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Archive of iTunes Rumors

Apple's iTunes chief Robert Kondrk met with record label executives during Grammy Week in January about the potential of more exclusive album releases, like Beyoncé's iTunes-exclusive album last December, according to Billboard.

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Apple Inc.’s music chief Robert Kondrk has been pressuring major labels for releases similar to last year's Beyonce exclusive, excluding services like YouTube and Spotify to help shore up slowing download sales, according to music executives familiar with the conversations.
While digital music track sales fell from 1.34 billion units to 1.24 billion units in 2013 due to the rise of streaming services like Spotify and YouTube, Beyoncé's album sold 1 million copies globally in a week iTunes alone.

Kondrk is using the album's success to sell label executives on the prospect of exclusively releasing albums on digital storefronts like iTunes. He told executives the exclusives don't have to be limited to iTunes as long as they weren't on streaming services like Spotify. The move would be to preserve sales on digital storefronts.

Finally, Kondrk asked executives if they could lock down individual track sales until after a certain window of time, which would then allow users to purchase individual music tracks and listen to albums on streaming services. This is in stark contrast to Steve Jobs' sell of unbundled legal access to music when the iTunes Music Store was introduced in 2003.

In January, it was reported that digital music sales declined year-over-year for the first time since the opening of the iTunes Music Store as more users opt for streaming services such as Spotify, Rdio, Pandora and iTunes Radio.
music_streaming_logos For the first time since the opening of the iTunes Music Store in 2003, digital music sales have decreased year-over-year, reports Billboard.

In 2013, sales of individual digital tracks declined 5.7% from 1.34 billion units to 1.26 billion units, while digital album sales fell to 117.6 million units from 117.7 million units in 2012. The report notes that industry executives have cited music streaming services for the regression in digital music sales.
While industry executives initially refused to attribute the early signs this year of digital sales weakness to the consumer's growing appetite for streaming, in the second half of the year many were conceding that ad-supported and paid subscription services were indeed cannibalizing digital sales.

While SoundScan has not yet released its annual streaming numbers numbers, so far industry executives have been reporting that the growth in streaming revenue has been offsetting the decline in digital sales revenue.
Music streaming providers experienced a surge in popularity during 2013, as major services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio announced new free listening tiers for users in the wake of Apple launching iTunes Radio. Apple is also said to be expanding iTunes Radio service to the U.K, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand within the first few months of 2014, ahead of competitor Pandora’s own expansion.

Overall, album sales as a whole declined 8.4% in 2013, dropping to 289.4 units from nearly 316 units in 2012, with physical CD sales declining 14.5% to 165.4 million units from 193.4 million units in the prior year. iTunes also saw its market share rise to account for 40.6% of total U.S. album sales, as Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" became the year's best selling single with 6.5 million tracks sold.
Apple has launched a new page on its iTunes Store allowing users to easily donate money to the American Red Cross toward Super Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts in the Philippines. The donation page, which is accessible through the main Apple.com page and the desktop iTunes Store, permits donations at the $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, and $200 levels.

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Apple will transfer 100% of each donation directly to the American Red Cross, allowing users to have their donations seamlessly billed to their existing iTunes Store accounts. With Apple currently holding over 500 million iTunes Store accounts with credit cards attached, the company has a very significant customer base that can take advantage of the donation program.

Apple has conducted several similar campaigns in the past, most recently in October 2012 following Superstorm Sandy, in March 2011 following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and in January 2010 following the Haitian earthquakes.
ituneslogo.jpgAhead of today's release of iOS 7, Apple has just released iTunes 11.1 with support for iTunes Radio (U.S. only at launch), Genius Shuffle, and more.
This version of iTunes comes with several major new features, including:

iTunes Radio. iTunes Radio is a great new way to discover music. Choose from over 250 stations or start a new one from your favorite artist or song. Enjoy iTunes Radio ad-free once you subscribe to iTunes Match.

Genius Shuffle. Introducing a magical new way to experience your music library. Choose Genius Shuffle and iTunes instantly plays songs that go great together. Click it again to hear something new—enjoying your music has never been this easy.

Podcast Stations. You can now create custom stations of your favorite podcasts that update automatically with new episodes. Your stations, subscriptions, and current play position sync over iCloud to the Podcasts app.

Sync with iOS 7. You can now use iTunes to sync your favorite music, movies, and more to devices with iOS 7. In addition, iTunes now makes it even easier to quickly organize and sync apps to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Note: If you are using OS X Mavericks, your book library can now be found in iBooks for Mac.
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iTunes 11.1 is currently available through the iTunes download page and should be arriving in the Software Update tool within the Mac App Store shortly.
Apple has seeded a second beta version of iTunes 11.1 to developers, several weeks after the debut of the first iTunes 11.1 beta. The second beta comes after an emergency update to iOS 7 and the release of iTunes 11.0.5, both of which fixed an issue with iTunes in the Cloud, so it is probable that this update addresses the same issue.

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Apple's iTunes 11.1 includes iTunes Radio, which is Apple’s upcoming Pandora-like music streaming service. The updated software is expected to debut in the fall alongside Apple's iOS 7.

iTunes 11 Beta 2 can be downloaded via Apple’s Developer Center.
ItuneslogoFollowing last month’s iTunes update that included fixed syncing and iTunes Store sign-in, Apple has today released iTunes 11.0.5.

The update fixes a bug with iTunes in the Cloud where some purchases may download or play unexpected items.
This update corrects an issue with iTunes in the Cloud, where some purchases may download or play unexpected items.
The update is available through the Mac App Store, Software Update, and direct from Apple's Software Download Page. A Windows 64 version is also available.
A customer satisfaction survey of streaming video services by analytics firm ForeSee has placed Apple’s iTunes Store in first place with a score of 80, ahead of other popular video services such as HBO GO and Netflix, which both finished with a score of 79. The survey also revealed tendencies about individual usage, such as how often users make visits to premium video services and the number of minutes users spend on streaming services per visit.

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iTunes is the de facto experience when consumers are using Apple’s iOS platform. The iTunes app comes pre-installed on iPhones and iPads. It is a significant market advantage that users do not have to elect to download the app. Also, it provides guidance to other content and media apps since the iTunes app’s user experience has become the standard for how other apps look, feel, and behave. Millions of consumers then actively choose to engage with iTunes to download content.
Last year, ForeSee ranked Apple second in mobile shopping satisfaction behind Amazon. Apple originally started selling videos on the iTunes Store in October 2005, and expanded movie content to 42 new countries in December of last year, bringing the total number of countries with access to purchased and rental iTunes Store movie content to over 100.
With the 10th anniversary of the iTunes Store coming up on Sunday, April 28, Apple has posted a new iTunes Store feature honoring the event. The feature is an expanded version of the iPod + iTunes Timeline that has long been available on the company's site.

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The feature walks through a number of important events over the ten-year history of the iTunes Store, from the launch day when U2's "Stuck in a Moment" and Beck's "Sea Change" topped the sales list to the 2010 launch of The Beatles on iTunes to new milestones of 40 billion app downloads and 25 billion songs reached earlier this year.

iTunes has maintained its dominance in both the music and video markets in the United States and other countries for many years, with the music store now available in 119 countries following a major expansion last December. Apple's App Store is even larger, with Apple noting in yesterday's earnings conference call that the marketplace is now available in 155 countries covering 90% of the world's population.
Earlier this month, we noted that the iTunes Music Store had gone live in 56 new countries, nearly doubling the number of countries with access to the store. At the time, Apple noted in its press release that movies were also being launched in Russia, Turkey, India and Indonesia with "select additional countries" also scheduled to offer the film content.


Beginning earlier today, a number of MacRumors readers began reporting that movies had gone live in their countries, and AppleInsider has compiled a list of 42 new countries where movies are now available.

- Europe: Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine

- Africa, the Middle East and India: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Botswana, Cape Verde, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Zimbabwe

- Asia Pacific: Micronesia, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan

- Latin America and the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago

The new additions mean that just ten of the 56 countries that added music content earlier this month have yet to begin offering movies. Those countries include: Barbados, Bermuda, Burkina Faso, Fiji, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, and Uzbekistan.
In his review of iTunes 11, AllThingsD's Walt Mossberg notes that Apple is preparing a minor update to address several issues with the initial release of the software. Among the changes included in the update will be the return of a feature that allows users to find duplicate songs in their libraries.
A feature that finds duplicate entries is missing. Apple says it will soon be restored in a minor update of the program.

In my tests, some album covers were missing in album view. Apple says this is a rare bug, but one it has solved and will fix in a minor update soon. Another bug the company says will be remedied prevents owners of Apple TVs from wirelessly streaming cloud-based movies to their TVs.
Mossberg also reports that Apple has no intention of bringing back the Cover Flow view of album art, with the company finding that few users were interested in it and the new Expanded View offering a fresh take on integrating large album art into library browsing.
Earlier today, we noted that the iTunes Music Store had gone live in Russia and Turkey, but now that changes have propagated throughout iTunes and we've had time to collect reports, it now appears that Apple is selling music through the iTunes Store in 56 new countries. The additions nearly double the number of countries in which the iTunes Music Store operates.


The new countries include:

- Europe: Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine

- Africa, the Middle East and India: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, India, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Zimbabwe

- Asia Pacific: Fiji, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

- Latin America and the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago

Beyond music, four of the new countries have also seen Apple roll out access to movies: India, Indonesia, Russia, and Turkey.

Update 9:08 PM: Apple has published a press release confirming that it has launched the iTunes Store in 56 new countries.
In Apple's just-released iTunes 11, users visiting the iTunes Store to redeem gift cards have a new option allowing them to simply take a photo of the code on the back of the card with their computer's camera in order to redeem their cards.


The option, which requires a card containing a box around the code to assist with recognition, allows users to quickly and easily redeem gift cards without having to worry about accurately typing in the unique 16-character code. Users are also still allowed to enter their codes manually for redemption.
In line with yesterday's report, Apple has just released iTunes 11 to the public. The new software brings a number of enhancements including a redesigned store, simplified player, and new iCloud features.
- Completely Redesigned. iTunes makes it more fun to explore and enjoy your music, movies, and TV shows. You'll love the beautiful edge-to-edge design, custom designs for each album, movie, or TV show in your library, and getting personal recommendations any time you click in the Store.

- A New Store. The iTunes Store has been completely redesigned and now features a clean look that makes it simpler than ever to see what's hot and discover new favorites.

- Play purchases from iCloud. Your music, movie, and TV show purchases in iCloud now appear inside your library. Just sign-in with your Apple ID to see them. Double-click to play them directly from iCloud or download a copy you can sync to a device or play while offline.

- Up Next. It's now simple to see which songs are playing next, all from a single place. Just click the Up Next icon in the center display and they'll instantly appear. You can even reorder, add, or skip songs whenever you like.

- New MiniPlayer. You can now do a whole lot more with a lot less space. In addition to showing what's playing, MiniPlayer now includes album art, adds Up Next, and makes it easy to search for something new to play - all from a smaller and more elegant design.

- Improved search. It's never been easier to find what you're looking for in iTunes. Just type in the search field and you'll instantly see results from across your entire library. Select any result and iTunes takes you right to it.

- Playback syncing. iCloud now remembers your place in a movie or TV show for you. Whenever you play the same movie or episode from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV, it will continue right where you left off.

The software is currently available through Software Update in the Mac App Store, and Apple should be updating its iTunes pages shortly.
With Apple said to be launching its revamped iTunes 11 "as soon as" today as the company rushes to meet its already-postponed goal of a November release, 9to5Mac reports that AppleCare support representatives are currently being seeded with prerelease versions of the new software.
It is unclear if these builds point to a release today, as the WSJ predicted, and if they are the final versions. Either way, with AppleCare employees getting their hands on the new app, we’re expecting a launch soon.

The new iTunes brings a substantial overhaul, including a revamped player, a redesigned store based on the layout currently seen in on iOS devices, and new iCloud features for streaming media and syncing progress.
The Wall Street Journal has published a profile of Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, which includes hints about the release date of iTunes 11.

The newest version of iTunes was expected to be released at the end of October. Instead the software was delayed with a new release date pegged at the end of November, and The Wall Street Journal believes it will come out as soon as tomorrow. The reason for the delay was reportedly due to engineering issues.
This week, Mr. Cue faces a test of how well Apple can keep up in online services with the launch of a new desktop version of iTunes, which is expected as soon as Thursday.

The new iTunes has been delayed a month by engineering issues that required parts to be rebuilt, according to people who have seen it.
iTunes 11 is expected to feature a redesign of the user interface in addition to enhanced iCloud integration.

The article goes on to detail Mr. Cue's role as "Mr. Fix-It" at Apple. Cue has taken over some of the most troubled projects at Apple, most recently taking responsibility for Maps and Siri.
Apple has launched a new page on its iTunes Store allowing users to easily donate money to the American Red Cross toward Superstorm Sandy relief efforts. The donation page, which is accessible through the desktop iTunes Store as well as the iTunes and App Store apps on iOS, permits donations at the $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, and $200 levels.


Apple will transfer 100% of each donation directly to the American Red Cross, allowing users to have their donations seamlessly billed to their existing iTunes Store accounts. With Apple currently holding over 400 million iTunes Store accounts with credit cards attached, the company has a very significant customer base that can take advantage of the donation program.

Apple has conducted several similar campaigns in the past, most recently in March 2011 following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and in January 2010 following the Haitian earthquakes.

Update: Apple has now added a link to the iTunes Store donation page on the main apple.com page.
With two weeks to go until the one-year anniversary of the public launch of iTunes Match in the United States, Apple is sending out emails reminding user who have opted for auto-renewal that their credit cards will be charged the next $24.99 annual fee on November 14.
Continue to enjoy your entire music collection in iCloud on your iOS devices, iTunes, and Apple TV. iTunes Match stores not only your songs purchased on the iTunes Store, but all of the other great music you have acquired over the years, including music from CDs.

This is just a reminder that your subscription for iTunes Match will automatically renew on 11/14/12 and you will be charged $24.99 at that time. To view your subscription or change your auto-renewal settings, sign in to iTunes on your computer and go to your Account Information page.

Additional information on subscribing to iTunes Match or turning off auto-renewal is available in an Apple support document.
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Apple announced a new version of iTunes at today's media event featuring a "dramatically simpler" interface with an edge-to-edge design.
We created iTunes because we love music and we’re going back to our roots with an incredibly clean design that keeps your music at the forefront,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “The new iTunes works seamlessly with iCloud, always keeping your entire library at your fingertips, and we’re adding great new features that make listening to your music more fun.
The updated media application will show albums in a grid interface with song listings unfolding below the album cover art when clicked. Searching is improved, showing inline results as you type and the MiniPlayer has been redesigned to show a miniature version of the album cover art and album and song information and playback controls.

The updated iTunes will also get iCloud integration to show all your media content saved in Apple's cloud storage service and save your position in movies or TV shows automatically so that you can pick up where you left off on another device.

The new version of iTunes will be available in late October.

Update: A new version of iTunes, version 10.7, has been released. It "adds support for iOS 6 running on compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models. This update also adds support for the latest iPod nano and iPod shuffle models."
Bloomberg reports that Apple is preparing a major overhaul of its iTunes software to more closely integrate its iCloud services and add new features for sharing music.
With an increasing amount of content available on the store, the overhaul is intended to improve how people manage all their files, one person said. That includes changes to how users find new material and how they access what they already own on different Apple devices, said one person.

One of the main ways Apple will attempt to improve discovery is by making it easier for people to share songs, a popular feature of Spotify Ltd.’s music-subscription service. Apple has been negotiating with major record labels for rights that would let a user listen to a song sent to them from a friend for free, one person said.
Apple's iCloud efforts will improve organization of users' own content while also the company is also considering splitting out some functions of iTunes as it did yesterday on iOS with its new Podcasts app.

Apple is also looking to include more multimedia content in the iTunes Store, requesting more photos and music videos from artists to help broaden its offerings.

The revamped iTunes application is set to launch before the end of the year and is said to be one of the largest sets of changes since the iTunes Store's debut in 2003. As announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Apple is also working to improve the iTunes experience on iOS, revamping its digital store apps in iOS 6 to aid users in discovering new content.
Yesterday, we noted that the music component of iTunes in the Cloud was rolling out to Japanese users, allowing them to freely download any music content previously purchased from the iTunes Store. But as now summarized by 9to5Mac, various reports in the Japanese media reveal that the additions have been much more extensive and have brought Apple's Japanese iTunes Store offerings nearly on par with most of the company's other major markets.


Highlighting some of the changes, Apple has posted a What's New page [Google translation] for iTunes on its Japanese site. The new additions include:

- 3G downloads: Music downloads from iOS devices had previously been restricted to Wi-Fi only, but users can now access content over 3G networks.

- iTunes Plus: The Japanese iTunes Store now supports the DRM-free 256 kbps iTunes Plus format, up from the previous 128 kbps versions carrying usage restrictions. Labels will need to upgrade their content to the new standard, so it may take some time for all music to become available in iTunes Plus format.

- Ringtones: Music ringtones are now available for purchase in the Japanese iTunes Store.

- Mastered for iTunes: Rolling out on a worldwide basis, Apple is now featuring songs and albums that have been specifically mastered for the iTunes Store to provide the best sound quality for the format.

- Complete My Album: Users who previously purchased individual tracks from an album can now purchase the entire album for a discounted price based on a credit for their individual-track purchases.

As for iTunes Match, Apple's subscription service currently available in 37 countries that allows users to either match or upload their entire music libraries regardless of source for access from any iCloud-enabled device, the company is reportedly planning to bring the program to Japan during the second half of 2012.