AWT News Update: May 12, 2016

A trio of fun and/or interesting stories for the day:

  • Apple Music isn't deleting your music... but iTunes 12.3.3 might be!
  • Amazon has Echo, Apple has Siri devices, and Google's now working on a hardware device codenamed "Chirp"
  • Have old Apple devices that work? You can make a bundle selling them on eBay

The text version of this podcast can be found below.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for May 12, 2016.

Recently, some Apple Music users had been complaining that they believed the service had deleted their music. iMore’s Serenity Caldwell has been looking into the issue, and it’s much more likely that it’s iTunes 12.3.3 that is the culprit. Apple Music was accused of removing local music libraries on Macs and replacing it with Apple Music DRM-protected copies, but that’s not the way the service works. What may be happening instead is that iTunes 12.3.3 has a database error that is affecting a very small number of users and wipes out their music collection after the update. That’s one more reason to make sure that you have local backups of your music library that are updated on a frequent basis. Caldwell noted that there are several Apple Support threads that support the theory that while Apple Music isn’t to blame, the iTunes 12.3.3 update does seem to have caused problems for a handful of users.

Amazon has done surprisingly well with its Echo devices, which use the Siri-like Alexa to listen in on conversations and offer answers when you need them. Siri, of course, is getting more powerful with the addition of Hey Siri to new iPhones, Apple TV and the Apple Watch. Google has had Google Now voice searches available for some time. Now rumor has it that Google is looking into taking that capability and working it into its own Echo-like device with the codename of Chirp. The device will look something like the company’s OnHub Wi-Fi routers and will let Google extend search from the browser to everyone’s homes. Alexa handles searches through Microsoft’s Bing search engine and performs tasks like music playback, orders for products and services, and controlling home automation functions. So the question is, will Apple sit still? Apple could very well create an “always-on” device like Echo and the the “Chirp” device, as long as the company knew that it could convince customers that it was keeping their information secure.

Do you have some mint-condition vintage Apple products in their original packaging? If so, you might consider selling them on eBay and making thousands of dollars. For example, a factory-sealed third-generation iPod shuffle has recently sold for just under a thousand dollars. A mint condition fifth-generation iPod classic sold for $1,395. If you happen to have a U2 special edition iPod, you’re sitting on a pot of gold. One is currently listing for about $7,000 — used — and last November one in its original packaging actually sold for $90,000. Even promotional items from Apple Stores are starting to gain value. A framed poster for the first iPod is priced at $9,000, while a large clear Lucite iPod window display is expected to sell for $6,000. There’s a collection of 399 vintage Apple devices from a seller in Denmark that’s currently priced at $109,000 that includes an Apple I, Apple II, Apple III, a Lisa, and just about every Mac manufactured up to 2012. It’s time to start looking through your basement or attic for those old collectibles.

We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.