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Description Using data from Alexa, senior analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray announced that his findings where somewhat unsurprising when calculated out to a “web traffic report card” style examination of the top four legal music download sites.  Apple’s iTunes got an “A” rating after a healthy 11% increase in web traffic and an 11% increase in reach.  Napster came in second, also with an “A” rating.

“We believe that Apple.com is the clear winner in our second grade report on the audio download industry,” Munster concluded. “Apple has the highest web traffic rank (64) of the four and also has seen the most increase in web traffic rank and reach over the past 3 months.”

Do note that Alexa rankings do not include any Mac users - they are tabulated only from people using Internet Explorer with the Alexa Toolbar installed.

Read More | iPodLounge.com


iTunes Phone?

AppleInsider is reporting that the phone pictured could be the Motorola iTunes phone that we told you about here.  While it hasn’t been confirmed to be the phone in question, reliable sources have confirmed the mostly-unedited image did originate from Motorola company documents dated this month.  Black is the last color in the world I would have expected for something bearing the Apple name, and it does seem a bit bulky, but it may just be a mock up and not resemble the final product at all.  Only time will tell, and hopefully July 7th will give us a better picture, if not sooner.

Read More |AppleInsider

iTunes PhoneAlthough there has been a lot of debate about whether or not the Motorola iTunes phone would ever see the light of day, it now seems that we are closer to an actual ship date.  Mark Sue, an analyst with RBC Markets, claims that “Motorola’s iTunes phones are now ready to ship according to our sources, with Apple working out the final details with Cingular for revenue sharing.”  This could just be more speculation about the first iTunes phone, but Sue believes that Motorola ended last quarter on a high note (due in part to the fact that 3.5 million RAZR phones have been sold) and that releasing the new phone could only continue to raise Motorola’s sales as the next quarter passes.

Read More | GigaOm

DescriptionMeet the VR3 MP3 FM Modulator.  While there are quite a few FM transmitters on the market today, the VR3 has the ability to turn any flash drive into an audio player.  Simply load your flash with as many songs as you can,  plug it into the VR3, then plug the VR3 into your cars’ cigarette lighter port and listen to your favorite songs on any FM frequency you desire.  It also has an audio-in jack if you feel the need to listen to DVD’s, CD’s, or any other audio players while you’re on the open road.  A similar model came out last year in Japan that sold for $115, but you can get this model for only $30 and finally have a use for those extra flash drives you’ve got lying around collecting dust. 

Read More | engadget

iTunes An online research company called Entertainment Media Research has recently released the 2006 Digital Music Survey.  The survey, using information collected from 4,000 people, says that 35% of consumers now download tracks legally thru the Internet.  They estimate the number will continue to climb and eventually surpass the 40% who continue to obtain music illegally online.  The main reasons cited for using legal downloads were fear of prosecution,  viruses, and low quality. 

Read More | Reuters

Panasonic CQ TX5500D

Panasonic just went retro on us and announced their very first car deck that includes a tube amplifier! The Panasonic CQ-TX5500D features dual tube amps to give that old fashioned warm sounding sound stage. The CD deck can read CD-R and CD-RW discs and play MP3’s. Now I realize that true audiophiles really like tube amps and think they offer the cleanest warmest sound (and I have to agree) but can anyone figure out why you would care when you are listening to digital audio with it? If you are listening to an MP3 that’s been compressed to begin with why would you care about how natural sounding the amp is? Well if you do care you can pick one up later this year for a little under a grand and be the first guy on your block with this awesome looking deck.

Read More | Uncrate via engadget

Virgin LogoBritish telecom giant BT is getting together with Virgin Mobile to roll out BT Livetime today.  This service will allow users to listen to 50 different stations via their mobile phone, and even download songs for a small fee.  BT hopes that these services will take a chunk out of the multi-billion pound music download industry dominated by Apple. Other services available through Livetime include music videos, and live news and sports coverage.

Read More | The Guardian

Musical Porch Swing

When I was younger, I always wanted to have porch swing.  I also wanted a xylophone.  I got the xylophone, but my parents weren’t willing to get me the porch swing, so you can imagine my delight when I came upon the Musical Porch Swing from Musical Furnishings.  At first glance, it appears to be no more than a regular cedar swing, but make no mistake, each piece of the swing is hand tuned.  Each swing also come with a pair of mallets and a songbook to get you started.  While this is a high quality piece of home furniture, the price is also high at $1,000 USD.  The company also makes coffee tables, chests, and childrens’ furniture as well.

Prior to these offerings, a person would have to purchase two separate items at a substantially higher cost and still not achieve the space conservation, ease of access, and novelty that of our products offer. Whole sections of musical instrument classifications are waiting to be explored and incorporated into the home setting.

Read More | Musical Furnishings via I4U

Save iTunes Videos

Ever since iTunes unveiled their music video section (free music videos you can watch via streaming media in the iTunes player) it’s been frustrating to have to wait for the videos to buffer before watching them.  Another irritation is that you can’t watch the videos in full-screen, even if you have Quicktime Pro. But can it be done?  As always, we have your hookup. You see, digging through the web doesn’t help – the instructions out there on the Internet are rather vague and half of them don’t work.  Trust me – I’ve tried.  The only viable solution seemed to be to use a video capture program but then you generally won’t have audio — defeating the purpose of a music video.  It seemed like a lost cause, that is, until now. On his website “A Warm Gun,” Seattle web designer, tech blogger and self-proclaimed Mac geek Ian Adams details for the world exactly how one should go about this suprisingly simple (albeit slightly unintuitive) proccess, in language that anyone who is familiar with MacOSX should be able to understand.  It’s so easy once you get the directions right!  All you need is an AppleScript, a few videos you’d like to save, an Internet connection and some spare time. Be sure to give it a try, this is one hack that Mac users shouldn’t miss! Save iTunes Videos to your Desktop |  awarmgun.net

Sony CD Piracy Sony is testing out some new Anti-CD burning technology in hopes of stopping what they refer to as “school-yard piracy”. Ah, when will they learn? I mean it takes them how long to come up with a “new” anti-piracy technology; and it takes people how long to come up with a work around? Even without someone breaking the security there’s always some other method to work around it. Nonetheless, Sony’s new method allows consumers to make limited copies of protected discs, but blocks users from making copies of the copies

Read More | ABC News