Microsoft is making a selling point of the fact that the new Zune HD and associated software update are optimized for Windows 7, which is due out on October 22. I've got a copy of the final release code of Windows 7 on my work PC, and there is some useful synchronization between the two. For instance, the Quickplay menu in the Zune software--which lets you get immediately to music you've recently added, your Smart DJ stations, and any other favorites you want to "pin" to the list--is propagated into the Windows 7 Start menu. So … Read more
If you were hoping for Apple to announce a subscription-based music service for the iPhone and the iPod Touch on Wednesday like I was, suppress your disappointment: early this morning, Apple approved Rhapsody for iPhone, and it's available in the iTunes Store.
It's the second such service Apple has approved, but the first, Spotify, is not available in the United States. (The Rhapsody application is not showing up in search results quite yet, but it is showing up within iTunes.)
Rhapsody was a pioneer in subscription-based music, and I'm a big fan of the service; in 2005, … Read more
This post has been updated. See details below.
I was excited to try out the new Home Sharing feature in iTunes 9. The feature isn't as new as some reports suggest--it's been possible to share iTunes libraries among computers in a home network for years now, but the experience was pretty limited.
You couldn't play DRM-protected songs in a shared library, couldn't create playlists from a shared library, and most importantly, couldn't physically transfer songs from a library on one computer to a library on another. Home Sharing promises to change all this, so I … Read more
Updated at 2:00pm PT with screenshots
At its special event Wednesday, Apple announced the latest iPhone software update iPhone 3.1. We're still downloading it now, but below you can read the list of changes as provided by Apple. Keep in mind that the ability to save a video from a multimedia message is dependent on MMS going live on September 25.Genius recommendations for Applications Support for iTunes 9 ( Mac and Windows downloads), which offers Genius Mixes, app organization in iTunes, improved syncing options for music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and photos, iTunes U Content organization Redeem … Read more
Our cameras were rolling Wednesday morning at Apple's San Francisco press conference as the company played up iTunes 9, iPod price cuts, games for the Touch, a video camera for the iPod Nano, and much more.
But the real spotlight was on Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who made his first public appearance since returning from medical leave after receiving a liver transplant earlier this year.
Here's a roundup of our video coverage, beginning with Jobs' standing ovation and opening speech.… Read more
One of Apple's smaller announcements at Wednesday's music-focused event was that you'll be able to share your deepest iTunes hopes and dreams through Facebook and Twitter.
Well, more specifically, you'll have "Share on Facebook" and "Share on Twitter" options in a drop-down menu on album purchase pages in the iTunes Store to broadcast which music in which you're interested.
Basically, this means that you can show off your music taste or attempt to convince friends to buy albums for you. The links in Twitter tweets and Facebook posts will likely go … Read more
I'm following Apple's "It's Only Rock and Roll" event along with the CNET staff, but even before the event started, I saw that Apple has revealed its new LP format for iTunes.
It's called iTunes LP, and you can access it by clicking the top item on the "More to Explore" box in the left side of the iTunes Store front page. The new format includes more album art, lyrics, writing about the record, video (such as interviews with band members), and perhaps additional songs.
There are only a handful of albums … Read more
The record industry better hope that Wednesday's Apple announcement is big news--pre-cut ringtones, a new digital album format, perhaps the addition of recordings from some obscure 1960s rock band who were apparently pretty good. According to an analysis in today's Billboard Online, the usual summer slump in digital download sales is more pronounced this year, and ringtone sales continue their steep decline. For an industry that's counting on digital to make up for declines in CD sales, that's very unwelcome news.
The author, Glenn Peoples, suggests that ringtones and a new album format on iTunes … Read more
After a long summer of swirling rumors, Apple's now-annual September music event is finally just around the corner.
It's happening Wednesday at 10 a.m. here in San Francisco, and CNET will have full, live-blogging coverage for you. I will be joined by CNET Reviews' Donald Bell, who will be offering his own commentary on all the music-related product announcements. What exactly that will be isn't a complete mystery, but Apple could have a few interesting surprises for us.