Tag - Comes With Music
Nokia on Monday faced a symbolic embarrassment in its media strategy as it said it would drop Ovi Music Unlimited in 27 of its 33 countries. The bundled music plan, originally known as Comes With Music, will disappear from the UK and most of its major countries once subscriptions run out. The company wouldn't fully elaborate on what triggered the shutdown but partly blamed it on the Windows Media copy protection labels wanted for the service to work.
Nokia this morning launched a unique entry level touchscreen phone. The X3 Touch and Type (X3-02) is a major revamp of the original X3 that moves to a candybar design with both a number pad and a touchscreen. It's conceived as ideal for simple uses by keeping an obvious touch interface for browsing, media and simply navigating the OS but a hardware shortcut for dialing and text.
Direct downloads make up just a sliver of the music actually loaded on phones, comScore discovered today. About 24 percent of all phones are used to play music, but just two percent actually obtained that music from a store found on the phone itself. The remaining 22 percent of phone owners sideloaded the music from a computer either manually or through a sync app like iTunes.
Nokia tried to rekindle interest in Comes With Music today by launching it in China without copy protection. The service still lets customers buy a phone with a year of unlimited downloads attached but now won't use Windows Media DRM to guard those tracks, letting them freely copy the songs even after the subscription ends. Whether these would still use Microsoft's format or rely on a more ubiquitous format like MP3 wasn't said.
A recent rumor that Nokia has rebranded its Comes With Music service to Ovi Music Unlimited in the UK has been denied by the company. Following a change in its Indian website that hinted at a possible change, the company said just that the regular online music store will now be called Ovi Music rather than Nokia Music Store in the UK and Ireland, with other countries getting the newly named store before the spring. All 22 countries where Nokia is sold will receive the Ovi brand in 2010.
Warner Music Group chief Edgar Bronfman has cautioned that his label is likely to avoid free streaming music services. He expects to only offer music through paid services and says that free streaming services are "not net positive." He stopped short of saying Warner would quit existing services like Spotify or of flatly rejecting future free deals.
The very recently rumored 16GB X6 handset has now been officially unveiled by Nokia on Tuesday. Unlike previously believed, the device will be available in four color schemes instead of just three, with an all-white model the omission and white with yellow highlights replacing the previously believed white with blue variation. At the same time, Nokia has confirmed the device will not include the Comes With Music download service.
Nokia will soon release a 16GB version of its X6 handset in a number of new colors, according to tech journalist and the editor of Mobile-Review, Eldar Murtazin. The device should be available in black, pink on white or blue on white and will be significantly less expensive than the 32GB version at the equivalent of about $500 versus $640. This is due to the smaller capacity, the lack of a headset and the likelihood of going without Nokia's Comes With Music service.
Nokia will catch up to and hopefully beat Apple's iPhone and Research in Motion's BlackBerry within the next year, its mobile division chief Rick Simonson said in an interview published today. He acknowledges that a gap has existed that has led to a loss in market share but is confident when telling the India Times that the losses have stabilized and that Nokia is actually recovering quickly. He points out that sales of Eseries phones like the E75 are three times larger than for the BlackBerry and that both it and the iPhone are relatively narrow focus devices where Nokia's broader focus could help it win.
Nokia on Friday introduced a new handset, the 5235 Comes With Music, which serves as an effective upgrade to the existing 5230 phone. The new model brings Comes With Music ready to go and can take unlimited downloads for as long as 1.5 years, all of which can be kept after the subscription ends. The 5235 has a 3.2-inch touchscreen and the battery life to play back 33 hours of music, which can be stored on a 16GB microSDHC memory card.
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French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l