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iWow is right! September 28, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Audio, iTunes, Music, Share/Freeware, Updates & Patches, Utilities.
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One of the Doodler‘s most-favorite-of-all-time-extreme-to-the-max apps is the SRS iWow Plug-in, which tweaks audio from iTunes to create fantastic audal soundstages and environments that make you disbelieve that all this goodness is actually coming from your two cheap, tinny, bargain speakers. The plug-in lets you adjust bass, focus, stereo separation, and definition from your own preferences or the built-in presets and make you feel like you owned Wharfdales.

It’s certainly a plug-in I can’t imagine being without. It’s the best US$20 I ever spent.

Well, SRS has an update available for download as we speak. iWow 2 now lets you save your personal presets, and adds  auto-presets based on the material you’re playing (“Cruise Control”), and more of its own. Best of all, it adds Movie Mode, which has the ability to create. Virtual. Surround. Over. Headphones. (Granted, this is only with the SRS 360 Headphones, but still…)

It usually sells for US$29.99, but the introductory promo gives it to you at US$19.99, with upgrades for old users at US$11.99. There’s even a Free Trial, which I urge you to take so you can be a true believer.

Go get SRS iWow 2 here. iWow indeed.

TeeVee Freebies September 19, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Store, Free Stuff, iTunes, iTunes Store, New Stuff, TV, Video.
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Those of you with iTunes Store accounts have probably made it a weekly habit to harvest free songs and videos from the store, but this week it’s an especially interesting haul.

Aside from the usual free songs, this week you can get for free the third season premiere episode of Prison Break, the pilot episode of K-Ville (a cop show set in post-Katrina New Orleans), and the pre-air pilot episode of The Big Bang Theory (a half-hour comedy about two geeks who live beside a pretty girl they can’t seem to get to know).

As usual, the free stuff doesn’t hang around the store forever, so go get them while they’re hot, along with the other free stuff you can find on in there.

The Ringtone Wars continue: iTunes 7.4.2 update September 18, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in iPhone, iTunes, Updates & Patches.
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Ten days after the last update, iTunes goes through another one today – motivated by the continuing struggle for and against ringtone usage and creation.

iTunes 7.4.2 for Mac and Windows is up, and claims to address an issue with creating ringtones using iTunes Plus song purchases. It also includes bug fixes to improve stability and performance. (Nice doublespeak, Apple.)

The 7.4.1 update killed the workaround devised by some users to create their own ringtones, but we all knew that was a temporary thing, and now Apple has responded to subsequent workarounds. The usual suspects are working on a cure as we speak, and the battle continues. Sigh.

Update available through the usual sources.

Breaking News: Linux-less iPods September 15, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in iPods, Issues, iTunes, Operating System, Rants.
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Reports have come out that Apple has tweaked the new iPods (Classic, Touch, nano) so that iTunes breaks when you use the Linux operating system.

Some folk who like Linux a whole lot (or dislike Apple in general) have repurposed the older iPods to run off Linux instead, but Apple seems to have inserted new code into the iTunes DB file in the player in the hidden i_PodControl/iTunes folder that disables the database and shows exactly zero songs on the player.

Knowing the usual suspects, this qualifies as a minor nuisance. After the iPhone, this should be a piece of cake. But still.

Hackers are at work on it already. Click here for more details on the issue.

(Cross-posted from Mobile Philippines)

Lennon on iTunes August 18, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in iTunes, Music, News.
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First it was Paul, now John. It seems the Apple Wars are about over, as late Beatle John Lennon‘s solo work is made available for commercial download on the iTunes Store, and paving the way for the Beatles’ catalogue to eventually be available on the service.

The long-standing feud between Steve Jobs and the Fab Four stem from the Apple trademark, which both use: Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) vs. Apple Corps the record label. The legal dispute was settled six months ago, and Paul McCartney tested the waters by releasing some of his solo material on iTunes three months later. Now John Lennon’s solo material is on there as well, available in both Fairplay and iTunes Plus formats, plus several old music videos of his.

There’s more. Beginning Aug.28, Ringo Starr‘s solo work will also be available on iTunes as well, leaving only George Harrison‘s music as the last remaining sticking point (Harrison’s material has been unavailable online ever since), and of course, the collective Beatles library.

3 billion served; celebrate with an update August 3, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., Apps, iTunes, Milestones, Updates & Patches.
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Apple’s iTunes Store sold its 3,000,000,000th song last week, which is phenomenal to say the least, and holds the distinction of being the 3rd largest retailer of music in the US. Not bad for selling songs tingi (as they say in my country), or piecemeal/cut-by-cut, as opposed to by album.

In honor of the occasion (or not), Apple has released iTunes 7.3.2. today:

With iTunes 7.3, you can now activate iPhone service and sync it with your music, TV shows, movies and more. Also, you can now wirelessly share and enjoy your favorite digital photos from any computer in your home with Apple TV. iTunes 7.3.2 provides bug fixes to improve stability and performance.

Fire up Software Update in OS X or the Apple Software Update app for Windows. The new version is a 33MB download for Macs, or 56.87MB for Windows users, depending on your current setup.

Stairway to iTunes August 1, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Audio, iTunes, Music.
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The last few major holdout music acts who don’t want their stuff available on the iTunes Store used to be a trio: the Beatles, Radiohead and Led Zeppelin. Now it’s just a duo, since Led Zep has caved and allowed some of their songs on iTunes.

Led Zeppelin, creators of that old sing-along/karaoke classic Stairway to Heaven, enemy of piracy and hater of digital music has sold 200 million analog copies of their albums in the past. But now they’re looking to add to that, so they had a change of heart and put together a specially assembled digital set of their hits for download on Apple’s online music store. The compilation album titled Mothership includes Stairway and Dazed and Confused and a bunch of other hits. The songs were specifically chosen by band members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, and will be available beginning November 12.

Best to squeeze every drop you can, at their age. Now let’s hope everyone follows suit and climbs the stairway to heaven.

Hey, those are my toys! July 17, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., iTunes, Music.
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One of the agreements made between Apple Inc and Apple Corps, which is the record label of the Beatles, to prevent bloodshed over the same name is that Apple Inc only dip its feet in waters entirely different from the waters Apple Corps wades, so that the record company, who’s got dibs on the trademark, will not summarily chop off the feet of the computer company when they start dipping them into the Apple Corps pool.

Who can forget that big stink raised by the record label after Apple Inc. started selling music on the then iTunes Music Store, a clear violation of the agreement? Things have cooled off a bit since then and there’s been an uneasy peace in the orchard. A judge ruled last year that things will go well as long as both parties engage in distinctly different businesses. There has even been talk that Beatles music will be sold on the iTunes Store.

Well, looks like the peace might be short-lived if the rumors are true that Apple is getting set to do exactly what it shouldn’t – become a music label itself (let’s see you try to weasel out of this one, Steve).

In the wake of Universal renegotiating the terms of distribution of their music through the iTunes Store, talk has been circulating that Apple is close to becoming precisely what they should not be – a music label – with acts like Jay-Z and Beyonce, if the rumors are to be believed.

Let’s get ready to rumble!

Spun July 14, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in iTunes, Meta, Music, Wala lang.
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Hee hee.

Spin.com, the website of music mag Spin, a site which I read, respect and love, quoted me on a story they did on Apple‘s Next Big Thing initiative on the iTunes Stone.

Nothing really. Cheap thrill. In my native language, kilig. Just thought I’d mention it.

Heads-up: iTunes, Quicktime updates available July 12, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., iTunes, Quicktime, Updates & Patches.
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Fire up Software Update!

Apple‘s released iTunes 7.3.1, which, in Apple’s usual detailed and thorough notes, “addresses a minor problem with iTunes 7.3 accessing the iTunes Library”, while also issuing Quicktime 7.2, which “addresses critical security issues” and has “numerous bug fixes”. The Quicktime update also does something for the H.264 codec and adds support for full-screen viewing in the Quicktime Player.

While relatively minor fixes, the things are hefty: on my Windows machine the Quicktime update weighs in at 24.36MB and the iTunes update at 56.80MB; on my Macs QT was 53MB and iTunes at 34MB.

More helpful details (no, really) on the Quicktime update here.