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  • Gerrit Eicker 08:53 on 17. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Amazon MP3, , , , , , , , , , , Google Code Search, Google Code Search API, , Google Music, , , , , , Google Takeout, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google’s Graveyard III. 

    Google shuts down: Buzz, Jaiku, iGoogle Features, Code Searchgoes music? http://eicker.at/GooglesGraveyard2011

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:53 on 17. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “[W]e recently decided to shut down some products, and turn others into features of existing products. – Here’s the latest update on what’s happening: Code Search, which was designed to help people search for open source code all over the web, will be shut down along with the Code Search API on January 15, 2012. – In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won’t be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it using Google Takeout. – Jaiku, a product we acquired in 2007 that let users send updates to friends, will shut down on January 15, 2012. We’ll be working to enable users to export their data from Jaiku. – Several years ago, we gave people the ability to interact socially on iGoogle. With our new focus on Google+, we will remove iGoogle’s social features on January 15, 2012. iGoogle itself, and non-social iGoogle applications, will stay as they are. – The University Research Program for Google Search, which provides API access to our search results for a small number of approved academic researchers, will close on January 15, 2012. – In addition, later today the Google Labs site will shut down, and as previously announced, Boutiques.com and the former Like.com websites will be replaced by Google Product Search. – Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past. We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today’s announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.

      Horowitz: “What did we learn from Buzz? Plenty. We learned privacy is not a feature… it is foundational to the product. And this awareness gave us the resolve to design privacy in from the very beginning, which led to Circles for sharing the right information with the right people, as well as transparency around which parts of your profile can be seen by whom. We also learned how compelling it is to have meaningful conversations with interesting people, which we’re happy to see happening all the time in Google+. – But probably the best lesson we learned is about how to introduce a product. We started very slowly with Google+ – in a limited Field Trial – in order to listen and learn and gather plenty of real-world feedback. Your participation in the process is helping create what Google+ is today.”

      GigaOM: “Has Google really learned that much from Buzz and Jaiku?Is that because Google wants to be social, or is it because the company wants to be able to including being able to sell you things? The existence of Google+ seems to have more to do with the company’s need to harvest the “social signals” that emerge from such networks in order to improve its search and advertising business – and fend off Facebook – than Google’s desire to create a welcoming environment for social sharing. An engineer for the company described not that long ago how Google has no real interest in social networking for its own sake, but saw it as an information-harvesting strategy.Does Google have an ‘if we build it, they will come’ problem? … The amount of resources that Google is putting into Google+ is admirable, and it is good to focus on one thing, even if it means beheading other services like Buzz and Jaiku – and CEO Larry Page has made it clear that he wants the network to succeed. But wanting something and having it come true are very different things, and Google could well learn another lesson from Google+: that even if you build it, and it is well-designed from an engineering perspective, people may still not come.

      RWW: “Even though Google Buzz wasn’t terribly good at anything, from a user standpoint, we at least enjoyed its developer-centric nature. It was all about open data. That may have been all it had going for it, but that meant something. Its replacement, Google Plus, is awfully slick and smooth and secretive. The few APIs released so far barely enable developers to make anything, much less anything interesting. – Google sure is a busy place. Its whole business is undergoing rapid transformations, even if its quarterly earnings are reported so generally that they seem stable. – Google is spending money and changing shape. It’s launching social networks and buying handset manufacturers. It’s hiring new people, buying new infrastructure, and now it’s shedding old products. When will Google start to break a sweat?

      NYT: “Five months after it introduced a cloud music service with limited capabilities, Google is in negotiations with the major record labels to expand that service and also open an MP3 store that would compete with Apple and Amazon. – According to numerous music executives, Google is eager to open the store in the next several weeks. It would most likely be connected to Google’s existing cloud service, Music Beta, which lets people back up their songs on remote servers and stream them to mobile phones and other devices, said these executives, who all spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were private and continuing. … Music Beta was announced five weeks after Amazon opened a similar unlicensed service, Cloud Drive. – Apple got licenses for iTunes Match, which will instantly link a user’s songs to Apple’s master collection. With an unlicensed service, users must upload each song individually, a process that can take hours or even days.

      RWW: “Google reportedly had a hard time shoring up deals with music labels ahead of the initial launch of Google Music, so they launched it anyway. Traditional content owners have often been wary of Google, who has gained a reputation among some legacy media organizations as being too soft on piracy. The company has extended a few olive branches recently, making public efforts to discourage copyright infringement and buttering up media executives. … Google has an uphill battle to fight if it expects to take on Apple in this space. Amazon might provide a fairer fight. Either way, Google is hoping to bolt additional revenue streams onto its business model, which remains heavily bolstered by the money it makes search advertising.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:18 on 28. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Amazon Appstore, Amazon Appstore for Android, Amazon MP3, Amazon Prime, , , , , , , , BlackBerry PlayBook, , , , Brand Recognition, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Kindle Fire 

    Amazon’s Kindle Fire might finally change the whole publishing industryirrevocable; http://eicker.at/KindleFire

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:19 on 28. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      TC: “On Wednesday morning in New York City, Amazon will unveil the Kindle Fire. Yes, this is the name Amazon has settled on, to help differentiate the product from the e-ink Kindles… It will be a 7-inch backlit display tablet that looks similar to the BlackBerry PlayBook. … [H]aving played with a DVT model myself, I can assure you that it’s better than the PlayBook because the software is better and, more importantly, the content available is much better. … We also originally heard that Amazon Prime would be included, as a big enticement for would-be buyers. That may be off the table for now as well – but it’s not yet clear. It’s possible Amazon will release one version with Prime included for $300 and a version without it for $250. Getting Amazon Prime for $50 would still be a deal, since it’s normally $79 for the year.”

      pC: “The success of the Kindle shows Amazon is prepared to think differently from others and to disrupt its own products – in the Kindle’s case to disrupt the cash cow of print book sales – in order to be innovative and seize early advantage in digital markets. If Amazon’s hardware is undifferentiated and virtually the same as RIM’s PlayBook then Amazon has to differentiate elsewhere with content, experience and business models. Otherwise it will suffer the same fate as RIM’s PlayBook. … Amazon will build a true media tablet. The first true media tablet. The Kindle tablet will focus on the future of all media – TV, movies, music, books, magazines – to enable Amazon to become the dominant digital media retailer. That is Amazon’s ambition.

      Guardian: “Amazon hopes its brand recognition and loyal book-buying customer base will enable it to do battle with Apple, which produced 75% of the tablets sold this year. – Research firm Forrester reckons the Kindle tablet could sell between 3m and 5m units in its first year.”

      VB: “The timing of Amazon’s announcement might have something to do with competition from Barnes and Nobel, which is also allegedly scheduled to announce a new Nook Color tablet that will also retail for $250.”

      ATD: “In 2010, magazine publishers got giddy about the prospects of selling their stuff on the iPad. This year’s version of the story: Lots of enthusiasm, tempered with a little bit of skepticism, over Amazon’s new tablet. … Publishers will keep around 70 percent of all Amazon sales, and the retailer will share some customer data with the publishers. … The publishers who are on board with Amazon view their decision to link up as a no-brainer: They want more distribution channels for their stuff, not fewer. And they’ve been begging, unsuccessfully, for a credible competitor to the iPad since April 2010.

      TC: “With the launch of the Kindle Fire tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to write a little bit sci-fi and imagine what the publishing market will look like in the next ten or so years. I’m a strong proponent of the ebook and, as I’ve said again and again, I love books but they’re not going to make it past this decade, at least in most of the developed world. … 2025 – The transition is complete even in most of the developing world. The book is, at best, an artifact and at worst a nuisance. Book collections won’t disappear – hold-outs will exist and a subset of readers will still print books – but generally all publishing will exist digitally.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 17:33 on 28. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      TC: “Amazon Fires $199, 7-Inch Tablet At Apple – The Fire itself is rather characterless and dull. It looks a lot like the 7-inch BlackBerry PlayBook (probably for good reason) and features just enough tech to pass as acceptable. There’s a two-point multitouch screen (the iPad has a 10-point screen), and an unspecified CPU… The most notable change is obviously the multitouch 7-inch LCD rather than an e-ink display, but moreover, the Kindle Fire is a complete storefront for the retailer rather than just an ereader. The tablet features apps for Amazon’s Android Appstore, Kindle store, Amazon MP3, and Prime Instant Video. … Amazon is pricing this model aggressively. Bloomberg is reporting prior to Amazon’s official event that the Kindle Fire hits at just $199 and comes with 30-days of Amazon Prime.”

      TC: “Amazon has revealed a new line of E-Ink Kindles that looks to bolster their ‘traditional’ eReader lineup. The three new models have taken the stage: the $79 Kindle, the $99 Kindle Touch, and the $149 Kindle Touch 3G. – The new super small, non-touch Kindle was announced to appeal to Amazon’s legion of eReading purists. It’s small enough to fit in a pack pocket, and will cost users a scant $79 – customers can order today, and Amazon says it will ship today too.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 11:57 on 29. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      GigaOM: “They say Apple has met its first real tablet competitor. And no, it is not Samsung or Motorola. Instead it is from a company that started out selling books on the Internet: Amazon. And while there is some truth to that assertion, I wouldn’t put a lot of weight in the argument. … With the new Kindles, Amazon has been able to define the hybrid retail environment. … Given that we are increasingly shifting away from buying physical media and are instead opting for digital goods, Amazon is smart in its introducing the new Kindle tablet. … Amazon’s primary business is selling us things – lots of them – and getting them to us as cheaply as possible. And that includes physical and digital goods and services. That is its corporate DNA, and that DNA is going to influence all of its decisions – whether it is redesigning its website or defining new tablets. … The bottom line is that Amazon will be successful – at least more successful than Motorola or HTC – but it won’t come at the expense of Apple’s iPad or Samsung’s Android-based tablets.

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