It’s nice to have a change from the regular listing of albums and singles Billboard is normally known for. USA Today reports that the company has actually been tabulating downloads, using Nielsen SoundScan, since 2003. Now that they’ve ironed out all the kinks and feel more comfortable they’ve begun publishing the lists. They are only tracking songs that have been legally purchased though, for obvious reasons. For top song swaps, you might want to check out BigChampagne.
Read More | USA Today
Following last weeks singer-songwriter fest, I promised more testosterone this week, and here is my attempt to deliver. A debut by rap music’s newest golden boy and the all out rock of Death From Above 1979 and Rage Against the Machine give this Playlist some aggression and anger…Throw in a little R&B and indie rock, and you have this week’s Playlist.
Last month we told you about Napster’s newest idea for renting music instead of paying 99 cents a track. We informed you that the service, at $14.99, was being beta tested. The service is now available on Napster’s To Go website. The only drawback is that only a few portable MP3 players work with the service. The current list of To Go compatible players include the iriver H10, Creative Zen Micro, SMT5600 Smart Phone, Zen Portable Media Center, Gateway GCM-4 Photo Jukebox, iriver H320, iriver PMC-120, and the Samsung YH-999 Portable Media Center. More compatible players are sure to be released, just look for the “Works with Napster To Go” logo. Of course, the Apple iPod is not supported. Will that make it harder for Napster to compete with iTunes? This seems to be a good service since you are able to have unlimited downloads for $15 a month. Say you download 1,000 songs, instead of paying $1,000 using iTunes, you only spend $15 a month. A very completive price, however, could the incompatibility of the iPod be this service’s downfall?
Read More | Napster To Go
By now you must know of our love for sites like MP3Search.ru and AllofMP3.com. It feels good to pay what feels to be a reasonable amount for music, doesn’t it? What about the legalities of it? The Wall Street Journal takes a look at just that in a recent article. Will it deter anyone from using the sites? Highly unlikely.
Read More | WSJ
With the release of two discs on January 25, Bright Eyes turned this edition of Gear Live Playlist into singer-songwriter central. We also look at recent releases by Minnesota songster Mason Jennings and Martha Vineyard’s Willy Mason. Finally, for the collection essential, Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks” - one of the most soulful and beautiful albums ever recorded. Next time, I promise we’ll get a little more testosterone in the Playlist, but for now sit back and embrace your sensitive side.
Sony, Philips, Matsushita and Samsung have decided to work together to produce a system to manage digital music and video in order to put an end to piracy, or at least make it harder. These companies have finally realized that there are too many companies with their own brand for digital music. This leads to consumers not being able to play songs they purchased legally on their own MP3 player. Hopefully more companies will join in on this venture to fully embrace one digital music standard. After all, who wants to buy a new portable music player just so they can play one album they bought at so and so’s online store?
Read More | BBC News
At Gear Live, we totally love AllofMP3.com - even if they doubled their prices from 1 cent per megabyte to 2 cents. Still, it is exponentially cheaper than something like the iTunes Music Store. Now there seems to be some competition for AllofMP3.com in the land of Russia. MP3Search has a nice catalogue of popular music availble for download at an even 10 cents per song. That is 90% cheaper than purchasing a song through Apple’s music store, or any other store for that matter. Looks like I now have two sources for ultra cheap music downloads.
Read More | MP3Search.ru
We all rent movies instead of buying them. Sure, sometimes we just love a movie so much that we buy it. For the most part though, you just rent movies since you know you will only watch it a couple of times and that’s it. The same thing can be said for music. You buy songs or download them if they are free, listen to them a few times and never listen to them again. So why don’t we just rent music instead of buying the tracks? Napster answers the call. Napster is currently beta testing a music rental service where a user may subscribe for $15 a month and have access to unlimited downloads. The tracks a user downloads can be used on players that support Microsoft Windows Digital Rights Management technology, Janus. Sorry iPod users, for now the service only supports players made by Samsung, Rio and Creative. The Napster service also requires the user to update their license on a monthly basis. If the user does not have a valid subscription anymore, the song cannot be played. This is a nice concept, however if the iPod does not get an update to support this technology, this service will not get the full amount of users that it’s capable of reaching. After all, who wants to pay 99 cents a song when they can get unlimited songs a month for only $15? Of course if you go the free route, you will always be looking out for the R.I.A.A.
Read More | BBC News
You are a hip, young, internet user. This means you like free music, no matter how you get it. If you are a new iPod user, you have been treated to a free album download on iTunes when you first synched your iPod to your PC, titled “Universal Motown New Music Sampler”. While it isn’t a compilation of huge hits, it’s still nice to get 13 tracks of music for free. But what about those of us that have had iPods for a while, or just use iTunes but don’t want Apple’s MP3 player? You too can download the Motown New Music Sampler free of charge. How so? Simple be sure you have iTunes installed on your PC, and click this link.
Looks like Virgin and Tapwave are taking steps to establish a bigger presence in the portable audio market. Today’s announcement from the CES Show floor indicates that the two are working together to pair up the Virgin music download service with the versatile handheld, which through the help of SD cards, could store up to 2GB of music. Details are still unclear as to how the two devices will work seamlessly, but I can imagine an option on the Virgin service that allows transfers directly to the SD card, with minimal mouse-clicks. Virgin’s downloadable songs are going for $.99 each, while the Zodiac sells for $269.
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