Archive for: amazon

Amazon Announces Cloud Drive Music Locker Service And Apps.

The long awaited “digital lockers” that music junkies and mobile aficionados have been begging for has finally been delivered. But it isn’t Apple who has long been the #1 focus on such a service/feature — it’s Amazon.

Dubbed “Amazon Cloud”, this new streaming service is pretty enticing on paper. Music, video, photos, and documents can all be uploaded to an initial 5GB chunk of online storage space. Purchase a single song from Amazon’s music store and your allotment is bumped up to 20GB. On top of that, tracks purchased from Amazon’s own store do not count towards your overall storage limit. If 20GB isn’t enough, extra storage can be purchased starting at $20/year for an additional 20GB and climbing all the way up to $1,000/year for a full terabyte.

Complimenting the online locker service is the new Cloud Player and Cloud Player for Andorid. The former will work in most common browsers across Mac, PC, Android Tablet, and Android phones. However, if mobile use is truly your main desire, the Android specific version of Cloud Player also includes access to the full Amazon digital music store an a mobile-friendly version of the actual player. Both versions will allow upload and downloading of files, streaming and managing of playlists, and now worries of quality loss — all music is streamed at the same quality it was uploaded. (Audiophiles better have a good connection for FLAC streaming…)

Being the first out of the gate has its pros and cons. For now, Amazon is the sole provider of any type of digital music locker service designed as Amazon Cloud is. At the same time, competitors can now tweak their own offerings to meet or exceed Amazon. Though, such is the way of the technology/business world. Nevertheless, we’re excited.

For now, Amazon Cloud is U.S. only. But fret not. As soon as other countries are given the green light, we’ll be sure to divulge anything and everything we know. Stay tuned…

Angry Birds Rio Now Available!

The day Angry Birds aficionados have been waiting for is finally here. Angry Birds Rio has officially launched. Available for iOS (App Store) and Android (Amazon App Store — exclusive), the latest saga in the birds’ journey brings two new episodes complete with 60 levels of bird slinging fun. However, the fun will continue throughout with episodic updates based on the official RIO movie. New characters, achievements, and unlockable secrets are also planned moving forward.

Angry Birds Rio is free on the iOS App Store and $0.99 on the Amazon Android App Store. However, if Android users act within the next 24 hours, Angry Birds Rio can be snagged for free under Amazon’s “Free App of the Day” promotion. Give Angry Birds Rio a try and let us know what you think!

All AT&T Phones on Sale this Weekend on Amazon — $0.01.

Choose AT&T as your carrier, Amazon as your distributer, and Lincoln as your cash handler and you’ve got yourself a deal. Too Cryptic? Ok, how’s this: All AT&T Phones are $0.01 on this weekend? That sounds a bit better now doesn’t it? Best of all, the new Windows Phone 7 devices are included in this sale. Score! Now all you have to do is decide what to spend that penny on…

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Would you sell your e-reader if “exclusive” walled gardens hamper ebook uptake?

Yesterday Amazon announced that they scored an exclusive deal with publisher Andrew Wylie (clients: Oliver Sacks, Salman Rushdie, and Philip Roth plus more) that will give them the sole rights to distribute books by mentioned (and unmentioned) authors for a full 2 years. At first, it seems like a great way to push ebooks further and yeah, is a nice little nest egg for Amazon. But when you sit back and look at the bigger picture, it’s a very bad decision. First and foremost, no other outlets have access to these exclusive titles — no other ereader devices and not even traditional paperback versions.

Essentially, Amazon is setting a precedent for other publishers and ebook storefronts to create their own exclusive “talent clubs”, thereby fragmenting the market in an extreme sense. Just think, in a years time the sole decision when purchasing an ereader is: “What books can I or can’t I download?” That’s the wrong question to be asking. Features of the hardware itself and provided 3rd party services should be number one — not worrying about how many different ereaders you’ll need to read books from all of your favorite authors….
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Kindle tries, and fails at 2nd life as GameBoy Classic.

Think the Kindle is washed up, used, and useless in leu of all the other e-readers/tablets that have come on the scene recently? In many ways, those looking for a feature packed e-reader would be somewhat correct. Then again, if you buy a device specifically made to read digital books, how many bells and whistles do you really need?
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European gamer cites the law, receives partial refund for Sony’s self inflicted PS3 neutering.

It isn’t often that we here of the little guy, the consumer, the real victim in the great corporate sandbox getting what is dully theres. When Sony removed the other OS feature from the PS3 with the recent 3.21 update, a fair share of geeks around the globe were pretty upset. Granted, a “fair share of geeks” is quite small considering the overall global population. But it doesn’t really matter how many people actually used the feature. The point is, Sony lied and senselessly removed a feature that didn’t have to be removed. Here in the US we’ve got nothin’. We can choose to not upgrade but then that makes the PS3 even more useless, cutting off online access entirely.

For EU gamers it’s another story however. One distraught gamer by the name of ” Iapetus” from NeoGAF Forum actually notified Amazon and demanded a refund as his PS3 was no longer operating as it was marketed the day he purchased it. Specifically, he cited these two clauses in Directive 1999/44/EC:

“The goods must:

  • comply with the description given by the seller and posses the same qualities and characteristics as other similar goods
  • be fit for the purpose which the consumer requires them and which was made known to the seller at the time of purchase.”

Shocker: Amazon complied — partially. While Iapetus didn’t get his full dollar amount back, he ended up getting a solid 20% returned after citing EU law. That 20% by the way ended up totaling £84.00! I’d say he made out pretty well, wouldn’t you? Below is the reply and receipt from Amazon…

We are writing to confirm that we have processed your refund in the amount of £84.00 for your Order 666-5327564-4432412.
Item Refund: £71.49
Item Tax Refund: £12.51
This refund is for the following item(s):
Item: Sony PlayStation 3 Console (60GB Premium Version)
Quantity: 1
ASIN: B0007SV734
Reason for refund: Account adjustment
The following is the breakdown of your refund for this item:

With this persons success, we’ll have to wait and see if other EU dwellers follow suit and seek monetary compensation as well. Doing so could awaken a bloody battle however between consumer and stifling corporate body. I’m sure Sony has plenty of loops holes to slip through and an equal amount of paid for lobbyists holding parliament seats.

Here in the US, again, we haven’t got the slightest chance for any consumer retaliation. If anything, class action rings in the back of my head. But I fear it’s more a dream than reality.

Who’s up for a little Euro-road trip? > Playstation University

So how much does that eBook really cost?

Curling up next to the fire with a good book will one day be no more than a faint memory. For the near term however, physical books won’t give up easily. Some simply won’t give up on the “real” feel of a stack of paper in your hands nor the smell of a fresh book off the printing press. Such things an ebook just can’t replicate. With all the talk around paper books and ebooks, the biggest controversy has centered around publishing costs. With paper back books, the obvious transportation, manufacture, and other “physical” traits are assumed, adding to the overall cost of a book. But ebooks don’t have any of that. Motoko Rich of the NYT has put together a handy little chart showing rough estimations as to the differences between your typical physical book and ebook.

Now to the common consumer, looking at this chart will justify our cries for cheaper ebooks and why you can’t charge for an ebook the same price you’d charge for a similar physical book outright. But of course, those in the industry will jump on this chart (and my throat) almost immediately, ripping to pieces the ideology and reasoning behind the numbers.

While the apparent differences in manufacturing and distribution prices between physical books and ebooks is different though not significant, does it warrant cheaper digital books overall? And what, if any holes are there in this particular chart?

I love a good debate. Let’s here what you’ve got.

Gizmodo > NYT

Amazon MP3 for Android now officially official in the UK

Android users in the UK, listen up. If you were distraught and wondering around the streets of the mother country because you couldn’t download music OTA via the Amazon MP3 app, now is the day to put away that hanky.

Amazon would love for you to know that UK’ers rockin’ that friendly little green machine can now partake of OTA music goodness. Of course, many users have already been using the service as a leaked version of the app was released some time back.

If you fit that bill, you still may want to eye upgrading. New numbers are always nice. Not to mention, the official app now supports Android 1.5. Whoop Whoop! Go into the Android Market app and search “Amazon/Amazon Music” and download the free app now.


Amazon’s “Disc + On Demand” gives you physical movie and digital stream for one reasonable price.


Attention all big media exec’s and content owners: This is how you need to continue conducting business….

The digital hipsters and modern age, forward thinking individuals have come under fire the last several years from big media corporations and content owners for their disdain for physical products and embracing of digital counterparts. Going the digital route means companies shouldn’t be charging the same due to much lower distribution costs and practically non-existent shipping costs. But that’s an argument for another time for today the big story is Amazon’s “Disc + On Demand” offering. The concept is simple, and frankly, I’m shocked that it’s taken this long for someone, anyone to market such a deal. For Amazon’s Disc On Demand service, whenever you purchase a supported Blu-ray or DVD, buyers are also able to immediately stream a digital version of their just purchased movie via Amazon Video on Demand. If you don’t feel like streaming it and don’t have the time to rip the physical copy yourself, you can always download the digital copy for playback on your PC, Mac, or TiVo.

See, simple and effective. This should have been breaking news years ago. But I stopped hoping for change from the likes of Hollywood studios and other media entities long ago. Could this be the sign that they are finally waking up to the digital world? So Disc + On Demand is a big step in the right direction. But it isn’t quite perfect.

  1. Amazon Disc + On Demand is being marketed as a “limited time offer”. If Amazon or the supporting studios were intelligent at all, they’d make this permanent. One other thing to take into consideration is that the “limited offer” verbiage could simply be there to spur more sales — especially with the holiday shopping season in full swing, such a conclusion isn’t too hard to fathom.
  2. Currently, the selection of titles that feature Disc + On Demand are but a pittance of Amazon’s overall video catalog

Not deal breakers but certainly things to consider and keep a watchful eye on. Think it’s a good deal — one that could even make you buy more movies than normal?


Mashable > NewTeeVee

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