You might have noticed the large-size artwork I added to the top of my music post this week. If you are ever looking for proper-sized or high-resolution artwork for your music collection, Ben Dodson has written a really cool little web app using the iTunes Search API to find the album artwork you need.

I use this tool to find artwork for albums that iTunes tends to miss in the automatic process, as well as for TV shows I have on DVD that I’ve ripped to my iTunes library (so the artwork looks correct on an Apple TV).

Check it out and search for something. The only downside is that stuff that’s not on the iTunes Store won’t return anything, but that’s rarely a problem in my experience.

Marco Arment writes about the state of pricing and sales in the ever-crowded iOS market:

If you make another RSS reader or Twitter client, there are certainly a lot of people who could use it, but you’ll need to compete with very mature, established apps. Competing in these categories isn’t about price: it’s about relevance and attention. If you can’t find enough customers here, it’s probably not because you’re charging $2.99 instead of $1.99 or $0 — it’s because your app isn’t convincing enough people that it’s worth using over the alternatives.

For these “Big Six” apps, price is almost irrelevant. If your app is useful enough for many of its customers to use it almost every day, they’ll pay a decent price for it. (Not all of them will — but you don’t need all of them.) The challenge is either making your app that much better than the alternatives, or finding new app roles that are that useful to a lot of people.

Of course—and as he mentions—the poor design of the App Store doesn’t help people get noticed, but the point about breaking into established markets is something that applies everywhere IMO.

Digital Music News:

Yes, still: According to a study just concluded by eMusic, music fans overwhelmingly prefer ownership over streaming, by a drastic margin. That is, 92% prefer ownership of music over any other method, with unlimited playback and security of collections cited as top reasons.


Also encouraging for the likes of Spotify, MOG, and Rdio: modest amount in both camps (14% and 15%, respectively) indicated that they would pay for streaming access in the future.  But more than 40% expressed interest in cloud-based storage of the music they own, a nice nod to incoming giants like Amazon, Google, and Apple.

Still think it’s a mistake for Apple to not be going after streaming music memberships? This seems to indicate that iTunes Match is the right direction, at least for now.

For myself, I still buy CDs. I get the physical media, a higher quality, and I can rip it for my digital collection—in lossless.

I also wonder what this portends for streaming services like Netflix and if the numbers are any better for movies.

The Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday that a California marketing company had settled charges that it engaged in deceptive advertising by having its employees write and post positive reviews of clients’ games in the Apple iTunes Store, without disclosing that they were being paid to do so.

OK, so we’re taking this whole “paid promotion content” thing seriously.



An awesome write-up on how the brand-new, released-on-launch-day iPhone app came to be from Raanan:

Back in late February I met up with Raven Zachary and his team from Small Society as well as our own Matt Mullenweg, to figure out if we could get an iPad app for WordPress ready in less than 30 days.

The team at Automattic pulled it off, and iPad users will be rocking the official WordPress app starting tomorrow morning. Check out the full post, which includes one of’s fancy new slideshows, and this shot of the plan behind the app:

So cool.

I’m now the proud owner of one 16-gigabyte iPod touch, and after a good half-day of messing with it and playing to try and figure the thing out, I have to say that I’m coming away from the first experiences very, very impressed. I find that music library management is going to be difficult for me, at least at first, as I’ve just now filled up my 40-gig fourth generation iPod, and Smart Playlists have become much more important for both iPods. I may have to pick up a 160-gig iPod classic at some point to continue to have at least one device that contains my entire music collection.

In any case, I wanted to jot down some of my thoughts for those who read, so if you’re thinking about picking one up, or you have questions about it, I figure more of those will be handled by what I have to say. You can already see some of my commentary in my tweets from earlier this evening, while I was messing around with it.

Continue reading “It’s iPod, Except with More… Touching… in a Good Way…”