Archive of iTunes Rumors

Apple has updated its system status page to reflect widespread issues affecting multiple Apple products and services since approximately 7:30 PM Pacific, including the App Store, Apple TV, iBooks Store, iTunes Match, iTunes Store, Mac App Store and Radio.

Many users are also unable to fully access or use the Apple website, Apple Online Store, Apple ID, Apple Music, FaceTime, iCloud, iMessage, Mail, TestFlight and several other Apple services, suggesting possible larger server or DNS issues.

Apple's standard response on its system status page says it is investigating and will provide a status update as more information becomes available.

Update 8:38 PM: Apple's system status page now indicates the issues have been resolved, and users are indeed reporting Apple's services are up and running once again.
For the first time since the iTunes Store launched in 2003, Apple has added a way for customers to pay for purchases without using a credit, debit or iTunes gift card. Starting with German carrier O2, customers can now link a phone number to their iTunes account and use carrier billing for purchases, per TechCrunch.

Apple's new mobile phone bill option for iTunes accounts (Image: Carsten Knobloch)

The new payment method enables customers to pay for apps, songs, TV shows, movies, iBooks and other iTunes content without needing a credit or debit card, or even a bank account. Instead, purchases are added to a customer's mobile phone bill and paid off at the end of the month.

Customers without a contract can have purchases debited from a prepaid amount applied to the iPhone.

O2 parent company Telefonica confirmed it is working on carrier billing with Apple:
“Telefónica Germany is working with Apple related to carrier billing,” a spokesperson told us in an email. “Payment via the O2 phone bill is now available for Apple Music, iTunes, App Store and iBooks Store Purchases. The service is gradually being rolled out and will be available for all O2 customers (prepaid and postpaid) in Germany by the beginning of November 2015.”
Apple may be working with carrier billing provider Bango, used by rivals like Amazon:
We have heard on the grapevine, however, that Apple has been talking for a while with Bango, a carrier billing provider, to roll out carrier billing functionality on iTunes.
TechCrunch believes Apple will expand carrier billing to additional markets in the future.
newitunes122logoAlong with updates for iOS, OS X, and watchOS 2, Apple today released a new version of iTunes, iTunes 12.3.1. The update is a minor one, with the release notes only saying it improves overall stability and performance.

The iTunes update can be downloaded from the software update function in the Mac App Store.

iTunes 12.3.1 comes just over a month after the release of iTunes 12.3, which brought support for iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan. iTunes 12, which brought a major redesign to the iTunes software, was initially released in 2014 alongside OS X Yosemite.
SAP and the One4 Project today announced a partnership with the band Imagine Dragons and Apple that aims to provide support to the UN Refugee Agency as it addresses the refugee displacement crises occurring in Europe (via Forbes). The new single by the band, called "I Was Me," is out now on iTunes for $1.29, and both Imagine Dragons and Apple have confirmed that all proceeds from its sales will go toward relief efforts.

SAP, the corporation supporting One4, has also announced it will donate 10 cents for each of the first five million purchases of the new single. Each member of the project hopes the funds not only aid in providing relief for the refugee crises, but bring the international issue into the public eye.

Apple has already been supporting the relief efforts, opening up iTunes Store donations to the American Red Cross last month to help those displaced from their homes due to violence and forced to migrate across the Mediterranean Sea and into Europe. Those interested in supporting the cause can purchase "I Was Me" on iTunes right now.

Note: Due to the nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
Apple has added a banner to its U.S. website that allows customers to donate to the American Red Cross through the iTunes Store to support the refugee and migration crisis across the Mediterranean Sea and Europe. The donation tiers available include $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 and $200.

All of the proceeds from donations, which are processed as regular iTunes Store transactions, are sent to the American Red Cross. Apple has run American Red Cross donation campaigns several times in the past for crises such as the 2015 Nepal earthquake, 2013 Philippines tycoon, 2012 Hurricane Sandy, 2011 Japan tsunami and 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Update: Apple will also make a "substantial donation" itself and match employee donations by 2-to-1, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
“Apple is dedicated to advancing human rights around the world,” Cook wrote in the message, seen by Reuters. “We hope the actions we’re taking will help make the situation less desperate for some, and ease the hardship so many are enduring.”
Note: Due to the nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
newitunes122logoApple today released iTunes 12.3, making the software compatible with the newly released iOS 9 update and the upcoming OS X El Capitan update, set to be released to the public on September 30.

iTunes 12.3 can be downloaded immediately via the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store.

Along with introducing support for iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan, the iTunes 12.3 update also includes support for the Apple's two-factor authentication system, fixes several bugs, and adds some feature improvements.
This update to iTunes adds support for iOS 9 and is designed for OS X El Capitan. It also:

- Improves Apple Music accessibility with VoiceOver
- Resolves a problem that prevented reordering of songs within Up Next
- Fixes a problem where some radio stations did not appear within Recently Played
- Addresses an issue where songs you loved on iOS did not appear love on iTunes
- Supports two-factor authentication to secure your Apple ID

This update also includes improvements to overall stability and performance.
iTunes 12.3 is the third major update to iTunes 12, and it comes nearly three months after the launch of iTunes 12.2, which introduced support for the new Apple Music service. iTunes 12.3 also comes a month after iTunes 12.2.2, a minor update that introduced Apple Music bug fixes.
icloud_icon_blueApple is moving forward with plans to build a unified platform for cloud-based web services such as iCloud, iTunes and Siri over the next few years, according to The Information.

The new platform is based on Siri, which itself is powered by open source infrastructure software called Mesos on the backend, according to the report.
The system will be what’s called an “orchestrated infrastructure” that has the ability, among other things, to run Internet applications inside “containers,” which make it easier to scale the apps and make changes to them on the fly, one of these people says.
Apple is reportedly placing more emphasis on open source software in an attempt to attract open source engineers that can help improve its web services, but it remains to be seen how far the company shifts away from its deep culture of secrecy.
Apple sometimes requires engineers submitting code to open-source products to do so through a third party rather than let Apple be affiliated with the code. One person who’s been through the process says they felt that submitting code to an open-source project like Mesos or Hadoop is generally “frowned upon” by managers at Apple. But the process has gotten easier over time, people who have participated in the process say.
The paywalled report explains how Apple is slowly embracing the open source community and becoming more transparent about its open source projects. It also lists some of the open source technologies that Apple uses, including Hadoop, HBase, Elasticsearch, Reak, Kafka, Azkaban and Voldemort.

Bloomberg reported in June that Apple is building a high-speed content delivery network and planning upgrades to its data centers with more in-house equipment to better compete with Amazon, Google, Microsoft and other cloud service providers. The improved infrastructure will allow for faster web services and more efficient delivery of cloud-based content such as streaming music.
Just over two months after the launch of Apple Music, the streaming music service has received a mix of praise and criticism from early adopters. Beats 1 and curated playlists are among the most acclaimed features of Apple Music, while a confusing user interface and iTunes library issues have caused frustration among some users.

Addressing those issues, iTunes executive Oliver Schusser told The Guardian on Thursday that the company is actively working to improve Apple Music, ahead of its launch on Android and Sonos-connected hi-fi systems in the fall.
“There’s a lot of work going into making the product better. Our focus is on editorial and playlists, and obviously we have teams all around the world working on that, but we’re also adding features and cleaning up certain things,” Oliver Schusser, vice president, iTunes International, told the Guardian.
Schusser also said Apple still has "a bit of homework to be done" to improve Apple Music Connect, a social platform for artists to connect with fans. Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine admitted last month that Apple Music Connect is a work in progress.
“Apple Music Connect is growing big-time with more and more artists connecting to their fans, but we still have a bit of homework to be done for the rest of the year.”
Apple Music launched for iOS, Mac and PC on June 30, with some 11 million users signing up to take advantage of the service's free three-month trial period. That trial will expire for some users soon, meaning they will have to choose between paying $9.99 per month or using iTunes or other methods of listening to music.
“If you follow the industry and look at the numbers, the download business has been really, really healthy. iTunes is a big part of our business, still, and will continue to be, so we focus just as much time and energy on maintaining that, editorially and working on features,” said Schusser.
Schusser assures that Apple is only interested in the long-term picture for Apple Music, rather than constantly measuring how many users are signing up. Starting later this month, it should become clearer just how many users are interested in using the service as paid subscribers.
newitunes122logoAlongside today's releases of OS X 10.10.5 and iOS 8.4.1, Apple has also released iTunes 12.2.2, bringing additional fixes for Apple Music.
This update includes the following improvements:

- Click on the Beats 1 banner to see what's currently on, or view a complete broadcast schedule so you never miss a show
- You can now view a list of the artists you're following on Apple Music
- Resolved an issue where iTunes loses its place when you go back to a previous page in Apple Music
- Addressed a problem where artists may be sorted incorrectly in My Music
- Fixed a problem where playlists displayed in the action menu may not match the playlists in your library
- Artists can now share thoughts, photos, music, and videos to Connect, right from iTunes

This update also includes improvements to overall stability and performance.
iTunes 12.2.2 for OS X can be downloaded from the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store.
A growing number of users on Twitter are reporting issues with Apple Music, Beats 1, iTunes and the App Store as nominees are announced for the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) exclusively on Beats 1. MacRumors can confirm that many of Apple's cloud-based services are currently not loading or are displaying error messages in the United States and Canada.

Apple System Status July 21
Apple has updated its System Status page to reflect service disruptions for some users for the App Store, Apple TV, iBooks Store, iTunes in the Cloud, iTunes Match, iTunes Store, iTunes U, Mac App Store, OS X Software Update, Beats 1 Radio and Volume Purchase Program. The issues have been ongoing since approximately 9:45 AM Eastern.

Update 10:38 AM Pacific: Apple's System Status page now indicates that all services are online again.
Outside of a one-month hiatus in January 2015, Apple has offered a wide range of songs through its weekly "Free on iTunes" program since April 2004, but for the last two weeks, the company has released no free tracks. The last free iTunes release was on June 30, 2015, as tracked by MacRumors forum volunteers, coinciding with the launch of Apple Music in over 100 countries.

Apple has since removed the "Free on iTunes" graphic from the iTunes Store homepage, and set prices on songs that were kept free even after their weekly promotions ended, leading to speculation that free songs may no longer be offered now that unlimited streaming is available through Apple Music for a fixed monthly price. Apple Music costs $9.99 per month after a free three-month trial period.

It would not be entirely surprising if Apple shuttered the program, whether temporarily or permanently, but no official announcement has been made. A link to the "Free on iTunes" section remains accessible on the righthand side of the iTunes Store, where Apple continues to offer other free content, including movies, TV shows, apps, books and podcasts, in the United States.

Thanks to MacRumors forum members Doctor Q and JamesMike!
newitunes122logoApple today released iTunes 12.2.1, a minor update that introduces some much needed bug fixes for iTunes Match and other features introduced with Apple Music. Apple Music was first released two weeks ago, but included several major bugs with iTunes Match that caused the deletion of entire music libraries and other issues, such as an inability to sign up for Apple Music for former iTunes Match subscribers.

The iTunes 12.2.1 update is available immediately from the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store.
- Fixes an issue for iTunes Match where iTunes incorrectly changed some songs from Matched to Apple Music.
- Provides a way to correct a library problem affecting former iTunes Match subscribers.
- Includes minor bug fixes and improvements for Beats 1.
Today's update fixes the iTunes Match issue that caused iTunes to incorrectly label songs from Matched to Apple Music and it will allow several former iTunes Match subscribers who were unable to sign up for Apple Music to get the service for the first time. In addition, it also includes bug fixes for the Beats 1 radio station, which is built into Apple Music.

iTunes 12.2, first released two weeks ago alongside iOS 8.4 and OS X 10.10.4 Yosemite, is the second major update to iTunes 12 and the version of iTunes that includes support for the Apple Music service. Apple Music lets iTunes listeners get access to on-demand music, create playlists, and more, plus it includes the Beats 1 radio station and Apple Music Connect, Apple's artist-centric social network.