Drake’s new mixtape could be big for both him and Apple. Photo: Brennan Schnell/Flickr CC
To use hip hop parlance, Canadian rapper hip hop artist Drake has “dropped” a new surprise mixtape on iTunes. The precursor to his next studio album, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” is a 17-track opus — announced late Thursday via Drake’s Twitter.
Boasting guest appearances from Lil Wayne, Travi$ Scott, and PARTYNEXTDOOR, the mixtape is expected to be the artist’s last under his current contract with label Cash Money Records.
However, while hip hop-heads will no doubt see the release as the big news here (and, if you’re a Drake fan, check out the track “You & The 6”), for Apple-watchers it’s significant for another reason.
Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Andre Young, and Eddy Cue. Photo: Apple
Apple plans to launch a new streaming music service this spring, but music industry insiders say Apple isn’t trying to just compete with Spotify, it wants to become the music business.
Tim Cook and Jimmy Iovine were two of the most in-demand people at this year’s Grammys. Eddy Cue and iTunes VP Robert Kondrk were also in attendance according to a new report from Billboard, which claims artists and labels execs alike were lined up at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy gala to get a meeting with the biggest names in tech that are now poised to take on music, again.
Jimmy Iovine has devoted recent weeks to meeting senior execs at major and indie labels to talk about the new music service that will launch by summer at the latest and come alongside a major redesign of the iTunes Store as the company struggles to adapt to decline music sales.
Quicker than switching to iTunes, for sure. Screengrab: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
The advent of iTunes 12.1 gave us a sweet new widget that lets you control iTunes from the Notification Center’s Today section, without ever having to switch to the app itself. You can even favorite songs and buy currently playing tracks if you’re listening to iTunes Radio.
Unfortunately, this widget doesn’t seem to appear by default. To enable it, you need to drop into System Preferences. Here’s how to get it up and running.
Who says Apple doesn’t care about backward compatibility? Photo: Matthew Pearce
Apple has a reputation for not being afraid to move on.
Buy a new iPhone, and you’re lucky if iOS supports your device just four years down the line. Buy a Mac? Apple’s constantly making older models obsolete with every new OS X release. Heck, there’s an entire ocean of old PowerPC apps that were orphaned by Apple when they migrated to Intel.
Yet Apple isn’t without loyalty to the gadgets that once made it great. Case in point: If you plug a first-gen iPod into your modern-day Mac, iTunes 12 will still sync with it.
Developers trying to update their apps on iTunes got a surprise this morning, when thanks to a weird glitch with iTunes Connect, devs were logged into other users’ accounts.
Not only has the outage prevented developers from being able to log into their own accounts to update apps, but it’s also exposed apps that are secretly in development to competitors.
Developers have taken to Twitter this morning expressing their outrage, with some calling for Apple to just take an ax to any cable leading to the iTunes Connect servers. Apple has yet to release an official statement, but they have finally taken iTunes connect offline, hours after the first reports hit.
Now that Apple has filed its 10-Q quarterly report with securities regulators, we now know why: Outside of the App Store’s continued success, iTunes was one of the few areas of Apple business that declined over the last three months. How badly? Read on to find out.
Clearly someone in Cupertino (head of retail Angela Ahrendts?) has woken up in a newly charitable mood, however, because Apple has just updated its iTunes Store app for both iOS and desktop with a new “Free on iTunes” curated section, which helps customers find content they can download without having to rack up any extra post-Christmas credit card bills.
App Store is now the world’s top entertainer. Photo: Buster Hein
Hollywood has long been the sparkling gem of entertainment in the U.S., but when it comes to making money, Apple is schooling the entertainment industry on how to bring in the cash with the App Store.
In 2014, iOS app developers earned more than Hollywood did from U.S. box office revenues, reports top Apple analyst Horace Dediu. According to Asymco’s number crunching, apps are now a bigger digital content business than music, TV programs, movie purchases and rentals combined.
Apple paid out approximately $25 billion total to developers, which means that not only is the App industry healthier than Hollywood, but also on an individual level, some developers are out earning Hollywood stars. The median income for developers is also likely higher than the median income for actors. If you’re looking to strike it rich, forget becoming the next Brad Pitt. Be the next Dong Nguyen.
Apple sent the music industry over to the dark side… of the moon. Photo: Phil Guest/Wikipedia
Be it John Mayer or U2, Apple’s always been a brand that’s both embraced — and been embraced by — the music world. Which is why it’s interesting to hear a legendary musician, in the form of Pink Floyd member Nick Mason, saying possibly the worst thing a creative person can say about it: that it’s passé.
Mason is talking specifically about Apple’s iTunes service, which has been on the decline for several years now, as we have seen the rise of streaming services like Spotify. Interviewed by GQ magazine, Mason’s comments offer a glimpse at how a section of the music world views Apple — and why it needs to change before its too late.
Getting a refund for accidental iTunes purchases is easier than ever. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Apple has introduced a new 14-day return window for digital purchases made in several European countries. App Store, iTunes, and iBookstore items purchased in the U.K., Germany, Italy, and France are now eligible for complete refunds, and users are not required to give a reason for returning their order.