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iTunes Monthly Gift Scam Drains $1,600 From U.K. Man's Bank Account

A U.K. man's iTunes account was compromised last week, leading to about £1,000 (around $1,600) in fraudulent monthly gift purchases made from his bank account. According to the Register, the man awoke to an e-mail confirming he'd purchased an iTunes monthly gift -- a way to give somebody an allowance to use in the online store. Since Peter didn't remember making the purchase or recognize...

Report: iTunes Store to Offer 90-Second Clips, Labels Be Damned

It's befallen us several times: we'll hear a kickass, unfamiliar song, or remember pieces of a long-forgotten one, and search for it on iTunes. We're pretty sure it's James Carr singing, and we think we have a handle on the title, but we listen to a few song samples just to be sure. So, we pick a song in the iTunes Store, click play, and listen to a 30-second clip of an organ ride and improvised...

'Ugly Meter' iPhone App Raises Cyberbullying Concerns

The 'Ugly Meter' is supposed to offer iPhone users a new way to joke around with their friends, but many are worried that the new app could provide today's cyberbullies with yet another way to harass their victims. The app, which is available for $0.99 on the iTunes Store, uses facial recognition technology to analyze a person's anatomical symmetry. Once a user submits a photo of someone's...

15-Year-Old Stephen Ou Develops iTunes Instant Search Engine

Last week, Google launched Instant Search, which supposedly shaves off seconds while searching for stuff on the Web. Now, a 15-year-old named Stephen Ou has developed a twist on Apple's iTunes that makes finding music quicker and easier. iTunes Instant is a Web-based search engine featuring (nearly) instant song and albums results with links to the music in the iTunes Store. On his Tumblr, Ou...

Google Prepping iTunes Competitor, Reuters Reports

It should come as no shock that Google wants to take on the iTunes ecosystem directly. As our portable devices continue to converge, smartphones are increasingly performing music playback duties. Whereas Apple has a tightly integrated iTunes store and app package, Google has... well, nothing really. There's an Amazon music store app on most Android phones, but Google wants in on some of the hot...

Yoko Ono: 'Don't Hold Your Breath' for The Beatles on iTunes

As recently as last fall, Yoko Ono said The Beatles' songs would finally be available in the iTunes Store -- only to be quickly shot down by EMI, which licenses the band's material. Now, she is squashing any hopes that we'll ever be able to download recordings by the Fab Four in Apple's store. According to a Reuters report on Yahoo! News, Ono said that you Beatlemaniacs shouldn't "hold your...

Apple's iTunes App Store Gets Its Own Facebook Page

In a move we should've seen coming from a mile away, the iTunes App Store now has its very own Facebook page. Everybody is on Facebook these days, so it only makes sense that Apple would join the fray. According to Mashable, the page, which was developed and powered by the social-branding service Vitrue, gives users all the standard options offered by iTunes or the store's iPhone application. You...

iTunes Cracks the Vault With 'Digital 45s'

We're not going to lie. Very few of us here at Switched are old enough to remember when buying 45s (short-playing records) was de rigeur. Still, a good number of us have spent hours poring over record- and thrift-store bins, searching for that original Wilson Pickett single, or a Beatles Decca release. Although those trips are often motivated by a collector's impulse (or attempts to get rich...

iTunes Store Now Infected with Variable Pricing, Amazon Still $0.99

As promised, variable pricing has now been implemented at the iTunes music store. Already, we're seeing most of top 10 singles and 33 of the top 100 hitting the top price-point of $1.29 (encoded as DRM-free 256kbps AAC). Interesting as Amazon's uncomfortably similar top 10 list has all these tracks priced at $0.99 (encoded as DRM-free 256kbps VBR MP3). A handful of tracks (nine in the top...

Apple Adds HD Video Purchases to the iTunes Store

Apple's flood of announcements this month continues apace today with the addition of high-def movie purchases to the iTunes Store. Although HD TV shows were previously available to buy, HD movies were rental-only until now. HD flicks will cost you $19.99, and we're guessing they're the same H.264 compressed 720p quality as usual, so videophiles will probably want to stick to Blu-ray. Purchases...

iTunes Gift Card System Hacked

We're sure this one has Apple's panties in a bunch: Chinese hackers have cracked the iTunes gift card system. Fake, but functional, cards have found their way onto Chinese auction site Taobao.com and are selling for a tiny fraction of their value. Using a custom program, hackers are able to generate viable gift card codes without actually purchasing them. These fake codes are then being...

iTunes Goes DRM Free, Adds 3G Downloads

While Phil hasn't mentioned it in the keynote just yet, it looks like iTunes might be getting a big catalog overhaul, with most major labels finally offering up DRM free tunes. Our tipster mentioned DRM free goodies from Virgin, Sony BMG, American Recording and more (iTunes Plus has mainly been limited to EMI and some independents so far), and that most previously purchased songs are now...

iPhone Update Brings Google Street View and Podcast Downloads

It's here. Google Street View and over the air Podcast downloads from iTunes. Yup, public transit and walking directions too and the ability to share your location via email. Bug fixes, Safari enhancements, the ability to toggle auto-text correction, and plenty more... just like we heard in the pre-rumor run-up. Now get outta here, your iTunes update awaits. Update: Added some screenshots of...

iTunes Plus Released

Normally, another version of Apple's iTunes isn't exactly news, but the one coming out today is a little different. The latest 7.2 version of iTunes includes the new iTunes Plus store, where higher-quality and unprotected music from EMI will be sold. These DRM-free tunes will not only come in at a higher bitrate, meaning they'll sound better, but they'll also come without copy protection...