Thursday, March 29, 2007

iTunes Store offers "Complete My Album" service

Ever bought a song from the iTunes Store, and liking what you heard decided to buy the whole album it was in even though you would have to pay for that first song twice? Well today Apple has changed the system, letting you "complete" you're album purchase and pay less for the rest of the album if original song was bought less than 180 days before the album purchase.

To use this service, go to this special iTunes page, which will list the tracks that are eligible for completion, and the expiration date for completing their albums. The only question now is whether songs downloaded from the FREE ON iTunes section are going to be eligible for completion.

[via AppleInsider]

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

All new Boot Camp

Remember when we said that Apple may be delaying Leopard to better its Vista support? Forget it, because Apple has just released Boot Camp 1.2, which does just that. Not only that, but they've added some really cool new features to Boot Camp, including improved graphics, trackpad, and iSight drivers, Apple Remote functionality for both iTunes and Windows Media Player, and last (and least) a Windows System Tray icon for Boot Camp.

Now those are some great improvements to Boot Camp, but if you're going to be running Windows on a sacred machine, remember that Apple hasn't taken it out of beta yet.

[via MacUser]

What's worst than brown?

Pink! And they're not even donating money to a breast cancer fund. But boy has Microsoft put on its creative hat on this time. The Zune came out five months ago, promising quick updates and new features like podcasting to compete better with the iPod but all Microsoft could think of doing was to make it pink? Maybe Microsoft is just trying to get people's attention away from the iPhone for a second and remind us that the Zune indeed still exists. On the other hand, I feel sorry for "hurryslowly," who paid $761 for a Limited-edition Pink Zune in November.

[via PCWorld]

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Three Birds

You may already have heard of Mozilla if you use its most famous application Firefox, the open-source web-browser. However, I somewhat recently discovered three other applications that Mozilla offers. These are Thunderbird, a desktop class mail program, Sunbird, a calendar program, and Songbird, a great digital jukebox and web browser all in one. While I don't know what Mozilla's obsession is with birds, I do know that all three of these are really great programs, and free too. What I especially like about Songbird is the ability to subscribe to online MP3 blogs and download full length music titles from there. Of course, it doesn't have the great iTunes Store functionality that iTunes does, but there is a crafty extension that supports the iPod for regular, non-iTunes Store use.

All three applications are available for Mac and Windows, which means that if you use both operating systems interchangeably you should consider using Mozilla's products instead of your default Mail, iCal, and iTunes with both your Mac and PC for easy synchronization and compatibility (or consistency, since all of these are pretty much based on compatible standards).

So what's top secret?

If you recall, at WWDC 2006 Steve Jobs not only previewed a couple of Leopard's new features but also mentioned some future top secret features. His reasons for not sharing the knowledge was that Apple did not want Microsoft to do any late-time copying before releasing Vista.

However, it is now nearing the end of March, Vista has been out for almost 2 months and is not an excuse any more. After all, these top secret features are hopefully deep enough so that they can't be implemented in a mere Windows Service Pack. So the question is: Are there top secret features? Maybe Apple hadn't decided what new features to include in Leopard. Could Steve Jobs have been lying, blaming his lack of details on Leopard on Microsoft because he knew how credible it would be? Like others have said, the even the recent developer build of Leopard issued by Apple do not hint at any breakthrough features, only airport updates and some new screen savers.

Then again this is Apple, and Steve Jobs may be building up a big surprise for us for the next few months, just like when he announced that the iPhone would be called iPhone, not iCommunicator or some other name, like others had us believe.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I guess not

AppleInsider reported today that Apple has refuted previous claims that Leopard would be delayed. Micheal Gartenberg after speaking to Apple:
Just spoke with Apple who confirmed the reports are wrong and Leopard is still scheduled to ship in this spring as they previously announced. The rumor mill is wrong again.
But then again, Apple said they weren't working on a phone before they announced it...

Apple TV hacked in two days

The Apple TV has barely started shipping but it's already been hacked. First, Gizmodo reported being able to swap the ATV's hard drive for a much larger one, in this case 120 Gb. And then, using Walt Mossberg's claim that the ATV runs a stripped-down version of Mac OS X, Something Awful has posted instructions on how to make it play Xvid video files. For those of you that already have an Apple TV, the major steps are as follows:

1. Open it up (4 screws on the bottom, small Torx bit)
2. Put the 2.5" drive into a USB enclosure or whatever you want
3. Mount the HFS filesystem
4. Install Perian in /Library/Quicktime (as you normally would)
5. Install Dropbear (or enable SSH if you know how... we gave up and used Dropbear)
6. Add a startup script to disable the firewall or open up the ports you need for SSH
7. Put the drive back in and boot it, ssh login as frontrow, password frontrow (or add an ssh key for yourself)
8. Use a reference movie (use QT Pro to save a reference movie) to bootstrap your xvid file

But be sure to check out the full instructions at Something Awful's site so that you don't ruin your four day old Apple TV!