A few days ago we presented our 2004 Holiday Gift Guide. 2004 has also been a great year in music, and we at Gear Live have put together this Christmas shopping list for the music fan in your life. From CD’s to DVD’s to books, every aspect of the music world is covered. So go out, and get your hands on this stuff, for a family member, friend, or even yourself.
This week may have marked the passing of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, but the Wu-Tang Legend lives on in their latest greatest hits release. We also take a look at the latest release from the late John Lennon. If you are looking for something truly unique, check out our review of DJ Shadow’s “Endtroducing”. All this and more in this weeks Playlist.
I can remember when Napster was the only game in town. These days, thanks to Roxio's aquisition, it's relaunching itself as a subscription-based music service, in the face of some very stiff competition. Here's the deal: For $10 a month you get unlimited access to more than 750,000 songs that you can play only on your computer. This model provides a better profit margin for Napster, which doesn't have proprietary music players to support its business, ala Apple. That's looking to change soon however, with this Fall's upcoming launch of Napster To Go, which will allow users to transfer their songs to other compatible music players, for an additional $5 a month.
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Read More | Wired News
Looks like Apple is coming up against stiff music-service competition these days. First there was RealNetworks, and now Microsoft is getting into the act. It sounds like its service will look very similar to the popular iTunes online music service, with one big difference: Music files will be saved to your devices in the WMA format, allowing for a broader distribution to various handhelds. Microsoft stands to gain some increased revenue in the form of increased advertising dollars on its MSN Website. They also hope to spread the appeal of the Windows Media file format.
Read More | Yahoo! News
Competition is a good thing. Real, for a limited time, is offering songs for half the price of most digital music services. While most offer digital downloads for $0.99 USD per song (or $9.99 USD per album), Real has priced their music at $0.49 per song and $4.99 per album. On top of that, the company is using new software technology, Harmony, that will allow songs downloaded from their music store to be playable on all Apple iPods. As of now, Apple leads all other digital music services, with more than 100 million downloads sold to date.
Read More | CNN Money