Apple iPhone OS 4.0: Sneak Peek at 10 am Pacific Today

Thursday, April 8th, 2010 | Business | No Comments

If you have somehow forgotten, today Apple will be providing us a sneak peek at the iPhone OS 4.0.

Here is one thing I believe will be announced:

  1. Multitasking (confirmed) – It has to be announced, the iPad sorely needs this to stay competitive as does Apple in the mobile phone market

That list isn’t long, but here is what I’d love to see, and why I think we may see it:

› Continue reading

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How can I sell my music on iTunes or Amazon MP3?

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 | Business, Tutorials | 3 Comments

A reader just asked me:

I have a company that does films and music, I wanna know how i can use itunes to sell my products do i need to contact itunes directly or what can I do?  What are the steps?

› Continue reading

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Apple: iTunes won’t transfer HD tv show to my iPhone 3GS

Thursday, January 14th, 2010 | Personal | No Comments

First of all, I’m on tech support with Apple and couldn’t say better things about their tech support staff.  They are intelligent, helpful, polite — and very easy to understand and work with.

Just today, before going to the gym (you can tell I haven’t done this in a while) — I went to sync season 3 of Heroes (very good show) to my iPhone to entertain me while on the treadmill.  It doesn’t work. › Continue reading

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How To: Throw an iTunes DJ Party

Thursday, March 12th, 2009 | Tutorials | 13 Comments

With Apple’s iTunes 8.1 release, we now have iTunes DJ.  It used to be Party Shuffle (for the past few years) but now we have a few new toys.

The biggest of which is the ability to allow guests to your party to vote for songs.  Guests can see the song details, upcoming songs, request songs in your library, and vote on which songs they want to hear next.  

So how do we do it?

Setup iTunes for DJ

You’ll need a computer running iTunes.  Open up iTunes (making sure to have updated to the newest release, 8.1 is the first release to support all the functionality mentioned here).  Click on iTunes DJ.

You are now in the iTunes DJ screen.  In the lower part of the playlist window are the iTunes DJ options (seen below)

iTunes DJ Options

Here are the various components:

Source – This is where iTunes DJ will get the songs it shuffles automatically.  Remember this when throwing a party, so people don’t have to see your Backstreet Boys collection.  I have it set to my entire music collection (uh oh!)

Refresh – It refreshes your playlist.  Real boring.

Settings – click here to setup iTunes DJ properly, here’s the window you will see (seen below)

iTunes DJ Settings

A bit more fun, I have filled in some values.

The most important thing on this screen is the “Allow guests to request songs with Remote for iPhone or iPod touch”, as it lets us do everything in the rest of this article.

Your welcome message will show up in your guests Remote application (seen below, ignore my note about looking in a playlist, you can’t do that only browse by artist, album, song, genre, music videos, composers or a general search)

iPhone Remote - iTunes DJ Welcome Message

Going back to the settings in iTunes… you will want to click “Enable Voting” to let guests vote for the next song.  

If you don’t set a password, anyone on your Wifi can see your iTunes DJ list, and make requests.  Then again, hopefully you don’t have an open wifi point.  If you do, I recommend a password.  

Easy setup right?

Now the fun stuff: Remote.

As I discovered, if you are already registered with your iTunes on Remote, you will not see the welcome message.  That is only for guests.  If you want to see it work, remove your iTunes from remote.  Tada!

Here are some screens you will see in iTunes:

iPhone - Now Playing in DJ When your guests first load your “iTunes DJ” guest, they will see the current song.  The album artwork will be there (a nice touch, I like having all album artwork in there, easy with “Get Album Artwork”).  Your guests are presented with 3 options here.  They can Request a Song (big button on bottom) to be added to your playlist, go back to the current playlist, or view Genius recommendations.
iPhone - "i" - Genius Recommendations If your guests click on the “i” in the top right corner, they will see the Genius recommendations, clicking on “+” will add it to the iTunes DJ playlist.  It will be added with “1” vote.  If other guests like the song and want it sooner, tell them to “vote” for the song (coming up in the next screengrab).  Again this screen doesn’t look so good if you have a messy library, or missing artwork.  Guests can tap “Back” to go back to “Now Playing”.
iPhone - Playlist Here is how your users see your playlist.  In light grey up top, we see “This Town” was just played.  Normally the single most recent is visible but guests can scroll up to see more (based on the setting in iTunes).  Currently playing is highlighted in black.  Next songs are below.  If a guest clicks on a “heart” next to a song they are voting for that song to be played next.  The song with the most votes comes next. Guests can still request a song, exit out to setting, or view the “Now Playing” song.
iPhone - Search in DJ If, at any point, a guest clicks on “Request a Song” — they are brought to a basic music navigation screen.  There is no playlists option, or some other options.  Users can search by most other parameters though.  Keep in mind, that this is your entire “Source” that you defined earlier.  If you want to limit choices to “Country”, or maybe “80s” music, then make an appropriate Playlist/Smart Playlist, and mark it as the source in the iTunes DJ “Source”.  Interestingly “Music Videos” is listed here.  Maybe just for the music, maybe for a future AppleTV update.

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iPhone: An update to the carrier settings? MicroCells?

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 | Personal | No Comments

I just popped my iPhone into the dock to sync, and got the following message:

An update to the carrier settings for your iPhone is available.  Would you like to download it now?

From a little bit of research, it seems to be linked to AT&T’s upcoming 3G MicroCell technology.  

It’s a smart idea, and it looks like they’re charging people for it!  

The only information I can put together about these MicroCells is:

  • An AT&T 3G MicroCell acts like a mini cellular tower supporting voice and data
  • It uses an existing broadband connection
  • Supports up to 10 3G handsets
  • Works with any AT&T 3G phone
  • Seamless call hand-over
  • Uses GPS somehow (probably for the cellular GPS information we take for granted, maybe associated with “e911” issues, also to verify the network is used where AT&T is licensed to operate — some lines will be blurred here)
  • There is an associated fee (comparable offerings by Sprint $99 and $4.99 monthly, Verizon $249 and no monthly fee)
  • Unlimited plans will be available

Wow!  This is interesting!

If your gripe was ever “I don’t get service where I live”, then you just pay AT&T to extend their network to your home.  Your cell phone will act like your landline. 

I have to say, I didn’t see this coming, and I believe it’s brilliant.  With so many issues on some 3G phones, just buying this device should eliminate those problems.  Of course, it sucks to have to pay to fix service coverage.  We all know some of us will do it.

This has to be great for some small businesses too.  Setup a MicroCell in your office, pay for a basic cellular plan for your employees, and they can use the cell at the office for free.  

Plus — Apple Stores won’t ever have those embarrassing moments when you unbox your iPhone (do they still do that?) and you have no service in the store!

I’m not sure whether this is for any 3G device in the area, or if it’s specifically for your 3G devices in the area.  Most descriptions say it is secure, and that you can modify these settings.  I’d love to be able to share my 3G service with my neighbor’s phones if I could.  

Wonder if this is going to result in grumbling fro ISPs — now they’re supporting cellular calls.  

Some relevant links:

What is an AT&T 3G MicroCell?

AT&T’s 3G MicroCell to patch iPhone dead zones

AT&T 3G Microcell, a femtocell, coming sooner than we think?

Apple Issues Update Signaling iPhone Compatibility With AT&T’s MicroCell

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How to link to iTunes: iTunes Link Maker

Friday, January 23rd, 2009 | Tutorials | 11 Comments

I was just about to write a post about an album I’ve been listening to, and an audiobook I just finished “reading”.

I wanted to know how I could link directly to those items in iTunes.  Here’s how..

iTunes Link Maker

An official tool by Apple, it lets you find items in iTunes and link to them.

First you must enter the item you are searching for (I usually leave it as all media):

Apple iTunes Link Maker

Once you hit search, you see a results screen where all matching items are listed.  Click the arrow to the right of what you want to link to (keep in mind, clicking on the arrow next to an artist, will link to that artists page):

Apple iTunes Link Maker

Finally you get the HTML to copy from the page, and insert into your document!

Apple iTunes Link Maker


Recently I’ve discovered there’s a way to setup these links as an affiliate, to make 5% commission off sales made through your blog links.  Check out my article, iTunes Link Affiliate: How to Make Money Linking to iTunes Music

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Changes Coming to the iTunes Store: All Songs DRM-Free!

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 | Business | No Comments

The day will come, by the end of March — where all songs in iTunes will be DRM-Free!

According to an announcement made on, Changes Coming to the iTunes Store:

  1. All Songs DRM-Free
  2. Users Can Download Songs Directly Onto iPhone 3G Over Their 3G Network for the Same Price
  3. In April 2009, Songs on iTunes Will be Available at Three Price Points ($0.69, $0.99 and $1.29).

Good news for all of us!

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iPhone 2.2 Screenshots, Podcast Updates, and Tethering

Friday, November 7th, 2008 | Business | No Comments

Some new news has been uncovered.  In a post on, Sam Oliver writes about the new iPhone 2.2 screenshots.  


The screenshots (shown above) show a new podcast interface to the iTunes store. Additional changes (reported a while ago) include modifications to the categories screen.  The new screen includes larger icons.  Personally, I prefer having the one line, shorter height categories.  You can fit more on the screen.  

As far as tethering on the iPhone — my bones tell me that AT&T is conjuring up another fictional fee to place on the functionality.  When will the time end that we have to pay a company to stop blocking functionality?

Reported in AT&T: Tethering Coming to the iPhone Soon, on Technologizer — the AT&T Mobility President and CEO Ralph De La Vega just told an interviewer, Michael Arrington, that AT&T is working with Apple to let the iPhone server as a tethered wireless modem for laptops.

This disgusts me.  

First of all, there was an app already out there that let us do this.  Apple removed it.  

Second — aren’t we already paying through the nose for our iPhone?  I’m paying AT&T an additional $30 a month, just to use the iPhone.  

If you’re willing, jailbreak your phone, and install PdaNet for iPhone.  

Hey — AT&T — if you don’t want us jailbreaking the phone, try not to eliminate functionality, spend 3.5 months recreating it, and then charging us for it.

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iTunes 8.0.1 Released, Applications update!

Friday, October 3rd, 2008 | Personal | No Comments

For the past 2 weeks I’ve been having the problem that my iPhone’s applications don’t ever update in iTunes.  

I had submitted a request to Apple about it, they got back 48 hours later and pretty much told me to reinstall iTunes.  Thanks Apple, it only takes me about 18 hours to reinstall iTunes and add my 100 GB of media to the library.

The whole time, the applications have updated just fine on my iPhone.  

I even went as far as deleting applications from my library, and having them re-downloaded.  Turns out, unlike music, if you delete an application it just gets re-downloaded.  Why can’t they do this with music too?  I think it has something to do with the distribution of application updates.  

With the 8.0.1 release from Apple, my applications in iTunes finally all updated.  They downloaded in a few seconds, and the number that has been sitting next to “Applications” has finally disappeared.

Lets hope 2.2 isn’t far behind 8.0.1!

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iPhone 2.1 Follow-up

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 | Personal | No Comments

It’s been almost a week withe the iPhone 2.1 firmware.

So far so good.

I’ve been able to up my mail checking to every 15 minutes (I used to set it to every hour to save battery life — this really helps a lot).  With that it had lasted an entire weekend without a charge (Saturday early morning, to Sunday late night) which it was never able to do.

As far as dropped calls?  Not one yet.  We’ll see how this keeps going.

Unfortunately, either by coincidence or not, iTunes will no longer let me update my applications.  My apps are up to date thanks to the iPhone updating it on it’s own, but I get a slowly growing number next to “Applications” in iTunes.  I get “We could not complete your iTunes Store request.  An unknown error occurred (5002).” when trying to update applications in iTunes.

I had read up on various solutions from deleting applications that need to be updated (which I don’t know which they are) and re downloading them (as the iTunes store doesn’t charge you again, it thinks it’s just an update), to calling Apple and telling them there’s a problem.  Supposedly it’s a problem with broken applications OR a problem with something in your cart.  Traditionally the cart problems sound like they relate to products that are in the cart, but discontinued.

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