Two months ago, when I imagined a world without DRM, I had no reason to believe that such a world would be upon us quite so quickly. But today, with the announcement that EMI would be bringing its catalog to iTunes free of soul-sucking DRM, it seems that that future may be just around the corner. While this is great news for anybody who likes music, there’s still a ways to go before that DRM-free world is a reality.
Don’t kid yourself: as exciting as it is that high-quality, DRM-free tracks will be available at the iTunes Store in May, all this really does is level the playing field between iTunes and brick-and-mortar retailers.
Apple and EMI announced today that the music label will begin selling all of its music through the iTunes Store, DRM-free. During a press conference in London this morning, EMI said that all of its unprotected tracks will be available from the iTunes Store for $1.29 and that customers will be able to upgrade their already-purchased EMI tracks for 30¢ if they so choose.
EMI and Apple said that the bit rate of EMI's tracks will be bumped up as well.
EMI said that the iTunes Store will be the first to carry its higher-quality, unprotected music. The company will also be selling unprotected music videos through iTunes with no change in price, and plans to continue selling full upgraded albums at the existing wholesale prices.
One side effect: other music labels may now feel pressure to join EMI in dropping DRM through iTunes. There is no doubt that the rest of the Big Four will be watching this move very closely.
Several iLoungers note that Apple has cut prices on its fifth-generation iPod models in the UK. Apple has lowered the price of the 30GB iPod to £179 (from £189) and dropped the price of the 80GB iPod to £239 (from £259). UK iPod nano and iPod shuffle pricing remains the same. The US Apple Store does not currently show any iPod price cuts—fifth-generation models are still priced at $249 for the 30GB version and $349 for the 80GB version.
Likely the most common complaint I’ve heard about the Apple TV in its thus-far-short life is that the included hard drive is too small. With movies from the iTunes Store weighing in at around 1.5GB, and hour-long TV shows around 500MB, the Apple TV’s 40GB hard drive—which gives you only 33GB or so of actual storage space—fills up quickly, especially if you also want to store music and photos on it.
As it turns out, and as I mentioned earlier this week in my Hacking Apple TV article, upgrading the Apple TV’s hard drive isn’t all that difficult.
The first person on the Earth, becoming user iPhone, became the well-known singer - Madonna. Steve Jobs has presented to her the first iPhone!
(Shawn's Comment:Ummm...not quite...take a look at the pictures...that's just a regular iPod....)
With a share price around $93 as of late Thursday, Apple has a current year price-to-earnings ratio of 28. By contrast, the average P/E of technology shares in the S&P 500 Index was 20 at the beginning of March. The latest leg up in Apple shares came after Wall Street analysts began goosing their fiscal year earnings estimates to reflect what Apple might earn from the iPhone.
The fact that analysts were raising estimates BEFORE Apple announced the product was a red flag to one fund manager, who sold off his Apple stake after holding the shares for about a year.
"That told us things were getting a little bit crazy," said Connor Browne, co-manager of the Thornburg Value Fund which had assets of $3.4 billion as of December. It's worth noting that Browne is by no means bearish on Apple, which he thinks will continue to see strong growth in sales of both iPods and Macintosh computers.
Still, when Wall Street analysts begin building in assumptions for a product that doesn't have a shipping date, as the iPhone didn't until two months ago, "you can assume that most of the optimism is already built into the stock price," said Browne.
Using an iPod while driving will significantly affect a driver’s performance, according to a recent study by Drexel University professor Dario Salvucci. The Drexel study was conducted on a group of 12 iPod users in a fixed-base driving simulator. While “driving,” participants played three types of media—music, podcasts or videos. The study found that selecting a song or video on an iPod while driving “significantly affected driver performance as measured by vehicle deviation from a lane’s center veering left or right.” The study also found that selecting media affected the driver’s speed (they slowed down) and watching videos significantly affected car-following speed.
(Shawn's Comment: Umm....DUH!!! They had to *study* this? It wasn't simply blindingly self evident!?)
Griffin Technology has announced it’s shipping the redesigned PowerBlock Travel and the PowerDuo Travel, two kits used to juice up the iPod.
The $34.99 PowerBlock Travel is a USB adapter that’s compatible with iPods, iPod minis, iPod nanos and iPod shuffles. It features a modular power connector and a series of plugs that work with international AC outlets — included are three-pin “type g” plugs used in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore; two-pin adapter for use throughout continental Europe; angled two-pint Australia/New Zealand-style connector; and twin flat-blade adapter as is used in the United States and Japan. The kit also includes a Griffin dock connector cable to plug in your dock connector-equipped iPod. It handles all voltages from 110 to 240V AC.
Office 2008 for Mac has gingerly stepped out of the alpha phase of its development as Microsoft works towards a late 2007 release of its overhauled Macintosh suite.
"We're in private betas right now" confirmed Sheridan Jones, Lead Marketing Manager for Microsoft's Mac Business Unit (MacBU), during an exclusive interview with APC magazine.
Some of the most impressive touches are Mac-only treats like Word's Publishing Layout View with its DTP-style page layout capabilities. Images can be dragged out of iPhoto and placed directly onto the page with automatic text run-around, while excess copy on any page is automatically spilled into a linked text box that can be drawn elsewhere on that page or on the next page.
Ever since Steve Jobs' keynote at the Macworld Expo in January, we've known that the iPhone is being released sometime in June. But we haven't known exactly when.
Now Cingular is confirming that the release date will be June 11. A customer service manager at Cingular (we called 800-947-5096 and were transferred to sales) gave us that date late Thursday, but, alas, said he didn't have any additional information beyond that.
That date is no coincidence. It's the first day of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, scheduled to be held in San Francisco from June 11 through June 15.
(Shawn's Comment: While the date makes sense, why would one lone customer service rep at Cingular know the release date before anyone else?)
I thought it would help to have some thermal images of the Apple TV in use and at rest. To give a frame of reference, I placed the Apple TV next to my MacBook Pro and a LaCie "mini" external hard drive. I kept my hand in each of the photos for another point of reference - body heat.
I was surprised to see such a vast difference in heat signature between the Apple TV and the MacBook Pro. I didn't expect the results to be quite as dramatic as they were.
As wide as the range of video sources and formats is outside of what the Apple TV supports, there is also a range of tools for capturing, converting, and adding that video to the iTunes library in a format that can be viewed on the Apple TV.
The following sections describe the top five video tools that every Apple TV owner should know about.
Did you know that if you've purchased one or more songs from an eligible album, you may now be able to buy the rest of the album at a reduced price? You have up to six months after downloading a song from an eligible album to purchase the remainder of the album.
On last night's show, I talked about how to add a sparkle to any image. There's brush that lies deep within both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements that's just perfect for this particular task. Hope you enjoy the tutorial!
Also, learn how I recently repaired my disk and permissions to fix an extremely annoying external hard drive unmounting (dismounting?) issue.
Sly and I are off to San Francisco tomorrow morning, so don't forget to check my travel blog for updates in the next few days. Enjoy!
Streamed Audio Only Archive - http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/QT/YML070328s.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:
The hype over the unreleased iPhone has actually increased over the past month despite the fact that nobody has seen or used the device.
(Shawn's Comment: Amazing. First sentence and he's already dead wrong)
Should Microsoft fear Apple's Macintosh? Maybe not quaking-in-your-boots scared, mind you, but Redmond should certainly be concerned.
I'll tell you why. Apple has gotten smarter about how it competes with Microsoft. Clearly the underdog, Apple has to make moves that can be seen as both supportive of the Windows marketplace and good for its Mac customers at the same time.
The switch to Intel was just such a chess move.
When Apple first previewed what was then called iTV back in September 2006 and later unveiled Apple TV at January’s Macworld Expo, there were oohs and aahs—and also complaints. The most commonly-heard gripe: the device’s “limited” functionality.
But then something happened: People started receiving their Apple TVs, and some of those people—including myself—started taking them apart. In fact, within days of the first Apple TV being delivered, new sites sprung up focused on hacking the set-top box. It turns out the Apple TV isn’t so “limited” after all—at least not when it comes to the hardware inside.
Alien Skin Software on Wednesday introduced the Eye Candy Effects Collection — a $399 package containing full retail versions of five of Alien Skin Software’s previously-released plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop.
The collection includes Eye Candy 5: Impact, Nature and Textures, which include general purpose filters, natural effects and texture effects, Xenofex 2, intended for Web designers, graphic artists, photographers and others, and SnapArt, a natural media filter kit that creates real-world art styles like oil paint, pencil sketch, pen and ink and more. A total of 54 special effects filters are included, with more than 1,000 one-click settings, according to the developer.
iPod unit sales for the month of February fell slightly versus the month of January, though the downtick was felt industry wide.
“While iPod units fell slightly month over month in February, this downtick was in line with the overall MP3 player market,” Piper Jaffary analyst Gene Munster said today. “iPod market share was unchanged from January to February at approximately 70%.” Based on the decline, figured from NPD sales data, Munster now expects iPod unit sales of 10 million to 11 million for the March quarter. “After the first month of March quarter data (January), we had been pointing to a range of 11m-12m units,” Munster said. “Data for the month of February, however, fell slightly from January, for both Apple and the market overall, which is inconsistent with what we have seen in previous years from January to February.”
Bryan Leonard asked and SmileOnMyMac.com came through!
Of course, we cannot be outdone by our good friends at RadTech, so here you go:
I've set up a 20% discount off all SmileOnMyMac software. The discount will expire April 12, 2007. (As noted on the web page, it doesn't apply to upgrades, Productivity Suite, Family Packs and Template Packs.)
Since then the company has produced bar mitzvahs, school plays, and many different kinds of concerts. Tucker has taught at his local Apple Store and will do so again!
Not that the Got Milk ad campaign needs any extra publicity, but I thought this was a very cool interactive site “board game”.
To Begin the game, roll the dice by clicking and holding on the dice.
From the site:
"Your Mission is to help the milk-deprvied Adachi Family navigate/survive all 5 regions of the Board, break into Fort Fridge and get the glass. Be careful! For Fridge Security is hot on your tail. If they catch up, they’re more than happy to ship you and the Adachi’s off to Milkatraz. Three trips to Milkatraz and your game is over, as is the quest for the glass. "
My suggestion, definitely pay attention to the instructions, especially for the challenges. (Better for those with high speed internet.)
Hope you enjoy!
The non-profit Washington Research Foundation sued Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Samsung Electronics Co. and Nokia Oyj over Bluetooth in Seattle federal court in December. Apple, Dell and Sony were added as defendants March 15, along with Logitech International SA, Motorola Inc., Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, Toshiba Corp. and Plantronics Inc., court papers show.
The suit threatens the ability of the computer and device makers to deliver wireless capabilities to customers.
The companies are accused of infringing four patents covering technology that lets users exchange data among mobile phones, personal computers and other devices without using cables.
The Seattle-based foundation, which has generated more than $150 million for the University of Washington, is asking for money damages and a court order barring the sale of products that use the patented technology.