Turn CD’s into MP3’s without PC’s

April 28, 2006

Another cool toy via the good folks at Akihabara News. This time its OEM goodness that combines and SD card slot along with a USB key with a CD player for the ultimate in ripping convenience. What I find interesting about this product is that its the first one, I know of, that has ripping built into the hardware. With the press of a button your music magically moves from the CD your playing to the USB Key or SD attached to the player. With Gigabyte USB and SD cards on the horizon its only a matter of time before an enterprising OEM in Japan or Taiwan does the same thing for video. Read the rest of this entry »

Crowds Cheer Death Spasms of RIAA

April 27, 2006

(comic by Randall Munroe)

April 26th, 2006 will go down as a really tough date for our jolly mateys at the RIAA. With everyone from Avril Levign and Todd Rungren to the folks at CES, hurling stones at them, it couldnt have been a pleasant day. From the soft money strewn halls of capitol hill to the porn filled halls of CES, April 26th may go down as the day everyone decided the RIAA needed to R.I.P. Read the rest of this entry »

Music Biz Misplaces $40 Billion. Opps!

April 17, 2006

Back in February I attended a panel discussion with the always humorous, Chief Digital Officer of MTV, Jason Hirschorn. One of the many provocative questions he threw out to the audience was "what are people filling their iPods with" given that only a billion songs have been sold for the 43 million iPods in circulation. Thats less then 25 songs per iPod! Great question Jason.

With all the expensive consultants and overpaid MBA's roaming the halls within media companies you'd think that a few of them would be able to figure this out. Alas, its not to be. Given, that I was once an underpaid consultant and I'm now an inexpensive MBA roaming the halls of a media company, I figure it wouldn't hurt anything if I gave it a try. After "running the numbers" (spreadsheet here), I came up with a couple of answers. One is that the music industry has lost roughly $40 billion dollars in revenue from not aggressively pursuing digital distribution. Read the rest of this entry »

Game Changing Gear

April 14, 2006

How cool is this? TV anywhere, anytime on your laptop. A small device called the MobiTV Global was released earlier this week by the Japanese firm Links International. It’s about the size of your standard USB key and connects to your computer via the USB 2.0 slot, where it also gets its power. The device is supposed to allow you to watch TV on your laptop and record programs in MPEG2 video. According it the company it will capture VHF and UHF signals from 1-62 and non-encrypted cable signals from C13-C63.
Why is this game changing gear? As someone who watchs almost all my media on my Laptops (with XP Media Center), I’m sick of having to tether my PC to my cable box in order to get/watch programs. MobiTV is the first step I’ve seen in breaking the chains that tie the PC to the living room for media experiences.

Thanks to the gadget blog Akihabara News for its original post about the MobiTV.

..and just one more thing, check out the hysterical babelfish translation of the MobiTV release info.

Is the End of Media Spelled A.J.A.X.?!

April 12, 2006

While playing with AjaxAMP v3.0 the other day I couldnt help thinking that the shift to Internet based applications is going to fundamentally change how media is created, promoted, used and distributed. From Pandora's approach to music discovery to Jumpcuts efforts at online video editing, there are few areas of the media value chain not challenged by a new service or application available via the web. Read the rest of this entry »

Survey Says: TV = Violent, Fat Kids

April 6, 2006

While working at a bunch of different media companies I often found myself defending the violent, misogynistic, morally bankrupt, characatures of human behavior within the industry. Religious nuts, whiner's, and political opportunities would lament the media's role in everything from the decline of American civility to the increase in childhood obesecity. I would generally retort with one (or a combination) of the following basic statements:
a) Morbid: "Entertainment companies dont kill kids, we just sell the ads that do."
b) Psedo-Political: "All speech, political or entertaining, is protected speech."
c) Defensive: "Maybe you should take your overweight, hyperactive kid outside for an hour or two and interact with her, rather then complain about the job media companies do entertaining her for the 6 hours she not in school or asleep. Were the real parents you just pay hte bills. SO shut-up and stop your ballin'!"

While that last one always ends arguments, I'm not sure it wins them. I've often held the position that parents hold the power of "the purse" and "the curse". Kids cant buy anything without the permission and participation of their parental units who can also utter the worse curse in a child's vocabulary, the word "No"! It was my firm belief that parents bore the ultimate responsibility for their children and the media had little to no influence that good parents couldn't counter act. Surprise, surprise, I may have been wrong! Read the rest of this entry »

Movie Exec’s Rush to Seal their Irrelevance

April 3, 2006

I'm not sure about the sex, but movie industry executives are displaying lots of stupidity and greed.

You know that the movie industry has a great press machine when both the NY and LA Times carry stories about their latest efforts to prove that they have learned nothing from the last 7 years of media experience. You also know that the industry is on a long, slow march into irrelevance as both papers chose to lampoon their latest announcements rather then turn it into the usual piracy debate. The movie industry has clearly decided to follow in the footsteps of the record companies and pretend that people have no other options to their inane "offerings". In the fanciful minds of movie executives consumers appear to be so flush with cash and devoid of Read the rest of this entry »