ITunes

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Posted by pompos 02/27/2009 @ 18:04

Tags : itunes, apple, personal computers, computers, technology

News headlines
Stanford's iPhone class hits 1 million downloads on iTune U - San Francisco Chronicle
If you need any more evidence that the iPhone is the hot development platform, Stanford and Apple announced today that the university's iPhone development class recorded 1 million free downloads on iTunes U. Apple said this is the fastest any course on...
Napster cuts music plan to $5 a month - The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Napster.com on Monday cut the price of its online music streaming service to $5 a month from $12.95, and threw in five song downloads for customers in a move to better compete with rival iTunes. The Los Angeles-based company gained...
Scribd borrows a page from iTunes - Los Angeles Times
By Alex Pham Scribd is proposing to do for books what iTunes did for music -- let readers buy only what they want to read. Eight years ago, Apple Inc. turned the music industry upside down when it launched iTunes, an online music store that let...
How to move an iTunes library to an external drive - CNET News
by Donald Bell If you're an iTunes users whose appetite for music, movies, and podcasts is outstripping the capacity of your computer, it might be a good time to think about offloading that library to an external hard drive or a separate internal drive...
Mac News Briefs: BravoTunes puts iTunes info in menu bar - Macworld
by Macworld Staff, Macworld.com BravoBug Software has released BravoTunes, a free iTunes add-on that displays scrolling track information in the OS X menu bar. BravoTunes displays the title, artist, and album for the current and next iTunes track....
The Story of My Life Cast Album Available on iTunes May 19 - Playbill.com
By Kenneth Jones The PS Classics Broadway cast recording of the Drama Desk Award-nominated musical The Story of My Life, featuring Will Chase and Malcolm Gets, gets a digital release on iTunes May 19 prior to its street date of June 2....
More X-Series Walkman info--Ask the Editors - CNET News
How do I know the Walkman or the Creative Zen will work with iTunes? The rest of my family already have iPods, and I want something different but my concern is all the music I have tied up in iTunes, how do I know what MP3 players will work with that...
RIP standalone network media players - CNET News
Even after a major firmware upgrade (which emphasized direct access to iTunes movies instead of pulling files from a networked computer elsewhere in the home), the Apple TV has never seemed to connect with users. Part of the reason, no doubt,...
Premier League Classic Matches Come To iTunes (UK Only, For Now) - EPL Talk
Classic Premier League matches and goal highlights are now available on iTunes, but only in the UK iTunes store, for now. The deal between the Premier League, IMG Media and Apple means that iTunes users in the United Kingdom can now download up to 50...
Free books site Scribd to open internet store - Times Online
Hoping to do for the written word what iTunes did for music, the Scribd store will allow writers to set their own price for their work and keep 80 per cent of the revenue, a much higher figure than for other e-book publishing methods,...

ITunes

iTunes 8.0.2

SoundJam MP, developed by Jeff Robbin and Bill Kincaid and released by Casady & Greene in 1999, became the basis for iTunes when Apple purchased it in 2000. Apple added a new user interface and the ability to burn CDs, and removed its recording feature and skin support, and released it as iTunes in January 2001. Originally a Mac OS 9-only application, iTunes began to support Mac OS X when version 2.0 was released nine months later, which also added support for the original iPod. Version 3 dropped Mac OS 9 support but added smart playlists and a ratings system. In April 2003, version 4.0 introduced the iTunes Store; in October, version 4.1 added support for Microsoft Windows 2000 and XP. Version 7.0 introduced gapless playback and Cover Flow in September 2006. In March 2007, iTunes 7.1 added support for Windows Vista, and 7.4 marked the end of Windows 2000 support. iTunes lacked support for 64-bit versions of Windows until the 7.6 update on January 16, 2008. iTunes is currently supported under any 64-bit version of Windows Vista, although the iTunes executable is still 32-bit. The 64-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 are not supported by Apple, but a workaround has been discovered for both operating systems. The last major update, version 8.0, added Genius playlists, grid view, and a new default visualizer.

A version of iTunes was shipped with cell phones from Motorola, which included the ability to sync music from an iTunes library to the cellphone, as well as a similar interface between both platforms. Since the release of the iPhone, Apple has stopped distributing iTunes with other manufacturers' phones in order to concentrate sales to Apple's device.

Additionally, users can add PDF files to their library (to add digital liner notes to their albums, for example), but the PDFs cannot be transferred to or read on an iPhone or iPod. However, iPhone/iPod Touch apps exist to sync any type of file to and from the device to an "iDisk" using Apple's MobileMe service.

In the most recent version, iTunes 8.0, the preferences menu was given a complete makeover. The result added very few new options, but instead removed several options that may seem trivial to most users. For example, iTunes once gave users the option to display arrows beside the selected song's title, artist, album, and genre that link directly to the iTunes Music Store. Now these arrows are not removable, except through the direct editing of a preferences file.

The first is a binary file called iTunes Library and it uses a proprietary file format ("ITL"). It caches information like artist and genre from the audio format's tag capabilities (the ID3 tag, for example) and stores iTunes-specific information like play count and rating. iTunes typically reads library data only from this file.

The second file, iTunes Music Library.xml, is refreshed whenever information in iTunes is changed. It uses an XML format, allowing developers to easily write applications that can access the library information (including play count, last played date, and rating, which are not standard fields in the ID3v2.3 format). Apple's own iDVD, iMovie, and iPhoto, and Freshly Squeezed Software's Rock Star are examples of applications that access the library.

If the first file is corrupted, iTunes will attempt to reconstruct it from the XML file. Detailed third-party instructions regarding this are documented elsewhere. There have been some concerns, voiced by Mark Pilgrim, that this feature will create an "undocumented binary blackhole" because the recovery from the XML file may not work.

It has also been noted that iTunes does not automatically track changes to actual files in the library. If a file is moved or deleted, iTunes will display an exclamation mark beside the library entry and the user will need to manually amend the library record. There have been a number of third party tools created to address this problem.

The standard list view displays library files with many optional detail fields, including name, artist, album, genre, user rating, play count, and so forth. Item backgrounds alternate between white and a light blue-gray for readability.

The list with accompanying album artwork is much the same, only the list is broken up by albums, with the artwork as a header to the list. Although this allows users to browse content more visually, sorting the list view by name will accordingly break up the library into redundant instances of each album. Accordingly, as with Cover Flow view, the second view mode is most appropriate for users who sort their libraries by album.

Cover Flow displays all of the user's album art as CD covers in a slideshow format. It sorts the albums into artist, genre, etc. Compilation albums are only shown as a single album cover if the compilation tag for each of the album's tracks is turned on. If the song(s) from the album were imported from a 'mix' CD, the album artwork will be displayed as a default music note pictures.

Grid View is similar to Cover Flow, displaying the user's cover art in a grid rather than a side-scrolling format. Albums can also be sorted into groups by artist, genre, or composer.

A user's iTunes Library can be shared over a local network using the closed, proprietary Digital Audio Access Protocol (DAAP), created by Apple for this purpose. DAAP relies on the Bonjour network service discovery framework, Apple's implementation of the Zeroconf open network standard. Apple has not made the DAAP specification available to the general public, only to third-party licensees such as Roku. However, the protocol has been reverse-engineered and is now used to stream playlists from non-Apple software (mainly on the Linux platform).

DAAP allows shared lists of songs within the same subnet to be automatically detected. When a song is shared, iTunes can stream the song but won't save it on the local hard drive, in order to prevent unauthorized copying. Songs in Protected AAC format can also be accessed, but authentication is required. A maximum of five users may connect to a single user every 24 hours. The multiple, alternate "View" options normally available to iTunes users including "Cover Flow" are disabled when viewing a shared library over a network.

Library sharing was first introduced with iTunes 4.0, where users could freely access shared music anywhere over the Internet, in addition to one's own subnet, by specifying IP addresses of remote shared song libraries. Apple quickly removed this feature with version 4.0.1, claiming that users were violating the End User License Agreement.

With the release of iTunes 7.0, Apple changed their implementation of DAAP. This change prevents any third-party client, such as a computer running Linux, a modified Xbox, or any computer without iTunes installed, from connecting to a remote iTunes repository. iTunes will still connect as a client to other iTunes servers and to third-party servers.

Importing of audio CDs into MP3 or AAC formats can also be accomplished using variable bitrate (VBR) encoding. However, a double-blind experiment conducted in January 2004 of six MP3 encoders noted that the iTunes encoder came last, in that the quality of the files produced by iTunes was below par. It was stated in the final results that these tests only covered VBR encodings, thus iTunes may have performed better with a Constant bitrate (CBR).

The Windows version of iTunes can automatically transcode DRM-free WMA (including version 9) files to other audio formats, but does not support playback of WMA files and will not transcode DRM protected WMA files. Telestream, Inc. provides free codecs for Mac users of QuickTime to enable playback of unprotected Windows Media files. These codecs are recommended by Microsoft.

For MP3 files, iTunes writes tags in ID3v2.2 using UCS-2 encoding by default, but converting them to ID3v2.3 (UCS-2 encoding) and ID3v2.4 (which uses UTF-8 encoding) is possible via its "Advanced" > "Convert ID3 Tags" toolbar menu. If both ID3v2.x and ID3v1.x tags are in a file, iTunes ignores the ID3v1.x tags.

AAC and Apple Lossless files support Unicode metadata, stored in the MP4 container as so-called "Atoms". The QuickTime plugin that supports the OGG container format has no support for tag editing or album art.

On May 9, 2005, video support was introduced to iTunes with the release of iTunes 4.8. Users can drag and drop movie clips from the computer into the iTunes Library for cataloguing and organization. They can be viewed in a small frame in the main iTunes display, in a separate window, or fullscreen. Before version 7 provided separate libraries for media types, videos were only distinguished from audio in the Library by a small icon resembling a TV screen and grouped with music in the library, organized by the same musical categories (such as "album" and "composer").

On October 12, 2005, Apple introduced iTunes 6.0, which added support for purchasing and viewing of video content from the iTunes Music Store. The iTunes Music Store initially offered a selection of several thousand Music Videos and five TV shows, including most notably the ABC network's Lost and Desperate Housewives. Disney Channel shows (The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and That's So Raven) were also offered 24 hours after airing, as well as episode packs from past seasons; since that time, the collection has expanded to include content from numerous television networks. The iTunes Music Store also gives the ability to view Apple's large collection of movie trailers.

As of September 5, 2006, the iTunes Store offers over 550 television shows for download. Additionally, a catalog of 75 feature-length movies from Disney-owned studios was introduced. As of April 11, 2007, over 500 feature-length movies are available through iTunes.

Originally, movies and TV shows were only available to U.S. customers, with the only video content available to non-U.S. customers being music videos and Pixar's short films. This is in process of being extended to other countries as licensing issues are resolved.

Video content available from the store used to be encoded as 540 kbit/s Protected MPEG-4 video (H.264) with an approximately 128 kbit/s AAC audio track. Many videos and video podcasts currently require the latest version of QuickTime, QuickTime 7, which is incompatible with older versions of Mac OS (only v10.3.9 and later are supported). On September 12, 2006, the resolution of video content sold on the iTunes Store was increased from 320x240 (QVGA) to 640x480 (VGA). The higher resolution video content is encoded as 1.5 Mbit/s (minimum) Protected MPEG-4 video (H.264) with a minimum 128 kbit/s AAC audio track.

In addition to static playlist support, version 3 of iTunes introduced support for smart playlists. Smart playlists are playlists that can be set to automatically filter the library based on a customized list of selection criteria, much like a database query. Multiple criteria can be entered to manage the smart playlist.

Any user of iTunes can publish a playlist to the iTunes Store with his or her own preferences, which is called an iMix.

The Party Shuffle playlist is intended as a simple DJ'ing aid. By default, it selects tracks randomly from other playlists or the library; users can override the automatic selections by deleting tracks (iTunes will choose new ones to replace them) or by adding their own via drag-and-drop or contextual menu. This allows a mixture of both preselected and random tracks in the same meta-playlist. The playlist from which Party Shuffle draws can be changed on the fly; this will cause all randomly chosen tracks to disappear and be replaced.

Playlists can be played randomly or sequentially. The randomness of the shuffle algorithm can be biased for or against playing multiple tracks from the same album or artists in sequence (a feature introduced in iTunes 5.0, and later discontinued in iTunes 8.0). Party Shuffle can also be biased towards selecting tracks with a higher star rating. With this bias enabled, each star rating increases the preference for that particular song about 4% over that of a one-star-less rated song. Unrated songs are the least likely to be played. Inter-star ratings (Songs assigned an additional "half star," which is visible in iTunes as a ½ symbol in the place of a star but can only be assigned by a third-party program) are stored by iTunes, but only affect this feature in the range of zero to one star.

The Genius feature, introduced in iTunes 8, automatically generates a playlist of 25, 50, 75, or 100 songs from the user's library that are similar to the selected song. The resulting Genius playlist can be refreshed for new results or saved. The Genius Sidebar will similarly recommend selections from the iTunes Store based on the selected library track. For the Genius playlist to be integrated, an iTunes Store account is needed, and necessary information about the user's library must first be sent to the Apple database. Genius becomes "smarter" by compiling the anonymously submitted library information from its users, and thus over time becoming more accurate in its playlist generation.

Version 4 of iTunes introduced the iTunes Music Store (later renamed to the iTunes Store) from which iTunes users can buy and download songs for use on a limited number of computers and an unlimited number of iPods. Many songs purchased from the iTunes Store are copy protected with Apple's FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) system. At the 2009 Macworld Conference & Expo, it was announced that the iTunes Music Store would be DRM-free, with conversion complete by April 2009. Previously, DRM protected songs could not be copied from one computer into another and played or imported into iTunes (Although third party applications such as Tunebite have been written to get around DRM). However, with competitors such as Amazon, which sells completely DRM free music for 89-99 cents per song, Apple's downloads have been decreasing. In response, Apple is converting to completely DRM free music (previously called iTunes Plus).

Apple also announced that there would be changes in their price tier: songs will cost $0.69, $0.99, or $1.29. Although Apple did not elaborate on how songs will be priced, observers expect new hits to be $1.29 while older songs will be cheaper. These changes have been subject to controversy. First, there may be less paid downloads for newer hits because of the pricing. Also, artists whose songs are less popular, such as artists that compose obscure genres, get less money for their songs despite putting the same amount of work into their songs.

In the years since, movies, television shows, music videos, podcasts, applications, and video games have been added to the extensive iTunes Store's catalog.

On January 6, 2009, Phil Schiller announced in his Macworld 2009 keynote speech that over 6 billion songs had been downloaded since the service first launched on April 28, 2003.

At the previous Macworld Expo 2008, Apple CEO Steve Jobs stated that the service had set a new single day record of 20 million songs on December 25, 2007. He also announced that the iTunes Store will offer over 1,000 movies for rental by the end of February. The iTunes movie catalog includes content from 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. These movies will also be transferable to all 6th generation iPods. On June 19 Apple stated that they had sold 5 billion songs using the iTunes store.

Version 4.9 of iTunes, released on June 28, 2005, added built-in support for podcasting. It allows users to subscribe to podcasts for free in the iTunes Music Store or by entering the RSS feed URL. Once subscribed, the podcast can be set to download automatically. Users can choose to update podcasts weekly, daily, hourly, or manually.

Users can select podcasts to listen to from the Podcast Directory, to which anyone can submit their podcast for placement. The front page of the directory displays high-profile podcasts from commercial broadcasters and independent podcasters. It also allows users to browse the podcasts by category or popularity, and to submit new podcasts to the directory.

The addition of podcasting functionality to a mainstream audio application like iTunes greatly helped bring podcasting to a much wider audience. Within days after iTunes 4.9 was released, podcasters were reporting that the number of downloads of their audio files had tripled, sometimes even quadrupled.

Software, often referred to as a "podcatching client," is required to make full use of podcasts' syndication features. Apple's iTunes player is considered the dominant podcatching client, but alternatives exist.

Podcast listeners can listen in one of two ways: through a hardware device like an MP3 player, or simply on their computer using media player software.

Version 6 of iTunes introduced official support for video podcasting (also known as a vodcast), although video and RSS support was already unofficially there in version 4.9. Users can subscribe to RSS feeds through the iTunes Store or by entering the feed URL. Video podcasts can contain downloadable video files (in MOV, MP4, M4V, or MPG format), but also streaming sources and even IPTV. Downloadable files can be synchronized to a video-capable iPod and both downloadable files and streams can be shown in Front Row.

Automatic synchronization can be turned off in favor of manually copying individual songs or complete playlists. iTunes supports copying music to the iPod; however, only music and videos purchased from the iTunes store can be transferred from the iPod back to iTunes. This functionality was added after third-party software was written which allowed users to copy all content back to their computer. It is also possible to copy from the iPod using ordinary Unix command line tools, or by enabling hidden file viewing in Windows Explorer, then copying music from the iPod drive to a local disk for backup. Doing this can be confusing because the files are arranged in such a way that their folders and (depending on iPod and iTunes versions) file names are seemingly picked at random as they are put on the iPod. It is worth noting, however, that the files (along with their embedded title and artist information) remain unchanged. It is therefore less confusing to let iTunes reimport, reorganize, and rename all of the files after they are backed up. When music or video purchased through the iTunes Store is copied from an iPod, it will only play on computers that are authorized with the account that was used to purchase them. Several third party utilities can remove this limitation by stripping iTunes DRM from protected files. The legality of using such software in the United States is currently the subject of active debate.

When an iPod is connected that does not contain enough free space to sync the entire iTunes music library, a playlist will be created and given a name matching that of the connected iPod. This playlist can then be modified to the user's preference in song selection to fill the available space.

The Mac OS X version of iTunes can also synchronize with a small number of discontinued digital music players, while the Windows version will support only the iPod. The synchronization is limited, however, in that the iPod is the only digital music player compatible with Apple's proprietary FairPlay digital rights management technology, and thus most music purchased through the iTunes Store can only be played on an iPod. The remaining ability to synchronize with a limited number of legacy digital music players is likely a remnant of Apple's timeline the music industry: iTunes was released in January 2001, nine months prior to the iPod's unveiling and slightly more than two years before the introduction of the iTunes Music Store. When iTunes was released, compatibility with other music players was critical; as iPod has become the dominant digital music player, that compatibility may no longer be a necessity.

A number of unsupported third-party programs have been created to help a user of iTunes to synchronize songs with any music player that can be mounted as an external drive. Though iTunes is the only official method for synchronizing with the iPod, there are other programs available that allow the iPod to sync with other software players.

As of iTunes 7, purchased music can be copied from the iPod onto the computer. The computer must be authorized by that iTunes account. iTunes currently allows up to 5 computers to be authorized on one account. It does not allow you to transfer imported music files between computers. This may be necessary to back songs up, transfer songs to a new computer, or restore music after a disk failure using an iPod as the backup source. A number of shareware or freeware applications exist that complement iTunes.

In Mac OS X, iTunes is tightly integrated with Apple's iWork and iLife suites. These applications can access the iTunes Library directly, allowing access to the playlists and songs stored within (including encrypted music purchased from the iTunes Store). Music files from iTunes can be embedded directly into Pages documents and can supply the score for iDVD, iMovie, and Keynote productions. iTunes is also integrated with Front Row (Front Row compiles its information from the user's iTunes and iPhoto libraries). In addition, any song exported from GarageBand, Apple's basic music-making program, is automatically added to the user's iTunes music library. iTunes's Artwork.saver is a screen saver included in Mac OS X v10.4 that displays album artwork as a screen saver. iTunes widget is a Dashboard Widget that controls iTunes. Moreover, iTunes can be scripted, using AppleScript for Mac OS X or using the Apple-provided SDK for iTunes on Windows allowing many other applications to integrate themselves into iTunes. A common use is to relay the title and artist of what the user is currently listening to into their instant messenger (such as iChat or Windows Live Messenger), or social networking service (such as Facebook or MySpace).

Apple Inc. also offers a free iPhone / iPod Touch application called Remote that allows the user to remotely control their iTunes library or Apple TV. This can be downloaded from iTunes itself or directly from one's iPhone / iPod Touch. It is only compatible with iPhone OS v2.0 and above (current version is 2.2). In terms of usage it is very similar (to the extent of almost being identical) to the iPod application that is included with all iPhones, the only difference is the lack of CoverFlow support.

Beginning with the introduction of the original iPhone, users can use iTunes to activate their phone through their mobile carrier. The original plan for the iPhone 3G was to have the carrier authenticate it at the point of sale, either through iTunes or through the carrier's own activation interface. However, a worldwide crash of iTunes' authentication servers on July 11, 2008, the day that the iPhone 3G was released, caused major issues. In some cases, AT&T and Apple Store employees told iPhone buyers to attempt to activate it at home. Also affected were original iPhone users attempting to upgrade to the 2.0 firmware. UK Apple Stores were further impacted, as carrier O2 used a proprietary online interface built on the Microsoft Windows-only Internet Explorer for activation. At stores where computers were not running Windows, the installation of VMware Fusion was required to get the interface working. In some cases, activation issues left iPhones useless.

To compensate for the lack of a physical CD, iTunes can print custom-made jewel case inserts as well as song lists and album lists. After burning a CD from a playlist, one can select that playlist and bring up a dialog box with several print options. The user can choose to print either a single album cover (for purchased iTunes albums) or a compilation cover (for user-created playlists). iTunes then automatically sets up a template with art on one side and track titles on the other.

An iMix is a user-created playlist published in the iTunes Store. iMixes were first introduced in iTunes version 4.5. Anyone can create an iMix free of charge. iMixes are limited to 100 songs and must feature content available on the iTunes Store. iMixes are public and searchable by any iTunes user. Users may also rate any iMix using a five-star system. iMixes are active for one year from their original published date. Users can publish their iTunes iMix to their blog, profile page or website such as Yahoo! 360°, Facebook, or MySpace.

Since the release of iTunes 7, Apple no longer promotes the Internet radio feature. However, it remains in the QuickTime 7.0.4, and iTunes EULA used by iTunes 6.0.5.20. With iTunes 7, the "Radio" item has reappeared as an optional source in the preferences, along with its stations. However, as of iTunes 8, radio is checked by default and the stations can be accessed by selecting "Radio" under "Library." Some third-parties offer iTunes plugins that add additional radio stations.

In addition, a user is able to enter their own stream feeds to listen to in their own music library. This is done by "Advanced" > "Open Audio Stream..." or by the hotkey Ctrl-U (PC) or Command-U (Mac).

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ITunes Store

ITunes Store screenshot.png

The iTunes Store is a software-based online digital media store operated by Apple Inc. Opening as the iTunes Music Store on April 28, 2003, it proved the viability of online music sales and is now the number-one music vendor in the United States. As of January 2009, the store has sold 6 billion songs, accounting for more than 70% of worldwide online digital music sales and making the service the largest legal music retailer. While most downloaded files have previously included restrictions on their use, enforced by FairPlay, Apple's implementation of digital rights management, iTunes has initiated a retroactive shift into selling DRM-free music, marketed as iTunes Plus. On Jan 6, 2009, Apple announced that DRM will be removed from 80% of the entire music catalog, progressing to 100% by April 2009.

Since the introduction of the iTunes Store, individual songs were all sold for the same price with no subscription fee (in contrast to most existing music stores at the time of introduction, which charged a monthly fee for access to their catalog). In the keynote at the 2009 Macworld Expo, two new prices were introduced. Currently, music may be priced $0.69, $0.99, or $1.29 (USD). Music in the store is in the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format, which is the MPEG-4-specified successor to MP3. Songs with DRM are encoded at 128 kilobits per second (kbit/s). As of the January 2009 Macworld Expo, Apple has announced that all music in iTunes will be available without DRM, and encoded at the higher-quality rate of 256 kbit/s. Previously, this model, known as "iTunes Plus", had been available only for music from EMI and some independent labels. Previews, thirty seconds in length, are available free, prior to buying a song. iTunes had the option between fully loading previews before playing, or simply streaming the preview; the former feature was removed with the release of iTunes 8. Complete albums are also available for a flat rate regardless of the number of songs on that album; albums on sale are typically at half-price. Podcasts are free. In addition, volume discounts of up to 20% are available for purchases of more than 25,000 songs.

Feature length movies and television episodes are available for purchase. Movies tend to be priced below a DVD of the same film while television episodes are approximately double the cost of a song.

Finally, some games are available for some models of iPods for various prices, but none as expensive as a feature length film. In addition, the iTunes Store now offers Apps, which are applications used for various purposes (games, maps, movie showtimes, etc.) that are compatible with the iPod Touch and iPhone, although some Apps are specifically for the iPhone only. Some Apps cost money (called "Paid Apps") and some are free (called "Free Apps"). Generally, games are paid apps, while other various apps (i.e. movie showtimes and demos of paid apps) are free.

At the Macworld 2008 keynote, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced iTunes movie rentals. Movies are available for rent in the iTunes Store 30 days after they have been released on DVD and are available for a cheaper rate. However, they only are accessible for 24 hours after users begin viewing them. This feature is not yet available in all countries.

There is also a weekly promotion in which one to three songs are available to download for free to logged-in users. Free downloads are available on Tuesdays, and remain free until the following Tuesday. Some artists choose to have select songs available for no charge. This is not available at all iTunes Stores worldwide. Some iTunes television programs have begun the same technique to encourage brand loyalty; although those stay longer. In fact, the iTunes Store used to have a link to "Free TV" on its home page and the TV Shows section's home page which links to a complete listing of free TV shows, however it has disappeared (the page has remained online). Apple still sells free TV episodes; some channels, such as ABC and NBC, have their own pages of "Free Season Premieres".

There are usually three different types of free songs on the United States iTunes Store: the regular featured free song, the Discovery Download (featuring songs from different genres), and the Canción de la Semana (Latino free single of the week). Most recently, iTunes has been weekly offering free music videos.

To buy files through the store, a user must pay with an iTunes gift card or a credit card with a billing address in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada (although gift cards may not be used in the App Store), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, or the United States. Apple also offers other payment methods (like Paypal), which differ from country to country. Residents in other countries can only buy a gift card from a merchant or download free podcasts and previews. If someone buys a gift card, an address in the country of the gift card must also be provided.

The release of the iPhone and iPod Touch brought the introduction of the iTunes Music Store. This version of the iTunes Store allows owners of the iPod Touch and iPhone to purchase music and download podcasts directly on the portable music device. Originally to access the store the user had to be connected to a Wi-Fi network in order to enter the store, hence its original name: the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. However, at Macworld 2009, Apple issued a software update which automatically allowed 3G and EDGE users to access the store's full functionality.

Apple provides customer support for the iTunes Store over the phone through AppleCare; Timothy Noah of Slate has also found a customer service line. Most customer service inquiries are handled online, via Report a Problem link in iTunes Application.

Debuting on April 28, 2003, the iTunes Music Store was the first online music store to gain widespread media attention. Apple's store allows the user to purchase songs and transfer them easily to the iPod through iTunes. A software update released on November 21, 2008 allowed users to download or stream podcasts to an iPod Touch or iPhone. Unlike music, podcasts can be downloaded or streamed through a cellular network, though a size limitation exists. The iPod is the only digital music player (besides some Motorola mobile phones and the iPhone) that is intended to work with the iTunes Store, although some other digital music players will work with iTunes. The iTunes Music Store launched initially with about 200,000 files available for download.

On 5 September 2007, Apple introduced the iPod Touch which included the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. An update for the iPhone which included the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store was released on 28 September 2007.

The store began after Apple signed deals with the five major record labels at the time, EMI, Universal, Warner, Sony Music Entertainment, and BMG (the last two would later merge to form Sony BMG). Music from more than 2,000 independent labels was added later, the first from Moby on July 29, 2003.

The store has more than 10,000,000 songs, including exclusive tracks from numerous popular artists. Not all artists are available on iTunes, including some popular ones such as The Beatles, AC/DC, Kid Rock, Garth Brooks, Tool, and Bob Seger.

New songs are added to the iTunes catalog every day, while the iTunes Store is updated each Tuesday. Apple also releases a 'Single of the Week' in both English and sometimes Spanish and usually a 'Discovery Download' on Tuesdays, which are available for free for one week.

Perhaps the most notable case of music being removed is of Frank Zappa; a significant portion of his music was added to the iTunes Store in August 2005 though it was later removed in August 2006.

Downloaded songs come with song information (name, artist, album) already filled out, though iTunes provides a free service by Gracenote to do this for songs not purchased from the store, although they must be imported with iTunes. Songs that have an entry in the iTunes Store also come with album artwork (Artwork is embedded in the metadata). As of the release of iTunes 7, the artwork can be obtained for songs not purchased from the store for free if the user has an iTunes Store account. Purchased songs do not come with lyrics already typed in to the application's window for them; nor does iTunes provide a service for acquiring the missing lyrics. However, several third-party applications exist to locate and automatically add lyrics to the user's music.

Some songs are available from the store by "Album Only", meaning the song can only be acquired through the purchase of the entire album, whereas most songs can be downloaded separately from the album they belong to. Most songs above ten minutes in length are automatically album-only songs. Soundtracks also often have many Album Only tracks. Movie soundtracks normally include songs owned by many different labels, making licensing more complex. For example, Forrest Gump: The Soundtrack includes songs from Peacock Records, Argo Records, and Capitol Records, among many others. Greatest Hits by Red Hot Chili Peppers has only one song, "Higher Ground," that is not available for download on a per song basis. The easiest way around this is for the user to search for the artist and find the particular song(s) they want on another release, which is sometimes available without having to purchase an entire album.

When entering the U.S. music store, there are multiple sub-divided stores that one can go into. These stores are either found under ‘More In Music,’ ‘Genres,’ ‘Pre-Orders,’ ‘Celebrity Playlists’ and ‘Free Downloads.’ Within ‘More In Music,’ one can enter various stores such as Starbucks Entertainment and iTunes Essentials. iTunes Essentials contains groupings of music based upon the artist of the music (Artist Essentials), the genre or history of the music (Genres and History), or any other similarities (My Groove). Each grouping of music is essentially a pre-made playlist. The songs in the playlist are all listed in order of their importance, starting with the artist's most well-known song. These playlists usually contain either 45 or 75 songs equally distributed in three sections: The Basics (the biggest, best, and most important songs), Next Steps (usually composed of popular songs just beyond the hits) and Deep Cuts (under-appreciated songs). Occasionally, specific Artist Essentials do not have a Deep Cuts section. This usually depends on how many releases the artist has completed over the years. Within ‘Genres,’ one can enter music stores that only have one genre such as blues or reggae. There are a total of 20 genres in the U.S. music store. ‘Pre-Orders’ lists albums that one can pre-order before the album is released. ‘Celebrity Playlists’ contains lists of songs chosen and described by celebrities. ‘Free Downloads’ are songs that subscribed iTunes Store users can obtain for free.

On November 1, 2006, Apple created a new category for Latino or Hispanic content, “iTunes Latino”. Telemundo and Mun2 made some of their popular programs available for purchase, becoming the first Hispanic television content in the store. It offers music, music videos, audiobooks, podcasts and television shows in Spanish in a single concentrated area. The brief descriptions given to the content is in Spanish as well as several sub-categories. Gibraltarian Flamenco Metal band Breed 77, released an exclusive album called Un Encuentro to coincide with the launch of “iTunes Latino”. It features 11 songs, all from previous albums, but all sung in Spanish.

If the iTunes Store deems that the lyrics to a song are offensive, it will be marked "explicit" next to the song title. If a song is marked "explicit" it is unavailable for purchase if "restrict explicit content" is checked under the parental controls preference. Often there will be a "clean" mark next to the title of some songs, meaning the lyrics have been censored, and is available to purchase on all accounts. Generally if a song is marked "clean" there is an explicit version available as well.

The iTunes Store also includes over 20,000 audiobooks, encoded at 32 kilobits per second. Ninety-second previews are offered for every book. These books are provided by Audible.com. This is the same format available if the user signs up directly with Audible.com and chose the "iPod" format. The main difference is that it is unnecessary to sign up for a subscription to get audiobooks as is the case with Audible. A small discount is provided through buying audiobooks through the iTunes Store, but on a selective basis by Apple in comparison to an "always on member discount" if one has an Audible subscription.

In October 2005, Apple announced the latest iPod would be capable of playing video files, which would be sold online through the iTunes Store in the U.S. These videos included 2000 music videos and episodes of popular television programs. Apple made a deal with Disney to be the first supplier of TV shows, the first shows available included episodes of Lost and Desperate Housewives with each episode becoming available the day after it originally aired on broadcast TV. Several short animated films by Pixar are also available.

The selling of videos on iTunes sparked considerable debate as to whether there was a paying audience for programming available for free on TV. As MP3 Newswire pointed out, users are not so much paying for the TV programs themselves. Instead they are really paying for a service that offers the convenience of someone else digitizing free broadcast episodes for them for their portable device, each episode in commercial-free form, and a convenient place to select and download individual shows. Through an updated version of QuickTime Pro, users can create their own videos for the iPod, including digitized versions of programs recorded on their VCR if they wish to take the time and effort to save the cost.

With the launch of iTunes 8, many TV shows, such as The Office and Heroes, have begun offering their programing in High Definition (HD). The pricing model for this content is usually $1 more ($2.99) than standard definition versions ($1.99) of episodes. Season passes vary in pricing for their high definition versions.

In addition to the launch of high definition TV shows, iTunes 8 allowed for the rental of movies through the iTunes Store. Movie rentals must begin within 30 days of purchase and must be completed within 24 hours of having been started. Movie rentals cost $3.99 for new movie releases and $2.99 for movies already exisiting in the iTunes movie catalog. Videos are also available in HD, though the pricing model is higher than standard definition versions.

An advantage iTunes U has over traditional podcasting tools is that access to content can be restricted because of the use of the iTunes infrastructure end-to-end. Authentication is handled by member college and university who prompts a visitor for information (like an account and password specific to that institution) and then passed a token onto the iTunes U site that contains the access level for that visitor. An example might be a class podcast that can only be accessed by student enrolled in the class.

Since making changes to individual iTunes U sites may be difficult to users not well-versed in XML tools (ie. XQuery), Apple has created the Woolamaloo Automator to aid users in the editing of sites. The Woolamaloo Automator makes it easy for non-programmers to use the iTunes U web services. By using the workflow tool on Apple’s desktop, Automator, the Woolamaloo actions can not only be configured but can then can be combined to help with any routine iTunes U administrative tasks. The Woolamaloo Automator has become increasingly popular because of its easy design.

On 12 September 2006, the iTunes Store began to offer additional games for purchase with the launch of iTunes 7, compatible with the iPod Classic or iPod Nano with video playback. Launch titles included: Bejeweled, Cubis, Mini Golf, Mahjong, Pac-Man, Tetris, Texas Hold 'Em, Vortex, and Zuma. Though they are downloaded through iTunes, the games cannot be played within the application itself; they can only be played on an iPod Classic or iPod Nano.

With the launch of iPhone 3G and the 2.0 iPhone OS firmware for iPod Touch and iPhone owners, the App Store allows people to download applications through the iTunes desktop software or the App Store on their iPhones. As of January 16, 2009, there are over 15,000 third-party applications available. The applications can only be run on iPhones or iPod Touch. Each application is also protected with iTunes FairPlay DRM. Developers of these applications receive 70 percent of the income and free applications are distributed without charge to the developer.

Since its launch, the iTunes Store has crossed many milestones. In the first 18 hours, the store sold about 275,000 tracks and more than 1,000,000 in its first 5 days. When released for Windows in October 2003, iTunes was downloaded more than 1,000,000 times in the first 3 days, selling more than 1,000,000 songs in that period. On December 15, 2003 Apple announced that it had crossed 25 million songs sold.

In January 2004 at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, Steve Jobs announced (Sellers, 2004) that an unnamed person had purchased US$29,500 worth of music. On March 15, 2004, Apple announced that iTunes Music Store customers had purchased and downloaded 50 million songs from the iTunes Music Store. They also reported that customers were purchasing 2.5 million songs a week which translates to a projected annual run rate of 130 million songs a year. The 50 millionth song was "The Path of Thorns" by Sarah McLachlan.

On April 28, 2004, the iTunes Music Store marked its first anniversary with 70 million songs sold, clear dominance in the paid online music market and a slight profit. The store also offers hundreds of movie trailers and music videos, in an attempt to boost soundtrack sales. In the conference, Steve Jobs reiterated that a subscription service is still not in the interest of customers and reported that only 5 million of the 100 million songs offered in the Pepsi giveaway campaign were redeemed, which he blamed on technical problems in Pepsi distribution. According to an Apple Press Release released on August 10, 2004, the iTunes Music Store is the first store to have a catalog of more than one million songs. Also, the iTunes Music Store at that point maintained an over 70 percent market share of legal music downloads.

On July 5, 2005 Apple announced a promotion counting down to half a billion songs sold.

Note that only the French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, and parts of the Austrian and Japanese store have been translated into their respective official or de facto languages, the remainder of the stores are in English but the content is localized to the respective country. Also, iTunes has a very western-centric view as music in all non-west European languages are classified under the genre "World." For example, songs from African musicians and songs from Indian musicians are all classified as World.

TV Shows were added to the Australian iTunes on June 24 starting with 21 titles from ABC in the US, ABC Australia, the Disney Channel, MTV, and Channel 9. Shows included Summer Heights High, Scrubs, The Hills, Lost, Hannah Montana, and Desperate Housewives.

Originally, songs were encoded using FairPlay-encrypted 128 kbit/s AAC streams in an mp4 wrapper, using the .m4p extension.

While licenses to the AAC compression and the mp4 file format are readily available, Apple generally has not agreed to license its proprietary FairPlay encryption scheme to other mobile device manufacturers, so only devices from Apple are able to play the Fairplay-encrypted songs sold at the iTunes Store. The only exceptions were three mobile phones sold by Motorola in the years 2005–6: the Motorola ROKR E1, the Motorola RAZR V3i, and the Motorola SLVR L7.

Currently the digital booklets included with some albums are in PDF. With the present iPod software, these files are not readable on iPods.

As of May 29, 2007 tracks on the EMI label have been made available in a DRM-less format called iTunes Plus. These files are unprotected and are encoded in the AAC format at 256 kbit/s, twice the bitrate of standard tracks bought through the service. They are labelled as "purchased AAC audio file"(.m4a) rather than "protected AAC audio file"(.m4p) in iTunes and the context menu obtained by right-clicking the song includes an option to convert to MP3. In January, 2009, Apple announced that all music would be available in the iTunes Plus format, bringing an end to the sale of music with DRM on iTunes.

There are no restrictions on number of iPods to which a purchased song can be transferred nor the number of times any individual song can be burned to CD.

When Apple initially introduced FairPlay, songs purchased through iTunes had limits of three simultaneous machines and ten CD copies of a playlist. The adjustment to the current limits was implemented with the introduction of iTunes 4.5 in April 2004, presumably as the result of re-negotiations Apple had with major labels.

Apple's DRM technology is breakable. Various programs have been written to remove the FairPlay wrapper and allow the AAC files to be used without technological restriction. More simply, a user can convert protected files to unprotected MP3 format by burning them to an audio CD, then ripping them back to iTunes. (Some audio quality is lost in this transcoding from one lossy format to another.) An alternative, though equally lossy, way of transcoding the files is to record the "Wave Out Mix" using an audio recording program (such as Audacity or Audio Hijack Pro) while playing the song on iTunes — and then encoding it to a format of the user's choice.

In July 2004, RealNetworks debuted an application named Harmony, which converted files purchased from RealNetworks' RealRhapsody service into a FairPlay-compatible format that an iPod could play. In response, Apple accused RealNetworks of "adopting the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod." and released a firmware upgrade that rendered iPods incapable of playing such files. On January 3, 2005, an iTunes Music Store customer sued Apple, alleging the company broke U.S. antitrust laws by freezing out competitors.

In 2006, a controversy erupted about a French draft law aimed at reinforcing the protection of works of art against "piracy", or illegal copying; some clauses of the law could possibly be used to request Apple to provide information about its FairPlay system to manufacturers of competing players. Apple and associated lobbying groups protested the draft law, going as far as to suggest that it condoned "state-sponsored piracy." Some U.S. commentators claimed that the law was a protectionistic measure against the iPod.

On January 6, 2009 at the Macworld Expo, Apple announced a significant overhaul of the iTunes Plus catalog with Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, Warner Music Group and EMI offering all their music in iTunes Plus immediately. As of the announcement, 8 million songs were available in Apple's DRM-free format. The rest of the 10+ million songs in the iTunes Store will be DRM-free by the end of Apple's Q2 2009 in March.

On February 6, 2007, Steve Jobs called on the Big Four record labels to allow their music to be sold DRM-free. On April 2, 2007, Apple and the record label EMI announced that the iTunes Store would begin offering, as an additional purchasing option, tracks from EMI's catalog encoded as 256 kbit/s AAC without FairPlay or any other DRM.

On May 29, 2007, Apple released version 7.2 of its iTunes software, allowing users to purchase DRM-free music and music videos from participating labels. These new files, available through the iTunes Store, have been called iTunes Plus music by Apple.

In October 2007, iTunes Plus ceased to be a purchasing option. It instead became automatic for all iTunes Plus licensed content. In addition, the price of iTunes Plus reverted to the DRM price.

Almost immediately after the launch of iTunes Plus, reports surfaced that the DRM-free tracks sold by the iTunes Store contained identifying information about the customer, embedding the purchasing account's full name and e-mail address as metadata in the file. While this information has always been in iTunes downloads both with and without Fairplay DRM, it is thought that it remains in the tracks as a measure to trace the source of tracks shared illegally online, which the absence of DRM now facilitates. Privacy groups expressed concerns that this data could be misused if possessions carrying the files were stolen, and potentially wrongly incriminate a user for copyright infringement.

On Super Bowl Sunday, February 1, 2004, Apple launched a promotion with Pepsi in which they gave away 100 million songs, through tokens on selected soft drink bottle caps. Unfortunately for Apple, Pepsi failed to properly distribute the bottles to major metropolitan areas until only weeks before the promotion ended, despite a one-month extension of the deadline by Apple. The promotion was repeated beginning January 31, 2005, with 200 million songs available, and an iPod Mini given away every hour.

On July 1, 2004, Apple announced that, starting with the sale of the 95 millionth song, an iPod would be given away to the buyer of each 100 thousandth song, for a total of 50 iPods. The buyer of the 100 millionth song would receive a PowerBook, iPod, and US$10,000 gift certificate to the iTunes Music Store.

Ten days later, on July 11, Apple announced that 100 million songs had been sold through the iTunes Music Store. The 100 millionth song was titled "Somersault (Dangermouse Remix)" by Zero 7, purchased by Kevin Britten of Hays, Kansas. He then received a phone call from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who offered his congratulations, as well as a 40 GB 3rd Generation iPod laser-engraved with a message of thanks.

Inspired by Pepsi's marketing success with iTunes giveaways, Coca-Cola partnered with 7-Eleven to give away a free iTunes song with every 32 oz. Slurpee frozen beverage until July 31, 2005. Songs could be redeemed until August 31, 2005 by entering a code printed on the Slurpee cup into the iTunes Music Store application. Coca-Cola did this in spite of having its own music store, myCokeMusic.com, that competed with the iTunes Music Store in Europe. myCokeMusic.com ceased business on July 31, 2006.

On July 5, 2005 Apple announced that they were counting down to half a billion songs. The buyer of every 100 thousandth song up to 500 million would receive an iPod Mini and a 50-song gift card. The grand prize for the person who downloads the 500 millionth song was 10 iPods of their choice, a 10,000-song gift card, 10 50-song gift cards or 4 tickets to the Coldplay world tour. Twelve days later, on July 17, Apple announced that 500 million songs had been sold through the iTunes Music Store. The 500 millionth song, purchased by Amy Greer of Lafayette, Indiana, was "Mississippi Girl" by Faith Hill.

On July 28, 2005, Apple and The Gap announced a promotion to award iTunes music downloads to Gap customers who tried on a pair of Gap jeans. From August 8 to August 31, 2005, each customer who tried on any pair of Gap jeans could receive a free download for a song of their choice from the iTunes Music Store.

On February 7, 2006, Apple announced that they were counting down to the billionth song download and began a promotion similar to the previous 100 million and 500 million countdown. Whoever downloaded the billionth song would receive a 20-inch (510 mm) iMac, ten 60 GB iPods, and a US$10,000 iTunes Music Card. The billionth song was purchased on February 23, 2006 by Alex Ostrovsky of West Bloomfield, Michigan. The purchased song was "Speed of Sound" as part of Coldplay's X&Y album.

On July 25, 2006, Facebook and iTunes began offering a promotion where members of the Apple Students group would receive a free 25 song sampler each week until September 30 in various music genres. The idea behind the promotion was to get students more familiar and enthusiastic with each service as Autumn classes approached. However in order to prevent abuse of the promotion, the weekly code that Facebook provided stopped working after it was redeemed one million times. In addition, the promotion caused discontent among international students, as the code was only valid in the U.S. iTunes Music Store.

Although iTunes is only supported on Mac OS X and Windows operating systems and devices, users of other platforms have been able to buy music from the iTunes Store by a variety of methods. iTunes is known to run passably well using the Wine compatibility layer, but this method only works with x86 PCs. There have been alternative programs developed to access the iTunes Store, including SharpMusique (which is no longer functional).

The iTunes Store is delivered using a custom XML format that describes the position of all of the elements, boxes, album art and all of their properties - including whether a reference link can be dragged out of iTunes and into another document. The store itself is written in WebObjects - Apple's own application server it acquired from Next. Content is uploaded to the iTunes data store using an internal Apple program called iTunes Producer - that automatically encodes and adds metadata to uploaded files.

For three years, The Beatles' record company Apple Records was in a legal dispute, Apple Corps v. Apple Computer, with Apple Computer over the name "Apple." On May 8, 2006, a ruling was declared in favor of Apple Computer, but Apple Records said it would appeal the ruling. Despite this, plans were announced by Neil Aspinall in April 2006 to completely remaster and release the entire Beatles catalog on an unspecified online music service, as well as release some previously unheard work by the band. No date has been set as of yet. It has also been reported that the Beatles' music catalog might initially be appearing on iTunes only, as Apple is reported to be negotiating with Britain's EMI group over an online distribution deal that might be exclusive for a limited time. During his January 9, 2007 Macworld Keynote address, Apple CEO Steve Jobs used the band's song "Lovely Rita" to introduce the music-playing capabilities of the company's new iPhone. This was regarded by industry observers as further evidence that the Beatles catalog would be introduced to the iTunes Music Store catalog in the near future. On February 5, 2007, Apple Corps and Apple Inc. announced they had reached a settlement in their legal dispute. In a related development, Apple announced on August 14, 2007 that the entire solo catalog of John Lennon would be available on iTunes. The solo catalogs of the other three Beatles, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison, are also available on iTunes. While The Beatles' official catalog is not yet available, their songs made by different artists (Studio 99, The Beat-less, etc.) are available.

On June 6, 2006, The Consumer Ombudsmen in Norway, Sweden and Denmark launched a common open letter to Apple regarding the EULA of iTunes through the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman Bjørn Erik Thon. The iTunes case is based upon an official complaint filed by The Consumer Council of Norway on January 25, 2006.

Apple responded July 31, 2006.

On July 1, 2007, it was reported that Universal (currently the world's biggest music corporation) would not renew its annual contract to sell music through iTunes. Instead, Universal said that it would market music to Apple at will, allowing it to remove its songs from the iTunes service on short notice if the two sides did not agree on pricing or other terms.

On August 9, 2007, UMG announced a plan to sell some songs in MP3 format, without Digital rights management, through a variety of online services such as Amazon MP3 and the newly-created gBox. While these tracks continue to be available through the iTunes Store, Universal chose to license these songs in DRM-free formats only through other services.

On August 31, 2007, Apple announced that programs on NBC's 2007-08 television schedule would not be available on iTunes. NBC had informed Apple the previous day that it would not be renewing its contract. It was later clarified that this change only applied to series produced by NBC Universal-owned Universal Media Studios, including Universal-produced shows on other networks such as House. NBC programs produced by other studios, such as Chuck (Warner Bros.) and Journeyman (20th Century Fox), remain available on iTunes.

Apple has publicly asserted that NBC would only renew their contract if Apple agreed to a price increase of US$4.99 per episode, which they did not. NBC disputes that claim, claiming that Apple balked at NBC's request to package shows together and make wholesale pricing more flexible. NBC claims that they never asked to double the wholesale price and insisted that their shows would be sold by the iTunes Store through early December. As of September 17, 2007, other networks who sell their shows via iTunes have not followed suit, as some predicted would happen. On December 1, 2007 NBC shows were pulled from iTunes.

On September 9, 2008, Apple and NBC Universal announced that NBC's TV shows were once again available on the US iTunes Store.

The UK iTunes Store has many shows from NBC available, though they are distributed by Universal Studios. The pricing for these seasons are dramatically higher than what they were on the US store, an example being, Season 3 of The Office is priced at UK£43.47 (roughly US$63) vs. $52.99 (US Store HD).

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Live from London (iTunes)

Cover to the R.E.M. release from 2008.

Live from London is a series of EPs released exclusively as digital downloads from Apple's iTunes Store and featuring live recordings of performances at London's Regent Street Apple Store.

As of October 2007, thirteen EPs have been released in the series, by the following artists (in order of release): Stereophonics, Tom Vek, James Blunt, Stephen Fretwell, Athlete, Sugababes, Kubb, David Gray, Richard Ashcroft, Keane, The Fratellis, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Lemar, Kate Walsh, Natasha Bedingfield, Natalie Imbruglia, and The Enemy. KT Tunstall was also scheduled to record one in August 2005, but her appearance was cancelled at the last minute.

The series is available in all European iTunes Stores, although Stephen Fretwell's EP is missing in some. The Australian store additionally lacks Tom Vek's and Kubb's releases, while in the U.S. and Canadian stores, only the first three EPs are available. The Japanese store only offers the Stereophonics' and the Sugababes' releases.

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ITunes Remote

Unofficial software modifications for including this functionality in both the iPhone OS and the Apple TV OS had existed previously, but rumors of Apple giving remote control capabilities between the iPhone OS and Apple TV had existed since early 2006, when the U.S. Patent Office published a patent filed by Apple on September 11, 2006 that depicted a "media-player with remote control capabilities" alongside a "multi-media center for computing systems".

On July 10, 2008, Apple released Remote on the App Store. That same day, Apple released the Apple TV 2.1 software update that added recognition for the iPhone and iPod Touch as remote control devices.

Remote, similar to the Apple Remote, allows for one to play, pause, skip or shuffle media playback on an iTunes library on either Mac OS X, Windows or the Apple TV OS through the AirTunes capability. The metadata from an iTunes library is streamed to the iPhone or iPod Touch, which then renders a graphic of the currently playing media (usually album art) from the particular iTunes library.

Remote cannot display or start playing content streamed to an Apple TV. Streamed content appears as a shared library on an Apple TV, but Remote is unable to select content from the shared library. Instead, Remote can connect to the shared library directly and play music through speakers connected to an Apple TV using AirTunes. However, video on that shared library can not be played through the Apple TV as AirTunes only works with music and not video. The application is also notoriously difficult to set up and connect, even when all settings appear to be correct.

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Source : Wikipedia