Sony drops price of PSP in Europe

By on April 9, 2011 at 2:00 AM.

Sony drops price of PSP in Europe

Sony has officially dropped the suggested retail price of the PSP in Europe to €129.99 ($187.29). This follows the company’s February 25th announcement that it was slashing the price of its gaming system to $129.99 in the United States. Sony also said that — beginning on April 14th — PSP owners will be able to access an unlimited cloud-based music service called Music Unlimited. Powered by Qriocity, Music Unlimited will allow PSP owners to listen to customized music channels or sync up with tunes stored on their PlayStation 3, PC, or other Sony devices. “The price cut is aimed at increasing adoption of the player in Europe,” said Sony spokesperson Satoshi Fukuoka. The move may also be tied to the recent launch of the Nintendo 3DS, which we reviewed earlier this month. More →

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New MobileMe may offer music locker for $20 per year

By on March 28, 2011 at 9:52 AM.

New MobileMe may offer music locker for $20 per year

According to sources speaking to The Music Void, Apple may launch a revamped MobileMe service this year with a new “music locker” feature, which would allow iTunes users to store and access music in the cloud. The idea of an online storage feature in MobileMe is nothing new, but Apple may already have a deal with Warner Music Group that will allow users to access music in the cloud. This could, for example, allow users to stream music from their iTunes library to any computer, or allow users to re-download tracks they’ve already paid for. Despite rumors that a free version of MobileMe is in the works, The Music Void argues that Apple will charge around $20 per year for the new, cloud service. For now it’s all a hearsay, but hopefully we’ll hear more in the next month or so. More →

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Google Music service being tested internally

By on March 26, 2011 at 2:01 AM.

Google Music service being tested internally

Google is said to be testing its new Google Music service internally, according to sources speaking to CNET. Google had originally planned to make an announcement during the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas earlier this month, but it apparently still needs to iron out some of the details with the four major record labels. It is expected that Google Music will be a cloud-based system where users can stream, buy, and store music online for access from their Android smartphones or tablets, as well as from their computers. It’s still unclear what the pricing structure will be like, but we’re definitely hyped for this to launch. More →

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Microsoft ‘Ventura’ could replace Zune music, video services

By on March 9, 2011 at 9:00 PM.

Microsoft ‘Ventura’ could replace Zune music, video services

Following recent reports that Microsoft will soon be killing off its Zune suite of entertainment services and replacing them with a new offering, All About Microsoft has uncovered what may end up being Microsoft’s Zune successor. The blog’s tipsters claim knowledge of a new set of services currently being developed by Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division. These services, codenamed “Ventura,” are said to be focused on media discovery and consumption — much like Zune. To help firm up the report, All About Microsoft also reveals a Microsoft job posting that references Ventura. “The Ventura Media Services team is looking for a highly motivated Software Development Engineer to help drive some great new service innovation,” the job description reads. It goes on to say, “In this position you will have the chance to help choose direction and drive innovation on some of the most cutting edge media services. Think large scale. Think Azure. Being a web and services group, our goal is to release early and often while maintaining high quality.” More →

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Spotify close to Universal deal, may launch without Warner

By on February 24, 2011 at 5:01 AM.

Spotify close to Universal deal, may launch without Warner

A report on Wednesday claims European streaming music extraordinaire Spotify is “a few weeks away” from signing a new deal with Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company. Reuters cites people familiar with the talks in reporting the deal, which will give Spotify access to Universal’s massive catalog of music in the U.S. Spotify has already inked a deal with Sony and the company is thought to be getting close to a U.S. launch. Despite the company’s progress, however, the report suggests Spotify is considering a launch without having signed a deal with Warner Music Group, the world’s third largest music label. Spotify currently offers a streaming music service in Europe and has been making considerable efforts of late to launch in the U.S. The service allows subscribers to listen to songs on demand and stream customized Internet radio stations to computers, cell phones and other devices. More →

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Last.fm to nix free streaming to mobile, other devices

By on February 8, 2011 at 2:59 AM.

Last.fm to nix free streaming to mobile, other devices

CBS-owned Last.fm announced on Monday that it will soon discontinue its free ad-supported streaming music service for cell phones and home entertainment devices. Last.fm is a custom Internet radio service that competes with the likes of Pandora and Slacker Radio. The service currently streams to computers, to cell phones and to various home entertainment devices such as DVD players and set-top boxes, with two available subscription models — a free ad-supported version and an ad-free version for $3 per month. As of February 15th, free streaming to mobile devices and to home entertainment devices will be shut off, with the exception of Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7 devices, and only paid subscribers will be able to utilize the service. Delivering ad-supported streaming services to mobile and other non-PC devices is not practical, Last.fm stated in a blog post, so the company will no longer offer the option. Free ad-supported streaming to Last.fm’s website will remain, however, as will free streaming to the Last.fm desktop PC app. The shift in strategy now creates a new speed bump for the service, as Last.fm’s biggest competitors will continue to offer free streaming options for mobile and other devices. More →

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Spofity signs first U.S. deal with Sony

By on January 21, 2011 at 5:32 AM.

Spofity signs first U.S. deal with Sony

Following rumors that streaming music provider Spotify was close to reaching its first deal with a U.S. record label, MediaMemo reports that the company has finally put one in its win column stateside. Spotify today signed a deal with Sony that will give the service access to Sony’s music catalog in the U.S., according to the report. The terms of the deal are said to be very similar to Spotify’s European deals, which would give U.S. users access to ad-supported streaming to a computer for free or ad-free streaming to a variety of devices for a monthly fee. The deal does not mean that a U.S. launch of the Spotify service is imminent, however. The company still needs to get additional labels on board, and it has had a great deal of trouble wooing U.S. labels thus far. Theories as to why labels are so reluctant include fear of further cannibalization of CD sales and fear of upsetting Apple, the top music retailer in the country. More →

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Spotify finally making headway in journey to U.S., report claims

By on January 14, 2011 at 8:53 AM.

Spotify finally making headway in journey to U.S., report claims

Spotify, the popular European streaming music service provider, is finally nearing a deal in the U.S., the New York Post reports. Following more than a year of negotiations with U.S. record labels, Spotify is said to be close to a deal with Sony and has “gained the support” of another label, according to The Post’s sources. Spotify launched in Europe in 2008, offering unlimited streaming music on demand. In its current state, Spotify offers free ad-supported access to users, as well as two paid premium plans — an ad-free £4.99 plan, and a £9.99 plan that allows streaming to mobile devices and station caching for off-line playback. The company has been fighting to offer its service in the U.S. for over a year but has been met with opposition from record labels, which are still uneasy with certain subscription models. Spotify would not confirm The Post’s report. More →

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Sony launches ‘Qriocity’ unlimited music streaming in U.K. and Ireland

By on December 22, 2010 at 11:59 PM.

Sony launches ‘Qriocity’ unlimited music streaming in U.K. and Ireland

Sony announced Wednesday that its new subscription music service is now available in the U.K. and Ireland, with availability in the U.S. Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand to to follow in 2011. “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” is a music streaming service that competes with Microsoft’s Zune service as well as offerings like Spotify, Rhapsody, Napster and others. The Basic plan affords unlimited ad-free music streaming via genre, era or mood-based stations for £3.99 / €3.99 each month. The £9.99 / €9.99 Premium plan adds the ability to create playlists and stream any tracks in Sony’s Qriocity catalog on demand. Premium subscribers will have access to Sony’s Top 100 channels as well. “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” is currently available on Sony’s PlayStation 3 console, Blu-ray players, BRAVIA TVs, VAIO laptops and other PCs. The service will also soon be available on Sony’s portable devices and Android phones. More →

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AirPlay comes to Windows thanks to AirMediaPlayer

By on December 22, 2010 at 7:42 PM.

AirPlay comes to Windows thanks to AirMediaPlayer

We knew it wouldn’t be long before a simple solution brought Apple’s AirPlay streaming media functionality to Windows, and today the deed is done. Independent developer Apostolos Georgiadis has assembled a neat little Windows application called AirMediaPlayer that allows Apple’s iOS devices to stream music and video via AirPlay to a Windows PC. The player is compatible with Windows 7, Vista and XP, and requires .NET framework 3.5, Bonjour and Quicktime to operate. Once those installations are taken care of, AirMediaPlayer is free to use and is compatible with any AirPlay-equipped iOS device. Hit the break for a video of AirMedia Player in action, and then hit the read link to download the app. More →

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LimeWire abandons hope, prepares to close music store

By on December 3, 2010 at 1:23 AM.

LimeWire abandons hope, prepares to close music store

A new report Thursday suggests that legendary piracy pioneer LimeWire may soon call it quits. LimeWire was hardly the first network of its kind, but along with services like Kazaa, LimeWire played a major role in bringing file-sharing to the masses. This past October, LimeWire was forced to shutter its file-sharing service following a court order. Now, the company’s recent attempts to jump from seedy to sanctioned appear to be for naught. According to an alleged email to vendors obtained by All Things Digital, LimeWire will soon cease its attempts to run a legitimate online music store. The site also stopped accepting payments for its current offering according to a note on its homepage. LimeWire has supposedly been working on a new legal music service for the better part of 2010, but those plans are nixed as well. From the look of things, LimeWire will be no more as of January 1st, 2011. Hit the break for a copy of the company’s email to its partners. More →

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Rumor: Licensing is holding up cloud-based iTunes

By on July 2, 2010 at 8:23 PM.

Rumor: Licensing is holding up cloud-based iTunes

itunes-logo

According to tips sent in to Electronista, the reason that Apple’s planned iTunes streaming service yet to be released is due to the fact that the Cupertino-based company has yet to finalize licensing deals with major record labels. Apple currently has licensing deals which allow customers to stream music from their own computers to their devices, but streaming music directly from Apple’s servers — one of the features we mentioned in our exclusive on the service — would require a new deal be inked. Although Apple would like to get the deal finalized as soon as possible, allegations that many  record label executives have not have the service detailed to them indicates we may still have a ways to go. More →

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Apple to announce iTunes.com, new Macs at WWDC?

By on May 28, 2010 at 1:37 PM.

Apple to announce iTunes.com, new Macs at WWDC?

Apple Logo-Black + White

It’s no secret that the star of this year’s WWDC keynote will be the next-gen iPhone, but what else could it potentially bring to the table? According to a note issued to investors by Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu, the answer is iTunes.com, a cloud-based music service, and a refresh of the Mac Pro and MacBook Air. Apple has long been rumored to want in on the cloud-based music business, and its purchase of Lala in December of 2009 only served to add fuel to the fire. Add to this the fact that Apple has ordered Lala be shut down on May 31st and it seems there is quite a bit of evidence to support these claims. Turning our attention to the Mac Pro, the scuttlebutt is that it will pack a pair of 12 core Westmere-based processors from Intel’s Xeon 5600 series. As for the MacBook Air, rumors of a refresh have been fairly consistent over the past few months. The most recent came a few weeks ago and claimed that the travel-friendly notebook would be equipped with a Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM (although back in January the word was it would be getting a Core i5 processor). Would this be enough to satiate your need for shiny, new Apple gear? More →

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