Monday, April 30, 2007

Ask your Representative to cosponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act!

The Internet Radio Equality Act (HR 2060) has been introduced in Congress by Representative Jay Inslee (D-WA). A simple phone call to your Representative to ask for their support on this Bill will go a long way toward ensuring your right to diversity and choice in web radio. Better yet, please write and fax to show how serious you are. They need to know how much we all care about the niche genres and unique content!


Click here for the number of your Representative. Call NOW!


Friday, April 27, 2007

MPAA Calls For Interoperability

MPAA head, Dan Glickman, speaks about the need for DRM interoperability…One of the most interesting items was the fact that Glickman said publicly that the industry supports "managed copying," a policy that allows users to take films “off a DVD” and watch it on a PC or portable device. That's pretty progressive thinking compared to the RIAA....

"Our goal is a diverse, high-quality, hassle-free consumer experience," he said, "one that makes the most effective case possible not merely for the legitimate consumer marketplace, but its vast superiority (over piracy)."

"My philosophy is that we can make interoperability and DRM work if all parties truly want to make it work," he said. "With this much brainpower at our disposal, it's a question of collective will far more than technological capacity."



Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Online Digital Music Store = [Circuit City + Napster]

Online music retailer Napster Inc. said Friday its teaming up with electronics retail chain Circuit City Stores to launch a new digital music service called Circuit City + Napster, which will offer some exclusive tracks on a weekly basis that are not available to regular Napster users. Unlimited access to the Co-Branded service will still cost $14.95 a month, but new subscribers will receive the first month of access free and five free song downloads (most likely with DRM). Individual song downloads can still be purchased for $.99 cents each. Prepaid download cards will also be available in-store and online in bundles of 15, 25 or 60 tracks. Signup for the service begins April 29.

“At least for now, the new service won't be tied to any specific digital music player sold at Circuit City, said Napster spokeswoman Becky Farina.”

This is all pretty predictable really, but it would be good to know how many co-branded Rhapsody players Sandisk actually sold as a result of their BestBuy deal…

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Nail In The Coffin For Internet Radio

Click HERE to read the 5 page U.S. Copyright Royalty Board order denying motions for rehearing. This is a sad day indeed and in a nutshell, this is the death of internet radio as we know it….(Apparently, admitting mistakes is hard even for judges J)

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Music Bundle We've All Been Waiting For

Michael Robertson has done it again. Apparently, he’s convinced some major labels and artists (i.e. Madonna, Prince, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Bloc Party, The Shins, and thousands more) to offer free mp3’s (encoded at 192kbps) with the purchase of a regular CD. Talk about added value! This is something I was actually pushing for back in 2003, but the dynamics of the industry would not allow it to happen at that time. Amazon was rumored to be working on it, but apparently their talks with the major labels never went anywhere. While I haven’t tried out the new service/store, I can only imagine that the album selection will grow quickly as the word spreads. The strategy is to sell the mp3 as an album and then charge roughly a $3 premium for the CD also….Finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, for the music industry to adapt a dying business model that can deliver more of what consumers truly want…..

Friday, April 06, 2007

Is Verizon's Unlimited Data Plan Really Unlimited?

NO!  According to a recent Wired Blog, the small print in the TOS for Verizon's unlimited EVDO Wireless Data Service:  "A person engaged in prohibited uses, continuously for one hour, could typically use 100 to 200 MB’s, or, if engaged in prohibited uses for 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, could use more than 5 GB’s in a month...Anyone using more than 5 GB per line in a given month is presumed to be using the service in a manner prohibited above, and we reserve the right to immediately terminate the service of any such person without notice."


So what does that mean to the average mobile user and traveler?  Basically, you can send email, you can browse the web -  but listening to internet radio, streaming video to a laptop, and downloading large files is not allowed - rendering the service much less useful than advertised with a 5GB maximum.  Therefore, “unlimited usage” is not what it seems….