Longing for a really unique and luxury iPod again

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The Washington Post writes about the iPod and how with iTunes it holds nearly 70 percent of the market. When I bought my first (and only) iPod several years ago it was a luxury product. The iPod has kept key functions and design concepts while getting smaller thinner and more powerful.

ipodfamily.jpg

Even though the new iPods are without doubt the best designed portable music players on the market I feel that Apple has not provided as much innovation as I would have expected. The consistent attacks on developers providing software to transfer music from the iPod to your PC (yes computers do crash) and refusing to let iTunes transfer to anything else than an iPod is a real pain. I only own an iPod but I don’t like the way Apple is behaving at all !

ipod_both.jpgWhen you look at Macs, PowerPCs, iMacs etc there is a real innovative strength that is sometimes breathtaking in new models. With the iPod, there is far less innovative strength in my opinion. It must be said, with such an awesome initial design, it may well have rendered innovative ‘next steps’ far more difficult. But when you think that the iPod is now capable of showing videos why restrict users with such a tiny screen ?

Adding the ability to have the full length of the handheld as a screen would have been a nice touch. Hopefully Apple will be back from the drawing board soon with a new dazzling design that will again be a really unique and luxury item among portable media players.

Dylan’s Jokerman video Karaoke style

This is a blast from the past for me; we often used to listen to and sing along to this song and other Dylan songs in the car on family trips. I’d never seen a video to go along with it. With the words appearing on screen, it’s a nice version that may bring back memories for you too :)

Enjoy

Which Movie Online ?

TV Series and the Internet are getting on fine wouldn’t you say ? The music industry has been cornered into the position of accepting that systems like iTunes are actually working and working well. So why would the movie industry continue to dig its heals in about distributing films over the Internet ? You may think that the whole music industry versus the Internet fiasco was a lesson in itself but no it seems not !
A good article over at washingtonpost.com discusses the illogical behaviour of the movie industry and how hard companies like Apple and Amazon are working on changing this, bringing out boxes that will allow people to view downloaded films on their TVs…

It seems in the same way that book publishers are creating barriers in the online publishing industry to make traditional channels of distribution happy, the movie industry is similarly motivated to create barriers… When will they learn ?

Bob Dylan plays for Apple

Take a look at the recent advert for Apple’s iTunes & iPod, featuring Bob Dylan. The advert plays with the well known shadows concept commonly used in both iPod and iTunes ads, however each person in the ad like Dylan is recognisable regardless of the shadow effect…

Enjoy :)

AJAX Write and Sketch and Tunes

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ajax writeWell I just came across this AJAX based Word Processor system called ajaxWrite that can actually read and write MS Word documents and several other formats. It is AJAX based so it just works directly in your browser, it’s really cool !

 
 

But I then realised that this was just the tip of the iceberg. There is a ajaxSketch that can read and write SVG type documents and it all just works seamlessly as you can see from the screenshots in your web browser.
ajax sketch

I then clicked on ajaxTunes and this “is a web-based music player that lets you play high-quality streaming music straight from the Internet on any computer” Not only that but it seems to link to remotely stored music. It’s amazing !! I am impressed !
Oh and the first song that appeared ‘Breathe Me’ by Sia is also a sing I really like so these guys got everything right first time with me, bravo !

But as these guys are really good they have actually got the system working so you can add the code to your pages so I’m going to give it a try. My page will not validate anymore but it was already giving me CSS errors anyway so here goes :
Listen to Sia’s ‘Breathe Me’ right now !

Update : It works in FireFox, IE and Opera. Sia’s singing to me from my blog, this is great :)

When Apple open up iTunes I’ll buy

I’m waiting to spend my first Euro on Apple’s iTunes !

What for ?

Well I’m waiting for the French legislation to go through, that will stop them from selling in their proprietary format. That will allow me to listen to it with the mp3 software of my choice and on the mp3 player of my choice. I own an iPod and that’s it. But I am sick of not being able to play the music with or on what Apple have decided.
I pay, I choose.
I’m also sick of listening to wining idiots on poor quality tech sites that have no other comments than to crack jokes about the French. Weird that, since several other European countries started voicing the fact that they would also like this very large market player to stop taking advantage of its dominant position, they no longer know what to say or who to joke at !
Well there have been some serious articles written but they seem to have a different opinion, could it be the lack of intelligence involved with the other joke happy idiots ? The Apple business model is as always with Apple a closed model that combining factors has brought to the forefront but this may be the way forward for a more open model…

And the first song I’ll buy, will be Natalie Walker’s No One Else. The whole album may have come out by the time Apple have finally come to their senses !

Hey the proprietary formats are ridiculous anyway.

Update : Interesting article at Fortune magazine :

Gravier says technology companies fail to realize that opening their software could create a boom for online purchases, since millions more people would be able to play downloads, increasingly on their mobile phones. “When records came out, they said it would close concert halls,” Gravier notes. “But they are still there.”

As well as a very interesting article at the Interntational Herald Tribune :

“Europe has managed to shift the debate into a conflict between citizens and digital controls,” said Peter Brown, executive director of the Free Software Foundation, a group that opposes proprietary software. “This is great because the discussion has been limited to technology circles for too long.”

Une Notte A Napoli, Pink Martini

Pink Martini

If you enjoyed listening to the Pink Martini album below, Hang On Little Tomato, you may well find these links very interesting. Two recordings of Pink Martini in the KCRW studios, taken from the Hang on little tomato album :

There is also an interesting interview with Pink Martini. It’s nice to be able to put a face, or in this case faces to such a fantastic group and they all seem so enthusiastic about their music and the whole creation process, really a great interview here : KCRW Pink Martini interview.

I really enjoyed watching these, I hope you do to !

Pink Martini

Bush explains he has the Beatles on his iPod !

Bush explains he listens to the Beatles on his iPod. Now this most probably doesn’t sound much of a sensational piece of information does it ? The problem is that the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) professes that transferring a song from a CD to MP3 file ; ripping a song from a CD as they say, is illegal. The Beatles songs are only legally available in CD format and are not available anywhere on the Internet in digital file format like MP3 yet. So Will the RIAA take Bush to court ??

‘An apple cleft in two is not more twin than these two creatures’…

A quote from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night that seems to fit this very Shakespearean story of a war between two prestigious Apples…
On one side a music company called Apple Corps founded in 1968 by The Beatles and on the other a computer/software company called Apple Computer founded in 1976 that is now famous for it’s product the iPod but also iTunes both of which have brought Apple Computer to the forefront of the music industry’s attention.
However both companies came to an agreement in 1991 that prevented Apple (the computer one) from going into the music market. The issue seems to be with the selling of pre-recorded music. They have obviously not been able to come to some amicable agreement over this change of heart since Apple Corp has taken Apple Computer to court and a ruling is expected shortly…
Justice Edward Mann presiding over the case cut Apple Computer’s lawyer short when they were explaining how Apple software worked with an “I’ve got it and I use it”. Some articles I’ve read about this were curious as to why a recusal wasn’t requested !!?? Also the judge is supposed to have asked each party if they minded that he himself owned an iPod. Imagine nearly getting into trouble over owning an iPod !
Some interesting information that has come out concerning this trial is that the current boss of Apple Corps, Neil Aspinall, quotes Steve Jobs as having admitted to him that Apple Computer had been named after the record label.

Can you tell the difference between the two logos ? And do you need a photo to remember who the Beatles are ? ;)

But when considering the raw facts of the case “What you will” call the real motivation is neither romantic courtship between two famous Apples nor negotiations in disguise (rumours of negotiations of inclusion of The Beatles in iTunes) but rather about bringing the opponent to his knees in order to claim the bounty.

To come back to the title, money does seem to be the reason that prevails in this case. On the one hand it is difficult to uphold that one could mistake Apple the record label with Apple Computer especially with regards to the design of the logo. The dispute however seems mainly about the fact that the agreement was that Apple Computer would not use the Apple logo to sell music which is what they are now doing…

Update: In a Washinton Post article today (April 13, 2006) it has been confirmed that the Beatles are ready to ‘join the online Revolution’, well, as soon as they are ready; digitally remastered versions of their songs are being made at the moment. Aspinall, quoted in the WP article, from a court statement says :

I think it would be wrong to offer downloads of the old masters when I am making new masters

So Beatles fans like myslef will be able to get digital versions of our favourite songs, maybe from iTunes !? LOL ;)

Digital music outlook : device operability gains backers

The fact that Accenture is trying to jump on the bandwagon is not much of a surprise. They were there with a suggestion for the international passport and now suggesting a way to provide a useful product/service that isn’t just based on a short term objective of making the most money possible…
Although as usual Accenture engaged in scare tactics in order to convince the music industry “If these companies don’t make the decision in a timely fashion to adopt this model the consumer will make the decision for them”. Based on the music industry’s approach to digital music up until now, maybe they do need a bit of electroshock treatment to see the reality of general online music behaviour ?
Nearly all successful online music ventures have provided low costing easy to use systems to download music but as the controversy over iTunes in France has shown many users want to be able to play their music on more than just one device…