Apple isn’t the one to slash prices, and the only time a discount is really seen from the Cupertino company is on Black Friday weekend. Thus, we rely on the likes of Best Buy and Wal-Mart to bring in those special offers.
After many years of neglect – struggling to shake off the “hobby” tag beset by then COO Tim Cook – the little black box has finally been shown some love. The key new feature is its ability to play 1080p movies, making full use of your HDTV which, unless it was made more than 5 years ago, will also be 1080p.
Hitherto, the device could only chug out 720p, which in a market where set top boxes accommodate 1080p as standard, meant even the bitten-apple logo couldn’t save it from relative obscurity.
To coincide nicely with the impressive educational announcements made today in New York, Apple have also released iTunes 10.5.3 which adds synchronization support for the newly announced interactive books.
Apple is extending its sphere of influence south of the equator, with the launch of the iTunes Store in Brazil and a whole slew of Latin American countries. According to Cupertino, the platform will launch with a catalog of over 20 million songs, from both Brazilian and international artists, as well as a selection of more than 1,000 films for rent or purchase. Also included in today’s release are users in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.
Turns out there an iTunes Dock setting for the Mac, hidden deep inside the new Lion OS. Once activated, the Dock will produce a pop-up notification of which iTunes track is currently playing. Although you can program Growl, a useful little utility, to show similar notifications, you may prefer having the native one found in Lion.
Apple had released iTunes 10.4 back in July to add support for Mac OS X Lion’s full screen apps feature and as a 64-bit Cocoa application under Lion.
According to the release notes, iTunes 10.4.1 includes the following bug fixes:
Apple has quietly released iTunes 10.3.1 earlier today, less than a day after it released iTunes 10.3, which brought features such as Automatic Downloads and Purchase history to PC and Mac, which are part of the iCloud’s iTunes in the Cloud feature. It also added Books to iTunes Store.
iTunes 10.3.1 is 75.8 MB in size for Mac OS X and 77 MB for Windows.
The support document for iTunes 10.3.1 does not provide any further details about what was fixed. It simply states the features that were introduced in iTunes 10.3.
Folks at 9to5Mac are reporting that Apple is sending out emails to customers offering free iTunes movie rentals.
It looks like the free codes are being sent to iTunes users, which can be used to rent one of the 8,500 available movies. 9to5Mac reports: Apple today started sending out free iTunes movie rental codes to many iTunes users. This seems to be random and we have no idea why they’re doing this. Maybe to promote the rental service? People aren’t renting enough movies? The free movie rental promotion lets you rent one of the 8,500 compatible movies and you have 30 days to start watching and 24 hours to finish.
We’re still holding out hope for a cloud-based subscription service to make that full-page teaser on Apple.com seem worthwhile, but it looks like today’s unforgettable iTunes announcement will indeed just be the arrival of the Beatles to the store — the Fab Four’s page just went live, about 20 minutes before the official announcement. It looks like the entire catalog is available in a $149 box set complete with iTunes LP content, and there’s also a few videos for your enjoyment. We’re sure some of you are super-stoked about being able to buy this stuff in yet another format — and we’re glad Steve and Yoko worked it out — but unless something else happens today we’re feeling like we just witnessed a lot of empty hype.
Update: Yep, it’s official — the Beatles are on iTunes. No streaming announcement, no subscription service. Apple’s given its entire front page over to a full-size shot of the boys, and as a bonus the “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964″ video will stream for free for the rest of the year. Ringo, can you sum this up for us?
“I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes,” said Ringo Starr.
You were always our favorite, Rings.
Whoa, what’s this? Apple just updated its homepage with a new splash screen teasing an “exciting announcement from iTunes” at 10AM ET tomorrow, saying that “Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget.” All streaming subscription service based out of that North Carolina data center? More video content in the store? Apps for the Apple TV with the iOS 4.2 update? The Beatles? Whatever it is, we’re digging for more, and we’ll let you know as soon as we find out.