For all its many faults there is no denying that iTunes currently has the downloadable music market stitched up. However if there’s one company that might be in a position to challenge the status quo it’s the go-to online retailer Amazon. Rumours have been circulating for some time that they have been eyeing up the digital music landscape and now they have officially announced exactly what people have been hoping for: high bitrate (256kbps) MP3 free of DRM (or whatever euphemism the industry currently wish to use). Naturally this means the majority of the music will be coming from EMI, the only one of the big labels to release their iron grip on DRM’d music, but Amazon will also be providing music from hordes of independent labels too. Launch could be as little as a month away, so all that remains is for the price point to be announced. This will be the clincher, of course. If they can release this music at the same price as iTunes then it’s easily a superior service — if they can undercut Apple then they’re on to a winner that could drive down prices for consumers. And yes, if it’s offering DRM free mp3 albums at a similar price I’ll be forced to honour my promise and download an album myself when the store launches.
Loathe as I am to promote something so clearly viral marketing, the new Symbian Boo-Hoo For You! campaign is so creatively bizarre as to be worth watching. The psychedelic video features a duo of Japanese-style characters showing off the benefits of Symbian phones in Japan that we Europeans just can’t have. Boo-hoo for us. Somewhat lacking in accuracy one assumes it is intended more for its oriental insanity than to be informative. In that it succeeds.
You may be hearing confusing things about Google’s new Universal Search which aims to integrate specialist search results into the general search interface. Fortunately I don’t have to try to explain it because Search Engine Land have put together a comprehensive article on what this actually entails.
And finally it’s the time of year once more when I link to 3D Pong in order to distract and frustrate you in equal measures.