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iTunes and App Store get major facelifts for iPhone 5

A big addition to iOS 6 for the iPhone 5 will be a visually revamped App Store and iTunes for both mobile and Mac. The changes include improved performance, previews while browsing, better search results, and sharing out to Facebook and Twitter. Facebook likes will be built into every product page, furthering the social angle.

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Last minute iPhone 5 rumors: NFC, greater file system and USB music support

Recently reports have surfaced downplaying NFC technology in the iPhone 5, but were they referencing on-device hardware or current software implementation? In addition, new rumors have surfaced concerning Apple expanding file system, and USB support to perhaps enable greater music functionality.

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iTunes Festival app appearing on Apple TV’s ahead of September 1 start

Apple has pushed out an update for the Apple TV that brings an iTunes Festival app to the main screen. The iTunes Festival, much like the Hulu Plus app that appeared earlier this month, doesn't require a software update it just appears on your home screen over the air.

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How to exclude songs or albums from playing when using shuffle in the iOS Music app

If have a lot of music on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, using the shuffle feature can be a great way to listen to a random selection of music. Unfortunately, it comes at a price if you have content that you just wouldn’t want to listen to. For example, I have a couple of albums with children’s nursery rhymes and also some Christmas songs. Every time I select shuffle and begin to relax, without fail t plays one of the nursery rhymes and drives me mad.

Well, if all of your music is stored on your Mac or Windows PC in iTunes, there is a very easy way to tell your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to leave certain tracks or albums completely out of the shuffle list.

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European Union seeking changes to music licensing laws that stifle online music stores

The European Union is seeking changes to current music licensing rules that prevent companies such as Apple with its iTunes Store from easily setting up an EU-wide online music store. If the ruling gets passed, it could force music royalty-collection societies to pass their revenue streams to their rivals if they fail to license music to online services in multiple countries. Bloomberg. reports:

Music copyright licenses are granted on a national basis in the EU so consumers can only download music from an iTunes store in their home country. The EU has sought to promote pan-European licensing for years, and the commission issued an antitrust decision in 2008 against national agencies that collect royalties on behalf of artists.

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Samsung tries to tempt iPhone owners with iOS data transfer utility

Samsung has recently launched Easy Phone Sync for Galaxy owners that want to bring data from their old iPhone over to their shiny new Android devices. The desktop application is supposed to be able to transfer music, videos, podcasts, pictures, contacts, and text messages to any Galaxy device, inclulding the latest SGS3.

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R-Tap for iPhone and iPad review

R-Tap for the iPhone and iPad was launched over the weekend, giving gamers a slightly different take on the usual rhythm game mechanics. Even if you're not into music games, you might want to check out a contest hosted by R-Tap in the forums for a chance to win a free iTunes gift card.

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Ping might get killed off in the next version of iTunes

Ping, Apple's ill-fated music social network, may be seeing its end of life in September with the next major release of iTunes.

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Apple was apparently threatened by Spotify's U.S. entry

Most of the really interesting stuff from the D10 relating to Apple has come from the Tim Cook interview, but another interesting tidbit came from an interview with Spotify's Sean Parker and Daniel Ek. When asked if Apple had tried to stop Spotify from entering the U.S. market, Parker hesitantly answered, "There was some indication that that might have been happening."

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