We were all a little shocked when Apple failed to deliver a redesigned iTunes at its last keynote. The company promised a major revamp of the service would land in October yet, here we are with one day left in the month, and no iTunes overhaul in sight. Today Tom Neumayr, a spokesperson for the Cupertino firm, confirmed to AllThingsD that the software release had indeed been pushed back by a month. Only a few short days ago CFO Peter Oppenheimer was touting the refresh during the company’s earnings call saying, “We look forward to looking to launching a redesigned iTunes. The new iTunes has a dramatically simpler and cleaner interface.” But he made no mention of a delay. Neumayr says the goal now is to release the update before the end of November stating that development is “taking longer than expected and we wanted to take a little extra time to get it right.” While the issue primarily cited in Neumayr’s statement is “seamless integration with iCloud” we wouldn’t be shocked if it’s rumored internet radio service also is playing a role in the delay. Read the complete statement below.
“The new iTunes is taking longer than expected and we wanted to take a little extra time to get it right. We look forward to releasing this new version of iTunes with its dramatically simpler and cleaner interface, and seamless integration with iCloud before the end of November.”
Spotify, the Rhapsody of Europe, may still be an unfamiliar brand stateside, but the service just inked a deal with Virgin Media to bring streaming music to Virgin’s broadband customers, set-top boxes, and mobile phones in the UK. The deal will bundle Unlimited (£4.99) or Premium (£9.99) monthly Spotify tiers, at to-be-determined discounted rates, allowing new and existing subscribers to access millions of tracks from any of their compatible home and mobile devices. Open(free) Spotify customers will reportedly need to upgrade to a paid version, but only to access the service on Virgin’s set-top boxes, we presume — don’t expect to see a blanket ban on all devices. Until pricing is announced, the partnership appears to be more of a win for Spotify than for customers, who will still need to pay up before rockin’ out, but set-top integration is likely to be a boon with digital TV subscribers, letting them bring those infamous Euro house music raves to an actual house.
Internet radio provider Slacker is bulldozing the thin line dividing itself from subscription-based music services today, with the launch of Premium Radio. The new pricing tier joins the existing gratis Basic Radio and ad-free Radio Plus plans, adding an all-you-can-eat music model akin to services like Rhapsody and Rdio. Subscribers who shell out $9.99 a month receive all of the features of the $3.99 Radio Plus users, plus unlimited access to eight million songs, letting them listen to what they want, when the want, and generally play god with the site’s existing radio services. Premium Radio also gives you on- and offline access to music on a number of mobile devices, including the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Android, and BlackBerry handsets — not to mention unlimited bragging rights to all of your broke friends who are still rocking the Basic Radio plan. Don’t feel too bad for ‘em, though — at least they didn’t get suckered into slotRadio.
The BMW Connected app has been available for a few months now, following in the footsteps of Mini Connected as it sits there, and taunting you from the App Store. We knew cars supporting the feature would be coming in March, and now we know which ones will be first: BMW’s svelte little 1 Series. To enable the streaming radio and even streaming video (when the car is stationary) on the dash-mounted display you’ll need to tick the box next to a €150 (about $205) option. In your suitably equipped car you can then get your Facebook and Twitter feeds read to you and even provide automated responses using “vehicle information such as current speed, outside temperature or navigation destination.” We’re hoping the car can apply some flowery language to such hard data, like “bat out of hell” for those particularly warm days in which you’re driving at a high rate of speed from an unpleasant point of origin.