Opinion: Apple needs an iTunes Server version


Opinion: Apple needs an iTunes Server version

As our media libraries increase in size with tons of music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, audiobooks, and apps, many of us are seeking ways to organize and consolidate this content in a central location. Instead of each member of a family having content on individual Macs, it would make sense for all of this content to be stored and organized on one computer.

While iTunes lets you share libraries, play content on another Mac, and even synchronise some content from one iTunes library to another using Home Sharing, the app isn’t designed to work with multiple users. The solution could be a server version of iTunes, which would let households organize all of their family’s media on one computer and allow each user to connect to this Mac to listen to music, view videos, and sync their iOS devices. Here are some ideas for how an iTunes server might work.

How it should work

If Apple were to create a server version of iTunes, the iTunes server program would be similar to the current version of iTunes, managing all of the content on one computer. It would also serve as a conduit for media files so they can be transferred to and from the server and stored in the master library. This would meet the needs of families with a lot of media files, and eliminate the need to duplicate many of these files on different computers.

iTunes Server would allow each user to set up an account and build a personal library. These accounts would ensure that the server program knows exactly which files each user wants to access. Users’ library files would remain on their individual computers, and they would be able to create their own playlists, add ratings, and keep track of their play counts and last played dates.

When the server is first set up, users would be able to choose which files they see in their copies of iTunes; this would also affect what they can sync to their iOS devices. During initial setup, as media files are uploaded to the server, there would have to be some way of ensuring that there are no duplicates. Once this is done, however, each user should be able to access a “What’s New” playlist to see what other users have purchased from the iTunes Store, or have uploaded to the server, and that are not in their individual libraries. Each time someone buys music from the iTunes Store, rips a new CD, or adds a new video to his or her library, these media files would be copied to the server so everyone in the family can access them.

Apple iPod touchApple iPod touch

Users would also be able to choose which types of content gets stored on the server, and which they keep on their own computers. Some people may have favorite podcasts that they know their parents and children don’t care for, and would rather store them locally than on the server. The same may be the case for mobile apps used on an iOS device; there’s no need to share all of your content with the rest of the family if you don’t want to.

iTunes Server would need to sync to iOS devices connected to different client computers. This would require a relatively fast network—802.11n wireless or ethernet—and, while the first sync to a device may take a long time, subsequent syncs would be much quicker because there is much less content to change.

iTunes Server could be installed on a Mac or PC, but Apple could also create a device, similar to a Time Capsule , containing a hard drive and the iTunes server software on board. This would eliminate the need to keep a computer on all the time. It would also make iTunes server easier to integrate into a network, since it would provide the necessary disk space that may not be available on any individual computer.

Hurdles to overcome

A number of issues would need to be dealt with in order for this to function smoothly. Initially corralling all the family’s media and ensuring that there are no duplicates—or at least culling duplicate files—would have to be done in a way so that files with slight differences in tags are not duplicated. Also, if one user wishes to change some of the tags for certain files, this could lead to problems locating the files. Ideally, one person would have to be the “librarian” of the media library to ensure that all changes are made correctly so each user’s library remains in sync with the content on the server.

While the number of users who might want an iTunes server may be relatively small, the ubiquity of digital media means that, as time goes by, more people will be tempted by this sort of a solution as their libraries grow. Many iTunes users already store their media on a shared volume or a NAS, but iTunes Server would simplify this process and go much further, allowing each user to have their own individual library rather than access one monolithic shared library.

One final issue remains to be seen: how iTunes Server will work with multiple iTunes accounts. There’s no longer a need to authorize computers for music, but DRM is still applied to movies, TV shows, audiobooks, and apps purchased from the iTunes Store (and many users will have legacy iTunes tracks with DRM). While you can use more than one iTunes Store account on a given computer, iTunes Server shouldn’t require a family to have a single account. If it did, the issues of authorizations could get quite complex.

Will Apple provided iTunes Server soon? With the arrival of the new Apple TV and its AirPlay feature, designed to stream media from iTunes, it seems that iTunes Server could be the perfect missing link not only to provide content to the living room, but also to serve as a central media library for any family. iTunes Server makes sense for those with large media libraries, and now might be the right time to introduce such a program.

[Senior contributor Macworld US Kirk McElhearn writes about more than just Macs on his blog Kirkville. Twitter: @mcelhearn Kirk’s latest book is Take Control of iTunes 10: The FAQ.]

Playstation Network: March 2013 Free Content Details Revealed


Playstation Network: March 2013 Free Content Details Revealed

Sony has just revealed the details regarding Free Content that will be coming to Playstation Network in March 2013.

Playstation NetworkFive games will be available for free of cost to Playstation Plus subscribers in North America and Europe, however list of games differ for both territory. Check out the list below:

Europe:

  • Dead or Alive 5
  • Joe Danger 2: The Movie
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (PS Vita)
  • Puddle

North America:

  • Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention (PS Vita)
  • Joe Danger 2: The Movie
  • Spec Ops: The Line
  • Tekken 6 (PS Vita)
  • The Cave

 

Firefox lights 25 million fires


Firefox lights 25 million fires

The Mozilla Foundation has announced 25 million downloads of its Firefox browser.

This achievement has taken just 100 days.

The Foundation added that its group of Firefox volunteers, Spread Firefox, now numbers 70,000 members. The browser is now available in 28 different languages.

“Twenty five million Firefox downloads is a significant achievement, and we see that number continuing to grow,” said Mitchell Baker, president of the Mozilla Foundation.

“Firefox is being rapidly adopted by the mainstream, with this audience embracing Firefox as a more user-friendly Web browsing solution,” he said.

Luvinia Online Now in Open Beta 


Luvinia Online Now in Open Beta 


Outspark announced that Luvinia Online is now in open beta and invites players to all the events and new content now available in this highly anticipated MMORPG.

After the successful and action-packed closed beta, Luvinia Online is back with a few tweaks and updates for all players to try out now. In the open beta, players will now be able reach level 78, which means more areas to explore and content to experience. Along with the level increase, the story, font, camera, and graphics of the game have been improved during the downtime and are ready for beta testers, both veteran and new, to try out.

All players participating in the open beta can pick up some very special mounts in key give aways happening with select websites. Along with the new mounts, closed beta players will find in their accounts some of the rewards granted through previous in-game events and key redemptions. Open beta will give players a chance to create fresh, new characters, which will carry over into the full commercial launch of the game.

Along with all the updates and new content in the open beta, players will also have a chance to win prizes worth up to $1,000! Alongside the many weekly in-game activities present in Luvinia Online, Outspark Game Masters will be running a variety of special events during the open beta which can be found on the game forums.

For more information, go at luvinia.outspark.com/.

Insomniac Games developing Edge of Nowhere for Oculus Rift | Edge of Nowhere


Insomniac Games developing Edge of Nowhere for Oculus Rift | Edge of Nowhere

Insomniac Games have announced they’re developing ‘Edge of Nowhere’ for Oculus Rift, due to release in 2016.

Insomniac Games, the guys behind the long-running Ratchet & Clank franchise and recent Sunset Overdrive have announced today they’ll be making a game for the upcoming VR platform, Oculus Rift.

It’ll be called Edge of Nowhere, a third person adventure game that appears to primarily feature snowy environments. It seems also to have some horror and fantasy elements thrown in and is due out sometime in 2016.

The head of Insomniac Games, Ted Price, came to the stage at Oculus’ pre-E3 conference and stated he was previously skeptical of virtual reality technology, but recent demos and games have converted him. Price was not the only one persuaded:

Damage Core, a first-person shooter by High Voltage was also announced. They’re the guys who ported Mortal Kombat X to PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. They also worked on Saints Row IV with Volition.

Chronos, an atmospheric role playing game, was also announced. In development by Gunfire Games who are also working on the ‘Deathinitive’ Edition of Darksiders II.

Amazon Germany List GTA V for PS4 and Xbox One, Box Art Also Revealed


Amazon Germany List GTA V for PS4 and Xbox One, Box Art Also Revealed

Amazon Germany has listed Grand Theft Auto V for Playstation 4 and Xbox One. The retailer went on to revealed the box art for these yet to be announced platforms.

GTA VYou can check out GTA V for PS4 and Xbox One box art below. The listing on Amazon Germany website have been taken down and is no longer available (but we still managed to get the snapshot of the listing).

GTA V PS4 Listing: Amazon Germany

GTA V PS4 Box Art

GTA V Xbox One Box Art

Hines explains why Skyim takes just 6GB space


Hines explains why Skyim takes just 6GB space

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a 6GB game, we all know this very well. For some fans this comes as surprise, because games like The Witcher 2 take 10 GB – 16 GB of space and since Skyrim being such a HUGE game than that, how did Bethesda manage to achieve “6GB”?.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim screenshot

Pete Hines revealed the reason behind this. On Twitter Hines explained that the studio a new engine this time, and the compression techniques used by them have improved a lot.

According to Hine, “6 gigs: New engine & we’re much better at compression (art/voice/data). It’s huge yet more optimized than we’ve had before. And faster.”

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will launch on November 11 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Bioware – Dragon Age: Inquisition Q&A | Dragon Age 3 | Dragon Age: Inquisition


Bioware – Dragon Age: Inquisition Q&A | Dragon Age 3 | Dragon Age: Inquisition

Bioware open themselves up to questions from Dragon Age fans on Raptr.

Bioware have recently finished a Q&A session on Raptr.com, the social network for gamers. They held an open forum allowing fans to ask questions about their highly anticipated title Dragon Age: Inquisition. After navigating the torrential flood of comments, I gathered together what information I could and put this article together for your attention.

Character Creation

Beginning with the initial stages of the game, the process of creating your Inquisitor has been made to sound particularly intricate. There is an option to adjust the color of both the outer and inner color of your Iris. If creating a Qunari character sounds like your kinda thing,(and lets be honest playing as a Qunari is going to be top of most our lists) there will be multiple styles of horns available. It wasn’t officially confirmed, but the chance of a video showcasing Inquisition’s Character Creator was given as a possibility.

Yes, once you complete the game you can continue exploring Thedas instead of starting over.

Skills/Abilities

Specializations was the subject I was keeping a particular eye out for. One per character is how it’s going to be, unfortunately. The level cap is said to be around 25-30, with game areas of high difficulty best left until you’ve completed the main story.

Yes, once you complete the game you can continue exploring Thedas instead of starting over.

As before, weapons are restricted by a character’s class. Varric was mentioned specifically at this point, stating he will only use Bianca while avoiding any other bow. Twin daggers will be an option for our favorite storyteller however.

While still on the subject of specializations, one fan asked how the team decide on what specializations to include in the game. This was their answer:

During early concepts for DAI, I sat down with the combat team and we developed three ‘fantasy archetypes’ we wanted to deliver for each class. Our goal was to develop abilities that let you feel like you were pushing your class in a specific direction, like being a “Walking Fortress” as a warrior, or a “Controller” as a mage.

Those core fantasies influenced all of our ability designs.

Crafting

Dragon Age’s crafting system was also discussed at length, while touching upon the plants that are included in the gameplay demo. These are in fact alchemy ingredients, although it should be noted that only some of which will regrow after being picked.

Specifics regarding armour customization was also covered. In particular the ability to craft rogue armour with the look of mage armour if the necessary items are sourced. The crafting system has been described as being based on templates, as opposed to recipes granting a wider option of materials that can be used. These multiple combinations yield a higher variety of appearances and statistics, going towards ensuring a unique experience on every play through.

Various potions & bombs are another possibility. Crafting hilts separate from a blade before combining them is also possible, along with the capacity to enchant your chosen weapon.

The Keep

Information could have become lost amongst the thousands of comments left on the page, but pertinent information regarding The Keep seemed elusive. What was found however, a description of the Keep being a place where the player can set every decision made in the previous games in order to lay the foundation of the adventure before them.

More information about The Keep is said to be released around August/September.

Companions and Advisors

The company you will keep on your travels has also been a hot topic of discussion amongst Dragon Age fans. Bioware stated that the overall dynamic between the Inquisitor and the companions is impacted by things he/she says and does. On another note regarding relationships, there was mention of there being no universal gifts.

It has been shown that each of the individual followers that are available to be recruited across the course of the game, possess their own distinct personality. Although the nature of these personas now seem to possess a fluid aspect, in that Bioware have commented that their opinions can be altered and their fundamental personality can be changed.

While riding gallantly across the landscape of Thedas on one of the many mounts available in Dragon Age: Inquisition, the companions will not be visible, rather they will vanish until you dismount, making the navigating process a lot smoother.

Advisors, another important aspect of Inquisition, will not be traveling with your party, but will be available for interaction at the home base. Specifics were not found, but compared to your companions it was stated that the approval of Advisors are handled differently.

The Verdict?

After reading through the endless pages of comments, it’s obvious that the fans still have a lot of love for Bioware. The hype surrounding Inquisition is mounting every day. If the new Dragon Age is a success it will surely put the franchise back on top as one of this generations greatest roleplaying games.

Precisely where it belongs, in my opinion.

Bungie president steps down as new CEO is appointed


Bungie president steps down as new CEO is appointed

Bungie has made some changes within its organization which has Harold Ryan stepping down from his position as studio President, and appointing Pete Parsons to the role of CEO. As CEO, Parsons will be in charge of leading the team at Bungie as they continue to develop all things Destiny.

Parsons shared a few words in regards to his position shift:

I want to personally thank Harold for his friendship, passion, hard work, and dedication in helping make Bungie the great company it is today. As a team, we celebrated many victories and weathered many storms.

To the players of Destiny, I want you to know that my number one priority, and Bungie’s, is and always has been to deliver great games that we can all share together. I believe that Destiny is a one-of-a-kind experience. I also believe you have yet to see our studio’s best work. My new role here at the studio will be entirely focused on fulfilling that promise.

As of now, no information regarding Harold Ryan’s departure from the company has been revealed. We’ve reached out to Bungie for comment and will update this story accordingly.

Megaman: Had Access To Xur: Agent of the Nine Exotic Items Up To May 19, It Was Awful, Bungie Changed Xur


Megaman: Had Access To Xur: Agent of the Nine Exotic Items Up To May 19, It Was Awful, Bungie Changed Xur

It seems like Destiny Xur: Agent of the Nine vs Megaman saga has finally come to an end. For past few weeks, Megaman openly admitted that he is finding it difficult to access Xur Agent of the Nine exotic items (with the help of data mining tech), and the reason provided for the same was that Bungie made some drastic changes to curb hacking of Xur Agent of the Nine exotic items and upgrades via data mining tech (in short, Bungie started manually controlling Xur and changing Xur’s stock in real time via patch).

Destiny: Xur Agent of the Nine

Megaman is a relief man now and feels like his task is accomplished, and he openly let this feeling known to Destiny community via Reddit. In the comment section of one of his thread, Megaman stated that because of recent Xur’s Stocks leak, Bungie was forced to changed him with new stocks because all old stocks were WEAK and Destiny players were not happy with it.

In addition to this, Megaman stated that he had possession of Xur: Agent of the Nine stocks and exotic items up to May 19, and those were “Awful”, Mida Multi-Tool was scheduled to come three times.

Here is what Megaman said (in conversation with other Xur Items/Stock leaker) (translated)

“I’m grateful to you. If you hadn’t published the data of xur, Bungie would not have changed xur. I had possession of data up to May 19th and it was awful. Mida Multi Tool was scheduled to come three times.”

Are you guys happy with the recent changes made (by Bungie) to Xur: Agent of the Nine exotic items, stocks and upgrades? Do let us know in the comment section below.

Update: Xur Agent of the Nine Is Selling “Armamentarium” & Other Exotic Items For Week 31, Xur’s Location & Other Details

  • Source: Reddit