Tag Archives: iTunes

First Look At iTunes 10

Apple announced the iTunes 10 today at the special music event, and I was able to download it just before 10PM Eastern Time. As compared to earlier version of iTunes, iTunes 10 is only about 72.2MB in size.

The installation of iTunes went fairly well, and it was up and running in a few minutes. The new interface in iTunes 10 is almost similar to iTunes 9.2, however, Apple has used a pretty weird looking icon for iTunes 10 and has also changed the buttons and other icons. Overall, I did not like  the new look for iTunes 10.

After downloading and installing iTunes 10, I spent some time looking at it and found it to be pretty OK as compared to what was expected of it. Here are some of my views about the new features in iTunes 10.

TV Show Rentals

iTunes 10 TV Shows Rental

iTunes 10 has added a new feature where users could rent out TV shows for 99c. They offer episodes from the latest TV shows and also some classic TV shows. Shows include the usual suspects like Family Guy, Glee, The Cleveland Show, Prison Break, Bones and so on. However, you will also find similar shows for free on Hulu.com.

iTunes 10 TV Show Rentals Download

I tried to watch a free TV show, 30 Rock Recap Special and the download in itself was set to take 20-30 minutes, so it could not be done in time for the review. This is particularly annoying on an high speed network. I will update this review with my views on the quality of the videos.

iTunes TV Show Rental Quality

Update: The TV Show finally downloaded and the quality is pretty good and definitely on par with Hulu.

iTunes TV rentals will allow you to watch the TV shows within 30 days of you renting it, however, once you start watching a show, you have to finish it within 48 hours or else you will not be able to watch it again. The TV shows can be watched on either you PC, or . There is no option for users, but iPad users will also get the ability with iOS 4.2 for iPad and AirPlay.

iTunes Ping

Apple introduced iTunes Ping today, a social networking for music lovers and probably a rival. I tried out Ping and found it to be pretty decent. Ping can be accessed from the left sidebar of iTunes and requires you to use your Apple account to login.

iTunes Ping Welcome Screen

Once you have logged in, you will be shown a series of screens that ask for your profile information. Once you have logged in, you will see a list of people to follow, which is something typical to what you will see with Facebook and .

iTunes Ping Recent Activity

iTunes Ping also allows you to connect with your Facebook friends who are using Ping. Just like any other social networking, the key to Ping is people. So you will have to start following people to see their activity, music recommendations and more.

One thing I noticed is that Ping is quite buggy and you will notice quite a few problems while using different features with it. For example, I had to try several times before I could connect my Facebook account with Ping. Also the navigation is buggy, sometimes clicking on page numbers will do nothing and so on. However, this service is quite new and will be polished with time.

Another downside to Ping is that, since it has launched today, I could not find many people to find or follow. I will leave it at it and see how it works when I have more people to follow and recommend music to.

Faster Synching With Devices

Apple promised faster synching and more real-time storage indicators with iTunes 10. I tried synching my device by adding some music and sync was definitely more faster than what I have seen on earlier version of iTunes. However, I had some problems with iTunes recognizing my device and it took unplugs and iTunes restarts to see the device in iTunes.

These are just some of the new features I have toured in iTunes 10, of course might be several more enhancements in it, but these are the core features that you should be looking at if you want to upgrade to iTunes 10. Also Apple might require users to upgrade to iTunes 10 to install future updates. So go ahead and give it a try, you can download iTunes 10 by visiting http://www.apple.com/itunes

Download iTunes 10 with iTunes Ping Support

At the Apple Special Event today, Steve Jobs announced the introduction of a new social networking platform for music lovers called iTunes Ping.

iTunes Ping

iTunes Ping is a social networking site for music lovers, where you can follow your favorite artists and friends and discover music they’re listening to and downloading.

itunes_10_itunes_ping[4]

iTunes 10 also introduces new TV show rentals at 99c per episode. It also adds a new feature called AirPlay which allows you to play your favorite music anywhere in your house without having to be connected through wires.

Learn more on what is new about iTunes 10 here. You can also find out more information about iTunes Ping here and download iTunes 10 with iTunes Ping from here.

Large Scale iTunes Fraud Underway, Once Again

iTunes Back in July, we reported that several iTunes accounts were compromised by hackers who went on to make fraudulent purchases on the user’s behalf. Although Apple clamped down on the hackers, and promised security improvements after widespread criticism from bloggers, hackers seem to have one-upped them once again.

TechCrunch is reporting that another large-scale iTunes scam is underway, and several iTunes account holders have already lost thousands of dollars. The problem seems to be due to a security hole in iTunes accounts linked to PayPal. One affected user, Joey Bruce tweeted, “Someone hacked my iTunes/PayPal acct and drained everything from my bank account. Life is kicking me in the balls while I’m down”.

Given iTunes’ abysmal security track record, we strongly recommend against permanently storing any financial information (i.e. linking with your credit card or PayPal). PayPal is aware of the issue; however, none of the involved parties have issued a statement.

In related news, 12 people have been charged with fraud and money laundering offences related to iTunes. Apparently, this gang uploaded tracks to Amazon and iTunes and used stolen credit cards to purchase them.

11 Favorite iPad Apps from 2 Friendly Geeks

image Two of my online buddies have an iPad. I asked both of them to recommend a few iPad apps so that I could share them with you. If you have an iPad, you might want to take a few seconds to check these out.

• The first list comes from my friend Zia, who authors the blog CyberNirvana. Here’s what he told me about the apps he uses:

I have over 50 apps on the device which I use to a varying degree. The 5 apps below are almost used daily. I consider them as a must have and treat them as the essence of using an iPad over the use of laptop/netbook, that is: convenience, speed and usefulness.

air-video 1. Air Video – An amazing program which allows you to access and view all your videos (all major formats supported including DivX) stored on your PC (even USB hard drives) from the iPad. The streaming quality is excellent depending on the Wi-fi access. I decided to purchase the full version (a few bucks) As soon as I realised I was able to watch The Dark Knight in HD in the living room on the iPad.

cinexplayer 2. CineXplayer – An app which is only 2 weeks old and which has shocked a lot of people. How did Apple allow an app to bypass its own self-imposed restriction of video formats playable on the device? This app allows you to load all DivX and Mpg movies (via iTunes) into the iPad for offline viewing. The quality is unaffected and conversion is seamless.

instapaper 3. Instapaper – The ability to read text in the right format on the iPad is literaly a pleasure. This app allows me to read all the articles captured from the net in a neat and easily readable format.

flipboard 4. Flipboard – This app is the talk of the net right now. People are surprised at how good it is and wonder how long it will last as a free product. This one pulls news and content (not RSS feeds) from the web, including Twitter and Facebook, in a beautiful and slick format.

early-edition 5. Early Edition – A simple RSS aggregator which displays all my feeds in a newspaper-like format with the option to send stories to my Instapaper account.

• The next list comes from my friend and fellow author, Rajesh. Here’s what he told me:

These are the apps I use on a day-to-day basis on my iPad, and I enjoy using them.

evernote 1. Evernote – Evernote turns the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad into an extension of your brain, helping you remember anything and everything that happens in your life. From notes to ideas to snapshots to recordings, put it all into Evernote and watch as it instantly synchronizes from your iPhone to your Mac or Windows desktop. (quote from the website)

dropbox 2. Dropbox – Dropbox is the easiest way to sync and share your files online and across computers. (quote from the website)

quick-office 3. QuickOffice – ACCESS. VIEW. EDIT. SHARE. Quickoffice Connectâ„¢ Mobile Suite is the FIRST and ONLY full-featured Microsoft ® Office productivity suite for iPhone ® or iPod ® touch with integrated access to multiple cloud services. (quote from the website)

pulse

4. Pulse – Catch up on all your news in this highly acclaimed reader – so good it was featured by Steve Jobs himself in the WWDC keynote! (quote from the website)

osfoora 5. OsfooraHD – Osfoora for Twitter is a fast and clean twitter client that gives you easy access to all of twitter’s functionalities. Osfoora features an elegant and clean Home screen that lets you access most functionalities in a single touch. (quote from the website)

im-plus 6. IM+ – All-in-One app for GTalk, Yahoo, MSN/Live Messenger, AIM/iChat, ICQ, MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, Jabber and Skype chat.   (quote from the website)


• If you have your own tips about good iPad apps, be sure to comment below or email me.


More iTunes Accounts Being Hacked For Fraudulent Purchases

Earlier this week, several users iTunes accounts were hacked to make app purchases. The hack turned out to be by a rogue developer who purchased his own apps from other users account to push it up the top rated apps section. If you thought that it was an isolated case, you are wrong since more users are now complaining of unwarranted purchases through their iTunes account.

iTunes WiiSHii Network Hacked Receipt

According to Ars Technica, a reader contacted them saying that fraudulent app purchases were made through his account to the tune of $168.89. However, only apps from a single developer WiiSHii Network were purchased. The apps in question are travel guides for Chinese cities.

Due to the fraudulent purchases the apps from WiiSHii Network are now gaining numbers in the travel category. Now the question here is how the hackers in question got hold of the passwords for users account, and if their passwords were so easy to guess, why didn’t Apple trigger an alert when a single user was purchasing the same apps over and over again?

So is this a case where any developers can go and access iTunes accounts for users who download their apps and make frivolous purchases. Why isn’t Apple acknowledging a problem at their end and continuing to blame users for having easy guessable passwords?

Even you iTunes account could be hacked, to ensure that nothing is wrong or no weird purchases have been made, open iTunes and Click on the "Account" link under the Quick Links section in the right hand side. You will be prompted to enter your password, do the needful and hit enter. In your account page, first check your purchase history, if you see some weird transactions, report the problem to Apple. Make sure to change your iTunes password even if you don’t see any problems with your account.

(Ars Technica via TechMeme)

Apple Bans Rogue Developer: Confirms iTunes Fraud

Apple Apple has finally stepped in to put an end to the increasing incidents of fraudulent purchases in the iTunes App Store. Last week, we reported that someone called Thuat Nguyen was purchasing his own applications using hacked iTunes accounts. In fact, apps developed by Nguyen managed to claim 42 of the top 50 spots in the App Store rankings for the Books category.

Apple has now banned Thuat Nguyen and issued the following statement to Engadget:

The developer Thuat Nguyen and his apps were removed from the App Store for violating the developer Program License Agreement, including fraudulent purchase patterns.

Developers do not receive any iTunes confidential customer data when an app is downloaded.

If your credit card or iTunes password is stolen and used on iTunes we recommend that you contact your financial institution and inquire about canceling the card and issuing a chargeback for any unauthorized transactions. We also recommend that you change your iTunes account password immediately. For more information on best practices for password security visit http://www.apple.com/support/itunes.

According to Clayton Morris, about four hundred iTunes accounts were compromised. Apple’s statement indicates that the hacking resulted out of callousness on the part of the user and not due some inherent vulnerability in iTunes. Nevertheless, Apple will be beefing up its security measures to make it harder for hacked accounts to be exploited.

iTunes Accounts Hacked – Several Users Report Fraudulent Purchases

AppleA little while ago, YouTube was hacked and exploited on a large scale. Unfortunately, YouTube is not the only major service to fall prey to hackers. Two iPhone application developers have uncovered what appears to be a widespread hacking of the iTunes App Store.

Patrick Thomson, the developer of the QuickReader iPhone application, was the first to notice that something was amiss, when his app was displaced in the rankings by numerous suspicious looking Vietnamese manga apps.

iTunes-Hacked

It appears that someone going by the name Thuat Nguyen managed to hack into people’s accounts and buy his own apps to push them up the app store rankings. The scale of the attack, as well as the methodology used isn’t known. However, the number of people who have been compromised is definitely significant. This particular thread on MacRumors forum paints a worrisome picture. Several users have been charged hundreds of dollars for purchases they never made. To make matters worse, Apple’s customer care isn’t being very helpful either.

If you have associated a credit/debit card with your iTunes account, you should immediately check your recent purchase history and remove your card from your iTunes profile.

Image Courtesy: Alex Brie

How To Update To iOS4 on iPhone 3GS, 3G and iPod Touch

will be out shortly, in-fact it is only a matter of few hours away. If you haven’t yet read about iOS4, it is a rechristened name for the OS 4, which has a lot of new features, including Multi-tasking, folders for apps, unified inbox, wallpaper support and more.

iOS4 Logo

iOS4 though also is a bit of a battery drain and can make you run for the charger faster than iPhone OS 3.1.3, however, with the slew of new features it is definitely a exciting upgrade. So how do you upgrade to iOS4? Read ahead.

How To Update iOS4 on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and iPod Touch

iOS4 will be released to the general public on June 21, this is different from the iOS4 GM release which was released for developers.

To upgrade to iOS4 on your iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and iPod Touch, you will first of all have to upgrade iTunes 9.2, you can download or upgrade iTunes 9.2 using the Apple Update manager.

iOS4 Upgrade iTunes

Once you have updated your iTunes, connect your device, accept the terms and visit the summary page for the device.

On that page, you will see a button to “Check for Update”, click on it to see if the new iOS4 update is available for your device. If there is one you can then follow the normal upgrade process and your iPhone 3GS, 3G or iPod Touch will be updated to use iOS4. Enjoy.

iTunes 9.2 Available For Downloads

Apple has just released iTunes 9.2 through the software update as well as through the official iTunes download site. iTunes 9.2, which supports the new iOS4 can be downloaded for both PC and Mac OS X platforms.

iTunes 9.2 Software Update

iTunes 9.2 comes with several new features and improvements, including:

  • Sync with iPhone 4 to enjoy your favorite music, movies, TV shows, books and more on-the-go
  • Sync and read books with iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4 and iBooks 1.1
  • Organize and sync PDF documents as books. Read PDFs with iBooks 1.1 on iPad and any iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4
  • Organize your apps on your iOS 4 home screens into folders using iTunes
  • Faster back-ups while syncing an iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4
  • Album artwork improvements make artwork appear more quickly when exploring your library

Surprisingly the iTunes 9.2 update is comparatively smaller at 67.53MB. Download iTunes 9.2 here.

Apple Wants To Trademark ‘iTunes Live’

itunes-live

We’ve known for quite a long time now that Apple plans to move iTunes to the cloud. With their purchase of music service Lala, the rumors were strengthened. iTunes App Store links now started opening within the browser to give you a preview and allowing you to launch iTunes to purchase the application.

According to Techcrunch, Apple has applied for a trademark on the term iTunes Livefor:

  • Online retail store services in the field of entertainment featuring prerecorded musical, audio and audiovisual content.
  • Entertainment services, namely, arranging and conducting of concerts and live musical performances.

Given the context, it seems that Apple might start offering live concerts via iTunes in the future. The idea of being able to stream digital content over your iTunes account directly onto the iPad or Apple TV seems quite interesting.

Perhaps we might hear more on this at Apple’s WWDC where the next gen iPhone is expected to be unveiled.

iTunes Alternative – SharePod Rocks

mp3-player-ico [Windows Only] SharePod is a small portable freeware alternative to iTunes. There’s no doubt that iTunes is a fantastic program. However, it’s about a 93mb download and it’s not going to be on every PC that you might want to hook your iPod up to.

The advantages of SharePod are it’s small size and it’s portability. SharePod is a single executable file about 5mb in size. You can move the SharePod.exe file onto your iPod and take it with you anywhere you go. It will run right from the iPod without any installation.

Here’s what it looks like:

sharepod-main

SharePod will let you do many of the things that the huge iTunes app will do, such as:

• Add and remove music and videos from your iPod
• Add, remove and edit playlists
• Add and remove album art
• View and backup photos
• Copy music, videos and playlists from your iPod to PC
• Import music/videos into your iTunes library
• Tag editing
• Drag n drop to and from Explorer

Besides the typical iPods and Nanos, SharePod also supports iPhone and iTouch. The only major drawback I’ve found, is that it requires Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework to be installed. Everything I’ve tried works flawlessly, and the interface is nice and simple.

Note: Another iTunes alternative we’ve discussed here is Floola, which is also free and portable.

Download SharePod

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I enjoyed trying SharePod and I plan to keep it on my Nano. It’s so handy being able to add and remove songs from any computer I’m using. If you don’t have a portable utility like this already, you should give this one a try.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

How To Fix Missing ASL.dll While Running Blackra1n

Apple has released a new version of iTunes, iTunes 9.1 which changes how certain things work. If you have upgraded to iTunes 9.1, several programs will start giving you an error that ASL.dll is missing.

iTunes 9.1 Missing ASL.dll issue

This problem also occurs while trying to jailbreak iPhone using Blackra1n, when running the executable will give you an error saying that ASL.dll is missing as shown in the above screenshot.

The solution for this is simple, you will need to place the Blackra1n executables in the Apple folder under Common files in Program Files. The folder would be located in the following locations:

32 Bit – C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Apple Application Support

64 Bit – C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Apple Application Support

Once you copy the blackra1n executable to the above folder, create a shortcut for it on the desktop and double-click it to run it as usual.

Update: If you continue having problems with Blackra1n, you can use the new Spirit tool to jailbreak iPhone OS 3.1.3 and others.

Download House of Soul and Artists to Watch Sampler Free from iTunes

The iTunes store is being generous once again, this time around for reaching 3 million fans on . iTunes users will be able to download a free sampler of 15 songs from the House of Soul, featuring music from Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Budos Band, Sugarman Three, Lee Fields among other artists.

Free iTunes Sampler

In addition to that users will also be able to download 20 free songs from the Artists to Watch sampler featuring upcoming artists including Fanfarlo, Cold Cave, Local Natives and Surfer Blood.

To create and redeem a code to download the free House of Soul sampler from iTunes, head over to their Facebook fan page and become a fan of iTunes or head over to this page and follow the instructions to create a code and redeem it.

The Artists to Watch sampler will be available for free till March 15th and the Songs from the House offer will expire on 30th April, however, the offer may expire before that date, so hurry up and get your free songs right away.

iTunes Countdown to 10 Billion Song Downloads, Win $10,000 iTunes Gift Card

A recent update from the official iTunes account, pointed users to a very interesting counter on the the official iTunes site. The counter is question is counting the number of song downloads in the iTunes store, and, that counter is now inching slowing towards the 10 billion mark.

itunes_billion_song_countdown

In the next few days, iTunes will set a new record of 10 billion song downloads through the iTunes store. As a mark of celebration, Apple is offering users a chance to win a $10,000 Gift iTunes Gift card for whoever helps iTunes reach that milestone.

itunes_10000_gift_card

No purchases or downloads are required to enter the $10,000 iTunes Gift card, however, users have to fill up this form and follow the official rules to be eligible for the prize.  The contest is open to legal residents of United States or the District of Columbia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada (excluding the Province of Quebec), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom.

That aside, 10 billion songs will definitely be a worthy achievement and goes on to show how Apple has change the landscape of the music industry by providing users with cheap songs that they can easily download and listen to.

Have you ever purchased a song through the iTunes store? How often do you buy songs from there? Let me know through your comments, and see you at the 1 billion mark.

Preview iPhone Apps In Your Browser Now

We have reviewed many iPhone apps on Techie-Buzz but previewing them was always complicated since it launched the preview in your iTunes software. It was more of a hassle for people who did not have iTunes installed on their machines. All that has changed today since Apple is now allowing you to preview apps in your browser window.

Unlike before, clicking on an iPhone app page does not open the dialog box for iTunes any more. Rather, it takes you to a nice page that lists detailed information about the app (check this for example) including customer reviews, ratings and screenshots. You can also see the price and other specifications for the app before downloading it to your iTunes. You also have the option to browse more apps from the same developer and see some similar apps that customers bought. Each app also has a view in iTunes link that takes you to the old method of previewing apps in iTunes.

It is another sign of Apple’s intention to take everything to the cloud pretty soon. It is also something that was much needed, given the huge number of apps in the app store and the ability for users to review an app without opening the iTunes software on their machine.