Another day, another social network. This time a Microsoft spin-off called Wallop. Wallop has a slick UI with lots of Flash based technology. It certainly looks much easier to deal with and customize than Myspace. A big difference between all other networks, however, is a marketplace where clever scripters and Flash artists can produce items that people can use to customize their site with. Unfortunately, as of this posting, they are running on the irritating “invite only” access and I don’t have one. Anyone wants to send me an invite, I would appreciate it.
In it’s ever aggressive march to protect the iPod trademark, Apple has done something incredible stupid. It was obnoxious enough when they started going after any products or companies with the term “pod” in it, but now Apple has released the hounds upon Podcast Ready, a service for podcasters. This has led many to ask, is Apple now trying to lay claim to the term podcast? Podcasters around the globe have exploded upon hearing this news. Some have suggested changing the name while others want to fight. I think it’s way to late for the name change and how can podcasters really fight this? The answer is we fight with the power of the social network, the blog, and the podcast itself. We have our own little pr machine and it’s time we turn it up to 10. Apple has always stood for freedom, creativity and a different way of doing things. In 1984, the famous Macintosh ad centered around taking down “the man”. Who’s “the man” now?
Well what do you know. Someone at one of the big three networks has grown a brain.
“We’re not rewarding bad behavior. That technology is here to stay,” CBS marketing group president George Schweitzer said of DVRs and its users’ ad-skipping habits.”We first thought it would be the boogeyman, and then we found out that people who use TiVo watch television more, they’re much more involved in what they see, and we want these people to watch our shows so they can tell other people how good they are,” he told Reuters.
So CBS is giving Tivo users one of it’s new fall shows, The Class, one week before it airs on the regular schedule. The package will also include trailers for other new CBS shows. Finally a major company says let’s not worry about how they’re trying to screw us, let’s figure out how we can use this new technology to our best advantage. We shall see about Hollywood, but the television industry has looked over at the music business and said, we’re not going to screw ourselves like those guys did.
The typical press announcements are out. On Sep 12th, Apple holds another one of its patented events where they will announce most likely the iTunes movie store and a new iPod with a wider screen for better movie viewing. Now if they pair that with a set top box that connects to your living room stereo and tv, they will have hit a home run. Microsoft is close to getting Windows Media Center right so the time to strike is now for Apple. This could be the most significant Apple announcement since the Intel switch.
Samsung will introduce a new line of mp3 players and a digital music download service run by Music Net. Music Net already powers stores like Yahoo Music and Urge from MTV. Were getting a glut on music download services and may of them all being tied to the mp3 player you own. Microsoft will also launch a store with the Zune player later this year. Just how many on-line music stores can we handle? I think within a few years we will see these stores start to drop like flies and only the strong will remain. iTunes, Microsoft, Yahoo. After all the hand wringing over digital music and downloading on-line digital music downloading is the hottest thing going. Within 10 years, it will be rare to find someone buying a physical cd.
Myspace will begin selling music on-line, allowing 3 million of the bands currently listed on the social network to sell their tracks directly from their Myspace pages or the pages of their fans. Myspace will use Snocap technology which is a really slick web element that integrates easily into a Myspace page or any weblog. Using Snocap, bands should be able to choose their own price point and DRM, if any. Many will choose no DRM so they will not be locked down to an Apple or Microsoft only solution.