iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be big holiday gifts this year, make no mistake about it. The Apple TV is actually a fantastic complement to Apple's handhelds, worthy of being featured in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. A nice little device in its own right, the Apple TV gives you access to Apple's iTunes Store entertainment content right on your television. In addition, you get Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, sports networks, and plenty of other entertainment options. Connect it to your iTunes Home Share, and you can use your iOS devices as remote controls for the Apple TV. The best part, though, is AirPlay. You can beam audio and video content right to the Apple TV with ease from your iOS device, or your Mac. You can also mirror the display of these devices as well, all wireless over your home network.
Honorable Mention: Roku 2 XS Streaming Player
Read More | Apple TV
The popular Apple TV Remote app has finally received a much-needed iOS 7-themed face lift. The update adds a clean, flat look with a tasteful translucent aesthetic that gives it depth. The Remote app is not yet 64-bit optimized, but perhaps it will in the next subsequent update similar to the update cycle of the AirPort Utility, which received a redesign update first then became 64-bit ready in the sunsequent release. Remote is now iTunes 11.1 ready and is a unversal binary, compatible with all iOS devices. Here’s a list of what's new in Remote:
- Control iTunes and Apple TV from anywhere in your home
- A simplified look with new ways to browse your library
- See upcoming songs with Up Next
- See all songs in an album with Expanded view on an iPad
- Add new songs to hear them next and then automatically continue where you left off
- Browse, listen to, and control your iTunes Match library on Apple TV
- Pause, rewind, fast-forward, shuffle, and adjust the volume from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
- View album, movie, and TV show artwork
- Create and update iTunes playlists, including Genius playlists
- Search your entire iTunes library
- Control iTunes to send music to AirPlay speakers
- Control the volume on each speaker independently
- Use simple gestures to control Apple TV
- Enter text with the keyboard
- Control shared libraries on iTunes and the new Apple TV
What's New In This Version:
- This version of Remote has been completely redesigned for iOS 7 and adds support for iTunes 11.1.
Read More | Remote [App Store]
Apple is celebrating the fact that it has surpassed 1 billion podcast subscriptions in iTunes, quite an impressive milestone. Apple added podcasts to iTunes back in 2005, which has offered everyone the ability to market alternative radio and video shows for users. iTunes now has about 250,000 different podcasts in over 100 different languages, including shows like 60 Minutes, NPR, Ted Talks, NBC Nightly News, and even our own Bleeding Edge TV and Unboxing Live.
"From comedy to hard news to sports to innovative educational content and so much more, podcasting has transformed the global media landscape," - Apple
Read More | Twitter (Apple)
Despite the fact that kids just got out of school, Apple has launched its annual Back to School promotion. This year, those purchasing a Mac, iPad, or iPhone for education will receive an App Store gift card along with the purchase. Macs get a $100 gift card, while the iOS devices get $50. In order to qualify, the purchaser needs to be a college student, a student accepted into college, a parent buying for a college student, or a teacher. Apple's Back to School promotion runs through the summer, and the App Store gift cards are good for anything in the App Store, iTunes Store, and iBookstore.
Read More | Apple Back to School
Apple has just announced iTunes Radio, the new streaming music service for iOS, iTunes (Mac and PC,) and Apple TV. The service looks to compete with Pandora, and will be built right in to the iOS 7 Music app. Apple will have a bunch of curated stations available at launch, and will also allow users to create their own custom stations as well. You can give a track a star to signify that you like it, share the station with a friend, and ask for more like that song. Led Zepplin is even available, a first for streaming. iTunes Radio will be free with advertising, but iTunes Match subscribers get it completely ad-free.
Hot on the heels of releasing OS X 10.8.4 Mountain Lion, Apple has gone ahead and released additional maintenance updates to iTunes. Update includes bug fixes for improved syncing and eliminated a sign-in bug some users were experiencing.
The syncing fix remedied an issue that some users were experiencing when switching between wireless and wired syncing. The new version is available in the Mac App Store's update section. Direct link for iTunes update for Windows PC and also for OS X.
Read More | iTunes
Apple's iTunes multimedia application has been updated to version 11.0.3, the highlight of which is a redesigned and improved MiniPlayer that now includes rich album artwork and a progress bar. Songs view also brings album artwork into the fold, and now multi-disc albums appear as a single album rather than taking up multiple entries in your library. Here's the rundown list of what's included in the update.
This version of iTunes comes with several new features and improvements, including:
- New MiniPlayer. MiniPlayer now includes a beautiful new view that showcases your album artwork In addition, a progress bar is now built right into MiniPlayer.
- Improved Songs View. You can now enjoy your album artwork while in Songs view.
- Multi-Disc Albums. Albums with multiple discs now appear as a single album.
This update also provides performance improvements when searching and sorting large iTunes libraries.
Read More | Apple
In the few days since "Get Lucky" was released by Daft Punk, the track has gone on to hit #1 in the UK and France, and is right near #1 in the US as well. Even more interesting, "Get Lucky" now holds the record for the "biggest streaming day for a single track" on Spotify in the US and UK regions.
The upcoming Daft Punk album, Random Access Memories, is set to be released on May 21st. It'll be the first from the group in 8 years, with the exception of the 2007 live album and the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. Get a listen to "Get Lucky" below!
Read More | Hollywood Reporter
The rumored Twitter Music service has become a reality, launching this morning. Twitter #music seems to be a natural step for the service, which sees hundreds of millions of users regularly discussing music on the service, as well as a bunch of popular musicians as well. Twitter #music aims to help you find music you'll like, based on your Twitter activity. You can access #music through a web browser, and there's also a new dedicated #music iOS app that lets you easily view and listen to music that's popular and trending on Twitter, undiscovered artists, music that it knows you like, and a #NowPlaying area that shows what others are listening to.
One important note here is that Twitter #music isn't a streaming music service. Instead, it's a layer that allows you to access your Rdio, Spotify, and iTunes tracks, using Twitter #music as your navigation mechanism. You simply connect your accounts to #music, and you are all set. The iOS app is slick, and we hear the Android version will be on its way soon. You can download Twitter #music for iPhone now.
Read More | Twitter #Music
Justin Timberlake is returning to music after a 7-year hiatus with the release of his next album, The 20/20 Experience. The new hotness drops on March 19th, but you can get a listen to all the new Timberlake tunes right now, thanks to iTunes. That's right--you can stream the entire album, right now, a week early, for free. If you like it, pre-order it for $10.99, and it'll show up in your iTunes library when it's released next week.
One thing to note, when streaming The 20/20 Experience, you have to listen to it in the order that it is put together. In other words, you don't get to skip or repeat tracks or anything like that. Hit the link and grab a listen.
Read More | The 20/20 Experience
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