Apple iTunes Integrating With Safari To Increase Browser Market Share?

This is a rumor that you must take with loads of skepticism. Folks at a popular podcast show have claimed that Apple could be working on integrating its popular iTunes service with its Safari web browser in a bid to spike up the market share of the latter.

According to the source, the company may have already thwarted its plans to build cloud-based iTunes service that would be accessible from any browser. Instead, the new plans will make Safari the only browser that could load the music service. The source further adds,

“Moving iTunes organizational side-bar into Safari isn’t a monumental task. Safari would skyrocket in use as a result of integrating the software titles together.”

The news-quote appears dubious not just because of the untrusted source. It’s also because Apple might not be hedging its iTunes market share in its bid to improve Safari’s market share. Although iTunes is a pretty popular application, the software is pretty bulky and might not be ideally suited for use as an internet browsing application – something that would require it to be pretty lightweight.

In any case, this is a very interesting rumor and we look forward to such a move sometime down the line. An announcement in this regard is expected around the iPod Touch media event in September. That’s a long time from now and hopefully, we will hear a lot more in this regard by then.

$10,000 Free iTunes Gift Card For ‘Countdown To 10 Billion Apps’

Looking to get some free iTunes gift cards? This week could turn out lucky for you. Apple has launched a ‘Countdown to 10 billion apps‘ site that rewards one of its users with an iTunes gift card worth $10,000. To win the gift card, users can either wait to hit the download button on their favorite app close to the 10 billion mark (the download count is currently hovering around the 9.79 billion mark) or use an alternate entry form to enter the fray without any download or purchase.

The announcement is reminiscent of the contest that Apple held in February last year when the company marked the download of 10 billion songs from iTunes. It is worth noting that the winner back then was rewarded with a similar iTunes gift card. You can check out all the  contest details and rules in the official website here.

iTunes Vs. Netflix – Online Rentals Compared

For more than a decade, Netflix has been seen as the leader in movie rentals. More recently, the company has started focusing on online rentals so much so that it is now believed that internet streaming via Netflix alone contributes close to 20% of bandwidth in the United States. Netflix recently launched in Canada and is learned to be ramping up for an international roll-out.

So how does all of this compare with Apple’s iTunes service? According to Gleacher & Company analyst Brian Marshall, it may be a tad unfair on Netflix to even get compared with iTunes. And that’s because the volume of purchases over Netflix is extremely large compared to those over iTunes.

Marshall points out that the average number of rentals per day over iTunes could be in the range of 475,000. On the other hand, Netflix is known to handle as much as 5 million rentals on a daily basis. Netflix appears superior in value terms as well. Marshall notes that over 90% of TV episode rentals on iTunes are priced $0.99 widening the gap between the two services even further.

iTunes 10.1.1 Update Crashing – “iTunes cannot be opened because of a problem” Error

As we had reported earlier in the day, Apple has released an update to their  iTunes media organization software that is aimed at fixing a number of bugs in the earlier version. Ironically though, the installation process itself seems to have been affected by another bug.

A number of users have taken to the Apple support forums complaining that installation the new version via a software update seems to be crashing the application. Users have noted that launching iTunes subsequently shows them an error message that reads, “iTunes cannot be opened because of a problem“.

Here is an excerpt of the problem faced by some users

“I had the same problem as all of you mentioned. I let automatic updates install the new version of iTunes 10.1.1 and iTunes would not open afterward.”

“I had this problem on one of my two machines. One of them installed and updated fine from Software Update – I think that on the machine where it worked, I hadn’t run iTunes between turning it on and running Software Update. On the machine where it failed, I had run iTunes.

The crash report indicated that it was looking for a shared library named:
libgnsdk_musicid.1.8.2.dylib
which should be present in /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS, but wasn’t there after the update. The shared library (and some others) were present in my Time Machine backup, but restoring the pre-update versions didn’t fix the problem – iTunes would now launch without flying a crash reporter panel immediately, but reports that it’s corrupt and wants to be reinstalled.”

So do we have a fix here? Users note that reinstalling iTunes directly from the website seems to be fixing the issue.

“I installed this via Software Update, and iTunes immediately crashed after launching. The error detail indicated that some dynamic library could not be found.
After a reboot didn’t fix it, I downloaded the standalone installer from here:
http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/
Ran it, all’s well now.”

So if you are one who is affected by the issue, try downloading the new iTunes version directly from the Apple website here and let us know how it works in the comments section.

iTunes 10.1.1 Available For Download

Apple has released an update to their media organization software, iTunes. The latest version of  iTunes comes with a number of bug fixes and is available for download on both Mac OS X as well as Windows OS. You can download the new iTunes 10.1.1 software from Apple’s website here. The application is compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 and higher as well as the 32-bit and 64-bit variants of Windows XP and higher.

So what does this new version come with? Well, as noted, a lot of bug fixes – One issue that the update fixes is of iTunes quitting unexpectedly while deleting a playlist. Another similar issue that occurs while connecting an iPod to a Mac equipped with a PowerPC processor has also been fixed. Apple has revealed one another fix to an issue many users have previously complained about – that of iTunes not syncing some video files with an iDevice.

We are told that this new version of iTunes is safe for jailbroken devices as well. So, go ahead and download the latest version of iTunes from the Apple website and let us know how it goes in the comments below.

Download Free Movies & Music From iTunes With Special Giveaway

If you are in Europe, then you are in for some luck this holiday season. Apple has announced a special Christmas giveaway that will begin on December 26th and will run for twelve days until January 6, 2011. During this period, European iTunes users shall be eligible for one free download every single day. The downloads may be one of movies, songs, apps, books, TV episodes or music videos.

Announcing the “12 Days. 12 Free Downloads“, Apple UK has noted that each of these free giveaways will be offered strictly for a 24 hour period. Apple is also expected to launch an iPhone app for the giveaway season that will presumably prompt users with the free giveaway everyday. Interested users can also sign up for email  alerts at this website.

There is no word whether this offer will extend outside Europe to North America or Asia.

Restore iPhone Without iTunes With Upcoming TinyUmbrella Software

If you have been following the jailbreaking space, you will be aware of the software called TinyUmbrella that helps users to take backups of their iDevice’s SHSH blobs thereby preserving the baseband of their iPhone during iOS firmware updates.

Now Semaphore, the developer of TinyUmbrella has revealed that a new version of the popular software is in progress. Among the several things that this new software will achieve, one of the most significant updates shall be the ability to restore iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch without having to connect to iTunes. On his blog, Semaphore writes,

“I’ve been working on a new and improved version of TinyUmbrella that will, among other things, allow you to restore your iDevice without iTunes.”

There is no ETA announced as yet. But let’s hope the new version is out at least by January.

iTunes HD Movies Purchase In UK Now Available

Apple has announced that iTunes customers in UK are now eligible to purchase high definition movies directly from the iTunes store. Until now, these customers were only allowed to rent HD movies. Of course, regular titles that were non-HD have already been available for rent and sales since 2008.

At the moment though, it appears that there are not too many HD titles to go with. Apart from The Twilight Saga : Eclipse, there are not too many popular titles available for purchase in the HD format. This portfolio should expand soon though.

The launch comes after a long wait considering that the sale of HD movies in the United States was made available as early as March 2009. Nevertheless, Apple has been typically slow to bring their products to customers outside the United States and this is not very unusual.

Free iTunes Movie Rental Codes Being Sent From Apple

Apple is reported to be sending free iTunes movie rental codes to users. Not everyone has received it and the recipients who have so far been able to get an email from Apple seem to have been randomly chosen. Cupertino has not let us officially known on why it has chosen to send out these codes in the first place? Is it to give a boost to the holiday season sales? Are sales dwindling on the whole? No word about this.

It is possible for Apple to be sending out the codes to customers who have been affected by slow HD rental downloads. Earlier this month, we had written about an issue with HD movie streaming that caused buffering times of several thousands of minutes to users. Is Apple trying to win back the trust of these customers?

We do not know as yet. Do let us know if you have received an email from Apple in this regard.

iTunes Announcement Rumors – Beatles Catalog On iTunes Launch

If you had visited the Apple website anytime in the past 24 hours, you may have noticed a teaser posted that promises users about a new iTunes announcement that “you’ll never forget“. While there have been rumors abound about the possible announcement Apple could come up with, one of the most convincing ones as yet appears to be the arrival of The Beatles on iTunes.

The Beatles have without doubt been one of the most sought after band and their absence from the iTunes database has been pretty conspicuous. Other possible announcements like a cloud-based iTunes service or subscription service are much more significant and warrant a media event at least. So, the launch of The Beatles on iTunes seems most likely.

However, Billboard has a more interesting take on the subject. They point out that the wordings and clock depictions on the teaser page is indicative of the fact that the announcement is in fact about The Beatles. The publication notes,

“For starters, the sources in the past that quashed any rumors of an impending Beatles launch are today very quiet, and strangely so. Next is the wording of the teaser on Apple’s website. The first line is, “Tomorrow is just another day.” As noted earlier, “Another Day” is a Paul McCartney song released on his solo record “Ram,” but written during the Beatles’ “Let it Be” sessions.

Also, for those into hunting for more clues, Apple’s teaser page features four clocks, each with the arms in different positions, (denoting the time of the announcement in California, New York, London and Tokyo time zones). Pretty unnecessary unless you compare it to the cover of the Beatles’ “Help!” album, featuring all four members side by side with their arms also in different positions.”

Beatles On iTunes

What do you think? Does the argument sound convincing?