February 28, 2007
Our friends at Akihabar News ran a blurb on a very interesting product from the folks at Olympus. I have long since given up listening to radio, with its overly repetitiously play list, its canned DJ’s and its monotonous pop drone (can Mos Def get some airplay?). Anyway, while the radio isnt that interesting by itself, the idea of sticking a hard drive in the radio and and allowing it to record in the WMA format, which can easily be ripped to MP3, is interesting. Olympus may be doing this to Radio’s today, but watch for Apex to add harddrives to TV’s tomorrow. Read the hilarious BableFish translation here or the Japanese original here.
December 12, 2006
Sensation headlines are great, El Reg’s mocking coverage is even better and Forrester Research is the best (for sensation headlines anyway). The Register is running a story with the somewhat overstated headline “iTunes Sales Collapsing“, based on some research put out by Forrester that seems to show that iTunes music is flat or even falling a bit.
While the iTunes service saw healthy growth for much of the period, since January the monthly revenue has fallen by 65 per cent, with the average transaction size falling 17 per cent. The previous spring’s rebound wasn’t repeated this year.
And it isn’t just Apple’s problem. Nielsen Soundscan has grimmer news for prospective digital download services, indicating three consecutive quarters of flat or declining revenues for the sector as a whole.
The article goes on to point out that despite the fall in iTunes sales iPod player shipments are way up.
The ominous trend comes despite healthy growth for digital music players – iPod sales quadrupled in the period monitored by Forrester – and Apple’s growing inventory – the company has added videos and movies to its established inventory of music downloads and audiobooks.
Of course if your a regular reader of this blog you already knew this. Apprently fewer and rfewer people are being sucked into buying the DRM crippled songs on iTunes for .99 cents a pop, but folks are still flocking to the iPods. The good folks at the Reg pin the blame for iTunes stumbling on Apple’s use of DRM in the music store. Andrew Orlowski goes so far as to say that we have entered the “final days” of DRM’d music.
November 9, 2006
I’m pretty conflicted about the news that MS has signed an agreement with Universal Music to share revenue from Zune sales. On the one hand it seems like a great way for MS to guarantee itself access to content from one the music industries largest producers. Given Universal’s size and power its unlikely that other labels wont get in line to license their stuff to the ZUNE store and get a piece of Zune sales as a bonus. On the other hand it highlights just how desperate MS has become in its heavily lampooned bid to ruin the iParty that Apple has enjoyed for the last few years.
There is great coverage out there from both perspectives; for the naysayers, check out Global Nerdy’s take on the Zune shakedown or Om Maliks thoughts on UMG muscling Zune. For a more enthusiastic take on the subject check out Mathew Ingram’s post or El Reg’s rant, neither of which call of the out right destruction of the music industry… Of course you may prefer the more balanced approach of MSM, so here a link to the NY Times article and an AP story is here.
August 14, 2006
What makes certain gear game changing? First, it has to do something old in a new way. Second, its gotta be simple. Third, it has to chart a new direction. Memorex seems to have the right idea with the iFlip, a digital display device that instead of trying to be another iPod killer, is an ipod extender. Its a simple looking tool that does one thing, it lets you play your iPod videos on a better screen for a mere 200 bills. Sure its not perfect, screen resolution is passable but not stellar and the battery life is modest but it shows where things are going. Memorex could pop the same hardware into its TV sets and begin the process of cannibalising sales of its commoditized DVD’s with higher-margin digital products like a TV with iPod dock. its own lunch before someone else gets around to it. build the value of of Storage is increasingly moving away from display Sweet. Smooches to the good folks at iLounge for the original posting with more info and images.
June 14, 2006
A small consumer electronics company in NYC has launched another digital music device, called the MusicGremlin. The unfortunately named device is billed as a "Wi-Fi Music Player" and supposed to provide access to over 2 million songs from major label and indie artist. The $300 8GB MusicGremlin device offers anyone looking for a clunky, obscure alternative to the ubiquitous iPod , an option. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »