Play iTunes Music And Movies On TV With Roku

Popular digital video player, Roku has announced a partnership with the music locker service, MP3Tunes that will allow users to play music and movies purchased via iTunes on their television. This can be done by uploading music and video content from the users’ iTunes to an MP3Tunes locker. The new partnership will enable the Roku player to create an open SDK that will integrate with MP3Tunes locker API to interact with the videos and music uploaded by the user to their MP3tunes account. Consequently, you may stream music and video from your iTunes library on to your TV.

So does this cost money? Of course. For the time being though, users may get a $20 discount on Roku HD or Roku HD-XR along with a free, premium 50GB MP3tunes locker.

Sounds like a good deal? Chirp away in the comments.

iTunes TV Streaming Rental Service To Cost 99 Cents

NewTeeVee from the GigaOm network reports that Apple is working with content providers on a new video streaming rental service that will allow subscribers to watch shows at a price as low as 99 cents.

The proposal is clearly in a bid to increase video consumption among subscribers. Currently TV shows are available on standard quality at $1.99 and HD quality at $2.99. The new streaming service will work in much the same way as it works now. Once purchased, viewers will have 30 days to view the show. And once the show has started streaming, it will be available for viewing for 24 hours.

Apple is desperately trying to keep iTunes relevant in the video streaming space in the light of competition from the likes of Hulu and Netflix that have become household names when it comes to online television streaming. YouTube too is known to be working on a similar offering.

The bigger question however is whether content producers will agree to such a drastic drop in price that will clearly affect their margins. With increasing competition in this space, these content providers will also have greater leverage in negotiations.

iTunes App Store Scam – Apple Passes Buck To Banks

A major scam hit the iTunes store earlier this week with several users noticing that their credit cards were wrongly charged for apps that were never purchased by them in the first place. The culprit in this case was found to be an app developer named Thuat Nguyen who, Apple now says, has been ejected from the App Store.

But what about those who have lost money due to the hacking incident? Apple feels sorry for them but claims they are no way responsible for refunding the lost money. Apple writes,

“Developers do not receive any iTunes confidential customer data when an app is downloaded.

If your credit card or iTunes password is stolen and used on iTunes we recommend that you contact your financial institution and inquire about canceling the card and issuing a chargeback for any unauthorized transactions.”

The number of users hit by the hack is pretty small – just over 400. So hopefully not many users will now be required to run pillar to post for a hack that was committed on Apple’s iTunes.

Flash On iPhone And iTunes Syncing On Android Coming To Europe?

The European Union, it is learnt, is working on a “Digital Agenda” that is looking into US companies that have been breaking Europe’s anti-trust laws by keeping their proprietary systems closed. According to a recent post on the ReadWriteWeb, the proposals could force Apple to open up its closed iOS system to competitors and thereby allow Flash on the iPhone and allow competitors like Android and Palm to sync to iTunes.

A section on the Digital Agenda reads,

“The Commission will…propose legal measures on ICT interoperability by 2010 to reform the rules on implementation of ICT standards in Europe to allow use of certain ICT fora and consortia standards…Promote interoperability by adopting in 2010 a European Interoperability Strategy and European Interoperability Framework; Examine the feasibility of measures that could lead significant market players to license interoperability information to report by 2012.”

If the proposals are accepted, it could mean that Apple may have to open up its platform not just in Europe, but outside the continent as well. Steve Jobs has long argued that the company’s iOS platform may run sluggishly in the presence of a multimedia platform like Flash. He has also argued that such applications may drain the iPhone battery life and hence may affect user experience.

However, such battery hogging applications have been available on jailbroken iPhones for quite sometime and these users who broke the iOS wall have not experienced any major issue.

Now, if and when Flash becomes officially available in the European market, the performance of Flash on the iPhone may become more clearly evident and in the absence of any major issues, the user community may get more vociferous about accessing Flash applications on iPhone.

How To Wirelessly Sync Blackberry With iTunes

Blackberry users have traditionally been required to install a dedicated media player application on their Blackberry and manually drag and drop all your music files from iTunes to your Blackberry’s SD card. It’s such a mess.

A new application now available on Blackberry AppWorld helps to simplify this process. Called Music WithMe, the application lets you wirelessly sync your entire iTunes playlist with your blackberry thus letting you play all of this using the default media player on your BB. Best thing is that the application runs in the background. So users do not have to manually launch the application to sync.

And the price? At $15, it’s a little expensive though, but can be well worth it if you really hate the alternative.

Online Music – Apple Vs. Google Vs. Microsoft

Entertainment, it seems, is the next big area where the biggest of the technology giants shall be competing. Apple has, for a long time, enjoyed virtual monopoly in this segment with its iTunes service. However, that may not stay for a long time as we see Microsoft and Google gearing themselves up for the clash.

The modus operandi may not be the same for all the three companies, but we can say that all the three different strategies might work and time will tell how each of these companies will perform.

Apple’s iTunes needs no introduction. While Microsoft Zune may be an also-ran, the company’s latest announcement to launch an Bing entertainment service that will integrate the company’s search engine offering with its Zune music offering.

So, for instance, searching for “Songs by Lady Gaga” will show you this.

Bing Music Search

Quite clearly, the focus is on getting the users engage with content right on the website and go ahead and purchase the same from Zune. Bing enjoys integration with lyrics and music from a catalog of over 5 million songs. With a majority of users going online to look for music lyrics and purchases, this is definitely a market to tap.

Google did make some moves late last year with its Music OneBox (in association with Lala), but did not go much beyond. However, the company has made its intention clear to offer a full fledged music service soon. According to Scott Morrison from the Wall Street Journal, the company could be launching a music download service that is tied to the search engine later this year followed by an online subscription service in 2011. These are not lofty plans considering that rivals have already begun their implementation.

However, Microsoft can still go for the kill now. The company has at least a couple of months to position their search service as the destination to go for online music. If Bing does succeed in pulling online music seekers, then expect three major destinations for online music by the mid of next year.

A lot of consolidation may happen thereafter with startup services like Spotify in the fray too.

[via WSJ, Bing Blog]

How To Stream iTunes Music To Android Smartphone?

Since the time Apple acquired Lala last year, we have been talking of an impending launch of a cloud-based iTunes. While iPhone users continue to wait for the day when the physical storage space on their device would become irrelevant, Android users can already start enjoying the functionality.

This is thanks to a new Android application called HomePipe. The app lets Android users stream music directly from their iTunes on to their smartphone either over 3G or Wi-Fi. The ad-supported version of the application is free while an alternative paid-version costing $2.99 will make the app ad-free.

Of course, if you do not have an unlimited data plan, you might have to rethink your purchase. Others can go ahead and enjoy.

[via Phandroid]

Lala To Shut May 31 – iTunes Cloud Launch Nearing?, the online music streaming service that was acquired by Apple late last year has announced that the service shall be closed on May 31. This could be a significant development that would indicate that the launch of a cloud-based iTunes is closer than you think.

There have been speculations doing the round that Apple may use the infrastructure acquired from Lala to offer a web-based iTunes account that users can use to stream music from anywhere. Significantly, this can have a serious implication on the sale of music and videos from iTunes. Currently, users are hindered by the storage space available on their iDevices which has led to users purchasing content less than what they may ideally want to for want of additional storage space. With an always-accessible cloud-based iTunes service, users may stream music and video on demand which would ultimately help Apple sell more digital content per user than they have currently been achieving.

There is no announcement from Apple in this regard. We hope the cloud based solution launches soon after.

[via TechCrunch]

How To Add Music/Video/Picture Files To Palm Pre

Unlike iPhone, Palm Pre does not come with a native software like iTunes to download music and video files from your computer to your phone. However, there is an alternate software solution in doubleTwist. Using doubleTwist is simple and very much like using iTunes.

Here is a step by step guide for you to sync music to Palm Pre

Step 1 : Download and install doubleTwist on to your PC running Windows XP, Vista or 7. If you have a Mac, click here to download the appropriate version.

Step 2 : Connect your Palm Pre to your computer via the USB cable

Step 3 : You will now be asked to select the connection options like ‘Media Sync‘, ‘USB Drive‘ and ‘Just Charge‘. Select ‘USB Drive

Add music to Palm pre

Step 4 : doubleTwist will now launch and shall recognize your Pre automatically.

Step 5 : You may now begin the transfer process. The process can be done either via a comprehensive auto-sync or files may be transferred individually.


  • On the left sidebar of the doubleTwist screen, click on the Palm Pre icon
  • On the main area of the screen, select the appropriate options like ‘Sync videos with this device’ and choose whether to sync all videos or only selected, etc.
  • Once you have gone through options on all the tabs, click on the ‘Sync’ button on the lower right corner of the screen to initiate the process.

Palm Pre with DoubleTwist

Manual Sync
On the left side bar of the doubleTwist window, you will find a ‘Library‘ section. Here, click on the ‘Pictures‘, ‘Videos‘ and ‘Music‘ sections to select, drag and drop the individual files to your Palm Pre

Step 6 : The file transfer process is done. You may close doubleTwist window and unplug your Palm Pre from the computer.

Here is a video demo of the entire process

[via doubleTwist]

Apple To Integrate Mac OS X 10.7 With App Store

The days of an open environs at Mac OS X could soon be coming to an end if a recent rumor is anything to go by. According to App developer RixStep, Cupertino may start signing up with developers starting early autumn of this year and like with the iPhone and iPad, users will have to reach out to the iTunes/App store to purchase any software for their computer. Rixstep says,

“10.7 will have kernel support for (‘insistence on’) binaries signed with Apple’s root certificate. No software will be able to run on Mac OS X 10.7 without being approved and signed by Apple, Inc.”

Take the news with as much skepticism as you choose to. Few other developers from the Mac Developer Program have however refuted the claim and insist that there has been no announcement regarding this from Apple so far.

Nevertheless, this is a lot likely to happen. Apple has seen terrific success so far in the closed environment race on the iPhone and iPad and the company has taken up most of the decision making process for its users. With a lot of money to be made on the computer software download segment, it is quite likely that Apple will choose to get this ecosystem closed as well.

[via 9to5Mac]