MUSIC STREAMING SERVICE Spotify has teamed up with music hardware makers to launch Connect, an audio service that syncs music across phones and tablets as well as home audio devices such as hifi systems and speakers. In a bid to take on rival Apple’…
I have had a Last.fm account for a long time, but unfortunately have used it only very sparingly due to the fact that the service is not available for free where I am based. For those in the US and the UK, though, Last.fm is probably the best thing to have ever happened to music lovers. And, with the popularity of mobile devices, Last.fm’s mobile application has also caught the attention of those who just can’t get enough of their music.
Just like many other free web services, Last.fm has been able to get along without charging users a fee due to advertising. However, starting next week, things are going to change big time – at least for the mobile users. Instead of seeing ads and not paying anything, mobile users will have to pay 3GBP a month and enjoy ad-free service. The paid service will then allow users to listen to personalized radio stations but will still not offer the option of picking out individual songs.
While it is understandable that some people will react negatively to the move, the price is not that bad. It is already close to what Last.fm charges for its web service in other locations. More so, using Last.fm via the computer will remain free in the UK.
Last.fm’s official stance is that they believe that this is the right move for the company. They also say that they are NOT losing money, but that this is just the logical thing to do. Of course, the move will only bring in more revenue for the company, but I think the fee is reasonable, don’t you?
Yesterday, Intel announced a new feature on their next-generation Core chips. Dubbed Insider, the feature offers studios the incentive of providing access to more high definition movies via online streaming. The main issue of studios with regard to high definition movies and online streaming is the fact that users can copy the movies. Of course, once a movie has been copied onto one’s hard drive, so many complicated questions arise.
Insider is Intel’s answer to the concerns of the studios – the feature has an end-to-end protection layer that will ensure that streaming movies will not be copied. Tomorrow, January 5, we will be hearing more about this new generation of Intel Core processors with Insider as Intel conducts the official launch.
On the one hand, this is good news. With such measures in place, studios will be more comfortable offering their premium quality movies online. This means one thing: the choices that we have will only become more varied, and for those who are nitpicky when it comes to visual quality, then HD streaming will only sweeten the pot. On the other hand, I will not be surprised to hear grumblings here and there about how restrictive this move is.
On to less controversial news: the next generation of Intel chips are going to have seriously beefed up graphics features. Now who can complain about that?