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5 Ways the Internet Has Revolutionized Music

 The Zune  No Responses »
Jul 242012
 
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If you don’t stop to pay attention, changes in the music industry might not be noticeable. For a young person or teenager, there’s no difference at all. But if you grew up in the 80’s with Walkmans and MTV, you’ll definitely know how things have changed. We simply live in entirely different world, and people enjoy music in ways that were previously unimaginable. Needless to say, the Internet has played a vital role in all of this. It’s changed everything from the way we interact to the way we cook, and it has similarly revolutionized the music industry. It’s impossible to go back to the way things were, nor would anyone want to. Here are some of the ways music has been changed by the net forever.

Music Videos – music videos hit their peak in the late 80s and early 90s. They are still important today, but they don’t have the same cachet or appeal, probably because we’ve seen it all before. In the past, kids would watch MTV and hope their favorite videos would come on. Nowadays, all they have to do is click a few buttons and they can find their favorite videos on YouTube. In a strange way, so-called music channels like MTV and VH1 have become the home of reality television shows. YouTube has taken their place as the destination to visit if you want music videos.

Itunes – is there anyone who hasn’t used iTunes by now? There’s no other way to put it, the iPod and iTunes have totally changed things. Being able to easily access any music you like for a reasonable price has put traditional record stores in jeopardy. No one really seems to mind, and even vintage fans have found something to rave about when it comes to downloadable music. It’s changed marketing completely, and the most popular artists of the day know how to take advantage of it.

Illegal downloads – let’s not forget the dark side when it comes to the music industry and the Internet. There are still plenty of people illegally downloading music without paying for it. Company executives and artists claim they lose a lot of money on this, exactly how much is debatable. Some acts have made their music free online on purpose to appeal to their fans. Others have to tour more in order to make up for lost revenue. One thing is clear, the music industry is still a relatively strong despite illegal downloads. It seems that if you produce quality music and connect with your audience in some way, people will still buy your work.

Youtube Stars – even a decade ago, people would have to go through regular channels in order to become famous. Now you can do it all on your own with videos that you post on YouTube. Whether it’s a karaoke video, or something completely silly, there are everyday people getting millions of hits. And if you actually have talent, then you might actually find a career. That’s exactly what happened to Justin Bieber, and he still going strong today.

A More Social World – when you throw in blogging, Facebook, twitter, and social sharing, music has become a viral entity. Popular videos are shared right away, and people have a chance to post their own work like never before. There are also vibrant communities in separate niches that have rabid fans. Whether you love country music, karaoke singing, or Lady Gaga, there’s probably a website out there for you. Don’t forget about chat rooms, forums, and discussion boards either. Music isn’t just something you enjoy on your own anymore, it something that you find, discover, share, and love with thousands of people at the same time.

One great hobby that combines many of these elements together is karaoke. Not coincidentally, this article comes from our friends at karaokemachineguide.com where popular media and home fun come together. It’s a great place to visit for product reviews, entertainment news, and all things music related.

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The Mobile Technology Expected in 2013

 Mobile Technology  No Responses »
Jul 212012
 
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The sheer number of technological developments and innovations in the field of smartphones has consumers licking their lips in anticipation of what to expect next. Each new model and advancement is replaced with something better and even more intelligent, to the extent where it would be justifiable to name the field of mobile phone technology as the fastest improving in recent years. With 2012 proving to be such an exciting year for new innovations, here is just some of what 2013 should have to offer.

Firefox OS

The Firefox OS will be the web browser developer’s standalone mobile operating system. It will run a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and introduce an entirely open mobile operating system. The idea is to create a completely open mobile ecosystem, built utterly on open web standards. Apps will then be developed as HTML 5 applications.

The plan has received widespread support throughout the mobile technology industry with phone manufacturers and wireless carriers around the world voicing their support.

4G

With it being so highly anticipated, it’s quite probable you’ve already heard of 4G. In definition: it is the fourth generation of mobile communication standards. In layman’s terms it is the successor of 3G and the fastest means to date by which we can access the internet through wireless mobile devices.

Now there are a number of devices which are already 4G enabled. The problem is however, the majority of countries aren’t. The United Kingdom is certainly then in this majority that aren’t 4G connected but we’re expecting to be so by early 2013.

In addition to offering users an access to the internet five-times as fast as 3G (the current mobile communication standard), 4G also gives wireless mobile devices the ability to access high data rate wireless channels, high quality audio and high-definition video.

Indoor GPS

The idea is magnificent and will certainly have tech geeks eagerly waiting for the turn of the year in anticipation. An indoor GPS will intelligently be able to figure out your movements once you’ve stepped out of satellite view and into a building. You’ll thus have the ability to navigate inside buildings and then perhaps find that store you keep losing in the shopping centre. The new technology will even be able to determine what floor of a building you’re on.

Indoor GPS will use a mobile phone’s gyroscope, accelerometer and barometer to calculate your position and movements.

Nokia, LG, Samsung and Blackberry are already known to be working on such technology and it is expected that many others are also making moves towards indoor GPS advancements. Tech geeks are thus undeniably keen on the day indoor GPS will be a factor when looking up mobile phone offers

Near Field Communication (NFC)

Near field communication (NFC) technology is the establishment of radio connection between two devices by simply touching them together or putting them in close proximity. Think of it as a more powerful version of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology.

With NFC, we’ll be able to carry out money transactions, to the extent of paying for items in supermarkets and stores. NFC could then even replace credit cards.

The upcoming iPhone is expected to have NFC capabilities, while most other manufacturers are also looking to introduce the technology. Expect this to be a significant advancement to how we exchange money and large data files. 

Michael Taylor – Tech writer

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New Xbox Live Update Adds Xbox 360 Control To Your iPad

 Xbox Tablet  No Responses »
Jul 182012
 
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So for those of you asking about iPad support on Xbox the day has finally come. The most recent update for Microsoft Xbox has Ipad tablet support for Xbox 360 and it’s a surprisingly nice addition to the worlds most popular game console.

We assume this is one step closer to full Xbox tablet support with a new Microsoft Surface tablet on the Xbox gaame console.

My Xbox Live Update Adds Xbox 360 Control To Your iPad

My Xbox Live Update Adds Xbox 360 Control To Your iPad

Earlier this year at E3 2012, Microsoft showed off their upcoming SmartGlass technology. Today iPad owners are getting their first taste of things to come as the My Xbox Live app has just received an update to version 1.6, allowing gamers to control their Xbox 360 console with nothing but an iPad. First things first, if you have not downloaded the My Xbox Live app you’ll want to head to the App Store and get it. For those of you already have it, all you need to do is download the update. Microsoft has made it very easy to set up the new companion features. First you’ll head to your system settings, then scroll down and set the Xbox Companion option to “Available.” From there you just open the app, head to the Quickplay tab and select “Connect to Xbox.” You’ll receive a notification on your TV screen that you’ve connected a companion device and you’re good to go.

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Zune to Expand Multiscreen Entertainment Services Into International Markets

 Zune  No Responses »
Jul 102012
 
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Zune to Expand Multiscreen Entertainment Services Into International Markets
Sept. 20, 2010
Major entertainment companies provide music and movie catalog to the U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

REDMOND, Wash. — Sep. 20, 2010 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the further international expansion of Zune, its digital entertainment service. This fall, Zune will expand its music and video footprint and bring the free Zune software, Zune Marketplace online store, Zune Pass1 music subscription service and enhanced features on Zune.net to new markets, providing a comprehensive entertainment experience on Windows-based PCs, on the go with Windows Phone 7 and in your living room through Xbox LIVE.2

“The integration between Zune, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE is an exciting expansion in our entertainment offerings,” said Craig Eisler, corporate vice president, Interactive Entertainment Business Group at Microsoft. “Zune enables users to access the entertainment they want, wherever they want it — and now, more people than ever will be able to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that the Zune service offers.”

Zune software has been upgraded with new features and functionality and will serve as the Windows Phone 7 synchronization client. The new software (version 4.7) will be available to download for free in more than 20 countries, including the U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Spain, to easily manage your personal collection of movies, music, podcasts and pictures. Zune software continues to set the standard for entertainment software, providing best-in-class experiences to organize, discover and enjoy digital media with a variety of exclusive features. For example, the Quickplay menu enables immediate access to recently played content and personal favorites, and Smart DJ 3 automatically creates playlists from your personal music collection and takes the extra step of mixing in suggested music from the Zune Marketplace. The updated Zune software will also enable instant streaming of high-definition movies, allowing you to watch some Zune Marketplace movies in HD, with no download time, directly on a Windows PC.

Zune Marketplace online store is accessible from within the Zune software and offers the ability to purchase millions of individual songs or albums from its catalog, all in MP3 format. Here, consumers can also subscribe to Zune Pass,4 which provides unlimited downloads and music streaming capabilities from the Zune music library, including content from major music labels such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Warner Music Group, as well as thousands of independent labels. Zune Marketplace also has a large library of videos from major studios such as Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution for purchase or rental. Video purchases will be accessible through Xbox LIVE and Windows-based PCs, and can also be added to a Windows Phone 7. Simply buy your favorite video from Zune Marketplace and watch it on the screen of your choice.9

Zune.net is the perfect resource for consumers as it allows them to download the software and set up a Zune account with a new or existing Windows Live ID.5 Zune.net will also provide Web access to Zune Marketplace so you can purchase music or use a Zune Pass to stream music directly through an Internet browser,6 as well as purchase video content.7

Zune Expansion to New Markets

As Zune expands internationally, its music and video service will be tailored for each market. Genre experts will custom program Zune Marketplace and feature the top songs, videos, movies and unique promotions for each country.

The fall 2010 international expansion of the Zune music and video service includes the following:

Zune Marketplace will extend services to several markets in Europe and beyond.

  • Zune Pass (U.K., France, Italy and Spain). The monthly music subscription service will be available for 9.99 euros /8.99 pounds per month for unlimited download and streaming access to the Zune music catalog and will be accessible on Windows-based PCs, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE. The offer in the U.S. will remain at $14.99 per month for unlimited downloads and streaming access, with the ability to keep 10 MP3s per month.8
  • Music purchase (U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Germany). Expansion to these markets will enable consumers to purchase MP3s and listen on their Windows-based PC, Windows Phone 7 or any other device that supports MP3 format. Users will also be able to purchase music videos to enjoy on Windows-based PC, Windows Phone 7 and Zune on Xbox LIVE.
  • Video purchase (U.K., France, Germany, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).Consumers will now be able to purchase movies to download and watch anywhere — on the big screen in the living room with Xbox LIVE or their Windows-based PC as well as sync it to their Windows Phone 7 to enjoy on the go.9
  • Movie rental (U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). In addition to Zune video on Xbox LIVE, consumers in these countries will now be able to rent movies for viewing on their Windows-based PC or choose to sync the rental to their Windows Phone 7.

The global expansion of the service is the latest step in a series of milestones for Zune, including powering Bing music search results, the added ability to purchase music and video on Zune.net, and the forthcoming integration with Xbox LIVE and Kinect for Xbox 360. By continuing to integrate Zune across the most important screens to consumers, Zune provides an all-in-one music and video service for users to discover, enjoy and experience their entertainment wherever they want.

About Zune

Zune is Microsoft’s music and video entertainment service that provides an integrated digital experience across Zune devices, Windows-based PCs, Xbox LIVE and Windows Phone 7. The Zune platform includes a line of portable digital media players, elegant software, the Zune Marketplace and Zune.net online stores, the Zune Social online music community created to help people discover music, and the ZuneOriginals.net online media player customization store. More information can be found online at http://www.zune.net/en-us/press.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 Zune Pass available in U.K., France, Italy and Spain.

2 Zune Pass on Xbox 360 requires an Xbox LIVE Gold membership and a Zune Pass subscription.

3 Only available with Zune Pass.

4 Zune Pass is a music subscription; some Zune Marketplace songs and content are not available via Zune Pass. Available content may vary over time.

5 For cross-screen functionality, the same Windows Live ID needs to be used on the Zune software, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE accounts.

6 Internet browser support for Silverlight required.

7 Service features may vary based on market availability.

8 Keep 10 MP3s per month feature available to U.S. Zune Pass subscribers only, on their PC or Windows Phone 7.

9 Content available for download on multiple devices may vary over time. Availability of content and video resolution will vary by device.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news.Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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Will you buy the Amazon Kindle Phone?

 Smartphones  No Responses »
Jul 072012
 
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Recent news reports seem to point to Amazon selling a Kindle Phone to go along with the stellar sales of the Kindle fire tablets. Some reviews seem to make it seem like a bad idea for Amazon to be entering such a competitive market with dominant players like Apple and Google already taking such a huge lead.

Amazon is a huge player in the tech world and the “Worlds Largest Store” when compared to all other online and offline shopping destinations and they have had great success with the Kindle tablets so our opinion would be that  this is really a great idea when you consider that there are so many advantages to owning a Kindle Tablet and a Kindle Phone.

The ability to share your Amazon content on both your e-reader and also on your mobile phone seems like a great feature and even similar to the new Smart Glass from Xbox which hopes to create a seamless transition from your home to your car to anywhere with your mobile devices.  Too bad that Microsoft was not able to make all of this happen under the Zune brand. What are your thoughts? Will you buy the Amazon Kindle Phone?

 

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Oldies love songs downloads

 Music  No Responses »
May 232012
 
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Are you looking for some beebop or other forms of retro music? It’s kinda hard to find some of your old favorites with everybody pushing the new music of today. I can download lots of Lady Gaga or some other artiest but finding great hits by favorite artists like Buddy Holly or Ortis Redding can be more difficult.

When I search for oldies love songs for example I expect to find content from the 40′s and 50′s and not stuff from the 90′s or 80′s. If you do a generic web search on something like Apple or even the Zune music store you often times come up with some Top40 hits type of lists with more commercially successful music being offered. I often times want to find more unique music selection specifically targeted at oldies of the past.

The don’t make music like they used to and I just prefer to listen to my old time hits more than I do the new music you find on the radio these days. Even the old time radio stations are polluted with new style advertisements and interruptions so you never really get that sense or feeling of being alive in the old days.

The IOldiesMusicStore.com website offers an great selection of my favorite hits and I can find oldies loves songs or anything else I want from the last 5 decades in one easy to search and operate website. Their selection is great and the oldies downloads are a great way to listen to some of my old time classic favorites.

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Golf Clubs and Golf Drivers for sale online

 shopping  No Responses »
Apr 112012
 
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Golf Clubs

 

For those of us who enjoy a good game of golf there is little more exciting than new golf clubs  and especially so for new golf drivers which are about as exciting and fun to play with as any other. The sale and purchase of gold clubs is generally resereved for pro shops and other golf retail stores but the market has shifted towards more onliner shopping and discount buys for golf equipment.

Even golfers are feeling the pinch pf this economy and almost every golfer out there is now looking for the best deals on gold equipment and accessories online. Major retail sites like Amazon and even eBay are doing well with sales of discount golf clubs and the drop in prices is making it easier for more entry level golfers to get into the game now.

Do you golf? Have you purchased golf clubs or gold drivers online? How was your shopping experience? Did you get what you paid for and are you satisfied with the transaction? Most golfers are and seem to enjoy the hunt for deals on the internet. With his shift in the way golfers buy their gear you can expect taht retails stores and pro shops will have to change the way they do business in order to compete.

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HTC 7 Trophy product review

 Windows Phone  No Responses »
Nov 062011
 
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The good:  The HTC 7 Trophy features a compact design and runs the Windows Phone OS, which offers an easy to use interface, as well as Zune, Xbox Live, and Office integration.

The bad:  Disappointing camera quality and battery life could be better.

Bottom Line:  While not the most advanced or most powerful smart phone on the market, simplicity works in the favor of the HTC Trophy providing simple ease of use, and sweet application integration.

Buy the HTC 7 Trophy in our Online Store!

The HTC Trophy is Verizon’s first foray into the Windows Phone market, and pricing starts at $149.99 with a two year contract and after a $50 mail in rebate.  At 4.67 inches tall by 2.42 inches wide by 0.47 inches thick, and weighing only 4.94 ounces the HTC Trophy is sleek and simple, which is attractive in it’s own right.
To start with, like all WP7 handsets the Trophy starts with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution and 1GHz Snapdragon (QSD8250) processor under a capacitive touchscreen. From there we’ve got a bright 3.8-inch S-LCD, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, GPS, FM Radio, a 1300mAh battery, and 8GB of fixed flash storage with 512MB of ROM and 576MB of RAM. The auto focus camera is also pretty standard with a 5 megapixel sensor, LED flash, and 720p video recording capability.  It also packs sensors for gravity, compass, proximity, and ambient light.

However, WP7 currently has limited landscape support. The HTC features an aluminum-like bezel, and a soft-touch finish on the back.  The display is sharp and bright, but washes out a bit in direct sunlight.  Unfortunately, the display is prone to fingerprinting and smudging.  The touchscreen is extremely quick and responsive, and registers most actions on the first try, allowing for quick and easy browsing and zooming.
The virtual keyboard provided by the OS works great, it’s sharp and accurate, and can stand toe-to-toe with that of the iPhone, and is reaches above that of the standard Android option, which is slightly slower, and more prone to mispresses.
Under the display are touch sensitive back, start, and search buttons.  To the left is a volume rocker and a Micro-USB port, and to the right is the camera key.  The top of the device features the power button and a 3.55mm headphone jack, while the back houses the camera, LED flash, and a crisp loudspeaker.
The feature set is pretty standard for a smart phone in this day and age, including email, organizer, music, video, additional application, gaming, social network integration and various instant messaging options.
Beyond the standard WP7 applications, HTC has provided a few of their own applications including a unit converter, sound enhancer, photo enhancer, and the HTC hub which includes an animated clock and weather widgets, where the weather widgets display real-time, location specific weather information.  The Trophy also ships with Slacker and Netflix, allowing [Netflix] subscribers to watch movies and TV shows directly from their phones.
The Trophy also has access to the Windows marketplace, similar to that of the iTunes and Android marketplaces, with about 20,000 free and paid apps available now, and a steady influx of new apps.
Call quality on the Trophy is decent, with audio quality being relatively clear overall.  However, during lulls in conversation there is an occasional hissing, which is odd.  Speakerphone quality was also decent and clear inasmuch as that goes.

In conclusion, if you are in the market for your first smart phone, or if you don’t necessarily need or desire all the bells and whistles of some of the other devices then the HTC Trophy will indeed suffice.  Also, with the powerful WP7 OS and the integration of things like Office, Zune and Xbox live, the Trophy is more attractive than some of the other alternatives.  Ultimately, the choice is up to you.  Find a Verizon store near you and demo the product, and if it seems right, pick it up.

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