Merry CultCast, boys and girls! This week: Santa gets a little “grabby”; Apple wins a major lawsuit; our iPhones deserve “rollover” data plans; the incredibly low payouts artists get from Spotify; and the high-end gifts we really want but will never get on an all-new Get To Know Your Cultist.
Thanks to Audible for supporting this episode. Audible, the home of over 150,000 audio books from practically every genre in existence. Grab our Leander Kahney’s book, Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products, for free with a 30-day Audible trial.
Apple was forced by major record labels to implement digital rights management technology in iTunes, according to testimony in an ongoing class-action lawsuit that accuses Cupertino of stifling competition with competing music services.
Apple contemplated licensing its DRM, called FairPlay, to other companies, “but we couldn’t find a way to do that and have it work reliably,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services.
Kobo’s ebook reader trumps even the best Kindle on several fronts. Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
I just switched from Kindle to Kobo. Why? Amazon. It’s currently extorting publishing house Hachette by delaying orders and refusing to allow pre-orders for certain titles. The exact machinations are secret, but many people agree that Amazon is demanding discounts on ebooks.
I don’t want to see authors forced to get a second job to survive, so I switched. No more Kindle ebooks. I switched to Kobo, which has a great e-ink reader, a deep book catalog, and – most importantly – breakable DRM.
The results are mixed, with ups and downs for both the service and the hardware.
Next time you are traveling somewhere or commuting your way to work, look around you. It’s evident that the number of book lovers who have taken to reading on a digital format has risen significantly over the years. In 2011 and 2012, Amazon said it sold 105 books for its Kindle e-reader for every 100 hardcover and paperback books, excluding free eBooks.
Though it has become apparent in recent years that there is a slight fall in the growth of eBook sales (particularly so in 2013), eBooks are still far too compelling to die out, and today we tend to use more than one medium to consume the same thing. So next time you’re hesitating to pull out your Kindle or iPad mini on the bus or train due to the watchful eyes of a “book snob,” just remember that it’s not possible to please everyone, and that there are still thousands of benefits to the electronic book format.
Cult of Mac Deals has another great freebie lined up for you – but this offer won’t be around much longer! Ondesoft AudioBook Converter for Mac allows users to easily strip DRM and any unwanted protection so your purchased m4b and aax audiobooks can be played on any device you like.
This converter is completely comprehensive which allows for top features to perform flawlessly. Chapter information will be preserved in the output M4A files, so don’t worry – you can easily start from where you left off.
The US Copyright Office reviews the Digital Millennium Copyright Act every three years, looking at requests to create temporary changes that act as ersatz loopholes int he law, typically to address continually changing technology standards. This year, the Copyright Office allows jailbreaking of devices like the iPhone, but not for devices like the iPad.
The Office also ruled that consumers can unlock phones purchased before January 2013, but not thereafter. You’ll also be albe to bypass encryption on a DVD to use an excerpt in a non-commercial way, like in a documentary, but it will still be illegal to rip a DVD for your iPad.
iTunes Match has expanded its reach in Europe today as Apple brings the music matching service to Hungary and Poland more than 18 months after it made its debut in the United States. The Cupertino company is yet to add these countries to its iTunes Match availability page, but users report that the service is now appearing in iTunes.
Although Apple quietly fixed the problem on their end that led to numerous corrupt app updates being sent out to customers, the after effects continued to plague app developers who had been bitten by the bug in the form of one-star App Store reviews from outraged customers. Now Apple’s done the right thing, and obscured these one-star reviews from influencing afflicted apps’ ratings.
Apple has just reported that it has fixed a glitch that’s been plaguing app developers and downloaders today, rendering app updates downloaded today or late yesterday useless. The apps refused to launch, and no amount of re-installation would fix the issue.
Apple just issued a statement to All Things D that calls the all clear. The initial corruption was linked to Apple’s Fairplay digital rights management (DRM), and Apple said it only affected a small number of users.
Unless you have a Mac from 2011 or later, don’t expect to be able to do this in Mountain Lion.
One of the killer features of OS X Mountain Lion is AirPlay Mirroring. Just like on your iPad or iPhone, AirPlay Mirroring will allow you to beam video and sound from your Mountain Lion Mac to an Apple TV connected to your television set. The result? If you’re someone like me who watches a lot of video on his MacBook Air, you’ll never have to reach for that Thunderbolt-to-HDMI converter again.
There’s only one problem with AirPlay Mirroring in Mountain Lion: inexplicably, it doesn’t work on all Macs. In fact, unless you have an iMac, MacBook Air or MacMini from mid-2011, or a MacBook Pro from early 2011, you can’t get in on Mountain Lion’s streaming action.