April 2, 2007

DRM-Free Music on the iTunes Store

Filed under: apple,Internet, eh?,rock — sparkrobot @ 10:18 am

Wow. Game on.

Apple Unveils Higher Quality DRM-Free Music on the iTunes Store

February 6, 2007

Jobs on iPods

Filed under: apple,rock — sparkrobot @ 7:13 pm

Interesting. Steve Jobs – Thoughts on Music posted to the Apple website. An excerpt:

Some have argued that once a consumer purchases a body of music from one of the proprietary music stores, they are forever locked into only using music players from that one company. Or, if they buy a specific player, they are locked into buying music only from that company’s music store. Is this true? Let’s look at the data for iPods and the iTunes store – they are the industry’s most popular products and we have accurate data for them. Through the end of 2006, customers purchased a total of 90 million iPods and 2 billion songs from the iTunes store. On average, that’s 22 songs purchased from the iTunes store for each iPod ever sold.

Today’s most popular iPod holds 1000 songs, and research tells us that the average iPod is nearly full. This means that only 22 out of 1000 songs, or under 3% of the music on the average iPod, is purchased from the iTunes store and protected with a DRM. The remaining 97% of the music is unprotected and playable on any player that can play the open formats. Its hard to believe that just 3% of the music on the average iPod is enough to lock users into buying only iPods in the future. And since 97% of the music on the average iPod was not purchased from the iTunes store, iPod users are clearly not locked into the iTunes store to acquire their music.

He later implies it’s up to the major labels to make the move. Checkmate.

February 19, 2006


Filed under: apple,design — sparkrobot @ 3:44 pm

I’ve just discovered a slick application launching tool for the Mac. The developer’s site claims “Namely is possibly the fastest way to open applications.” Hmm. That is possible. Previously, I’d been using the dock as it’s intended – to store aliases that invoke applications to run. Using this method however, I found my dock was getting super-cluttered. Using Namely, I’m able to keep core apps in the dock, but ditch icons I use all the time. If I need to get a phone number, I hit the hot-key combo and type in Address Book and hit enter. Bang. There’s my stuff. When I’m done with it, it’s out of my way. It’s a very similar workflow to searching a Mac with Spotlight. Nice work Amar.

October 13, 2005

Big Apple Day

Filed under: apple — sparkrobot @ 12:40 am

Apple made some pretty big announcements today with a new video iPod and an updated iMac and iTunes 6.

September 9, 2005

Sony’s new Walkman

Filed under: apple,design — sparkrobot @ 2:44 pm

Sony’s got something here. The recently announced Walkman is a well-designed product packing some of the features that seem to make the iPod such a phenomenal pop culture hit: a compact form factor, alluring industrial design, simple easy-to-use hui and enough storage space to carry around all your music… But am I missing something here, or besides the fact that it’s purple, doesn’t it looks almost exactly like the iPod?

Sony Walkman, image from news.com

Everyone’s looking for the next “iPod killer”. So far not even Sony – with the added cachet of being a modern superbrand (just like Apple) – has found a way to do it.

I think this might be a step in the right direction for competition. Instead of trying to kill the 800 pound gorilla, they’ll simply dress him up for dinner. However, in the wake of the annoucement that Apple’s got a new nano member in the iPod family, they’ll probably not get much ragtime for it. And although they’ll not make much history with it, they’re absolutely certain to make a few bucks.

There’s also something that’s fundamentally missing here: “It’s the software, stupid.“.

August 3, 2005

one mouse, many buttons

Filed under: apple — sparkrobot @ 12:52 pm

Ars Technica reviews Apple’s new multibutton mouse released yesterday. Interesting times at Apple it seems. Intel? Multi-button mice? Have we just been drinking the kool-aid all these years?

My take: I’ll wait until this mouse shakes its tail and comes bundled with new equipment. For now, the $24 Logitech MX 310 Optical Mouse is just hummin’ along.