Two Weeks Late, iTunes Match and iTunes 10.1 Finally Go Live For Everyone! [Update]

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Two weeks late, Apple’s match-and-mirror music in the cloud service iTunes Match has finally launched while retaining its beta status. In the meantime, iTunes 10.5.1 for both Windows and Mac has been released, so get downloading if you intend on using iTunes Match.

On Mac, the iTunes 10.5.1 update is 102MB, and is available now on the official iTunes homepage or through Software Update.

iTunes Match is Apple’s much anticipated cloud music service. For $24.99 a year, users can match any of the songs on their hard drive into the cloud to be redownloadable on any iOS or Mac device in 256Kbps AAC CD quality, even if their original track was of much lower quality.

iTunes Match is launching as a beta service. However, for subscribing to iTunes Match Beta, we hear you get 15 months of service instead of just 12. Not a bad deal, but be warned that Apple will delete your iTunes Match library at the end of the beta, meaning you’ll have to go through the matching process all over again.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve found that Apple has been having problems getting iTunes Match’s mirroring service to work reliably. We’ll report back and let you know if they’ve worked out the kinks.

Facebook Executive Says He’s “Very Confident” They Can Work With Apple on Ping

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When Apple first unveiled Ping, its new music-based social network half-baked into the latest version of iTunes, Facebook integration wasn’t just promised… it was listed as a feature on Apple’s own promotional pages.

Nonetheless, much to users’ mystification, Ping launched with Facebook support M.I.A., a deal having fallen through at the last minute after fifteen months of talks due to what CEO Steve Jobs described as “onerous terms” on the part of the social network giant.

According to Silicon Valley Insider, though, Facebook CTO Bret Taylor is now saying that he is “very confident” that Facebook and Apple will figure out a way to work together on Ping.

Ping : The Other Social Network

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Apple’s new social network for music fans, Ping, has had a rough start.  People didn’t expect it to be a Facebook for music right away but they did expect more from Apple.  After years of social media hype many people thought Apple would have learned from the mistakes others have made.  While Ping might not be the best idea Apple has ever had, I think when will look back years from now we will wonder what took them so long! For those of you who have turned on Ping, here are some things Ping should have and a few tips to make your Ping experience a little better. Read more after the break.

Turn iTunes 10 Back Into iTunes 9… Aesthetically

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Loathe — absolutely loathe — the new iTunes 10 look? The grayscale sidebar icons? The hypocritically wonky horizontal windows controls? That ghastly new CD-less icon? *Damien Erambert has put together a handy new package which allows you to roll back iTunes 10’s more egregious changes back to a more palatable iTunes-9-style aesthetic bliss. Not that that looked all that great either, you understand.

* – Okay, this download won’t change the icon… but it’s easy enough to do.

How-To Fix Your Automator iTunes Workflows

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When we posted on Friday that iTunes 10 had killed off old Automator workflows, it had all the hallmarks of a bug… and as it turns out, a but it is.

As it turns out, the problem is caused because Automator detects iTunes 10 as being a lower version number than iTunes 9, because Automator apparently sorts version numbers alphabetically instead of numerically.

As it turns out, the fix isn’t entirely onerous: simply open up the info.plist inside the packages of your non-functioning workflows and manually change the version number. If you absolutely can’t live without your iTunes Automator workflows until Apple managed to issue a Software Update, here’s your stop gap solution.

iTunes 10 Kills Off Old Automator Workflows

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Apple’s Automator is a fantastic way to manage your iTunes tracks… but with Apple’s iTunes 10 update, many iTunes-specific Automator workflows have simply stopped working.

According to upset users in Apple’s discussion forums, the vast majority of iTunes Automator actions go missing when you install iTunes 10. Try to run a previously created iTunes workflow and you will ironically be prompted to install iTunes 4.6 or higher. Ugh.

The good news here is that none of the functionality has disappeared from AppleScript, so it should be able to replicate the functionality if you change gears. Still, the sudden absence of iTunes functionality in Automator is mysterious: did Apple purposely drop the functionality, or is this a bug? If the former, what was Apple’s rationale?

iTunes 10 Now Available For Download

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As revealed yesterday, The latest version of Apple’s iTunes media-managing software, iTunes 10, is now available to download through Software Update or via direct download here.

iTunes 10 has long been rumored to be the first version of iTunes that capitalized upon Apple’s acquisition of Lala and brought cloud-streaming to the masses, but Steve Jobs belied that expectation yesterday by saying that Apple remains “skeptical” of the cloud for the time being.

Instead, the major new feature in iTunes 10 is Ping, a baked-in social network based around music discovery. You can follow friends and artists like on Twitter and be alerted to new music that they rate and review, while also giving the heads up to friends about hot new tracks you might enjoy.