Confessions of a big iTunes spender

By Christian Zibreg on May 26, 2016

I have a confession to make…

It’s become painfully obvious to me, glancing at my purchase history, that I’ve reached a point in my computing life where I’m now a big iTunes spender. To my astonishment, in the past year or so I’ve been burning money on apps, media and services at a clip of a hundred bucks each month. That’s actually a conservative estimate. Realistically, my iTunes spending is somewhere in the ballpark of $150-$200 per month.

To look at it another way, that’s $1,200-$2,400 in annualized services revenue for Apple from this particular customer, excluding my hardware purchases. When this much cash is getting sucked out of my pocket by Apple, I can’t help but admit the company must be doing something right when it comes to digital media and services.

I realize $100 per month is a lot of money to burn on digital entertainment. I’m not going to preach on issues of morality here nor will I suggest that everyone should spend that much, or spend anything at all in the iTunes and App Stores.

What I’m getting at is this: despite dropping significant cash on apps, media and services, I’ve never felt buyer’s remorse. Why? Because I’m getting value for my money and, after all, Apple is just a middleman. To put it bluntly, I’d rather spend my hard earned cash to support those who create content for a living than blatantly steal their hard work.

Here’s what a $100 spent in Apple’s content stores buys me, why I don’t think I’m being ripped off and how the sense of satisfaction I get in return makes it all worthwhile for me. Read More

 

Top 3D Touch shortcuts and gestures available for the App Store and iTunes Store apps

By Christian Zibreg on May 8, 2016

The App Store and iTunes Store storefronts are 3D Touch-enabled on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, with each supporting some pretty smartly chosen Home screen shortcuts that’ll save you a few taps once you get the hang of them.

On the other hand, previewing your apps and media via force-pressing isn’t as developed as in other stock apps, such as Messages and Maps. But don’t you worry—iDownloadBlog comes to the rescue!

This quick tutorial clearly demonstrates where on the App Store and iTunes Store common 3D Touch shortcuts and Peek and Pop gestures do and don’t work. Read More

 

iTunes Movies and iBooks Store go offline in China without explanation

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 15, 2016

As of this morning, customers in China are unable to access Apple’s content stores for digital movies and books, the iTunes Store for Movies and the iBooks Store, as both services went offline last evening without explanation. These stores are now inaccessible in China on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices, as well as on computers with iTunes.

No reason was give for the downtime and Apple had not commented on the move at post time, but AppleInsider has learned that it has something to do with the government’s pending investigation into Apple’s business practices. Read More

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits iTunes as HD download ahead of physical release next Tuesday

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 1, 2016

Apple has been accepting pre-orders for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the iTunes Store for a few weeks now.

Today, April 1 (not a joke), the movie released on the iTunes Store. The $19.99 high-definition download includes iTunes Extras like deleted scenes and interviews with the cast and filmmakers.

The movie is not yet available for renting. The SD version will follow on April 5 for $14.99, when Star Wars: The Force Awakens is scheduled to launch at physical retailers. Read More

 

Apple enables redownloads of audiobooks, iOS 9.3 to add audiobooks to Automatic Downloads

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 10, 2016

Thanks to the iTunes in the Cloud feature, Apple customers have long been able to re-download apps, movies, TV shows, music, music videos, books, ring tones and tones purchased on the iTunes Store, but not audiobooks. As per Apple’s newly updated support document, customers in 22 countries total can now re-download any audiobook.

This feature is available in iBooks on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iOS 8.4 or later, or in iTunes on a Mac or Windows PC. In addition, previously downloaded audiobooks, free or paid, are now listed in your Purchased history in iBooks and iTunes. Read More

 

Apple recruits cable TV PR veteran for Apple TV and iTunes content marketing role

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 22, 2016

Bernadette Simpao, previously working at AMC and Viacom in public relations capacity, is joining Apple to handle the company’s PR efforts for content and apps related to the new Apple TV, as well as TV shows, movies, apps, books and podcasts that Apple carries on the iTunes Store’s virtual shelves.

According to Variety, Simpao spent ten years at Viacom in various communication roles, including Senior Director of Communications for Viacom International Media Networks, before joining AMC. Read More

 

Multiple iCloud services experiencing downtime, App Store/iTunes purchases affected

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 4, 2016

Apple on Thursday morning reported a number of issues with various iCloud services. According to the iCloud Status webpage, these problems are preventing many users around the world from making purchases in Apple’s app and content stores.

In addition, “new and recently changed content may not have updated across devices for iCloud Drive, Backup, iCloud Notes, iWork for iCloud and Photos,” reads a notice on the webpage.

UPDATE: As of 9:10am PT, all of the affected iCloud services had been restored. Read More

 

How to set up carrier billing as payment method for App Store, iTunes Store and iBooks Store

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 2, 2015

In October 2015, Apple began rolling out support for carrier billing on iTunes in select markets, starting with Germany. This feature joins the existing payment methods accepted on the App Store, iTunes Store and iBooks Store and permits customers to have apps and media bought through these content stores charged to their monthly mobile phone bill or deducted from their prepaid amount.

If your carrier supports it, you too can opt-in to pay for your iTunes Store, App Store, and iBooks Store purchases—and your Apple Music membership—through mobile phone billing.

In this tutorial, we’re going to cover setting up mobile phone billing as your payment method in the iTunes Store, App Store or iBooks Store. Read More

 

No, it’s not just you; the iTunes Store is experiencing issues [Updated]

By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 13, 2015

If you’re having problems downloading apps or installing updates from the App Store, you’re not alone. I am not able to download apps or install updates, and another colleague has verified the same. Also, if you check Apple’s system status page, you’ll see where the iTunes Store is experiencing issues.

This issue appears to be affecting iTunes Store, App Store, and Mac App Store purchases and updates. Best advice? Just be patient until Apple gets things resolved. Read More

 

Apple Music, iTunes Movies and iBooks make their long-expected debut in China

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2015

Apple on Wednesday announced that users in China can now enjoy Apple Music, as well as browse and download their entertainment from the iTunes Store and iBooks Store, marking the first time customers in the 1.33 billion people market will have access to Apple’s entertainment ecosystem with music, movies and books right at their fingertips.

“Customers in China love the App Store and have made it our largest market in the world for app downloads,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “One of the top requests has been more great content and we’re thrilled to bring music, movies and books to China, curated by a local team of experts.” Read More

 

Why are iTunes Store music links now redirecting to Apple Music?

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 7, 2015

It appears that Apple has changed the way iTunes Store music links work. Instead of opening the corresponding artist, song or album pages in the iTunes Store application on the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad (or the iTunes Store section within desktop iTunes), these links now redirect to the Apple Music section in the stock Music app or within desktop iTunes, as first reported by Kirk McElhearn. Read More

 

Apple Music, Beats 1 & store services experience downtime during VMA nominee announcements

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 21, 2015

In what’s become a norm for the company these days, another outage has hit a number of cloud-based services as users around the world report issues accessing Apple’s content stores: the App Store, the Mac App Store and the iTunes Store.

We’re also tracking issues with Apple Music and Beats 1.

Indeed, I’m currently struggling to stream my Apple Music songs and Beats 1 radio.

UPDATE 1: Apple has now acknowledged the outage on the iCloud status page. “Users are experiencing a problem with the services listed above,” reads the notice. “We are investigating and will update the status as more information becomes available.”

UPDATE 2: The iCloud dashboard says all services have been restored after three and a half hours of downtime. Read More

 

Apple partners with Red Cross for Nepal earthquake relief donations

By Jake Smith on Apr 26, 2015

Apple has setup a donation page to help aid those affected by the devastating Nepal earthquake that struck the nation on Saturday. Like with past disasters, Apple has partnered with the American Red Cross to handle donations, with 100 percent of the money going to the cause. Read More

 

Apple issues an apology for iTunes/iCloud downtime, blames outage on internal DNS error

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 11, 2015

Chances are you’ve by now realized that Apple’s content stores and other iCloud services are experiencing widespread downtime.

Earlier this morning, Twitter lit up with complaints from users around the world who reported being unable to download apps, music, movies, TV shows and books, as well as buy in-app content, with some even unable to sign in to online service like iCloud Mail.

In an official statement issued to CNBC, Apple’s apologized for inconveniencing customers and said the multi-hour outage is caused by “an internal DNS error” at the firm. As you could imagine, they’re scrambling to produce a fix.

UPDATE: following what became an eleven-hour long outage, the App Store and iTunes services are now back online. Read More

 

App Store, Mac App Store iTunes/iBooks Store and other iCloud services experiencing outage

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 11, 2015

If you’re unable to update your apps or buy books and music on Apple’s content stores, you’re not alone — there’s trouble in iCloud. Apple’s App Store, Mac App Store, iTunes Store and iBooks Store services have been experiencing widespread outage for straight six hours now.

At first, the company’s iCloud Status Page would not acknowledge the downtime. Earlier this morning, the company refreshed the dashboard which now shows the App Store, Mac App Store, iTunes Store and iBooks Store as being unavailable “for all users”.

UPDATE: following what became an eleven-hour long outage, the App Store and iTunes services are now back online. Read More

 

Disney’s Movies Anywhere out for Android, makes cross-platform movies a reality

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 4, 2014

In a somewhat ironic twist of fate, Disney is helping blur the lines between Apple’s and Google’s respective ecosystems with Tuesday’s release of its Movies Anywhere app for Android, now available free of charge in the U.S. Google Play Store. That’s right, the app now lets folks buy and enjoy Disney content on both iOS and Android devices.

The movie-curating app debuted as an iOS exclusive in February 2014 with support for free streaming of any Disney, Pixar and Marvel content previously purchased from Apple’s iTunes Store. Any of the 450 Disney movies you bought using the app would immediately register as purchased inside the iTunes Store.

Now that Disney Movies Anywhere is available for both iOS and Android, not only can you watch your Disney movies across Apple’s and Google’s platforms, but also purchase any Disney, Pixar or Marvel Universe movie on Google Play and have it available on iOS and vice versa. Read More

 

iTunes has the Dark Knight trilogy for $15 and other movie deals

By Cody Lee on Nov 4, 2014

Heads up movie lovers and Batman fans, the iTunes Movie Store is offering a great deal on the popular Dark Knight trilogy. For a limited time, you can get all three movies: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises in HD for just $14.99.

Given that $15 is typically the standalone price tag for each of these movies, the promotion will net you a savings of $30. The three films, which star Christian Bale, come highly recommended too, with all of them rated an 85% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes. Read More

 

iTunes has all 7 Saw movies for $30 and other Halloween deals

By Cody Lee on Oct 30, 2014

With Halloween coming up tomorrow, Apple has discounted a number of horror movies in its iTunes Store down to $9.99. It’s also added Saw: The Complete Collection to its Movie Bundles section, which includes all 7 movies from the popular franchise for just $29.99.

Given that each Saw movie typically sells for $12.99, this deal is a savings of more than $60. But if you’re not a fan of the Jigsaw killer, there are plenty of other notable movies on sale, including genre classics such as Poltergeist, The Shining, and The Blair Witch Project. Read More

 

Apple revamps iTunes Store in iTunes 12 ahead of OS X Yosemite launch

By Cody Lee on Oct 10, 2014

Apple has rolled out a revamped version of its desktop iTunes Store to iTunes 12 today. Folks with access to the developer preview or public beta of OS X Yosemite should see the new storefront with various changes including cleaner, flatter design elements.

As you can see in the image above, Apple has axed the 3D rotating carousel of featured content in favor of a new card-style layout. There’s also no longer a backdrop shadow behind the album art, or in the navigation buttons, and the fonts have been changed. Read More

 

iTunes offering big discounts on TMNT, Stanley Kubrick movie bundles

By Cody Lee on Aug 9, 2014

If you’ve ever listened to one of our weekly podcasts, Let’s Talk iOS or Let’s Talk Jailbreak, you know that I love a good deal, and this morning I’ve got a few of them to share with you involving iTunes movie bundles. For a limited time, you can pick up 3 TMNT movies and 7 Stanley Kubrick films at a deep discount.

The first bundle includes all 3 original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies—the live action ones from the early 90’s—in HD for just $14.99. The second offers up 7 classic films from Stanley Kubrick, one of the greatest and most influential directors of all time, in HD for just $39.99. That’s less than $6 per movie… Read More

 
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