Wednesday, August 6, 2008

snapshot 8/7/08

Libraries step into the age of iPod
Hoping to draw back readers, libraries have vastly expanded their lists of digital books, music, and movies that can be downloaded by their patrons to a computer or MP3 player -- and it doesn't cost a cent, unlike, say, media from Apple Inc's iTunes or Inc.

Apple looking to patent remote iTunes streaming?
Apple handhelds may in the future be able to stream content from a remote iTunes library, a newly-published patent application indicates. Titled Remote access of media items, the filing describes a system in which handheld owners would be able to access audio, video and photos over a network. Unlike the current iTunes sharing scheme, however, people would also be able to access games, and reach everything over the Internet, whether through wired, Wi-Fi or cellular networks.

Best Buy Grabs Exclusive Police Concert Set
Wal-Mart isn't the only big box retailer grabbing major music exclusives. On Wednesday, Best Buy disclosed an exclusive offering involving the Police, part of a broader tour tie-in. The live concert video package, Certifiable: Live in Buenos Aires, comes from the recent reunion tour that stretched multiple continents. The package comes in both DVD and Blu-ray configurations, though both include bonus CDs. The product will grace the aisles of Best Buy starting October 7th, though fans can pre-order the collection. The price point is $24.99, according to early data. Incidentally, a third configuration features three, 180-gram vinyl LPs with an MP3 file key, a nod to lovers of the platter.

Y Combinator’s Popcuts Pays You To Find Good New Music
Popcuts , a Y Combinator -funded music store that launches today in public beta, is looking to reward these early adopters by paying store credit to the first people who buy a song that later goes on to become popular. When an artist signs on to the store, they allocate a certain portion of the revenue generated by their songs to go back to their fans. This money is then distributed according to how early each user purchased a song (the earlier you buy, the more you make). For example, the band My First Earthquake has decided to pay out 30% of its revenues to its fans. The earliest adopters (say, the first dozen people to buy the song) will break even after the song has been purchased by around 25 other people. Fans buying the song later on will still earn credit, but it will be earned at a much slower rate (the site will tell you how quickly you’ll be earning credit before you buy a song).

Online Music Sales Muddle Royalties, Lawyers Say
The current system for getting royalty payments to musicians in the United States is seriously hampering the introduction of new, innovative music distribution models, and that problem is not going to get any better in the era of the digital download, leading music experts said Thursday.

As consumers abandon CDs for Internet-based downloads, the industry is filling the gap with new licensing models, but many of the most innovative models are being done internationally, like ISPs abroad bundling unlimited music downloads in with Internet service, Cary Sherman, chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), said during a panel at the American Bar Association's annual meeting.

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