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Apple's iPod Hi-Fi has received high marks from a Stereophile senior contributing editor, who says the device produces "glorious sound." A review on NewJersey.com talks about Apple's new iPod stereo jukebox, noting that while the iPod Hi-Fi may not live up to Steve Jobs' claims of replacing a high-end stereo system, it delivers high-quality sound along with some nice extras -- despite some misgivings with its weight and aesthetic appeal: "But the dual-ported box, fitted with a robust 5-inch woofer, outputs surprisingly deep, supple, musical bass. A pair of rich-sounding 3-inch midrange tweeters deftly integrate with the woofer to deliver the rest of the music with equally smooth composure. Apple didn't neglect functionality, or its famous obsession with small details -- too many to list here."
Apple is exploring new ways to market and sell music videos in bulk as interest in downloadable video grows, according to Billboard. In recent weeks, the company has begun offering all the clips from Tori Amos' "Fade to Red" -- a 21-song music video collection released on DVD -- as individual downloads for $1.99 each or as a complete package for $24.99, according to the report. While the company has always sold individual video clips, the report notes that Apple has been trending toward higher-margin video bundles, including vingles (videos bundled with the corresponding song) and iTunes-only "video albums," which offer of six to seven exclusive videos that are not available elsewhere--either digitally or on DVD. The trend toward video collections is expected to continue on iTunes, currently the leading online service for music: "It's a natural fit," says Eddie Cue, vice president of applications for Apple. "These are not replacements for people buying individual songs or albums. But they're great for well-established artists with a fan base behind them that wants more product."
Unusual price drops in the advertised price of Apple's iPod have prompted some to speculate that the company is set to introduce a line of iPods to replace its existing products, according to a new report. Retailers such as Amazon.com have begun below-MAP (minimum advertised price) advertising for Apple's range of iPods. Amazon is offering a seven percent (about $20) discount on Apple's video iPod and a five percent discount on the iPod nano. While retailers sometimes offer discounts, they are usually hidden until a customer has added the item to the cart and/or available as an "instant rebate". The below-MAP advertising suggests that Apple has lifted the MAP restrictions in order to allow retailers to clear their inventory, hinting at the introduction of new iPods in the near future, according the publication. Earlier this month big-box retailers were told that the high-end 60GB is "at risk" of being replaced and/or discontinued. In addition, AppleInsider reports that Meijer, a discount superstore chain in the Midwest, is advertising 10 percent discount sales on Apple's iPod in its weekend circular.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.7 ( -0.57 )
TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF
CBS: No recent streaming conversations with Apple
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made remarks, casting doubt on a launch of Apple's live streaming television service. In interviews this week, the executive said regarding negotiations with Apple that "we had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," adding that "the phone is always ringing" regarding similar services, but not with Apple on the line. http://cnnmon.ie/1PptJM6
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe