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ExtraBITS for 18 July 2016

In ExtraBITS this week, Apple is clearing up the relationship between Apple Music and iTunes Match, Eddy Cue opens up to the Hollywood Reporter about the TV business, and Apple is casting developers for its upcoming reality show.

Apple Simplifies Relationship between Apple Music and iTunes Match -- At Macworld, Kirk McElhearn describes changes coming to Apple Music that make deciding between it and iTunes Match much easier. Apple Music will now match tracks using acoustic fingerprinting instead of track metadata (as iTunes Match already does), and it will no longer apply DRM to matched tracks you download to other devices. Kirk explains the differences in detail with recommendations for those who have subscribed to both services.

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Eddy Cue Discusses Apple’s TV Business -- In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, opened up about Apple’s interest in the TV business. Cue said that the Apple TV is “a lot better than a cable box,” but when asked if Apple is planning a streaming service, he responded, “Whether we’re providing it or somebody else is, it really doesn’t matter to us.” However, Cue did say that he’s not a fan of so-called “skinny bundles” — smaller, low-cost programming packages — offered by services like SlingTV because he feels that viewers are more frustrated by a lack of features than the price. In particular, he criticized the idea of having to dig through channel guides and program recordings manually. Overall, it sounds like Apple has a vision for the future of TV but doesn’t know exactly how to get there yet.

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Apple Casting Its Own Reality Show -- Apple has issued an open casting call for “Planet of the Apps,” the company’s upcoming reality series about app developers. Applications are being accepted from developers through 26 August 2016; applicants must have an iOS, macOS, tvOS, or watchOS app in a functional state by 21 October 2016, with filming to take place in Los Angeles from late 2016 through early 2017. The producers are promising “hands-on guidance from some of the most influential experts in the tech community, featured placement on the App Store, and funding from top-tier VCs.” We don’t yet know the format of the show, which raises important questions. Will we see lots of geeks talking into their iPhone FaceTime cameras while “working” at Starbucks? Will there be judges making catty remarks about coding styles? Will the snarky QA engineer get voted off the team? Stay tuned…

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