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Alternatives to iTunes: how 5 rival music services match up | ZDNet May 19, 2010

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities, Mobile & Gadgets, Multimedia.
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How well do the current crop of online music services stack up against the iTunes Store?

When I did my inaugural round-up of iTunes alternative last year, I was looking for ways to avoid the high price of iTunes, and I succeeded. I found six rivals that offered significant savings—at least 10% and potentially much more. My criteria included services aimed at music lovers who want the option to buy music by the track or by the album. Several of the alternative services included interesting differentiating features, with the biggest being the all-you-can-listen-to subscription model.

I looked at three main factors: price, selection, and ease of use. To make price comparisons, I created a basket of 10 rock, folk, country, and classical albums, six recent releases and four back catalog choices from the previous century.

On price, iTunes was once again the most expensive, with the highest price for the collection. See the chart at right for details; the asterisk in the Cost column indicates that two of the five alternative services didn’t offer the entire selection of albums—Zune Marketplace was missing two and eMusic had only six of the ten albums on my list. To figure the total price tag for those two services. I calculated the cost of the missing albums using the prices from the iTunes store. Amazon MP3 and Lala offered significant savings over iTunes, with total savings of 11% and 20%, respectively. Rhapsody offered only trivial savings over Apple’s store, and the Zune prices were all over the map, with three albums costing more than their iTunes rivals.

Read the rest of this article via Alternatives to iTunes: how 5 rival music services match up | ZDNet.

P.S.: I’ll be back. China is behind me 😉

doubleTwist Partners With T-Mobile, Now Bundled On Some Android Phones January 25, 2010

Posted by andre in Mobile & Gadgets, Multimedia.
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Big news for doubleTwist, the iTunes alternative that allows you to manage media for hundreds of devices, including Android phones, the Palm Pre, and BlackBerry. Tomorrow, the company will announce that it has forged a partnership with T-Mobile, which is now promoting it as the supported way to sync media to its line of Android phones. As part of the deal, T-Mobile will begin displaying doubleTwist banners in their retail stores and on T-Mobile.com. And perhaps most important, doubleTwist will come pre-installed on some Android devices, including the new Fender/Eric Clapton myTouch 3G handset. […]

via Who Needs iTunes? doubleTwist Partners With T-Mobile, Now Bundled On Some Android Phones

Windows 7 Media Center gets Mediaroom support — Engadget January 7, 2010

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities, Multimedia.
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During the Microsoft keynote, Ballmer mentioned that customers of IPTV providers like AT&T U-Verse will be able to watch TV on Windows 7 PCs, but he glazed over the how. The how is Windows 7 Media Center — according to the press release that is available after the jump — and there’s no special hardware like a tuner required. The when wasn’t mentioned because it is dependent on the provider, but when they do upgrade to Mediaroom 2.0, Media Center fans will have access to all the same content as a set-top like HD and on-demand, which is something pretty cool.

via Windows 7 Media Center gets Mediaroom support — Engadget.

Rovi hooks cars up to home media collection November 12, 2009

Posted by andre in Internet & Communities, Mobile & Gadgets.
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A new ‘automotive solution’ has been announced which looks to bring all your home-entertainment needs to the humble car like never before.

Created by Rovi, provider of entertainment tech solutions, the company has come up with what it is calling Rovi’s Lasso. Essentially it’s a bundle of media recognition software that provides descriptive details on CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and digital files played in the car.

And not only that, the software can hook up to your home servers, “allows the transfer and sharing of digital content for enjoying on the go.”

The system uses DLNA / UPnP (which works with Windows 7 ‘Play To’) to sync the car to your AV setup. […]

via Rovi hooks cars up to home media collection | News | TechRadar UK