The NPD Group has a new report that states that in 2008, 87% of all digital music buyers in the U.S. used iTunes while 16% were purchased through Amazon MP3. Analyst Russ Crupnick says that being in second place is encouraging considering that it has only been around for 18 months.
“It used to be that iTunes was first, and second was practically nobody,” Crupnick said. The survey also reported that many of the consumers are older and still purchase CDs.
Read More | cnet
Yesterday, Apple finally unveiled the iPhone 3.0 OS. We are stilling digging deep into the update, and will be bringing you our thoughts in just a bit, but we felt that it might behoove us to let you know that you can now download the iPhone 3.0 keynote presentation directly from iTunes now,
in it’s entirety
(minus the Q&A session.) Go ahead and get a first-hand look at cut, copy, and paste, MMS, global Spotlight search, and all the demos. If you aren’t a developer, then you can look forward to downloading the update in June, which will probably be alongside this years iPhone release.
Read More | iPhone 3.0 Keynote [iTunes Link]
We have shown you a ton of iPod shuffle 3G accessories that are mostly in-line headphones, docks or basic speakers, so it is nice to find something unique. Dexim’s Shu-Lip can charge your music player via USB 2.0. Compatible with both PC and Mac, it is made of aluminum, can sync with iTunes and comes at a price of $9.90. Contact Dexim for more information and availability.
Read More | Dexim
After SNL turned their famous tune into “Solid as Barack,” the singing team of Ashford and Simpson decided to turn the entire song into a real tribute. If you would like to download it, it is available for $.99 on Amazon and through iTunes. There is also a ringtone version. Simply text “aands” to 66937. We forsee all sorts of music titles following suit, such as Paul Simon’s “I am Barack, I am Obama (“I Am a Rock,”) Queen’s “We Will Barack You” and AC/DC’s “Let There Be Barack.”
Read More | Amazon
Earlier today during the MacWorld 2009 keynote, Apple announced that the iTunes Store was on the way to completely dropping DRM. As of today, 8,000,000 of the 10,000,000 tracks are now available as DRM-free iTunes Plus tracks, and that even includes music videos. We figured we’d give you a quick look at how you go about upgrading your library of purchased content.
So the first thing you want to do is go to the iTunes Store, and look on the right-hand side. You’ll see “iTunes Plus” as one of the links, with a number next to it. That number represents the number of pieces of content that you have available that can be upgraded. Click on that.
In the final announcement of the MacWorld 2009 keynote, Phil Schiller listed off some of the changes coming to the iTunes ecosystem. First and foremost, in our mind, is that iTunes is going completely DRM-free. Starting today, 8 millions songs on the service will be DRM-free, and by the end of March, all 10 million will be without DRM. Consumers will be able to upgrade their entire purchased music library to iTunes Plus, which means no DRM and much higher quality at 256 kbps.
In a related note, Apple also announced that the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store is no more, and that instead, your iPhone can now download iTunes tracks no matter what connection you are on - that means no need to find a Wi-Fi hotspot in order to download the latest from Flo Rida. Of course, iPhone downloads are also DRM-free and sport the same quality.
New York’s Governor David Paterson is trying to come up with creative ways to pad the state’s $15.4 billion deficit. One of these is an “iPod tax” that would charge for downloaded music and other “digitally delivered entertainment services.” In addition, cable and satellite TV services, movie tickets, taxis, soda, beer, wine, cigars and massages will also be taxed. The proposal must still get legislative approval and we expect that if it passes, there may be an influx of New Yorkers flooding to places like New Jersey to get their tunes.
Read More | NY Daily News
So, we knew that iPhone 2.2 would bring OTA podcast downloads in the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, so we had to try and see if it would allow us to download anything else over the air as well. Unfortunately, music is still a no-go. You can’t access the Featured or Top Tens sections in iTunes on the iPhone, unless you have a Wi-Fi connection. Meanwhile, the Podcasts section supports both audio and video podcasts, which puts a smile on our faces.
It seems that Voix isn’t the only company that is into iPod tower speakers. Made of extruded aluminum, the floor standing mStation 2.1 Stereo Tower has up to 100W of power, a 5.25-inch subwoofer and a 6 cradle docking station that syncs with iTunes. The 10 key IR remote allows for navigation and adjusting treble, bass and volume. USB and stereo Mini cables are included in the package. We dig the design, but you can expect a $295.95 price tag.
Read More | mStation
Drobo has been out for quite some time and serves the purpose of a “set-it-and-forget-it” backup solution. Drobo has added a few apps that bring a nice “value-add” to their storage capability. Data Robotics has released 19 applications for Drobo, and they seem to be highlighting three of those specifically due to their value to the average consumer. First, there’s the DroboApps Admin Utility, which allows you to manage your DroboApps via a web interface. The second is Yoics, which gives you remote access to your Drobo and DroboShare from a web browser or mobile device like the iPhone. Lastly, they are highlighting the Firefly iTunes Media Server that allows you to store all of your music, TV, and video content on the Drobo, and then serve that content to iTunes devices or computers around your home.
If you don’t yet have a storage solution and need a very reliable backup which also serves your media, then you should check out Drobo. They range in price from $349 to $1049 and offer USB 2.0 and Firewire depending on the model you choose. In order to take advantage of the apps, you’ll also need the DroboShare NAS module, which will run you $199, on top of the cost of the Drobo itself.
Read More | Drobo