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31Mar/110

Cloud Player & Record Label Backlash / Top 100 free mp3 downloads

CLOUD PLAYER STIRS UP A STORM
  What does this have to do with the Kindle?  Anything we upload to our Amazon 'Cloud' drive is also downloadable to our various devices, and that includes our computer, and we can copy or move some mp3's to our Kindle's "music" folder, which is on the same level as the "documents" folder.

  However, the Kindle 2, 3, and DX all play the mp3's in the order they're installed and in the background while you're reading (the Kindle 1 plays them entirely in random order).  BUT if you want to be able to select an mp3 to play, you can put some in the 'Audible' folder and then they'll show up eein the menu, but you won't be able to read a Kindle book at the same time with that method.

  Remember also that mp3 files tend to be several times larger than book files, so it's best not to put too many on the Kindle.  (The Kindle doesn't stream music from the Net, of course.)  Most Kindlers tend to be Amazon customers who have a strong interest in sight & sound, in general, so I include that from time to time.

  ALSO, note that the Cloud Drive can be used for videos, photos, and documents as well, and that includes backup of books you did not buy from Amazon and your personal documents that you'd liked backed up externally.

  At the bottom of this blog article, you'll see some of Amazon's highlighted mp3 download pages.

Cloud Drive and Player Brouhaha
CBS News carries a CNet article by Greg Sandoval about Amazon's Cloud Player triggering a backlash, as Amazon did not obtain prior permission from the major studios and top record companies.  Many of them tell CNet they feel it violates their rights.

  Bear in mind this is storing recordings that an Amazon customer has bought and owns.  Presumably.  The service does not stream it to the multitudes as mp3.com does -- it streams the music to the cusotmer who owns it.  In the agreement that we have to sign, we agree not to allow others to access this password-protected material to stream it for themselves.  It's not meant to be streaming to anyone but the person who owns the music files.

  For that reason, the record companies will have a hard time, I think, to stop this.  Furthermore, Amazon has said they got this up in place and are willing to negotiate the licenses for a customer to listen to his/her own music from the Net, once it is up and running:

' Sources said then that Amazon had met with some of their studio and label counterparts to lay out their plans. In those talks, Amazon executives said that they wanted to get up and running quickly and also wanted their blessing.  Amazon execs said in the meetings that they were prepared to unveil the service without licenses and would negotiate them at a later date. '

  However, CNet says that in an interview with the New York Times on Monday, they took "a more defiant tone" in that Amazon feels that with regard to music,  ' "We don't need a license to store music," Craig Pape, director of music at Amazon, said. "The functionality is the same as an external hard drive." '

  The 4 top labels, Sandoval writes, have made it clear that their current licenses don't allow for cloud distribution or storage.  OR STORAGE??  Are they kidding?  I can see how they would not like music streamed to the world, but NOT STORED???  How do they plan to stop us from storing our mp3s wherever we like?  Places like Mozy, Dropbox or Drop.net back up for us what we OWN the rights to STORE.  Now, streaming might be another matter, but I can see a problem if Amazon were streaming that music for *others* to hear rather than just the owner, and their Agreement makes clear that the streaming is only for the owner-customer.

What does this remind me of?
  This reminds me of the Big6 publishers who did not foresee the e-book or digital media changes coming and did not do licensing for that, specifically, when they first bought book rights.  A lawsuit to grab digital rights, after the fact, failed, because of what was considered the ‘new use’ – "electronic digital signals sent over the internet" being a separate medium from the original use."  In that case, it was whether the author, instead of the publisher, owned the digital rights, but the publisher was claiming rights to a publishing format that did not exist yet and that wasn't dealt with in a contract.

  Storing music that we purchase, on an external drive, has to be "licensed" ?  No good luck to them on that one.  Streaming music upon demand of the owner of an mp3 to that owner's ears only -- it'll be interesting how far they get on that one.  But we can bet that they'll try to include a clause against this on future recordings.

  Sandoval writes that "it's unlikely the labels would at this point file a lawsuit, but the potential for a legal fight is real" and adds that "EMI, the smallest of the four largest record labels, filed a lawsuit in 2007 against MP3tunes.com and founder Michael Robertson, one of the pioneers in cloud music" (who founded mp3.com).


  See the CNET article for more on what MP3Tunes and Sideload actually do.  It's just nothing like what Amazon is doing.  It involves tracking down and providing links to "pilfered" music files and then storing them on MP3Tunes.

  Apparently, Amazon risked being bogged down in negotiations for months and was determined to be "first out the door with a cloud service" and "time was running out."  CNet reported last week that some Google employees are doing internal testing of Google music, and Bloomberg reported that Apple is in talks with major labels on access to cloud-based tracks.

  Amazon's acting first may have offered too many advantages for the company to sit still, Sandoval writes.  The reality has been that customers who use cloud services are not enthusiastic about moving to another service after taking the time to upload their media.  First come, first serve(r).

  Sandoval reminds us that

' ...earlier this month, Amazon dropped a bombshell by announcing that members of the company's Prime service would receive free-of-charge access to a pool of 5,000 streaming movies and TV shows. Analysts noted that Amazon had the money and audience to challenge Netflix's domination.  The move put Amazon on the streaming-video map.

Not only did that send Netflix stock into a swoon, but it sent a message that Amazon is no longer satisfied with taking a backseat in digital distribution. '

SOME AMAZON MP3 DOWNLOAD PAGES
Top100 free mp3 album downloads and Top 100 paid, on the same page.

Bestseller Mp3 Albums and Song Downloads

100 mp3 albums for , selected by Amazon editors

As non-U.S. customers know too well, new features come very late for them, partly because the U.S. customers are like a large test-sample for the later global offerings and because even more rights (countries differ widely in these) have to be considered.

  Right now, all Amazon customers get the basic 5 Gig Cloud Drive, but for some countries, the 20 Gig upgrade feature is "currently unavailable," and only U.S. customers are able to use Cloud Player for streaming of their stored music at this point.

  In my case, I ran across the .49 album of 99 darker classical-music movements by really good musicians, an mp3 collection which would otherwise be 99 cents per cut, or :-)  But almost no one would ever buy just a movement from here and a movement from there, although sometimes the compilations are made for a particular mood (or, in this case some would say, don't go there).

  However, it includes Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings in one of the best versions I've heard -- it was used for the movie, Elephant Man and is heard when the audience sees only a dark, starry night.  Very sad music, but it's mesmerizing.  On the piano are less known, but really excellent pianists like Arnoldo Cohen and Dubravka Tomsic.
  HOWEVER, really horrific is that the album's mp3-playlist shows NO composer names.  Unreal.  But, for .49  I decided this was a good album to get to qualify for the Cloud Drive upgrade to 20 Gigs of storage.
  The vast majority will find, at the links given above, other inexpensive and quality mp3 album downloads.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite


Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or highest-rated ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

3Mar/110

Utah cashing in on record level of exports|Lastest Kindle News]

Utah cashing in on record level of exports
Utah cashing in on record level of exports By Steven Oberbeck The Salt Lake Tribune Published Mar 2, 2011 03:20PM MDT The Utah economy still may be struggling to throw off the ill effects of the national economic downturn, but when it comes to exports, activity is at a record level. The value of the state’s merchandise exports, from its precious metals to high-tech medical products, reached ...
Read more on The Salt Lake Tribune


2Mar/1116

The Beatles On Record (part 6)


Free ebooks:The Beatles On Record (part 6)
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28Feb/1119

The Beatles On Record (part 4)


Free ebooks:The Beatles On Record (part 4)
Free Ebooks, Free Software, Free Games www.freebies4u.net Click here to find out more

28Feb/1119

The Beatles On Record (part 4)


Free ebooks:The Beatles On Record (part 4)
Free Ebooks, Free Software, Free Games www.freebies4u.net Click here to find out more

20Feb/1125

The Beatles On Record (part 2)


Free ebooks:The Beatles On Record (part 2)
Free Ebooks, Free Software, Free Games www.freebies4u.net Click here to find out more

17Jan/110

Record labels to start selling songs as soon as they hit radio

Here’s another one of those cases where publishers could stand to learn from the music industry. The Guardian reports that Universal and Sony Music have decided to start selling songs immediately after they go on the air.

Formerly, songs could get as much as six weeks of radio play, called “setting up” a record, before being released for sale to consumers. This would let songs debut on sales charts in high positions, by building demand. However, times have changed considerably since the days when the only way to hear music you didn’t own was over the radio.

Record label execs report finding that interest in the songs, as shown by Google and iTunes search frequency, actually peaked two weeks before the song became available for sale—meaning by the time it was on sale, potential customers were already bored with it (or had already pirated it).

Sony, which will start the "on air, on sale" policy simultaneously with Universal next month, agreed that the old approach was no longer relevant in an age where, according to a spokesman for the music major, "people want instant gratification".

Now if only the publishing industry would pay attention to this, instead of “windowing” the release of e-books for weeks or months after the print version comes out.

(Found via Ars Technica.)

10Jan/110

INgage Networks Achieves Record Year in 2010, Forecasts Even Greater Opportunities to Meet Social Software Needs in 2011|Lastest Ebook News]

INgage Networks Achieves Record Year in 2010, Forecasts Even Greater Opportunities to Meet Social Software Needs in 2011
INgage Networks reports a stellar year of growth, financial performance and industry recognitions in 2010.
Read more on PRWeb via Yahoo! News

10Jan/110

Wattpad reports record numbers

wattpad_logo_small.jpgFrom their press release:

Wattpad is reporting a record December, seeing a 20 percent growth over November’s traffic and 300 percent more visitors when compared to the previous year. This reading spike resulted in many novels crossing the 1 Million Reads landmark.

The Android app saw the largest percentage of growth, with four times the usage in December as compared to the month before, furthering its gain over the BlackBerry. December also saw an increase overall in minutes spent on the site to 338 Million minutes a month.

The iPhone, iPod and iPad app remains the largest driver of mobile traffic of all devices, accounting for as much traffic as the web.

As Wattpad’s overall numbers grew, many novels and their authors saw exponential traffic increases. The top three books on Wattpad this December were:

1. YA novel “The Adventures of You: Fabulous Terrible” by Sophie Talbot, published by Chooseco, publishers of the Choose Your Own Adventure series.

2. 16 year old Jordan Lynde’s YA novel “A Proscriptive Relationship” which brings her total number of reads to 4.85 Million

3. Historical novel “The Last Dance” by S. Dust which has been read 3.6 Million times

27Dec/100

Kobo shows record growth over Christmas holidays

Kobo_Logo.pngFrom the press release:

Kobo, the only pure-play global eReading service built on an open platform, today revealed its Holiday 2010 momentum. This Christmas, readers around the world received new eReaders and iPads and other eReading devices under their tree. Over a million people connected to Kobo, and hundreds of thousands of devices were activated each day since Christmas Eve, fuelling the highest eBook download rate in the company’s history. People around the world chose Kobo this Christmas, with the popular easy-to-use Kobo Wireless eReader, dozens of compatible eReaders, top-rated applications for iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and one of the largest catalogues in the world with over 2.2 million eBooks, newspapers and magazines.

“Earlier this month we predicted that Christmas would be a record breaker for Kobo, and we have exceeded our expectations driving several ebook downloads per second since Christmas Eve, or an equivalent number hardcover books stacked as high as 50 Empire State Buildings ” said Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo. “I would like to thank our customers for choosing Kobo to start building their digital library this Christmas. Our success this holiday season is a pre-cursor to a New Year with people reading more than ever thanks to eBooks and Kobo.”

Kobo’s holiday growth also included:

· Total registered users nearly doubling from the six weeks prior

· A 50X increase in purchases from previous Holiday weekend last year

· A 5X increase in purchases from the previous biggest weekend (also in December)

· Customer purchases from over 130 countries, with some of the biggest gains outside of US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, occurring in Germany, Netherlands, and Singapore

· A significant increase in device mix, with eReaders and Tablets accounting for the largest percent in sales

Kobo became the first eReading service to launch an eBook gifting and gift card program and for the first time in history, eBooks “arrived” digitally in people’s email accounts this Christmas morning. The top three most popular eBooks gifted this holiday were:
· “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson

· “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest” by Stieg Larsson

· “Room” by Emma Donahue

Top three Kobo eBook title sales by country:

Canada
1. “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest” by Stieg Larsson

2. “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson

3. “Room” by Emma Donahue

United States
1. “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson

2. “The Girl Who Played With Fire” by Stieg Larsson

3. “The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown

United Kingdom
1. “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson

2. “The Confession” James E. Mcgreevey

3. “The Girl Who Played With Fire” by Stieg Larsson

Australia
1. “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson

2. “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest” by Stieg Larsson

3. “The Girl Who Played With Fire” by Stieg Larsson

Rest Of World
1. “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson

2. “Dead Or Alive” by Tom Clancy

3. “The 4-Hour Body” by Timothy Ferriss