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Microsoft announces Xbox Music iTunes competitor, coming to PC, Xbox 360, Windows Phone, Android and iOS devices

Microsoft has launched a new music service which it hopes will offer significant competition to Apple’s hugely successful iTunes service. The new Microsoft music offering will be called Xbox Music and will debut on its own Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices initially but will also be rolled out for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch a well as certain Android devices too; very soon afterwards.

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Apple approves subscription based iPad gaming service

Apple has approved a subscription based iPad gaming service for the first time. Big Fish Games has gained Apple’s approval for its collection of games to be made available to iPad users at a cost of $6.99 a month. Apple introduced its subscription features earlier this year however no other game developer has taken advantage of this business model until now.

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CBS turned down the chance of an Apple TV deal

Speaking on his company’s earnings call, CBS CEO Les Moonves said that CBS had turned down the Apple TV as a platform for its content. The revelation was revealed in response to a question about CBS’s appetite toward striking deals with new streaming providers that may not have the cash to pay up front for its content. Moonves claimed that CBS had turned down Apple and its Apple TV platform because the offer was based on an ad split revenue source.

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iTunes Replay streaming movies, subscriptions not coming soon after all?

CNET drops a big bottle of killjoy juice on recent rumors that Apple might just be ready to rollout their fabled iTunes Replay service -- the ability to re-download and stream content to iOS and iTunes from the iCloud -- or a Netflix-like subscription service.

While Apple has music and now TV available for re-download, at least in the US, apparently they've only got agreements with 4 of the 6 big studios needed to add movies to the mix.

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Daily Tip: How to subscribe to Apple iCal calendars [Mac only]

Trying to figure out how to easily add holidays and sports schedules into the iPhone or iPad Calendar app? Lucky for us Apple actually solved this problem quite a while ago for Mac iCal users. Simply subscribe to Apple's already built calendars and you'll be all set. Read on to find out how!

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Will Kindle remove the web store button, or will Apple remove Kindle?

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Apple reverses iOS subscription policy

Apple seems to have quietly reversed course on their controversial subscription policy, which previously required publishers to offer the same price in-app as on the web (or elsewhere), and disallowed them from linking to external subscription offers. Now with iOS 5, all of that is gone. According to MacRumors, the updated guideline reads as follows:

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iTunes Match: all your music synced to all your devices via iCloud

iTunes Match, another iCloud app, will basically function as a locker for your iTunes library. If you have music that isn't purchased from iTunes, it will match the media in your library with content available in iTunes and allow you to stream it to your devices wirelessly. (What happens if something you have isn't available in iTunes? Do you still need to sync it?)

Apple is saying this process will only take minutes, not hours. All the content will be DRM free and have the same benefits of purchased music. Any songs will be matched and upgraded to 256kbps AAC DRM-free files.

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New Apple subscription service making software-as-service unfeasible on iPhone, iPad?

Readability, the service that takes the cruft out of online articles and gives you pure, gloriously legible text, has been rejected from the iPhone and iPad App Store due to Apple's new subscription service and its policies. If you're not familiar with Readbility, think Instapaper or the Reader button in the latest version of Safari (which ironically uses Readability's technology!) However, this has far wider ramifications as it suggests all iOS software-as-a-service (SaaS) front ends might like

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Apple announces iPhone, iPad subscriptions for all

While The Daily was first it certainly won't be last, not with Apple announcing their new subscription service is now available to all publishers.

“Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app. We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers.”

This obviously raises a lot of questions. Will Netflix have to -- and can they afford to -- give Apple 30% of the subscriber revenue? Sure existing subscribers are exempt but if someone downloaded the Netflix app, Apple no longer allows external linking to websites for subscriptions so would Netflix have to offer the same $8 streaming package in-app and split the revenue with Apple? Or is this service meant to be magazine/newspaper specific and not carry over to

Will Apple push this same philosophy to all in-app purchases? They might, given it sounds like that's what caused Sony -- and could cause everyone from Amazon to Hulu -- some consternation. In-app purchases will be lower friction (since outside linking is no longer allowed) for users and with Apple requiring the same or better offers in-app, high-volume goods like eBooks could see their entire profit margin get shifted to Apple. (i.e. Amazon makes 30% on eBooks, Apple wants 30% on in-app purchases. That's not tenable.)

Full press release with all the details after the break, and let us know what you think in comments!

[Apple PR]

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