Coolfer has an interesting post this morning, responding to Peter Kafka's suggestion that it's getting too hard to buy music because fewer retailers are stocking CDs. I think Kafka's confusing cause and effect--if retailers were still making lots of money on Britney and Rihanna, CDs would be sold front and center. But regardless of the chicken-and-egg question, Coolfer makes the very good point that most music purchasers don't seek out music and aren't willing to sift through the racks at their local record stores, but rather pick up a CD as an impulse buy on … Read more
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Facebook Connect opens up http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10113604-2.html
So does Google Friend Connect http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10113648-2.html… Read more
My Zune 80 hasn't left my side since December of 2007, after it successfully lured me from my trusty fifth-generation iPod. I invested in the Zune because I wanted to know how the other half lived (or more accurately, the other 4 percent), but the Zune's larger screen, bold user interface, podcast integration, and Zune Pass subscription service didn't hurt, either.
A few weeks passed and I was hooked on the Zune and the all-you-can-eat Zune Pass music subscription. I bought a 4GB Zune for my wife, invested in a Zune Home A/V dock to connect to my home stereo system, and even set up my PC to sync with my Zune wirelessly. Like any new romance, there were some initial hiccups--in this case, buggy software; mismatched album art; music that wouldn't delete; and broken subscription tracks. Eventually, though, I worked out the kinks, and the latest software and firmware upgrades have made life with the Zune experience much better.
There's just one thing: I'm lonely. Hundreds of iPod owners join me on the subway every day--even a few folks playing music on their Blackberries--but I seldom see a Zune. It's my job to help people decide what kind of MP3 player they should buy, but I still wonder if I made the wrong decision buying a Zune. Why can't this MP3 player get any traction?
There's no magic bullet that will make the Zune an instant success. I think Microsoft has the right idea by courting young, dedicated music fans and slowly building cult status. I just don't think they're moving fast enough to keep up with this audience or keep ahead of Apple.
Out of pure self-interest as a Zune user, I present four ideas that I think would make the Zune a better product. Feel free to add your own at the end.… Read more
Assault with a deadly burger, bar bathroom toiletries, perfect strokes, black balls and boba straws, and Asian gangstas are just a few of the topics brought up by today's guest, Mr. Brian Tong from CNET TV! He usually keeps it clean on his show, the Apple Byte, but The 404 is all about letting loose, and trust us--he does. This might be the most perverted, nasty, NSFW, and all around hilarious show EVAR- OMGBBQ!
NEW YORK--Nokia's new N97 smartphone is cool, but it's still no iPhone.
I got a chance to look at Nokia's latest smartphone, the N97, on Thursday at the company's annual Capital Markets Day here. While Nokia's marketing team wouldn't actually let me play with the phone, since it won't officially go on the market until 2009, I got a demonstration of some of the phone's features and functionality from Jukka Heiska, director of product management for the N97. A video of the phone demonstration will be posted Friday on CNET News as well as on CNET TV.
In some ways it's unfortunate that every touch-screen phone that comes out these days is compared to Apple's iPhone. But given the popularity of the iPhone, especially here in the U.S., it's difficult not to do the comparisons.
My first impression of the new N97 is that even though it has impressive specifications, like a total of 48 gigabytes of potential storage and a 5-megapixel camera and video recorder, the phone seems more like an evolution of Nokia's N-95 or N-96 smartphones rather than a ground-breaking new touch-screen device that could potentially be the next iPhone killer.
For one, the touch-screen wasn't terribly sophisticated. Icons could be dragged and dropped using a finger, but unlike the iPhone, which allows you to pinch text to magnify it or reduce it, or even the new BlackBerry Storm that allows you to double click on text or images to make them bigger, the N97 didn't offer these features.
Design-wise the phone looked more like Sony Ericsson's Xperia X1. It has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a tilted screen. In this way, it's an improvement over the N95 or the N96, which offer tons of features and functionality, but lack full QWERTY keyboards.
That said, there are a few key features that the N97 offers that the iPhone doesn't. For example, the Nokia Web browser on the N97 supports Flash and Flash video, something that Apple's Safari browser doesn't support. And of course, heavy texters and e-mail enthusiasts, will like the full QWERTY keypad. I've had several iPhone owners tell me that they still carry around a BlackBerry for sending e-mails on the go, because they don't like the iPhone's virtual keyboard for typing longer messages.
The phone, which Nokia's marketing team calls a "mobile computer" also offers a whopping 32GB of storage on the device with the option of adding up to another 16GB of storage through a microSD card. And then there is the 5-megapixel camera, which also records DVD-quality video.… Read more
Some owners of Microsoft's Xbox 360 who have signed up to receive movies via Netflix's streaming movie service have seen the same loss of video quality as owners of Roku's Netflix Player.
A mysterious glitch has been hobbling video streams distributed by the two set-top boxes for at least two weeks, said a source close to Netflix on Thursday. The problem is the first setback for Netflix's streaming, which has won accolades since the $99 Roku box debuted last spring. Microsoft, LG Electronics, and Samsung followed with their own set-top boxes featuring Netflix's service. Microsoft … Read more
Back in September, we introduced you to Logitech's newest diNovo Keyboard for Notebooks. CNET's Rich Brown expressed confusion as to why we actually need a "for Notebooks" model, and after doing a full-length review, I must agree. There's absolutely nothing about the diNovo for Notebooks that makes it strictly for laptops. Well, there is one tiny little key: the eject button. Although, that can still be used for desktops, so I guess that designator means nothing- it's all marketing.
That's not to say that we didn't like the keyboard itself, though. It … Read more
It's just a rumor at this point, but the usual anonymous tipsters have told the Boy Genius Report that Apple is planning to sell a $99 iPhone at Wal-Mart. There's been some debate about whether this would be a good idea for Apple. One financial analyst ran the numbers and believes that Apple would double or triple sales while still maintaining very healthy margins of more than 40 percent. Other onlookers have noted that Apple does not typically play the low-cost high-volume game; it certainly made fools of any suckers who believed the $800 laptop rumor.
I'll … Read more
I've only been listening for a few minutes, but so far, it looks like Apple has delivered a worthwhile pair of headphones. They don't quite have the crisp, high frequency detail of the Etymotic HF2 headphones I had at my desk, but they blow away Apple's stock earbuds (not too difficult a feat) with a buttery low end and pleasant mids and highs.
We're happy to see … Read more