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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Here comes the “iPad Killer” from Microsoft

 Windows Tablet  No Responses »
Jun 152012
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Are you ready for the “iPad Killer” from Microsoft? News of the upcoming release date for a Microsoft Windows Tablet has been hitting the web today as more tech bloggers and writers jump on the story of a pending announcement from Microsoft related to their supposed new Windows Tablet.

Microsoft Windows 8 Tablet

There is much excitement in the blogosphere in regards to the much anticipated Windows 8 Tablets using the Zune inspired Metro Interface and there have been articles written here, here and here just in the last 12 hours. Most of them have little hopes that the new Microsoft tablet will be able to unseat the undisputed king of tablet computing and still others must remember the great success Microsoft had with their so called “Ipod Killer” in the Zune.

Microsoft is undoubtedly working on a new Tablet to feature their new and improved Tablet OS but what they will call it and what exactly it will do to stop the massive growth of the Apple iPad is unknown. There is not much of an expectation that MS will succeed in unseating the current champ but they seem to be just fine with a 3rd place ranking for just about everything else so why not tablets as well?

Do you think Microsoft has a chance at an “iPad Killer” with a Windows 8 Tablet?

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Is Microsoft ready to release Windows Tablet or Xbox Tablet?

 Xbox  No Responses »
Jun 152012
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So which do you think it will be? Will Microsoft be releasing a Windows Tablet or an Xbox Tablet sometime soon? Well according to rumours we may actually be getting them both. Microsoft may be in the process of developing an Xbox Tablet to be similar in use as the Wii U which is the Nintendo tablet style game controller. Microsoft may also be about to release a Windows 8 tablet with features to rival the iPod.

Steve Baller the Ipad Killer

Does that sound familiar? Is Microsoft really going to put out an “iPad killer”? It’s doubtful that Microsoft would want to take on Apple in the consumer electronics markets again after the Billions they lost on Zune but maybe they feel they have a better chance with Windows 8 and the Zune inspired Metro Design than they did with the Zune inspired design of Zune players.

Whatever they do release the rumors are flying all over the webs that Microsoft is going to be announcing a new Windows tablet as soon as Monday afternoon. Of course we all know about Microsoft rumors and even Microsoft FUD but these rumors of a tablet project are prettu consistent and we cannot forget that Microsoft was already about to reaese a tablet before the iPad with their Courier project.

Is the new Microsoft Tablet the final version of the Microsoft Courier or just another me too product from Microsoft in their attempt to keep up with Apple? Is it the long awaited portable Xbox game player? Is it both?

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Zune is dead!

 Zune  No Responses »
Oct 042011
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Microsoft is discontinuing the Zune media player, which it launched five years ago in the hope of taking on the iPod.

The player was well reviewed when it launched in 2006, and it grabbed as much as 10 percent of the market for media players. But enthusiasm faded, and the Zune has become one of many failed iPod wannabes.

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Zune Software for Mac is Coming Zune

 Zune Software  No Responses »
Oct 142010
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After 3 long years it seems Microsoft has finally announced that they will be offering Zune software for Mac computers. The new logic most likely being why limit Windows 7 phone users to the worlds most popular operating system which should have been the exact same logic used to make Zune players work on Macintosh computers way back in November 2006 when the first Zune player was released.

Creating a hole in Macintosh computers that allowed the Microsoft media players operate on the competitors OS makes sense for most media device manufacturers but this seemed to escape the great minds at the worlds largest software maker. I think Zune adoption would have been greater if the Zune software had been released on Mac computers and even Linux based systems but it wasn’t and in the end Zune struggles to find a market. Any Mac owners ready to drop their iPhone or iPod?

Microsoft Annouces Zune App For Mac And Enhanced Facebook Partnership
In the report, Oppenheimer writes “On Wednesday, ZDNet reported that MSFT plans on releasing a Zune client application for Mac (NASDAQ: AAPL) computers. Not unlike Apple’s iTunes product, the Zune client app will be used to sync Windows Phone 7 devices with PCs, and with this future release, Macs as well. ZDNet indicated that the news was first discovered by a post on Twitter from a MSFT employee, which was subsequently removed from the website. However, when contacted by ZDNet about the post, MSFT confirmed the software would become available for Macs, stating “Later in 2010 Microsoft will make a public beta available of a tool that allows Windows Phone 7 to sync select content with Mac computers.”"

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Sep 172010
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If Microsoft is indeed planning a new Zune HD for the holiday shopping season then they sure better hope it is better than the newly announced iPod Touch refresh which of course has made a huge splash in the news the past few days. If Zune ever hopes to sell a single new media player they better have made some advances in hardware and software to sway a public already enamored with anything Apple.

The new Zune HD 2 should have superior hardware configuration with a game ready processor and advanced multimedia capabilities if they are going to even come close this season. Few shoppers are going to risk a Zune when money is so tight and the features are going to have to be heads above Apple to convince brand aware consumers who easily recognize the worlds most popular media players.

It’s going to take more than hard drive space and cool colors to attract buyers for the new Zune and Microsoft should be prepared for a brutal shopping season this year.

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Windows Phone 7 requires Zune Software for full features

 Windows Phone  No Responses »
Aug 032010
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This guy points out that in order to get full use of the new Windows Phone 7 devices you will need to install Zune software on your PC which does limit the users who can take full effect of the device. Microsoft has been slow if even non responsive to make Zune software available on Linux based PC’s and there are quite a few of those plus of course Mac users who cannot install Zune software either but I don’t think they make a mistake by using Zune software on the Windows 7 Phone although they should certainly consider opening things up more for users of other software. For those who do have a Windows PC they will experience the full power of the Microsoft Suite as they should for using the complete package. in addition I would expect it to work nicely with my Xbox and other Microsoft services as well.

That a proprietary software maker likes its own software makes perfect sense and if Microsoft knows they will have more of their phone users using their own OS that what better way to open up more users to Zune? Apple forces us to use iTunes for sync on the iPod and has been reluctant to open up to Linux users as well. Any shock in all of this?

Why Zune software could make Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 strategy a non-starter – Computerworld Blogs

Microsoft yesterday revealed details about the features and strategy for Windows Phone 7 — and if this is the core of what’s Microsoft got, it may have difficulty competing against the iPhone and Android phones. When one of the core pieces of your mobile strategy is relying on the rarely used PC Zune software, there may be trouble ahead

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Zune Hacks : Homebrew Apps Store for Zune HD

 Zune Hacks  No Responses »
Apr 162010
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It has finally happened. Hackers have taken interest in hacking Zune HD media players from Microsoft and I could not be happier. I might even jump on over to Amazon and buy a new Zune HD just so I can hack it. It is so sad that Microsoft has not built a robust app store for the original Zune players but at least now we can hack the Zune HD and maybe soon they will have all the cool apps we zune lovers have been waiting for.

Zune HD hackers launch development kit, homebrew apps about to get awesome

The Zune HD is an interesting device. On the one hand it’s got a slick user interface, a speedy processor, and a high quality OLED display, which make it a rather attractive alternative to the iPod touch. On the other hand, there are virtually no third party apps for the Zune HD, which means that you end up spending about as much money for a Zune HD as you do for an iPod touch — but one is just a media player that can handle a few games while the other is a handheld tool that can play music and movies and run thousands of third party games and other apps.

In fact, the lack of third party apps was my number one complaint when I reviewed the Zune HD last year. But it looks like things could soon change — and it’s not Microsoft’s doing. A group of hackers have released a developer kit called OpenZDK that allows third party developers to write native apps for the Zune HD.

Up until now, third party developers could use Microsoft’s XNA Game Studio to write apps, but it didn’t provide full access to all of the Zune HD’s features. The device has an NVIDIA Tegra processor with OpenGL ES 2.0 support and custom shaders. OpenZDK lets developers write apps that will use all of those features.

In plain English, that means that apps built with XNA couldn’t do 3D. Games built using the new OpenZDK tool can feature 3D graphics.

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