Archive for: cloud

Trolling: Spotify Sued In U.S. Over 1990′s Patent.


It’s pretty sad when a new, innovative company’s first month in the U.S. is welcomed with large patent infringement lawsuit — Welcome, Spotify!

The company patent troll, PacketVideo, purchased the patent in question a few years ago — 5,636,276 which itself is incredibly general and vague. Hell, even back in 1995 when the patent was originally filed many people considered the content of the patent pretty ridiculous. Nevermind the fact PacketVideo themselves just purchased the patent — not actually using/producing anything with it. Add up all the parts and you’ve got the classic makings of another useless patent troll. PacketVideo is simply looking for an easy, quick buck. Sadly common sense and actual innovation are not properties of modern copyright.

So what’s Spotify think of all of this?
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Last.fm Servers Implode. Most Streaming/Sharing Features Taken Offline.

In the worst possible case of bad timing after European based Spotify’s U.S. launch last week, Last.fm is going through a slew of problems today. According to Last.fm’s Colin Strickland, the “Rabd” service that controls most of the Last.fm’s recommendation, scrobbling, and sharing features went down around 04:00 GMT. Currently the team isn’t sure why the Rabd service went down but is (obviously) hard at work restoring things. As for those questioning the lack of any backup service for something as large and popular as Last.fm — there is one but it can’t handle the load.

We just gave Last.fm a shot on our end and were indeed met with sporadic audio and wonky web pages. Hopefully Last.fm can get their ducks re-aligned rather quickly. With a ton of media hype still focused on Spotify after their U.S. Launch last week, the last thing Last.fm needs is to give users a reason to try Spotify, actually like it, and in turn defect.

Last.fm users: How are you coping?

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The Plan: Spotify U.S. Marketing Materials Leaked.


Yes, another Spotify article. But this time it’s actually interesting. Peter Kafka from AllThingsD managed to get his hands on some marketing material that Spotify is using to pitch to various execs and companies for their upcoming U.S. launch said to definitely be coming this month. A small sliver can be seen above with some simple Q&A style verbiage. Though if reading isn’t your thing, the gist is that from the start, Spotify is looking to piggy back on Facebook’s wide 150+ million strong U.S. userbase in helping Spotify proliferate it’s brand image and music around the social network. Their ultimate goal is 50 million new users in their first year — a lofty goal for sure considering their European market is ~ 1 million (7 million claimed active users) after several years on the market.

In short: Spotify is finally ready to rock our socks off. Hop inside for another piece of marketing material with plenty of eye candy…

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Spotify U.S. Announcement Gets Official!


Music streaming fans can pump their fists high and proud today for European based Spotify has posted a new U.S. holding page with the message above — they’re coming. Soon.

Stretching several years now, Spotify’s quest to dominate the U.S. interwebs has been perilous and wrought with greed, incompetence, and plenty of road blocks. The most recent rumors were far ranging and included everything from Spotify being 1-2 major albels away from release as well as courting Google or Facebook for a possible partnership. On that note, Facebook’s “special announcement” could very well include Spotify streaming in conjunction with the rumored Skype video chat integration.

Partners (labels), pricing and an official release date haven’t been divulged just yet but rest assured that once they are, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, head on over to the Spotify U.S. page and sign up for a handy email letting you know when the service is ready, more details are known, etc. Of course, we’re pretty sure we will tell you such things long before Spotify makes them official.

Stay tuned…

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Google Music Invites Now Rolling Out To XOOM Owners.


Google has officially made good on their original promise echoed at Google I/O last week in giving conference attendees and Motorola XOOM owners early access to Google Music Beta as made evident by the email above. As it stands now, only XOOM devices purchased through Verizon are being included in the Google Music Beta program. Whether it is an exclusive privilege Verizon paid for or some random technical issue is unknown (we’d side with the former). But let’s all be honest with each other. The Android community will have Google Music Beta app ported to non-supported devices in no time flat. Getting the actual cloud funcitonality to work is another story, unfortunately.

Any XOOM owners receive their GMB invites yet?
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Seagate GoFlex Hard Drives Feature Built-in Battery And WiFi!


While there’s only so much you can do to “transform” the lowly hard drive, Seagate has managed to intrigue us with the aging tech by way of their new GoFlex hard drives. Said drives now feature wifi capabilities and a built-in battery which allow the drives to wirelessly transfer media to and from your iPhone or Android device (iOS app now available, Android coming soon) over WiFi and without having to connect to a computer or wall outlet. The included battery is said to be good for ~25 hours which means the asking price of $200 for 500 GB of mobile storage really isn’t all that bad.

If you’re the type that carriers large amounts of files on your travels and constantly frowns upon having to whip out the laptop, this hard drive is your saving grace.

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Nokia Dropping “Ovi” Branding This Summer.

Nokia’s revamped Ovi brand which brought together the likes of their old discontinued N-Gage services, Nokia Music, Nokia Maps, and many other Nokia-branded apps/services will very soon be no more. The company has announced that they are officially dropping the “Ovi” branding and instead reorganizing under one name — Nokia. The move comes after nearly three years of heavy marketing and most likely million upon million of Euros invested in a service that overall attracted few.

Per Nokia Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Jerri DeVard:

We have made the decision to change our service branding from Ovi to Nokia. By centralizing our services identity under one brand, not two, we will reinforce the powerful master brand of Nokia and unify our brand architecture – while continuing to deliver compelling opportunities and experiences for partners and consumers alike. The reasons for this decision includes the fact that Nokia is a well-known and highly-loved brand the world over. Our mobile experiences are tightly integrated with our devices – there is no longer a differentiation. For example, if consumers want the best mobile navigation experience, they know it’s a Nokia that they can rely on. These last few years, and moving forward, our mission remains unchanged: we will continue our work to deliver compelling, unified mobile service offerings and next-generation, disruptive technologies.

It makes sense for Nokia to get their ducks in a row considering the continuing loss of market share the company is experiencing. Though as for their own branded services, it’s not really known how relevant they’ll be (or whether people will even want them) now that Microsoft has taken the reigns and features their own suite of more popular and used services. In short: Nokia-branded services look to follow the same path as Ovi, N-Gage, and others before it — irrelevance which results in death.

The change in naming and marketing is scheduled to begin in July of this year and continue through 2012 with no planned outages in any one service.

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2 Big Reasons Music Lockers Won’t Catch On Anytime Soon.

Today’s Google I/O conference was full of new announcements of some very exciting features and services coming to the Android platform. Perhaps the biggest of said announcements is the new Google Music Beta locker/streaming service.

Even though Google is launching Music Beta without the blessings of major music labels, it is still completely free. (You do not need a separate license to stream your own cloud-based music as labels may claim.) However, there are two looming problems that will stop Music Beta (and cloud lockers/streaming as a whole) dead in their tracks…
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Google’s “Music Beta” Locker Service Officially Announced!

Take a minute (or ten) to check out some of the most talked about topics in the world of mobile tech today and you’ll no doubt see the words “cloud” or “locker” mentioned at least a few times. With the age of the MP3 officially over thanks to the ever increasing technologies in smartphones, the next frontier is on the horizon — cloud services and Google’s Music Beta music locker/streaming service.
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