iCloud online music streaming announcement imminent?


iCloud ServiceThe much rumoured iCloud online music streaming service may soon be announced, if recent buzz online is anything to go by. Rumours are that Apple is close to completing all the required deals with the big four record labels (EMI, Sony, Warner and Universal Music). Universal has been the one that has been holding out, it seems, but rumours are that they are close to signing an agreement with Apple to license its portfolio for the iCloud service.

As well as the record labels of course, Apple has had to negotiate with the music publishers, of which there are many more than there are major record labels. One issue has been that the music publishers are to get more than their fair share of the royalties, at least according to the record labels. It seems Apple has been playing the two off against each other in order to get the best deal it can. As far as the customer is concerned, all this can only be good news as it will mean cheaper subscriptions. Lets hope that everyone comes to a mutually satisfying arrangement soon. Better still, lets hope its all a done deal in time for the WWDC on 6th June.

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Logic Pro 9 update released


Logic Pro 9Apple has announced an update to its Logic Pro 9 music production software.

The latest update improves overall stability and addresses a number of minor issues, including the following:

The update is recommended for all users of Logic Pro 9.
Issues addressed with 9.1.3 include:

Issues addressed with 9.1.2 include:

  • Improved compatibility with 6 and 12-core Mac Pro systems
  • Support for iOS control surface apps that utilize the OSC protocol
  • REX files now supported in 64-bit mode
  • Improved compatibility with select Audio Unit plug-ins

The update is recommended for all users of Logic Pro 9.
For detailed information on this update, please visit this website: Logic Pro Release Notes

Logic Express 9.1.4 update


Logic Express 9Apple has released an update to Logic Express 9, its music production software. The update addresses a number of issues:

The update is recommended for all users of Logic Express 9.

Issues addressed with 9.1.3 include:

Issues addressed with 9.1.2 include:

  • Improved compatibility with 6 and 12-core Mac Pro systems
  • Support for iOS control surface apps that utilize the OSC protocol
  • REX files now supported in 64-bit mode
  • Improved compatibility with select Audio Unit plug-ins

The update is recommended for all users of Logic Express 9.

 For detailed information on this update, please visit this website: Logic Express Release Notes

Magical Mystery Tour finally over!


It seems forever that we have been waiting for the Beatles to come to iTunes and at long last they are finally here! Today, all 13 Beatles Studio albums and also a special digital box set are now available for the first time.

Commenting on the news, the two living Beatles said:

“We’re really excited to bring the Beatles’ music to iTunes,” said Sir Paul McCartney. “It’s fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around.”

“I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes,” said Ringo Starr. “At last, if you want it—you can get it now—The Beatles from Liverpool to now! Peace and Love, Ringo.”

Getting in on the act as well:

“In the joyful spirit of Give Peace A Chance, I think it is so appropriate that we are doing this on John’s 70th birthday year,” said Yoko Ono Lennon.

“The Beatles on iTunes—Bravo!” said Olivia Harrison.

Each of the Beatles’ 13 legendary remastered studio albums, including “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Revolver,” “The Beatles [The White Album]” and “Abbey Road” include iTunes LPs, which create an immersive album experience with a beautiful design and expanded visual features including a unique mini-documentary about the creation of each album. The two-volume “Past Masters” compilation and the classic “Red” and “Blue” collections are also available.

Single albums are available for purchase and download for $12.99 each, double albums for $19.99 each and individual songs for $1.29 each. (UK prices are: £10.99 single albums and £17.99 double albums)

The special digital “Beatles Box Set” ($149 – £125.00) contains the 13 remastered studio albums with iTunes LPs and all mini-documentaries, “Past Masters,” and the “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964” concert film, a worldwide iTunes exclusive which captures the Beatles’ very first US concert in its entirety. In addition, Beatles fans can stream and view the “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964” concert film from iTunes for free for the remainder of this calendar year.

So, has it been worth the wait? I guess many fans already have the complete set on CD and have added them to their iTunes library already. No doubt though they will still sell like hot cakes.

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12 Days of Christmas Apple Promotion


For the second year in a row, Apple is running their 12 Days of Christmas promotion for UK residents. From December 26 to January 6 anyone with a UK iTunes account can download a free song, music video, app, television show, or film from ‘some of the biggest star performers’ on iTunes. Each free download is only available for 24 hours, so be sure to sign up for their email alerts to be notified of the new daily download.

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iTunes Streaming Service on the cards?


Image representing Lala as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Reports are in the wild that Apple has struck a deal with music-streaming service Lala. Opinions vary as to whether its a total buyout or some other deal. Speculation is that Apple will be introducing a streaming service to iTunes (a la Spotify and others).

Lala’s co-founder Bill Nguyen demoed an iPhone app in October that allowed ‘intelligently cached’ songs to be streamed to your iPhone. Also, the Lala model for music streaming and their Lala’s bundle-payment setup, where users buy stream credits are attractive one to Apple as they could save them millions in credit card processing fees.

Greg Sandoval at CNET and the Wall Street Journal and the NY Times are all confirming that Apple has done the deal, so we wait with anticipation to see what comes of it.

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iPod Touch specs and price changes announced.



Along with the announcement of the new nano (with video), Apple released details of the updated iPod Touch range. There were no major changes to the spec (no video camera- probably to keep some distance between the Touch and the iPhone) but the 32GB and 64GB models have been tweaked to improve performance, with Apple quoting a 50% boost. The 8GB version remains the same spec wise but is now only £149. The 32GB version is £229 and the 64GB £299.

At the presentation today Phil Schiller made a few digs at Sony and Nintendo for their lack of game titles compared to Apple’s (607, 3,680 and 21,178 respectively). Certainly, the Touch now looks to be a great gaming platform with new titles coming out all the time.  One game that is sure to be popular is Assassins Creed. Lots of games companies are now vying to get a piece of the Apple pie, including Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Tapulous and Gameloft. All were at the event to show off their new games. Things can only get better!

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