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Entries in itunes (6)

Thursday
Jan062011

Mac App Store Launches

Earlier last month, on December 16th, Apple announced that the Mac App Store would launch today, January 6th, with this press release:

CUPERTINO, California—December 16, 2010—Apple® today announced that the Mac® App Storeā„  will open for business on Thursday, January 6. By bringing the revolutionary App Store experience to Mac OS® X, the Mac App Store makes discovering, installing and updating Mac apps easier than ever. The Mac App Store will be available in 90 countries at launch and will feature paid and free apps in categories like Education, Games, Graphics & Design, Lifestyle, Productivity and Utilities.

“The App Store revolutionized mobile apps,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We hope to do the same for PC apps with the Mac App Store by making finding and buying PC apps easy and fun. We can’t wait to get started on January 6.”

The Mac App Store lets you browse new and noteworthy apps, find out what’s hot, view staff favorites, search categories and read customer ratings and reviews. Like on iPhone®, iPod touch® and iPad™, you can purchase, download and install apps in just one click and start using them immediately. Purchased apps can run on all of your personal Macs and updates are delivered directly through the Mac App Store so it’s easy to keep all of your apps up to date. The Mac App Store is available to Mac OS X Snow Leopard® users as a free download through Software Update.

 

I’m looking forward to seeing which developers decided to make their apps available through the Mac App Store. I’m also curious to see which free Mac apps will be on the store, and whether or not they will be truly useful/helpful at all. I’m certain that there will be a bunch. Hopefully they will be more than just fart apps, ill thought-out widgets, and 40 versions of Chess. I’m also curious how many, or even if any, of the really big developers chose to include their software on the Mac App Store.

It should also be illuminating to see how developers handled the restriction of not being able to make demos, or shareware versions of their software available. I’m quite certain that some of them probably worked out ways to bend that rule as far as possible, such as making more versions of the software with single and dual use cases, instead of a one size fits all solution, without actually breaking it. At least for now anyway. For the sake of opening the store with a healthy number of apps that they can brag about immediatiely, Apple likely allowed entry to some apps that push the boundaries on this rule, and will begin tightening the approval screws later as the store matures and grows.

Once we see the implementation for the store, perhaps it will set the ground work for and enlighten us as to what Apple might announce either later this month or next month about version 2 of the iPad. I’m not convinced that Apple will have some big new hardware category to announce at the keynote this year. Instead, I think we will just new iterations of the iPad (hopefully with more RAM!), and perhaps iWork ‘11 (note, Apple pushed software updates yesterday for versions of iWork ‘09 and later, and they pushed an iLife update the day before. Not sure what this means, other than perhaps some prepartory work in advance of the new Mac App Store. These optimization tweaks might also mean that iWork and iLife will not be part of any announcements later this month.)

If they do pushed a new iWork ‘11, I imagine that this iteration will set forth to prepare us, and help us understand the vision of the iOS integration that is to come in Mac OSX Lion. These features will probably show how you can increase productivity between your Mac, and the various iOS devices family. This will likely be explained with the iWork improvements as well as a tease about the next iOS updates that will likely go to the developers in March as they have the past few years.

We also might hear about new content partnerships in either television, film, music, or books. If I had to put my money on which new content deals to expect to hear about I would put my money on books, newspapers, and magazines, but who knows? There seems to have been a bit more foot dragging by the content providers than usual, in this area as of late. If there is a new iBooks content announcement, expect a feature or two to be announced for the iBooks app.

The iPad hardware improvements will likely include more RAM and a rear camera. I’m not certain that they will bring Facetime to the iPad just yet. If they do, it would likely mean a complete reworking of the industrial design of the hardware. I cannot imagine adding the camera to the current iteration without either being forced to make it thicker (and heavier, which will piss off some wussies who already whine about the current pitifully small 1lb weight), or longer, which will annoy another batch of people. Both of these options don’t seem like the sort of design decisions that Jony Ive and Steve Jobs have been embracing as of late.

I don’t see them introducing a smaller 7” model this time around. I also don’t see them expanding the storage size. With the introduction of the Macbook Air 11” and 13” inch machines, it is increasingly unlikely that Apple will allow the iPad storage capacity to compete directly with the more expensive Macbook Air machines. I do think it is possible that they will continue keeping the separate WiFi and Wifi + 3G price points, but they will likely drop the prices a bit on the 64GB, and 32GB sizes, while eliminating the 16GB device altogether. The benefit of removing the 16GB is that it would allow them to stay ahead of the competition by making more powerful machines available at the current prices. I think that Apple would love to brag that their entry Wi-Fi model that costs $499, is now 32GB in storage capacity.

I would not be surprised if the “one more thing…” announcement at this year’s keynote will be the release of iPhone on other carriers. If not this year, then it will definitely happen next year, unless something unusually dramatic occurs that prevents either Apple or the carriers from wanting the iPhone. Unfortunately this has been an expectation for some many years that the world’s reception might be more tepid than expected, as the announcement of The Beatles on iTunes was received.

iPhone 5 announcements will most likely be reserved for their usual spot in the Spring or Summer of this year.  With the iPhone 4 out for such a short time, I don’t expect to hear anything official about the next phone until June or July. Probably at the Worldwide Develpers Conference (WWDC), as they have in previous years.

 

Monday
Nov152010

Apple.com Promotes Big iTunes Announcement for Tuesday, November 16th

If you visit Apple.com today, you’ll see this:

 

It is unclear whether the announcement will be about the extension of the iTunes previews of songs on the Store from 30 seconds to 90 seconds for songs that are longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds in duration, or if it might be related to placing the entire iTunes store on the web, outside of an installed stand alone application. For this to work, they would presumablybe  taking advantage of the new North Carolina data center that was recently constructed. The theory is that this cloud service allow you to sync your iTunes library with the cloud and have access to all of your content, wherever you are with your iOS device.

Whatever it is, this seems like odd as an announcements g, for a number of reasons. One, Apple usually reserves iTunes announcements  for scheduled conferences that they have for the iPods in the Fall, the January announcement of new products, the March exhibition and explanation of new iOS features, and the June unveiling of new Mac OSX features and iPhone hardware unveiling. So,  it appears that this is something that Apple feels cannot wait until January, which tends to suggest that this will likely be something more than just the announcement of the iBookstore being available directly in the iTunes Store, instead of through iOS devices like the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch only. No, this seems to have a heavier import behind it. And Two, they just released an iTunes update this past Friday, so it seems weird that they wouldn’t have announced something this big around the time they were pushing the iTunes 10.1 update.

The biggest thing they could announce that would be worthy of such promotion by Apple would be revealing a subscription model that would allow all owners of iPods, iPads, and iPhone to stream as much music to their device as they would like for an inexpensive monthly fee. This all-you-can-eat model is arguably the only thing that has differentiated iTunes from its competitors. On iTunes, you owned your content, located on your hard drive. That paradigm may be waning.

Darrel Etherington of The Apple Blog at GigaOm seems to think that this may have something to do with the Facebook contacts integration with Ping that Apple wanted to announce this past September, but couldn’t get worked out without “onerous privacy problems” after 18 months of negotiation with Facebook.

Others seem to think that the use of the clocks in the image above, looks strikingly similar to the cover of The Beatles album, Help!, perhaps suggesting that finally The Beatles will make their entrie catalog available on iTunes. While it seems that this would not be a big enough unveiling to require this much promotion, by occupying the entire splash page of Apple.com, it would be perfectly timed, as Yoko Ono has been promoting the remastered release of John Lennon’s entire back catalog in celebration of what would have been his 70th birthday, and in mourning of the 30th anniversary of his death.

Whatever it is we will know by 7 a.m. tomorrow Cupertino time, 10 a.m. New York time, midnight in Tokyo, and 3 p.m. in London.

 

****update****

The Beatles are now on iTunes! Seriously, that was the huge announcement?

Welcome aboard Fab Four.

Now you can be the Walrus as well.

 

Friday
Sep242010

NBC and Warner Bros. say no to iTunes rentals at 99 cents...morons.

NBC and Warner Bros. both declined Apple’s $.99 rental price plan for viewing TV shows, according to The Unofficial Apple Weblog.

Warner Bros., the studio that shares responsibility for the distribution of the spy show, Chuck, is making a huge mistake here. NBC has Chuck competing with House and How I Met Your Mother on the Monday night schedule. It is a great show, but totally in a wrong time slot. Warner Brothers doesn’t seem to understand that they need to allow their audience to view their content, in every way they can, and stop making it difficult for people to watch, because much of that audience is also a huge fan of House, and they are certainly not going to skip it, in favor of the new Chuck episodes. You need to allow that audience to give you money in ways that don’t include watching the broadcast version.

Speaking of which, broadcast television blows. Too many pop up ads, and other crap makes just about any show nearly unwatchable over the transmission waves. Shows like Chuck, Lost, Leverage, Lie to Me, etc., only work really well when networks stop obscuring the bottom third of the frame with nonsense that covers up valuable, and fun story development. If I had my way, I’d get all of my television from iTunes or Netflix, simply because I can avoid all of the disrespectful crap that the networks invade the shows with.

But I digress back to Warner Bros. Not only are they in disagreement about TV rentals with Apple, but they haven’t even bothered to make Chuck episodes from the 4th season available for purchase from the iTunes store. With the fourth season only green lit for 13 episodes and the back nine dependent on ratings, NBC is practically guaranteeing that it will not have to okay the production of the final 9 episodes. It almost seems as if NBC and Warner Bros. are actively working together to kill the show, rather than help it be successful! I’m also curious where they think the rental price should be? You can no longer purchase shows in just standard definition for $1.99 anymore. Do they want that as the new rental price for HD versions? I think that is a bit high, particularly in a recession such as this one.

I could watch them on the Hulu website, but I don’t always want to sit in front of my computer while watching a TV show. I checked Hulu+, the iOS App that works on iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch, and discovered that Chuck is not available there, so I cannot simply enjoy them from the comfort of my couch or bed, while watching them on my device. And with the recession, I am so damn busy I cannot afford Tivo, nor can I free up my schedule to watch all the shows I’d like when they are originally broadcast. 

NBC needs to stop $%&*ing with the users of Apple products and get with the program. It is probably behavior like this that is keeping them perpetually last in the ratings. I applaud them for continuing to make original content instead of going entirely to reality show crap-a-vision, but they don’t seem to know what to do with hit(cult) shows when they have them.

This means that this fall it looks like we have to watch shows from ABC and Fox, if we want to rent instead of purchase. Definitely sucks balls.

 

 

 

Thursday
Sep022010

Apple TV Revamp, New Nano Touch, and Ping!

 

 

Apple unveiled their new iPod lineup, a very different Apple TV, the Ping social network, and a new iTunes yesterday. Learn everything you need to know about what happened yesterday here.

 

Monday
Aug102009

The Case Against The Case Against Apple

Over here I refute the claims of Jason Calacanis’ recent arguments about Apple.

Tuesday
Sep092008

Apple getting ready to Rock this morning.

Apple unveils their Holiday iPod lineup this morning @ 10 AM PST. This reported spy image is what the rumor sites have indicated will the be the new form factor for the 4 generation iPod Nano.

Soon we will find out if Kevin Rose was right about his iTunes 8.0 prediction. We will also learn if  AppleInsider was correct with their prediction involving a new form factor for the iPod Classic, as well a new form factor for the iPod Shuffles (as well as three new colors).

If you want to follow the event live, EnGadget will be covering it in realtime here.