Several CES booths had the telltale orange and black HD Radio sign, designating that they were selling at least one device with an HD Radio receiver in it. There was also some buzz over a new feature that lets you flag a song for later purchase on iTunes (this works only on models with an iPod dock). I stopped by iBiquity's booth--they're the developers of HD Radio technology--to get an overview of all the supported devices out there, and it's a pretty impressive list, including home radios from Creative, JBL, and Sony, plus automotive radios from many … Read more
Starting next week, a DVD you buy off the shelf could end up coming with a free or markedly discounted digital copy from the iTunes Media Store. The Unofficial Apple Weblog got the scoop from a reader who got an early delivery of the upcoming Family Guy DVD, which comes bundled with a digital download that can be transferred to your iTunes library. When a copy of the digital file to iTunes was attempted, the user got an error message noting that the process requires version 7.6 of iTunes, which is currently at 7.5.
Like movies purchased on … Read more
As Greg Sandoval pointed out over at News.com, Apple may be close to winning over even more movie studios to make iTunes rentals a reality. And while I'll be the first to admit that this is a major victory for Apple, considering the possibility of its service being relegated to irrelevance in the video space, how big of a victory is it for Steve Jobs?
As one BusinessWeek column points out, Steve Jobs was only able to win the studios over by increasing the amount he's willing to pay for films. According to the report, Jobs had once capped the amount he would pay for each movie sold at $14, but has agreed to the $17 fee larger retailers like Wal-Mart are currently paying.
To make matters worse, the music industry has stood up to Jobs for the first time and has offered DRM-free music to Amazon even though Jobs and Company have been asking for such a deal for quite some time.
So what's really going on? Has Steve Jobs -- one of the world's most powerful CEOs -- lost his power? You better believe it.… Read more
Congratulations, Stacie Somers of San Diego County! You're the first jackass of 2008!
Well, OK, technically, since the suit was filed on December 31, you're the last jackass of 2007. But as it's already prompted some very silly analysis that we'll have to deal with this year, we're going to put it on the 2008 books, nnkay?
The tip o' the old antlers on this one goes to a friend of the Macalope's who happens to be a lawyer (and a woodland gnome, incidentally), who forwards it on with the one-word summary "Crazy.&… Read more
ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes wonders, will Apple every fully embrace DRM-free music?
Causing the Macalope to wonder, will this raging headache right between the antlers ever stop?
Musing on the recording industry's current penchant for only selling DRM-free tracks through stores other than Apple's Kingsley-Hughes says:
While I can't see this having an effect on iPod sales, a decline in iTunes sales could ding Apple's profits, which in turn might mean that it has to get with the 21st century and throw away the digital shackles and compete openly.
You really haven't been paying any … Read more
I've always preferred prognostication to nostalgia, so rather than replay the best of 2007, I'll use these late December doldrums to make 10 predictions for the coming year. Some editors will warn you that this kind of list is suicide--it's too easy for everybody to look back a year later and see where you were wrong--but it hasn't hurt Cringely, so here goes. In no particular order.
Apple is reportedly planning to get into the movie rental business and license its digital rights management technology, and it could announce a deal within the next few weeks.
Both the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal are reporting that Twentieth Century Fox Film has signed a deal with Apple to let iTunes users download new movies and keep them for an unspecified (but likely short) period of time.
Both reports say Apple CEO Steve Jobs will make this news part of his Macworld keynote on January 14.
The reports also says that as part of the deal, Fox … Read more
For quite a long time, iTunes has sat atop the music downloading business with nary a competitor to knock it off its pedestal. Because of this, the company has been able to capitalize on the success of its iPod and basically corner the music market.
And while most of us were perfectly fine with that, the music business wasn't. With Warner finding fault in everything Apple does and Universal practically wishing iTunes would explode so it wouldn't need to worry about it anymore, we've run into a situation where the desire for music is there, but record labels are unwilling to provide us with what we want.
And just when things looked like they couldn't get any worse, Amazon stepped in and dropped a bombshell on this industry that we still don't know the full effect of. With the flip of a switch, Amazon offers up 2.9 million DRM-free MP3s and as of today, features songs from four out of the big 5 record labels (Sony has yet to join).
Even better, Amazon's service is slightly cheaper than Apple's, as most songs come in at the $0.89 price point. And in the end, it's not just that Apple loses out or Amazon wins, the real result of Amazon's rise is that iTunes is being pushed into a tenuous situation.
And I'm loving every minute of it.… Read more
I own 3,000 CDs and 4,000 LPs. They take up a lot of space in my apartment, and that's OK with me. They're lined up in metal racks, wood shelving, and stacked up in piles on the floor. But a lot of my friends with just a few hundred CDs are in a big hurry to dump them into their computers and get rid of the discs. I just had lunch yesterday with an audiophile friend who is in the midst of transferring all of his CDs as WAV files to his new HD. As always … Read more
According to the Financial Times, Apple and Fox have reached an agreement to serve up Fox's movies for rental on iTunes. If true, this would mark the first rental deal that Apple has been able to reach with a movie studio. In the past, they have distributed Disney movies online, but only for purchase at a higher price. Rumor has it that Apple has settled on the $2.99 price point for rentals, as opposed to the $9.99 or $14.99 price to own.