Archive for July, 2007

I’m starting to want one

I’m not a phone person. I was a PDA person before (my one and only PDA was a Palm IIIc, this first color one) but now I’m back to paper and pencils. I liked my Palm. It was fast and fun and could recognize handwriting. I took down notes of my meetings on it and stored all of my friends’ numbers and addresses on it. But back then I had no computer to call my own. But now I do but sadly Palm has gone into a different direction altogether and I don’t want to go there. I have a Smart Phone but I don’t use the calendar. I have iCal files on my mac but I don’t use it either to sync with my lifestyle. I’ve reverted to paper. I’ve held the long belief that it is difficult if not impossible to merge various devices into one. That even if it was merged, one function will suffer and the whole device won’t be a thing of joy.

Then here comes Apple and their iPhone. I must admit that I was impressed when Steve Jobs unveiled the device in January. It was a thing of beauty and elegance at first glance but does the design match the function of the device. Sure we saw it underneath a glass case at the Moscone Center but we wanted to know how that screen felt like when you touched it. Sure it was a cool device and a lot of people, especially the mac faithful wanted one. But I wasn’t entirely convinced.

A week later and it seems that the phone matches the hype. Others are calling it the “Jesus Phone”. For US consumers, it fits the bill but savvy Asians and Europeans where the phone market is a lot more complicated, it is lacking in a lot of areas. #g, HSDPA, video recording, zoom capability, MMS and so on. But I’m pretty sure that these features will be in the versions coming out in November and 1Q 2008.

But for now, I’m pretty much bent on getting one for myself when it comes out here locally. And I’m planning on getting all the bells and whistles with it. Prepare to be redeemed.

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iTunes update

Apple clarified that the Universal music contract is now offerred to them on a per month basis instead of the previous 2-5 year contract.

The announcement comes after it was revealed that Universal Music was unwilling to sign the 2 year contract with iTunes. 

Well it seems that this chapter is far from over. Just don’t expect me to pay some sort of “music tax” for buying digital music. 

Universal Music May Not Renew iTunes Contract

Highlighting ongoing tension between the music industry and Apple Inc., Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group is set to notify the Cupertino, Calif. company that it is not renewing a long term contract to sell digital music downloads through the increasingly powerful iTunes Store, according to people familiar with the situation.

I would like to back track on my previous post last year where each Microsoft Zune sold, a portion goes to Universal Music as part of their “piracy tax” or whatever compensation to make up for lost revenue due to music piracy. But if that’s their decision then go ahead. But why? Why would they pull out their product off the 3rd largest music retailer (online or otherwise)? If they are making their own music store, then it would be reasonable. But if they are being paid by Micro$oft to move to their Zune marketplace then it makes things a little more interesting. This makes the “piracy tax” very interesting indeed.

Currently, all of the songs (except for the higher quality and DRM-free ones) are pegged at $0.99. There have been reports of other music labels wanting to increase prices for some of their songs to which Apple refuses to do. But whatever the reason for their pullout. I say it’s a bad decision. Would they also pull out their CD’s from Wallmart? Or maybe Virgin?

Let’s look back when the iTunes Store was first launched. Music piracy was rampant. The industry was in a serious decline and other online schemes were offering to “rent” music for a fee. Basically if you stop paying, the music stops playing. Then here comes Steve Jobs and his iTunes Store. Apple talked to the music labels and asked them to license their music. Of course the music industry agreed, they assumed that Apple wasn’t going to make money off it since no one has. Apparently they weren’t ready for the boom that was to come.

Today, iTunes has sold over 2 Billion songs worldwide and has been credited for “saving” the music industry with TV shows and movies now available for download. Songs, videos, podcasts that can ben synced on your mac, iPod, Apple tv, and now the iPhone. And they pulled out? Oh well, maybe they’re getting a better deal somewhere else. Maybe from a Zune? Just so you know, anything you buy off the Xbox Marketplace cannot be transferred to your Zune.

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