Finally: One Apple ID to rule them all?

On my iPhone and iPad, I have to sign in to two different Apple IDs in order to get everything set up the way it should be. When iCloud arrives, things could get worse. But they might get better, if Apple finally allows Apple ID merging.

Amazon Introduces Mac Download Store, a Mac App Store Competitor

Amazon unveiled its Mac Download Store today: a web-based competitor for the Mac App Store. The store provides direct downloads of Mac software directly from your browser, and ships with some marquee titles that aren’t yet available in Apple’s own marketplace.

The Real Strength of Apple Retail: Change

On the 10th anniversary of Apple Retail, it is amazing to consider the great success that the company has had with a program many thought was doomed to fail. A big part of the secret to that success can be attributed to Apple’s openness to change.

Beatles Music Now Available in iTunes Store [Updated]

It’s not quite time for the Apple announcement yet, so there’s no telling whether or not this is what’s going to be revealed, but a simple search finds that music by The Beatles is now available for purchase in the iTunes Store.

What Makes an Apple Store So Great

My last visit to an Apple Store was a week ago when I picked up my new iPhone 4 and, though I’ve visited the stores plenty of times before, waiting in line reminded me of what makes Apple’s retail plans such a success.

Apple Begins Offering iPhone 3G/3GS Without AT&T Contract

In what’s becoming the standard move for Apple (s aapl) as it approaches the launch of a new generation of iPhone hardware, the company has begun to offer the iPhone 3G/3GS for sale without contract at full price on its websites and at its brick-and-mortar retail stores. Without contract, but not unlocked, so don’t get too excited yet Sprint (s s) fans.

Of course, there are ways to unlock the iPhones that are simple enough for many computer users, but there lies the tricky mess of possibly voiding your warranty, so tread carefully. It’s likely you’re probably familiar with jailbreaking, risks and all, so I won’t belabor the point. Read More about Apple Begins Offering iPhone 3G/3GS Without AT&T Contract

More on Apple’s Billions: This Time, It’s iTunes

Billions and billions. It’s a theme that has accompanied me all week. In fact, I imagine I know a little how Carl Sagan must have felt. After writing about Apple’s (s aapl) billions just a few days ago, here I am again — but this time it’s not data centers and custom silicon — it’s music.

We reported here back in early February that Apple was running its 10 Billion Song Countdown Contest. Yesterday afternoon, as Steve Jobs was (probably not) blowing out the fifty five candles on his birthday cake, the odometer stopped when, according to The Loop, Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Georgia, downloaded Guess Things Happen That Way by Johnny Cash.

The download likely earned Johnny Cash the usual pittance in royalties, while Sulcer became the lucky recipient of a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card from Apple.

Naturally, I’m insanely jealous. Read More about More on Apple’s Billions: This Time, It’s iTunes

Live Music Comes to iTunes

It took a while for it to happen the right way, but now it has. Apple (s aapl) has teamed up with Live Nation to bring live music to iTunes. Apple has made live performances available before, but they were never organized so well and so easily searchable.

Magazine Publishers’ Plans May Not Be Tablet-Specific

Source: Piper Jaffray

One of the strongest pieces of evidence in support of the existence of an Apple (s aapl) tablet has come into question today. Reports that Condé Nast, publisher of many magazine titles, including The New Yorker and Vogue, was preparing a digital format specifically for the Apple tablet may have overstated the case.

Instead, it looks like Condé Nast and others, including Hearst and Time Inc., are banding together to produce a digital distribution joint venture, which will likely resemble an iTunes store for the magazine industry. The store is apparently being designed with multiple platforms in mind, and is not being specifically targeted at a tablet device from Apple, which may or may not actually exist. Read More about Magazine Publishers’ Plans May Not Be Tablet-Specific