How-to: Unofficial tool allows you to import iTunes and Rdio Playlists to Beats Music

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While Beats Music will soon be owned by Apple, the music service does not easily integrate with iTunes. For instance, there is no official Beats tool to link your iTunes library for streaming from Beats Music. However, an unofficial tool called Beats Importer is a temporary solution that seems to work well for adding iTunes and Rdio Playlists to your Beats Music library. We’ve compiled a tutorial for importing your iTunes Playlists to Beats Music, below:

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Apple now stores ‘every photo you take on all of your devices’ with new Photos app

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With iOS 8, Apple will now backup of all your photos. The limitations of Photo Stream seem to have gone away. Apple will now store all of your photos in iCloud, regardless of what device you take them on. iPhones and iPads can view these entire libraries, without having to download them to local storage. The photos stream in as you scroll.

Storage is only limited by your iCloud Storage. Apple has announced new cheaper storage plans to go along with the new philosophy.

Apple is also adding a whole host of color and other editing features into the Photos app. This includes things like color correction, brightness, cropping and more. These edits automatically sync across devices.

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WWDC 2014 Roundup: Enhanced iOS 8, redesigned OS X 10.10, new hardware (plus fresh details)

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Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook teasing that Apple would introduce new products “across 2014,” so far this year the company has simply released a cheaper version of the iPhone 5c in select markets, marginally faster MacBook Airs, and the 2012 fourth-generation iPad at a lower price.

But on Monday, June 2nd, Apple will make major announcements that will indicate the immediate future of its two major platforms: iOS and OS X. The Cupertino company will share details behind the changes in iOS 8, a redesigned Mac operating system, and perhaps even new hardware.

Over the past several months, we have exclusively reported the majority of the news to expect next week and you can find our extensive roundup (along with new details) below:

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Report: Apple planning to introduce locally targeted ads, additional non-music content to iTunes Radio

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(Image via Apple)

According to a new report from The Information, Apple is planning to offer “locally targeted advertising” to users through its iTunes Radio platform sometime this year. The report also says Apple is planning on working with “broadcast radio stations” to increase the amount of content it offers on the platform. This additional content would focus on non-music offerings that would further expand Apple’s content streaming platform. Earlier this week, 9to5Mac reported that Apple is planning to introduce several local NPR stations as well as sports content from ESPN to iTunes Radio… Read more

Apple discussing iPhone payments service with high-profile retail brands

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Apple wants to replace yet another daily tool with your iPhone: your wallet.

Executives from the Cupertino-based technology company have begun discussions with directors from retail store chains about a mobile payments service, according to a source with direct knowledge of the talks. Previous reports indicated that Apple is exploring new payments services through discussions with executives from existing payments companies. These latest mobile payments-related discussions, which have occurred with retail store brands such as those that sell luxury clothing and premium goods, have taken place over the past couple of months, according to the source. The source declined to be named and requested that the identities of the companies talking to Apple not be published.

The Apple mobile payments service would be integrated into iOS Devices such as the iPhone and would be a comprehensive solution that would allow an iPhone user to leverage their device as a form of payment in retail stores. Based on information from various people briefed on the matter, the service would tie directly to iTunes accounts. Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue noted last night that Apple has 800 million iTunes accounts with credit cards, and that this arsenal opens up the door for many future products and services. Apple CEO Tim Cook previously hinted that the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor could someday be leveraged for mobile payment purposes beyond the existing iTunes and App Stores…

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Cue praises Beats curated playlists and headphones; Iovine disses Apple’s EarPods

Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Apple, Beats Music, Code Conference(Image via Re/code)

It’s typical in any acquisition for both parties to sing the praises of their new partner, and Eddy Cue was certainly playing his part at Re/code’s Code Conference, saying that Beats’ curated playlists were a key strength and would help music grow again. As Mark Gurman reported in his live blog coverage at Code Conference:

Cue said Apple bought Beats because “music is dying. It hasn’t been growing.” He said combining the two companies will help it grow again [...]

Cue said what makes Beats good is that it provides users with curated playlists.

He said: “When you bring what Beats has got and what we’ve got it’s not two plus two is four. It’s something much more than that” …

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Declining iTunes sales underline need for Apple to launch a subscription music service

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Declining iTunes sales highlighted by Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty and reported by Fortune appear to underline the need for Apple to move beyond sales of music downloads and into the subscription music business. iTunes sales are down 24 percent year-on-year.

While the slack is being picked up by app sales – a trend previously noted by Asymco’s Horace Dediu – that falling blue line reflects the wider shift in consumer behaviour from purchasing downloads to subscribing to streaming services noted last year by Billboard magazine …  Read more

Spotify CEO: I’ve always assumed Apple would offer a streaming service

If Apple does indeed reach a deal to acquire Beats Electronics and announce it this week as expected, the clock is once again counting down to offer up your take on the whole scenario before it’s actually official. Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson got that opportunity earlier this week thanks in part to Dan Lyons of Fake Steve Jobs fame; Isaacson told Lyons he believes the expected $3.2 billion acquisition by Apple is all about creating a world class video service led by Beats’ co-founder Jimmy Iovine.

But when you think about Beats and what the company has to offer for Apple, the subscription music service launched by the company in January earlier this year comes to mind. Spotify, of course, dominates in this space as seen by the company’s announcement today that they now have 10 million paid subscribers and 40 million active users. Read more

Facebook announces TV Show and Music ID app updates for iOS and Android

facebook-logo According to multiple sources, Facebook will unveil a new service today that can identify television shows and music playing in the background. The new software, which will be available via an updated App Store app on iPhone and a Google Play app on Android, will work in tandem with your smartphone hardware’s microphone. Facebook is said to be integrating the feature so Facebook users can more easily share what music they are listening to or what TV show they are currently watching to their Timelines. In iOS 8, Apple will unveil a new Siri feature in partnership with Shazam to identify songs playing in the background. Update: Official announcement after the break… Read more

Beats acquisition may be part of a new focus on music quality, suggests Japanese blog

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Following the presumed acquisition of Beats, Apple plans to up its music game with support for high-resolution audio files in a revamped Music app in iOS 8, and to offer a higher-quality version of its In-Ear Headphones, reports Japanese blog Macotakara

The source of the high-res audio rumor appears somewhat circumstantial, linked to a Warner Music post about the forthcoming release of a ‘Super Deluxe’ version of three remastered early Led Zeppelin albums in 96kHz/24-bit form – a resolution the current iOS Music app cannot play. It is, however, consistent with a similar earlier rumor regarding iTunes support for higher-quality audio …  Read more