Should Apple kill off iTunes music downloads? [Friday Night Fights]

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Are you ready for a world without music downloads?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iTunes music downloads still rake in millions of dollars every quarter for Apple, but they’re falling fast.

FNF-bugAccording to sources who claim to be actively working with the company, it is already mulling the idea of chopping music sales completely in as little as two years, and instead placing an even greater focus on Apple Music.

Is it a good idea for Apple to boot such a popular service in the same way it massacred floppy discs and FireWire, forcing users to stream all their music? Or should it keep iTunes alive until downloads die out naturally?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over the future of the world’s most popular music store.

Apple might pull the plug on iTunes music downloads

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Apple might start signing artists to contracts, in order to compete with the likes of Spotify. Photo: iTunes/Apple
Are iTunes Store's days numbered?
Photo: Apple

Update: Apple is denying a report that it plans to stop selling downloads within the next few years. “Not true,” Apple rep Tom Neumayr told Re/code Wednesday afternoon without elaborating.

Apple is planning to give iTunes music downloads the boot in as little as two years, according to sources currently working with the company.

With sales already falling, Apple will instead focus its efforts on persuading fans to stream tracks and albums through Apple Music.

Nintendo’s Miitomo game said to be making $280,000 every week

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Nintendo Miitomo on iPhone
Miitomo is raking in the cash.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
Miitomo
Miitomo is raking in the cash. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Nintendo fans bemoaned the company’s decision not to use Mario or Link or Donkey Kong in its first smartphone game, but it seems Miitomo is doing perfectly well without famous faces.

According to new estimates, the social app is currently raking in a whopping $280,000 every single week.

China downloads more iOS apps than anyone

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App-Store-iPhone
The App Store continues to bring in the revenue for Apple.
Photo: Apple

When it comes to app downloads, China and Mexico surged in the first fiscal quarter of 2015, says a report by the mobile analysts at App Annie.

China took the top spot for iOS downloads while Mexico now ranks among the top five countries for Google Play downloads, surpassing South Korea this quarter.

While we’ve seen Google Play lead the number of downloads across the globe and iOS facing a shrinking lead in revenue, Q1 2015 showed a huge jump for iOS in terms of revenue, to the tune of about 70 percent more (up from 60 percent higher in Q3 2014). Google Play continues to be top dog in downloads, though, with 70 percent more downloads than Apple’s digital storefront.

Want to make your own Toy Story?

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The software that made this happen is now free. Photo: Pixar
The software that made this happen is now free. Photo: Pixar

Steve Jobs was, of course, formative to developing the software for the Mac, iPhone and iPad, but he was also formative to the development of another company and its software: Pixar, the computer animation studio behind Toy Story, Ratatouille, Up and more.

Now Pixar has released RenderMan, the company’s in-house rendering software, to the public for free. It’s the tool that gave the world Toy Story and countless other modern day classics, and it is now totally free to download for non-commercial use on the Mac, as well as Windows and Linux.

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A streaming milestone: Spotify overtakes iTunes in Europe

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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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Get It Done – Fix Stalled Mavericks Downloads In Launchpad [OS X Tips]

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Image Credit: Roberto Baldwin/WIRED
Image Credit: Roberto Baldwin/WIRED

If you’re trying to download the free OS X Mavericks upgrade via the Mac App Store and it’s getting stuck, you’re not alone. As you can see int he image above, some folks are seeing a paused download when trying to upgrade to Apple’s latest and greatest Mac operating system.

Roberto Baldwin over at the Wired GadgetLab has a fairly easy solution, and I figured I’d share it with you.