iTunes 9.1 supports books

In line with the imminent arrival of iPads in the sweaty hands of their anxious new owners, Apple has released version 9.1 of iTunes, which offers support for Books. Audio books are apparently classed as books. Not sure how it works for those of us outside the reach of the iBooks store either.

Download iTunes 9.1 here.

via Macintouch

iTunes uses DisplayPort’s digital restrictions management

ArsTechnica reports that DisplayPort uses DPCP (the DisplayPort version of the evil HDCP) on iTunes purchased content. So if you want to watch that movie you bought off the iTunes store on an external display such as a projector or your 30 inch cinema display, you may not be able to, if you have any non-conforming display connected. Instead you see a dialogue proclaiming:

This movie cannot be played because a display that is not authorized to play protected movies is connected. Try disconnecting any displays that are not HDCP authorized

via MWJ

So one has to think this is likely to increase the probability that rather than downloading it from iTunes people will download the pirated torrent instead.

iTunes to close?

In a news story that threatens to eclipse panicky Wall Street speculation, rumours are spreading that the iTunes store might have to close if a ruling tomorrow by the Copyright Royalty Board increases royalties too much. Or maybe the CRB will get panicky if Steve threatens to throw the big iTunes Store switch…

Of course, Apple really makes its money from selling iPods and iPhones to play content from iTunes, so it might not be as big a problem as people expect 🙂

iTunes and the Blind

Some friends of mine have written an article for Media Culture called iTunes Is Pretty (Useless) When You’re Blind: Digital Design Is Triggering Disability When It Could Be a Solution.
Check it out!

Although I’m somewhat suspicious that the claim that pod in iPod stands for “Portable on Demand”, seems more like a backronym coined by those wanting to use it to attempt to avoid being sued by Apple’s Lawyers.

Meanwhile some folks find podcasting less than inclusionary (sadly for a lecture series on Disability Inclusion!)

Personally I think the iPhone will suck from the ‘You have to look at it to use it’ point of view. Buttons at least make phones easier to use without looking at them. Perhaps some accelerometer based gesture user interface (although difficult to use in your pocket without looking somewhat suspicious 🙂 Roll on the haptic iPhone.

iTunes Movie Rentals announced

After announcing that iTunes has sold 4 billion songs (20 million on Christmas Day), 125 million TV shows, and 7 million movies, Steve Jobs today announced the availability of iTunes Movie Rentals (for US users only!) with content from Sony, Universal, Touchstone, Miramax, MGM, Lionsgate, Newline, Fox, Warner Bros, Disney and Paramount.This will include over 1000 movies available 30 days after DVD release. Watch on Mac, PC, iPod or iPhone within 30s start time (assuming you’ve got decent broadband), and movies available for watching within 30 days but must be watched within 24 hours of starting to watch. US$2.99 for library titles and US$3.99 for new releases 

Muted leopard bug?

I’m trying to play some music from iTunes, but I can’t seem to get anything to play. Space bar doesn’t work, play button doesn’t work, nothing. Then I try volume up, down keys, and controls in iTunes and the menu bar, none of which works. Then I open up the Sound preference panel, and lo and behold the mute checkbox is checked, and it’s greyed out so I can’t change its state, even if the volume up and down keys indicate that the audio is not muted!I did have similar problems with muting under Tiger, but don’t think I ever noticed that the mute checkbox was permanently checked. 

Safari 3 for Leopard, and Windows XP/Vista

Steve Jobs has announced during the WWDC 2007 keynote that Safari 3 will run on Leopard, and Windows XP/Vista. Faster than IE or Firefox (with iBench HTML test).Includes Google and Yahoo! search. Draggable tabs (including off into their own windows).500,000 downloads of Firefox a day. 1,000,000 downloads of iTunes a day. Over 500 million downloads of iTunes to Windows machines.Beta available from http://www.apple.com/safari