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Zune gunning for iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, and file sharers

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Microsoft, Music, Software

Zune Top Songs

is definitely looking to bring it with the in recent weeks. You just know that they have to have something, like the , up their sleeves. I mean, they must have something going on, because all of a sudden they are getting bold with their advertising and claims. First came Wes Moss, their smarmy financial planner who explains why the Zune Pass is the best deal in music (even though it truly is.) Now, they’ve set up a section within the Zune Player itself that let’s you grab all the top songs from the top 100 offerings on iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, and even File Sharing (how would they know)?

What do you think? What would it take to get you to consider Zune as a music service, if not as a device?


Amazon Kindle DX gallery

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Features, Handhelds

Kindle DX being held

Wanna get a getter look at the newly announced Kindle DX? We just put together a gallery of nine images that show off the device from the front, back, side, and even a couple of angles in between. As cool as it looks, it still costs $489, so, you know, there’s that. Still, if you are cool with that, you can pre-order a Kindle DX now.

Read More | Kindle DX gallery

Gallery: Amazon Kindle DX gallery

Amazon announces Kindle DX: $489, 9.7-inch screen

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Design, Handhelds

Amazon Kindle DX

This morning, Amazon announced the , which will now sell alongside the . What’s so DX-y about the new device? Well for starters, the new Kindle DX features a 9.7-inch screen that sports the ability to rotate to landscape display, as well as a built-in PDF reader (the Kindle 2 requires conversion), and much more storage space at 3.3GB. That means that this Kindle can hold a good 3,500 books, compared to the Kindle 2’s 1,500. And truly, everything is bigger with the Kindle DX, including the price. The Kindle DX will launch this summer at $489, a full $130 more than a Kindle 2, which is already a pricey device in its own right, at $359.

If you do live in an area where you can’t get at-home delivery of the New York Times, Boston Globe, or Washington Post, then you can get a Kindle DX at a subsidized price—but only people who meet that rule are eligible. Kind of silly if you ask us. You can pre-order the Kindle DX now.

Read More | Kindle DX page

NPD Survey Places Amazon Second to iTunes

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Apple, Internet, Music

MP3The NPD Group has a new report that states that in 2008, 87% of all digital music buyers in the U.S. used iTunes while 16% were purchased through Amazon MP3. Analyst Russ Crupnick says that being in second place is encouraging considering that it has only been around for 18 months.

“It used to be that iTunes was first, and second was practically nobody,” Crupnick said. The survey also reported that many of the consumers are older and still purchase CDs.

Read More | cnet

Blockbuster Access on TiVo

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Misc. Tech, Movies

Blockbuster/Tivo logoIf you own a TiVo, then you will soon be able to access Blockbuster’s OnDemand service. Compatible with broadband connected TiVo Series2, Series3, TiVo HD and TiVo HD XL DVRs, users will be allowed to rent and buy movies. Both companies will utilize cross-marketing and, as part of the deal, Blockbuster will sell TiVos on their site as well as in their stores. Plans to feature Netflix and Amazon will still continue, so it looks as though this is a win-win-win for TiVo. Expect the new service to begin in the second half of this year. Sign up with TiVo to be notified of the changeover.

Read More | Real Tech News

Amazon releases Kindle for iPhone

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Books, New Apps, Free Apps

Kindle for iPhone

We knew that was planning on bringing their e-books to other devices, but we didn’t think it would happen this soon. This evening, Kindle for iPhone was released on the App Store, available for free. In a nutshell, you are able to associate your iPhone or iPod touch with your Amazon account, and can then buy Kindle book content and have it sent to your phone for reading. Kindle for iPhone is also compatible with the Whispersync service, which allows you to continue reading any Kindle content from where you left off, no matter which device you are reading on. That means you can start reading on your iPhone, stop, then power on your Kindle and continue from the same page you left off on. Very nice.

If you are a Kindle or owner, and you’ve purchased books for those devices, when you download Kindle for iPhone you’ll have an Archived Items category that will list all your purchased books, which you can access immediately. In using the app, we found that it works extremely well—not as well as a Kindle, mind you, but as an extra way to read the e-books (or as a way to save yourself the $359 Kindle price tag,) the app shines. Go ahead and hit the App Store to grab Kindle for iPhone.

Read More | Kindle for iPhone

Amazon gives in: Text-to-Speech now decided by book publisher

The text-to-speech feature of the in one of the main features that Amazon was touting when they debuted their latest e-book reader. However, Roy Blount, Jr., president of the Author’s Guild, made it immediately known that the Guild objects to the feature that he believes undermines the market for professional e-book. While this is overly cautious, since the Kindle sounds nothing like a real human being, Amazon has decided to step up (or back down?) and allow book publishers and authors the right to allow their works to be compatible with the text-to-speech feature or not. We are hoping that most will see that it’s harmless, and just allows folks to enjoy their work in a different way, albeit on the same device. You can read Amazon’s full statement after the jump.

You can pick up the Kindle 2 at Amazon, be sure to check out our Kindle 2 review.

Click to continue reading Amazon gives in: Text-to-Speech now decided by book publisher

Amazon Kindle 2 review

Amazon Kindle 2 review

We’ve spent a few days with the Amazon Kindle 2, which has been the talk of the gadget world this week. We know some of you are wondering if you should pick one up, so we are here to give you our thoughts on the latest iteration of Amazon’s e-book reader. If you’re like us, you already know that the Kindle 2 is available for purchase now, and you likely have one in your hands - but for the rest of you, join us for our full review of the Kindle 2 (and if you missed it, check out our Kindle 2 gallery.)

Okay, so while we were working on the review, we sent a couple of questions out to some of our Twitter peeps asking what they thought of the device, and Lisa from EllisLab hit us back with so much info, that we are using her feedback to break this down for you. Sometimes you need the point of view of a “real world” user anyway, as opposed to one of us gadget fiends. So what we will do is give some of our thoughts on the Kindle 2, and then bring in Lisa’s thoughts as well.

The Kindle 2 was announced on February 9th, and just started shipping on February 24th. The announcement came with the promise of a 25% improvement in battery life, 20% faster page turns, a better screen that supports up to 16 shades of gray (as opposed to 4 shades with the original,) and a much thinner design.

Click to continue reading Amazon Kindle 2 review

Amazon Kindle 2 unboxing gallery

Kindle 2 peeling

It’s a happy day here at Gear Live HQ, what with the arrival of both the Amazon and Resident Evil 5, thanks to UPS. We figured we’d tear right in to the Kindle 2 upon arrival so that we could bring you another unboxing gallery full of e-book reader goodness, and we think we succeeded. We’ve got 30 images of the Kindle 2 available for you to check out in our Kindle 2 unboxing gallery, showing off all aspects of the device, the packaging, and the included USB cable and charging add-on (which, we think, is pretty neat.) Go ahead and check out all the images yourself, and give your thoughts. Also, any questions on the device itself that we can answer for you?

You can purchase an Amazon Kindle 2 now.


Read More | Kindle 2 unboxing gallery via Amazon Kindle 2

Gallery: Amazon Kindle 2 unboxing gallery

Our Amazon Kindle 2 is here…

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Handhelds

Kindle 2

Oh, happy day, our has arrived. We are opening it up now and snapping images for your enjoyment. Be sure to keep at eye on Unboxing! Back to work…

UPDATE: We’ve put up our entire Kindle 2 unboxing gallery - check it out!

Read More | Amazon Kindle 2