Sign of the times: Apple stops reporting iPod sales

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

The original iPod music player debuted on October 23, 2001, about eight and a half months after iTunes for OS X was released. The inaugural model was the size of a standard deck of cards, measuring 2.4 inches wide, four inches tall and 0.78 inches thick.

The music player had a tiny hard drive with only five gigabytes of storage, a monochromatic LCD screen, a mechanical click wheel interface for going through your music and a price tag of $399.

It took some time, but the iPod and the iTunes Music Store eventually went on to change the entire music industry and rebrand Apple as a music company. And now, after thirteen years, 400 million units sold and $65 billion in cumulative revenue, the iPod has quietly disappeared from Apple’s public reports. Read More

 

SoundCloud for iPad finally gets its facelift, but drops the audio recording feature

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

SoundCloud, an online audio distribution platform hailing from Berlin, Germany, has finally refreshed its user interface on iPads, following a major revamp on the iPhone and iPod touch side last summer.

And just like the iPhone revamp, the more visual iPad experience with an emphasis on album art in the new SoundCloud 3.7.1 comes with a major disappointment as the audio recording feature has now been killed. Read More

 

Spotify arriving to PlayStation as Sony axes its ill-fated Music Unlimited service

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2015

Sony has finally pulled the plug on its unsuccessful music-streaming service, Music Unlimited.

Destined to be shut down on March 29, 2015, it’ll be succeeded by a new Sony service called PlayStation Music and based entirely on the Spotify service and its backend.

From the get-go, the new service will have full access to over 30 million songs and 1.5 billion playlists on Spotify.

PlayStation Music will be debuting this Spring in 41 markets and be available on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles, as well as on the Xperia smartphones and tablets. Support for other mobile and desktop devices will be added at a later stage. Read More

 

TodayRemote is a widget with iTunes playback controls

By Lory Gil on Jan 28, 2015

With Apple’s Remote app, you can access your computer’s iTunes playback controls so you don’t have to get off the couch to switch songs. But, unlocking your iPhone, opening the app, and selecting your device is still just way too much work.

TodayRemote lets you control playback of iTunes right from the Lock screen of your iPhone. You’ll never have to work for your music again. Read More

 

Pandora’s iOS revamp launches with Thumb History, new mini player and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 26, 2015

The iPhone edition of Pandora Radio, a music streaming service with more than 75 million listeners each month, has just received a visual makeover. The company previewed it almost two months ago, though the iPad edition hasn’t been refreshed today.

Version 5.7 of Pandora Radio sports a cleaned-up appearance with fancy new transitions and animations. In addition to the facelift, the iPhone app also includes enhanced station personalization capabilities, improved artist discovery, greater use of thumbing and much more. Read More

 

Spotify introduces Touch Preview for songs, albums, artists and playlists

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2015

The leading music-streaming startup Spotify on Thursday announced a better way to preview music using new gestures in its iOS app. Dubbed Touch Preview, the feature allows music lovers to get a sneak peek of any playlist, song, album or artist by holding down their finger to start the music playing instantly.

“It means less time looking for the perfect music, and more time actually listening to it,” wrote the company. Read More

 

Apple acquires British media analytics company Semetric ahead of Beats Music relaunch

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 21, 2015

According to The Guardian newspaper Wednesday, Apple has acquired British media analytics firm Semetric ahead of Beats Music relaunch.

Semetric’s Musicmetric analytics tool, launched in 2008, is used by record labels to track digital sales, streams and social networking statistics for artists.

It even tracks BitTorrent downloads. The service could become part of Beats Music streaming service relaunch later this year, speculates the report. Read More

 

Looks like Apple stopped running ‘Single of the Week’ free song promo on iTunes

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2015

We’re nearly halfway into the first month of 2015 and yet no free songs have appeared on iTunes, leading Business Insider to wonder whether Apple has killed off the promotion for good.

Conceived as a promotional vehicle to drive sales of music downloads and expose music lovers to new songs, Apple’s “Single of the Week” promoting launched a decade ago, back in 2004 (three years after the launch of the iTunes Store).

The promotion has been running ever since, giving out free music every week on iTunes up until the start of 2015. Read More

 

These tiny wireless earbuds pack an MP3 player, a versatile fitness tracker and much more

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 12, 2015

Ever since the iPod’s heyday a decade ago, I was been wondering whether Apple in its pursue of miniaturization might eventually come around engineering an iPod shuffle of sorts that would be entirely embedded inside the firm’s In-Ear Headphones.

But as Apple hit the brake on iPod innovation amid rise of the iPhone, my dreams have remained mere wishful thinking — up until now. A German company called Bragi has created a tiny earbuds that contain an embedded MP3 player, a comprehensive fitness tracker and a host of other features. Read More

 

Apple puts into effect 14-day return policy on digital purchases in Europe

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 29, 2014

Apple typically handles refunds of digital purchases on a case-by-case basis and with an “All Sales Final” provision. But now, Apple’s reportedly switched to a 14-day return policy for movies, TV shows, music, books and apps in most European markets, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and France, German blog iFun.de [Google Translate] reported Monday.

Apple’s updated policy in these countries states that customers can now cancel their digital purchase within fourteen days from when they received their receipt “without giving any reason,” with the exception of iTunes Match, Season Pass, Multi-Pass and iTunes Gift Cards and Allowances that can’t be refunded once you have redeemed the code or activated the service. Read More

 

Apple not running free 12 Days of Christmas promotion this year

By Jake Smith on Dec 28, 2014

For the last six years Apple has been running its “12 Days of Christmas” promotion in the UK, and did so last year in both the UK and US “12 Days of Gifts”. It joyed customers by giving away iOS apps, music, films and books over the twelve days following Christmas Day. However as noticed first by MacWorld, it appears Apple is discontinuing its holiday tradition in 2014/2015.

We’re now three days out of Christmas, and any type of promotion can’t be found. MacWorld reports from a reliable source that we’re definitely not seeing the “12 Days of Christmas” app this year. Read More

 

Apple’s Beats Music reportedly wants to fuel engagement with exclusive album releases

By Jake Smith on Dec 28, 2014

Apple’s Beats Music, with Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre at the helm, is looking to form partnerships with artists for exclusive releases, mirroring success iTunes has had in the past, reports New York Post.

Specific artists haven’t been named, however Beats Music has strong partnerships with artists already, from its promotion and endorsements of Beats headphones. Nicki Minaj frequently stars with Beats products in her music videos. Will.i.am, Pharrell, Kanye West and Gwen Stefani are said to be friends of Iovine and Beats lovers. Read More

 

Apple promoting music, movies, TV shows and books via new iTunes blog on Tumblr

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 22, 2014

As first noted by 9to5Mac, Apple has expanded its social presence with a brand new blog dedicated to iTunes content and hosted on Yahoo-owned Tumblr platform.

Now available at the itunes.tumblr.com URL, the blog highlights a curated selection of movies, television shows, music and books carried on the iTunes Store.

A special emphasis is given to Apple’s Best of 2014 charts that were published on iTunes last week. If memory serves me well, this is Apple’s second official blog on Tumblr following odd iPhone 5c web adds and Tumblr presence which was supposed to resonate with the blog platform’s younger audience. Read More

 

The best Music apps of 2014

By Lory Gil on Dec 21, 2014

Music is my specialty. If I’m not playing it, I’m listening to it. Admittedly, I’m a bigger fan of analog than digital, but there are times when playing music on my iPhone or iPad is just more convenient. In those cases, a good music player, or a great streaming service is important.

The writing team at iDB put their heads together to come up with a list of the best music apps to come out in 2014. We then fought each other in a mud pit to be the one who gets to decide the best. Below is the resulting winner and runner-ups for best music app in 2014. We’ve also included the music app we think is the all-time best. Read More

 

Algoriddim launches djay Pro for Mac with 4-deck support, Spotify integration and more

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

German developer Algoriddim on Thursday completed its suite of apps for DJs by releasing djay Pro for Mac. Building on djay 2 for the iPhone and iPad, the Pro edition brings 4-deck support and the full power of Algoriddim’s low-latency mixing engine.

The app has some rather advanced features such as Spotify and iTunes integration, support for professional DJ hardware, high-definition waveforms, audio effects, meta data and FX purchases from iOS versions of djay and much more.

Jump past the fold for the full overview of djay Pro for Mac. Read More

 

Apple did not harm consumers with iTunes’ FairPlay digital rights management, ruling finds

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 16, 2014

Apple’s proprietary digital rights management software, FairPlay, that prevented users from loading songs from rival music stores on early iPods, did not harm consumers nor did it violate the United States antitrust laws, an eight-person jury has determined.

As reported by The Verge, the jurors have sided with Apple in a decade-long suit and have not found Apple guilty of exploiting FairPlay DRM as a lock-in preventing rival music stores from syncing with iPods. Though the iPhone maker is off the hook now, an appeal will be filed with a higher court. Read More

 

Spotify gains iPhone 6 support, adds new ‘Top Tracks in Your Network’ playlist

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 11, 2014

Better late than never: Spotify, the popular music-streaming service hailing from Sweden, today at last gave its iOS clientproper support for the new iPhone screen resolutions so it no longer runs scaled on your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

More importantly, version 2.2 has added the “Top Tracks in Your Network” playlist which shows the most played songs among the people you follow.

Top Tracks in Your Network rolling out as we speak to all users and can be found under the new Top Tracks button in the Browse section of the Spotify app. Read More

 

Major Shazam update adds Counts feature, in-app player, deeper Spotify integration and more

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 10, 2014

The popular music-identification service Shazam on Wednesday issued a major update to its iOS client adding richer Spotify integration letting you listen to Spotify songs without leaving Shazam and automatically add Shazamed tracks to a specific playlist, an in-app player allowing you to quickly listen to the Shazam charts, a new Shazam Counts feature which displays how many Shazams each track has and more. Read More

 

Apple posts iTunes Best of 2014 charts

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 8, 2014

Like in years past, Apple ahead of the holidays published its list of the best and most popular apps, movies, TV shows, music and books available on iTunes. In the category of the top paid iPhone app, Heads Up! came in first. Facebook’s Messenger is Apple’s top free iPhone app and Clash of Clans emerged as the top grossing iPhone app, respectively. On the iPad side, Minecraft, YouTube and Clash of Clans have been rated as the App Store’s top paid, free and grossing apps, respectively.

Without further ado, here’s the rest of Apple’s most popular apps and media in 2014. Read More

 

Snarky comments revealed by Steve Jobs’ testimony in iPod class-action lawsuit

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 3, 2014

A decade-old class-action lawsuit over the iPod and Apple’s practice of locking the media player to its iTunes ecosystem is kicking off this week and with it comes a videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs, recorded in 2011 shortly before he died.

It’s full of snarky comments and as if that wasn’t enough, attorneys have unearthed emails between Apple executives and other evidence casting light on the company’s inner workings at the time.

The suit revolves around the iPod, iTunes and FairPlay, Apple’s digital-rights management (DRM) system for copy-protection of music sold through the iTunes Store. FairPlay was dropped in 2007 following the ‘Thoughts on Music’ open letter by Steve. Read More

 
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