One of the main gripes we’ve had with Microsoft as it pertains to the Zune platform is that they have stubbornly decided to keep it to a PC-only experience, leaving those of us who live in OS X out in the cold. Well, starting today, that changes. Kind of.
You see, the Zune Marketplace is now a part of Zune.net. Aside from having the largest audio and video podcast streaming directory, Zune now allows you to log in and listen to music from the Marketplace in any browser that supports Silverlight 3. Technically, Microsoft says that this experience is officially supported in Internet Explorer and Firefox, but we will have to give it a shot in Safari. Anyhow, the caveat here is that you can log in as a Zune Pass subscriber and stream music. This doesn’t solve the problem that those on a Mac have where they can’t sync their Zune hardware or download music. Still, though, it’s a step in the right direction, and a nice bonus for Zune Pass subscribers to be able to access and stream music, including Smart DJ playlists, on the fly. This basically turns any computer running IE or Firefox into a terminal for you to log in and crank those Zune tunes, and we like it.
For those wondering, any activities you do with Zune.net stream will also be reflected in your Zune account and Zune Card. How cool is that?
A few days ago, we hit you with our Snow Leopard Review, and interspersed some videos into it. We admit, 2000 words may have been a bit much, and a bunch of you wrote in asking for one video review. Well, we’ve stitched together some of the Snow Leopard videos we’ve done, and put them all in one for a Snow Leopard video review. Mind you, this isn’t a full review of the entire operating system. Instead, we take a look at four or five new things that you, as a user, will see as new, different, or enhanced. In this video we look at the Finder, Expose, Dock Expose, Stacks, and a comparison between Quicktime X and Quicktime 7.
We hope you enjoy it, but if you just want our quick opinion - go ahead and pick up Snow Leopard. It’s worth it. In fact, you can pick up Snow Leopard at a discount on Amazon, saving yourself even more cash off the already inexpensive price:
- Snow Leopard Upgrade: $24.99 (14% off)
- Snow Leopard 5-User Family Pack: $43.99 (10% off)
- Snow Leopard Mac Box Set: $149.99 (11% off)
- Snow Leopard Mac Box Set Family Pack: $199.99 (13% off)
Progress on Apple‘s Snow Leopard is nearing completion, as the next version of Mac OS X is set for release sometime next month. To that effect, it is widely believed that today’s Developer Preview seed, build 10A432, is the 10.6 Golden Master. One big change from the last few Snow Leopard releases is that this build needs to be installed fresh from a bootable partition or DVD, no more of that Software Update stuff. The download is 6.1GB in size, and if that isn’t telling about the progress of Snow Leopard, we don’t know what is.
It’s almost here - can you feel it?
Apple has just unleashed the latest update to the Mac OS X Leopard operating system in the 10.5.8 update. If you are running Leopard, just fire up Software Update, and the 165MB package will be available for you to download. This will likely be the last 10.5.x update before Snow Leopard launches next month. We’ve got a rundown of all the fixes and security updates includes in 10.5.8 after the break, but you can look forward to a Safari update, MobileMe improvements, and more.
Progress on Apple‘s Snow Leopard continues to roll along, as the company has just released Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Developer Preview Update 10A421. Apple says that Snow Leopard 10A421 includes “general operating system fixes for stability, compatibility, and security.” We will report back when we find some more specifics on improvements in this one. Snow Leopard 10A421 is a 741.7 MB file, and is available now in Software Update if you happen to be running 10A411.
Update: Looks like QuickTime 10 got updated to a new build, and that QuickTime has also picked up a new icon.
Barnes & Noble has just announced that they’ve formed an alliance with Plastic Logic and that they’ll be the exclusive eBookstore for the Plastic Logic eReader device. This is a definite play at Amazon, as the Plastic Logic eReader is definitely being positioned as a Kindle competitor. Up until now, many wondered how the Plastic Logic eReader would compete in a world where Amazon sold both the device and the content, and now we’ve got our answer. If Barnes & Noble pushes the Plastic Logic eReader in stores as their e-book reader of choice, the Plastic Logic device just may have a shot after all.
In related news, Barnes & Noble has also announced a brand new eBookstore. It is available now, and is currently compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry, Mac and PC. Even better, if you install the app and sign in, you get six free eBooks right off the bat. No, you don’t get to choose. The six titles are:
- The Last of the Mohicans
- Sense and Sensibility
- Pride and Prejudice
- Little Women
- Merriam-Webster’s Pocket Dictionary
Still, free is free. Full release after the break.
Just five days after Apple released Snow Leopard dev build 10A402a, we now have another new release in Snow Leopard Developer Preview Update 10A411. This latest update is 748MB in size, and according to Apple, includes “general operating system fixes for stability, compatibility, and security.” Getting a bit more specific though, a reader on the MacRumors forums has pinpointed a few changes:
- Dock Expose now previews windows from other spaces.
- Expose’s animations are very smooth now. I think they sped up the animation, so the user’s perception of the OS is visually faster as well.
- In the Desktop & Screen Saver preference pane, selecting “Change picture every…” and then “Random Order” does not select a random photo at first—the first photo will always be selected.
- A bug is still present where applications do not retain proper focus when activating spaces. For instance, this Safari window is in focus, and a Preference Pane is opened behind it. Start spaces—and the pane appears on top.
- No put back for items trashed from Dock or stacks.
- Updated QuickTime.
- Items can now be dragged to trash from stacks.
- Trashed desktop items no longer fade away.
Once again, the update is available through Software Update, so have at it.
Apple has just released a new developer build of Snow Leopard, the first since WWDC 2009. This one is Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard build 10A394, and is the first Snow Leopard dev update that is available simple by firing up Software Update. Just a word to the wise, after running the update, you’ll need to download and install Xcod 3.2 for Snow Leopard 10A394, and if you do iPhone development on your Snow Leopard system, you’ll need to download and re-install the iPhone SDK 3.0 for Snow Leopard. Have fun!
Update: For those asking, yes, Dock Expose is live in this new build!
So, if you are wondering just how fast that iPhone 3GS really is, we’ve got something you may want to take a look at. In this video, we compare the speed of the iPhone 3GS at pulling up Gear Live in Mobile Safari, to that of an iMac doing the same in the latest version of Firefox. Forget about comparing iPhone 3GS browser speeds to the older iPhone 3G, this really shows off the power inside of the latest Apple smartphone.
Apple recently updated the Mac mini, bringing us a newly redesigned version for 2009. We picked one up, and feature it in this episode of Unboxing Live! We show you everything included in the box, and also give you a look at the device itself, which now features a mini DisplayPort connection, as well as a bunch of USB ports. You can pick up a Mac mini at the Apple Store online.
Read More | Mac mini
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