Tag - ITunes in the Cloud
[Update: problems resolved as of approximately 7:45PM ET] For the second time in as many days, Apple's online stores are unavailable for an undetermined percentage of users. The current outage, which began around 4:30PM ET and is ongoing, is affecting the both the iOS and Mac App Stores, the iBookstore, and a variety of iTunes services such as iTunes Match, iTunes in the Cloud, iTunes Radio and the iTunes Store. Other iCloud services, such as Siri, email, FaceTime and syncing services are not affected.
Apple has made two important improvements to its German video offerings, reports say. The most important is iTunes in the Cloud support for movies and TV shows; this means that content bought or rented on one device can be downloaded elsewhere, or again, at no extra cost, as long as it's tied to the same Apple ID. By extension, the second change is that TV shows hosted on iTunes can now be viewed on an Apple TV.
Several of Apple's online services were briefly impacted by outages earlier today, according to Apple's System Status page. The worst affected the iTunes Store, the iBookstore, and the Mac and iOS App Stores between 1:28 and 2:57PM Eastern time, preventing some people from making any purchases. During the same time period, people may have been unable to use iTunes in the Cloud or iTunes Match, or restore purchases from an iCloud backup.
On Friday, Apple updated iTunes to version 11.0.5, which fixes an issue with "iTunes in the Cloud," a part of the free iCloud service that automatically backs up iTunes Store purchases. The issue caused some downloads or playing of recently-redownloaded files to "play unexpected items" rather than what the user intended to get. The update is available for both OS X, Windows (32-bit) and 64-bit Windows implementations (Vista, 7 or 8). The fix for the problem was originally seen in the latest iOS 7 beta currently being tested by developers.
Apple has officially expanded the reach of iTunes in the Cloud movie support to eight more countries. Of these, Japan may be the most prominent, although the other countries are located entirely within Europe. The list includes Austria, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Switzerland.
Apple has quietly added a "Later" option for iTunes downloads, reports say. The feature appears in both iTunes 11 and iOS 6, and lets people buy larger files without immediately downloading them. Items then show up in the Purchased section of a person's iTunes account, where they can then be downloaded when a reliable Internet connection is available.
(Updated with complete list of countries) Access to movies and TV shows via iTunes in the Cloud is rolling out across several more European countries, reports say. The one confirmed country is France, where the feature has been tested with both iTunes and the Apple TV. Various people on Twitter, however, are claiming that the option is now also available in Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands.
Today's Apple TV 5.2 update, released alongside iOS 6.1, adds a few new features. The most important may be the ability to stream music via iTunes in the Cloud, cutting out the need to stream from a connected computer or iOS device. Accordingly Apple has also incorporated Up Next, the feature first seen in iTunes 11 that shows what music is coming up and allows for quick editing of the playlist.
Apple appears to be in the process of rolling out TV shows to the Apple TV and iTunes in the Cloud in Germany, reports say. A TV option is showing up in the Apple TV's interface, and lists shows as available for purchase, though not for rent, which was previously the case with the German version of the iTunes Store. Confusing the situation further is that some people have seen the Movies item removed from the main section of the Apple TV UI, though that could be temporary.
This week's expanded iTunes in the Cloud movie services are also including Fox titles for the first time, users note. While Fox movies have been on sale through iTunes for some time, the option to redownload them via iCloud has been conspicuously absent. Fox was the last major studio holdout, following Universal's arrival in April; extended rights negotiations are likely to blame.