Answers to some of your iTunes questions: Old libraries, Windows, and more

Answers to some of your iTunes questions: Old libraries, Windows, and more

SAN JOSE, Calif.—After much speculation and fanfare in the press, Apple confirmed today that it will sunset iTunes in the next version of macOS and spin its functionality into three new apps—Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV. As we noted earlier, this marks the end of an era of sorts on the Mac—but there were plenty of unanswered questions. What features will Music retain from iTunes? And what happens to Windows users who are dependent on iTunes?

While some details are still fuzzy and will remain that way until we start digging into the beta releases, we got some broad answers from Apple on those top-level questions.

Old iTunes libraries and files

Apple Music in macOS Catalina will import users’ existing music libraries from iTunes in their entirety, Apple says. That includes not just

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Microsoft says mandatory password changing is “ancient and obsolete”

Microsoft says mandatory password changing is “ancient and obsolete”

(credit: ABC Photo Archives / Getty Images)

Microsoft is finally catching on to a maxim that security experts have almost universally accepted for years: periodic password changes are likely to do more harm than good.

In a largely overlooked post published late last month, Microsoft said it was removing periodic password changes from the security baseline settings it recommends for customers and auditors. After decades of Microsoft recommending passwords be changed regularly, Microsoft employee Aaron Margosis said the requirement is an “ancient and obsolete mitigation of very low value.”

The change of heart is largely the result of research that shows passwords are most prone to cracking when they’re easy for end users to remember, such as when they use a name or phrase from a favorite movie or book. Over the past decade, hackers have mined real-world password breaches to assemble dictionaries of millions of words.

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Tesla sold greenhouse gas credits to Fiat and… GM?

Tesla sold greenhouse gas credits to Fiat and… GM?

(credit: Jeffrey Sauger / Chevrolet)

GM and Fiat Chrysler have reported that they purchased federal greenhouse gas emissions credits from Tesla, according to filings made to the state of Delaware and viewed by Bloomberg.

Both the US federal government and California offer automaker credits for selling zero-emissions vehicles. Those automakers can then sell those credits to automakers who exceed their pollution restrictions in a sort of cap-and-trade system that imposes extra cost on automakers not improving the fuel efficiency of their fleet.

Tesla has reported sales of its credits for years, but generally the buyers have been kept private. An exception to this occurred in April, when the Financial Times discovered a deal between Fiat Chrysler and Tesla that was reportedly worth hundreds of millions of euros. According to FT, Tesla had allowed Fiat to pool its European fleet with Tesla’s in order to meet strict EU

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Tesla’s next big feature is… a port of Cuphead?

Tesla’s next big feature is… a port of Cuphead?

Enlarge / Access to playable scenes like this are why I bought a Tesla and not a PS4. (credit: Studio MDHR)

After March’s announcement that the hard-as-nails, retro-stylized platformer Cuphead was coming to the Nintendo Switch, we wondered what platform might be the next to see a port. Anything from iOS or PS4 to Linux or Google’s upcoming Stadia seemed at least plausible.

We did not, however, think of the Tesla car line as the next Cuphead port platform. And yet here we are, listening as Elon Musk announced during a podcast interview this week that Cuphead is “working” on the car’s central-console touchscreen.

Maja Moldenhauer from Cuphead developer Studio MDHR confirmed the work on the limited port to IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey, saying Tesla only required that the game “play super, super clean” on the car’s internal hardware. For this reason, the game will only work by

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Soviets beat US to first crewed moonwalk in For All Mankind trailer

Soviets beat US to first crewed moonwalk in For All Mankind trailer

For All Mankind explores the question, “What if the global space race had never ended?”

Apple just dropped the first full-length trailer for its forthcoming sci-fi space-race series, For All Mankind. Developed by Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore, the series is meant to explore an alternate reality where the global space race never really ended.

For All Mankind (not to be confused with the 1989 documentary of the same name) joins a host of other TV series in development for Apple TV Plus, a new video subscription service launching this fall that features Apple original programming—yet another contender in the streaming wars. At a conference in March, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the fledgling streaming platform “the new home for the world’s most creative storytellers, featuring exclusive original shows, movies, and documentaries.”

Details about the series are scarce, but it will star Joel Kinnaman (of Altered Carbon fame,

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Minecraft Earth gets first live demo, coming to iOS “this summer”

Minecraft Earth gets first live demo, coming to iOS “this summer”

Mojang, the Microsoft-owned studio behind Minecraft, used Monday’s WWDC keynote to unveil the world’s first live gameplay look at its next smartphone-exclusive game, Minecraft Earth. This demo also included the firmest tease yet about when series fans will get their hands on the augmented-reality game: “coming this summer to iOS.” This specific tease didn’t include any indication of whether that means the game’s promised Android version will take longer to land as a public beta.

The onstage demo began with two Mojang employees aiming their iOS devices at a table, where a blocky Minecraft game world appeared that both users could simultaneously interact with. By walking around the table and aiming their devices’ cameras, the staffers could use items and weapons, interact with switches, and drop or plant items in

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iPadOS, coming “this fall”: Thumb drives, more gestures, “desktop-class” browsing [Updated]

iPadOS, coming “this fall”: Thumb drives, more gestures, “desktop-class” browsing [Updated]

Enlarge (credit: Samuel Axon)

In addition to expected updates to WatchOS and iOS, Apple’s Monday WWDC keynote included an announcement of a new iOS fork: iPadOS. This new updated OS focuses squarely on the larger-screen capabilities of iPads—though Apple didn’t confirm which iPad models will be supported. The OS’ beta period will begin “today,” with a full release slated for “this fall.”

In the demo, Apple’s Craig Federighi showed off features that are likely familiar to anyone who has used larger Android phones and tablets, including the ability to pin homescreen widgets and a “fanning” interface to pick through recently opened apps.

iPadOS does put a welcome, Apple-like spin on multi-window support: supported apps will allow users to grab and drop content between windows. Federighi showed this off by using a “tap-and-drag” feature to move attachments and links from one Mail window

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Apple will soon kill off iTunes and, with it, an entire era of music history

Apple will soon kill off iTunes and, with it, an entire era of music history

Enlarge / The new Apple Podcasts app for Mac. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—As part of a slate of upcoming software updates, Apple will close the door on one of its most iconic pieces of software: iTunes. The company will split the application up into multiple, more-focused apps on the Mac: Apple Music for music, Apple TV for TV and movies, and Apple Podcasts for podcasts.

iTunes—a program for managing your media library, listening to songs, and buying new content—played a key part in the digital revolution of the 2000s after it first launched in 2001. Its impact started with music. iTunes was partly credited with slowing the severe bleeding to piracy the recording industry faced amid the popularity of the MP3 boom on peer-to-peer file-sharing applications like Napster. And the program was also the home base for the iPod, one of the first of many products

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Apple shares its vision for macOS 10.15 Catalina: Cross-platform apps are key

Apple shares its vision for macOS 10.15 Catalina: Cross-platform apps are key

SAN JOSE, Calif.—The next major operating system update for Apple’s Mac computers will bring new apps, a handful of quality life improvements, and, most importantly, a far-reaching initiative to (at least partially) unify the app-development process across devices running iOS and macOS. This new initiative is at the heart of Apple’s future macOS strategy and is a cornerstone of the newly announced macOS 10.15 Catalina update.

Here’s what we learned at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference today.

Apple hopes the initiative will rejuvenate a slow-moving Mac app store and native software ecosystem. The initiative will do so by making it easier for developers for the iPhone and iPad App Store—one of the most robust software platforms in the world—to release their iOS applications on the Mac with minimal additional development time. Currently, developers have

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Pixel 3a Review: Tough to Beat for the Price

Pixel 3a Review: Tough to Beat for the Price


A couple of days after Google announced its Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL phones, I wrote up a short piece suggesting that the phone was “boringly good” and an excellent choice if your budget is $400. After spending several weeks with the phone by my side since then, I still feel the exact same way, which again, is good.

This is a short Pixel 3a review.

Pixel 3a Review

What do I like?

Software

Because this is a Pixel phone made by Google, you get the cleanish Android software experience that Google thinks is the best. I tend to prefer their take on Android over others’, so as you can imagine, I like what the Pixel 3a offers.

You get Google’s Pixel Launcher with easy access at all times to apps, a news feed, and Google Assistant. You get Google’s always-on display, a feature that not even OnePlus can figure … Read the rest

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