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Exclusive testing: iTunes 12.2 mangling network-shared libraries

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.

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Comment: An independent artist's view on Apple Music

Apple Music is great for listeners, not so much for artists

As a music fan, I'm delighted that Apple Music is finally here. The thought of being able to access most of Apple's iTunes catalog for a low monthly fee is a mouth-watering prospect. Before services like this were available, I would routinely spend two or three times as much every month on buying new music to feed my addiction. Therein lies the problem for independent artists, but also all artists at large, as streaming services move from being marginal, secondary sources of income to something increasingly material.

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Hands On: iTunes 12.2.0 (OS X)

Our music library just got a whole lot bigger

It's been called over-complicated, it's been called confusing, but it's also been called the place where you keep all your music by nearly everyone in the civilized world. That last has now changed: it's the place you get to almost all the music ever created in the history of the world, and then some. Okay, maybe no,t but we had -- hang on, let's check -- 9,692 songs yesterday and today we have (counts on fingers) 30,000,000, give or take the Beatles. The new iTunes 12.2 for Mac brings some minor changes, and one massive one with the introduction of Apple Music to OS X.

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Analysis: Apple Music and Beats One

The MacNN staff look at today's massive litany of releases by Apple

It's that time again -- Apple has hit us all with a flood of releases, and leading the pack are Apple Music and Beats One. Join Managing Editor Mike, MacNN Editor Charles, and writer William for a discussion of all the hits, misses, and we discuss if we should keep the wheel in the sky turning for what's on tap, or if Apple's new offering is little more than a rainbow in the dark.

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Hands On: Apple Music (iOS, OS X, Windows)

Despite launch confusion, it's excellent

Just spotted on one of our reviewers' Facebook page: a music fan has written "so long Spotify, it was good while it lasted." Time will tell -- specifically three months of time, as that's how long Apple's giving for free -- but we're already impressed with Apple Music . Not so impressed, however, with the expected problem of it being difficult to download the necessary updates while everyone else in the world was trying to grab them too. Actively disappointed with the unexpected issues facing some unknown number of iTunes Match users, as well. Yet in terms of what Apple Music does, and what it's like, we actually are impressed.

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Apple Music, iOS 8.4 update are on the air; servers hammered [u]

Beats One streaming radio live, alongside Apple's new music service

[Updated with correction, lightening of server load in US] As expected, Apple has launched iOS 8.4, with an accompanying OS X 10.10.4 update. Alongside the software release, Apple has also fired up the Apple Music service and Beats One. Apple Music provides access to some 30 million tracks in the iTunes catalog, both for streaming and offline listenings. Music curation includes recommendations for songs and albums from experts, with playlists for various activities and song genres.

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The MacNN Podcast, episode 21: Writing your app in (Taylor) Swift

The downward spiral of the music business, a 5K iMac giveaway, and more

Episode 21 of The MacNN Podcast is now available! Join us for a very speedy hour as we talk about a great new contest where you can win a 5K Retina 27-inch iMac , the licensing kerfuffle with Apple Music that features a happy ending, more troubles for MacKeeper, the plaudits and perils of e-publishing, the trauma of having to send in a Mac for repair, and our picks for App(s) of the Week! Show notes after the jump.

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Hands On: iOS 9 Preview for iPad Air 2

New multitasking features inject new life into iPad

Although there have been some clues that Apple has been planning to introduce split-screen multitasking on the iPad, it was still something of a surprise to see the feature finally debut at WWDC. The feature will make its debut in iOS 9, which is due to officially land sometime in the fall, likely around the time we see the next generation of iPhones and iPads. Similar functionality can be found in Windows tablets and some Android tablets, so what is it like on the iPad Air 2?

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Editorial: Mainstream press clickbait critical, Apple press annoyed

Or, 'Does CNBC have a leg to stand on, regarding Apple Watch sales?'

In the UK, it's known as Betteridge's law of journalism: a headline that is a question can always be answered by the reader by the word 'no' regardless of editorial intent. Is Elvis really alive? No. Could this one simple technique make you a millionaire overnight? Take a wild guess. While you're at it, apply your guess to CNBC's article that's been headlined: "Is interest in the Apple Watch dissipating?"

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Technology in Recovery: Out of the ER, into the fire

How well does the iPad and other tablet offerings integrate into adult recovery

My name is Mike. As I've previously discussed , I'm the Managing Editor here at MacNN and Electronista. On Sunday night or Monday morning, depending on how you look at it, my 44-year-old wife suffered a stroke. After a few days in a mainline hospital, we were moved to a rehab hospital yesterday. Today has been a whirlwind of doctors, therapists, nurses, and more testing, but universally, what just about everybody is asking is... do you have an iPad? Why are they asking this? Well, let's discuss it, and launch a new column while we're at it.

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Hands On: iTunes U 3.0 (iOS)

Great resource adds collaboration and marking

You know that MacNN likes to go the extra mile and stress-test, even pummel every application that gets a Hands On review. It's not enough to tell us a list of features, we want to see that those features do what they say they will. It's partly diligence, partly that we've been fooled by Windows software before. Apple today updated its iTunes U educational service and iOS to version 3.0 , and made some notable changes -- and this obviously requires that we join a university that uses the software so that we can fully partake of the semester-long new features.

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Pointers: Summer Project: E-publishing, part five

Writing is rewriting -- also, editing, plus software, and more

Okay, do this for me, would you? Spread your arms out as far as you can. That span represents the number of people in the world. Bring your left hand in about an inch. The span that's left is the number of people who want to write a book. Drop your left hand entirely and bring your right in to about six inches away from your body. That's how many will start to write one.

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Giveaway: Win an Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display worth $2,000

Win the iMac with Retina 5K Display with MacNN Deals

Do you want to upgrade your computing setup with a high-resolution addition, but without having to pay for it? Our very own MacNN Deals is giving you the opportunity to do just that, by winning an Apple iMac with Retina 5K display worth $2,000, complete with its signature 27-inch 5120x2880-resolution IPS screen, in an easy-to-enter competition.

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Apple issues new betas of OS X 10.11, iOS 9, watchOS 2 [U]

Second betas feature tweaks, but still have numerous bugs, issues

[Updated with new info on watchOS 2 beta, hidden feature in iOS 9 beta] Apple on Tuesday launched the second betas of its next major OS upgrades, OS X 10.11 El Capitan , iOS 9 , and watchOS 2.0. The developer-only betas still have a long list of issues, and do not include any new features compared to the first beta, issued two weeks ago during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. All three betas offer some fixes for issues seen in the first betas, but continue to have problem and non-functional areas.

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Review: Apple Watch

Does the Apple Watch have what it takes to beat the competition?

As with all new Apple product launches, it can be difficult sometimes to separate the reality from the hype. The hype is understandable, of course - Apple is the biggest technology company in the world, and it doesn't often launch into all-new product categories. The Apple Watch is the first completely new project to come from Apple under its "new" management team, headed since 2011 by CEO Tim Cook, and its success or failure is therefore critical. According to some estimates, the total combined number of Android Wear-powered smartwatches shipped by all OEMs, including Samsung, LG, Sony and Asus, totaled just over 700,000 units in 2014. Pebble announced that it had shipped its one millionth smartwatch on the last day of 2014. Does the Apple Watch have what it takes to take the technology mainstream? Read on in our full review of the Apple Watch .

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Apple to replace 3TB hard drives in late 2012 model 27-inch iMacs

Covers all affected iMacs regardless of warranty status

Users who purchased a 27-inch iMac between December of 2012 and September of 2013 may experience hard drive or Fusion Drive failure "under certain conditions" due to problem with the hard drive component. Apple has now announced a replacement program that largely covers the "late 2012" 27-inch iMac (though it may also include some early mid-2013 iMacs), and will contact registered owners of the affected units to offer a free swap out of the drives, regardless of warranty status.

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Pointers: Summer Project: E-publishing, part four

Finally, some actual writing, and thoughts on software to use

Four weeks into the summer project, halfway through to having an actual paperback and e-book, only now do we get to do some writing. Maybe in the olden days, you could just get out your quill pen on day one and craft a masterpiece, but now that you're taking on the production of the book, you have a lot of other concerns.

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Apple sandboxing flaw attack revealed, cross-app data theft possible

Flaw in how Apple handles secure app data storage, Keychain, WebSocket disclosed

A sextet of researchers have discovered a weakness in Apple's cross-app resource security. The researchers found a "series of high-impact security weaknesses" which allow a sandboxed malicious app, which has been previously approved by Apple's storefront, to gain access to other applications data stored in an app's private directory. Data at risk includes stored passwords for banking, iCloud passwords, WeChat photos, and Evernote contacts.

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Analysis: 2015 Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony E3 press events

The giants have spoken, but who's going to take the 2015-2016 sales crown?

The triumvirate of console gaming, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, have shown what they're going to show to launch the 2015 E3 expo, and as with all things, we've got opinions. Join MacNN and Electronista staffers Mike, Malcolm, and Jordan with special commentary from HammerCast's Duane Sibilly as they discuss the surprises, let-downs, reveals, and presentations that we've suffered through so you don't have to!

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Editorial: WSJ stoops to clickbait with silly anti-Mac article

Ford should stop selling cars because they sell more trucks, paper argues

In case you haven't heard, the Wall Street Journal has run an embarrassingly blinkered editorial called "Why Apple Should Kill Off the Mac" which is, on the face of it, nonsensical. We expect this sort of asinine fodder from the logic-averse scrawls of established nitwits like your Dvoraks, your Enderles -- but the Wall Street Journal was once a respected, legitimate newspaper (at least until Rupert Murdoch bought it).

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Adobe updates Creative Cloud apps, introduces Stock option

Adobe starts selling stock images from within CC suite apps

Adobe's latest updates to its Creative Cloud have been revealed, with new additions accompanying mainstay apps. Improvements to the main app suite including Photoshop CC, Premiere Pro CC, and After Effects CC arrive alongside new mobile apps, with a large contingent heading to Android, while the new Adobe Stock is a marketplace for various assets useful to design projects created within Creative Cloud.

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The MacNN Podcast, episode 19: Succumb to the Beats surrender

Not just the betas, but what's going on behind them, plus Oculus Rift VR

WWDC has come and gone for another year, and with it a plethora of new announcements and betas. Despite our fairly abysmal "wild guess" record, we did come up 90 percent right on our list of things we "knew" would happen (Tim Cook skipped his usual run-through of how great Apple is doing just to spite us ). This time, we look at what actually happened at WWDC, in the larger tech industry, Apple Music , and what it all might mean.

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Pointers: Summer Project -- E-publishing, part three

The fun part -- researching the book

We'll be honest. One reason for doing this entire series of articles about writing and publishing your own book is that we've read too many features saying it's easy. Get iBooks Author, get Scrivener, press Print, the end. That's always described as being so easy anyone could do it but we think that's so boring nobody would. Then when you see the junk that gets published this way, you know that nobody should. Instead, you and I are doing it right.

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Analysis: WWDC 2015 keynote presentation

MacNN staff break it down into chunks, see if they can put it back together again

As we typically do after major Apple events, MacNN has gathered some of its senior staff to consider the implications, long-term effects, and potential fallout of the announcements and decisions made by Apple via what it brought to the table. The Worldwide Developers Conference keynote is a signpost for the direction of the next year or so, and was unusually full and meaty. Here's what we thought of today's presentation.

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Apple brings more intelligence, new apps, iPad updates with iOS 9

Siri becomes more proactive, anticipates user behavior

Apple has previewed features users will be able to expect in the next iteration of iOS. Confirmed as iOS 9, the mobile operating system will have improvements in four core areas: Intelligence, Apps, iPad, and Foundation, with new additions including improvements to Siri, search, multitasking, more apps, Apple Pay, and other areas.

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Apple announces OS X 10.11, 'El Capitan'; public beta next month

Update will focus on experience, performance gains

As part of the announcements made during the WWDC keynote on Monday, Apple has unveiled both the name and focus of the next OS X version, 10.11, now known as "El Capitan." As previously reported, the focus with the next update, scheduled for release this fall, will focus on improvements to the user experience as well as honing performance from the current 10.10, Yosemite. Although improvements are the focus, a few new features are also included.

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The MacNN Podcast, episode 18: Psychic Hotline, we are not

Educated guesses, wishful thinking, inaccurate reporting, likely stories

Today, many of our readers will be trying to watch the live stream from Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, or following our coverage of the main announcements. As our reviewer Michelle noted, some people will be happy, and others will be disappointed (hint: don't invest emotionally in rumors). If you need a good laugh after the keynote, give a listen to Episode 18 of The MacNN Podcast , where we made our previously-recorded predictions.

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Pointers: the value of the unlocked iPhone

Unlocking increases resale value, makes international travel easy, more

This Pointers tip actually works on most other smartphones as well, we should mention, but our experience in this regard is with the iPhone, so we use that as our example. Most people confuse "unlocking" an iPhone with "jailbreaking" or "rooting" it, and these two concepts could not be more different, in fact. This week, we will explain the chief advantages of unlocking your iPhone, or other smartphone, if its not already, and why you should do it as soon as possible -- even if you never plan to leave your home country.

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Apple Watch expanding to six countries, US retail availability soon

Space Black Stainless Steel with Space Black Link Bracelet still constrained

Apple today announced that the highly sought-after Apple Watch will be available in Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan beginning Friday, June 26 from the Apple Online Store, Apple's retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers. Alongside the international expansion, Apple noted that US retail availability of the wearable is imminent, with an estimate commencement starting on or around June 19, a week ahead of the international expansion.

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Hands On: Fantastical 2.3 (iOS, Apple Watch)

Brings two big improvements to Apple Watch

We were only just saying that Calendar is one of the few little disappointments on Apple Watch , and now Flexibits has released Fantastical 2.3 for iOS , which solves two of those little letdowns in one fell swoop. They're big enough that this is a reason to buy Fantastical, but if you get it for the Apple Watch, then you are also getting an excellent iPhone calendar.

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