Apple reported 10 millions registered users (of its 800 millions iTunes accounts) for its Music service following the first month (June 30 to end of July). We can suppose there were additional 5 millions registrations in August, then 3 millions in September, and 2 millions the first half of September. This could then match with Apple’s announce mid October stating their were 15 millions still opened Music accounts (and 6.5 millions paid accounts among these).

Apple offered an option to disable automatic renewal of Music subscription, then many users diddn’t wait the 3 months trial ending to cancel (or not) their subscription, they just let it stop by itself in case they wouldn’t renew. Did Apple take into account the users that  left the automatic renewal on for its 6.5 paid accounts ?

On one hand their may be 100% of early “subscribers” (the about 5 millions ones that entered trial bewteen June 30 and mid July) that let their subscription stop by mid October, that could explain the 15 millions active accounts (from 20 millions total trials) reported at that time.

On another hand there should have been at least the same amount that would have renewed their subscription to reach the stated 6.5 paid accounts (most of them would have choosed to renew a few days to one week before trial ending, that is early to mid October). Apple offered an option to initially extend and pay for many months, however few users may have opted for this. Then these same users couldn’t both have renewed and let stop their subscription.

Apple then may have taken into account users that let the automatic renewal option enabled. There shouldn’t be more than 2 millions users that did renew their subscription for some months, that is only 10% of users that entered the trial (and 0.25% of Apple’s iTunes users).

Considering the deceiving quality of the service (iTunes Store is much better and many songs or artists weren’t present in Music service), Apple should lower the price, replace the service by access to the full ITMS catalog, and provide songs in lossless format (a new HD audio format is expected by Apple early 2016).

Also many would have used the trial to copy most of songs (using Soundflower), then Apple shouldn’t provide a Trial (as users still can try iTunes Store by listening to long tracks samples).


NI String Ensemble

Posted: November 3, 2015 in Audio
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Native Instruments unveiled String Ensemble, a 34 GB (in compressed format) strings library that features a 60 instruments ensemble with automatic divisi, true polyphonic legato and 4 mic positions. It is priced 499 EUR.

The audio demos sound big, more processed than VSL or HL Strings, however close to strings from movies scoring.

Apogee Groove available

Posted: June 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

Apogee Groove USB DAC is finally available (priced $295 / EUR349). From new specifications details we learn that frequency range starts from 10hz (-0.1 dB), that is it should provide great lower end. Also the dynamic range is similar to the one from best audio interfaces (117 dB).

Kork iM1 provides sounds from M1 and expansion cards (also some sounds from T1). The M1 and T1 cards collections are priced $5 each. It allows Midi though bluetooth LE, however for mac that don’t feature it we can use USB connection (you can then use Logic or other sequencer and connect a keyboard to the mac to control iM1). Apple lightning to USB connector and free Midi LE are required (one application for mac and the other to be installed on iOS device). However then iM1 still don’t  respond to Midi messages. By installing Midi monitor (also free) on the iOS device we then check that Midi messages are indeed received, and iM1 finally recognizes these. The latency is very low (1.5 to 2ms).

Bela D Media Kontakt demos

Posted: April 10, 2015 in Audio
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Bela D Media provides full working Kontakt demo versions of their choirs libraries. First available are Panthom Voice and V Alto Choirs (see download links following audio demos).

Starwars movies on iTunes

Posted: April 10, 2015 in Music / Movies
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Starwars movies are now available at iTunes (HD resolution, $19 per movie, that is more expensive than BluRay versions from 2011).

There is still to know whether these are the same versions as the remastered ones from 2007 (whose modified colors looked saturated and required gamma change), and whether the HD resolution brings more details compared to the DVD edition.

Also a rumored Starwars Celebration next week could unveil a new/real trailer of Starwars 7, whose release is planned this December.

EastWest released Hollywood Orchestra collection, that bundles Hollywood String, Brass, Woodwinds and Percussion (Diamond version, 680 GB, provided on external USB3 drive). It is available at an introductory price of $599 / EUR653, that is 80 percent discount from buying separate products (and is about the same price as was Symphonic Orchestra Gold 10 years ago).