April 24, 2008
Apple’s ubiquitous iPod was built to ensure that listeners could not easily pass their music between devices. The iPod and iTunes combination leads to a very solitary musical experience with users only able to share music by jumping through technical hoops. The annoyance factor with sharing digital music was intentionally high. However, where ever there are digital roadblocks, there is an entrepreneur ready to remove them (for a small fee).
Enter MiShare, a nifty little device that came out late last year and allows users to transfer music, pictures, videos and even playlist between iPods. DRM infected music is transfered but must be reauthorized for use on the receiving iPod. But since your reading this blog you know that the vast majority of music on any given iPod is ripped or downloaded MP3′s and so we can assume that music reauthorization wont be much of an issue. The cool little device got good reviews from the NYTimes and the Chicago Tribune. Itis available from the Mishare site for $99.95.
March 25, 2008
South Park creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, have done what no other content creators have been able to do online, until now. They launched a site where fans of South Park can legally watch every episode of the show, so long as they are in the US. International fans will have to wait a few months, according the the press release put out earlier today by Comedy Central.
What’s really amazing about this, besides the great content, is that Trey and Matt (we are that close) were able to get all the complex legal and business model issues worked out with Viacom and put the show online. No other content creator has even come close to getting their full catalouge on the web, especially not for content that remains current and popular. Of course fans can watch any content they want online using various web and P2P sites, but this is the first time creators have launched a site that really competes with the free alternatives.
I hate using canned quotes but this one, direct from the press release, is on the money:
When asked about the launch of the new site, Stone and Parker said, “We got really sick of having to download our own show illegally all the time so we gave ourselves a legal alternative.”
To date, the web’s premier, and only, source of full length episodes of South Park has been AllSP.com, which mysteriously went dark earlier this week. A message posted on the site says
The administrator for AllSP.com did not respond to numerous emails but I’m going to go ahead and assume that the reason they are down is because some savvy lawyers over at Comedy Central got in touch with AllSP.com’s host and started causing trouble. Be sure to check out the similarities between AllSP.com and SouthParkStudios.com, it cant be a coincidence.
March 17, 2008
The good folks at Torrent Freak caught my attention this morning with news of the possible resurrection of Demonoid, of one my favorite BitTorrent trackers, for stats. They have been tracking the fate of Demonoid since it was taken offline last year. The site seems to have gained a new host in the Ukraine and its torrents are working again. Ernesto of Torrent Freak speculates that it could come back online in the next few weeks. In other BitTorrent news the fall of Torernt.is, an Icelandic BitTorrent tracker which accounted for 50% of Icelands internet traffic seems to be nearly complete. I really do love that 10% of the population and 50% of the Internet traffic on the island nation was accounted for on one site.