Chinese Agencies Demands Result in iBooks and iTunes Shut Down

Apple is one of the few companies that has managed to stay active in China where regulation of digital services is strictly controlled by the countries many agencies. That was until last week when several of Apple’s services were shut down in China.

Apple’s iBooks store and iTunes movies were shut down last week, following the demands of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. Apple has since responded saying that they hope to “make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible”, something that implies there is a condition to the services.

Apple managed to launch Apple pay in the country just two months ago, and with it counting China’s as its second biggest market, any services that are stopped would have a huge impact on the company. China is known for the censorship of its technology, with the country hidden behind “the great firewall” while it’s suspected that several groups within the country are behind large-scale hacks in other countries.

Recently Apple denied ever handing over its source code to China, a move that may or may not have contributed to the states less favorable look for the California-based company.

iTunes Allowance to Shutdown Next Month

iTunes allowance is a service that allowed parents to place money into their child’s iTunes account on a monthly basis. No need to allow them to borrow your card or even for you to type into or access their account, preventing you from hundreds of pounds of charges to your card you never expected. Come next month though and the service will be shut down.

In an announcement, Apple has stated that after April 13th users aren’t able to create new iTunes allowance setups, with all current allowance setups being shut down as of May 25th. If you are one of the many who already has a system in place, don’t worry any unused allowance will remain in the account until it has been used, while Apple is keen to stress that similar effects can be achieved using different schemes they provide.

If you are looking to provide for your family, you can share your purchases through the family sharing feature while if you are looking to take sole control of the system then using the  iTunes gift system would be ideal. With no reasoning behind the removal of the feature, people are left wondering if the new systems will teach the same values about money and the consequences of spending an allowance.

Apple Releases Software Update to Fix ‘Error 53’

Some iPhone users recently encountered a very worrying message which disabled their handset. The ‘Error 53’ code occurs when an unofficial repair shop replaces the connector between the Touch ID sensor and iPhone home button. Usually, it’s quite easy to acquire a replacement handset from Apple if any problems arise. Although, this depends if the phone is within the warranty period and the store might ask for a proof of purchase. In these situations, customers have to resort to repair shops who charge a fee for their services. As you can imagine, this error code caused a great deal of panic and anger among loyal Apple customers.

Thankfully, Apple has released an updated version of iOS 9.2.1 but you can only find this version via iTunes. This will restore the functionality of any iPhone rendered useless by the ‘Error 53’ code. In a statement, Apple said that the

“…error 53 occurs when a device fails a standard security test designed to ensure that the Touch ID fingerprint scanner is working correctly.”

The company also added:

“We apologise for any inconvenience, this was designed to be a factory test and was not intended to affect customers.”

“Customers who paid for an out-of-warranty replacement of their device based on this issue should contact AppleCare about a reimbursement.”

Mobile analyst Ben Wood at CCS Insight provided an insight into the reasons why Apple enforced such as strict security measure:

“To me, there was a lot of logic in what they said around the ‘error 53’ element,”

“If you’re using your fingerprint to unlock sensitive data or make payments and there was the ability for someone to replace the screen and modify the module to take control of your phone – that’s not a good thing at all.”

This makes sense because cyber-criminals might alter the sensor to find any personal information on a stolen handset. Given the amount of online banking and wireless payments, it seems like a logical idea. On the other hand, Apple has a reputation for restricting their devices and trying to keep total control.

iTunes is Deemed Illegal According to UK Copyright Law

The UK Government’s tirade against common sense has hit absurd levels and shown how outdated the copyright legal framework is. Towards the end of last year, the UK’s infamous Intellectual Property Office acknowledged how Draconian the law was and decided to make CD ripping legal. Only a few months later, this measure was revoked after several music labels protested in the High Court.

To find out what these changes actually entailed, TorrentFreak requested information from the IPO. A spokesperson clearly said,

“It is now unlawful to make private copies of copyright works you own, without permission from the copyright holder – this includes format shifting from one medium to another.”

This means that the integrated ripping feature in iTunes makes it an illegal piece of software and no different to downloading any pirated content. The software is in direct contravention of copyright law. Even more laughable, the law also applies to backups and cloud-based storage. A Government official explained,

“…it includes creating back-ups without permission from the copyright holder as this necessarily involves an act of copying,”

Technically, the law forces you to repurchase any physical media content if you want to use a portable, digital version. Stupid measures like this only encourage piracy and make consumers feel like criminals. If the music industry offered cross purchasing, or an open model, people would be less inclined to illegally download content. Spotify is the perfect example of a pro-consumer measure which has a positive effect and can reduce the piracy rate.

The Government themselves even admitted how silly the law is and said,

“As this is a complex area of law, the Government is carefully considering the implications of the ruling and the available options, before deciding any future course of action.”

“The Government is not aware of any cases of copyright holders having prosecuted individuals for format shifting music solely for their own personal use,”

Despite the reassurances, it is perfectly legal and feasible for anyone to be sued by copyright holders for backing up their physical media collection, or using iTunes. Governments change but their out-of-touch laws and pathetic pandering to media companies remains the same.

Thank you TorrentFreak for providing us with this information.

Rumours Suggest iPod Refresh Coming Next Week

Apple are planning to revitalize their traditional iPod range according to a report from French media outlet, iGen. Sources close to the website claim the iPod Touch will receive a technical makeover and transition to a 64-bit architecture. It’s still unknown which processor Apple will adopt but the most likely culprit is the iPhone 5’s A7 chip. Additionally, the iPod Touch alongside the Nano and Shuffle are set to receive a batch of new colours including pink, gold, and dark blue.

At the moment, this is all pure speculation and the 14th July date is based on code embedded in the latest iTunes 12.2 software. Considering Apple is perusing their own music service and attempting to dethrone Spotify, it makes sense to return to their musical roots. However, it is quite surprising as Apple’s focus has been on integrating various services and applications into a higher priced unit. The majority of consumers use their mobile phone for music listening purposes and the need to carry another device around seems rather outdated.

As with any Apple product, I expect the pricing to remain virtually identical to current offerings. Perhaps Apple are thinking about developing a portable music streaming device which relies on 3G connectivity. The problem with that idea is the lack of constant networking unless you pay for a premium data package.

Do you feel the iPod is still useful in 2015?

Thank you AppleInsider for providing us with this information.

New App Informs When Someone Has Deleted You

Have you ever wondered why your Facebook friends counter seems to be going lower and lower? No, ok just me then, well wonder no more, as this new app informs you when a friend decides to run in the opposite direction, OK I may be trying to artificially hype this notion up.

The App goes by the name of “Who Deleted me on Facebook” which possibly took all of 5 seconds for that name to be referenced. The App which is available on the standard Android and IOS platforms, aims to inform you when a friend has deleted you from their account. The caveat is that while it informs you from the moment you have downloaded the App, it will not respectively scan back to previous friends who deleted you.

The App has another feature which also shows your newest friends, people you have chosen to block and a ‘last seen’ stamp for everyone in your list. This App used to be available on the site itself until Facebook changed its policies. Whether this software is actually useful is another matter, after all, if you have been deleted you would either A notice, B not notice or C not care.

The App is free and available from both Apple’s and Google’s App stores, but according to the iTunes Store, the App which had been released on the 29th June 2015 has not yet received enough ratings to display an average feedback chart

Thank You TNW News for providing us with this information

Image Courtesy of itunes store

Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter Overtakes Candy Crush Saga in Sales

While fans await Fallout 4’s release on PC and consoles this fall, Bethesda rolled out a Fallout iOS game to keep the hype up and running. This proved to be a great marketing strategy, but it also turned out to be more than that.

For those who are unaware of the iOS title, Bethesda rolled out Fallout Shelter earlier this month as a marketing strategy to promote the AAA title. The iOS title also has an in-app purchase feature, but by the looks of it, you can enjoy it even if you choose not to buy stuff. Which brings us to the most interesting fact.

Fallout Shelter, according to App Annie, overtook King’s Candy Crush Saga in sales in the US and UK. So you have a game out there which you can enjoy even if you don’t buy stuff, but people still buy like crazy. This means that if you have a well-known IP and put in-app purchases in it, people will buy stuff regardless if you make the title pay-to-win or just add some extra stuff like customization features for the character.

Nonetheless, the iOS title is truly amazing and fun to play, but it’s not an AAA title. If you want to give it a try, you can download it for your iOS device from the Fallout Shelter iTunes Store.

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information

YouTube’s Toddler App Full of Disturbing Videos

Looking for videos on how to juggle chainsaws? Drink battery acid? How about My little Pony peadophilia jokes, or Bert and Ernie overdubbed with  foul language?

You can see all of these on the brand new YouTube kids, the new application that google have released, stating it is perfectly safe for young children.

Consumer groups were set to ask the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday to investigate the new application on the grounds of unfair and deceptive business practices, the second official complaint since the kid “safe” service launched last month.

Dale Kunkel stated ““The deeper you get into this, the scarier it is in placing children at risk”. Dale is a communications officer for the University of Arizona “I’m astonished at the volume of inappropriate material, much of which will be harmful for kids if they see it.”

Google posted a statement on monday that it plans to work to make the applications videos as family friendly as possible. They said they take feedback very seriously, removing offensive content that has been flagged by users.

“The first step is to “algorithmically narrow it down to family-friendly content,”  Shimrit Ben-Yair  told the San Jose Mercury News. However that filter is not working according to advocates and some parents who wrote on the Google Play and itunes stores.

Do you think the application is safe for kids to use? let us know in the comments.

Thank you to Phys for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Google

iOS 8.4 Beta Brings With it a New Music Player

A new music player is making its way to you in the new iOS 8.4 beta, and brings a fresh new design that is long overdue. The new app is laden with features users have wanted for a long time, and that iTunes currently has.

A few of the new bits that are in the updated app include a mini player for when you are browsing the app and an upcoming song queue. Songs and albums that you have recently added to your iTunes will be at the top of the list. The now playing screen has been overhauled and looks much better while allowing users to start streaming their music wirelessly without ever leaving the screen. There is an improved iTunes Radio interface in this new release and should help you find some new tracks to love. The new global search feature allows you to search iTunes from anywhere within the application, and it allows you to launch iTunes Radio straight from the search.The upcoming Beats music service won’t be available since it should arrive at about the time that Apple’s developer conference is going on.

The upcoming Beats music service won’t be available since it should arrive at about the time that Apple’s developer conference is going on.

Check out this hands-on with the new app

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information

Star Wars Digital Movie Collection Goes on Sale Friday

You can purchase the Star Wars Digital Movie Collection on Friday April 10th from retailers such as Vudu, Xbox, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, as well as others. Digital copies of the movies will be available for your streaming pleasure this weekend.

With more and more people watching movies without being tied to physical media, this move comes as not surprise though many out there still prefer to have a physical copy of the media. There will be new features included with the collection to entice people into the purchase. There will be a “Discoveries from the Inside” featurette for each movie, and so-called “Conversations” between key contributors. No word on pricing as of yet but Vudu is taking pre-orders for $90 which is the same as the Blu-Ray set.

Source: Engadget

Limited Space Usable on Apple Watch despite 8GB Capacity

On the heels of Apple’s big event the other day, they have told 9to5Mac that only limited amounts of the Apple Watch’s 8GB will be usable, for now. When it comes to music, Apple has allocated 2GB of space, which roughly translates to about 200 to 250 songs at 256Kbps quality from the iTunes store. By comparison for photos you only get 75MB, but that isn’t as negative a point with the Watch limiting users to favorite photos and re-sizes them to match the display, although personally I wouldn’t be showing off photos on a screen that size.

This begs the question, if the phone comes with 8GB, which is more than most Android Wear devices to boot, how is the other 6GB allocated? Like any mobile devices, a portion is used for the operating system and app caches, the rest is yet to be determined. Since the device is so new, and apps currently act more as an extension of an iPhone that an independent device, storage isn’t too big an issue. As we see more native apps developed, the storage design will most likely see changes.

Source: Engadget

iTunes 12.1 Released With New Notification Center Widget

Apple has updated iTunes with a bunch of the usual fixes and tweaks, but also with one handy new feature.

In OS X, iTunes users can now control music being played in the Notification Center – you can skip songs, pause, play and more. There’s also information about the particular song you’re listening to as well as information about the playlist or album.

Notification Center was a feature included with OS X Mavericks in 2013, as part of Apple’s wider efforts to tie-in features across OS X and iOS. It was with OS X Yosemite in 2014 that the company brought along widgets, a feature that allows users to install small gadgets and tools inside Notification Center that can be used to manipulate the wider system and specific apps.

The new update to iTunes is available now via Software Update in the App Store.

Source: The Next Web

Apple Suffers Massive iTunes Connect Error

Apple has suffered a massive error with its iTunes Connect service for developers. The online service, which is designed to allow software developers to manage the apps they publish, had literally gone haywire earlier today, but has since been fixed.

Rather startlingly, a significant number of users who signed in to iTunes Connect found that they had been logged into accounts belonging to other people. A number of users took to Twitter to prove that they had access to the accounts of other developers, and in some cases access to accounts belonging to major companies, such as Time Magazine, as can be seen in the tweet bellow.

Many reported that they could see apps that were either in development or being reviewed, leaking details of apps yet to be released by other developers. Despite this though, users were limited in what they could do to other’s accounts – trying to change various account settings and modifying apps didn’t really do anything other than return an error.

Apple quickly took the service offline and it has since been fixed, with iTunes Connect back open.

Source: 9to5Mac

Musician Earned $27,000 Last Year Making SEO’d Songs

Not many people would argue that fringe musician Matt Farley is a good songwriter – his track “Ryan Gosling, You Are a Great Singer and Actor. Will You Be My Friend” [sic] features the lyric, You were in The Notebook/It is such a great movie/When girls watch it they cry – and yet he made $27,000 from his music in 2014. How? By applying the principals of search engine optimisation (SEO) to his songwriting.

“I realized people will type weird stuff into search engines, and there’s not always songs for the stuff,” Farley said. “If you search for ‘love’ on iTunes or Spotify, you’re going to get something like 15 million songs. If you search ‘monkey,’ you’re going to get fewer.”

It was this SEO-inspired approach that bore such celebrity-focused fare as, “Amanda Knox Is Not Guilty,” “Music Writer Mark Richardson Blocked Me On Twitter,” and “Mike Daisey, Why You Gotta Tell Lies To Ira Glass?”. Farley even released a 92-song album about office supplies.

The prolific Farley records around 50 songs a week, and boasts a back-catalogue of 16,000 songs to date. All are available on iTunes and Spotify, under various different band names and pseudonyms. He hopes one day to pack in his day job – working at a group home for teens – to record music full-time.

Source: Wired

14-Day Return Policy Launches for EU iTunes Customers

In line with new European Union regulation, Apple has launched a 14-day return policy for iTunes digital purchases. The new policy affects all downloads from Apple’s iTunes music and movies stores, the App Store, iBooks Store and for any other download purchase made with Apple.

Right of cancellation: If you choose to cancel your order, you may do so within 14 days from when you received your receipt without giving any reason, except iTunes Gifts which cannot be refunded once you have redeemed the code. 
… 

To meet the cancellation deadline, you must send your communication of cancellation before the 14-day period has expired. 

Effects of cancellation: We will reimburse you no later than 14 days from the day on which we receive your cancellation notice. We will use the same means of payment as you used for the transaction, and you will not incur any fees for such reimbursement. 

Exception to the right of cancellation: You cannot cancel your order for the supply of digital content if the delivery has started upon your request and acknowledgement that you thereby lose your cancellation right. – Excerpt from updated iTunes terms and conditions in the EU.

In the US and elsewhere, the terms still state “All sales Final”, while this has always been offered with a degree of flexibility (something I know from personal experience).

Source: MacRumors 

 

Facebook, Minecraft Lead iOS App Store 2014 Charts

Well isn’t this a surprise – Facebook Messenger and Minecraft pretty much lead the 2014 iOS App Store charts.

The top free iPhone app was Facebook Messenger while the top paid iPhone app was the game Heads Up!, with Minecraft: Pocket Edition in second place. The top iPad app was Minecraft: Pocket Edition with YouTube as the top free iPad app.

Free iPhone apps:

1. Facebook Messenger
2. Snapchat
3. YouTube
4. Facebook
5. Instagram
6. Pandora Radio
7. Google Maps
8. Flipagram
9. Spotify Music
10. 2048

Paid iPhone apps:

1. Heads Up!
2. Minecraft – Pocket Edition
3. Afterlight
4. Plague Inc.
5. Sleep Cycle alarm clock
6. Facetune
7. Cut the Rope 2
8. Bloons TD 5
9. A Dark Room
10. 7 Minute Workout Challenge

Free iPad apps:

1. YouTube
2. Netflix
3. Calculator for iPad Free
4. Skype for iPad
5. Microsoft Word
6. Facebook Messenger
7. Facebook
8. Candy Crush Saga
9. Chrome
10. Clash of Clans

Paid iPad apps:

1. Minecraft – Pocket Edition
2. Cut the Rope 2
3. Heads Up!
4. The Room Two
5. Survivalcraft
6. Notability
7. Terraria
8. Plants vs. Zombies HD
9. Hide N Seek : Mini Game With Worldwide Multiplayer
10. Card Wars – Adventure Time

Source: iTunes

Apple Wins iPod Trial, Jobs Video Not to Be Released

As many of you will know by now, Apple won that largely pointless iPod/iTunes DRM trial last week. That trial featured a video deposition of Steve Jobs, one that a number of major news outlets attempted to have released to the public. That effort has now been thwarted.

The judge presiding over the case decided that it was not necessary for it to be released as it was “not a judicial record”.

“Here, the Court agrees with the Eighth Circuit and concludes that the Jobs Deposition is not a judicial record. It was not admitted into evidence as an exhibit. Instead, the Jobs Deposition was merely presented in lieu of live testimony due to the witness’s unavailability, and was and should be treated in the same manner as any other live testimony offered at trial. As is typical of all live testimony, it is properly made available to the public through its initial courtroom presentation and, subsequently, via the official court transcript, the latter of which is the judicial record of such testimony.”

Apparently the judge made the decision based on a previous case involving a video deposition of President Bill Clinton and due to the fact that Apple fiercely attempted to prevent its release.

Source: AppleInsider Via: MacRumors

Lawsuit Against iPod DRM Set to Collapse

The highly publicised trial against Apple this week, that accuses them of unfairly restricting competition by limiting iPods to use music only downloaded from the iTunes Store, is set to collapse according to the BBC.

Apparently, the plaintiffs in the case both purchased iPods after 2009, outside the 2006 – 2009 window that the case concerns. Apple’s lawyers made the discovery after checking the device’s serial numbers.

“I am concerned that I don’t have a plaintiff. That’s a problem,” Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said at the end of the trial’s third day of testimony in Oakland, California.”

The trial has been heavily covered in the news this week, most notably due to the allegation that Apple “removed music from people’s iPods” that was downloaded from rival services. Apple says that this was misconstrued, as the songs were only removed during software updates for security purposes. The company has also argued that the use of Digital Rights Management was a necessary evil, because it was the only way the music companies would give Apple their trust and was also seen as a way to hamper piracy.

If the trial is successful, Apple could have to pay up to $1 Billion in damages.

SourceL BBC News

Steve Jobs to Appear In Court Over iPod Lawsuit (Yes, Really)

No, you are not seeing things, that headline is true. In an example of Steve Jobs’ superhuman nature, tomorrow he will appear in court to argue over an iPod antitrust case. He isn’t exactly rising from the dead, but rather he will appear in a video deposition recorded before his death.

The New York Times says that the video will join emails from the Apple co-founder, in a case against Apple’s early practice of barring music from other download services being playable on the iPod. Yes, in the early days of the iPod you were only allowed to play music either from Apple’s iTunes Store or music ripped from CDs.

It’s been argued that this was an unlawful practice, harming competition, while Apple is reportedly planning to argue that the success of the iPod and iTunes has meant that the price of iPods has fallen over the 13 years they’ve has been available, benefiting consumers. The company will be bringing SVPs Phil Schiller and Eddy Cue to support their side of the case.

Source: 9to5Mac

Beats Music to Be Included With iOS

The music streaming service Beats Music will be bundled with iOS starting next year, according to a report from the Financial Times.

The service comes from the company of the same name, which Apple acquired earlier this year for $3 billion. Beats is best known for its ‘Beats by Dr Dre’ headphones, but the company has reportedly spent a great deal of time researching and developing its music streaming service, one with an intense focus on content discovery. Beats Music, which is currently only available in the US, delivers carefully crafted playlists of music, collated by experts. This was supposedly one of the big reasons why Apple decided to buy the company. With its iTunes downloads business in decline, it’s no wonder Apple was interested in finding a sustainable alternative.

The report in the Financial Times says that the service will come bundled via a software update, but that it will no longer be referred to as Beats Music. They say that it will be rebranded to tie in more closely with iTunes.

Source: Reuters

‘Serial’ Becomes a World-Class Podcast

The popular podcast was born ‘Serial‘ as a user report of a lengthy criminal investigation. In 1999, a school girl was murdered with her ex-boyfriend being sent to jail for the crime. Dedicated to the cause, Serial is still analyzing this case on a week-by-week basis and has become of one of the most downloaded podcasts available online.

Based around the accused, Adnan Syed, Serial explains of his life sentence which is currently being serves in Maryland correctional facility for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Haw Min Lee. After a lengthy search for her body, it was established that her murder was conducted on the 13th of January, 1999. The Serial podcast was kicked off by Sarah Koeing, a journalist who was asked by a family friend to look at the case at hand – later becoming her obsession and turning into a weekly podcast for her to share her thoughts, discoveries and theories.

15 years since her tragic death, we’re now eight episodes into the series -which became the fastest podcast to hit 5 million downloads and streams on iTunes in history. Serial is now ranked one of the top offerings among iTunes’ 285,000 podcasts and 9.2 million episodes currently available for the consumer.

Podcasts are an ‘old technology’ that seemingly still has it place in our society – much alike radio. Whether you’re sitting on the train or driving to work, there’s no easy way you can sit down and watch a TV – so why not load up an interesting cast? we’ve heard that Serial will provide you with much better entertainment that your general murder-mystery fictional series, providing the listener with a connection to the people, places and things that occur within.

Image courtesy of Gizmodo

iTunes Festival To be Held In the U.S. Alongside SXSW

The iTunes Festival will be held this year as well. The difference between all other years and this year is that Apple will be hosting it in the US, and not the UK. Yes, after seven years, the iTunes Festival will be held in the US, so ‘yay’ for those living in the US and ‘nay’ for brits who wanted to attend and can’t go to the US.

The festival is reportedly being held in Austin starting from the 11th of March and ending on the 15th. A much shorter Festival this year, however it is compensated by including a mix of well-known American and European artists, ranging from Willie Nelson to London Gramma. The other bit of good news is that the iTunes Festival will be held alongisde South by Southwest.

As always, Apple is using a technological showcase for its Festival, therefore you will get to stream live and on-demand performances from the event on both Macintosh and iOS devices. It might be common to people who have used it before, but for most US residents it can be considered a big thing.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Endgadget

Oscar-Shortlisted Documentary Heads To BitTorrent For Promotion

When people here the words “BitTorrent” they typically think of piracy, and for a big proportion of all the news that surrounds the software, most people would be right in their assumptions. However, there are millions of perfectly legal files that get shared on BitTorrent networks, and (some) publishers see it as an open way to reach a very wide audience relatively quickly.

Now Drafthouse Films and the co-directors of the documentary The Act Of Killing will join forces with BitTorrent as part of a BitTorrent Bundle to promote the iTunes release of the director’s cut as they want their film to reach a wide audience without the fear of censorship.

The Act of Killing bundle will include:

  • VICE Presents: Werner Herzog and Errol Morris on The Act of Killing[Video]
  • Democracy Now! Joshua Oppenheimer Interview [Video]
  • Essay: Errol Morris on The Act of Killing [PDF]
  • Essay: Indonesia on the impact of The Act of Killing, TEMPO Magazine [PDF]
  • The Act of Killing Stills [Photographs]
  • The Act of Killing Trailer [Video]

“The Act of Killing has an important message,” said Drafthouse Films Creative Director Evan Husney in an email. “Our goal is to reach as many people as possible — to preserve this film as a documentary, and as a testament to what happened in Indonesia. BitTorrent Bundle allows us to address a global audience of more than 170 million: to ensure that awareness of the film’s message reaches beyond the Internet’s censors and firewalls.”

It’s the first time that BitTorrent have worked with Drafthouse, and it is certainly the first time BitTorrent bundles have been used to promote an Oscar shortlisted film. It’s just another step towards the company loosing its piracy image, it worked for Napster (sort of), perhaps the future of BitTorrent really could be a proper content distribution platform.

Thank you Tech Crunch for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tech Crunch.

Apple AppStore Gets The Long Awaited Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

The long-awaited iOS Grand Theft Auto title, San Andreas, has just arrived on the store. The GTA series is not only famous for the unmatched level of freedom it offers, but also for the many legal and moral disputes between the fans of the game and its moral critics. After Rockstar Games released the previous GTA titles, such as GTA III and GTA: Vice City, for mobile platforms, it could not miss out on the release of GTA: San Andreas, which still remains one of the most popular and well-accepted titles.

Unfortunately, the game might not yet be available across all stores at the moment, but it should become available soon. Meanwhile, it is believed that the Android version of the game will also arrive in the Google Play store in the near future. According to Rockstar Games, selected Windows Phone and Amazon Kindle devices will get the game as well, but no release date for the platforms has been made available.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the iOS will feature remastered graphics and will include dynamic and detailed shadows, sadly available only on iPhone 5 and above, greater draw distance, enhanced colors and models, allegedly making it the best looking version of the game for any platform. Apart from the tweaked graphics, the game will feature several different input methods, new touch controls that will become visible only when you need them, and a reworked checkpoint system. GTA: San Andreas will also support all Made-for-iOS physical controllers and just like in its PC sibling, the iOS version of the game will allow its users to create a custom radio and listen to it while playing the game.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Rockstar Games

Nokia Music To Be Released For iOS, Android And Mac OS X

Nokia Music app appears to begin expanding its reach into other platforms than Windows Phone and Windows PC. According to CTechcn.com, Nokia is about to release a web app version of Nokia Music for iOS and Android devices. There is however mention of Mac OS X support available as well.

Nokia Music provides subscription-based music to Lumia and Asha users across the globe. For a nominal fee every month, users will be able to download and save music on their device, which can then be accessed later even when there is no Internet connection. We had earlier reported Nokia would bring Nokia Music store to its all-touch Asha devices for a nominal fee of Rs 50 for one week, Rs 100 for one month or Rs 250 for three months.

There is currently no official news and no word on when the service will arrive on iOS or Android. The timing of the report is quite interesting, considering that it was widely believed that the service would shut down once Microsoft took over Nokia. Many believe that the app’s features would be merged with the existing Xbox Music platform.

Third-party music streaming apps along with Apple’s iTunes and Google’s Music Store will be competing against Nokia when the app reaches the AppStore and Play Store. But lots of competition also comes with a lot of offers nonetheless.

Thank you BGR and CTechcn.com for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of and Nokia Innovation and CTechcn.com

Consumers Cannot Resell iTunes Songs Rules Judge As ReDigi Lose Their Case

An American Federal Court has ruled that in the USA it is not legal to resell digital media. This is because the judge believes there is an explicit distinction between physical and digital media that needs to be recognised. While NetFlix’s entire existence is based on the fact you can buy a CD or DVD and resell it, it appears no one else will get the opportunity to do the same for digital media.

The ruling means the company ReDigi is now in serious jeopardy at its startup. This is because the company was founded on the principle of being able to resell digital content, like songs bought on iTunes.

Unsurprisingly, the Judge, Richard Sullivan, sided with the music company. Universal Music Group’s Capitol records sued ReDigi for copyright violations and they won. The judge stated that unless the copyright owner gives you explicit permission to resell, then you cannot. So put simply you cannot resell digital media files. ReDigi used multiple arguments to support its case for why resells should be allowed including the first sale doctrine, which supports NetFlix in the resale of physical goods, but the Judge brushed these aside.

Sullivan granted a partial summary judgment in Universal’s favor, and told both sides to report back to him by April 12 for next steps. You can see the full case below.

What do you think of this ruling? Is it fair? Or is it the legal system caving in to the power (and money) of the music industry? View Capitol Records v. ReDigi Judgment on Scribd

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