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itunes card hack onlineWe’re really good at buying and selling stuff, and building brands. But if Apple, with its billions in cash, Linux OS, and world - wide R&D can be hacked, so can we. Wasn’t PCI painful enough? How do you place a monetary value on the good will lost to thousands of customers? People are looking for an escape route out of iTunes and anything that requires handing over a credit card to Apple. Is it a vocal minority? I’d say yes, except the hacks keep on coming. I’m not sure the problem has been resolved at all. So I have no idea how long this will go on.

We have enough trouble predicting demand and managing erratic commodity prices and retail price transparency. Do we really all want to be telecomm providers and banks too? I don’t think so. That’s why I say, “Kids… don’t try this at home.” We’re in a pretty good situation with regard to data theft, at least in the US. The TJX data breach and the ones that followed taught us that customers are forgiving as long as it doesn’t cost them any money. It’s annoying to get new credit cards, but nowhere near as annoying as having your gift card account wiped out.

So think of this as a cautionary tale. We’re not software developers, banks, or credit card processors. We’re retailers. And it might be a good idea to stick to our knitting.

One last thing: I am still an iTunes user, and still like most of my Apple - made computers and devices, but this has been so badly handled that I’m shocked. Shouldn’t we have all been asked to change our passwords proactively? It’s a bit like the famous Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field at work: just assume it’s not real that it will go away. Guys, it won’t.Apple has no plans to stop selling music downloads from iTunes in the next few years.
“This is not true,” Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr told to BuzzFeed News, rebutting to a Digital Music News report claiming the company “is now preparing to completely terminate music download offerings on the iTunes Store” in two years — or possibly “the next 3 - 4 years.”
Closing the iTunes Store — Apple’s primary music marketplace — would be an aggressive move under any circumstances. With music downloads still outselling Apple Music subscriptions three to one on and Drake going platinum in one week while staying exclusive to Apple, it’s clear that any subscription service - only future is a ways off.
While Apple has a habit of forcing change on its users when it decides it’s time to shift technology forward (think losing the CD drive, touchscreen smartphones or the rumored switch to wireless earbuds), the company’s not yet prepared to do that with digital music downloads — not on this 2 year timetable, anyway.Podcasts[edit]

The icon used by Apple to represent a podcast
Version 4.9 of iTunes, released on June 28, 2005, added built - in support for podcasts.[54]

Users can subscribe to any podcast by entering its RSS feed URL, but also by browsing the podcast directory within the iTunes Store. The front page of this displays high - profile podcasts from commercial broadcasters and independent podcasters and allows searching by category or popularity. Once subscribed, the podcast can be set to download manually, or automatically — and as with other audio, content can be listened to directly or synced to a portable hardware device like an MP3 player.

The addition of podcasting functionality to such a widespread audio application like iTunes greatly helped podcasting enter the mainstream.[55] Within days after iTunes 4.9 was released, podcasters were reporting that the number of downloads of their audio files had tripled, sometimes even quadrupled,[56] and iTunes is considered the dominant podcast client.

Version 6 of iTunes introduced official support for video podcasting, although video and RSS support was already unofficially there in version 4.9.[57]

Users can subscribe to RSS feeds through the iTunes Store or by directly entering the feed URL. Video podcasts can contain downloadable video files (in MOV, MP4, M4V, or MPG format), but also streaming sources and even IPTV.[58]

Downloadable files can be synchronized to a video - capable iPod, or downloadable files and streams can be shown in Front Row.[57]

iTunes offers the ability to create "Smart Playlists" that can be used to control which podcasts are in the playlist, using multiple criteria such as date, number of times listened to, type, etc.[59] It is also possible to set up iTunes so that only certain playlists will be synced with the iPod. By using a combination of the two techniques, it is possible to control exactly which music and/or podcasts will be transferred to the iPod. A user may configure a smart playlist to display only podcasts less than two weeks old or removing any podcast that the iPod user has already listened to. This smart playlist is synced with the iPod every time the iPod is plugged into the PC

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