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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Converting Audio File Formats in iTunes

iTunes is much more than a digital music jukebox. It's capable of handling many different tasks involving digital media. Some of iTunes' most popular features include buying music and vidoes online, burning CDs, and syncing files with your iPod or iPhone.

But one of the lesser known functions hidden within iTunes is the ability to convert audio files.

Why would you need to convert an audio file? Converting audio file types can be useful in many different situations. Here are a few examples:
  • You have an AAC file in iTunes that's not compatible with your Zune that can play MP3 and not AAC files.
  • A WAV file needs to be emailed to a client for approval but it's too big. You need to convert the file to an AAC so it's small enough to easily send via email.
  • You are making a music video and want to use a song you got online as the soundtrack. However, the editing program won't import the song because it doesn't support MP3 or AAC.
  • You need to remove the DRM (Digital Rights Management) from an AAC song you purchased from the iTunes Store (see step #7).

Many programs that convert audio files into different formats are pretty complicated and usually cost money. But not iTunes. iTunes is simple, fast and best of all... free.

Tutorial: Converting Audio File Formats in iTunes


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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

American Idol on iTunes

The biggest American reality show on TV has finally joined the iTunes platform. Fox Broadcasting, Fox Interactive Media and FremantleMedia signed an exclusive deal with Apple to bring American Idol audio and video performances to iTunes as single song-sized snippets available the day after they premiere on air.

Audio performances of the top 24 contenders run 99¢ per song, and videos of the top 12 finalists performances will be priced $1.99/each from March 11.

Apple will also become one of the show's premiere sponsors and maintain a branded presence on, where some free streaming performances can be seen.


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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Podcasting Audience Soars

The U.S. podcasting audience reached 18.5 million in 2007, according to eMarketer and was projected to top 65 million by 2012 with 25 million listeners downloading one or more podcasts a week.

Ad spending on podcasts in the U.S. is also expected to creep up, from $165 million in 2007 to $435 million in 2012.

Major podcasting networks like Revision3 are growing with the medium's success by revamping their websites and adding new programming.

If you're not already a podcast consumer, then check out the podcast section in iTunes. There's a lot of great stuff from tech shows to yoga workouts. And they are all free. I usually watch 5-10 podcasts a day on either my iPod Touch or Apple TV. Makes the bus ride to work much more enjoyable.

Here are a few favorites:
  • Diggnation - weekly rundown of the front page stories on
  • Tiki Bar TV - drinking games
  • Unboxing Live - take a new gadget, and open it up while the camera is rolling
  • Midwest Teen Sex Show - explores topics concerning teen sexuality from gym class to syphilis
  • The Totally Rad Show - movie, comic books and game reviews
  • Make Podcast - how to tweak, hack, and bend technology any way you want
  • Play Value - the history of video games
  • NBC Nightly News - the full TV broadcast sans commercials


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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

iTunes Movie Rentals - Rumors Say They Are Coming Soon

According to reports, Apple is close to announcing plans to make Fox and Disney movies available as online rentals via iTunes (US). Apple CEO Steve Jobs is likely saving the official announcement for his Macworld Expo keynote on Jan. 14.

Customers would pay a fee to download titles viewable on computers, iPods, iPhones and presumably Apple TV devices that would expire after a short window of time. Netflix, and Blockbuster's Movielink are competitors in this space.

Wal-Mart, however, has thrown in the towel. quietly pulled the plug on its video download service late last month as Hewlett Packard decided to discontinue the back-office technology that powered it. The service, popular with studios because it offered variable pricing, struggled with compatibility issues. Wal-Mart downloads could not be burned to DVDs or watched on video iPods.



Monday, October 01, 2007

Hotel Chevalier - Free on iTunes

With the impending release of The Darjeeling Limited, Wes Anderson (Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) fans everywhere can get a taste of what's to come with his short film Hotel Chevalier.

The 13-minute short film is a prequel for Darjeeling stars Natalie Portman and Jason Schwartzman who play estranged lovers that meet one last time. Hotel Chevalier is a free download on iTunes (US).

BeSocial: flickr | methodshop

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

JK Rowling Interview on iTunes

Even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, you have to admire J.K Rowling. Not just as a writer with a world-class imagination, but also as a businesswoman and entrepreneur. She seemed to come out of nowhere to create one of the biggest entertainment franchises ever.

It’s hard to believe that she used to be unemployed, surviving on U.K. state benefits. That was 1995. Now it's 12 years (and hundreds of millions of dollars) later, and she’s just finished her seventh and final Harry Potter novel, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
iTunes Link: J.K. Rowling Interview
Rowling recently did an interview with Meredith Viera for the American news programs The Today Show and Dateline NBC. I only caught part of her Dateline NBC interview, so I was pretty happy to see that they posted the whole thing on iTunes. The interview is an interesting glimpse inside the world of Harry Potter, and it offers some real insight into the woman who created a billion dollar world of magic.

BeSocial: flickr | methodshop


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Days of Our Lives on iTunes

On Tuesday, the American soap opera, Days of Our Lives, debuted on iTunes (US). Full episodes of the soap will be offered at the standard $1.99, but consumers will be able to shave off 50¢ per episode by ordering a 20-episode multipass for $9.99.

iTunes Link: Days of Our Lives

The producers of the show have had several conversations about including bonus scenes from Days of Our Lives in the iTunes version, though nothing has been decided yet.

Days of Our Lives will now be the most widely distributed daytime soap in the U.S., with episodes available on broadcast (NBC), cable (SoapNet) and online (iTunes).

BeSocial: flickr | methodshop


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Apple Launches iTunes Plus

On Wednesday, Apple released an update to iTunes (US) that added DRM-free AAC music files to the iTunes Store. Dubbed iTunes Plus, the new version of iTunes will allow you to either download DRM (Digital Rights Management) files for the standard $0.99 or spend $1.29 on DRM-free songs.

In addition to iTunes Plus, Apple added a new section to iTunes 7.2 called iTunes U, where you can download lectures from various universities around the US free of charge. In addition to lectures, many Universities are offering language lessons, lab demonstrations, sports highlights and campus tours. Participating schools currently include Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Duke University and MIT.

It's probably only a matter of time until someone claims that they graduated from "iTunes U."

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Sony Adds TV Shows to iTunes

Last week Sony Pictures Television made its programming available for the first time in Apple's iTunes Store (US).

Episodes from current shows "'Til Death" and "Rules of Engagement" as well as from classic series including "Starsky & Hutch," "Charlie's Angels," and "NewsRadio" were added to iTunes' offerings for $1.99 each.

Season 1 from Spiderman, the animated series, was also added to iTunes. The series features Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers, Doogie Howser), Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills 90210) and singer-songwriter Lias Loeb.

BeSocial: itunes | flickr | methodshop



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