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Posts tagged with "itunes store"

iPad 2 Launch Delayed In Japan, Donations Now Accepted in International iTunes Stores

In the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami that hit last week, Apple won’t launch the iPad 2 in Japan on March 25th. As reported by Reuters the company isn’t providing a rescheduled date for the launch, but it’s very clear that Apple is focusing on helping out people and their staff in Japan rather than planning a product launch.

We are delaying the launch of the iPad 2 in Japan while the country and our teams focus on recovering from the recent disaster,” said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris.

The iPad was originally scheduled for a launch in Japan on March 25th. In the meantime, iPadevice reports Apple has extended donations to the Red Cross through iTunes in various international Stores including the Italian one. Donations in the US iTunes Store were launched last week.


Donate To Red Cross for Japan Through iTunes

As noted by 9to5mac, Apple has enabled an option in the iTunes Store to donate to the American Red Cross for the Japan relief fund. If you want to make your donation to the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan, you can by visiting this page and choosing to donate $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 or $200. Everything happens through the iTunes account you already have – a clever move to make donations easy and just a click away for iTunes users.

100% of your donation will go to the American Red Cross, which is set to provide food, shelter and assistance to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami.


Apple Looking To Improve Sound Quality of iTunes Store Songs?

According to the CNN (via MacRumors), Apple is in talks with music industry executives to improve the sound quality of songs offered in the iTunes Store, bringing them to high-fidelity standards of 24-bit instead of the current 16-bit offerings:

Professional music producers generally capture studio recordings in a 24-bit, high-fidelity audio format. Before the originals, or “masters” in industry parlance, are pressed onto CDs or distributed to digital sellers like Apple’s iTunes, they’re downgraded to 16-bit files.

From there, the audio can be compressed further in order to minimize the time the music will take to download or to allow it to be streamed on-the-fly over the internet.

CNN reports Apple might as well offer these high-quality versions as separate “premium” purchases available as an option next to the existing iTunes Store 16-bit files. The move to 24-bit, however, would bring some issues with compatible hardware – considering that iTunes also works on Windows PCs:

Many models of Mac computers can play 24-bit sound, and the iTunes program is capable of handling such files. But most portable electronics, and many computers, don’t support 24-bit audio.

To make the jump to higher-quality music attractive for Apple, the Cupertino, California, company would have to retool future versions of iPods and iPhones so they can play higher-quality files.

In 2009, Apple made the first steps to increase the quality of iTunes digital downloads by offering “Plus” – a selection of albums and songs encoded at 256 kbps without digital rights management (DRM) protection copy. Regular iTunes downloads used to be encoded at 128 kbps with DRM enabled by default. Shifting to higher quality song downloads also rises some questions on Apple’s rumored streaming service for music and data center in North Carolina: will a section of the data center be dedicated to these rumored 24-bit songs? And if the rumors of “iTunes in the cloud” are to be believed, will Apple allow users to stream 24-bit audio files to their mobile devices?

As far as kbps stats are concerned, Spotify’s current Premium subscription enables users to stream 320 kbps songs from the cloud onto their computers and iPhones, offering an option to decrease quality on slower 3G connections.


Sony Will Stay On iTunes, “Music Unlimited” Service Launching Today

Last week, Sony PlayStation’s Australian group chief Michael Ephraim hinted that Sony might soon remove its music content from the iTunes Store as, according to him, publishers were “held ransom” by Apple’s terms and lead in the digital music industry. The statement, picked by all major Apple-related publications, quickly made the rounds of the Internet as proof that Sony, disappointed by the rejection of their ebook reader application for iOS, was aiming at leaving Apple’s infrastructure altogether to focus on its Music Unlimited service.

Today, Sony Network Entertainment COO Brandon Layden says the company has no intention of leaving iTunes, although, in fact, Music Unlimited is launching today in the US, Australia and New Zealand:

Sony Music as I understand it has no intention of withdrawing from iTunes, they’re one of our biggest partners in the digital domain. I think those words were either taken out of context or the person who spoke them was unclear on the circumstances.

Layden is not directly involved with Sony’s music business but he sure would know if the company (one of the biggest iTunes music publishers) was planning on ditching the iTunes Music Store. Admittedly, Sony would be crazy to remove its catalogue from the iTunes Store – which is still the most successful online distribution service for music and movies. In the meantime, Sony is launching their music streaming platform today (for $10 a month), but it won’t work on iPhones and iPods. And i likely never will, unless Sony will agree on Apple’s 30% cut on subscriptions offered through the App Store.


Warner Bros’ Ingenious Move: Sell Movies As Apps

A day after the release of the updated iOS App Store Review Guidelines, it appears that Warner Bros. has already figured out a better way to avoid the iTunes Movie Store’s country limitations and offer content for all mobile devices and users: they are selling movies as apps. The apps, Inception: App Edition and The Dark Night: App Edition, are actually quite interesting as they pack a lot of extras like interactive video trivia, soundboard, ringtones and art galleries, thus seemingly respecting Apple’s new rule on songs, movies and books sold as applications:

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Apps that are simply a song or movie should be submitted to the iTunes store. Apps that are simply a book should be submitted to the iBookstore.

These are not “simply a movie”. Warner Bros. has built two apps that offer a native interface for iPhone and iPad, they are available for free in the App Store and allow you to stream a movie or download it for $11.99 and $9.99, respectively. The Inception app, for instance, even comes with movie posters,” behind the scenes” content and music by Hans Zimmer that you can stream via AirPlay. No details on resolution / quality, but it appears that everything can be streamed on 3G as well – perhaps the apps adjust quality automatically basing on your connection’s speed.

This is interesting, as Warner Bros. has cleverly implemented in-app purchases and the features offered by building a native app to bypass Apple’s guidelines and, overall, provide a great experience to customers. We would like to see more of these experiments in the future. [Inception, The Dark Knight via 9to5mac]


iTunes Launches Genius Recommendations For iPhone, Hide Your 80s Playlists

The best thing about iTunes mobile would have to be shopping for music on your iPhone or iPod touch: it’s so much easier to browse through all the latest tunes in the mobile store than through iTune’s feature heavy shopping experience. For those who rely or enjoy Apple’s Genius recommendations, it’s officially live on your iPod touch or iPhone: everything you bought on iTunes will help you find new movies to watch, music to listen to, and TV shows to check out. Simply visit the iTunes app on either device to check out the new feature: no download is required to experience the thrill of 80s one hit wonders populating the Genius brain box.

[via TUAW]


iTunes 12 Days of Christmas: Day 3

Thanks to the iTunes 12 Days of Christmas promotion, every day from December 26th to January 6th users will be able to download a “fantastic selection of songs, music videos, apps, books, TV episodes and a film” completely for free on iTunes.

The free app for iPhone and iPad that lets you receive push notifications for daily offers is available here. Today, you can download a free Duran Duran EP called From Mediterranea With Love.

Stay tuned for promotions coming every day until January 6.


How Soon Is Now? The Smiths *Now* On iTunes

Short version: The Smiths are now on iTunes, as reported by TUAW. Long version: no, the popular band from Manchester didn’t get the same kind of attention granted to another English band we’ve heard a certain CEO is a big fan of.

Apple’s promotion aside, yeah – you can check out The Smiths on the iTunes Store here. Seven albums are available, a bunch of music videos and before you ask: The Queen Is Dead, Meat Is Murder and The Smiths are all available for purchase. At least the band got a nice profile page.

Perhaps the Smiths’ arrival on iTunes won’t be regarded as a day we’ll never forget by Apple, but Morrissey and Marr are in there, guys. Morrissey and Marr’s band.

I’m off to download now.