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Could iTunes App Downloads Soon Eclipse Songs?

iTunes download chart
(Image courtesy of TechCrunch)

New research from an app developer and industry analysis advisory firm seems to indicate that we’ll soon be downloading more apps from iTunes than we do music. Can this be possible?

TechCrunch is reporting
on the findings of Helsinki-based analysis firm Asymco, who claims that the iTunes download rate for iOS apps is “accelerating much faster” than the data for song downloads.

Asymco notes that it took roughly 2.2 years for the App Store to sell 6.3 billion apps, while it took the iTunes Music Store closer to five years to reach the same plateau. Should the current trend continue, Asymco believes that App Store purchases may overtake song downloads before the ball in Times Square closes up shop on 2010.

Such data probably shouldn’t come as a huge shock — after all, many people have finite tastes in music, and when they’ve bought everything they like, they’re perfectly content to listen to it over and over again. Meanwhile, the App Store continues to offer fresh new fodder to entice iOS device owners to keep downloading.

Asymco claims that iOS users are downloading 17.6 million apps per day on average, compared to roughly 7.5 million songs. Most ironically, Asymco is founded and led by a former Nokia manager — who would most likely not be thrilled to hear what their longtime employee has to say on this subject.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Podcast #157: New iPods, iTunes and Apple TV

Now that we’ve had some time to shake off Steve Jobs’ RDF, we discuss the latest wares announced last week at the Apple event. We also bust out the score card and see which staff member had the highest numbers of correct predictions about the event.

Then Nic gets all teary eyed for the iPod classic.

Plus, we answer your hard-hitting Facebook and Twitter questions.

This week’s Battlestar Applactica picks:

Epic Citadel – Free

Twitter for iPad – Free

Calvetica – .99

Want to share with us what you thought about the September 1 Apple event? Just leave a message on the Mac|Live question/comment line: (877) 404-1337, extension 622. Please limit the length of your messages to 1 minute max. We’ll review them and feature our favorites, along with responses, on next week’s podcast. Got a question and don’t feel like leaving us a voicemail? Drop us a question via Twitter

To subscribe to the Mac|Live podcast series through an RSS feed, click here; if you want to subscribe through the iTunes Store, click here.



Think the iTunes 10 Icon Sucks? Steve Jobs Disagrees

Ah, another day, another-to-the-point, one-line email response from the desk of Steve Jobs. This time around, Apple’s founder and CEO has rallied the full fury of his typing skills to speak out against the evil-doers that would dare to protest the hotness of the new iTunes 10 icon–you know, the one that just about everyone seems to hate.

According to the omniscient folks at Wired, Joshua Kopac of advertising firm Valueleads, dropped El Jobso a line shortly after the conclusion of this week’s music event:

Enjoyed the presentation today. But…this new iTunes logo really sucks. You’re taking 10+ years of instant product recognition and replacing it with an unknown. Let’s both cross our fingers on this…”

Jobs’ response?

“We disagree.”

BOOM! An epic bolt from the blue dispatched via iPhone! Take that advertising expert whose insight in this case is right on the money! For those of you who agree with Kopac’s critique of the new iTunes icon, or alternatively, are having trouble locating the program on their Mac’s dock after close to a decade of reliance on said icon, MacLife’s Roberto Baldwin got his geek on after-hours last night to show you how to reclaim that sweet, sweet old school iTunes icon we all have come to know and love.


iTunes 10 Doesn’t Play Nice with Automator — But There’s a Workaround


It looks like it isn’t all wine and roses for iTunes 10: Among the complaints about the new icon, colorless interface and removal of 99-cent ringtone creation, a legitimate bug has surfaced between the media player and Automator.

Macworld is reporting that iTunes 10 doesn’t want to play nice with Automator anymore, causing actions from the E-Z scripting application to no longer load. It doesn’t matter if you use an existing Automator workflow or create a new one — iTunes 10 simply isn’t having any of it and they will fail to execute.

Although the bug doesn’t appear to affect AppleScript support within iTunes, any attempt to create a new workflow within Automator that includes an iTunes action won’t work. In fact, iTunes actions don’t even appear in the actions library when iTunes 10 is installed.

Turns out that what’s happening is that Automator’s version checking actually thinks iTunes 10 is a lower version of the software, according to TUAW. The bug appears because the version numbers are sorting alphabetically instead of numerically, which means some poor programmer is likely having a bad Friday being punished for his sins at Apple.

MacFixIt has posted a workaround for the issue which involves opening up the Info.plist files inside packages for your Automator workflows and manually editing the version numbers. Not exactly fun if you have a bunch of them, but if you depend on Automator to make iTunes 10 do what you want, there’s not much other choice for the time being.

We’re fairly confident that a real fix is probably making the rounds at Apple headquarters even as we write this — only time will tell when it actually rears its head in Software Update to squash this issue (and probably others waiting to be discovered)…

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


iTunes 10 Now Ready for Download, Finally!

iTunes 10 is now live! Finally! It feels like we’ve been waiting for centuries. Anyway, go and get it! Go and revel in all of its glory!

The new iTunes 10 includes Ping, a new social music discovery tool that combines the best of Twitter and Facebook from within iTunes itself. You can follow others and be followed to share your music tastes with friends and family.  You can also view upcoming concert and event listings happening near you. The Ping service is available in 23 countries and to all 160 million iTunes users.

The new iTunes also promises better syncing and includes a new capacity bar, so you can tell how much space you have on your device in real time--real talk.

Follow this article’s author, Florence Ion, on Twitter.


iTunes Social Networking Functionality May Be Unveiled at Next Week's Music Event

If you’ve been pining and praying for Apple’s impending music Event to finally herald the advent of iTunes Music streaming from the clouds on high, you might end up a wee bit disappointed, especially if Peter Kafka over at All Things D is correct.

According to Kafka, we’re most likely going to see a major overhaul of iTunes next week, but instead of the from-the-cloud-service that many of us have been dreaming of, the changes to the venerable media application may be aimed more towards social media functionality and the way in which we purchase media from the iTunes Store.

Why no streaming?

Kafka cites a number of facts, chief of which is that Apple has yet to sign any new licensing deals with their music partners that would allow the catalogues we are currently able to download on to our computers to be streamed to our devices anywhere we go. It could be that the negotiations have been going on in secret–Apple does, after all, enjoy a bit of mystery in their upcoming product stew–but it seems unlikely. Just look to the recent rumors that they’re attempting to negotiate dirt cheap TV show rentals for the iTV. It’s easy to see that attempting to launch a product without at least a little product information leaking out has become close to impossible for the company. In recent years, Apple has become to big and too popular to plug every single leak out there when a product is coming down the pike. They’re simply too many ardent fanboys out there that just gotta know what’s going on.

Kafka’s sources speculate that next week when Steve Jobs takes to the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, it’ll be to announce, among other things, that iTunes will have some pretty tight integration with a number of the social media applications many of us are already familiar with:

“…people I’ve talked to are making informed guesses. That said, music sources tell me they’re expecting a lightweight, Web-based version of the iTunes store. The new version would be designed to synch up easily with the rest of the Internet and make it much easier for customers to share their musical tastes (but not songs) with friends.”

The All Things D piece also mentions that there is industry buzz around a rumor that wireless music syncing may also be soon be enjoyed by all iOS device users, and not those who have chosen to walk the rocky, but rewarding path of the jailbreaker

So, to sum up, if Kafka and his sources are correct, our attention is being called to bear on the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater to reveal that iTunes is gaining a “Like” button and we don’t need to worry about our co-workers stealing borrowing our sync cables anymore? That’s a little bit underwhelming to say the least. Let’s just hope that some other predictions about what will be revealed during next week’s event prove true–we could use some more Apple excitement to balance out all the mediocre that could be close to being laid at our feet


Rumor: Apple Preparing 99 Cent iTunes "Rent-A-Show"?

The rumor merry-go-round with Apple’s foray into television continues to churn.  The latest has Apple possibly being in far along talks with News Corp. to give iTunes consumers the chance to rent TV shows for 99 cents, as well as being in talks with other companies, according to Bloomberg.

The news comes from three people said to be familiar with the talks.  How would it work?  The story goes that viewers would get the chance to rent programs from News Corp. owned Fox for 48 hours of viewing capabilities.  CBS Corp., NBC Universal as well as Walt Disney Co. are also thinking about getting in on the deal as well.

The thinking is that the deals would give users access to TV’s most watched programs, while at the same time, doing a bit of cross promotion, with the appeal of the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.  As Apple continues to strive to make iTunes one of the largest retailers of all music and mobile applications, one can’t help but wonder how companies like Netflix Inc., Inc. and Hulu LLC, might happen to feel about it.

“This is a smart move by everyone,” stated David Bank, an RBC Capital Markets analyst.  “Something like this a la carte rental service is an incremental opportunity.”

Show episodes would roll into Apple’s rental service within 24 hours upon their air date and would also be commercial-free.  Apple is also planning on holding a San Francisco event on September 7th, which ironically, is also two weeks ahead of the next prime-time TV season, probably unveiling the service as well as a refreshed line of devices, two of the sources said.

It’s also being said that FOX and ABC are closer to an agreement than CBS and NBC, who may not partake in the September 7th event.  But should an agreement be reached, CBS and NBC would add on programming.

“This takes Apple out of the position of making consumers decide to either buy or not view,” noted analyst Michael Gartenberg, with tech research firm Altimeter Group.  “It makes Apple much more competitive with services like Hulu.”

Source: News

iTunes Accounts May Be Vulnerable To Hackers

It could be nothing, but it certainly might be something: If you make your iTunes applications and media purchases with a credit card or a PayPal account, you’d do well to take a moment and read this story and take a few precautions to ensure your financial well-being.

A number of of users who utilize their credit card or Paypal to purchase goods from the iTunes Store have reported massive unauthorized purchases of software, music and videos using their iTunes Store account. Reports of the amounts taken from the various users differ, with some seeing purchases in the hundreds of dollars, to thousands. One unfortunate individual reported that his entire bank account was drained via PayPal in the name of someone else getting their entertainment and productivity on.

At this point, there is no information available as to how the hackers who have hijacked the accounts had come by the username and password information required to exploit the account holder’s resources. Until a cause–or a solution–to the issue has been announced, we suggest that that if you must make purchases via iTunes, you consider disassociating your Paypal account and credit cards from the service and pay for your transactions through the use of giftcards. While none of the tales of hacked accounts have been confirmed at this point by Apple, in a sunny summer of unfortunate security breaches, this could well be the icing on the cake.