rfunk: (phone)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 07:48pm on 05/06/2008 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
This week we gained possession of a pair of 8GB iPod Touches, through a surprisingly generous rebate program.

The iPod Touch is unlike any previous iPods, but is very similar to the iPhone. It's basically an iPhone without the phone, camera, or bluetooth. That doesn't sound like it leaves much, but what it leaves is high-resolution video iPod functionality, plus wi-fi networking, built on top of a miniature Mac OS X complete with web browser, email client, and other programs.

Apple's firmware doesn't allow adding apps that aren't already there, other than using web apps designed for the iPhone/iTouch platform. (A new firmware version coming soon will open this up a bit, but not by much.) However, people have figured out ways of fixing ("jailbreaking") the firmware to allow installing third-party apps, and there's even a de-facto standard packaging/installing system to make it easy to get and install programs.

A Linux guy gets started with iPod Touch )
Jailbreak for the good stuff )
Some added applications )
Music! )
Video )

So yeah, quite the fun toy here.....
Mood:: 'geeky' geeky
rfunk: (guitar)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 09:24am on 15/01/2008 under , , ,
About three years ago, Pepsi ran a promotion with the iTunes Music Store, giving away free songs via codes in bottle caps. As someone who doesn't use a player compatible with iTunes downloads, and likes being able to play all my music on whatever player I happen to have handy, the promotion didn't do much for me, so I gave away the codes.

Of course, eMusic has been around for a while, primarily serving up independent music (which you probably know I listen to quite a bit of), but they use a subscription-based model and don't let you see their catalog before starting your limited-time free trial. (So if I do the free trial and don't like the selection, I can't do another free trial later to see if the selection has improved.)

But recently the landscape has changed quite a bit. First EMI started putting their music on iTunes without the "DRM" that prevents the music from being played on players not somehow controlled by the record labels. Then Amazon introduced their MP3 store, selling plain old MP3 files (that pretty much anything will play) for about the same price as iTunes Music Store -- sometimes a dime less, occasionally a dime more. They started with indie music, and then added some major labels.

I discovered Amazon MP3s a couple months ago, and picked up a few singles I'd heard on favorite podcasts or on Pandora. I still prefer having CDs (better quality, less prone to disk crashes, sometimes more convenient), but when there's just one song I want from an album, it's nice to be able to get it right away for cheap and have it immediately part of my collection -- and without worrying about what software or hardware will play it. I'm more excited about Amazon MP3s than a CD fan should be.

Apparently even the record labels think they have a good thing there too, or they've just relented. In the past few weeks, Warner Music and Sony BMG have both signed on to sell their music there.

And now Pepsi is doing a joint promotion with Amazon MP3 that echoes their previous iTunes promotion. I might actually be able to take advantage of this one myself.


Of course, the major record labels still aren't paying the artists properly.
rfunk: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 10:18pm on 22/03/2005 under , , ,
Does anyone here buy music from Apple's iTunes Music Store (iTMS)?

I don't, because their music is encrypted in a form that's both incompatible with Linux and most non-Apple players, and too restrictive for my taste even within those parameters.

But I drink Pepsi (no jeers from Coke people please, anyway I drink a lot more Cherry Coke from the office vending machine), a third of Pepsi bottles are giving away an iTunes song, and I don't often bother to "cheat" to be sure not to get a winning bottle, so I am starting to accumulate some winning caps. So far I have three (worth a whole 99 cents apiece!), and I'd hate to see them go to waste. Anyone want the claim codes?

Of course, if I really wanted to bother, I might be able to use them myself.... The same guy I can thank for being able to play DVDs on Linux has released a program that runs on Linux and allows downloading unencrypted versions of songs purchased from iTMS. (Of course that server is getting hammered now. News.com.com.com.com has a story explaining the whole thing.)

I'd rather just give them away though. So leave a comment if you want a free song from iTunes.

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