MCE Tunes brings iTunes music into Windows Media Center

Now I’m neither an iTunes nor a Windows Media Center user, but I know a lot of people would love to be able to play their DRM-encrypted music library from the former through the lounge-friendly interface of the latter.  Unfortunately, encrypted music can’t currently be streamed that way, at least not without the addition of a little programming magic (or illegally breaking the copy-protection, which is of course not something we’d suggest you do).  Thankfully the binary-kids at Proxure have decided to unleash some of that necessary magic, calling the end result MCE Tunes.


Zune Wireless Update 2

Oh dear.  Just when I’d got all excited again about Zune, on the premise that only DRM-encrypted audio would be subject to the draconian 3 days/3 plays policy, one of Zune’s PR contacts got in touch to let us know that, in fact, all audio will expire according to those limits.  If you were thinking you could just re-transfer it over and over, then you’ll be pleased to hear that Microsoft has also put a stop to that, too – apparently multiple consecutive song swaps are limited as well.

If I were a PR person I think this is the part of the job that I’d enjoy the least – having to put people off buying the product I represent by justifying its crippling limitations as insisted on by the manufacturer (or the manufacturer’s powerful content allies).  Microsoft can warble all they like about song metadata remaining on the player and the music staying in your list of files, but consumers are going to see WiFi and think “great, wireless transfers!” and not “great, self-destruct wireless transfers.”  I’m afraid Zune has just fallen off my shopping list again.

[Thanks to Sara @ Edelman for the info]

Zune Wireless Update

Bugger.  Check out our latest Zune DRM Update

Looks like we may have blogged too soon about the Zune’s WiFi being crippled – Zune-Online.com left the following comment on our last Zune post:

“The 3 days or 3 plays restriction applies only if the song has been bought by a friend of yours from the Zune marketplace and he decides to send it to you to listen. You can listen to it 3 times, or keep it no more than 3 days. After that you Zune device still remembers it, but now you have to buy it to listen again.

BUT if a friend of yours sends you an MP3 or any other non-DRM song, you can keep it FOREVER”

This is, as you will agree, excellent news.  Nobody expected Microsoft to allow the copying of DRM-encrypted tracks between players with zero restrictions, but up until now all the reports have indicated that all tracks would be subject to the same 3 day limitations.  To find out that’s not true is great!

All of a sudden, Zune is back in the competition for me.

[Thanks to Zune-Online.com for the info]

Panasonic Words Gear e-book squares up to Sony

You know what this Panasonic girl’s hand signal is saying, Sony?  It’s calling your Reader – and by extension, calling you – a loser.  Loser with a capital L, in fact.  She’s saying that her “Words Gear” e-book has a colour screen and a fancy, touch-sensitive navigation grip.  She’s probably even casting doubts on your parentage, the cheeky minx.


Sony E-Book Reader gets price and pre-order

In the world of the future, we’ll all ride on the backs of giant robot weasels, eat food that was grown on Mars and freeze-dried into the shape of Peter Falk’s head, and read our books from the flicker-free screens of electronic books.  “Electronic books?!” I hear your scoff, “are you a mad person with the brains of a no-brained idiot?”  No, sir, I’m not – and Sony are here to back me up.


iTunes 7 DRM Cracked

Well, that didn’t take too long. While millions of happy iTunes users were thrilled at the release of iTunes 7 (the first really worthy upgrade, in my opinion, since iTunes 5), QTFairUse/myFairTunes6 users all collectively groaned in unison; a new iTunes, of course, means changes to the DRM scheme, rendering their fair-use programs useless. Fortunately, it didn’t last; last night an update to QTFairUse, bringing iTunes 7 compatibility along with it.


MySpace Music Download, an iTunes Alternative

MySpace Music Download, an iTunes Alternative

In the world where iTunes rule, many other companies trying to take a jab at Apple for its success on delivering digital music and videos to the users. Now MySpace is jumping on the bandwagon to sell music on its website. MySpace have a big user base with over 100 millions members. Many artists and bands are using MySpace as their social space online to keep in touch with their fans that will probably be one of the advantage MySpace have over other online music store services. The Music industry have changed, offering more options for users to get their music, but many label companies are still paranoid on piracy issue and on the other hand, users does not like DRM on the music they paid for. MySpace said they will not use any type of DRM, and music will be sold as unprotected files. Goodie! I hate DRM!
[via BBC]

SanDisk Introduces Sansa c200 MP3 Player With Color Screen

SanDisk Introduces Sansa c200 MP3 Player With Color Screen

This is no joke; SanDisk is really releasing a replacement for the c100 line of flash-based players for under $100. The c240 comes with 1GB of storage and retails for $80 and the c250 has 2GB priced right at $100. Both models support file formats such as MP3, WMA, and WMA DRM. There’s also and integrated FM tuner, microSD memory card for a maximum of 2GB of extra storage, voice recorder, a 1.4-inch LCD display with 128x98 pixels and a battery life of 15 hours.

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Sony Announced NW-S203F and NW-S2305F MP3 Player

Sony recently announced a series of sports oriented MP3 player, the 1GB NW-S203F and 2GB NW-S2305F. If you owned a Walkman device that comes with the tube remote controller, you will notice the design of NW-S203F and NW-S2305F looks very similar. The player uses OLED screen that most new player in the market used and it feature an FM tuner, a stopwatch, and a pedometer.


Yahoo Releases DRM-Free Music Track

Hoping that other music companies will follow its example, Yahoo! has released a $1.99, DRM-free, personalized version of Jessica Simpson’s “A Public Affair.” While the price of $1.99 is effectively double that of a comparable iTunes Music Store purchase, the Yahoo! track can be played on any MP3-capable music player, which sorta justifies the added cost. The company, regarding the new music track, has said the following:

“Dear digital consumer, even if you’re not into Jessica Simpson, and you’re not excited about spending $2 for a song, let me tell you, this is a bigger deal than you might think.”


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