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Tag - ITunes
An outage earlier today has since been corrected, but affected users around the world with a roughly two-hour disruption of the various App Stores, some iCloud services, and related features such as Apple Maps. As of 11AM ET, the problem has been fixed and all services are reporting operational again, but no explanation of the nature of the outage or the percentage of users affected has been reported by Apple. The downtime struck for about two hours from around 10AM Eastern Time until noon.
Say your favourite day is Thursday when there's always a new episode of One More Thing, the MacNN podcast and what you really look forward to is its regular Thingies of the Week section. If that's the case then, um, we're feeling some pressure here but promise to make it more exciting. We also promise to make it easier for you to go straight to that section because OMT, as the cool kids call it, is now produced with the aid of Chapters 1.0 for OS X which inserts a kind of bookmark.
Apple has folded its iTunes radio stations into Apple Music, preventing free users from being able to play the stations. Just as announced in an email by Apple earlier this month, the "Radio" section of iTunes is now only accessible to subscribers, and will no longer air any advertising messages as part of streams, with free users now being prompted to subscribe to Apple Music if they want to continue using the feature.
Following the release of the first e-book volume of MacNN Pointers, we are offering another, shorter publication intended to help users -- a free PDF file called iTunes: More Than Just Your Music, a guide to exploring the various free and paid options for streaming music available through iTunes on OS X and through some third-party programs. The guide focuses on the differences between the built-in and free Internet Radio guide, the currently-free iTunes Radio feature (which will soon be folded into the subscription Apple Music section), Apple's flagship Beats 1 station, and of course the paid Apple Music services iTunes Match and Apple Music.
On Thursday, Apple updated its iOS App Store to offer a special sale on productivity apps, taking 50 percent off highly-rated programs such as to-do list Clear, package tracker Deliveries, and a utility that turns an iPad into a wired second monitor for a Mac called Duet Display. Corresponding Mac versions of the apps are on sale as well, such as task manager Things. The sale, which is expected to last for a week, is a repeat of an earlier promotion along similar lines called "Get Productive."
On Monday, Pointers went over the various options available for listening to music on iTunes that is not part of your local library of stored songs. There are several options, but it's Apple Music -- the subscription service -- that gets all the press. Previously it was iTunes Radio back in 2013, but it will soon be (partially) folded into Apple Music, so what was once free but annoyingly ad-supported (stupid artists, wanting to be paid!) will become ad-free but part of the paid Apple Music service. Today, Pointers will help you cope with the loss by re-acquainting you with the thousands of free Internet stations inside iTunes.
Recently, we ran a new story about the folding of iTunes Radio into the paid Apple Music service that caused confusion among some readers, and in hindsight its easy to guess why -- there is widespread confusion (particularly outside the two countries that ever had iTunes Radio, the US and Australia) about that it actually is, and what it isn't. This Pointers column will thus take a look at the various different audio services under the iTunes roof, what's free, what's not, what's changing, and what isn't -- and most importantly, what features are being seriously underused.
In an email announcement late on Friday, Apple has informed iTunes users that the "Radio" section of iTunes (not to be confused with the "Internet Radio" section of iTunes) will be made part of the paid Apple Music subscription service, and will no longer offer ads. The move appears to be part of the same philosophy that prompted the company to divest itself of its iAd mobile advertising system, and the stations formerly available for free will be part of the paid service, beginning January 29.
A UK father was surprised to discover that his seven-year-old son, Faisall, had managed to spend nearly £4,000 (almost $5,800 US) on in-app upgrades for the game Jurassic World over a five-day period just prior to Christmas. The Crowley resident, 32-year-old Mohamed Shugaa, blamed Apple for the fiasco, despite the fact that his son would have had to have access to the Shugaa's iTunes password, as well as ignoring dialogs that warned that the purchases would cost real money.
This is sort of a "part two" to the Pointers we wrote last week about how to back up your Mac, both for immediate common-sense reasons and for other goals, such as long-term archival preservation, or for preparing to transfer data to a new machine, for example. This week, we'll do the same for iOS devices, where -- as with most things iOS -- the process is quite a bit simpler. We'll explain how to back up your iTunes purchases, your other data (and keep it safe), and how to transfer it to a new iOS device.
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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
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko