Friday, September 11, 2009

iTunes Genius Mix Is A Genius Radio Station

Posted by buzz

Apple finally added a radio to the iPod line today. You can find it in the iPod Nano, but will anyone use it?
Already the iPod has shown it’s muscle to be the ultimate personalized radio station. It has spent the past few years burning into our consciousness a way to organize our music in playlists just the way we used to make mix tapes.
Up until recently we had to do the sorting, but now with the iTunes Genius, Apple is helping us clean up the mess and get everything neat and tidy. The Genius will analyze your playlist, help sort them and even suggest other songs you’d like based on your preferences.
With the iTunes 9 upgrade today, another giant leap was made in managing your music and despite a radio being dropped in the Nano, I wonder if anyone will ever need one again.
Yes, radio wins on personality (although some may argue penny pinching is squeezing the talent out of the booth), but when it comes to music can a music director ever catch up to the one click I just performed and was given this gift?

iTunes Genius just instantly catalogued the thousands of songs in my folders and arranged them by tempo, genre, pace, era etc. It instantly created a dozen different themed radio stations based on the music I already love.
12 different radio stations and I love each one of them.
How many radio stations are on your presets? How many do you love?
I’d like to see a radio station take their catalog and dump it into the iTunes Genius to see what kind of mixes and suggestions it would come up with.. perhaps it would come up with something we could all be passionate about.
The Blog According to Buzz. Spread the word, ya heard?

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Is the limit for the number of mixes stuck at 12? 


Thursday, September 10, 2009

iTunes 9 and Twitter Support

A month ago, reports surfaced that the new iTunes will support Twitter, Facebook, and Now that the iTunes 9 has been released, we can take a look at how this feature is integrated.
Quoting from this website:
Sharing via Facebook and Twitter  is relatively simplistic. It only applies to albums, songs, and downloads available in the iTunes store, so you can’t tweet out what you’re listening to in your playlist.
Simply click on the arrow next to “Buy Album” or “Buy Song” and a drop-down menu with the option to share via Facebook or via Twitter will appear. On Facebook, it will post the album picture and a link to the iTunes store. On Twitter, you’ll get a tweet similar to this:
End quote
The tweet is not that great, and I was a bit disappointed. it would be better if I can tweet what I'm currently listening to at the moment. Anyway, this is a new feature, so I'm pretty sure Apple will update this if it proves to be helpful to its business.

With iTunes 9, Apple again disables Palm Pre sync

Published: 07:50 AM EST
The tug of war between Apple and Palm continues, as the latest update to iTunes has once again blocked the Palm Pre from syncing with a users' iTunes library.

When the Palm Pre was first released, it, by default, would transfer media from iTunes by incorrectly identifying itself as an iPod. Apple struck back in July with iTunes 8.2.1, which broke sync capabilities, but only temporarily.

A week later, Palm fired back with webOS 1.1, a software update that again enabled the Pre to access media from iTunes. In a jab at Apple, Palm announced the fix at the end of a blog post by stating "Oh, and one more thing," just as the iPod maker often does when it introduces new products at a keynote.

According to, when sync initially worked, the Pre identified itself as a "mass storage device" called an iPod. Then, to get it working the second time, Palm had the device identify itself as a "mass storage device manufactured by Apple" called an iPod.

Given the back-and-forth nature of the ongoing dispute, it's likely safe to assume that Palm will once again issue a webOS update and circumvent Apple's latest blocking method. The latest update, webOS 1.2, was expected to be released this week, but has been quietly delayed.

In other Palm news, the handset maker this week unveiled the Pixi, the second smartphone built on the webOS platform. It is coming to Sprint later this year.

The timing of Palm's announcement has once again seen the company overshadowed by Apple, with the iPod maker announced new media players this week. Earlier this summer, the Pre launched just as Apple announced the iPhone 3GS.


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Once again, Apple currently has the upper hand, making the release right after Palm's. How will Palm react to this?

Steve Jobs on Amazon and Ice Cream

SEPTEMBER 9, 2009, 6:18 PM

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press Steve Jobs at an Apple music event on Wednesday.
Apple’s chief executive, Steven P. Jobs, discussed his health and Apple’s new product line in an interview Wednesday with David Pogue, the personal technology columnist for The New York Times. Context has been added to the original quotes posted here.

Wednesday in San Francisco, I attended Apple’s annual iPod Show, its holiday-season kickoff of new iPods and iTunes Store developments.
I’ll have a look at what’s new in a post on Pogue’s Posts on Thursday. But Wednesday, I had the chance to chat with Steve Jobs after the event.
I asked him, first of all, what the blogosphere’s been buzzing about: why Apple put a video camera into the tiny iPod Nano—and not the iPod Touch.
Mr. Jobs reiterated what Phil Schiller, the marketing vice president, had said earlier in the onstage presentation: that Apple is really pitching the iPod Touch as a game machine these days. And to do that, you have to make it as inexpensive as possible.
“Originally, we weren’t exactly sure how to market the Touch. Was it an iPhone without the phone? Was it a pocket computer? What happened was, what customers told us was, they started to see it as a game machine,” he said. “We started to market it that way, and it just took off. And now what we really see is it’s the lowest-cost way to the App Store, and that’s the big draw. So what we were focused on is just reducing the price to $199. We don’t need to add new stuff. We need to get the price down where everyone can afford it.”
I also asked him why the Nano can record video, but can’t snap still photos. That reason, he said, is technical: the sensors you need to record video are extremely thin these days—thin enough to fit into the wafer-thin Nano. But the ones with enough resolution for stills, especially with autofocus (like the sensor in the iPhone), are much too thick to cram into a player that’s only .02 inches thick.
A couple of years ago, pre-Kindle, Mr. Jobs expressed his doubts that e-readers were ready for prime time. So today, I asked if his opinions have changed.
“I’m sure there will always be dedicated devices, and they may have a few advantages in doing just one thing,” he said. “But I think the general-purpose devices will win the day. Because I think people just probably aren’t willing to pay for a dedicated device.”
He said that Apple doesn’t see e-books as a big market at this point, and pointed out that, for example, doesn’t ever say how many Kindles it sells. “Usually, if they sell a lot of something, you want to tell everybody.”
The products that Apple revealed today have been in the works for a while—since before Mr. Jobs’s health-related hiatus from running Apple. I wondered: since he was gone for several months, will we see a several-month gap in the new products coming out of Apple? “There are some things that I’m focusing a lot of attention on right now—to polish,” he said. “No, I don’t think we’re going to miss a beat. We have some really good stuff coming up.”
Finally, as I left, I asked him how he’s feeling these days—another question on everybody’s mind. “I probably need to gain about 30 pounds, but I feel really good. I’m eating like crazy. A lot of ice cream,” he said with a chuckle.

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I've seen Steve Job's pictures during the Apple event and he really does look a bit on the thin side.

Download iTunes 9

For those wanting to try out the new features (Genius DJ, App management, etc), get your iTunes 9 now! Apple has updated their download page and the button now links correctly to the correct file.

Official Link:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

iTunes 9 bringing iTunes LP functionality, 'beautiful new look

Ready to pay more for the same music? Good! We've just spotted some new "Deluxe Version" albums in iTunes, which apparently are part of the "iTunes LP" experience in the upcoming iTunes 9, if the album blurbs are to be believed. The albums pack in bonus material like art, videos and additional recordings. Sounds just like Cocktail to us, and we're sure Apple will be explaining it all soon enough.

Update: It's more or less official now, complete with a non-working "Download iTunes 9" button and everything. Apple's mainly touting the new interface for the store in this blurb, but we know it's just a front for taking more of our hard-earned cash and putting it in the hands of starving musicians. The nerve.

New features mentioned:
  • Improved store navigation, including persistent navigation menu.
  • Full window iTunes store. For times when that sidebar is just too much.
  • Previews from anywhere in the store -- don't have to drill down to preview.
  • iTunes LP includes lyrics, liner notes, video, photos and "more."
  • iTunes Extras. It's like DVD extras, but with iTunes. Not clear if it includes director's commentaries, but let's hope.
Update 2: It's now official, and Apple has fleshed out some more functionality.
  • Genius Mixes. It's like Genius Playlists, but it plays forever like a radio station.
  • App management, letting you set up and arrange your home screens on the iPhone and iPod touch. You can drag and drop to move certain apps or whole pages of apps.
  • Home sharing enables file transfers between up to five local computers of songs, videos and even apps.
  • You can send items in the iTunes Store as gifts, add them to a wishlist, and publish them to Facebook and Twitter -- look who's getting all social all of a sudden!
  • It's available today.

As of writing, the download link still points to the old version of iTunes (version 8)

iTunes 9 introduced in Apple's Rock and Roll Event

10:09 AM PST - Steve has officially introduced the latest version of the iTunes software, the iTunes 9. 
Here are the new features presented about iTunes9:
Genius DJ - "Genius mixes is a Genius DJ playing songs from your library that it thinks will go well together. iTunes will make 12 by default, and all you have to do is click on one and it’ll start playing indefinitely."
Improved Syncing - "Next, improved syncing. When you want to sync, we can make it better. When you sync music now, you can say I want to sync a particular playlist, but you can also sync everything by Dylan, or everything in the rock genre."
App Management in iTunes - "The biggest thing we're doing is allowing you to manage your apps in iTunes. You can arrange your home screens and move apps around through iTunes. So long coming, so great to see."
Home Sharing - "we're going to let you copy songs, TV shows, etc. with up to 5 computers in your house. You're going to see all the computers you can share with, and you'll see the contents -- you'll be able to drag that and copy it to your library."
Redesigned Store - "New artist pages, new movie pages. It's a much cleaner layout."
iTunes LP - "LPs were great -- you got music, photography, liner notes, essays... most of that left us when we went to CDs. That shouldn't be the case. That's what we're doing with LP. You bought a great album in the past... you can get it again. Here's American Beauty by the Grateful Dead. A great record. There's all kinds of added content here, lyrics, photos, writing."
Pictures taken from here.