Beatles on iTunes

Beatles on iTunes
Beatles

A day before the Beatles music announcement on their website Apple posted a message on their home page that read “Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget”. It was a very smart line used by Apple which caused a lot of anxiety among the media and Apple fans. Tech journalists went on a frenzy race to be the first to guess what the announcement would be. One thing was clear that since Apple had an Apple event not more than a month back where they announced the new Mac book Air, Mac OS Lion,  ilLife 11 and Mac App store above others, it was very unlikely that this was going to be another major announcement. In spite of this you could see speculations that were at extremes. Moreover, the message also said “Check back here tomorrow for an exciting announcement from iTunes” which made it clear that it had to be something within iTunes.

Beatles announcement
Beatles Announcement

On the following day, Apple announces arrival of Beatles on iTunes. This was an exclusive deal signed with Apple where the digital music of Beatles would be available on iTunes only until end of 2010.

The announcement did not go well with the tech journalists as they had expected a bigger announcement than this! To be fair with Apple they did not send out invites and neither did they send press releases about the announcement. It is their site and they are allowed to put up such a message to create excitement among their customers. Does this not happen with every small or big retail shop that you know on the high street? So, then why is it such a big deal if Apple chooses to write something on their website?!

There are a couple of things that need to be brought to notice here. One is that all the tech journalists played the announcement down and made fun of the hype created by Apple stating Beatles music was not such a big deal and that everyone who wanted to own their music already owns it by now. This is one statement that speaks volumes about the current lot of journalists. Who for them represents a sample of music lovers that Apple is trying to reach? Tech journalist themselves? It is very likely that each one of them would have a copy of Beatles already, but it does not mean that everyone who logs on to the Apple site and iTunes also owns it. The tech journalists have it because they are supposed to be ahead of the curve when it comes to adaptation of technology and in this case ripping their disc in to a digital copy.

It is one week since the announcement now and Apple has sold 2,000,000 copies of Beatles songs and 450,000 copies of various albums on iTunes already! Various Beatles albums have been on the top 50 of iTunes since the time their music have been announced on iTunes .

Lets go back to the statement that Apple put on their site and why is it that it is a big deal for them? Here are a few points that I think are key to the announcement and will help put things to perspective.

1) It is not just another band. It is ‘THE BEATLES

2) It has been well known that Steve jobs himself has been pursuing to get Beatles on iTunes for almost five years and finally he did.

3) The music industry is a bit weird in terms of licensing and royalty and thus has been holding back on some major releases away from digital media, specially the ones they thought were making money through CD sales. Beatles AC/DC, Metallica, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin are a few that come to mind immediately. Getting “the king” among all to iTunes is a big statement for the rest of the industry and the artists that are still holding back. “A day you’ll never forget”Beatles page on iTunes

4) 2 million copies of songs and 450K albums sale in a week speaks volumes for itself

5) By bringing their music to the digital media(iTunes) it only helps the Beatles to ensure that their music passes on from one generation to the other. Not all youngsters would have a collection of Beatles but they surely would like to download and hear few classics that suit their taste.

6) Lastly, we hope it is the end of the sage of Beatles corporation “Apple Corps” that sued Apple Computers in 1981 for trademark infringement and a case that got settled only in February 2007.

Mac Essentials: Skype

Skype
Skype

Skype offers free VoIP calls between Skype users. All you need to do is to download Skype to your Mac or iDevice, and a registration for a Skype account on their website.

The best thing about Skype is that it is available on all desktop platforms and almost all mobile platforms. Therefore there is a great possibility that your family and friends are likely to have a Skype account already that you would be able to call for free.

While you can make both audio and video calls from Skype the quality of both the calls is at par with the best in the industry. In terms of voice quality and video image it beats most of the competitor hands down. With its multi-user conference facility, it is also possible to conference audio and video with multiple people at the same time.

The interface is very clean, simple and intuitive to use. It doesn’t matter what IM/VOIP you’ve been using for a while but it does not take time to get used to the user interface of Skype. The IM(chat) client is simple and allows you to set user status that is visible for others. It also allows file and desktop sharing.

Skype to Skype calls are free, but the company also offers a variety of paid add-ons like real phone number and cheap calls to landlines and mobiles. Through the paid telephony service you can make free calls to phones of a particular country or call any phone across the globe at pre-defined rates. It is also possible to own a number in particular country through Skype so that people from that country can make a call to you at local rates.

Skype syncs with your address book on you Mac. This makes it easy for you to call people in your address book directly through Skype. You can either choose to call them on their Skype-id or on their landlines/mobile phones.

Skype
Skype

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Mac Essentials: iStumbler

iStumbler
iStumbler

iStumbler is a tiny little free open source tool that helps in finding wireless networks and devices with your Airport or Bluetooth equipped Mac. It is a tool that you install immediately after you get a new machine. iStumbler provides additional features over and above the Mac network tool and is very easy to use.

The interface is very simple and it provides real time display of signal strength with complete debugging information. It also provides a real time graph of the network at the top of the interface to display the stability of the network you selected.

iStumbler is a great tool to find wireless connections around you. It is specially handy when you are at a new location or just trying to explore and figure out which of the available wireless connection is the best for you.

iStumbler-99
iStumbler-99

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Mac Essentials: FireFox

Mozilla Firefox
Firefox

Generally known as the geek’s web browser, FireFox is a powerful web browser that supports tons of pug-ins and add-ons. It is similar to the Apple app store, if you are looking for an extention to do something specific, it is more than likely to have multiple add-on options for it. There are 9 main categories that these add-ons are categorised in to so that they are easier to find.

Among the few options that FireFox was the first to offer were the ability to reopen tabs that have been closed by mistake, Private browsing, personnas, tab grouping etc. Personnas give you the flexibility to use your browser and customise it as per your liking.

Both Safari and Chrome are built on web-kit, they are almost identical in terms of what they can do. FireFox is based on its own Mozilla kit and thus provides a complete different experience of browing the web.

FireFox is not only all about add-ons since the personnas and themes available with FireFox allow you to customise your browser and thus your experience.

FireFox is a great browser that can be used as a primary browser on your Mac or as a secondary browser for those weird sites that do not open properly on Safari. FireFox is probably the most comprehensive browser for your Mac as it also supports the sites that are typically designed for or favour Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. FireFox is also compatible with HTML5 and allows you to view HD in full screen.

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