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Learn How to Get the Most from iTunes and Drobo


Drobo Educational Webinar: Getting the Most from iTunes and your Drobo

Thursday December 8, 2016 10amPT, 1pmET, 6pmGMT

This webinar will focus on answering common questions about using iTunes to store and organize large media collections.

Special Guests:

  • Doug Adams is an AppleScript developer and, since 2001, the proprietor of Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes. Doug is an audio and voice-over producer by trade.
  • Kirk McElhearn is a freelance journalist, Senior Contributor to Macworld, where he is The iTunes Guy. He has written more than twenty books, including Take Control of iTunes.

Sign up now; it’s free. And there will be prizes.

Apple Music hits 20 million subscribers by focusing on Hip-Hop – The Loop

I’ve said this since the launch of Apple Music, but it seems very clear now. “Music” is no longer in Apple’s DNA — hip-hop is what’s important to Apple. Again, it’s a numbers game. More people are listening to that genre than ever before, so Apple can leave the Rock/Blues/Metal acts to another service and still add subscribers using hip-hop exclusives. It’s actually refreshing to see Apple finally admit it.

People like me with an existing music library that rely on the often non-working iTunes Match are no longer Apple’s market. I even opened up a second Apple Music account to see if iTunes Match would work — it didn’t.

In a lot of ways it makes perfect sense that Apple is building a music service that doesn’t require a music library — there’s less hassle and they don’t have to rely on services like iTunes Match to please those customers. Apple is catering to those customers very well. However, it’s a shame they don’t care about the rest of us any more.

Jim Dalrymple writing on The Loop says what I’ve been thinking for a while. His article is a reaction to something that Phil Schiller said, when discussing Apple Music hitting the milestone of 20 million subscribers:

We’ve always thought that hip-hop was underrepresented both in iTunes and in the streaming chart. And more people listen to hip-hop now than ever before so we’ve done a lot of work in that area.

I doubt it was underrepresented anywhere. If people were listening to it, it wasn’t that they were doing so just by pirating music.

But, as Jim Dalrymple says, Apple’s focus on just one genre (well, make it two, with the sort of mass-produced pop that they also highlight) may be good for the numbers now, but it’s alienating a lot of other listeners. Apple honestly doesn’t know how many listeners of other genres may be interested in their service, since they’re turned off by its insistence on highlighting just hip-hop and pop music.

Also, these users are fickle. Jim Dalrymple says:

What Apple will recognize is that the people they attract with exclusives will go to the next music service that has an exclusive without blinking an eye or without any loyalty to Apple. By that time, the base of users that they’ve relied on for years will also be gone.

I’m not sure people will leave that quickly, because it’s still a monthly subscription, bit it is easy to cancel and resubscribe. If Apple wants to keep users, they need to focus not just on the people who stream, but the people who build libraries using Apple Music. Those are the ones who are less likely to switch, because they have a lot invested in the service.

Source: Apple Music hits 20 million subscribers by focusing on Hip-Hop

Learn the Tricks for Getting the Most out of the Apple Watch, with Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course

Tc apple watchYou’ll like your Apple Watch as much as author Jeff Carlson does after you’ve read this book and used its advice to integrate the Apple Watch into your life, taking advantage of its many features for helping you focus on what you care about the most. That could mean not missing notifications to help you keep up with co-workers, being free to stash your iPhone so you can enjoy the sunset without worrying that your sitter is trying to reach you, making sure you move enough to fill your activity rings for the day, or any other of a million things that make the watch right for you.

Jeff walks you through getting to know the Apple Watch, complete with a chapter on picking one out if you haven’t already, along with topics that teach you how to navigate among the watch’s screens with the physical controls, taps on the screen, and the Siri voice assistant.

You’ll also find advice on customizing watch faces, getting the notifications you want, handling text and voice communications, and using Apple’s core apps. A final chapter discusses taking care of your Apple Watch, including recharging, restarting, resetting, and restoring.

Get Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course.

Tim Cook Spins Poor Apple Watch Sales Figures

There’s a story going around about the research firm IDC’s analysis of the wearables market. It showed that the Apple Watch’s sales had plummeted in Q3 2016, compared to the previous year.

Naturally, Tim Cook had to make a statement about this. He told Reuters:

Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year. Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product’s history. And as we expected, we’re on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch.

This is Mr. Cook’s job, sort of. (It makes me wonder why a company the size of Apple doesn’t have a visible official spokesperson; it shouldn’t be up to the CEO of the company to handle the press.) Spinning sales is important.

But, while he says something like the above, he won’t give any numbers. As Reuters said:

Cook did not respond to a request for specific sales figures for the gadget.

It’s a bit ludicrous to even accept his statement about sales if he won’t give any numbers. He’s just playing the press. And even if the “sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product’s history,” what does that mean? If there’s nothing to compare it to, it could be that they sold 200 watches instead of 195 that week. (I exaggerate; I’m sure they sold more than that. But you get the point.)

It’s undeniable that the Apple Watch is not winning in unit sales, though it’s probably doing better than other brands in overall revenue. Fitbit, who’s selling the most units, has devices that are much less expensive. But Apple is facing a tough market. As long as Fitbit keeps improving their devices, and the Apple Watch requires an iPhone, they’ll not be able to break out into the more general market. Apple did very well making the iPod compatible with Windows; perhaps they can make the Apple Watch compatible with Android. It would require modifications – no Siri, for example, and different apps – but it’s not impossible.

In any case, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain if he won’t announce sales figures. He’s just spinning.

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Writings about Macs, music, and more by Kirk McElhearn