All items tagged with "iTunes"

Here are the winners of iTunes’ Best of 2014 awards

Pop some bubbly for Apple's best apps, movies and games of the year. Photo: Andy Wright/Flickr CC

Pop some bubbly for Apple’s best apps, movies and games of the year. Photo: Andy Wright/Flickr CC

Apple’s got some great things planned for 2015, but before we get there we need to look back at the year that was 2014.

With that in mind, today marks the release of the company’s annual iTunes Store awards — highlighting the best music, movies, books, podcasts, apps and games from one of Apple”s most eventful years in history.

If you’re looking for the best possible recommendations for enjoyably passing the time this holiday season (at least until Cult of Mac announce our own “best of 2014’ lists), you can find out Apple’s list of winners after the jump:

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Eddy Cue blames record labels for craptastic iTunes DRM

itunes

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.

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Apple scrubbed non-iTunes tracks from iPods

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook and U2 just got roasted for forcing music onto customers’ iPhones, but from 2007 to 2009, Steve Jobs’ Apple was allegedly playing a different tune, and deleted music off of iPods that was purchased on rival music services.

That wouldn’t have been so bad if it were just your embarrassing Nickelband albums, but attorneys for consumers at the ongoing antitrust lawsuit, say iTunes deleted all rival files without ever giving users a warning that they were about to lose their tunes.

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Video interview with Steve Jobs will be evidence in $350m Apple antitrust case

"You like me, they really like me!" Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

Evidence from Steve Jobs will form a large part of Apple’s latest antitrust case. Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

Previously unseen emails and a videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs is set to play a key part in a long-running class action antitrust lawsuit against Apple, which goes to trial this week.

First filed back in 2005, the lawsuit argues that Apple put itself in a monopolistic position by refusing to allow iPod customers to use non-iTunes music on their iPods, thanks to software upgrades issued by Apple. The case saw little action for its first seven years, but picked up steam with a judge’s ruling in May 2012, and is now finally arriving in the court room.

“We will present evidence that Apple took action to block its competitors and in the process harmed competition and harmed consumers,” the lead plaintiffs’ lawyer was quoted as saying in an article for the New York Times.

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How to hide your iTunes purchases from prying eyes (and find them again)

Now you can hide some of those less-proud moments from prying eyes. Photo: Cult of Mac

Now you can hide some of those less-proud moments from prying eyes. Photo: Cult of Mac

Let’s face it – not all of us want every purchase we complete via the iTunes or App stores available to anyone who uses our iPhone, iPad, or Macbook. Some things just need to remain, well, private.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to hide the evidence from unauthorized users via a quick trip to the iTunes app on your Mac or PC.

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Apple to preload Beats Music on iOS early next year

First U2, and now this? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

First U2, and now this? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

You’ll soon have Beats Music on your iOS device whether you want it or not.

Apple is planning to bake the streaming music service into iOS in early 2015, according to The Financial Times. The integration could happen “as early as March,” which would line up with the possibility of a media event to announce the rumored iPad Pro.

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How Apple avoids paying taxes on iTunes revenue

Apple paid nearly zero taxes on iTunes in Europe. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple paid nearly zero taxes on iTunes in Europe. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s tax tactics in Ireland have landed the company in Congress’ hot seat this year, but another European nation has also helped Apple wiggle its way out of paying massive taxes on its iTunes revenues.

Apple reportedly took advantage of Luxembourg’s complex and corporation-friendly taxation system to get out of paying taxes on its iTunes revenue in Europe. The country has a 29% corporate tax rate, but after negotiating a deal, Apple paid only $25 million in taxes out of the $2.05 billion in iTunes revenue. Apple’s not the only American company exploiting Luxembourg’s tax laws either, with some companies paying less than 1% of revenue.

Here’s how Apple avoids paying nearly all taxes in Europe:

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A streaming milestone: Spotify overtakes iTunes in Europe

Photo: Kobalt/TechCruncg

Downloads are dead, long live music streams. Photo: Kobalt/TechCrunch

If you’re searching for further evidence that music streaming is overtaking downloads, look no further than a new report claiming that over the last quarter European revenue from Spotify streams were 13% higher than revenues from iTunes downloads.

The report comes from Kobalt, a company that helps collect music royalties on behalf of thousands of big-name artist. Currently it only collects earnings from Spotify streams in Europe — which means it’s unknown if similar figures are true in the U.S.

This time last year, iTunes’ earnings were 32% higher than that of Spotify in Europe, although streaming revenues have tripled over the past two years.

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iTunes music sales drop for second straight year

iTunes music sales are diving. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iTunes music sales are diving. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple revolutionized the music industry with the introduction of iTunes in 2003, but even Cupertino is having trouble selling albums these days.

iTunes revenue dropped 13% over the last year reports the Wall Street Journal, marking the second straight year that Apple’s digital music sales have declined, after falling 5.7% in 2013.

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Facebook reinvents the chat room with Rooms for iOS

Create a Room for whatever you're into. Photo: Facebook

Create a Room for whatever you’re into. Photo: Facebook

It turns out that the rumored app that Facebook has been working on isn’t an anonymous chat app, but rather a platform that lets you create your own chat room right on your iPhone.

Basically, Rooms is an iPhone app — soon coming to Android — that lets you make tiny message boards to post photos, videos, and text to. You’ll create a different username and identity for each Room you create or visit, and you’ll let other people join via a QR code you can generate and share via the internet or in real life.

Head developer Josh Miller told The Verge, “We’re not trying to build the next Snapchat — we’re trying to build the next WordPress.”

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