9-11 Commission Testimony on iTMS

Everyone is sure to be abuzz about the release of the 9-11 Commission Report today, which should be available online momentarily. But did you know that the testimony is also available online, free of charge, at the iTunes Music Store? We were surprised too. The tracks were released on July 20, and are free downloads.

Speaking of free downloads, and a long a totally different vein, we regularly check this iMix by the Apple User Group PinoyMac that updates all of the free songs currently available from the iTMS.


President to be Mac User

MacMinute points out today that John Kerry is a Mac user. This reminded us of an old photo of George W. Bush with a PowerBook at his desk. So it looks like not matter who wins this year's election, we'll have a Mac user in the White House.


MWE Beantown: Bummed Over Bags (dad)

Jason Snell has a nice update today on Macworld Expo Boston. He notes that it's still a great show, despite the lack of Apple. And although we're sure the panel with Pogue, Atkinson, Raskin and Hertzfeld was really interesting, we can't help but wonder... If Apple were around, would we be reading an entire graf on laptop bags?

Nonetheless. We dig them bags, baby. Truly.


Macworld Expo Boston

Minus a Jobs Keynote or a slew of new product releases from Apple--indeed without Apple at all--we don't know anyone who was particularly excited about this year's Macworld Expo Boston. And in fact, quite a bit of the press coverage has focused on just how hum-drum and empty MW Beantown is. (Or at least, quite a bit of Leander's coverage.)

Today's keynote drives this home. The MacCentral hed says it all: Macworld Expo kicks off with 20 years on the Mac. Wow. That's pretty hott stuff right there. We're having to breathe into a paper bag, we're so energized. Now, don't get us wrong. We've met David Pogue before, when he was a columnist at Macworld, and there is neither a nicer, nor more knowledgeable Mac journalist out there. Unless it's maybe Jason Snell. Or Rick LePage. We digress.

The thing is, if we want to know more about the history of the Mac, we'll read about it online or in a book. We don't want to pay for plane fare, conference registration and a hotel room to fly to Boston to hear about it.

When we covered Macworld Expos, it was always a busy time, a week of late nights and early mornings rushing to meet deadlines. This year, that is obviously not the case. The press reports coming out have been, well, less than a deluge. In fact, we've heard through the grapevine that a few publications are skipping MWE altogether this year, or only sending a skeleton crew.

It's easy to wonder what IDG was thinking, or if it was thinking at all, when it scheduled MWE in Boston knowing that Apple wouldn't show if it did. But another, larger, question is what was Apple thinking?

MWE always served as a huge publicity forum for the Infinitely Loopy Cupertino Fruit Company, and that coverage has always tended to be fawning as stone-faced journos are wowed over by Jobs' keynotes the legions of Mac-faithful who shower him with applause. The Cube comes immediately to mind. Over the last few years, however, Apple has been moving more and more towards rolling out products at special events. The white iBook, the iPod, Airport Express, and numerous other products were introduced this way. Obviously, Apple thinks this strategy is more effective. And maybe it is; we're no good at marketing.

But we miss the excitement of the summer MWE, be it in Boston, New York, or Boise. We don't care. We just like those few times of the year when Apple takes center stage in Windowless rooms.


Less than 2 Hours to 100 Million

The iTunes Countdown Alert Level and the iTunes Stats Page are both predicting that we're going to hit the 100 Million song mark within a couple of hours.

One 17-inch PowerBook, one 40GB iPod, and one gift certificate for 10,000 songs coming up.


iTunes Giveaway Estimates

Reading the spinning plates iTMS counter followup, we found Todd Heidesch's iTunes Stats Page, which predicts when significant numeric milestones will take place. As we write this, his site is predicting that the iTMS will hit 96,700,000 downloads in about 3 minutes, at which point somebody out there will win another "special 20 GB iPod."

One neat thing about this chart, is that it shows sales are already spiking in relative proximity to each of the magic numbers. We suspect people are watching the various iTMS counters and logging on to purchase a track as each of the 100,000 song milestones approaches. The odds of correctly calculating when to purchase a song using a counter are pretty damn bad. Todd's estimates make them significantly better, as you can get a to-the-minute forecast as to when to make your purchase.


iTunes Giveaway Counter

Apple is giving away all sorts of gear in its iTMS giveaway:
Apple will begin the countdown to 100 million songs by giving away 50 special 20GB iPods—one to the purchaser of each 100,000th song downloaded between 95 million and 100 million songs. In addition, the person who downloads the 100 millionth song will receive a 17-inch PowerBook, a 40GB iPod, a gift certificate for 10,000 iTunes songs
Apple has a (semi) live counter, but we like the one Jason made much better. It's nearly to 95 million now. Count your pennies, and get ready to be quick on the draw.

Also, there are a couple of cool graphs here and here.


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