Today in Apple history: Apple gives users a way to delete U2’s spam album

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U2
It all seemed so innocent at the time.
Photo: Apple

September 15: Today in Apple history: Apple gives users the ability to wipe U2 spam album from their iPhones September 15, 2014: Responding to its disastrous U2 album giveaway, Apple provides a tool for wiping all signs of Songs of Innocence from their iPhones.

It comes after one of the strangest PR debacles in Apple’s history. After putting a free copy of U2’s latest album on every iPhone owner’s handset as a special promotion, millions find themselves with an album they didn’t order in their iTunes library. Many weren’t happy about it.

Today in Apple history: iTunes Store hits 10 million music downloads

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Avril Lavigne's
Avril Lavigne's "Complicated" becomes the 10 millionth iTunes song download.
Photo: Avril Lavigne

August 8: Today in Apple history: iTunes Store hits 10 million music downloads September 8, 2003: Apple reveals that it has sold its 10 millionth iTunes song download. The tune in question? Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated.”

Come to think of it, “You fall and you crawl and you break and you take what you get and you turn it into [success]” describes Apple pretty well in the late ’90s and early 2000s.

What really happens when you duplicate a file on iOS?

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ios apfs clones storage file providers
Hidden storage.
Photo: Josh Coleman/Unsplash

How much space do duplicate files take up on your iPad? In theory, they use no extra storage. Thanks to the design of the Apple File System (APFS) used on iOS and macOS, duplicating a file doesn’t actually create a copy. It just creates a reference that points to the original file on the disk.

But what about File Providers, and iCloud, and all that stuff? I decided to take a deep dive and find out if you can really make a zillion copies of a file with no penalty. The results were, to say the least, confusing.

Troubleshoot Apple Music with Smart Playlists

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Cassette tapes
In the olden days, playlists were stored on tapes.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Think about your music library for a second. Which of the songs in your library come from Apple Music? Which ones did you add to the library yourself? And which ones have you added to iTunes Match, but haven’t actually made it to your iCloud library yet?

These things are a little confusing. The beauty of Apple Music, and the iCloud Music Library, is that all of your music is there, in one place. But this simplicity also makes it hard to see what’s going on. Happily, iTunes is still more than up to the task, and can even split these songs into individual playlists. Let’s check it out.

How to create smart playlists in Apple Music on iOS (finally)

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Cassette tapes
Let's do this.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

It’s impossible to create smart Apple Music playlists directly on the iPhone. Or rather, it was impossible. Previously, you had to fire up iTunes on your Mac or PC, create a smart playlist there, and then let it sync to your iPhone over iCloud.

Even in iOS 13, this is still the case. But now there’s another way. A new iOS app called Miximum can create smart playlists, and even sync them to the regular Apple Music app. It is, as they say, a game-changer.

macOS Catalina public beta doesn’t support multiple iTunes libraries

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Goodbye iTunes.
Just avoid Catalina for now.
Photo: Apple

We’ve explained why it’s really not a great idea to update to the iOS 13 and iPadOS public betas right now — and the same goes for macOS Catalina. Not only is it unstable in its current form, but some things don’t work properly.

One of those is multiple iTunes libraries. As things stand, you will have access to only one. And if it’s not the right one when you first install Catalina, there’s nothing you can do about it.

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App Store 1
The App Store is striking out on its own!
Photo: Apple

iTunes isn’t dead. It’s alive and better than ever [Opinion]

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Apple Music in macOS Catalina
iTunes is being replaced with Apple Music and several other apps.
Photo: Apple

Headlines this week trumpeted the death of iTunes. While these stories made good clickbait, they understandably caused concern for those who used this application to build up extensive music and video libraries. You may be one of the people left wondering what’s going to happen to decades of purchases.

Relax, your music and video collection isn’t going anywhere. It’s actually getting easier to access.

Apple explains iTunes changes in macOS Catalina

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Apple Music in macOS Catalina
So long, iTunes!
Photo: Apple

Apple’s plan to ditch iTunes starts this fall with the release of macOS Catalina, which will offer standalone apps for Music, Podcasts, and TV.

WWDC offered a brief glimpse at how other things — like syncing iOS devices — would work after the update. Now Apple has published a new support document that explains everything for those who are still confused.

The document promises that “all of your favorite iTunes features” will still be available in Catalina. And it tells you where they will be.

You won’t need iTunes to install the iOS 13, iPadOS public betas

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iPadOS-multitasking
Awesome news for public testers.
Photo: Apple

You won’t need iTunes to install the iOS 13 and iPadOS betas when they go public, Apple’s Craig Federighi has confirmed.

Registered developers who want to get their hands on the software now must download the update package and restore their device through iTunes. They must also have the new Xcode 11 beta installed.

That won’t be the case when Apple expands the reach of its betas next month.