A Bug Is Wreaking Havoc With iTunes 12.2 Music Libraries


iTunes Radio Logs Over 11 Million Listeners Since Launching 3 Days AgoApple users who accepted the update to iTunes over the past couple of days are none too pleased with a problematic bug.

The new version, iTunes 12.2, was meant to better maintain your music library.

But one key component, iCloud Music Library, has to be enabled.

And in doing so, this component that is meant to sync your tracks actually scrambles the music in your library heavily.

Signs of this are mismatched album art, along with repetitive artist listings.

The issue also impacts those who’ve installed Apple Music on their iPhones as well.

To compound the issue, the iCloud Music Library also affects the original folder where all your music files are stored as well, causing the same jumble.

Music files not purchased through the iTunes Store are especially vulnerable.

Some sources have narrowed down a possible part of the problem – those who signed up for iTunes Match in the past seemed to be the ones who were affected.

Numerous Apple users took to social media and Apple-related forums to vent about their difficulties with the bug.

Apple had no comment about the bug.

Christopher A. Smith



Gamers In China Are Not Interested In Game Consoles


A United States University Has Partnered With A Chinese University To Launch A Technology Institute Next YearThe long wait for video game consoles to be available to the public in China is over.

But it appears that the public may not be that overjoyed by the news.

Microsoft and Sony are poised to start selling their popular video game consoles in the country after a ban on them was lifted.

Both companies are estimated to sell over half a million of their Xbox One and Playstation consoles respectively, but those numbers pale when lumped into global sale tallies for Microsoft and Sony.

Part of the issue is that gamers in China are more prone to play games on mobile devices or personal computers as opposed to games on consoles hooked up to television sets.

Another issue that comes into play is that both Sony and Microsoft were required to associate themselves with a Chinese partner to sell their consoles and games.

Sony teamed up with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group, and Microsoft partnered with BesTV.

But both of those local partners merged late last year.

Game publishers have also seen some obstacles as government regulators are slow to approve a heavy amount of games due to their internal codes regarding offensive content.

At present, 31 titles have been approved by the government with 20 titles pending.

Christopher A. Smith


Apple’s Beats 1 Radio Station Goes Live


Apple 1 Computer Sold For $365,000 At AuctionThe first full-fledged foray by Apple into the world of radio launched on Tuesday with the premiere of Beats 1.

The radio station launched with a show hosted by former BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe coming from Los Angeles, California.

He premiered a new track by Pharrell entitled “Freedom” as one of the highlights of his show.

Users eager to listen to the new radio offering were required to upgrade to iOS 8.4 – which turned out to cause some gaffes and produce a number of pictures of frustrated users waiting for the sizable download to be completed on social media.

Zane Lowe will be one of the three main DJ’s for Apple Radio including Julie Adenuga in London and Ebro Darden, formerly of Hot 97 in New York City.

Apple Radio will also feature a show hosted by Dr. Dre called The Pharmacy, and will also have Pharrell, Elton John and Drake as show hosts.

Christopher A. Smith


Zuck’s Q&A Session Interrupted By Technical Difficulties


Zuck Clicks Like Button For Bay Area Public Schools - Donates $120 millionA recent Q&A session by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg went awry, in part due to the heavy interaction of its 1.3 billion users.

The session, held on Tuesday afternoon on Zuckerberg’s personal Facebook page, first encountered difficulties when it was opened up to questions.

An official with the company quipped that it was due to “an overload of likes.”

After being offline for several minutes, the Q&A resumed but some users responded that all they could see was a blank screen.

Another issue that arose was associated with mobile users unable to find responses by the CEO amid the multitude of questions asked on the app.

Zuckerberg did manage to provide answers for more than a dozen questions, some of which were asked by high-profile celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stephen Hawking.

This Q&A session is yet the latest bit of interaction by Zuckerberg with the public on open forums; in the past he’s responded to queries made in town hall meetings and online.

The questions Zuckerberg answered ranged from the whimsical to more serious and timely issues like his company’s policy on using real names on the social media platform and how their Instant Articles feature will impact the journalism and publishing industries.

Christopher A. Smith


Disney Bans Selfie Sticks At Their Theme Parks


No_selfie_sticks_sign,_Museum_of_Brisbane,_2015There shall be no selfie sticks in the “happiest place on Earth”.

Disney has confirmed to the public that it has officially banned selfie sticks from all of its theme parks.

They cite safety concerns as the reasoning behind the decision.

Selfie sticks have become all the rage for those who want the best self-portraits at all times, but they do pose a danger if someone gets accidentally hit with one.

Another potential hazard would be if a selfie stick was in use while someone was on one of their rides and the long arm happened to be extended outside of the carriage, which could lead to it being caught in the mechanism that powers the ride.

Visitors with selfie sticks will now be asked to leave them in lockers located at the park entrance before going into the park.

Disney will see its theme parks in the United States enact the ban on Tuesday, with their theme parks in Hong Kong and Paris doing the same the next day.

Christopher A. Smith


Tidal Music Loses Its Second CEO In Three Months


screen-shot-2015-03-29-at-11-21-34-pmThe streaming music service Tidal is going through another rough patch with the loss of its CEO for the second time in the past three months.

The company announced on Tuesday that it had let go of their interim CEO, Peter Tonstad.

Tonstad had been named to the position in March after the previous CEO, Andy Chen, was cut loose along with 24 other employees in a “streamlining” initiative.

When contacted by a Norwegian newspaper however, Tonstad put the news under a different spin, saying that “the only thing I can confirm is that I resigned.”

For its part, Tidal’s press release thanked Tonstad for his work and stated that they are committed to finding a permanent CEO and that the search will be conducted from both their New York City and Oslo offices.

Circumstances aside, the change comes at a tough time for the streaming music service acquired by Jay-Z. While it has seen some growth, its subscriber numbers (currently at 770,000) are tiny in comparison to Spotify’s 20 million-strong subscriber base.

And with Apple Music set to make its debut before the month ends along with word of Google possibly entering the fray with their own service, Tidal will have to find someone to steer the ship sooner than later.

Christopher A. Smith


Hulu Is Bringing Showtime To The Web


Hulu Plus for Android and iOS Gets Chromecast SupportIf you’re looking for another way to get your fix of Showtime without having to rely on a cable connection, Hulu will soon have you covered.

Hulu is now entering into a partnership with the cable network to make it available to their customers via a bundle that combines its subscription service and an online membership to Showtime.

The membership allows subscribers to get the opportunity to watch new shows from the channel soon after their broadcast as well as past series, movies, sports events and documentaries.

The package would cost $17 per month.

In addition, Hulu will offer potential subscribers a free trial membership that lasts 30 days.

Matthew C. Blank, CEO and chairman of Showtime Networks, said of the deal: “We’re excited to be the first premium service available to Hulu’s growing subscriber base and look forward to offering their customers our award-winning original programming, films and documentaries across almost every device.”

The combined service cost for the package is slightly less than it would be if one were to get the two services separately.

Christopher A. Smith


Free Radio Comes To Google Play Music


Users Can Now Pre-Register For Apps In The Google Play StoreGoogle is making a stealthy entry into the streaming music service industry in a bid to snare a position among established and future competitors.

The company announced that it will offer ad-supported radio through its existing Google Play Music service.

The feature will showcase stations based on the songs that users like and recommendations from another service, Songza, which makes playlists of songs based on user activities and moods.

Google is making the move to attract more users who either have never made use of the service, or, more frequently, have shunned the service once they first open it and view a prompt for payment, causing them to close the app.

Zahavah Levine, vice president of partnerships with Google Play, said in regards to the change: “We think that by giving users a taste of Google Play Music, through the ad-supported tier, more users will ultimately become paying subscribers.”

Despite that, the service has seen their amount of users increase mightily in the past year.

With their eyes on Apple gearing up for the release of their own streaming music service at the end of the month, Google is aiming to gain further ground in an already crowded field.

Christopher A. Smith


Apple Changes Course – Will Pay Apple Music Artists During Trial Period


Apple's New Streaming Music Plans May Be Target Of EU Antitrust RegulatorsThanks to a letter from one of music’s top-ranked artists, Apple Music is now changing its tune about a controversial part of its upcoming launch.

In response to a pointed letter written to the company by pop artist Taylor Swift via the social media platform Tumblr, in which she blasted Apple Music’s choice not to pay artists during the three-month free trial period as disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company, Apple has reversed course and will now pay all of the artists during the free period.

Swift had pulled her hit album “1989” from the streaming music service in protest over the initial move put forth by Apple.

This followed her move to pull the album from rival Spotify over the company not paying artists enough per stream.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president, told press that he spoke to Swift directly over the weekend and let her know that the company listened and were making the change.

He went on to say: “She was thrilled to hear from us and that we were making the change, and we were grateful for that.”

Going forward, Apple Music will now pay artists and rights holders per stream, but the specific amount was not disclosed by Cue.

Christopher A. Smith


More Sony Hack Documents Released By WikiLeaks


Emails and Documents From Sony Pictures Hack Published By WikileaksSony Pictures is still dealing with the aftermath of a cyberattack that leaked a deluge of sensitive information.

The Wikileaks group, founded by whistleblower Julian Assange, reported the latest release of documents it retrieved from the motion picture studio via Twitter.

Coincidentally, the news comes on the third anniversary of Assange’s asylum request in the embassy of Ecuador in London, England.

The documents involved total over 276,000.

Their previous data dump totalled 30,000 documents.

Sony Pictures reported that they were hacked in November of last year, and federal investigators concluded that it was the work of hackers aligned with the North Korean government as retribution for the studio’s release of ‘The Interview’, a satirical film mocking that government.

Wikileaks claimed that this latest document release contains highly sensitive information, exemplified by the studio’s involvement in a bribery allegation contained in a series of documents.

Sony Pictures representatives opted not to comment on the reports.

Christopher A. Smith