Report: Apple working on high-fidelity iTunes audio with adaptive streaming

The Guardian reports that Apple is working on a new high-definition audio format to adapt to bandwidth or hardware capabilities. Presumably, Apple will leverage the new format to distribute high-fidelity music through iTunes and perhaps upgrade the iTunes Match service that currently provides matched songs in 256Kbps AAC format.

It is believed the new audio format would intelligently adjust itself to the bandwidth and storage available on the receiving device. Such a description also gives hope that an iTunes music streaming service, which is akin to Spotify and based on Apple’s Lala acquisition, could be in the works.

According to “a source with inside knowledge of the process,” the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is working with a London studio to prep existing audio files for the new format. An anonymous source told the paper:

All of a sudden, all your audio from iTunes is in HD rather than AAC. Users wouldn’t have to touch a thing – their library will improve in an instant.

Apple’s annual iPod refresh that usually takes place in fall could be a fitting venue to announce the new high-fidelity format. Another possibility is the forthcoming iPad 3 event rumored to take place March 7.

Read more

Apple officially details international availability of iTunes Match and iTunes in the Cloud

Apple just posted a document detailing exact availability of iTunes Match and iTunes in the Cloud internationally. There was some confusion leading up to what many reported as the international rollout of iTunes Match, and Apple even began issuing refunds to abroad customers having issues accessing the service.

According to Apple, iTunes Match is now available in the following 17 countries:

Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

There are some countries not included in Apple’s list of officially supported countries, such as Brazil where users report having access to the service.

Apple also detailed what specific purchased content is eligible to download again through iTunes in the Cloud in each supported country. In other words, certain countries will be limited in the type of content that can be re-downloaded. iTunes in the Cloud is now available in over 120 countries worldwide. Currently only the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom have access to all content including: music, music videos, television shows, apps, and books. All countries on the list do have access to at least apps and iBooks.

Check out the full list below to find out what specific content is available in your country:

Read more

iTunes Match (mistakenly?) begins rolling out to Europe for 24,99€/year, Canada and Australia too?

.

We’re starting to get reports that Apple is sending out emails to users in Spain and elsewhere in Europe notifying them the iTunes Match service is officially available for 24,99 € per year (as shown above). One Twitter user also claims that he was able to subscribe to the service in Europe two days ago before iTunes told him it was a mistake and returned his money.

“I managed to buy iTunes Match in Europe two days ago. Now they told me it was mistake and returned the money.

The email he provides looks identical to the one above apart from the language. It’s of course possible this is a slip up on Apple’s part ahead of an official rollout in the near future. Let us know in the comments if you have access to the service, which you can try here.

.

We’ve got reports coming in from Canada where it is listed at C$27.99/year and Australia where it is A$39.99.  In the UK, it is £21.99.

Last week Apple also opened up the cloud service to users in Brazil to accompany the launch of the iTunes Store in Latin America. Read more

What do these new items in iTunes mean about your Match Library?

If you don’t know by now, Apple has officially opened up their iTunes Match service to the public, bringing with it 256-kbps AAC DRM-free copies of your non-iTunes purchased music for $25 a year. To help familiarize users with the service, Apple has posted the following chart walking us through some new iTunes Match related iCloud icons you’ll start to notice in iTunes.

In addition, they also dropped some helpful guides explaining the ins and outs of the service including Troubleshooting iTunes Match, How to subscribe to iTunes Match, How to add a computer or iOS device to iTunes Match, and How to delete songs from iCloud.

In the troubleshooting guide, we learn you can enable a column within iTunes to display the iTunes Match/iCloud status of any given song in your library. For example, whether it’s a “Matched” song or just “Uploaded”. To do this, click “View > View Options” or press “Command-J“, and click the “iCloud Status” checkbox (same place you also enable “iCloud download”).

A MacRumors forum poster also offers a few helpful hints, while noting iTunes Match keeps your meta-data (a nice touch if you tend to edit data associated with your songs), the post clears up some concerns regarding the intricacies of what happens with your local copies:  Read more

Apple releases iTunes 10.5.1, Match is available now

Following the recent release of the iTunes 10.5.1 beta 3 to developers, Apple today started pushing out iTunes 10.5.1 to the public. You should see the update appearing in Software Update any second, otherwise it’s already available for download from Apple’s site here.

Apple also confirmed the availability of iTunes Match in the U.S., with the following announcement on their iTunes page. iTunes Match syncs users’ music to iCloud for $24.99 a year. Unlimited songs can be synced and doesn’t affect iCloud storage, but only songs that are available on iTunes can be synced.

Even though it is available to the public, Apple is still labeling iTunes Match as a beta product. Developers who tested Match will still receive a free three months with a year subscription.

Read more

Apple releases iTunes 10.5.1 Beta 2 to developers, featuring iTunes Match for Apple TV

Following the release of iOS 5.0.1 this afternoon to developers, Apple has released iTunes 10.5.1 Beta 2 to developers this evening. Along with being posted to the Developer Center, Apple has sent out the following email to developers. In the email Apple now reveals that iTunes Match has been made available for Apple TV. This update also includes a number of bug fixes. Sadly, iTunes Match still isn’t available to the public.

iTunes 10.5.1 beta 2 is now available and includes a number of important stability and performance improvements. iTunes Match is also now available for testing on Apple TV.

On your Apple TV, choose Music > Turn on iTunes Match.

Please remember to backup regularly and do not delete the music you add to iCloud from your computer.

How’s it looking on your Apple TV? Let us know; tips@9to5mac.com. Full email after the break:

Read more