It's the digital equivalent of the first few cracks in the Berlin Wall: soon EMI will be offering the bulk of its music catalog free of DRM restrictions. Steve Jobs was on hand at the press conference to enthusiastically endorse the idea--he did, famously, suggest as much in an open letter just a few short weeks ago. But is Apple simply fashioning its own hangman's noose? If the other major record companies follow suit, the one big advantage of the entire Apple "digital ecosystem"--iTunes, the iPod, and Apple TV--essentially becomes null and void. Jobs says Apple's superior design will keep the company's software and hardware at the top of the must-have list for digital media. For the iPod, maybe--but for the just-launched Apple TV, the answer isn't as straightforward. … Read more
The player holds up to 256MB of songs, and is battery-powered so that you won't need to worry about frying yourself in the tub. Its stand lets you listen to the player in unfloating mode, and the song-loading process is handled by a USB connection to your PC--when it's out of the tub, of course.
On the … Read more
Everyone loves big, round numbers, so when Download.com Music published its 100,000th song recently, we were quick to break out the champagne. Yeah, we admit it, we're suckers for celebrations. Still, there's no question that's a lot of songs--enough to push any iPod (or any sane music fan, for that matter) past its breaking point.
So with a landmark number like that behind us, we were curious: who was the musician who put us over the edge? None other than LA artist Gray Kid. He has a fresh, catchy sound that mixes space-age effects … Read more
Mog, the music recommendation tool and social network left beta this morning and launched a new video channel called Mog TV. The video service scans your music library and offers YouTube music videos that it thinks you'll like. There's also a kitschy feature called "The Magic Button" that can randomly bring up content related to your musical tastes. The button has been placed site-wide, and can be found on user profiles, Mog TV, and artist pages. The only bummer here is the need to install the Mog-o-matic software on your machine for access to personalized recommendations, … Read more
Beyond showing its slick new cell phones at CTIA, Kyocera also demonstrated its new Bluetooth Music Gateway. This nifty device receives music from any stereo Bluetooth phone or device and then transfers the tunes to your home stereo via a standard RCA cable. You can see it here with the Kyocera E5000 music phone. Though not the first such device on the market, it still caught our eye due to its compact design and simple, easy-to-use functionality. It's also reasonably priced at $79.99. Look for a full review from CNET in the next couple weeks.
The company also … Read more
Last night at Pepcom in Orlando, Nokia demoed Real's recently-released version of Rhapsody for the N800 Internet Tablet. Or at least that was the plan: as I'm not actually at CTIA, I can't confirm that the demo ever really happened. What is certain, however, is that N800 owners who also subscribe to Rhapsody will now have direct access to the music service on their tablets (as long as there is a Wi-Fi connection available at the time). Users can search the entire Rhapsody catalog, browse their libraries, listen to playlists and Channels, and read editorial commentary--pretty much … Read more
In addition to unveiling its new UpStage phone Sprint announced today that it would lower over-the-air downloads from the Sprint Music Store from $2.50 per track to just $0.99. The new price will apply to all songs from the store and will go into effect in early April, the same time the UpStage formally hits stores (Sprint did not announce an official day). And yes, that wireless download includes a simultaneous download to your PC. The price drop is more than welcome, and we think it's no coincidence that it puts the carrier's music store on … Read more
Sprint kicked off CTIA 2007 today by unveiling the Samsung UpStage, the first U.S. version of the cell phone with the split personality, the Samsung Ultra Music. In an event designed to, ahem, upstage the competition, Sprint said the UpStage (aka the Samsung SPH-M620) would go on sale for $149 with a two-year contract, scheduled for the first week of April. The UpStage features a unique and innovative dual-sided design that successfully integrates a cell phone and an MP3 player into one device. It has its quirks to be sure but on the whole it's a sleek, satisfying … Read more
Leave it to the Museum of Modern Art's store to sell a product like this. The "Music Mug" might look like something you'd drink out of, but please don't. It's actually a speaker for portable music players, which the MoMA Store touts as "a new interpretation as the desktop coffee cup." Plug the cord into the headphone jack, drop your iPod, Zen, Zune, or what-have-you into the ceramic cup, and it'll play. Unfortunately, it doesn't charge it in the process. It's $42.
Cute, I guess. Um, next?
Don't tell Boss Hogg, but Waylon Jennings has gone platinum again. His song "Theme from the Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys)," is the first country music ringtone to reach the 1 million mark, according to Country Music Television. Jennings' song went platinum in the "Master Ringtone" category, meaning it uses the original recording as opposed to a synthesized version.