When I got my Google Nexus One, one of the features that I missed which the iPhone gave me was the iTunes media management interface. Nothing beats the iPhone and iTunes interface when it comes to managing your phone’s media files as well as synching your iPhone to your Mac or PC. Â Yes, the Nexus One comes with a USB cable that you can use or the Bluetooth feature but these are so 1990s if you have used, assimilated and embraced the iTunes life.
Enter DoubleTwist, a new media management software which aims to “create a unifying media platform that connects consumers with all their media and all their devices, regardless of whether they are online or offline.” It is very similar to iTunes but works with any devices. It lets you drag and drop songs to playlist, sync music, photos and videos to your devices as well as share your media with friends.
Although it was not designed specifically for Android phones, such as the Google Nexus One, DoubleTwist recently partnered with T-Mobile which could very well make it as the Nexus One’s closest choice for managing their media files and for synching their phone to their Mac or PC.
T-Mobile is set to promote DoubleTwist on all their retail stores as well on their online site. But the biggest break for DoubleTwist is the fact that it will soon be preloaded on some Android devices that T-Mobile is going to release.
I’ve downloaded DoubleTwist on my Mac and currently installing it. Will check it out to see how good it fares up with iTunes. If you want to give it a try, you may download if from here.
Universal Music Group (UMG) has teamed up with ad-sponsored digital music download service FreeAllMusic to provide a facility for music fans to download freely and legally music tracks from UMG’s stable of artists. The deal will give users up to 20 free music downloads per month, five per week starting every New Music Tuesday.
In case you’re not aware, FreeAllMusic is a fairly new music service offering downloadable, high-quality, iPod-compatible MP3s of popular songs that are advertiser-paid, free, legal and DRM-free. The catch? You have to watch a short video commercial before you can download an MP3. You have to do that to let FreeAllMusic continue providing the service. It is after all what’s paying their bills to keep the site running.
The good thing is, after watching the video commercial and downloading the MP3, you can now enjoy it anytime, anywhere minus the ads. Fair enough, right? Ok, before you folks jump for joy, let me just tell you that FreeAllMusic is a for US-only site. So bad luck for all of us non-US citizens of the world. But of course there are other alternatives to this service, if Â you know what I’m referring to.
If you’re from the U.S., you need to register at FreeAllMusic.com and then simply select a participating brand, then watch the short video commercial. After which you can start downloading the mp3. You can also share your downloads to friends but they have to download it for themselves. And they should also watch the video commercial. Or post your music download to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter so that others may know about FreeAllMusic.com’s service and be compelled to watch video commercials in exchange for free music.
Say goodbye to pesky and obtrusive ads whenever you want to listen to free songs featured on music videos on YouTube. Likewise, say goodbye to those annoying country-specific restrictions that renders most songs practically un-streamable if you live in Timbuktu. Thanks to new site Muziic you can now enjoy those two benefits brought by the free Internet.
First started as a Windows application, Muziic then lets you organize and manage music collections from songs featured on YouTube videos. Think of it as the Windows iTunes for YouTube, that also lets you rip mp3s to YouTube.
To make its service more relevant, Muziic recently launched a web-based media player. And while they were at it, they brought along music video start-up Vevo which went public recently.
So, what do this bring us, free music loving Internet citizens? Â Free songs, as in millions of them with accompanying videos to boot.
And then what else? Muziic also lets you register on the site so that you can create your music playlist. It has a very efficient search engine which offers direct song access similar to iTunes does. For those who couldn’t live without sharing things with their friends to social networks, Muziic also just recently rolled out a Facebook app. How about an iPhone app? Not yet but it’s coming pretty soon, I hope.
An online service as good as this is not without a glitch of course. For one thing, Muziic removes country-restriction to video contents from Vevo. While this may seem ok for now, Vevo is said to be looking at it right now. Hopefully, they won’t do something to spoil Muziic’s party.
Aside from having tested its features and services already, new music sharing and playing in the cloud service, tunesBag finally goes out of public beta after being in close-by-invitation only mode for quite some time now. Earlier, tunesBag has released a web client, Adobe-AIR desktop client, Â iPhone and Facebook apps.
Offering both a free ad-supported version as well as a paid premium subscription, tunesBag lets you upload your music collection to its cloud storage and then play them anytime, anywhere. tunesBag also lets you easily share your playlists and invididuals via email and social networking updates. You can also rate and recommend songs and playlists to anyone. In other words, tunesBag is your standard online music sharing service.
And to avoid copyright issues, tunesBag only allows music sharing in countries where it is legally covered by licensing agreements. tunesBag will determine this through your IP addresse. Likewise, tunesBag may also refer users with restricted access to licensed music to other online sources where they can listen or find information about those music tracks.
Want to take tunesBag for a spin? Â Sign up here.
I remember using Â the free music app Songbird a long time ago but didn’t quite fully maximized its features. Â In fact, I thought the app was no longer existing until now that I learned about its latest software update, Songbird version 1.4.2.
In case you never heard of Songbird before, it’s an open-source music app that you can use if you’re tired of using iTunes and Winamp as it provides simple interface with powerful features to let you manage and listen to your music files.
For its latest version, Songbird is introducing new features such as Mass Storage Class Support, CD Rip support, and Purple Rain Feather.
MSC Device Support lets you sync tracks from MSC devices to phones and MP3 players including the iPod Â through MSC mode. Â Music tracks which are in incompatible formats are transcoded on the fly to be supported by Songbird.
Songbird also now lets you rip CDs into FLAC/OGG or WMA for Windows users.
Finally, the new Songbird now sports a new Purple Rain Feather for a sleek-looking and cool interface. It now has dedicated toggle buttons for frequently used Media Views and simplified display pane management.
Nokia has officially made available another one of its so called flagship, highly pocketable mobile computer – the N900. Actually when it was announced recently, I had a hard time distinguising it from the rest of the mobile computing devices that are available today.
But anyway, it’s out in the flesh. Just waiting for all of Â you Americans looking for your next gadget purchase. Or if you haven’t found that perfect gift for your love ones, the N900 could be it. More →
Apple in collaboration with is releasing an Apple-shaped USB loaded with 14 Beatles stereo titles. Included in the USB are all the remastered visual elements of the CD’s originally containing the 14 Beatles songs. In addition, the USB will also be loaded with 13 mini-documentary films about the Beatles’ studio albums, replicated UK album art rate photos and other notes. More →
JupiterResearch, a leading authority on the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on business, has found that although US consumers are continuing to acquire music-capable mobile phones, only few take advantage of those capabilities. According to a new report, â€œMobile Music: Target Impulse Purchases and Purchasers for Over-The-Air Downloads,â€ only about five percent of consumers report sideloading songs onto their phone, and only two percent report downloading songs over the air. Thus, although some 27.9 million US consumers are expected to have music phones by the end of this year, the music functionality of the phone will remain significantly underutilized.
Even the long-anticipated release of Appleâ€™s iPhone later this week will probably not serve as the catalyst for mass adoption of music phone capabilities.
Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions announced the availability of three interactive SAT prep programs that students can purchase and download from iTunes, enabling them to practice for the college entrance exam. Among the key features of the programs: students receive detailed analyses of each completed quiz they take, as well as feedback and an option for tracking quiz score progress. The $4.99 programs focus on the examâ€™s three graded sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing.
“Students don’t go anywhere without their iPods and Kaplan has always sought to make test prep as convenient as possible for our students so it’s a natural fit to offer test prep on iTunes. As students have embraced new trends over the years, from new learning and entertainment channels to new technology, weâ€™ve adapted our materials in ways that are relevant to their lifestyles,” said Mark Ward, president, Pre-College Programs, Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions.
The latest offerings come with the launch of Kaplan’s MySpace page.
Apple announced that iPhone will deliver significantly longer battery life when it ships on June 29 than was originally estimated when iPhone was unveiled in January. iPhone will feature up to 8 hours of talk time, 6 hours of Internet use, 7 hours of video playback or 24 hours of audio playback. In addition, iPhone will feature up to 250 hours-more than 10 days-of standby time. Apple also announced that the entire top surface of iPhone, including its stunning 3.5-inch display, has been upgraded from plastic to optical-quality glass to achieve a superior level of scratch resistance and optical clarity.
With 8 hours of talk time, and 24 hours of audio playback, iPhone’s battery life is longer than any other ‘Smartphone’ and even longer than most MP3 players,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve also upgraded iPhone’s entire top surface from plastic to optical-quality glass for superior scratch resistance and clarity. There has never been a phone like iPhone, and we can’t wait to get this truly magical product into the hands of customers starting just 11 days from today.”