Sunday, July 24, 2005
Looks like Linksys is getting more serious about the networked entertainment device space....
Friday, July 22, 2005
Great for the consumer, but I'm sure that neither Microsoft nor the mobile carriers are too pleased about this. Microsoft wants the handset manufacturers to license their DRM, and the carriers don't want you to be able to buy music without them in the loop. Let the mayhem begin!
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Essentially, by using an old travel mug and a 20 cent "L" bracket that I had laying around, I hacked together this solution. The bent "L" bracket slides into the Zen Micro's case on one end, and into the "sip hole" of the coffee mug at the other.
The good news is that it is secure, the right height with adjustable angle (just spin the mug so either the driver or passenger can easily read) and best of all, a place to store my player when I park. Hopefully, this will keep any potential thieves from breaking in (unless someone is just dying for what looks like a cup of stale coffee). I'm thinking about trying to run the wires (mini-jack to cassette adapter and cigarette lighter to mini-USB charger) through the bottom to clean it up a little. The bad news... that mug won't ever see coffee again.
Sweet. I certainly can't take credit for this, but it is nice to work on something that gets recognized by the industry. Check the competition out:
From Interactive TV Today :
The nominees for the Emmy for Non-Program Specific Enhanced or Interactive Television for a Channel, Network or Service are:
- AOL Music On Demand (Zetools / Time Warner Cable)
- The DirecTV Interactive Service (DirecTV)
- iO Interactive Optimum Digital Cable Service (Cablevision Systems Corporation)
- Reuters Interactive TV Channel (Reuters)
- Sesame Street Games (Sesame Workshop)
The ITV Emmys will be presented at the Creative Arts Awards Ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles on September 11th. The Academy has upgraded the status of its ITV Emmys this year: the award decisions of the Interactive Media Peer Group are no longer subject to ratification by the Academy's board, and all recipients will receive Emmy statuettes; previously, it was up to the board to decide whether each recipient would receive a statuette or a simple plaque.
In short, Cringely says he thinks that Clickstar will power an iTunes Movie Service with Intel providing the support for a device ecosystem that can access the content from living room and mobile devices. Could be, but I think the mobile DRM issue is non-trivial and unless Intel has solved the portable tether subscription issues that Microsoft has already tackled with "Janus", then I'm not sure how they plan to "rent" first-run movie content. Maybe the consumers would only have a "purchase" movie option?
Keep an eye on this one...
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Good news. The more Janus devices the better. What is more exciting is the thought of NormSoft's Janus compatible player (Pocket Tunes 3.1) running on the new Treo. I'm not sure if any of the existing Treo's (or upcoming) have a secure clock, which is a requirement for Janus, but I would think that they should...
I had heard the rumors that MySpace was a prime acquistion target, but I would have not guessed that Fox would be the suitor. I'm as big a fan of MySpace as most, but I've got to say that I think $580 Million is more than a little steep for a site and service that can be duplicated fairly easily. Granted, they are buying mulitple properties and established eyeballs, but if MySpace can build that kind of traffic as a small independent company with little to no marketing budget (at first), than others should be able to do the same.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Nice. Say an early "hello" to the first Media Center Extender device that will hit critical mass. Now all Microsoft has to do is include Media Center functionality in the baseline Windows "Longhorn" Home Edition.
Here is a quote from Jobs' published by SeattlePI last year regarding the Video iPod rumors...
Responded Jobs: "You know one of the things that I say around Apple, I paraphrase Bill Clinton when he was running long ago, when he said, 'It's the economy stupid.' I say, 'It's the music, stupid.' We have to stay focused on the fact that people are buying these devices to listen to music. ... People love listening to music as a background activity when they're exercising, when they're commuting and when they're just hanging out. Music is a wonderful thing because A, it's music, and B, because it can be listened to as a background activity. And a lot of these other things that people are talking about building in, such as video and things like that, are foreground activities. You can't drive a car when you're watching a movie. You know? It's really hard. So we really are very focused on music because that's what we think the revolution is here."
This is exactly why I don't believe any of the latest feigned disinterest from Jobs' regarding a subscription music service. As he has a history of doing, I believe he will continue to spout "people don't want it" until he is ready to launch. Then he will position himself as the creator of all that is good and holy and grant the world the power to subscribe to a music service. Ugh.
Friday, July 15, 2005
Most podcatching clients seem to have settings that allow you to specify how many files/podcasts to download, how long to keep them, maximium size allowed, etc. Once I find some copyright-free material to tag, I will let you know and you guys should be able to easily subscribe to my "channel".
UPDATE: My podcast feed is available here.... http://del.icio.us/rss/tag/system:media:audio+jherskowitzpodcast
Thursday, July 14, 2005
The labels speak... file sharing bad, streaming audio blogs of the same content...good.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
These iMesh and Snocap P2P deals are interesting, in that it creates an open trading post for unsigned artists and small indies to get there stuff out there, but without a compelling discovery/recomendations engine I don't think it is going to help the average user much. The good news for these companies is that they may be able to get thousands of small artists advertising their solution.... "look for us on iMesh!".
Hey, this looks like a pretty sweet deal. I was thinking about upgrading anyways, and this may be just what the doctor ordered. All I have to do is get myself to the post office and let Netgear borrow $100 for 4 months...
Friday, July 08, 2005
It's no secret that the latest iTunes release (4.9) is riddled with references of phone support, such as:
- Eject mobile phone.
- iPod Phone Prefs
- iPod>Phone>iTunes Setup
- Phone>Updating contacts
- The name of my mobile phone is:__
- The mobile phone cannot be ejected because it contains files that are in use by another application.
- Set Up Your Mobile Phone
- Automatically choose songs for my mobile phone
- iTunes will automatically fill your mobile phone with a random selection of songs from your library. You may fill your mobile phone with a different selection of songs by pressing Autofill in the mobile phone playlist.
- No mobile phone connected.
- Open iTunes when this mobile phone is attached.
I'm going to have to keep my eyes and ears open on this. This is one of the more industry rumors I've heard in a while.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
I agree with Motley Fool's Rick Aristotle Munarriz on the point above, but I beleive that he is of course missing one major player... AOL. You may say I'm biased (and I am), but with AOL still glowing the Live8 broadcast triumph and introduction of an industry benchmark Video Search service, AOL is quickly recasting themselves as THE company to watch.
According to the story, Target thinks there niche in the market is appealing to mothers who purchase music for their families. I applaud the fact that Target's marketing muscle will help educate consumers on the benefits of subscription music service, but ultimately I don't Target is going to make much of an impact (at least for the first few years). Walmart is having the same problem...
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
I'll be very excited to see what the on-demand video usage numbers look like at the end of 6 week window that AOL has for delivering the concert footage...
An insightful article into the disaster that is known as Sony Connect...
What's that? You missed it? Have no fear, you can go and check out the whole thing on-demand at AOLmusic.com. Congratulations to everyone at AOL that made this a success.
This quote from David Bauer (AP), sums it up quite nicely... "Television seemed shockingly old-fashioned in how it followed Saturday's worldwide concert for poverty relief. AOL's coverage was so superior, it may one day be seen as a historical marker in drawing people to computers instead of TV screens for big events."
Friday, July 01, 2005
This story made me sit up and scratch my head. The battle for the living room is going to be a bloody one, and it looks like Microsoft is trying to build a Coallition of the Willing. If this actually happens, it would make Microsoft's Media Center Extender functionality the de facto standard for in-home media networking (thereby ensuring Windows role as the center of the digital media universe).