Amazon’s MP3 Service has been launched in its Beta from in the US – you can see the press statement here. The pricing looks very competitive and its MP3 so both DRM free and will load onto just about any personal player you could imagine. The last finger up at Apple is the fact that they’ve got Universal signed up as well. I think Steve Jobs might have to keep a close eye on his tail feathers, I think this could hurt iTunes.
Only downside – no indication of the UK version of the store yet.
In a strange twist to the tale of legal battles with Pirate Bay, as a result of a leak of emails from anti-piracy company Media Defender, Pirate Bay are seeking to have criminal case against a number of major record labels. The leaked emails showed that they have been using illegal actions to disrupt Pirate Bay including Denial Of Service attacks, spamming and hacking.
We’ve seen the reports of the RIAA on behalf of the record companies playing fast and lose, using its size and clout intimidate people – but it would seem that these organisations feel that it is acceptable for them to break the law, but not others.
More on the story can be found at Digital Music News.
My house wide music solution at home has been achieved with a couple of Slim Devices’ Squeezeboxes (in different versions). As the server can stream audio and has a web interface it is a perfect tool for using with my Nokia N770 as the latest update(s)/installation comes with a skin suited the the Nokia’s screen as you can see. The Slim Devices community wiki (here) gives you the simple steps on how to set your N770 up to access the page leaving your normal browser views unaffected.
You can go one step further as the Internet Tablet is capable of playing audio streams it is possible to connect the N770 to the Slim Server – so you control and listen from the same device. The information on picking up the audio stream is a little more complicated but only marginally so.
Having joined many other geeks by becoming the happy owner of a N770 (or N800 if you got lots of free dosh) one of the questions that people have wanted to know is how to access their PC using the tablet. The solutions I’ve found cover using Samba/CIFS and hacking into the tablet’s OS and creating mount points. The problem with this in my mind is that creating mount points is a fair bit of fiddling around and specific to a single host.
There is definitely one simpler solution, albeit with a couple of limitations. As the basic browser can handle FTP, I’ve simply installed FileZilla (Server) and shared my PC’s root directory. As long as your network is safe you can share the without any passwords etc. It can be setup to quietly sit in the background as a service. If your root directory is too much you could just select which folders to make available. Then just point your opera browser to FTP://<yourIP> and Bob’s your Uncle as they say.
The only down side I’ve found is the handling of spaces in filenames. Filezilla escapes them with %20 – but when you try to access the file it can’t find it. There are several applications out there that can solve this problem (an example here). Filezilla looks good to me as it doesn’t seem to consume much in the way of resources. For other platforms you would need to get a different Server as FileZilla Server is windows only.
The other option that is open to Windows XP Pro and Windows Server users have that I’m looking at trying is setting up IIS which is free with these versions of Windows. However this approach does mean that you’ll also need to get Minimo (the Mozilla port for Maemo) as IIS tries to authenticate in a way that Opera is unable to support. Once you’ve got Minimo then you just need to configure IIS to share certain folders, and then Bob is still your Uncle.
Radiohead have finally surrendered to digital downloads, allowing the Digital7 service to provide MP3s (with decent quality at 320k) of their albums along with B sides and rarities. The best thing, is that Radiohead have recognised the fact that such a service doesn’t carry the costs of distribution and manufacture of jewel cases, inlay cards etc so have priced the album downloads at £6.99 (~$14). More about this story can be found here.
This bit of news does raise an interesting opportunity, with artists releasing on one site and not another (unlike record shops where store loyalty doesn’t really exist) is there a case for a search service which can find which sites are selling music for an artist you’re interested in and whether the site includes DRM, iPod/Zune compatibility and so on.
Gomez have announced that they’re about to head back into the studio to start recording their next album which is expected to be released in the middle of 2008.
In the meantime Ian Ball has recorded and will be releasing a solo album called ‘Who Goes There’. It has a US release date, but frustratingly for the UK no date – sad given its a British artist!
For more information see the Gomez site : http://www.gomeztheband.com
Yes, I’ve joined the N770 Internet tablet brigade. I have to admit I like the inherent connectivity aspect of it, not to mention the large screen and the ease to dual purpose it as a sat nav.
One of the first things I’ve done is to install Pidgin (formerly GAIM) onto the device, a piece of pie if you follow the instructions at – http://pidgin.garage.maemo.org/.
Although when using the on screen keyboard the amount of screen real estate available to seeing the messages isn’t huge. But the ability to use MSN (or any other IM protocol as Pidgin is a cross protocol solution) anywhere around the house (or with wireless access for that matter) is a great advantage.