Online deal highlights for July 29, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN searches online retailers for offers, bundles, sales, and discounts on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. Still-active deals from yesterday are accompanied by a new wave of offers, including up to $600 off a mid-2014 MacBook Pro, an Epson Home Cinema projector for $400, and the Lytro Light Field Camera for $80.
App Update for Jul 29, 2015
App development has taken off in the last few years, making it increasingly difficult to stay on top of all the latest versions. To help all of you out, we here at MacNN are dedicated to sorting through new update releases, and highlighting some of the important ones, as well as showcasing apps that we find to be interesting. Today, we look at revisions to Duplicate Photo Finder, Tropico 5, Graphic Inspector, Picture Collage Maker, Audirvana Plus, and TextBatchConv.
Bluetooth headphones from Motorola have own iOS companion app
Alongside yesterday's Moto smartphone announcements, Motorola also unveiled a pair of Bluetooth headphones. The Moto Pulse and sporty Surround headphones come complete with an iOS companion app, which helps with connecting the devices to an iPhone or iPad, shows the remaining battery life, and helps track the devices down if they are lost using Google Maps.
Boyle-Sorkin teamup will be centerpiece film, said to 'defy expectations'
The forthcoming major-studio Steve Jobs biography movie, simply entitled Steve Jobs, will get an early debut at the New York Film Festival on October 3, a week ahead of its October 9 national debut. The film has been given the prestigious "centerpiece" slot on the evening, with the film festival's director, Kent Jones, saying the movie is taking an "unconventional approach" to tell the story of the mercurial Apple co-founder.
Online deal highlights for July 28, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN searches online retailers for offers, bundles, sales, and discounts on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. Still-active deals from yesterday are accompanied by a new wave of offers, including a MacBook Pro for $200 off list price, a Samsung WB380 16.3-megapixel camera for $130, and 2TB of external storage for just $80.
Users report Windows 10 upgrade files starting to download to systems
Microsoft is allegedly preparing for tomorrow's launch of Windows 10, by preloading the operating system on computers that have been booked in for the upgrade. According to WinBeta, users that have already reserved their free upgrade from Windows 7 or later will start to see the files being preloaded ahead of a release after midnight tonight. The report also warns upgraders they can also expect to download a day one patch for Windows 10, weighing in at over 1GB in size.
Numbers during free trial mean little, conversion rate yet to be seen
In only its first month, some 10 million people have signed on to give the subscription-based Apple Music a try during its three-month free trial period, according to music industry sources that allegedly reflect a figure given to them by Apple itself. While the number doesn't mean much during the free trial period, if one assumed that the number of users trying it out will grow over the summer, established rivals may have reason to worry.
Online deal highlights for July 27, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN searches online retailers for offers, bundles, sales, and discounts on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. The old deals from last week have been removed, because it is the start of a new week, with the new deals including a 500GB Crucial SSD for $150, a dashcam for $120, and a Harman Kardon home theater system for $300.
Advertising video must be consumed prior to one hour of uninterrupted listening
Streaming music purveyor Pandora today announced that its latest engagement-based advertising product, Sponsored Listening, is now available to all advertisers. The product gives Pandora users an hour of uninterrupted listening following engagement with a brand's full video, which can be up to four minutes long, at the beginning of a listening session. This launch follows a beta period initiated in September 2014 during which Sponsored Listening received feedback from Pandora's listeners and produced a measurable return on investment for advertisers.
Apple well aware of issues, blending of Apple Music and iTunes Match at issue
We reported last week on fellow Mac journalist Jim Dalrymple's particularly bad issues with iTunes 12.2 and later on the Mac, centered around the arrival of Apple Music and Apple's attempts to blend the paid service's ability to store songs for later streaming or offline use with some customers' existing or previous iTunes Match libraries, which appears to cause much confusion, ranging from mislabelled entries in the iTunes library to missing songs in some cases.
Online deal highlights for July 24, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN searches online retailers for offers, bundles, sales, and discounts on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. All the old deals have been purged without remorse, with the new additions including a refurbished Nikon 5300 DSLR, the Samsung Gear VR headset, and $250 off the cost of a MacBook Pro.
Online deal highlights for July 23, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN searches online retailers for offers, bundles, sales, and discounts on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. All the old deals have been purged without remorse, with the new additions including a $10 Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad, a 55-inch 4K TV for $500, and the Fitbit Charge fitness tracker.
Mac mini excluded from promotion at Apple Retail, online education store
Apple has launched its Back To School promotion for 2015, at least in part. For this year, the company is giving away a pair of Beats Solo2 headphones with any Mac purchase other than a Mac mini. Alternatively, customers can pay an additional $100 to upgrade to the wireless Beats headphones.
Pebble Time firmware update includes new settings for vibration, brightness
A firmware update for the Pebble Time is available to install, with version 3.2 adding more settings and fixes to the device. Among the additions are intensity and time-out duration options for the backlight, adjustable font sizes for certain areas of the operating system, adjustable vibration strength for various alert-related functions, and a Dismiss All action for notifications. The smartwatch can be updated via the Pebble Time app's support menu.
Online deal highlights for July 22, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN searches online retailers for offers, bundles, sales, and discounts on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. All the old deals have been ruthlessly exterminated and are removed from the list, with the new collection including a refurbished 2.1-channel Logitech speaker system for $25, a 240GB Kingston SSD, and the Nikon 1 S2 mirrorless camera.
Online deal highlights for July 21, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN searches online retailers for offers, bundles, sales, and discounts on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. All the old deals have been ruthlessly exterminated and are removed from the list, with the new collection including a really cheap Blue Snowball microphone, a 24.1-inch Dell monitor, and an illuminated living room keyboard and touchpad from Logitech.
Excised feature returns with same functionality, new bugs
A feature from the iOS 8.4 release pruned by Apple was Home Sharing for music. While possibly removed for licensing reasons, the true reason for the original omission was unclear. However, the feature has been reinstated to all devices, not just the Apple TV, with the new developer beta of iOS 9.
Too busy enjoying Apple Music streaming on my iPod touch
In this early season of presidential candidate pronouncements, its refreshing to see someone not running for office who can crazy with the best of them. On this week's MacNN Podcast We celebrate 10 years of podcasts along with Apple, as well as the new, updated iPod touch. We then proceed, like all good parties, to trash some things -- in this case, iTunes and Neil Young's crazy (high) horse. Show notes after the jump.
Online deal highlights for July 20, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN searches online retailers for offers, bundles, sales, and discounts on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. A new week means all old deals are removed from the list, with the new collection including a sub-$500 49-inch Ultra HD TV, a powerline networking extension kit, and the Google Chromecast.
Podcast audience overwhelmingly on iOS, use default player
A new report by audio platform Clammr that pushes the notion that podcast listening is on the verge of breaking into the mainstream of American culture (due to popular podcasts such as Marc Maron's WTF and Welcome to Nightvale) reports that the vast majority (66 percent) of podcast listeners are on mobile devices, and that 82 percent of that audience are using iOS devices -- with 78 percent using the default Apple player.
Discover Weekly generates playlists every Monday based on user listening habits
Spotify will be providing its users personalized playlists on a regular basis, to try and combat the human-curated playlists offered by Apple Music and Google Play Music All Access. Discover Weekly aims to create a highly customized "mixtape" for each subscriber, based on the user's previous listening habits combined with songs listened to by other users with similar tastes in genres, artists, and songs.
Bluetooth headphones, light bulb, guitar add-on offered on MacNN Deals
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the sales available on our own MacNN Deals page. Today's collection of sales are all for Bluetooth-equipped devices with very different uses, including an adjustable light bulb, headphones for fitness enthusiasts, and an add-on for a guitar that gives you more ways to make music.
RIP iTunes Radio, long live the new iTunes Radio
This week's abominably late Pointers column (sorry about that) is an update of one we did in March of this year about how to create your own custom iTunes Radio station based on songs or artists that you liked. If you haven't updated to iTunes 12.2 yet, then read the older column for instructions for your version of iTunes. When version 12.2 came out, things changed -- some for the better, some for the worse, and iTunes Radio changed too.
Online deal highlights for July 17, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware, software, and games for you, the discerning MacNN reader. As always, still-active deals are listed after the new collection, which includes a TCL 48-inch Roku Smart TV, a Sony Cybershot 20.4-megapixel camera, and a compact Logitech Bluetooth speaker that costs just $30.
Apple's not done the very best of jobs with iTunes
The smart money said if anything were going to go wrong, it would be Beats 1: something live is automatically the most likely to fall over in some way. If someone had already taken that bet, you'd settle for guessing that massive demand would overload the streaming servers. Yet instead, the bit of the Music app and Apple Music launch that caused problems -- and continues to cause them -- is good old iTunes for OS X. We've had iTunes for nearly 15 years, and every thing else in Apple Music for a fortnight but it's iTunes for the Mac that has fallen down and can't seem to get up.
Online deal highlights for July 16, 2015
After yesterday's craziness, welcome back to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware, software, and games for you, the discerning MacNN reader. Still-active deals that have more than four available for flash sale (looking at you, Amazon) are listed after the new collection, which includes a Netgear Nighthawk router for $115, a Monster Clarity Speaker, and a 50" Vizio HDTV for $420.
Complains about stream quality, but retains music on download stores
Increasingly erratic Canadian rock legend Neil Young has announced that he is planning to remove his music from all streaming services, including Apple Music, Tidal, and Spotify due to "the worst sound quality available in the history of broadcasting," despite the fact that Apple Music and Spotify both stream at 256kbps AAC, and Tidal in a 1.4mbps lossless format. Young also appears to have forgotten about vinyl, AM/FM radio, cassette and 8-track.
Today's multiple deals, all in one convenient place
Today is going to be replete with deals. Since Walmart and Amazon aren't so nice as to have mostly all-day sales. Instead of being witty and talking about what something is, and what it isn't, we're going to do a bulleted list, with stop times as best as we can find them. Every so often, we'll check what's still available, pop in new deals, and bump this to to the top and label a time for an update so you've got an idea about relative freshness. And we're done here! This final frequent update is at 3:30 PM EDT, but we may still add as the day goes on, just with less fanfare.
Rumored relaunch still MIA, internal specs of new models still unknown
While a rumored refresh of the iPod line -- confirmed through art leaks in the latest iTunes releases -- allegedly set for today has not yet materialized, shipping times for the devices have gotten longer on Apple's US online store, suggesting that a refresh is imminent. While full details of the updated iPods is not yet known, new color options -- including strong shades of blue, pink, and gold -- are on tap for the new models.
Flash, Microsoft Office, Apple Watch deprivation, tales of woe
It's Monday, and that means time for another episode of The MacNN Podcast! This week, as usual, we cover a range of topics from around the Apple and general tech world, and we throw in a cruel experiment in Apple Watch deprivation, mercilessly conducted on one of our own staffers. We also mourn the passing of Electronista, note the release of MS Office 2016 and the OS X and iOS public betas, and more. Show notes after the jump.
Online deal highlights for July 10, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware, software, and games for you, the discerning MacNN reader. The deals from last week have been removed, wiping the slate clean for the new batch of offers, including refurbished Canon cameras, a Starbucks brewer, and a wide monitor from LG.
Even lapsed former subscribers saw issues with cover art, metadata
[Update -- not all problems are fixed] A problem in the new iTunes 12.2 update -- which including a substantial behind-the-scenes change to the database part of the program to accommodate the new Apple Music features, and which caused confusion in metadata and album art in song files -- has allegedly been fixed in a new update, bringing the program to version 12.2.1. The update, now available through the Mac App Store, is also said to correct a problem where uploaded DRM-free music in users' iCloud Music Libraries had been replaced with DRM-enabled Apple Music versions.
Three Bluetooth headphone deals provide cheap wire-free listening
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the sales available on our own MacNN Deals store. Today's selection of three offers are themed around personal audio, with three sets of Bluetooth earphones and headphones designed for use in fitness, out and about, or for relaxing at home.
App Store charges for Apple Music competitors queried by regulator
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is allegedly looking into how Apple treats competitors of its Apple Music service in the App Store. Industry sources of Reuters claim the regulator is making queries about how other music streaming services, such as Spotify and Rhapsody, are represented in the App Store and if Apple is breaking antitrust law, as well as other restrictions on how app creators must behave in order to remain listed in the marketplace.
MacNN deals for July 10, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware, software, and games for you, the discerning MacNN reader. We've removed all the dead deals from the list of previous offers, with the new batch including a Bravolink home theater projector, surround sound speakers for your computer from Logitech, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection for $25.
Music videos in Facebook feed still being negotiated
Facebook is not planning to launch its own streaming music service in the coming months, a company representative has confirmed. The social network has spoken out about a recent report claiming it was working to offer its users an on-demand music service, and though it has outright denied offering anything similar to Spotify, there are still rumors that Facebook will be doing something music-related in the future.
Message from Spotify explains how users can save $3 on their subscription
Spotify is attempting to encourage iOS users to alter their subscription, in order to save money and make it competitive against Apple Music. A guide is being sent to people subscribing to Spotify via its iOS app, explaining how to stop their app-based subscription for one conducted through the website, saving the end user $3 and preventing any ongoing subscription revenue from going to Apple.
MacNN deals for July 9, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware, software, and games for you, the discerning MacNN reader. We've removed all the dead deals from the list of previous offers, with the new batch including an extremely cheap refurbished iMac under $700, a hefty discount on a 34-inch UltraWide LG monitor, and a 7.2-channel network-connected AV Receiver from Onkyo.
Xbox Music for iOS, Android can stream music from OneDrive storage
Microsoft has updated both of its Xbox Music apps for iOS and Android, increasing the app's integration with the OneDrive cloud storage service. The latest update allows users to be able to stream their own music collection stored on OneDrive directly to their device, in a similar way to music locker services, with the functionality being added to the app without the need to have a subscription to the Xbox Music Pass.
Standard, lossless plans offer 50 percent discount for extra users in group
Tidal, the artist-owned music streaming service, is attempting to increase its user numbers by introducing a family plan for the first time, something main competitors Apple Music and Spotify already offer to subscribers. The new family plans will provide a lower cost of service to users that club together under the same account, with both the standard and lossless audio tiers offering similar plan discounts.
Stolen computer prompts Dominican rapper to seek help from Apple Store
A struggling artist with a run of bad luck turned to the SoHo Apple Store in Manhattan to complete, in a piecemeal fashion, a full-length album on the store's Macs -- with some help from some employees. Following a computer that broke down and another that was stolen, Dominican immigrant and rapper Prince Harvey told his story to some sympathetic Apple Store employees, who assisted the young artist in completing his album.
MacNN daily deals for July 8, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware, software, and games for you, the discerning MacNN reader. We've wiped the slate clean of all old deals, with the new batch including a Keurig K40 coffee brewer, a 39-inch 4K television from Seiki, and a USB turntable by Pyle.
MacNN and Electronista deals for July 7, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware, software, and games for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. We've wiped the slate clean of all old deals, with the new batch including a router and external drive bundle, a 55-inch 4K TV from Polaroid, and some podcast-worthy microphones from Massdrop
Analysts predict trouble for rivals during three-month free Apple Music trial
Just a week after its release, the iOS 8.4 update has already been adopted by 37 percent of all active iOS users, an above-average rate for an incremental upgrade that may be driven in part by desire for access to the free trial of the new Apple Music service. While the numbers are on par with the growth seen in the first week of iOS 8.0's release, point updates are generally incorporated more slowly.
Fumble through the world of lost souls and learn to see with your ears
Recently, we looked at The Nightjar by developer Somethin' Else, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. It's game where a minimal UI covers the screen, because the player character can't see -- and the player is supposed to "use their ears to see." It's actually the second game to use the "Papa Engine," the first being Papa Sangre (1.2.4). There's also a sequel, the unsurprisingly-named Papa Sangre II (1.12). All three of these apps are included in a discounted bundle on iTunes. We're going to talk a little bit about the first game, but what really has us excited is Papa Sengre II.
The Beats 1 that just can't go wrong today
Time once again for another episode of The MacNN Podcast, this time episode 22! Since it was quite a notable week, this week's chat between Editor Charles, Managing Editor Mike, and staffers Michelle, Bradley, and Sanjiv is pretty jam-packed. The big story of the week was the launch of Apple Music, and we spend time on both the good and bad of that, but we talk about a lot more as well. Show notes after the jump.
Initial results point to iTunes mishandling of network shares
Over the period of time since iTunes 12.2 was released, MacNN has been receiving spotty reports of iTunes library corruptions. We've begun preliminary testing on the root cause, and a final determination or possible workaround is some time away -- however, w do have solid data pointing to iTunes corrupting libraries hosted over an OS X network share periodically. More problematically, iTunes libraries accessed over an SMB share from either a Windows-based computer or network attached storage (NAS) device are frequently damaged by some iTunes process.
Deals for those looking to celebrate the fourth of July with their wallet
Welcome to Freedom Deals, the one-off version of Daily Deals that we're using to highlight some of the online offers, discounts, bundles, and sales going on this weekend, in honor of the Fourth of July. Notable deals include the freedom-creating Broforce, a collection of large HDTVs, and a Wii U with Splatoon. Normal deals service will resume tomorrow.
This is one complex life form reading this article one of which is human
The Nightjar by developer Somethin' Else is a science fiction thriller in which the player has been abandoned alone on a spaceship which is about to self-destruct. All the lights have gone out, so there's a lot of bumping into walls and following sounds. Thankfully, Benedict Cumberbatch is talking to you through an ear piece and knows how to get you safely off the ship... probably.
Program will be bi-weekly, focus on West Coast rap and hip-hop
Following the decision to release his first album The Chronic as an Apple Music exclusive, untitled Apple executive Dr. Dre will debut a new bi-weekly radio show on Beats 1 on Saturday, July 4, entitled "The Pharmacy," focusing on West Coast urban music and other tracks of interest to Dre. The first episode will debut at 6PM ET, and joins a host of other shows hosted by prominent musicians.