Using iTunes with Vista

Apple has posted a support note advising users moving to Vista who use iTunes about the best procedure to follow with respect to iTunes. There are currently some issues with the Authorization function for playing purchased iTunes content.

iTunes Wishlist Service

I started a new meme over here, which involves using iTune’s nifty “Give music to a friend” feature; you can “gift” entire albums or single tracks to anyone with a viable email address. It’s a lovely way to say thank you, to legally share the music you love, or to cheer someone up who’s having a rotten day—and it’s cheaper, faster, and more durable than a greeting card.

But I’d be delighted for Apple to add a shareable Wish list feature (it’s a .Mac kind of thing, I ‘d think, though I’d prefer it be available to non-.Mac folk). And since they haven’t I’m really surprised some Ajax-savvy Web guru hasn’t created an iTunes Wish list site. There doesn’t seem to be an API for the iTunes Web service, though there’s a nifty RSS feed generator, and way to search for content and build links here, even some discussion of parsing iTunes RSS feeds with XML. You could have people use the Playlist feature in iTunes to create a Wish list, then export and upload it or email it to an address associated with a UID or account, though that’s kinda kludgey.

Won’t somebody create an iTunes Wish list service? Please? You could probably use the iTunes Affiliate program to generate some cash.

Good for Apple

Apple has changed the way the MiniStore works; now you see this explanatory screen. The screen replaces the MiniStore area of the iTunes window, and explains what the MiniStore does, and how to turn it off. It states that “Apple does not keep any information related to the contents of your music Library” and asks if you would like to turn on the MiniStore now, with a button.

Much better Apple; thanks.

Mac OS X 10.4.4 and iTunes 6.2 Update

Three things in the Mac OS X 10.4.4 update caught my eye:

  1. .Mac now syncs which RSS feed items you have and haven’t read in Safari.
  2. iChat can now detect when you’re using a Bluetooth headset as your audio device.
  3. 10.4.4 now allows you to reinstall bundled software from Mac OS X 10.3.4 or later DVDs, instead of receiving an “Error Reading Package – The package is damaged and cannot be read” alert.

I got bit by number 3 on on my new PowerBook. I couldn’t install the Developer Tools from the DVD that came with the PowerBook, and had to resort to an alternative.

The update to iTunes, iTunes 6.2, reports to the mothership, also known as Apple, regarding what you are listening to; the lower quarter of the main iTunes window then displays albums available from the iTunes store. Sometimes this might be a Good Thing, but right now it’s mildly annoying. I know what information Apple is receiving, but since I don’t know what they’re doing with it, and since it’s tied to my Apple I.D., I’ve disabled the Apple iTunes store via the Parental Controls in iTunes Preferences, rather than using the”Show/Hide Mini Store in the Edit menu.

On the other hand, I am quite pleased that now I no longer have to decide, via the pop-up menu in the lower right hand quadrant of the iTunes window, whether I want to use external speakers via the Airport Express, or my computer’s built-in speakers; now there’s a third option, that uses both, “Multiple speakers.” I wonder what happens if you have more than one Airport Express . . .

UPDATE 1/18/2006:See this post.

RSS and iTunes

This is just so cool, thanks for mentioning it Teal Sunglasses. This is the kind of purpose I’ve been hoping to see RSS used for; an iTunes Music Store RSS feed that lists the “New Additions” added to Apple’s iTunes music store every Tuesday. But what’s even cooler is the exceedingly clever and user-friendly way you can select the kind of music, and the feed, that you’re interested in. You can list all the new additions, the top songs, top albums, and even select specific genres for each. Very nicely done.

I’ve been trying to talk the campus libraries and books stores into broadcasting the “new titles” they acquire, and the various campus calendar systems to export to a web service users could subscribe to, ideally, one that would allow us to easily add items to our calendars. This is a good example for me to show people who don’t quite “get” web services.