Amazon and Apple end Audible exclusivity deal to avoid antitrust probe by German government

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 19, 2017

Quietly announced two weeks ago following discussions with both the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office, Apple and Amazon have decided to end their deal which made Amazon-owned Audible an exclusive provider of audiobooks for iTunes.

According to a Reuters report Thursday, the move puts an end to antitrust complaints by the German government and is likely to boost competition.

The agreement had been in place for over a decade, since 2003. Read More

 

How to add music to your iPhone without iTunes using WALTR

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 18, 2017

Transferring music files to your iOS hardware is not for the faint-hearted, let alone for novice users, but I suppose you don’t need me to tell you that. Because third-party apps are not permitted to save songs to the music library on your device, the process officially sanctioned by Apple requires syncing your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with the bloated mess that is desktop iTunes.

Thankfully, specialized apps such as Softorino’s excellent WALTR 2 (free trial available – or $39.95) let you simply drag and drop media files on WALTR’s drop zone and rest assured they’ll be transcoded into iOS-friendly formats and saved into appropriate apps. In this brief tutorial, we’ll lay out the process of adding music to iPhone without iTunes, using the WALTR app. Read More

 

Apple’s new TV app doesn’t like ripped DVDs, here are some workarounds

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 17, 2017

Apple’s new TV app on iOS 10.2 struggles to play videos that have been ripped from DVDs and other sources and loaded into iTunes for Mac. It’s unclear whether this is a simple bug, but that didn’t stop people from flocking to Apple’s Support Communities forum to express their disdain for the app.

The TV app has replaced the old and mostly useless Videos app.

Thankfully, dedicated apps let you easily play non-iOS-friendly media on iPhone, like FireCore‘s versatile Infuse video player. Handbrake for Mac, which recently exited beta after 13 years, packs in a comprehensive set of tools for easy video conversion with handy presets for turning ripped DVDs into an iPhone-compatible format. Read More

 

How to convert music tracks to Audiobook in iTunes

By Steffen Reich on Jan 12, 2017

Venturing into the depths of iTunes is no longer an activity for the faint-hearted, as Apple’s gold mine is famously becoming more convoluted with every update. It is by no means impossible to keep up with the changes, but staying on top of every small cosmetic shift does pose a decent challenge today.

As somebody very fond of the spoken word on iTunes, I can attest that this general rule holds true for audiobooks as well. So as I was fiddling around with some old school CDs the other day and trying to move audio files within my iTunes library to the Audiobooks tab, I noticed my old methods were already outdated again. If you’re not up to speed on iTunes (12.5.4), here’s a refresher on how to get your talking book to properly identify as Audiobooks inside the application, followed by an encore for CD enthusiasts with regard to joining tracks during import.

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Here are 5 top-grossing holiday movies of all time on U.S. iTunes Store

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 22, 2016

Apple on Thursday released a list of the top five best-selling holiday movies of all time on iTunes Store in the United States. Elf, originally released in 2003 and starring Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf, is the all-time best-selling holiday movie on iTunes Store.

In addition to the list of the top five holiday movies on iTunes Store, the Cupertino company yesterday launched limited-time movie bundles at discounted prices, a bunch of 99-cent rentals and films under $10. Read More

 

iTunes 12.5.4 is out with support for TV app, Touch Bar-enabled scrubber & more

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 13, 2016

In addition to releasing macOS 10.12.2 Sierra today, a second major update to the Mac operating system following the initial Sierra release in October, Apple also released iTunes 12.5.4 today. The new version of iTunes includes minor app and performance improvements, as well as official support for Apple’s new “TV” app and the ability to jump to different parts of your media during playback using a Touch Bar-compatible scrubber. Read More

 

How to convert any barcode into a pass for your Wallet with Pass2U Wallet

By Steffen Reich on Dec 8, 2016

Based on the continuous growth of Wallet for ticketing services and Apple Pay, Apple’s bid to render cards and printouts a memory of the past has come a long way. Wallet makes handling and storing any type of ticket considerably simpler, which is why it is easy to get irritated today when presented with no other delivery option but an old-school paper pass. Thankfully Apple and other retailers are increasingly swinging towards the digital platform, but there are still countless cases where you just cannot add a ticket or voucher to your Wallet – even though it would make life so much easier.

Pass2U Wallet, a free app for iOS, taps into that need and conveniently bridges the gap. Just like Wallet itself it offers to scan hard copy barcodes in order to convert them to Wallet passes, however contrary to Apple’s Wallet it will practically work with any piece of paper imaginable. As such, Pass2U Wallet complements and enriches the stock Wallet app nicely, making sure you will be able to add anything you like to your iPhone’s Wallet. Find out more about the app in our review below. Read More

 

Apple wants to offer rentals for movies that just came out in theaters

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 7, 2016

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is in discussions with Hollywood studios about eventually offering home rentals for new movies two weeks after they’ve hit the silver screen, but at a price.

New flicks are usually available for purchase on the iTunes Store 90 days after theatrical releases, followed by rentals two to four weeks later.

Movie studios are now said to be discussing rentals two weeks after they open in theaters though encryption is among the concerns in these talks, the article notes. Read More

 

Apple announces December 23-27 iTunes Connect holiday shutdown

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 29, 2016

Apple on Tuesday announced that its annual holiday shutdown of iTunes Connect will be taking place between December 23 and December 27, 2016. iTunes Connect is a service developers and iTunes partners use to submit their apps and other content to Apple’s content stores. In other words, no new apps or app updates shall surface on the App Store and Mac App Store between December 23-27. Read More

 

iTunes carrier billing now available to customers in Norway and Belgium

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 29, 2016

Following a recent introduction of iTunes carrier billing in Japan, Taiwan and Switzerland, this useful feature is now available to customers in Norway and Belgium, as first noted by MacRumors on Tuesday.

With carrier billing, customers can buy media on the iTunes Store, subscribe to Apple Music and purchase apps on the App Store without a credit or debit card because purchases are added to a customer’s mobile phone bill from their carrier. Read More

 

“Siri, what do my pets do when I’m not home?”

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 29, 2016

It seems Apple has partnered with Universal Pictures to promote “The Secret Life of Pets” by updating Siri’s backend with a bunch of responses related to the animated movie. The company’s official iTunes USA Facebook page promotes Siri partnership with a nicely done teaser video.

We also spotted a dedicated “Siri, what do my pets do when I’m not home?” banner which briefly appeared in the iTunes Movies app on the Apple TV. Read More

 

Tip: delete Apple Music cache in iTunes to reclaim storage space on your Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 24, 2016

iOS 10 provides a handy feature allowing users to limit the amount of storage space used for keeping songs downloaded on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. On the Mac, things are a little more complicated because iTunes lacks a dedicated interface for adjusting the size of its cache.

As explained in this tutorial, you only need to delete a pair of special folders on your Mac to free up quite a bit of storage space lost to caches that accumulate as you stream tunes with Apple Music. Read More

 

Home Sharing not working? Try this

By Anthony Bouchard on Nov 21, 2016

Home Sharing is a useful feature you can use to stream your iTunes content from your computer’s iTunes library to up to five other computers, Apple TVs, and iOS devices in your household.

While it’s a useful feature, that’s not to say it works all the time. Small glitches or problems with your devices can cause the feature to not work properly, and we’ll be talking about common fixes for Home Sharing problems on your Apple TV and other Apple devices in this piece. Read More

 

How to convert CAF files to MP3 or AAC

By Anthony Bouchard on Nov 14, 2016

From time to time, you might come across an audio file format known as .caf (Core Audio Format), which was originally created by Apple to put an end to file size barriers set by other audio file types.

Unfortunately, not every audio player or device works with .caf files, so it might do you good to know how to convert them to another audio file type using the software that comes with your Mac. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to convert .caf files to more commonly-used audio files such as AAC or MP3 with Garageband. Read More

 

Apple releases iTunes 12.5.3 with stability and performance improvements

By Cody Lee on Oct 31, 2016

Apple on Monday evening released a new version of iTunes, bringing the desktop media software to version 12.5.3. As you can see in the screenshot above, the update features stability and performance improvements and specifically fixes for known album playback and lyric issues. Read More

 

Apple releases iOS 10.1.1 with bug fixes for Health data

By Anthony Bouchard on Oct 31, 2016

Apple on Monday released iOS 10.1.1, a minor update for all iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads with bug fixes. Read More

 

How to deauthorize a computer that uses your iTunes account

By Anthony Bouchard on Oct 12, 2016

All the media that you buy through Apple’s digital content stores can only be accessed on iOS devices, Macs, and PCs that are authorized to use your iTunes account.

You might buy or sell computers or mobile devices from time to time, so it’s a good idea to deauthorize the computers and devices you’re not using anymore before you hand them off. Read More

 

Apple to unify its separate cloud services teams to improve Siri, Maps, iTunes, iCloud & more

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 6, 2016

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is reporting today that Apple is in the process of unifying its separate cloud services team in an effort to foster tighter collaboration between them, better compete with Google and Amazon in the cloud space and improve Siri, Maps, iTunes, iCloud and other services.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s boss of Internet Software and Services, will oversee the effort to move cloud service engineering teams to a single campus as Apple continues shifting its cloud to its own infrastructure. Read More

 

Apple launches new ‘Spoken Editions’ content section in iTunes

By Cody Lee on Oct 3, 2016

Apple on Monday launched a new section in iTunes called ‘Spoken Editions.’ The section can be found under Podcasts in iTunes, or in the official Podcasts app, with the tagline “Too busy to read your favorite websites? Just listen! These audio versions give you tons of great narrated stories.”
Read More

 

Apple to start offering ‘Spoken Editions’ of news articles via iTunes

By Cody Lee on Sep 23, 2016

You’ll soon be able to listen to news articles in iTunes, reports TechCrunch. The outlet says that in the near future, you’ll be able to browse through a new category of podcasts that will allow you to listen to news stories from your favorite publishers.

These new podcasts will be labeled “Spoken Edition” in iTunes, and the format will be short-form programs that offer listeners an audio version of a publisher’s articles. So you could essentially listen to the news while commuting or working out. Read More

 
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