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Wednesday, June 15, 2005, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Apple lands Podcasting deal, preps AppleCare overhaul

Apple Strikes Podcasting Deal with Sundance

Apple and the Sundance Channel have struck a deal that will make content from the cable network exclusively available as podcast downloads from the Apple iTunes Web site next month, according to AdAge.com (Subscription Required).

The partnership between the two companies will deliver iTunes one of its first exclusive podcast partners, the online publication says.

Apple is believed to be in the midst of propositioning a vast number of media and entertainment outlets to make their content available via iTunes podcasts, including magazines and radio stations, independent sources have told AppleInsider.

One of the first iTunes podcast features scheduled from the Sundance Channel will be the much-hyped The Al Franken Show, featuring the Air America talk show host. A collection of video clips from the show will also be available for streaming from Apple's website.

AdAge also reports that as part of the barter deal, Sundance will receive Apple’s post-production editing equipment and expertise. In the future, the two companies may collaborate on the Apple retail level, the report adds.

Apple to Revamp AppleCare (again)

On a completely separate subject, Apple will soon revamp its AppleCare Protection Plan to provide redefined services via a revised two-tiered system, which will be largely based on past experience, the recent increase in Apple product users, and the every-changing role of the retail stores, according to ifoAppleStore.

The project has reportedly been in-the-works for months under an unknown code-name, and is further believed to be part of a much larger restructuring of AppleCare that began last November when the company ousted then vice president Mark Wilhelm amongst a major restructuring.

About this time last year, Apple redefined its AppleCare customer support into a two-tier system consisting of 'Standard' and 'ProCare' packages.

The company also recently appointed a new vice president of AppleCare, Bill Frederick, who replaced Wilhelm.