Universal Music Group, the largest of the four big music labels, has become the second major to offer DRM-free MP3 downloads.
Unlike EMI, the Universal deal is only a five-month trial, and the company hasn't announced any such deal with Apple--not surprising, given the two companies' recent history. In fact, nobody should see this as an act of kindness on Universal's part. Rather, … Read more
The Macalope read the headline Thursday that Universal would be offering DRM-free music but didn't realize until reading Daring Fireball's post on it this morning that it would only be offering its music DRM-free on stores other than iTunes. On iTunes, it will continue to offer only DRM-ed music.
John Gruber asks:
Um, Universal won't sell DRM-free music through iTunes because they don't like Apple's DRM? WTF? Am I even supposed to pretend this makes sense?
In typical, twisted recording industry logic it does make sense. What do customers want? They want the most convenient … Read more
Music widgets from iLike have been showing up on Facebook in the past few months, and other social bookmarking services for music have proven to be equally popular. Taking a page from this trend, Apple appears to have jumped into the game with a new set of customizable widgets that let you show off your musical tastes to everyone.
This release coincides with this week's debut of iLife '08, which, as we mentioned, includes an updated version of iWeb that's widget-friendly. Anyone can put these in their blog or Web site, assuming they've got an iTunes music store account and have been either purchasing or rating music tracks.
Below is an example from my test library. The widget in question is showing off my favorites. There are also widgets to show off your purchases, as well as any reviews you've written on the iTunes music store.
Update: Looks like this thing is having some kinks displaying information. Until it's been worked out, I've put it after the jump to speed things up on the front page. You can still find some workable examples on Apple's My iTunes page.
I usually get up in the mornings and go to my office and turn on my desktop CPU to check the day's news, my email, etc. But before I even turn on my desktop on a given morning, the iPhone, which sits atop my office desk, will now tell me if I have new email that has come in overnight. (Note: I have to leave my iPhone outside of my room because the GSM signal interferes with my iPod/JBL music dock's speakers, making that noise--you know that noise). Being aware that I got email overnight is nice, … Read more
Among last week's digital music news was the item that seminal hard rock band AC/DC has taken a tentative step on the information highway (as opposed to that other highway). AC/DC's deal with Verizon was notable because the band chose to bypass industry leader iTunes, and because the band is selling only complete albums (for $12 apiece--higher than the current price of their CDs on Amazon!) rather than individual singles. Another oddity: most of AC/DC's catalog will be not be downloadable over-the-air to Verizon phones; instead, users will have to download the albums to … Read more
Yossi Vardi, the guy who helped bring instant messaging to the world, is now trying to speed up video downloads.
Vardi is an investor in Haifa-based SpeedBit, which sells an application for speeding up downloads of games, videos and music. He claimed that by using the application, the download of a movie decreases from more than an hour to 22 minutes.
Downloading movies, of course, will get worse as high definition spreads. Some of these download services have received their share of customer complaints.
"It's the fastest growing application ever," he said, during a hallway conversation at … Read more
[This entry has been revised: I didn't read the MediaNet release carefully enough...they are offering DRM-less MP3s, not WMA files. Apologies to anybody whom I misled. My bad.]
Back in May, EMI--one of the big four record labels--agreed to sell its songs through Apple's iTunes without digital rights management (DRM) protection.
Before this move, iTunes and the iPod were technically linked: if you bought a song from iTunes, you could only play it on an iPod (unless you burned it to CD then re-ripped it into an unprotected format). Offering DRM-less downloads severed this link, allowing … Read more
After some discussion on last week's MacBreak Weekly, the Macalope decided to see if he had any new iTunes Plus tracks to download yesterday. Sure enough, there were three new songs, one of which was Dream Team by Spearhead.
Now, this is probably just an isolated mistake, but listening to his legally acquired DRM-free black power music, the pointy one's furry jaw hit the floor. As, while both the previous version and the "upgraded" version were marked "Explicit", the latter was decidedly not.Well after doin' that we be headin' for the … Read more