Amazon STB Expected to Be a Dongle That Also Streams Games

The long-rumored Amazon set-top box, an expected rival to Roku and Apple TV, is reportedly going to be produced by Lab126 and take the form of a dongle or stick similar to Google’s Chromecast. Amazon’s device could also compete with game consoles such as the Xbox and PlayStation, as it is expected to support streaming for full PC game titles. Streaming games could provide Amazon with a competitive advantage over rivals in the STB space and, if bundled as an Amazon Prime member benefit, could help justify its subscription cost increase. Continue reading Amazon STB Expected to Be a Dongle That Also Streams Games

Amazon Prime Bumped to $99, Retailer Considers Music Service

Insiders say that Amazon is hoping to introduce an on-demand music-streaming service for its growing number of Amazon Prime customers. While the company has negotiated with record companies and music publishers in regards to licensing, financial terms are said to remain an obstacle. The music service is expected to be one of several new possible features the company may bundle with Prime as it raises the annual membership fee from $79 to as much as $119. Amazon already announced a $20 increase to take effect in April. Continue reading Amazon Prime Bumped to $99, Retailer Considers Music Service

SXSW: Neil Young Launches Kickstarter Campaign for PonoMusic

Legendary musician Neil Young, the featured speaker on the eve of South by Southwest Music, introduced PonoMusic, his new high resolution audio ecosystem, to a capacity crowd in Austin, Texas. Only four hours earlier, he launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, which raised more than 50 percent of its fundraising goal before he appeared onstage. The mission of PonoMusic is to bring the highest-quality music to discerning consumers who want to experience music the way the artists intended. Continue reading SXSW: Neil Young Launches Kickstarter Campaign for PonoMusic

New Search Engine Gets Its Streaming Music from Live Radio

What if every radio station was searchable and you could look up a song you wanted to listen to, pick one of the stations it was currently playing on, and listen? Radio Search Engine, a new venture by entrepreneur Michael Robertson, allows just that. The site indexes around 40,000 radio stations in real-time and allows users to tune in from the Web. Currently in beta mode, Radio Search Engine essentially turns thousands of radio stations into a searchable music jukebox. Continue reading New Search Engine Gets Its Streaming Music from Live Radio

Aereo Not Opposing Broadcasters’ Pursuit of Judicial Review

In the ongoing battle against broadcasters, Chet Kanojia, head of cloud-based DVR company Aereo said in a statement the company would “not oppose the broadcasters’ petition for certiorari before the United States Supreme Court.” If the Court decides to hear the case in 2014, Aereo could possibly benefit from freed-up resources to expand nationwide. As is, broadcasters’ stand on cloud-based services by Google, Amazon and Apple could threaten those services’ very existence. Continue reading Aereo Not Opposing Broadcasters’ Pursuit of Judicial Review

Pono Music Player Takes on Problems of Compressed Audio

New details have emerged on the Pono music player, musician Neil Young’s music device that intends to play music closest to its original recording quality. The device is expected to be available later this year, and will play all music formats. To play the maximum quality, music must be played on the device itself that will be offered from an online music store. Thousands of albums have been processed to offer the highest quality for Pono. Continue reading Pono Music Player Takes on Problems of Compressed Audio

Lively Provides Music Fans with Recordings of Live Concerts

When attending a live concert, it is not unusual to witness a sea of smartphones, but some find it challenging to enjoy the show while attempting to record it at the same time. And audio quality recorded via the phone is usually disappointing. Tech entrepreneur Dean Graziano may have the solution with a new app called Lively, which allows musicians to sell fans better quality footage from live concerts for a reasonable price: $4.99 for just the audio, or $9.99 for audio and video. Continue reading Lively Provides Music Fans with Recordings of Live Concerts

Trend: New Audiophiles Looking for Hi-Fi Music Experience

A new trend in music among new generations is a return to the era of nostalgic vinyl LPs and high fidelity sound systems. One reason is fashion, but many are seeking a richer music listening experience. These music fans want high-end systems that include vinyl sounds, a more robust music experience, and elegantly designed sound systems. They are also expecting to spend several hundred to several thousands of dollars for their ideal sounds. Continue reading Trend: New Audiophiles Looking for Hi-Fi Music Experience

Audiam Finds New Ways to Pay Indie Musicians via YouTube

“Love Doctor,” a two-minute acid jazz instrumental is used in about 1,500 YouTube videos that do not pay for the rights to do so. The composer, Scott Schreer, has been working with New York startup Audiam in an effort to share in the advertising revenue associated with the videos. While serving as the Audiam test case, “Love Doctor” and Schreer’s library of 1,700 songs are generating about $30,000 per month for their use on the video site. Continue reading Audiam Finds New Ways to Pay Indie Musicians via YouTube

From Disc to Online: Impact of iTunes Over the Past Decade

Over the past decade, Apple’s iTunes has helped shape music discovery and consumption by providing a legal online model for distribution and sales. Since its 2003 launch, the iTunes Store has revamped the way music is distributed and has dismantled the traditional concept of the album. However, now there is concern that artists are not receiving proper creative and financial support with digital distribution expanding to multiple platforms. Continue reading From Disc to Online: Impact of iTunes Over the Past Decade

After a Decade, iTunes Continues its Market Dominance

According to fourth quarter estimates released this week by the NPD Group, Apple’s iTunes continues its stronghold with a 63 percent unit share of the U.S. market for digital music downloads. Amazon.com’s MP3 store held second place at 22 percent. Notably, the NPD “Annual Music Study 2012” indicates that eight out of 10 consumers downloaded digital albums or tracks during the fourth quarter from iTunes. Continue reading After a Decade, iTunes Continues its Market Dominance

Amazon AutoRip Service Updated to Include Vinyl Records

Amazon already offers its AutoRip service, which began in January and provides free digital copies of purchased physical CDs. The company has just announced an extension of that service to include purchased vinyl records from Amazon dating back to 1998. For every vinyl purchase, Amazon will provide MP3 versions to the consumer’s Cloud Player immediately and for free. Every major record label is represented on AutoRip. Continue reading Amazon AutoRip Service Updated to Include Vinyl Records

Why Buy Albums When You Can Get the Songs for Free?

Sites like Pandora and Spotify have made a significant impact on the music industry with their free streaming music services. Now, these sites may be influencing how well artists do in regards to their album sales. Justin Timberlake, for example, released his new album “The 20/20 Experience” to Spotify, which resulted in 980,000 copies being sold within the first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Continue reading Why Buy Albums When You Can Get the Songs for Free?

Amazon Launches HTML5-Based MP3 Store to Compete with Apple

Amazon has launched a browser-based MP3 store featuring 22 million songs. The move directly challenges Apple since the store allows consumers to use their Apple devices to access music through Amazon’s Cloud Player app. Much of the music is cheaper than iTunes because Amazon does not have to pay Apple the 30 percent commission for sales through iTunes. This allows Amazon to offer specials like 69 cent songs and $5 albums. Continue reading Amazon Launches HTML5-Based MP3 Store to Compete with Apple

Amazon: AutoRip Service Offers Free MP3 Copies of Your CDs

Amazon launched a new service called AutoRip that will start offering free MP3 downloads of any CD you buy from the site. But the really interesting part of the new service is the fact that it will give consumers MP3 versions of any album they’ve purchased from Amazon in the last 15 years. AutoRip will link to 50,000 albums and counting, and users will be able to listen in the cloud and/or download digital copies. Continue reading Amazon: AutoRip Service Offers Free MP3 Copies of Your CDs

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