Trending December 2023 # Apple Music Executives Talk Battle For Exclusives, Artist Relationships, And More In New Interview # Suggested January 2024 # Top 12 Popular

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Apple Music has been live for over a year now and has suffered its fair share of successes and failures thus far. In a new interview with BuzzFeed News, Apple executives Jimmy Iovine, Zane Lowe, and Bozoma Saint John talk about what they have learned in their first year, the battle for exclusive streaming rights, and more.

Iovine explains that his ultimate goal with Apple Music is to make it easier for artists to release good music and for users to have access to good music. “That’s the only thing that we know how to do coming from where we’re coming from,” he said. “You use all the tools you have to do that.“

One thing that Iovine has used to differentiate Apple Music from the competition is exclusive content. Since the service launched, Apple has worked to gain exclusive streaming rights to music from artists like Drake, Britney Spears, Frank Ocean, and others. Apple’s focus on exclusives hasn’t been met with praise from everyone though. Universal Music Group spoke out against the practice last month, saying that it would no longer negotiate for exclusive rights with any service, while artists like Kanye West have also said the practice hurts the music industry as a whole.

Iovine, however, says that Apple always holds up its end of the deal when ti comes to relationships, while he also noted that Apple will continue to work out exclusives with other labels like Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group.

“We’re feeling our way around and seeing what works … Every time we do [an exclusive], we learn something new.” He added that Apple Music would move forward with its pursuit of exclusives from other partners, such as Sony Music Entertainment and the Warner Music Group, noting, “It’s Apple’s show. As long as Apple’s asking me to do what I’m doing, I’m gonna keep doing it.”

Ultimately, Iovine offers the caveat that no one really knows where the music industry will be in a year’s time. “A year from today could look extremely different from what it looks like right now,” he said.

For his part, Beats 1 head Zane Lowe explained that Apple Music is becoming a sort of safe space for artists to release their music and announce information. Lowe notes that it’s not just Beats 1 that allows that, but rather all aspects of the service.

“I think Apple Music is the place that helps artists tell their stories. It’s where artists can come and feel comfortable,” Lowe said. “And that’s not just on Beats 1, it’s through the releasing of their records, it’s through our editorial, through content, all sorts of ways.”

Apple Music head of global consumer marketing Bozoma Saint John explains the thought process that goes into making changes to Apple Music, noting that the biggest question they ask is “How are you actually interacting with your music?” The Apple Music team will then ask itself, “What are you going to it for? How can we better serve that up?”

The Music app on iOS recently underwent an overhaul with the launch of iOS 10 and Iovine explains that many of the changes build upon – or in some instances subtract from – what was first introduced. As for the future, Iovine teases that the team is working on stuff that no one is going to expect.

“We were too ambitious in the beginning — we probably put too much into it,” said Iovine. “But we’re getting there now, one foot in front of the other, and the stuff we’re creating I don’t think anyone is gonna see coming.”

The full piece can be read here.

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Tim Cook Talks Trump, Apple In China, Tariffs, And More In New Interview

This morning, Apple broke ground on its new $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas. Coinciding with that, Apple CEO Tim Cook has sat down with ABC News’ Rebeca Jarvis to talk about Apple’s investment in the United States, his relationship with President Trump, and more.

As for the new Mac Pro, Cook reiterated much of what he said alongside President Trump this afternoon.

“We are really proud to make the Mac Pro here — this computer is our most powerful computer we’ve ever made, by far,” Cook said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Rebecca Jarvis on Wednesday. “It performs over 50 trillion tasks per second. I mean, this is just mind-blowing.”

When asked why Apple still builds the iPhone in China, Cook said that he actually thinks “the iPhone is made everywhere.”

“If you look at the glass of the iPhone, which everybody touches all day long, that glass is made in Kentucky. If you were to take apart the iPhone you would see many of the silicone components that are made in the United States as well,” he added. “The iPhone is the product of a global supply chain.”

With that having been said, however, Cook said that assembling the iPhone in the United States is something that is “not on the horizon.”

Cook also talked about Apple’s relationship with China, as well as the trade war between China and the United States. The Apple CEO said that he doesn’t want to “speculate” on whether the next round of tariffs could raise iPhone praises. Instead, he said that he’s hopeful the United States and China will come to an agreement:

The Apple chief said that he doesn’t want to “speculate” on how the next round of China tariffs could raise the price of iPhones.

“I’m hoping that the U.S. and China come to an agreement, and so I don’t even want to go down that road right now,” Cook said. “I’m so convinced that it’s in the best interest of the U.S. and best interest of China, and so if you have two parties where there’s a common best interest there has got to be some kind of path forward here. And I think that will happen.”

Meanwhile, Apple’s relationship with China has faced scrutiny from some US lawmakers, but Cook isn’t worried about it. “China really hasn’t pressured us, and so I don’t envision that,” Cook said when asked if there was a line Apple would not cross if China pressured the company.

Cook said they have never been asked in China by authorities to unlock an iPhone, but added, referring to the U.S., “I have here. And we stood up against that, and said we can’t do it,” he added. “Our privacy commitment is a worldwide one.”

Apple has also been embroiled in the protests in Hong Kong because of its decision to remove a protest app from the App Store:

“In the specific app in Hong Kong, we made the decision unilaterally,” he said. “We made it for safety, and I recognize that somebody can say that is the wrong decision and so forth. We obviously get second guessed a lot when you make tough decisions on apps to be on versus off, but we made it for safety.”

Cook added that “in terms of the Hong Kong situation, I hope and pray for everyone’s safety,” and “more broadly I pray for dialogue, because I think that good people coming together can decide ways forward.”

As for his relationship with Trump, Cook said that he is focused on “policies and not politics” and that he has “full faith” in the American system when it comes to things like impeachment. He also added that he is focused on the same things “no matter who is in the White House.”

Last but not least, Cook touched on Apple’s future plans in the area of mergers and acquisitions:

“I don’t have my eye on anything big. I have my eye on a lot of interesting small things. We acquire things when they make sense, but we never acquire for size and revenue – we acquire for talent and IP, and things that can improve people’s lives.”

You can read Cook’s full interview with ABC News here.

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Concept: Creating A More Immersive Homepod Store Experience With Ar And Apple Music

Prior to the release of HomePod earlier this month, many potential readers and Apple customers were eager to hear just how good the $349 speaker would sound. On launch day, we stopped in at several of Apple’s retail locations to see HomePod in person, bringing you photos of the store displays. Demoing a speaker in a noisy environment is no easy task, and while HomePod’s performance is admirable, the difference between your home and a busy store is still markedly obvious. Augmenting HomePod’s in-store display experience could help compensate for the shortcomings of a less-than-ideal testing environment. Here’s how it could be done.

When the original Apple Watch went on sale in 2023, customers who planned to buy the 18-karat gold Edition variant were treated to a premium shopping experience. Private, 1-hour appointments were offered to those wishing to try on the watches. These hands-on experiences were held away from the noisy sales floor, in store boardrooms. While a similar environment would be ideal to fully experience the sound quality of HomePod, it’s simply not scalable given the mass market appeal of the speaker and increasing popularity of Apple retail stores.

HomePod’s current in-store experience isn’t optimal either. For being a brand new product in an emerging category, the display units have a perceived low priority on the sales floor. Tucked away on shelves next to other speakers and scattered among store tables with little accompanying information, the displays feel like an afterthought. How could Apple improve?

Since its introduction, Apple has sold HomePod first and foremost on its sound quality and comprehensive support for Apple Music. This deep integration is the perfect opportunity to cross-promote the two products. HomePod could be demoed in dedicated displays along “The Avenue” in each store. Apple uses similar displays to highlight HomeKit and the Apple TV today.

Inspired by the Apple Music “note” screen at Apple Park’s Visitor Center, each HomePod case could be backed with a flush monitor displaying Apple Music album art and helpful Siri commands that drift across the screen. In the center, a raised display could showcase album art for the track currently playing on the store’s HomePods. Check out the animation above for an example.

Below the monitors, two HomePods in a stereo pair could highlight both colors of the speaker, and demonstrate the power of having multiple devices in your home. A center-mounted iPad would display product information, similar to today.

While a more visually interesting display would help attract customers to the unassuming devices, Apple could take the experience a step further by employing augmented reality to visualize the audio fidelity that might be difficult to hear in a noisy store.

Apple has already used AR to great effect in the retail setting, creating a custom ARKit-powered Apple Park campus experience in their visitor center. The demo has been well received, and is considered a highlight of the visitor center by many. A more modest AR demo for HomePod would drive interest in the speaker while familiarizing a larger audience with augmented reality.

At WWDC 2023, Phil Schiller presented several HomePod graphics on stage that would translate well to AR demos. The first was a cutaway of HomePod’s components. Customers could look inside the speaker and see HomePod’s 7 tweeters and 6 microphone array. The simulated subwoofer could even thump to the beat.

Short animations during the keynote and on Apple’s website visualized the spatial awareness and directional sound possible with HomePod. With AR, customers could interact with sound as it fills the room. Switching between spatial awareness, full mix, center vocals, and the 6 microphone array would demonstrate the intelligence of the speaker’s audio processing. Virtual sound waves could be dynamically mapped based on the current track’s frequencies.

Coming in iOS 11.3 this spring, ARKit 1.5 introduces vertical surface mapping. This update enables Apple to accurately map both the shelves and walls in the store to highlight how HomePod can sense the shape of the room it’s in. Since Apple knows the precise dimensions and lighting conditions of every Apple store, these AR demos could be tuned with a precision not possible in an uncontrolled environment.

The HomePod is a great speaker, and it begs for an equal demo. If the product has wider long-term ambitions than becoming an accessory like a Google Home or Amazon Echo device, Apple should give it the attention it deserves with a prominent display of its own.

For more in-depth thoughts on HomePod, check out last week’s 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, where Zac Hall and Benjamin Mayo discuss their initial impressions, and read more in our HomePod guide.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

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Windows 2000 Certification Comedy For Executives

Illustration by Daniel Guidera

Certification has typically been a way for people with liberal arts degrees to get jobs in the IT industry. But with technology changing faster than a Palm Pilot’s batteries, CEOs are calling on you, their IT executive minions, to get Win2K certified. So you add yet another “to-do” item in your day-timer: Take the certification exam. To help you ace it (it’s almost impossible not to!), we’ve prepared this sample exam.

Windows 2000 Professional Certification Exam for Executives

You are about to take the certification exam for Windows 2000 Professionals developed especially for IT executives. Your success on this exam depends on a number of factors including your preparedness and resourcefulness.


Windows 2000 Professional Certification Exam for Executives: Technical Proficiency

Complete all the questions in the section as quickly and accurately as you can. If you do not know the answer, move on. You have 30 minutes to complete this section.



Windows 2000 Professional Certification Exam for Executives: Leadership Skills

Complete the exercise and associated questions in the section, selecting the best answer from the choices as quickly and accurately as you can. If you do not know the answer, move on. You have 25 minutes to complete this section.



The correct answer, then, for both questions is (A), even if it means you have to wince while sipping your coffee. To imply your subordinates are anything less than efficient loyalists can be tantamount to career suicide. You score this section yourself, though the proctor is instructed to look for erasures, which might suggest a level of impropriety on your part.

Windows 2000 Professional Certification Exam for Executives: Expenditure Justification

This section contains three passages, each followed by a series of questions. Read each passage carefully and complete the associated questions by selecting the best answer from the choices as quickly and accurately as you can. If you do not know the answer, move on. You have 70 minutes to complete this section.


David Ladd is the VP of technology for Vandalay Industries Inc., a manufacturing facility with approximately 300 workstations. Applications range from inventory control and shipping to product design. Ladd just received an e-mail from the director of purchasing. Apparently, all the new PCs ordered are being shipped with Windows 2000. To help manage resources, Ladd is considering migrating all users to Win2K. Such an upgrade involves not only additional licenses for existing workstations, but hardware upgrades, as well. Further, such an upgrade might disrupt the productivity of the entire organization. Still, Ladd believes the right thing to do is to centralize with a single operating system and chooses to move ahead. He has three days to prepare a presentation to the Vandalay board requesting not only additional funding, but also informing them of the possible risks of meeting availability service levels.

Rod, your senior support technician, implores you to budget for additional support staff in your justification model, citing the additional maintenance overhead (SP1, for instance) as well as the other predictable support spikes his department sees with every IT change.

Question 7:

Question 8:

How To Connect Spotify And Apple Music To Alexa

Do you want to listen to music on your Alexa-enabled device? When it comes to streaming your favorite artists, there are plenty of services that are compatible with Amazon’s personal assistant. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to connect Spotify and Apple Music to Alexa.

How to Connect Spotify to Amazon’s Alexa

Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming services in the world. You can link Spotify to your Alexa-enabled device using either a free or premium Spotify account.

To link Spotify to your Alexa-enabled device:

1. Launch the Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet.

2. In the upper-left corner, tap the “Menu” button.

4. Tap “Link New Service.”

5. Select “Spotify.”

6. When prompted, tap “Enable to Use.”

7. Log in to your Spotify account.

8. Read the disclaimer, and if it’s acceptable, tap “Agree.”

9. In the upper-right corner tap the “X” to close this window.

Unless you specify otherwise, your Alexa-enabled device will use Amazon Music to complete all music-related tasks. However, if you nominate Spotify as your default music service, Alexa will default to Spotify unless you specifically mention another music service.

To use Spotify as your default music service:

1. Launch the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet.

2. In the upper-left corner, select the “Menu” icon.

4. Under the “Default Music Library” section, tap “Spotify.”

Alexa will now use Spotify for all your music-related tasks and queries.

Enjoy Spotify on Your Amazon Speaker

You can interact with Spotify using voice commands. If you have a specific song, artist or album in mind, you can launch Spotify using commands such as “Alexa, play track/artist/album.” However, if you want to mix it up and potentially discover a new song, try one of the following:

Alexa, play rock music.

Alexa, play discover weekly.

Alexa, play my daily mix.

Alexa, play release radar.

You can also stream music via the Spotify application. The Spotify app lets you view all the available Alexa-enabled devices and specify the device where you want to stream your Spotify content. This is perfect if you have multiple Alexa-enabled devices within earshot!

To stream via the Spotify app:

1. Launch the Spotify mobile application.

2. Select the song you want to play.

3. Tape the “Devices Available” bar that appears along the bottom of the screen.

4. In the bottom-left corner of the screen, tap the “Devices Available” icon.

5. You should now see a list of all your Alexa-enabled devices; tap the device you want to stream to.

Your chosen Alexa-enabled device will now start playing your Spotify content. When you stream music via the Spotify app, you can also control the stream using the mobile application. This includes skipping tracks, pausing the current song and selecting a new song.

Connect Apple Music to Your Amazon Echo

To link Apple Music to your Alexa-enabled device, you’ll need to purchase an Apple Music subscription, although at the time of writing, a free trial was available.

Once you’ve signed up for an Apple Music account:

1. Launch the Amazon Alexa app on your mobile device.

2. Tap the “Menu” icon in the upper-left corner.

5. When prompted, enter your Apple ID and password.

6. Tap “Allow Access.”

Apple Music is now linked to your Alexa-enabled device! If you want to use Apple Music as your default music library, then:

1. Launch the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet.

2. In the upper-left corner, tap the “Menu” icon.

4. Under the “Default Music Library” section, tap “Apple Music.”

Alexa will now use Apple Music as your default music service, and you can stream any of Apple Music’s 60 million songs using the voice command: “Alexa, play (song/artist/album).”

Now that you know how to connect Spotify and Apple Music to Alexa, you can also connect Kindle and listen to audiobooks on your Echo.

Jessica Thornsby

Jessica Thornsby is a technical writer based in Derbyshire, UK. When she isn’t obsessing over all things tech, she enjoys researching her family tree, and spending far too much time with her house rabbits.

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The Best Apps And Games For New Apple Watch Owners

So, Santa left you a little gift under the Christmas tree in the form of Apple Watch and now you want to know what apps and games you should start off with. Lucky for you, we have recent experience at being new to Apple Watch, as well as about eight months worth of knowing which titles we think are perfect for beginners.

So, if you have just unwrapped your Apple Watch and want to know what you should add first, we have a list of the best 10 apps and games for you.

This game is aptly named. Once you start playing, it is hard to stop. There are hundreds of thousands of basic trivia questions across six categories that are randomly asked of you each turn. The category is selected when Willy the Wheel Spinner spins his wheel of categories. The more questions you get right, the better you score against your friends. Earn all three segments in each category to win it. You can also create your own questions in the Question Factory, which you can share with others. On Apple Watch, you can access all of the same questions and have the same amount of time to quickly answer from the available choices by tapping the option on the screen. It’s fast. It’s fun. It’s like crack. This game is available for $2.99.

Apple Watch may be known for being a fitness wearable, but you may have not realized that it does more than help you work out your body. It also helps you get your brain fit. Brainess is a brain training game that helps you improve your memory, vision, and computer skills. The app features seven exercises that help give your mind a daily workout, including a couple of memorization games, a math challenge, and more. All games are available on Apple Watch. So, if you head out without working out your brain, you can simply call up the games on your wrist worn device and exercise those cells on the road (if you are taking the bus, not driving). This game is available for $0.99.

Map My Run+

Speaking of fitness, Apple Watch comes with a lot of cool sensors for tracking your activities. However, it doesn’t come with a great selection of native software for analyzing that data. This app uses the GPS sensor of your iPhone to track your daily walk, run, or bike ride. It collects data from your pace, route, distance, calories burned, elevation, and more. You can view your stats on your wrist, as you workout. It logs more than 600 different activities and syncs with a number of third-party fitness trackers, like Garmin, Jawbone, and Misfit. Include your goals and current stats to stay on track to get in shape. This app is available for $2.99.

One important activity-tracking feature that Apple decided to leave off its wearable is for sleeping. If you’d like detailed analytics on when you fall asleep, when you are restless, and when you wake up, download this app. All you have to do is keep your Apple Watch on while you sleep and tell the app when you go to sleep and when you wake up. It will gather information on those times when you stirred in the night and when you were deep in sleep. Plus, the app connects to HealthKit to quickly log your nightly sleep cycles so you can have a well-rounded lifestyle tracker. This app is available for free.

If you are the type of person that just hates Apple Maps (we don’t blame you, some of us hate it too), you’ll be disappointed to see that it is sitting on the face of your wrist worn device. You will, however, be happy to know that you can replace it with Google’s mapping service instead. The wearable version features step-by-step text-based navigation after you add the location on iOS. The Apple Watch app also includes three of the most recent routes accessed so you can quickly access them in the future. A recent update provides offline navigation so you don’t even have to use your data when navigating in the big city. This app is available for free.

Another feature that Apple chose to leave of off its wearable is the Reminders app. While you can set up your iPhone to send notifications, many of us would love access to our Reminders app from our Apple Watch for more than just getting notifications. This robust calendar app happens to also connect to your Reminders app in iCloud. You can add items to a list or directly from an event. You can specify dates, times, and even set up geofences to set a reminder when you arrive at or leave from a location. Of course, Fantastical 2 does a whole lot more than reminders, but that’s why we love it on Apple Watch. This app is available for $2.99.

If you also got yourself an Apple TV 4 for Christmas (or maybe you picked it up a couple of months ago when it launched), the first thing you should do is download Apple’s Remote app. Now that it works with the fourth-generation set-top box, you can use it on Apple Watch as a touch pad. Use it to scroll between apps and content on Netflix and Hulu without even having to lean forward to grab the Siri remote. It doesn’t work with games, but it does work with most apps that require moving around and selecting. This app is available for free.

Facebook Messenger is becoming a fairly useful chat app. Recent updates have made it possible to use it to contact anyone, even if you don’t have their phone number or if you aren’t Facebook friends with them. This app keeps you connected to all your Facebook chats right on your wrist. Whenever you get a message, you’ll get a notification on Apple Watch (if you have Notifications turned on for the app). You can respond from the wearable and even send stickers. Send messages using Voice Dictation, or record your thoughts and send them as a audio message. This app is available for free.

When I was a kid, I just thought calculator watches were the coolest thing around. Then, I got an Apple Watch, which does all kinds of cool things, but doesn’t come stock with a calculator. WTF? Luckily, the best iOS calculator maker around, Tapbots, made Calcbot compatible with Apple Watch, so I can impress my friends with my math skills. The app is more than just a basic calculator. You can use it to figure the tip and split the bill with a group or convert different monies around the world. It also works with material conversion, like ounces to pounds or millimeters to inches. This app is available for free.

Congratulations on your new Apple Watch. The longer you have it, the more you will understand what features are most important to you. For now, download the 10 apps above and you’ll be off to a great start.

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