The Next Episode: Apple’s plans for Beats-based music service revealed

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Six months after buying the subscription music service Beats Music, Apple is actively working to launch a completely new paid streaming music service that will compete with Spotify and Rdio. Yet to be named, the new service is entirely Apple-designed, yet leverages Beats’ technologies and music content, a collaboration that has thus far led to personnel challenges and delays. Multiple sources within Apple and the music industry have provided the first in-depth details of Apple’s upcoming streaming service, which we share below.

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Beats Music’s Ian Rogers auctioning lunch in LA or Cupertino for charity

iPhone 6 Beats Music

Update 2/5: Auction just wrapped up at $3,250 just over the estimated value.

Former Beats Music CEO and current Apple employee Ian Rogers is participating in a charity fundraiser through the online auction site Charitybuzz. With the estimated value pegged at $3,000, the fundraiser has a starting bid of $600, and runs for two weeks starting today. The highest bidder will have the opportunity to meet the former Beats Music CEO in either Los Angeles (where Beats is headquartered) or Cupertino (near Apple’s campus) for a private lunch meeting. Read more

Touching the dial: How iTunes Radio could be tuned for a better user experience

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iTunes Radio, Apple’s first real foray into streaming music, made its public debut back in June 2013, where it was announced alongside iOS 7. Over a year since its release, the service hasn’t exactly taken over the world, quite literally. It’s still only available in the United States and Australia. If you compared iTunes Radio today with iTunes Radio as it existed the day it was first available to use, you’ll notice that not much has really changed.

Of course, just last May, Apple announced its acquisition of Beats Electronics, which brought along with it Beats Music, a robust and almost entirely different approach to streaming music. While Apple may seek to integrate Beats Music more tightly with iTunes in the future, at this time it hasn’t.

So in the meantime, what could Apple do to make iTunes Radio more appealing to customers? Some might say the music selection is limited, or that streaming doesn’t always work correctly. However, focusing on the service strictly from a feature standpoint, there are many small changes and additions Apple could implement that would have a huge impact on the usefulness and utility of iTunes Radio. Let’s take a look.

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Apple announces new App Store records, says New Year’s Day biggest sales day in history

app store hero flat modernApple shared new numbers for the App Store today announcing that last week set a new record for App Store billings. According to the company, customers have spent almost $500 million dollars through app and in-app purchases over the App Store through the first week in January.. In addition to the company’s App Store record announcement, Apple has presented a new microsite focused on its job creation efforts.

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Apple’s appeal of last year’s ebook ruling begins today

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Apple is having a busy time in court at the moment. Not only is it defending the iPod DRM class action, but is this morning beginning its appeal of the verdict of last year’s ebook trial.

The court ruled that Apple was guilty of anti-competitive practices in two ways. First, the company asked publishers to switch from wholesale pricing – where publishers sold in bulk to retailers, who set their own prices – to an agency model, where publishers set retail prices and retailers took a commission. The court ruled that this reduced price competition …  Read more

AP, Bloomberg and CNN file motion to allow them to broadcast Steve Jobs deposition video

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We may get to see the two-hour video of Steve Jobs giving pre-trial evidence in the iPod antitrust case, if the judge approves a motion jointly filed by AP, Bloomberg and CNN to make it public. CNET reported:

“Given the substantial public interest in the rare posthumous appearance of Steve Jobs in this trial, there simply is no interest that justifies restricting the public’s access to his video deposition,” attorney Thomas Burke, who is representing all three media organizations, wrote in the filing Monday

The video currently has the same status of live testimony given in the case, meaning that it can be reported on but the video cannot be broadcast …  Read more

Apple questions whether iPod class action suit can proceed as case may lack genuine plaintiffs

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Just as it looked like the iPod-related class action suit against Apple was getting interesting, Eddy Cue arguing that competing music stores had effectively hacked the iPod, it now seems the case is in danger of collapsing.

Apple’s lawyers have written to the judge to say there is no evidence that either of the two plaintiffs owned iPods during the time affected by Apple’s action to remove non-iTunes songs from iPods …  Read more

“Do they still exist?” Steve Jobs takes jabs at Real Networks in videotaped deposition from 2011

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The ten-year-old lawsuit over whether Apple violated antitrust law by locking the iPod to its own iTunes software has finally gone to trial. In its first day before a jury, the case has yielded several new emails between Apple executives as well as a videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs, which was recorded in 2011 shortly before he died.

In the video, according to Reuters, Jobs was asked if he had heard of Real Networks, the company behind the RealPlayer software Apple had blocked from working with the iPod. Jobs took a quick jab at the music distribution rival and asked, “Do they still exist?”

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Eddy Cue discusses Apple’s ongoing ebooks litigation in Fortune interview: “we have to fight for the truth”

Apple SVP Eddy Cue with Beats founders Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine

Apple SVP Eddy Cue with Beats founders Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine

In a new interview with Fortune, Apple’s SVP of Internet and Software Services Eddy Cue opened up about Apple’s ongoing ebooks litigation ahead of the company’s December 15th appearance before a federal appeals court. Apple formally appealed the ebooks antitrust ruling earlier this year after a judge ruled in favor of the Department of Justice in 2013 claiming that Apple conspired with ebook publishers to raise prices.

“We feel we have to fight for the truth,” says Cue. “Luckily, Tim feels exactly like I do,” he continues, referring to Apple CEO Tim Cook, “which is: You have to fight for your principles no matter what. Because it’s just not right.”

Earlier last month, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote approved a $450 million settlement under which Apple will not be forced to pay any fees if it wins the upcoming appeal. Read more

iPod-related class action suit against Apple starts tomorrow, Steve Jobs emails & video key evidence

This case goes back a while ...

This case goes back a while …

Emails and a video deposition by Steve Jobs are likely to form key elements of the evidence in an iPod-related antitrust case against Apple which opens in California tomorrow, reports the NYT.

The case goes back more than a decade, to the time when iPods would play only music purchased from iTunes or ripped from CD, with consumers unable to play music bought from competing stores. The class action alleges that this amounted to anti-competitive behaviour, and that consumers were forced to pay higher prices as a result …  Read more

Eddy Cue takes KTLA holiday shopping to show off Apple Pay (Video)

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Apple executive Eddy Cue, in charge of the team that developed Apple Pay, recently participated in some holiday shopping with local news station KTLA to demonstrate how the new mobile payments platform works. Cue, alongside tech reporter Rich DeMuro, visited a number of stores in Santa Monica, California, including Panera Bread, Bloomingdale’s and the Disney Store. Read more