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Apple Lost the eBooks Trial, But It Can Still Win the eBooks Market

3-shotAmazon is beating Apple in the eBooks racket by using Apple’s own pricing strategy for music.

But Apple can still clobber Amazon by out-Appling not the iTunes pricing strategy, but the Apple marketing strategy: Create a vastly better user experience for both content creators and content consumers! Oh, and focus on audio.

Here’s how.

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Why Even Jay-Z Can’t Make Samsung Cool For Long

jzIn the ongoing smartphone culture wars, Samsung spent a reported $5 million engaging the latest song stylings of Jay-Z as an exclusive for Galaxy owners.

Owners of that phone contended for a million copies of the impressively-titled album “Magna Carta Holy Grail”  launched July 4 in a special app, three days before the rest of us can get it in iTunes. Media saw the promotion as a tactical move by Samsung to gain position on the music front over Apple.

The cachet lasted about as long as a cheap sparkler: there are thousands of torrents of the album available.

As one of the guys who decided to spread the work of Beyoncé’s husband up for everyone put it: “I should clarify it was available to the first million (I think…) Samsung Galaxy owners to chime in with an app for the album. My wife got it but I’m not rocking a Samsung :/”

If You’re In Atlanta, Make Sure To Stop By The Apple Pop-Up Museum [Gallery]

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A physical timeline of the iPod’s history.

The Apple Pop-Up Museum showcases the history of Apple from its inception to today. The exhibit is run by Lonnie Mimms, a tech junkie who has been collecting every bit of Apple gear he can get his hands on for decades.

The museum opened last month, and if you’re in the Atlanta, Georgia area on May 18th or June 8th, Mimms will be opening the doors again.

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Will Apple Get Used?

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Apple was caught last year selling Apple Certified refurbished hardware on eBay using the pseudonym Refurbished-Outlet. Allegedly.

The prices and details of these products were generally the same as refurbished products sold on the apple.com site. The products come with a one-year warranty and mobile devices contain a new battery.

But this week it emerged that Apple is lowering the prices on eBay, sometimes by quite a bit. For example, Apple normally charges $999 for a refurbed MacBook Air with 128 GB. But that same system with the same Apple inspection and one-year warranty went on sale in the eBay store for $899. Prices on other hardware products were slashed similarly.

(In addition, we learned, the company as been apparently working with “power sellers” on eBay to sell Apple hardware. For example, until they ran out of the 500 units put up for sale of 13-inch MacBook Pros selling for $999. These are new devices, not refurbished, and Apple is probably using the “channel” to clear out inventory.)

It seems to me that Apple is working behind the scenes to experiment with different models for selling refurbished and excess inventory. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple was also trying other channels for doing the same thing that we don’t know about. And I also wouldn’t be surprised if refurbished gadgets vanished from the Apple site altogether, and for those items to be sold in the darker alleys of the Internet (like eBay) exclusively instead.

But I think there’s a ginormous opportunity here for embracing “used” in a big way — and it’s something only Apple could pull off. 

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Make Any Recorded Music Sound Way Better With Mastering Suite T-RackS [Review]

Make Any Recorded Music Sound Way Better With Mastering Suite T-RackS [Review]

Back in the 90s, I was in a modern rock band. Yeah, I know, who wasn’t? Anyway, one of the thing we did, as most rock bands do, was to create our own demo tapes and recorded music. We used a variety of hardware to get our music onto tape, and then when I got my first Mac, I started using it to record multitrack demos right in my living room.

The thing about home recordings is that they sound like they’ve been recorded in your home. We wanted a more highly polished, stuiod sound. That’s when we found out about T-rackS, a Mac application that worked like a mini mastering studio, letting us apply various audio processing sets to our mixed down songs, without having to pay someone a lot of money to do the same thing. It made our music sound a LOT more professional.

I lost track of T-rackS software, and I assumed that it had gone the way of System 8, honestly. Then IK Multimedia came up with a revamped T-RackS, ready to purchase and use right now, and I knew I had to try it out.

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A Deal That Will Bring Music To Your Ears [Deals]

A Deal That Will Bring Music To Your Ears [Deals]

The latest Cult of Mac Deals offer is natural fit for your audio needs – on more ways than one.

The Clarity Series CW31 In-Ear Wooden Heaphones are truly the “natural” way to listen. These eco-friendly headphones feature rich, natural sound with housing to match. The best of premium technology and long-lasting natural elements…and they can be yours for just $24 for a limited time.

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Turn On Notification Center’s Hidden Do Not Disturb Setting In Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

Turn On Notification Center’s Hidden Do Not Disturb Setting In Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

Keep your notifications under control with this handy tip.

As you probably know already, Mountain Lion was released this morning, and we at Cult of Mac have been digging through the beta versions for months. There are some subtle and hidden things in Mountain Lion you may not notice, like the fact that Apple has actually included a stealthy “do not disturb” setting for Notification Center. You can mute all notifications from bugging you for a day at a time by flipping a switch that sneakily sits at the very top of the Notification Center window.

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Braven 650 Is Robert Downey Jr. To The JamBox’s Johnny Depp [Review]

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Handsome, tough and smart, the Braven is the Tony Stark of portable speakers

It’s inevitable that any review of the Braven 650 portable Bluetooth speaker compares it to JawBone’s JamBox, and so will this one. Short answer? The Braven sounds better. Long answer? That’s a bit more complicated.

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Giant Vamp Case Turns The iPhone Into A 1980s-Style Home Stereo

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Is this the biggest iPhone case ever seen?

I suppose that product meeting for the V-Moda Vamp went something like this:

Designer: Here it is! The Vamp case. It’s a metal case for the iPhone.

Boss: What the hell is wrong with you? That thing is huge. It’s an embarrassment to the good name of V-Moda. My god. With a box that size you could fit in literally anything. ANYTHING!

(Light bulb goes off over designer’s head)

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Cute NuForce Cube Speaker Packs In High-End Audiophile Features

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Imagine a JawBone JamBox, complete with its cute combination packaging/display case. Now imagine that it has been shrunken down into a two-inch cube. Further, try to picture a box that has had the Bluetooth radio extracted and replaced by a high-end DAC (digital analog converter) and a quality headphone amp. Now, keep this picture on your head as you reach around and pat yourself on the back and hear the theme from Rocky in your head.

Congratulations — you have successfully imagined the NuForce Cube, whilst simultaneously engaging all three of your main sensory systems.

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