First of all, I’m not the kind of guy who hates things just because they’re popular. I am, however, the kind of guy who hates the marketing machine. For example, when OK Go was a band, I thought they were pretty good. When they became an ad agency, I lost all interest (it didn’t help that their third album was pretty much unlistenable…by design!). And because I hate the marketing machine, I hate iTunes today.
The folks at PayPal have launched their own digital gift store, allowing US customers to purchase gift cards for their friends and family. And guess who’s the initial partner? Apple. Yes, PayPal’s digital store is selling iTunes gift cards of up to $100. The gift cards are available for US citizens, and customers can pay for them using their PayPal balance. PayPal did mention they’ll enter more partners to the gift store very soon.
Through the Apple Store iOS app, customers can purchase new products, check for upgrades on their iPhone and essentially browse the Online Apple Store in the mobile form. Apple has offered many free items to customers as an incentive to use it, and today they began giving away free Christmas music through the Apple Store iOS application.
About two weeks after Apple released iTunes 11.1.2, the company announced the 11.1.3 update to address some minor performance enhancements and bug fixes. This latest iTunes update fixes an issue with the Equalizer in which it didn’t work properly at all times. The update also adds some performance enhancements that fix the speed of iTunes when users are switching views between large libraries.
When Apple introduced iTunes Radio with iOS 7 earlier this year, much of the web community began calling it the Pandora killer. Now that I’ve used it, I have to say I agree with that statement completely. Apple may not have literally killed off Pandora as a company or a service, but it sure did pull a lot of its customers back into the iOS ecosystem. I say this because I noticed how my habits changed with iTunes Radio being just one click away from the rest of my music.
After Apple introduced iCloud, the company acknowledged that a lot of its longtime MobileMe users would need some time and storage to transition all of their files over to the new service. So, the company gave all MobileMe users an additional 20GB of iCloud storage on a temporary basis to help ease the transition. Apple has now notified all users who received the additional storage that their 20GB has been reduced to the free 5GB level.
Just days after Apple released iOS 7 to the public, the company reminded us they haven’t forgotten about those millions of Apple TV users. Apple has updated the software to v6.0, adding new features and functionality such as iTunes Radio, AirPlay from iCloud, iCloud Photos and Videos, and iTunes Music Store.
It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to the radio, but I still remember the lack of selection, the same 10 songs played over and over again, and never being the told the title of the song or who sang it. With iTunes Radio, that’s all in the past; it makes it easy to find new favorite artists and styles of music.
pple is really pushing the Back to School sales this year, now offering an iTunes album sale for numerous popular artists. The new Back to School discount drops the price of albums to as low as $6.99, and also works in tandem with with Apple’s “Complete My Album” feature. I think this is a great discount, especially because a lot of people are looking for new songs to dance along to as they head back to school and work after the long summer break.
Apple’s iTunes Radio was introduced at the company’s WWDC keynote back in June, and has since been released to developers for beta testing for both iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks. Though the music service isn’t expected to be released for several more weeks, it is already creating change in the streaming music market.
Apple’s iOS 7 design is finally beginning to spread to the company’s other services, as the public release for the mobile OS gets closer. On Wednesday, the iCloud beta website was updated with the same redesigned icons seen in iOS 7. The iCloud.com beta now sports the same flat design for Mail, Contact, Calendar, Notes, Reminders, and Find My iPhone.
Apple is looking to improve its iTunes Radio service before it releases it to the public later this year by asking Internet radio providers to submit cover art for Apple to use in the near future. Currently, only developers have access to iTunes Radio via the latest iTunes beta as well as through the iOS 7 beta for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.