On the morning after laying off 54 percent of his staff, Snocap CEO Rusty Rueff, greeted me in his San Francisco office.
Guarded at first, Rueff slowly began offering details on Friday about why the music-licensing company, cofounded in 2002 by Shawn Fanning of Napster fame, cut its workforce from 57 to 26 employees and put itself up for sale.
Snocap offers to handle copyright and music licensing for musicians and also powers embeddable download stores that artists can place on any site. From these digital-music vending machines, the artists can sell their own music. According to Rueff, there are … Read more
The latest version of financial analyst firm Piper Jaffray's biannual survey of high school students and technology states the obvious, but also contains some interesting tidbits.
Let's get the "duh" stats out of the way first. In case you were unaware, the survey confirms that Apple is a big player in the portable media player market. Eighty percent of students surveyed by Piper own a portable music player, and 82 percent of those own an iPod of some type. Of those planning to buy a music player in the next year, 78 percent plan to buy … Read more
I love my Archos Gmini 220. It doesn't play movies, make phone calls, or take snapshots, but it provides me 20GB of digital music and files that I can take anywhere and transfer to any computer. It also only cost me $150 two years ago and is still going strong (with the help of one critical rubber band). It's also very solid as a lo-fi recording device for live shows.
While I don't need a portable music player that massages my back or sorts my laundry, I do need one that can shuffle my tracks randomly. Unfortunately, … Read more
You likely use iTunes (download it for Windows or Mac OS X) to synchronize your music and movies from your PC to your iPod, but there's so much more you can do with Apple's powerful jukebox software. Digital-music master Molly Wood offers some excellent insider tips on using iTunes, including how to equalize tracks and create cool CD covers.
There's been a lot of noisy garment-rending in the Apple world recently as the combination of the iPhone price drop (since corrected), the change in iPod video output (still a mistake in the Macalope's eyes), the ringtones feature (really a problem with the industry) and the bricking of unlocked iPhones (boo-hoo-hoo) has apparently driven people insane.
The pointy one understands there have been some misaligned expectations about the iPhone, but what's so surprising is that they're coming from some usually responsible sources, and now he's a little concerned that it might be spreading.
After writing … Read more
Over at Micropersuasion, Steve Rubel is making a bold prediction: The portals will be big winners in the social-networking wars.
"Social networking is certainly rising and there seems to be no end in sight to the phenomenon. However, what I do know is that people will jump around from one Myfaceborkutspace to another and not all of them will win," Rubel wrote.
He is referring to Long Tail author Chris Anderson, who points out that all good web sites should have elements of social networking and therefore suggests that social networking is a "feature, not a destination.&… Read more
AllFacebook blogger Nick O'Neill wrote on Friday that an "extremely reliable anonymous source" had told him that Facebook is working on an in-house rival to Apple's mighty iTunes Store. According to O'Neill, the company is in the process of looking for an executive to head this division--his source allegedly knew about the whole deal because of an acquaintance interviewing for the position--and is already meeting with record labels.
It's unclear whether this would be strictly a music store or whether it might extend to other forms of media, like TV shows and movies.
This … Read more
I gave it a short try and found that overall it is a competent start. It's not a significant step beyond iTunes in terms of functionality or usability (more on that in a moment), though it's price/quality ratio is very good: 89-99 cents for 256kbps bit rate, DRM-free MP3s. Albums vary a lot in price, from a bit over $4 to $8.99 so … Read more