This week marked the launch of UltraViolet, a new digital locker system that would allow users to purchase content in one physical or digital format and access it across all platforms via a cloud-based system. The service came about through years of negotiation and collaboration between major studios, manufacturers, and retailers, but not everyone in the industry was on board — Apple and Disney were among the two biggest holdouts.
We’ve now learned why Apple declined to participate, and it’s pretty much the same reason Disney did. Apple has quietly been working on its own cloud service, expected to launch in late 2011 or early 2012, and has been working out deals with studios to allow videos purchased through iTunes to be streamed on any Apple device including iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV.
“Digital music locker”? Gosh, even themovie studios’ metaphors sound dated. A locker? Really? That particular metal device is pretty ill-suited to convey the freedom of syncing and listening to your music anywhere you go. A locker? That idea… just stinks.
Qwikster, we never knew ya: Netflix has killed its plans to turn its DVD service into a separate business.
Well, that was fast.
It’s perfectly logical for the TV networks to try to lock up their shows online.
Except for the part about it not working.
On Aug. 15, Fox will stop distributing its shows on Hulu and Fox.com a day after they air, and will make most Web surfers wait eight days to see them. The only legal way around this, for now, is to pay for a subscription to either the Dish Network or Hulu Plus.
Steering your customers away from ad-laden content, to un-authorized streaming sites. News Corp is winning my “Archaic Stick-in-the-Mud Corporation Award” for the year.
Yep. Apple is planning a cloud-based music locker service, which will let users stream their music, over the Web, to different devices.
Which may sound a lot like what Amazon rolled out last month.
From the music industry’s perspective, however, there’s a big difference: Amazon started its service without getting approval from the big music labels. But Apple is actively seeking licenses for its service, and will pay the labels for the privilege.
Except the lack of iOS support, Amazon’s cloud music service is everything I want. I’m fairly certain the Apple service, like Ping, will be primarily written to meet the company’s goals, not the users’.
It’s been two weeks since Amazon launched its cloud-based music service. And Amazon says it’s been a big success–for the music labels.
In a letter sent to the big labels, Amazon says it has been selling more MP3s since it launched the service. In other words: Stop whining about licensing deals and start thanking us for making you more money.
My first encounters with the service were definitely positive. But, where’s my iPhone version??
Time Warner Cable on Thursday abruptly removed several channels, including MTV and FX, from its app that replicates the TV viewing experience on an iPad, after receiving complaints from three major media companies, Viacom, Discovery Communications and the News Corporation.
The companies have claimed that the iPad app is a contract violation — in part because they want cable companies like Time Warner Cable to pay them more for the privilege to stream their channels to portable devices. Viacom and the News Corporation had sent cease-and-desist letters to Time Warner Cable in recent days.
The debate over the app boils down to this question: When companies like Time Warner Cable buy the rights to beam channels to customers’ television sets, do those rights extend to new screens like iPads? After all, computers, iPads and mobile phones can all act as TV screens.
(slightly edited for clarity)
As TechCrunch says, “Why can’t I just watch the damn television on my internets??!” -> Greedy network execs. Duh!
Even from my short test, it became apparent that Amazon wasn’t launching some half-baked product; Cloud Player is a fully functional, very usable streaming music player that could even make iTunes obsolete for many people, and its ability to play on-device and cloud-based music could quickly make it Android’s killer app.
Amazon has thrown down the gauntlet and set a high bar for cloud-based music streaming. Apple and Google, which are expected to launch their own cloud players sometime this year, will have to match Amazon on usability and price if they’re going to compete.
Very exciting news. But where’s my iPhone app?!
Anyone know if it’s possible to use the in-phone browser to access the Amazon music cloud?
Update: Actually, Mashable says no. But: How to Use Amazon Cloud Player with iOS Devices.
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