June 19, 2006Microsoft goes it alone in latest battle with iTunes
Microsoft has been demonstrating a new digital music service to music industry executives, according to the New York Post. The service, which includes a digital player and online store, would be Microsoft's latest attempt to compete with Apple's iPod and iTunes - a course of action that the Seattle company abandoned last Autumn. Since then Microsoft has partnered with MTV to launch MTV's Urge service, but this latest move is a reversal of the policy of partnering with other technology companies rather than going it alone.
June 9, 2006
Trying out BBC's live online coverage of Germany v Costa Rica (unfortunately it was 2-1 before I remembered I could keep an eye on the game on my laptop). It's a great way to follow a game while you're working, but the quality is a bit ropey - I don't think I'm getting the high speed stream.
And, despite this being strongly advertised by BBC, who could have anticipated heavy demand, why am I not surprised to see a message saying "Due to high demand you may encounter network problems outside the BBC's control. If you are unable to connect please try again later."
Oh, and the credit at the bottom of the clip reads British Broadcastign Corporation. Heads must roll!
I made my first contribution to Guardian Unlimited's Comment is Free blog today. I was responding to an article by Charlie Brooker in which he took Sandi Thom to task for, as far as I could see; writing a shit song (Charlie's description), and having the gall to use clever marketing to promote her work.
You can follow the debate, if that's what it is, here. As a way of keeping a story alive and engaging readers I can only see this type of activity increasing. But I have to admit that, like Georgina Henry a few weeks ago, I was surprised by the level of aggression and bad language in some of the posts. Hey, I can use some choice words with the best of them, but in a public forum like this? Less is more.
Anyway, if you don't agree with me you can F*@k off.
June 8, 2006TV: New Media Rights
When BBC and independent producer trade body Pact this week announced an agreement over the exploitation of programme rights, it was implied that Pact wanted this to be the template for the deals it strikes with all other UK broadcasters.
The BBC deal gives the broadcaster a seven day primary exploitation "window", followed by a six month "holdback" period, before the rights owner (the producer) can sell rights to other parties.
Now Channel 4 has struck its own deal with Pact. On the face of it C4 seems to have done a little better than BBC, with a new-media rights deal that will allow it to offer its programmes for download online for 30 days after they first air.
30 days seems considerably better than 7 days, but I can't believe that BBC would allow itself to be out-negotiated to this extent. Am I missing something?