A few years ago we may have asked, "How did we ever live without cell phones?" Now we ask the same question about text messaging. It was indeed a lifesaver last week at the South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas. With live music ringing throughout the city 24/7, it was hard to find a quiet spot to make a phone call. So, along with thousands of others, I found myself obsessively texting to stay in touch with my cohorts about great shows (and to find ways to escape the bad ones). Cryptic messages such as &… Read more
Well, the music offerings at South by Southwest are heating up, and we'll keep you posted on the good ones. I mentioned BurnLounge in a Hoooka, which is a start-up that lets you sell music through a MySpace widget. BurnLounge, which has been around for a while longer, has a similar model: create your own music store, choose the music in it (WMA format), add your own reviews and recommendations, and (optimally) profit. But until this point, it had been just that--standalone personalized music stores, lacking additional functionality that most people think of when they think of new Web … Read more
March Madness finds a way into offices, schools, and between friends faster than most of us can imagine. Nearly everybody knows someone who is either running or a part of a betting pool. Download.com has put together a handy set of March Madness software tools to help you create your own pool or keep track of all the data that will be flowing in during the coming weeks. But what about Web services that can do the same thing? We've put together a roundup of some of the handiest services to keep track of all the money you'… Read more
As though timed to coincide with the much-anticipated release of indie rock powerhouse The Arcade Fire's album release this week (it's a must-listen, by the way), Monday night's monthly NY Tech Meetup at Cooper Union featured a trio of Gotham-based start-ups devoted to spreading the buzz about independent music. One's a marketplace; one's an ongoing competition; and one's a way to discover what the people who are discovering new music are discovering (in other words, an aggregator).
YouBackItUp is a great way to share large files with friends. YouBackItUp has employed a really neat drag-and-drop interface that makes it dead simple for anyone (read nontech-savvy people) to use. Instead of hitting a browse button and fishing through your hard drive to find the file, you can just drag the original right onto the interface, and it takes care of the rest. When you're done uploading things, you're given a simple URL to send to friends or family where they can download the files.
What makes the service a real winner in my book is its … Read more
Wal-Mart is joining the fray of movie download services today. Its new store (which is mysteriously unfriendly to Firefox) features movies from all six major studios including Disney and Sony--two studios that have a long history of proprietary use and ties to competing download services.
Films range from about $13 to $20 and can be watched almost immediately depending on your connection. Movies are managed and played through a custom player that runs only on Windows PCs. You also can watch the movies in Windows Media Player. Like the iTunes Movie Store, titles released on DVD will be available … Read more
-- Find toxic wastelands via Google Earth. The EPA released a master list of landfills and other offenders to the public today in hopes of getting some recognition on mapping services such as Google Earth and Windows Live Local. Here's hoping for a Toxic button next to the beloved satellite view on Google maps. (CNET News)
Netflix is set to launch its long-awaited movie download service over the next six months. The new service, which will be sold separately and also as part of the regular Netflix subscription plans, bills movies on time, not on amount. For instance, plans will have various tiers of movie times, and each streaming movie counts against that time. Think of it as an allowance.
Netflix is also launching a new service called Program which lets users watch portions of movies as opposed to the whole thing, in essence, turning Netflix into a YouTube for movie clips.
There will be about … Read more
Pando earlier this year launched it service that lets consumers send 1GB attachments with email. Basically, the download gets send across peer-to-peer networks. Now the company has released plug-ins that let you add the attachments without leaving your email application.
"In the first version, you installed the software. Then you opened the application and typed in an email address. We had a standalone product," said CEO Robert Levitan. "Now you can go to Yahoo email or Outlook or Gmail, hit attach and go."
Although consumers tend to be initially skeptical of the software, it works, and … Read more
They say diversity is the spice of life, but a new music app claims you can add flavor to your listening routine by networking with those who have the exact same tastes as you.
A group called Emergent Music today launched Goombah, a community-driven, music discovery site and desktop application. Goombah offers its members "taste-targeted free music" through patent-pending technology that claims to analyze users' iTunes collections and listening behavior and connect them to people and music that "precisely match their taste."
It's not rocket science to conclude that people with similar music collections are … Read more