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American Idol on iTunes

The biggest American reality show on TV has finally joined the iTunes platform. Fox Broadcasting, Fox Interactive Media and FremantleMedia signed an exclusive deal with Apple to bring American Idol audio and video performances to iTunes as single song-sized snippets available the day after they premiere on air.

Audio performances of the top 24 contenders run 99¢ per song, and videos of the top 12 finalists performances will be priced $1.99/each from March 11.

Apple will also become one of the show’s premiere sponsors and maintain a branded presence on AmericanIdol.com, where some free streaming performances can be seen.

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American Podcasting Audience Soars

The U.S. podcasting audience reached 18.5 million in 2007, according to eMarketer and was projected to top 65 million by 2012 with 25 million listeners downloading one or more podcasts a week. Ad spending on podcasts in the U.S. is also expected to creep up, from $165 million in 2007 to $435 million in 2012. Major podcasting networks like Revision3 are growing with the medium’s success by revamping their websites and adding new programming. If you’re not already a podcast consumer, then check out the podcast section in iTunes. There’s a lot of great stuff from tech shows to yoga workouts. And they are all free. I usually watch 5-10 podcasts a day on either my iPod Touch or Apple TV. Makes the bus ride to work much more enjoyable.

Here are a few favorites:
  • Diggnation – weekly rundown of the front page stories on Digg.com
  • Tiki Bar TV – drinking games
  • Unboxing Live – take a new gadget, and open it up while the camera is rolling
  • Midwest Teen Sex Show – explores topics concerning teen sexuality from gym class to syphilis
  • The Totally Rad Show – movie, comic books and game reviews
  • Make Podcast – how to tweak, hack, and bend technology any way you want
  • Play Value – the history of video games.
  • NBC Nightly News – the full TV broadcast sans commercials
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How to Reset Your Frozen iPhone [or iPod]

The guys over at Methodshop always come up with helpful tips on how to run your Apple gear.  So if you’ve got an iPhone or iPod this tutorial is worth a read – even if you haven’t experienced a frozen iPhone – it’s nice to know what you should do when it inevitably happens. Occasionally an iPod or iPhone may freeze or fail to respond to your commands. This can happen for a number of reasons and does not necessarily indicate a serious problem. Sometimes they just need a restart much like the way your computer needs a reset once in a while. Tutorial: How to reset a Frozen iPod or iPhone Restarting an iPod/iPhone is a simple procedure that will not erase any of your music, data files, or customized preferences. methodshop Continue Reading

Apple TV Take 2: Movie Rentals, No Computer Required

Steve Jobs announced an update to the Apple TV at Macworld San Francisco this week as well as iTunes Movie Rentals, which were already rumored to be part of his Macworld keynote speech. Jobs admitted that Apple’s online video plan had been a disappointment and that users didn’t take to watching online video the way Apple had expected. When Jobs first announced the Apple TV last January, Apple’s initial video plan was too complicated for many people. Getting a movie or TV show onto your Apple TV required customers to buy the video from the iTunes Store, download it to their computer, then sync/stream the file using an Apple TV.

Although Apple has already sold 7 million movies, Jobs said: “That’s more than everyone else put together, but it did not meet our expectations.” Apple plans on overhauling their strategy by making 2 major changes:
  1. Adding a new online movie rental service
  2. Updating the Apple TV’s software so that viewers can stream movies direct from the internet sans (that’s Latin for without) computer.
Jobs thinks that viewers would prefer to rent movies, not buy them. As a result, the new Apple TV software will allow users to Continue Reading

Steve Jobs Announces the MacBook Air at MacWorld

I hope you didn’t buy a new Apple laptop recently. Steve Jobs announced the MacBook Air at Macworld today.

The MacBook Air is the “World’s Thinnest Notebook” – even thinner than the Sony TZ, which is 0.8 to 1.2 inches thick. It’s so thin it fits in a manila envelope. Seriously. See the image below! Apple’s goal was to make a high performance 3 pound laptop, with a full size keyboard, and large display.

The MacBook Air is so thin, it only has 4 ports: USB 2.0, Micro-DVI, headphone jack and a MagSafe 45w power adapter plug. So what did Apple leave out? Continue Reading

iTunes Movie Rentals – Rumors Say They Are Coming Soon

According to reports, Apple is close to announcing plans to make Fox and Disney movies available as online rentals via iTunes (US). Apple CEO Steve Jobs is likely saving the official announcement for his Macworld Expo keynote on Jan. 14. Customers would pay a fee to download titles viewable on computers, iPods and presumably Apple TV devices that would expire after a short window of time. Netflix, Amazon.com and Blockbuster’s Movielink are competitors in this space. Wal-Mart, however, has thrown in the towel. Wal-Mart.com quietly pulled the plug on its video download service late last month as Hewlett Packard decided to discontinue the back-office technology that powered it. The service, popular with studios because it offered variable pricing, struggled with compatibility issues. Wal-Mart downloads could not be burned to DVDs or watched on video iPods. methodshop Continue Reading

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