It's been a tumultuous few days for Yahoo--you know, with that takeover bid from Microsoft--but the company continues to shake things up internally, too.
On Monday, the company announced that it will discontinue its Yahoo Music Unlimited subscription service and will transfer its customers to RealNetworks' Rhapsody service.
In mid-2008, Yahoo Music Unlimited subscribers will be guided through an in-browser process to convert their music libraries to Rhapsody's service. For a limited time (length unknown), they'll be able to keep paying Yahoo's subscription fees, which cap out at $8.99 per month, before being required … Read more
StopBadware.org said Tuesday it has labeled two versions of the RealPlayer media player as "badware," or spyware.
RealPlayer 10.5, it claims, "fails to accurately and completely disclose the fact that it installs advertising software on the user's computer." And RealPlayer 11, it claims, "does not disclose the fact that it installs Rhapsody Player Engine software, and fails to remove this software when RealPlayer is uninstalled." Ryan Lukin, PR manager for RealNetworks, disputed some of the claims.
Lukin said the Message Center in 10.5 feeds only news and information, product updates, … Read more
Like most online radio stations, Last.fm has been forced by music copyright owners to behave more or less like a traditional radio station. A highly customizable radio station--users could enter a favorite artist and Last.fm would pick a song by that artist, then add in songs from similar artists--but a radio station nonetheless. Content was pushed, not pulled. Users who wanted to pick songs to play on demand either had to download them from a service like iTunes or pay for a subscription service like Rhapsody (which does let you stream 25 songs a month for free).
Today, … Read more
Philips has announced plans to release an MP3 player with built-in Bluetooth functionality. Available in April in both 4GB ($129) or 8GB ($169) capacities, the Philips GoGear SA5200BT series will feature a 2.8-inch screen, Rhapsody subscription music integration, FullSound audio enhancement technology, and DRM audio and video support. Beyond the obvious benefit of being able to pair the Philips GoGear SA5200BT with a set of wireless Bluetooth headphones, the player can also take advantage of wireless file-sharing with any Bluetooth-capable PC.
Philips also plans to sell versions of the GoGear SA5200 series without Bluetooth for $109 (4GB) and $149 (… Read more
Philips has announced plans to release a new portable video player named the GoGear SA6500. The Philips PVP features a 4.3-inch wide-screen display, SDHC memory expansion, Rhapsody subscription music integration, built-in speakers, and an included pair of high-end, in-ear headphones. An 8GB version of the GoGear SA6500 (the SA6585) should hit shelves in July, priced around $200.
While a budget, flash-based PVP might not seem groundbreaking, one of the GoGear SA6500's most compelling features might be its multicodec, multiresolution support. Flash PVPs are sprouting up everywhere, but few support drag-and-drop video transfers without requiring tedious video conversion. Along … Read more
A few select reviewers got an early hand on the Ibiza Rhapsody player from Haier, but CES was my first chance and I walked away quite impressed, and wondering again why Microsoft hadn't done this much--or more--with the 2nd generation Zune player.
The devices are not exactly objects of art--the 30GB player, available now from Amazon.com for $288, is a simple metallic block, and the forthcoming 4GB and 8GB players look like smaller versions of the same design--but the screen is adequately bright and clear, and the company is offering a wide array of downloadable skins and themes … Read more
Aiming squarely at devices such as the Logitech Squeezebox and Roku Soundbridge, the recently announced Philips Streamium NP1100 might not break the mold on features, but it will be offered at a great price of just $149. The Philips Streamium NP1100 offers three basic functions: an Internet radio tuner; a PC-link for streaming audio from a local computer; and a dedicated Rhapsody subscription music feature. The Streamium NP1100 uses a built-in Wi-Fi connection (or hardwired Ethernet), to pull down streaming music from the Internet or your networked PC library.
On the back of the Philips Streamium NP1100 you'll find … Read more