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iPodNN this week
This week, a major Belgian music retailer announced a partnership with Apple's iTunes Music Store, and said it would offer its customers 20 free iTunes downloads to help introduce them to the service. The following day, iTunes was ranked the No. 1 music service in Germany by the Financial Times. Industry analysts said on Tuesday that Verizon Wireless' new V Cast Music Service--which leverages Microsoft technology--will present a challenge to iTunes. Wednesday, word spread that iTunes UK is now offering music from all of this year's Brit award nominees, with albums from each artist available for purchase at the store. News came Thursday that Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld will close New York Fashion Week on February 10th with his Fall/Winter '06 line, to be made available as a Podcast via the iTunes Music Store. That same day, a new service emerged allowing artists to publish their own tracks and albums on the iTMS, as well as RealNetworks' Rhapsody service without the need for record labels and without giving up their rights of ownership.
MacNN this week
This week, Apple began offering a variety of PowerBook G4, iMac G5, and Power Mac G5 refurbs at lowered prices. The company on Tuesday also lowered prices on its larger 20-inch iMac G5 by $200, while leaving the price on its low-end 17-inch iMac G5 untouched. Thursday the tech giant began offering discounted models of its iBooks and iMac G5 alongside Amazon, including the refurbished 1.33GHz 12-inch iBook G4 for $800 from the Apple Store. Apple is set to open its newest retail store in the US this Saturday, and is reportedly planning new stores in Virginia and Connecticut. Thursday the company put out a call to professional photographers, seeking help with its RAW imaging program Aperture by requesting that professionals submit RAW image files for testing. Friday, Apple signed a deal for the entire 116,830-square-foot building at 10400-10450 Ridgeview Court in Cupertino and applied for a touch-screen gesture patent, extending a similar patent application filed in July of 2004.
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