Reading through Greg Sandoval's detailed reporting of SpiralFrog's demise, I once again found myself wondering--as I did many times during the late 1990s dot-com boom and subsequent bust--how anybody could possibly have thought this was a good idea. Ad-supported music downloads that are incompatible with the iPod, the device that basically created the MP3 player market? Who would possibly buy such a thing? SpiralFrog seemed like such an obvious nonstarter, I wrote about it once in 2007 and never wasted time revisiting it. But investors were spending serious sums of money on it, right up until the end. … Read more
Major League Baseball is now using Twitter in two of its online properties: MLB.tv, and MLB.com. Fans can chime in themselves, or view the 140-character insights of "insiders," which are tweets from each team's official Twitter account or fan blog.
Along with being able to post new messages directly from the box, users can get their tweets filtered into the stream using hash tags. These show up alongside the happenings of the game and serve as an alternate commentary to the streaming radio feeds. This is a really neat approach, since it does not require … Read more
Major League Baseball took another step in proving its technical superiority over the other three major sports leagues Wednesday, by connecting its wired MLB.tv subscription package with its At Bat iPhone application.
Beginning Wednesday, MLB will stream every single regular and postseason baseball game to fans via the $9.99 iPhone and iPod Touch application it initially released last year. Customers who already subscribe to MLB.tv and MLB.tv Premium packages--its online baseball viewing service--can now watch any game live from their phone or computer. The games will be streamed over the iPhone or iPod's Wi-Fi connection … Read more
Update: 6:06 p.m.: To include iLike's hopes to open a download store in the next 30 days.
Facebook's most popular music service, iLike, is in talks with the four major music labels about opening a download store, multiple sources within the music industry said Tuesday.
According to the sources, iLike is close to reaching final agreements with at least three of the top record companies. The sources did not disclose which labels are close but added that iLike is hoping to open its download store within the next month.
A spokeswoman for Seattle-based iLike said: "… Read more
No matter what people thought they heard Steve Ballmer say in Chicago, Microsoft is not planning to introduce a successor to the Xbox 360 next year.
In a blog posting on Thursday night, Microsoft said that the Xbox 360 is "not even halfway" through its current lifecycle and will be here long into the next decade. The company is planning to introduce a new gesture-recognizing controller, code-named Project Natal, and that is expected next year, although Microsoft says it isn't talking timing with regards to Natal.
"As the Xbox team stated at E3 two weeks ago, … Read more
The idea of a digital music kiosk, where customers can walk up, press a few buttons on a screen, and download music to some sort of portable storage medium (disc, phone, flash card), has been around for a few years now. Starbucks ended a two-year experiment with in-store CD burners back in 2006, and U.K. music retailer HMV began offering free downloads to USB drives from in-store kiosks in 2007.
Yahoo has filed a lawsuit against the NFL Players Association, contending that it shouldn't be forced to pay royalties for using players' names, statistics, and photos in its online fantasy football game because the information is publicly available.
The complaint (PDF), which was filed Monday in U.S. District Court for Minnesota, alleges that the players group has threatened to sue the Internet giant if it doesn't pay licensing fees for the information. Yahoo had licensing agreements with the players union for previous football seasons, but the last of those deals expired on March 1, according to the … Read more
Of all the sports leagues, Major League Baseball has the reputation of being the most technologically savvy. On Thursday, MLB proved it by winning its first tech patent.
The league's digital unit, Major League Baseball Advanced Media(MLBAM), announced on Thursday that it was granted patent No. 7,486,943 for a system that helps determine a subscriber's geographical location. MLBAM oversees MLB.tv, the online video distribution service that streams live and on-demand games, and is widely considered to be the most successful subscription business on the Internet.
Pinpointing where a subscriber is located when he or … Read more
I feel like that nice objective judge in the Pirate Bay case.
Ever since I set eyes on the wondrous sight of Barry Bonds, I have felt some bizarre commitment toward the San Francisco Giants. Sometimes I even give them money.
However, I must tell you that Giants pitchers have been involved in two separate but equally troubling Twittering incidents.
The first that came to my attention involved closer Brian Wilson. Wilson seems like a fine chap. He comes into the 9th inning of games and tries to throw very fast balls past tired batters, none of whom has ever … Read more