I just “stole” this image from Gizmodo that is commenting live on the Apple event. The new iPod nano looks A LOT like the first 2 generations. The third generation was clearly the dark sheep with regards to the design and I have to admit… I’m pleased they went back to the original design, it’s much better, IMHO.
Apple Stokes a Digital Music Standards War
A very good article on BusinessWeek about Apple, DRM, Microsoft and iPod. http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/apr2007/tc20070404_499334.htm
What if Google entered the Music downloads biz?
I found a very interesting article on Blog Maverick. The blog, in case you did not know, is maintained by Mark Cuban, the owner of the basketball team and a number of companies related to internet (read more on Wikipedia at the link above).
The post is entitled Googlenomics , Itunes and Zune and describes a few reasons why Google might enter the Music downloads business, how much it would cost and what it could bring to them.
It makes some sense, but I don’t think it’s going to happen, or at least not as it is described. I can hardly believe that the music labels would be happy to give away the music for free. The first billion songs for free is A LOT and would cost them A LOT (Mark says about 575M USD). That would mean a really low price per song and the music labels are already fighting with Apple to raise the 99c per song.
While Google and Apple are friends, I doubt the service would be compatible with the iPod and Google and Microsoft are not so much friends, so I hardly think it’ll be compatible with Zune. What’s left? Something that maybe is not in Mark Cuban’s article, you home-media-center. An all-in-one tiny computer (as big as your VCR) that connects to internet, lets you watch TV shows, listen to music and read news online. Wouldn’t that make more sense for Google?
3 music store
While browsing on 3’s site in UK I noticed a nice banner that invites the visitors to enter a new online shop.
3MusicStore is now open and already has 500,000 titles. What is so interesting? Is that the site sells everything for 99p, about 1.4 Euro. It’s a little bit higher than services such as iTunes, that sells songs for 99 eurocent (and 79p in UK), but 3MusicStore adds something. Something that seems very interesting to me. All songs purchased on the site can be downloaded both on the mobile phone AND on the PC. This service clearly opens the gates to MP3 phones such as the latest Sony Ericsson devices (W810i, W850i, W950i, etc).
So how is this different from iTunes? Well, I have it on my phone, I can be on the move, hear a song I like on the radio, open the site on my phone and buy it.
Later I will go home and also download it on my PC.
This is certainly a big hit in the iTunes+iPod concept that Apple has. Sony Ericsson is certainly scoring a point here.
I wonder if the iPhone will turn into reality and if Apple will sign a deal with 3. Wouldn’t it be a perfect couple?
On the other side, Italy shows that while we are ahead on the TV matters, we’re behind about music. 3 in Italy offers a service that only shares the name, 3MusicStore, unfortunately songs cost 2.5 Euro each and videoclips cost 3 Euro each. Dual-download (phone and PC) is not available. There are selected songs that cost only 1 Euro, but it’s a limited offer for a limited time (this week there are 8 songs from Jamiroquai). Hopefully the Italian site will soon follow the UK path!