A few short weeks after the release of iTunes 9, Apple gives us iTunes 9.0.1 with a variety of important-sounding bug fixes.
The subscription-based Rhapsody music service from Real Networks is now available as an app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The service lets you listen to an unlimited amount of music from an 8-million song library for $15 per month. The app only streams music; this version can't even download songs temporarily.
Apple has unveiled iTunes 9, expanding its crowdsourcing capability with Genius Mixes, introducing long-awaited app arranging capabilities, bringing new home network sharing features, and expanding music and movie content offerings with iTunes LP and iTunes Extras.
Sony ended the suspense, and said it would release in December a $399 electronic book reader that could download books, magazines, and newspapers over AT&T's cellular data network, much like Amazon's Kindle hardware does over Sprint's network. Sony's model, The Daily Reader, will have a 7-inch touch-sensitive screen, and will also work with libraries for ebook borrowing.
Christopher Breen at Macworld ventures into the often-confusing morass of video encoding options available in HandBrake. If you know what you're doing, you can improve the output of video you throw at it (such as DVDs), but it's not easy to grasp the myriad of options.
Sony said that by year's end it would switch to the EPUB set of standard formats for electronic books for its online library and Reader devices. EPUB-packaged books can still be wrapped in DRM, but are far more portable among devices and software than proprietary formats. Amazon's Kindle uses a proprietary book format for its titles, and does not read EPUB packages.
It's a race to the bottom, as Sony matches Amazon's price of $9.99 for the ebook versions of bestsellers for its Sony Reader. The company also announced two new Reader models for $199 and $299.
Macworld reports on Universal Studios Home Video's forthcoming Blu-ray release of "Fast & Furious" that will enable users to control a special disc feature via an iPhone app, marking the first integration of Blu-ray and the iPhone. While the feature isn't mind-blowing - controlling 360-degree views of cars and viewing their specs - Universal plans in the future to enable users to control playback, access film information, and even chat about the movie via Twitter and Facebook.
Barnes & Noble has opened up the electronic book market a bit with 700,000 titles (500,000 from Google Books) that can be read with eReader software for Mac OS X, Windows, iPhone, and BlackBerry. Best sellers are priced at $9.99. The firm's books can be read on the forthcoming Plastic Logic eReader, but not via the Sony Reader or Amazon Kindle models or Kindle software.
Next time you're about to buy an iTunes gift card on eBay or Craigslist you may want to think twice. There's a chance the card was purchased with a stolen credit card or hacked, and, as Macworld reports, Apple is cracking down on these fraudulent gift cards by permanently disabling user accounts that redeem them.
iTunes Tagging lets you mark songs on a radio to which an iPod or iPhone is connected. While the feature has been around for over a year, this is the first time the stars have been aligned for easy use.
Keeping up with Hulu, whose recently released Hulu Desktop makes it easier to bring streaming content to your TV, YouTube has launched YouTube XL. The new Web-based interface works on any device that can support a browser - including the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii - and offers all of its regular and premium content in a streamlined design tailored for larger displays.
Macworld reports that Hulu, the streaming media giant sponsored by NBC and FOX, has released a new desktop client for both Mac and Windows. The software, compatible with the Apple Remote, has received favorable reviews thus far for its design and functionality. With no browser needed, Hulu Desktop can be more easily integrated into a home entertainment setup, and offers an enticing substitute for traditional cable TV.
If you've been frustrated by trying to keep iTunes libraries in sync on multiple Macs, check out this week's DealBITS drawing for a chance to win a copy of SuperSync.
YouTube, in what appears to be an effort to compete with sites like Hulu, has launched a premium content section which includes movies and television shows. YouTube's owner, Google, has announced the initial content will be provided by studios including Sony, CBS, MGM, Lionsgate, Starz, and the BBC. The new material will be available free of charge, and supported by the recently announced Google TV Ads. While Google hopes the new section will garner extra revenue, the user-generated content for which YouTube became known will remain the main focus of the site.