iTunes gift cards make great stocking stuffers for any Apple fan, since they can be used for music and video from the iTunes Store, apps from the App Store and the Mac App Store, and books from the iBookstore. Now, just in time for the holidays, Apple has improved its gift card experience in two big ways.
First, scratch-offs are no more. Now the redemption codes are hidden under a peel-off label. No more digging for loose change just to reveal your code.
Second, as much as the peel-off labels are welcome, if you have iTunes 11 and a Mac with a built-in camera, you don’t have to key in the code manually anymore. In iTunes 11, click the iTunes Store button in the upper right, click the house button to go to the main screen of the iTunes Store if necessary, click Redeem under Quick Links, sign in to your iTunes account, and click the Use Camera button. (iTunes doesn’t display that button on Adam Engst’s Mac Pro; presumably it doesn’t see third-party cameras like his Logitech C910.) Simply show the card’s redemption code to the camera, and iTunes should capture it quickly.
It’s almost worth buying an iTunes Gift Card just to see the effect. It’s a small change, but it makes the experience of cashing in a gift card so much more pleasant than typing in a long set of characters.