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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 😉

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Download DRM-Free Music on Your Android Phone with Mewbox | AndroidGuys December 11, 2009

Posted by hruf in Mobile & Gadgets, Multimedia.
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Feature

Music download service Mewbox was recently launched for Android smart phones and the Android-powered Archos 5 Internet Tablet. Mewbox is offering around 4 million tracks from over 23,000 labels. All music available via this service is DRM-free, meaning you can move it to and from whatever device you like.

3-150x150As of this moment, you cannot download Mewbox from the Android Market – users must download it from their site. Having downloaded the application on my own, I can tell you that the user interface is extremely attractive and very slick.  I should also note that the site includes a very thorough set of directions on how to use the application which I found to be very useful.

via Download DRM-Free Music on Your Android Phone with Mewbox | AndroidGuys.

Sky Songs service ‘will rival iTunes’ – Telegraph October 12, 2009

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Sky Songs is the first Internet Service Provider to sign deals with the four major music labels, in a bid to lure music fans away from iTunes and Spotify.

After lengthy delays, the satellite broadcaster has signed deals with music suppliers EMI, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music, as well as a number of independents including The Beggars Group and PIAS Entertainment Group, which represents more than 100 independent labels and digital distributor The Orchard.

Sky Songs, which will be a subscription-based model, will charge users a fee each month to get access to song downloads. Sky hopes that this will attract customers away from Apple’s iTunes, which is based on track-by-track purchasing.

However, there will be no advertiser-funded element such as that used by Spotify, the website that provides free access to music but plays advertisements too. Although Spotify has been praised for discouraging consumers from illegal downloading, there has been concern over whether the website can generate enough advertising revenue to pay for its music.

The launch of another legitimate music service will be welcomed by artists and managers who are struggling to combat piracy.

Eric Daugan, of Warner Music Europe, said: “[Sky Songs] will offer access to unlimited music as well as premium fan-oriented content, whilst ensuring our roster of artists are appropriately rewarded for their creativity.”

The Government has promised measures to combat illegal file-sharing. Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, recently proposed powers that could suspend the internet accounts of repeat offenders. Each year, about 7.5m computer users in Britain and Ireland download tracks illegally. In recent weeks, many artists including Lily Allen and managers such as Paul Loasby, who manages David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, have spoken out in favour of the proposals.

However, the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), which represents acts such as Radiohead and Blur, said last month that it “vehemently opposes” plans to switch off file sharers’ internet connections. The FAC claimed that that despite the damage that file-sharing does to sales of their records, it can also encourage people to buy concert tickets and merchandise.

via Sky Songs service ‘will rival iTunes’ – Telegraph.

DRM is Dead, RIAA Says (for Music) July 20, 2009

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For years the RIAA has defended the use of DRM, much to the dislike of millions of honest customers who actually paid for their music. Now, in a shocking turnaround, the outfit seems to have come to the realization that DRM does more harm than good and has officially declared its death.

via DRM is Dead, RIAA Says | TorrentFreak.

Music In The Cloud Comes To Your Desktop July 6, 2009

Posted by Matthias Kiefer in Internet & Communities, Multimedia.
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blueTunes, a streaming music site that lets you stream your music library from the cloud to any computer, is launching a new desktop app tonight that looks to make the service an even more compelling alternative to other online music sites and possibly even iTunes.

For those who aren’t familiar with the service, blueTunes lets you scan your hard drive for music files and upload them to the site’s servers, which you can then stream from wherever you are. This process would take a very long time (and quite a bit of bandwidth) were it not for a shortcut the site is employing: while you still have to prove that you own your music (the site uses a Java app to check through you music folders), the site only makes you upload songs that aren’t already in its database. In other words, unless you’ve got a really eclectic collection, you’ll be able to transfer your library to the cloud without having to move many files.

[…]

Another music site that also lets you stream your music library from the cloud is Lala, which we’ve been following pretty closely since the service’s relaunch last year. As with blueTunes, Lala only makes you upload songs that aren’t already in its library, and Lala also has the benefit of deals with all the major record labels, so it doesn’t have to worry about any potential legal troubles.

via blueTunes: Music In The Cloud Comes To Your Desktop.

First Look: Lala’s iPhone App Will Stream Your Music Library From The Cloud March 30, 2009

Posted by andre in Internet & Communities.
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Online music may be a treacherous space right now, but there are still a handful of music startups that may be coming close to getting it right. One of our favorites is Lala, a streaming music site that allows users to put their digital music library in the cloud, which can then be accessed from any computer. And soon, they’ll be able to access every song they own from their iPhones too, without having to worry about storage capacity or syncing. […]

via First Look: Lala’s iPhone App Will Stream Your Music Library From The Cloud

mufin – Media player finds similar music by rhythm, tempo and instruments February 27, 2009

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Mufin stands for music finder, and it’s your personal music discovery engine for helping you find, listen to, and discover music online! Mufin has millions of tracks and counting ready for you to explore!

The difference from other music recommendation services is the use of a sound-based approach to create musical suggestions. The basis for this is the further development of musical fingerprinting technology created by the world-famous Fraunhofer Institute. But what does “sound-based” really mean?

Mufin knows around 40 individual musical properties like rhythm, tempo, and instruments for each of the songs stored in its database. When mufin claims that songs are similar to each other, this means that they have similar musical properties – leading to the songs sounding similar and enabling you to discover new music by sound. […]

via mufin – Tour – See how music discovery works with your music discovery engine

The Filter raises more money so it can recommend more content February 19, 2009

Posted by andre in Internet & Communities, Multimedia.
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[…] The Filter started out as a downloadable plugin for music players that recommended music based on your existing music library. Today, its web site presents a graphics-heavy interface that lets you search and sort for recommendations based on the genres of music and movies you’ve already identified (see screenshot). The company has also cut licensing deals with Nokia for the handset manufacturer’s music store, for Microsoft Music and for club/music brand Ministry of Sound. […]

via The Filter raises more money so it can recommend more content » VentureBeat