When AT&T (then Cingular Wireless) introduced its music service late last year we admired the carrier's model. Rather than creating its own music store, as Sprint and Verizon Wireless did, Cingular partnered with online music subscriptions services like Napster Mobile. To us, it seemed like a clean and a simple arrangement, even if you couldn't use Napster to download songs over the air.
Walkman fans rejoice--Sony Ericsson has just launched an absolute peach of a music phone called the W910i on the U.K. market. It's thin, it's light and it has one of the largest displays we've seen on a Walkman phone so far.
Better still, the W910i has HSDPA (3.5G), so you can download content and browse the Web at speeds of up to 1.8Mbps, and a Memory Stick Micro slot that will support up to 4GB of data.
But that's not all--the W910i has a few tricks still left up its sleeve, including a … Read more
Other than its first reported quarter of positive cash flow, Napster has enjoyed a relatively unremarkable year--at least on the surface. It is now apparent, however, that plenty of tinkering has been going on in the background.
The company on Tuesday announced a fairly significant redesign to its music service and software. The new Napster, version 4, is lighter and a bit simpler--and it definitely appears to take some cues from RealNetworks' Rhapsody.
Of particular note are the launch of a Web-based version of the service, which will enable Mac and Linux users to join in the fun, and the … Read more
This report was updated midday to reflect that Apple has confirmed the DRM-free iTunes price drop.
Apple has dropped the price of its iTunes Plus songs that have no digital rights management (DRM) software protection and allow owners to move song files freely from one device to another.
The 256kbps DRM-free song files were originally priced at $1.29 per song with a lower per-song average price for buying an entire album. iTunes now seems to be offering the same files for 99 cents per song, the same price it charges for its usual 128kbps DRM versions.
"iTunes Plus … Read more
NEW YORK--You've got to hand it to RealNetworks' Rhapsody. The subscription music service is pulling out all the stops to increase its market share--partnering with TiVo, entering a lofty deal with MTV Networks--and even if it hasn't been able to dent Apple's iTunes, Rhapsody hasn't been making itself look stupid in the process.
In fact, if the company's "Rhapsody Rocks NYC" concert here Monday night was any indicator, music aficionados are taking the company seriously.
Hordes of musicians, industry insiders, and audiophiles are in the process of descending upon New York for this year's CMJ Music Marathon, the annual five-day event held by music publishing company College Music Journal. The 2007 edition, which starts on Tuesday, features over 1,000 bands and artists--mostly independent, but with a few popular names like Spoon, Coheed & Cambria, and '90s veterans the Meat Puppets--at several dozen venues around the city.
There are also a seemingly endless number of panels to attend, from "Pocket Jockin': Mobile Music and the Future of Distribution" to "Booze, Boobs … Read more
Recently, Power Downloader received an e-mail from a contact in Spain who worked as a well-liked bellhop for a large hotel in the coastal city of Valencia. What the hotel management didn't know was that their trusted bellhop was secretly highly skilled in wiretapping and the use of parabolic microphones, which is why Power Downloader kept him in his list of contacts. Immediately interested, Power turned off his MP3 player and read further.… Read more
There's a fascinating story in the upcoming Business Week about a new business idea being floated by Universal Music chief Doug Morris. Universal would offer some portion of its catalog under a new service tentatively named Total Music. Users would buy Total Music-enabled devices, and get access to this music for free. No per-download charges, no monthly subscription fee, no advertising. Apparently, Sony and Warner have signed on to the idea, which would give Total Music access to the catalogs of three out of four majors.
The labels and artists and copyright holders have to make money somehow, right? … Read more