The Apple-EMI accord marks a fundamental change in the digital music landscape, a feat Apple is pulling off with increasing regularity of late. If I were an employee of Microsoft and involved with its confusing digital-music efforts, built around its highly DRM-protected WMA format, I'd be sweating right now.
But one of the truly remarkable aspects of the pact is how Apple is pulling it off.
During its quarterly earnings conference call, Best Buy announced that it will be expanding its pilot program to test Mac sales. The retail giant was initially selling Mac hardware in just 50 of its stores, but later added another 45 stores to test Mac sales late last year. The company said during the call that it expects to sell Macs in roughly 200 stores by the latter half of this year.
Best Buy president Brian Dunn said on the call that "we'll be expanding our relationship with Apple in 2007." This announcement comes just a couple weeks after Best Buy announced that it will be carrying the recently-released Apple TV as well. An expansion of the pilot program likely indicates that Mac sales have gone well in the piloted stores thus far and Best Buy is merely taking baby steps before deciding to do all-out Mac sales in all of its retail locations.
Is uploading as we speak.....Still. :(
The hotel network "timed Out" *AGAIN*!
It's 9AM ET. I'm headed to the show floor to see if I can get it uploaded there. Check back later for the link to the show file.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
Streamed Audio Only Archive - http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/QT/YML070404s.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:
A European Commission probe is looking into allegations that Apple Inc. and the major record labels are violating competition regulations throughout Europe. News of the investigation was released while Apple and EMI were announcing a deal on Monday to sell copy protection-free songs through the iTunes Store, according to Financial Times.
Apple, Universal, Warner, EMI and Sony BMG are supposedly violating European laws by preventing users in one country from purchasing music from the iTunes Store in a different country.
The office of the European Union competition commissioner stated that Apple's practice of limiting iTunes Store sales on a country by country basis "violate the [EU] treaty's rules prohibiting restrictive business practices."
Apple representatives added "We do not believe the company did anything to violate EU law and we will continue to work with the EU to resolve this matter."
RadTech™, makers of digital lifestyle accessories and more, today announces the immediate availability of new accessories for the Apple second-generation iPod shuffle in the company’s Acclaro, ProCable and RetractCable product lines.
Google on Wednesday will release Google Desktop for Mac, marking the first time the search giant will make its desktop tool available to Mac users. Mac users already have a search tool with Apple’s Spotlight, but Google said its utility will work alongside the Mac OS X 10.4 feature perfectly.
“We designed Google Desktop for Mac to be a companion for Spotlight,” said Rose Yao, Google Desktop for Mac Product Manager. “Google Desktop searches users’ Web history and you can set it up to search Gmail too.”
Google Desktop will also utilize any Spotlight plug-ins users have on their systems. There is no need for developers to have to rewrite plug-ins specifically for Google. The application also respects Spotlight’s privacy list and will not search those items.
Using Google Desktop quick search is kind of like launching a Widget without the need to go into Dashboard, according to Google.
Apple on Wednesday updated its desktop Mac Pro computers adding two new 3.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors, bringing 8-core processing to the Mac. The new machines can run the 3.0GHz Intel Xeon processors and are available as build to order options.
Using two “Clovertown” 3.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 series processors, the 8-core Mac Pro comes with 8MB of L2 cache per processor (16MB total), 667MHz DDR2 ECC fully buffered DIMM memory, eight FB-DIMM slots on two memory riser cards (four slots per card) supporting up to 16GB of main memory and 1.33GHz, 64-bit dual independent frontside buses. The Mac Pros have a double-wide, 16-lane PCI Express graphics slot with the option to install an NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT with 256MB of GDDR2 SDRAM, one single-link DVI port, and one dual-link DVI port; an ATI Radeon X1900 XT with 512MB of GDDR3 SDRAM and two dual-link DVI ports; or an NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 with 512MB of GDDR3 SDRAM, two dual-link DVI ports, and one stereo 3D port.
There are many configuration options available to build an 8-core machine from the Apple Store, but at the high-end of the processor spectrum, the cost will run about $3,997.
Following this week’s announcement of DRM-free music from EMI in the iTunes Store, many are calling for a similar plan to offer DRM-free video at the store. Jobs’ stance on video DRM, however, differs greatly from his views on music. During the EMI conference call, Jobs was asked about the potential for a similar DRM lift on video. “Video is pretty different from music right now because the video industry does not distribute 90 per cent of their content DRM free. Never has. So I think they are in a pretty different situation and I wouldn’t hold it to a parallel at all,” Jobs responded.
Due to Apple’s 10 percent share of US music sales, it has a good position to negotiate with the music industry. This is not the case when it comes to video, where Apple has yet to prove itself. “No movie studio would ever support the iTunes store if it was clear that Jobs would be pushing them to remove DRM,” said James McQuivey, a principal analyst at Forrester Research.
When Steve Jobs speaks, everyone listens. And when the Apple boss does open his mouth, it's on his terms: only during Apple-sponsored events, almost always in his Cupertino, Calif.-based company's backyard, and rarely with anyone else.
So when Jobs showed up at EMI Group's London headquarters Monday morning to sit next to EMI chief Eric Nicoli, the message was clear: The two companies were up to something big.
And they are. Sort of.
It's only the 1st day of Photoshop World and already, I've learned 20 things to make me a better photographer!
While the conference track is sold out, you can still come down to the Convention Center on Thursday and walk the Expo floor for free. Register for the free pass here.
On tonight's show, we'll have Dave Moser of KW Media (organizers of Photoshop World), "Explorer of Light" Ken Skulte and many more. It won't be a live show tonight but it should still be a lot of fun!
I've been playing around with Apple's Aperture. Apple describes it as the "ultimate photographer’s workstation". It's not as easy to jump into as Adobe's Lightroom (or as visually attractive) but it's quick enough to get a handle on.
In the past, I would take hundreds of pictures, open them in Graphic Converter, resize the good ones, toss out the bad ones, drop them into (the excellent) WebPics, caption them, export them and then upload to our site.
It seems like a long involved process but I've got it down to a science and can turn around my photos in a couple of hours.
The problem has always been the shots I missed - those that didn't come out for one reason or another. I've often had to toss out photos that were too dark or overexposed or the flash blew out an area of it or whatever. That's where Aperture comes in.
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.