Apple looking for record industry approval of cloud music service [Updated]

April 22nd at 2:49 PM

Apple looking for record industry approval of cloud music service [Updated]

According to Peter Kafka over at All Things D, Apple’s presumed cloud-based music service will not be all that dissimilar from Amazon’s. The report details that Apple, like Amazon, will allow iTunes users to store newly purchased tracks and already-owned digital music in an online locker. Unlike Amazon, however, the Cupertino company is looking for deals with major record labels.“They’ve been very aggressive and thoughtful about it,” said an industry executive speaking with Kafka. “It feels like they want to go pretty soon.” The report also notes that the industry buy-in and licensing will allow Apple to store a single, master copy of a digital music file on its services and share that file with authorized users — making the company’s storage schema much more streamlined. Amazon’s Cloud Drive implementation is based on its S3 storage service and functions more like a cloud-based hard drive — every time a user buys a track it’s uploaded to that specific users online locker. “Sources tell me that Apple has already procured deals from at least two of the big four labels (Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony and EMI) within the last two months,” writes Kafka. “One source tells me Apple content boss Eddy Cue will be in New York tomorrow to try to finalize remaining deals.” Apple has some experience with cloud-based services as it has offered its MobileMe service — formerly iTools and .Mac — since early 2000.

UPDATE: CNET is now reporting that Apple and Warner Music Group reached a deal this afternoon: “Apple has an agreement with Warner Music Group to offer the record label’s tracks on iTunes’ upcoming cloud-music service.” More →


Reuters: Google to have music service up and running by December 25th

September 3rd at 2:15 PM

Reuters: Google to have music service up and running by December 25th

Reuters is reporting that Google’s VP of Engineering, Andy Rubin, has been conducting talks with record labels in an attempt to launch an online music service “before Christmas.” The publication cites two sources familiar with the matter, and states that although record industry insiders are excited about the possibility of Apple and Google clashing on the digital music front, Google has yet to ink deals with any record labels. “Finally here’s an entity with the reach, resources and wherewithal to take on iTunes as a formidable competitor by tying it into search and Android mobile platform. What you’ll have is a very powerful player in the market that’s good for the music business,” said an anonymous record label executive. One thing is for certain, if Google wishes to play the role of David by Christmas time, it is going to need some labels in its arsenal… and soon. More →


Google adds nested labels to Gmail's repertoire

April 9th at 9:14 AM

Google adds nested labels to Gmail's repertoire

Gmail Nested Labels 2Gmail Nested Labels 2

Since day one, Google has stood by its use of labels, as opposed to folders, in its Gmail email system: “labels are more flexible than folders because a given email can have several labels but can’t be in several folders at the same time,” explains Google. Today, Gmail is adding more functionality to these labels by allowing users to utilize nested labels to organize their email. Here is what Google has to say about the new feature:

If you think this might be useful to you, go to the Gmail Labs tab under Settings, look for “Nested Labels,” enable it and click “Save.” You’ll then need to name your label with slashes (/) to make it the child of another. For example, let’s say you wanted to create a simple hierarchy with a “Home” label, and inside it a “Family” and a “Vacation” label. Just create three labels with the following names:


You can then create “Home/Family/Kids,” “Home/Pets,” etc., to get something like the screenshot on the left. If you had the parent label “Home” before you don’t have to create it from scratch.

This feature has been “available” for quite some time via the “Folders4Gmail” mod, but it is nice to see Google officially roll this feature into Gmail. Any of you Gmail freaks excited about this new feature? More →


Google launches Multiple Inboxes for Gmail

February 6th at 1:36 PM

Google launches Multiple Inboxes for Gmail

Google’s ongoing quest to woo us by dangling countless feature carrots until we bite and fork over all of our data continues. This time around, a pretty unique new feature comes by way of Gmail Labs that will be perfect for those who have been lulled to sleep by Gmail’s clean UI. Multiple Inboxes, introduced yesterday evening, gives Gmail users the option to add additional label-based inboxes to their inbox screens. The new feature definitely adds a healthy dose of busy to Gmail’s less-is-more interface but those who regularly utilize labels will likely find the addition appealing. Multiple Inboxes is being rolled out gradually, as with all Labs features so don’t fret if you’re not yet finding it on your Labs tab under settings. We liken the service to Outlook displaying multiple folders on one screen, which probably wouldn’t be overly helpful as far as productivity is concerned. As such, we far prefer the old fashioned way of doing things – clicking on a label in the sidebar to see relevant emails. Better yet, you can quickly and easily view all unread messages for any label(s) with this little trick we use:

  1. Go to Settings -> Labs and enable Quick Links
  2. At the top of any mail view in Gmail, perform a search – label:xxx label:unread – where xxx is any label for which you would like to see unread messages
  3. In the new Quick Links box at the bottom of your sidebar, click “Add Quick Link”
  4. Name the Quick Link and click “Ok”
  5. Lather, rinse and repeat for any other labels you’d like fast access to

As you save these pages you’ll see each one listed in the Quick Links box. Click on one at any time and you’re in business. Which method do you guys prefer?