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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