Tag Archives: iTunes store

Users finding first-generation Apple TVs unable to connect to iTunes Store

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Some users of the first version of Apple’s set-top box are reporting that their devices are suddenly unable to connect to the iTunes Store, according to a 19-page discussion thread (via MacRumors) on Apple’s support website. A backend change is likely responsible for this problem, though Apple hasn’t yet clarified whether this is a permanent change or a temporary glitch.

The issue was first reported three days ago, with new reports coming in every day since. Thus far no one has been able to find a remedy. At least one user in the thread notes that his Apple TV is working fine while connected to the internet via an Ethernet cable, but it seems such successes are few and far between.

Second- and third-generation devices (the small block “hockey puck” models) seem to be unaffected. This outage follows a similarly mysterious drop in FaceTime connectivity for users of iOS 6.

Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple TV, ITunes Store

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I wish I had a hobby like this: Apple TV revenues top $1B in 2013

Apple’s little television hobby is proving to be big business. Speaking at an Apple shareholder meeting on Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said more than $1 billion worth of Apple TV devices were sold last year, Reuters reports, which could mean Apple’s fiscal 2013 and not calendar year. Apple clarified the revenue number by telling Re/Code the $1 billion figure includes content sales.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, 9to5Mac notes that Apple is now offering a $25 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of an Apple TV, indicating new hardware could be inbound.


I can understand why Apple has considered Apple TV to be dubbed a hobby for so long. It’s really the one Apple hardware product that Apple doesn’t maintain key control over the content on the device. Yes, there’s the iTunes Store for movies, music and such, but there are also hundreds of broadcast and cable channels not on Apple TV due to licensing and payment arrangements. And in the case of some channels that are on Apple TV — HBO Go comes to mind — Apple doesn’t get a cut of the subscription revenue.

It’s interesting to note how Google’s Chromecast figures into this segment. Google hasn’t released sales figures and the device is really only just getting started: It launched with perhaps a dozen apps last year and only this month saw an SDK release for developers to bring content to the Chromecast.

Analyst Benedict Evans tweeted out information from Google Trends that at the very least shows interest in both the Apple TV and Chromecast; the chart is based on the relative number of Google searches for both products.

AppleTV v Chromecast on Google Trends

With annual revenues topping a billion dollars for both hardware and content — a figure likely to grow beyond that as consumers increase their home broadband speeds and look to add web-delivered content to older televisions, — it might be time for Apple TV to graduate to from being just a hobby.

Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:
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Apple confirms some users experiencing iTunes Store outage

Some users may be experiencing difficulty making purchases on the iTunes Store, according to Apple’s system status page. We’ve heard mentions of issues beginning this morning, and Apple reports trouble starting around 1:30 PM EST. Game Center and FaceTime also experienced issues this afternoon, though the former may be somewhat difficult to notice.

Apple’s iMessage service has been suffering turbulence for days now, which is not reflected on the system status page as it may be limited to iOS 7 users. Apple told the WSJ it is working on a fix for its iMessage issues in a future software update and recommends a workaround in the meantime.

Update: Apple says the 90-minute outage has been resolved, but expanded the list of affected services after the resolution: “Users may have been unable to make purchases from the App Store, iTunes Store, Mac App Store, or iBookstore. Users may also have been unable to access iTunes in the Cloud, iTunes Match, or restore purchases from an iCloud backup.” Let us know if you see anything else!

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iOS 7 How-to: Redeem iTunes gift cards with your device’s camera

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iTunes gift cards are a great gift for iOS Device users. They can be used to purchase content from the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore. However, entering in the string of characters to redeem the gift card balance has typically been a pain with the touch keyboards on iPads, iPhone, and iPod touches. Like iTunes 11 on the Mac, iOS 7 moves to solve this problem. You can now use your device’s camera to scan in the code.

Go to the main/featured page in whichever store you choose and to get to the redemption screen, scroll all the way down, and press on redeem:


When you press on Redeem it will ask you for your Apple ID password. Go ahead and enter it in. Then it shows you a picture of the back of the iTunes gift cards with a black rectangular box around the code. You are able to use the device’s camera, as long as the gift card has a box around the code.

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Press the Use Camera button in blue. All you have to do is hold the device above the card and the software is able to pick up the code.

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You can use the front facing camera to redeem the gift cards by pressing the blue camera button in the upper right hand corner and it will still work.

For this to work, it does depend on the type of style the gift card is. The gift card does have to have a box around the code. Shown here are iTunes gift cards that were recently purchased from different locations. Starting from the the top the iTunes gift cards are from Best Buy (purchased September 2013), Bed Bath & Beyond (purchased July 2013), and from the Apple Store (purchased September 2013). Notice how the middle one from Bed Bath and Beyond does not have the black box around it. The one from Bed Bath and Beyond did not work using the camera. However, the ones from Best Buy and the Apple Store did work.

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New norm? iTunes Store purchasing issue affecting 20% of users this morning [update: back up]

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Apple has updated its System Status page to show that 20% of users have been unable to make purchases since 6am this morning. Sadly, this outage is starting to become the norm as just last week the iTunes Store and other iCloud services were experiencing issues for certain users. In addition, Apple released new versions of iOS 7iTunes 11, and iTunes 11.1 beta to fix issues with iTunes in the Cloud that would not display purchases properly for some users.

Last week, Apple also sent out a botched update to Find my iPhone that left non-developers unable to log in to the app for several hours.

Downtime and server issues are to be expected with any large system – even Google.com went offline for just two minutes a couple of weeks ago – but there seems to be a growing amount of downtime reported on the System Status page. Nevertheless, it is good to see Apple being transparent with the issues.

We’ll update this page once the iTunes Store becomes fully functional again.

Update: The iTunes Store issues were resolved at 9:26 AM this morning, three and half hours after the problems began.

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$50 Apple iTunes Card for $35 shipped (Update: over)

From 9to5Toys.com:

$T2eC16VHJGQFFhp+l9UYBSEpu5PDvg~~60_57Update: This one is over. Don’t forget to follow 9to5Toys.com on FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusEmail, RSS to get the latest deals as fast as possible.

Gift Card Mall via eBay is offering a $50 Apple iTunes Gift Card for $35 with free shipping/no tax/limit 4. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen for an iTunes card of this value ever.

Give the gift of one-stop entertainment. Each card includes a code redeemable for music, movies, TV shows, games, apps, and more on the iTunes Store, the iBookstore, the App Store, and the Mac App Store. Recipients can access their content on an iPod, iPad, or iPhone, and watch or listen on a computer – Mac or PC.

We all buy a lot of media through iTunes and App Stores. I easily spend $200/year. Now I just saved $60 easily.


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