Skype has released Skype for Mac 2.6, the latest version of its communication software for Mac users. In addition to improved quality, stability and more features, the company has done something entirely new: for the first time, Mac users will be able to enjoy a new Skype feature before it's available to Windows users. Skype has introduced a new call-transfer feature that is exclusive to the Mac platform. Users can now select "More > Call Transfer" to transfer an ongoing call to another Skype user on their contact list.
Amazon has announced that it will launch a DRM-free digital music store later this year. The store will offer “millions of songs,” from more than 12,000 record labels, all in DRM-free MP3 format. The store will include EMI Music’s catalog. Further details such as launch date and pricing were not available.
(Shawn's Comment: No launch date? No pricing? So...there's not much news here other than "We're going to do what Apple's been doing...")
Apple has begun airing yet another new iPod+iTunes television commercial. Like previous ads, the new 30-second spot continues the company’s silhouetted dancers theme. The new ad features the song “Mi Swing Es Tropical” by Nickodemus & Quantic featuring Tempo.
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Every Mac fan is probably familiar with the large yellow sticky that replaces the actual store during these announcements. Some like it and some hate it—I have a friend who has a Photoshop-customized version that reads “We’ll be back someday,” and that becomes his iChat icon during the rollouts. Personally though, I like it, and think it’s a good thing that Apple’s store works this way. So why do I think a closed store is a good thing?
From CNET UK
In what is claimed to be the biggest music promotion in Europe's history, Coca-Cola has teamed up with iTunes to give away two billion music downloads to lucky European Coke drinkers. The promotion will run between May and August of this year and with Coke covering the vast cost of the downloads, Apple is set to see its total sales through iTunes rocket beyond the stratosphere.
(If you're getting last week's show when you tune in live, you click on Quicktime Preferences in your Quicktime Menu, then click on browser and then click on Empty Download Cache (or uncheck the "Save Movies" in disk cache")
No video this evening but you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
You can also join one of the two Chat Rooms that run during the live show - on the World Without Borders site or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.netmug.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.
Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.
Heaven - Lesa going to the Heaven and Hell concert (Machine Head, Black Sabbath and MegaDeth)
Hell - Peter Cohen bailing as Lesa's date, forcing me to go to the concert......
Somehow...someway...I'm going to pay Cohen back for this.....
From the Discovery Channel
This Friday, The Science Channel debuts "It’s All Geek to Me," a new 6 week series that brings Pogue's expertise on the world of technology to television.
As your photography skills and gear advance, you may start running into iPhoto’s limitations. Perhaps you need more image-adjustment tools or want a better way to manage and back up pictures. If iPhoto is feeling cramped, consider switching to Apple’s $299 Aperture 1.5.2 (). Many of its features are similar to iPhoto’s, but it gives you greater control over image quality, photo management, and more. Ready to switch? Here are some strategies.
Nullriver Software has released Connect360 v3.0, an update to its communication software that enables Mac users to share media with their Microsoft Xbox 360 video game consoles. A free update for registered users, Connect360 v3.0 costs $20 to register.
Connect360 enables you to play back music and view digital photos on your Xbox 360. It will automatically index your iTunes and iPhoto libraries and share them on the Xbox 360; you then use the Xbox 360 Dashboard to browse and play your Mac-based media.
Online video sites that sell shows and movies such as Apple's iTunes will likely peak this year as more programming is made available on free outlets supported by advertising, according to a study released on Monday.
Sales of movies and television shows are expected to almost triple to $279 million in 2007 from an estimated $98 million last year. But unless the average consumer begins paying for their online video en masse, growth in sales will likely peter out next year, according to Forrester Research.
"In the video space, iTunes is just a temporary flash while consumers wait for better ways to get video. They're already coming," said Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey, the author of the study, who also called the paid download video market a "dead end."
Apple has updated its consumer MacBook computers adding faster processors, 1GB RAM and larger hard drives in all models.
The new MacBooks come in three models — a white 2.0GHz and 2.16GHz, and a black 2.16 GHz model. All of the MacBooks include a built-in iSight video camera and the latest generation of 802.11n wireless networking. The notebooks also come with iLife ‘06 and Mac OS X 10.4.9 Tiger.
The MacBook, which turns one year old tomorrow, has seen a significant speed boost since its introduction. The new models run between 24 percent and 37 percent faster than the original models. As Benjamin points out a lot of that performance boost has to do with the move to Intel Core 2 Duo chips.
Should the iPhone be opened to third-party software? We’ve heard the arguments against it: Apple wants to guarantee a universally excellent iPhone user experience, and protect its partners’ data networks. Since it can’t fully control how third-party applications will look and perform on iPhone, the company has suggested that the right strategy is to lock them out - just as it did, largely, on the iPod.
This could have been a dead issue. Apple CEO Steve Jobs in January apparently foreclosed the possibility of third-party application development. But in comments several days ago, he opened the door a crack, noting that the company was “wrestling with” whether to permit non-Apple programs to join the ones we’ve seen already for iPhone.
Apple today announced that Paul McCartney’s new album, “Memory Almost Full,” is available for pre-order beginning today exclusively on the iTunes Store. Those who pre-order the former Beatle’s 13-track album will receive the “Dance Tonight” music video when the album is delivered as well as the single “Ever Present Past”, immediately upon pre-ordering the new album. Apple also announced that McCartney’s full catalog of 25 solo albums will be available for the first time digitally on iTunes later this month.
From I'm a Fish
After Apple recently announced a delay to OS X 10.5 Leopard I had to delay my iMac upgrade until the Autumn. This led me to thinking about how to speed up Tiger to get the most out of my ageing G5.
Breaking Down 52 Ways to Speed Up Your Mac
It looks like I may have to make debunking Mac speed tips a regular feature. I already criticized a list of 11 things, finding a large portion that were really not helping. With a list of 52, I’m going to be doing a lot of typing. Follow me down the extended section for the smackdown.
From the Apple Blog
With Apple rumors getting spread further around than ever (and regular coverage from national news media), it’s important to remember that many (most?) tend to be either completely untrue or so premature they never come true. So here’s a look back at 10 of the worst offenders.
In this excerpt from my ebook Take Control of Your iPod: Beyond the Music, I provide detailed instructions for setting up an iPod as a portable disk drive with your Mac.
The basic point of our Apple TV Superguide: in its pages you’ll find step-by-step instructions for hooking Apple TV up to your entertainment center, connecting to a home network, and getting content from your computer to the Apple TV’s hard drive. The book will also give you a detailed tour of the Apple TV’s menus, not only highlighting the most important features, but also pointing out hidden settings.
From the Seattle Times
Despite signs that Apple may land a historic deal with The Beatles to make the band's entire catalog of music available on its iTunes store, analysts say such a move would be a "nonevent" in terms of the company's profits.
If you use iPhoto and have considered using Aperture, this online seminar will answer many of your questions about migrating from iPhoto or using both applications together for your photography work.
Apple's annual shareholder meeting was short on news, but long on drama with several investors grilling the Apple directors who did show up with questions about the stock options backdating scandal. Apple's entire directors' slate was re-elected, as expected. None of the shareholder resolutions passed, as expected.
The fireworks and interesting nuggets came during the shareholder question-and-answer session.
Paul McCartney's new album, "Memory Almost Full," will be his first solo release available for download and streaming on PCs and mobile phones. As previously reported, the set is due June 5 via Starbucks' new Hear Music label. In addition, McCartney tells Billboard in an exclusive interview to be published tomorrow (May 11) that a deal to finally make the Beatles catalog available for sale online is "virtually settled."
From Jupiter Research
The one price fits all strategy proved an astute move for driving adoption of iTMS, by simplifying the consumer proposition. However it has now served its purpose and both Apple and the labels would benefit from a more flexible approach to pricing. Bringing a consumer electronics pricing mentality to selling music only works so far. Not all music is worth the same. Just as Apple wouldn’t want to be forced to sell a generation one iPod for the same price as a video iPod, the music industry doesn’t want to sell 70’s album tracks for the same price as a top 20 single.
iPods can cause cardiac implantable pacemakers to malfunction by interfering with the electromagnetic equipment monitoring the heart, according to a study presented by a 17-year-old high school student to a meeting of heart specialists on Thursday.
The study tested the effect of the portable music devices on 100 patients, whose mean age was 77, outfitted with pacemakers. Electrical interference was detected half of the time when the iPod was held just 2 inches from the patient's chest for 5 to 10 seconds.
In some cases, the iPods caused interference when held 18 inches from the chest. Interfering with the telemetry equipment caused the device to misread the heart's pacing and in one case caused the pacemaker to stop functioning altogether.
(Shawn's Comment: As an aside, if you had a pacemaker, would your participate in this study!?)
Streamed Audio Only Archive - http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/QT/YML070509s.mov (Open QuickTime, type Command-U and type in the address)
Streamed Video Archive - THERE WAS NO VIDEO OF THIS WEEK'S SHOW
Our guests on Wednesday's show were:
As Apple Inc. convenes its annual shareholders' meeting Thursday, a brewing scandal over the backdating of stock options could mar what otherwise should be a celebration of the best year ever for the maker of PCs and consumer electronic devices.