Today in Apple history: iTunes video takes world by storm

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Kanye West
Artists like Kanye West helped drive music video downloads past 1 million in less than 20 days.
Photo: Rodrigo Ferrari/Flickr CC

October 31: Today in Apple history: iTunes video takes world by storm October 31, 2005: Less than three weeks after launching video downloads with iTunes 6, Apple reveals that it has already sold more than 1 million music videos.

Apple’s dive into the online digital video market — with 2,000 music videos, Pixar short films and a selection of hit TV shows for $1.99 — looks like the logical next step after selling individual songs on iTunes. Passing the 1 million download benchmark so quickly suggests the plan is a roaring success.

The AirPods Pro fix almost everything wrong with the originals [Opinion]

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AR AirPods Pro
Even AR AirPods Pro look great!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Here’s a short list of things that are wrong with regular AirPods:

  • They don’t fit in the ears properly.
  • They don’t seal out environmental noise.
  • Those grilles get gunked up with earwax really easily.
  • They lack a volume control.

The new AirPods Pro fix all of these problems, apart from the last point on the list. And to be honest, it’s so easy to change the volume by squeezing your iPhone through your pocket, or by using an Apple Watch, that the lack of a volume control isn’t that big of a deal.

The original AirPods (and the faster, updated version) might be the most-loved new Apple product in recent years, and the AirPods Pro improve on them in almost every way. So, are the AirPods Pro perfect? Maybe …

macOS Catalina is out with new apps, Apple Arcade, Sidecar and more

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macOS Catalina is here. But proceed from Mojave with caution.
macOS Catalina is here. But proceed from Mojave with caution.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s big update for Macs, macOS Catalina, is finally out today bringing with it a host of new features, apps, privacy improvements, and much more.

Developers just received the gold master version of macOS Catalina last week, but today’s launch was a bit of a surprise. Anyone that has a compatible Mac can grab the new update from the Mac App Store for free.

Spotify starts testing Siri support for iOS 13

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Spotify app now playing screen
Spotify and Siri are finally a team.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

You will soon be able to ask Siri to play your favorite tracks from Spotify.

The world’s biggest music streaming service just started testing Siri support in iOS 13. It comes after Apple’s latest updates introduced new SiriKit audio APIs that allow third-party access.

How to use iOS 13’s Audio Sharing

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Audio sharing in iOS 13
Look how friendly these people are. Just look.
Photo: Apple

In iOS 13, you can share songs and watch movies with a friend, with each of you using your own AirPods. The new feature is called Audio Sharing, and it lets you instantly — and temporarily — pair a second set of AirPods to your iPhone or iPad. It’s like the olde schoole method of using a headphone splitter to plug two sets of headphones into one jack socket, only way more expensive and fancy.

Here’s how to use it.

Spotify now matches Apple Music’s 3-month free trial

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Spotify app now playing screen
Spotify and Siri are finally a team.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Spotify is now matching Apple Music’s generous three-month free trial for new subscribers.

The offer is available to eligible individual and student users who sign up for any Spotify Premium plan, starting today. It will be extended to support Duo and Family Plans in the coming months.

A US university is teaching a course in iPad music-making

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iPad for extra credit? Yes, please! The University of Nebraska-Lincoln teaches a course on making music with iPad.
iPad for extra credit? Yes please!
Screenshot: Michael Reinmiller

The iPad is great for playing around and making music, but can it be a serious music tool as well? According to a course at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, it sure can.

The university’s “Creating with the iPad MUSC 198” course covers digital music production with a particular focus on Apple’s tablet. Because you don’t win friends with salad you can’t make music with a Surface, obvs! Check out a video preview of the course.