Apple has brought its iTunes Festival to the US for the first time, announcing that it will be streaming concerts across five nights at SXSW 2014 in March. Having run for several years as the iTunes Festival in London, the new US push for the free entertainment offer will be streamed to iTunes on PC and Mac, as well as to iOS devices like iPhone and iPad, and to the Apple TV.
As rumors have suggested, Apple is outing their own music discovery platform, and they're calling it iTunes Radio. The new feature will be built right into the company's existing Music app on iOS, so users who take advantage of the app won't have to switch to another app to use the new iTunes Radio.
Apple is all about the music today, with the new 16GB iPod touch, word of 100m iPod touch selling since 2007, and now details of the upcoming iTunes Festival 2013. First held in 2007, the 2013 show marks the festival's seventh outing, with acts including Justin Timberlake and Jack Johnson set to appear, while the tickets are handed out as iTunes prizes.
Apple TV, the company's wireless set-top box, has been updated so as to function without the need for a Mac, opening up the device to the thousands of potential users yet to invest (or unable to afford) one of Apple's computers. While iTunes content can be streamed direct to the Apple TV and enjoyed through a connected widescreen TV, owners now have the option to browse, research and buy TV shows, music and titles from the new movie rentals service direct from the set-top box itself.
Apple has just released iOS 8.1.3, their third iteration on the release of iOS 8. After a series of errors surrounding iOS 8 upgrades, this one fixes some minor problems. We’ll now need less space to update an iPhone or iPad device over the air, and iOS 8.1.3 fixes an issue where Spotlight failed to display app results. Thankfully, Apple also fixed their frustrating multitasking gestures bug on iPad (five-finger pinch to close, among others). The update is rolling out now.
As rumors swirl that Apple is gearing up for another musical push — likely streaming — we’re left to examine the clues to see what might be coming. Their Beats acquisition was obviously a big deal, and their recent purchase of a music analytics firm suggests Apple is getting ready to feed info to the music industry. Now there is news of a patent, recently awarded to Apple, that would allow users to share music with one another without fear of running into issues with ownership and piracy.
Apple is set to pay far more attention to what you're listening to, after acquiring the music analytics company behind Musicmetric, a tool which has previously helped bands like Iron Maiden fight piracy. The tech grab was quietly revealed when Musicmetric creator Semetric changed its registered address to that of Apple Europe in London, with the Cupertino firm also installing a high-level exec as a company director. Although what, exactly, Apple will do with Musicmetric is unclear - and the firm is declining to comment on specifics - it's expected to involve relaunching Beats Music as a more compelling Spotify alternative.
AllCast, the storied casting app for Android, is finally making its way to iOS. After a healthy run on Android, the casting app has finally landed on iOS, letting users toss their videos and pictures onto the big(ger) screen. The app works with locally stored content as well as files you have in more popular cloud storage solutions like Dropbox or iCloud. You can also stream from your Instagram or Google+ account onto your TV, too. AllCast supports Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, Xbox, and Apple TV.
The latest movie from Seth Rogen and James Franco called "The Interview" has been surprisingly controversial. The controversy came when North Korea's leader became angry that the movie was going to air since it is about his death. Sony caved to pressure and at first decided not to show the film after screenings were cancelled on December 17. Eventually Sony relented and put the movie out so people could rent and purchase it digitally.