Apple launches Best of 2013 page on iTunes, highlights top music, apps, books, and more

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Apple has just published its Best of 2013 page, highlighting some of the most popular music, movies, TV shows, iOS apps, ebooks, and podcasts from the past year. In the music section, Lorde’s “Royals” took the pick for Song of the Year, while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist was named Best Album.

Gravity, the box office hit starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, was named Movie of the Year. Despite the confusion it caused when its final season was broken into two separate purchases earlier this year, Breaking Bad was Apple’s pick for Show of the Year.

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CableLabs Senior VP with mobile TV experience heads to Apple

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Jean-Francois Mule, who recently served as a Senior Vice President at CableLabs, has joined Apple, according to his LinkedIn profile. The move was first noted by MultiChannel News. CableLabs is a consortium made up of cable providers that works with these providers in order to bring new TV-related technologies to life. At Apple, Mule will work as an Engineering Director, but it is currently unclear was his precise role will be. Apple has Engineering Directors in many departments across the company, so it is unclear if his role will actually be connected to TV-development.

According to his CrunchBase Profile, Mule worked on the technology side of TV operations at CableLabs:

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Key Nike FuelBand developer and fitness expert Jay Blahnik confirmed to join Apple, likely working on iWatch

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Jay Blahnik, a globally recognized fitness expert and instrumental consultant in the development of several Nike fitness products, has confirmed his new role at Apple. In July, we reported on unconfirmed whispers out of the fitness industry that Blahnik had been hired at Apple, likely to work on the iWatch. We’ve also since confirmed with additional sources that he has joined Apple, and these people say that Blahnik will be working on the iWatch team

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FireCore releases Infuse 1.3 with Wi-Fi file transfers, fullscreen TV-out, and more

Our launch video review of Infuse

FireCore has released an update for Infuse, the popular video app for iPhone and iPad. The new update boasts new features such as the ability to transfer videos to your iOS device through a web browser, fullscreen TV-out support, new sharing options, and more.

Infuse 1.3 is a free update for existing owners. New owners can get the app for $4.99 on the App Store. The full change log can be found below.

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AppleTV news: 4K panels being bought, friendly studio deals being negotiated & Netflix picks up two Emmy nods

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There are a few snippets of AppleTV related news popping up today. The first we take with the usual grain of salt as it comes to us from the often unreliable DigiTimes. The publication has been reporting some more believable stories as of late, but today’s rumor of Apple purchasing 55 and 65-inch Ultra HD TV panels from LG seems to be more rumor than anything else.

Apple has of course been rumored several times to be building a full fledged HDTV to go along with the much expected revamped AppleTV service coming in the the near future. The latest from the usual lineup of analysts points to a launch as early as the end of this year or early 2014. LG and Sharp– two of Apple’s regular display suppliers– would be obvious choices to source panels, but there’s no proof at this point that Apple is beyond the experimenting stage and we’ve heard rumors from more reliable sources ranging from 40-inch to 60-inch in the past.

Next up for today’s AppleTV news is a bit more insight into the company’s current negotiations with cable and media companies. We heard previously that Apple is working with TimeWarner to bring AppleTV integration in the coming weeks, but, according to the NYTimes, its recent hire of Hulu SVP Pete Distad will also come in handy as it negotiates with others for similar apps: Read more

Apple to announce Time Warner Apple TV integration in the coming months, hiring Hulu SVP to negotiate deals

pete_distadAccording to reports from Bloomberg, Apple is close to reaching a deal with Time Warner to offer TV shows on Apple TV, while also apparently recruiting Hulu exec Pete Distad to lead negotiations for content:

The companies plan to announce an agreement within a few months, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The iPhone maker is also hiring Pete Distad from online-video service Hulu, where he was senior vice president in charge of marketing and distribution, to help Apple executives in negotiations with media and cable companies, two people with familiar with the matter said.

Distad is currently SVP of Marketing and Distribution at Hulu and in charge of content distribution and customer acquisition/retention on the company’s management team. According to his bio Distad’s current duties at Hulu include “subscriber acquisition and retention, paid, on-channel, and brand marketing, distribution and promotional partnerships, and content marketing.” Read more