Weekly wrapup, 20 – 24 August 2007

Here’s a summary of the week’s digital lifestyle action on last100. Note that you can subscribe to the weekly wrapups, either via the special weekly wrapup RSS feed or by email.

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Top digital lifestyle news

We began the week with news that Adobe has released a Beta of the latest version of its near ubiquitous Web video software, Adobe Flash Player 9, which adds improved image quality through support for the industry standard H.264 codec.

Next up we reported that Viacom’s MTV Networks, RealNetworks, and Verizon Wireless have announced that they are teaming up to launch a new digital music service, Rhapsody America, in an attempt to create a stronger competitor to Apple’s market-dominating iTunes Music Store. The collaboration of the three companies “is like a perfect storm”, said Van Toffler, president of MTV Networks Music.

In more digital music-related news, Wal-Mart has become the latest company to jump on the DRM-free bandwagon in an attempt to reach iPod owners. Its digital music download store will begin selling tracks without copy-protection software, including thousands of albums and songs from EMI and UMG (as part of the label’s recently announced DRM-free trial). Downloads will be offered as mp3s and at the higher bit-rate of 256kbps.

As expected, Sony — well, actually Sony Computer Entertainment Europe — announced that it’s turning the Playstation 3 into a super duper home entertainment device in early 2008. With the addition of PlayTV, the Playstation 3 will become a personal video recorder (PVR) with dual high-definition tuners, allowing users to view, record, and play free over-the-air TV channels through the Playstation 3 console. The PRV capability, however, will be available only in the U.K., France, Italy, Germany, and Spain, with other PAL locations to follow later in 2008.

More digital lifestyle news:


In a post titled ‘Leave your laptop behind with iPhone Web apps‘, Dan Langendorf outlines his favorites social and productivity web apps for the iPhone, writing: “for the basics of checking email, updating Facebook and Twitter accounts, sending instant messages, reading RSS feeds, making a list, taking a quick picture and emailing it to my flickr account, and listening to music or a book, I’m covered.”

Mack D. Male gave a brief history of Microsoft’s Windows Media Center, which will be five years old in September. But has it been a success?

Finally, based on existing technology, Ryan Jarrett gives his own take on ‘The ultimate portable media player‘.

Video show of the week

Wallstrip interviews Joost CEO Mike Volpi

In this week’s episode of Wallstrip, host Lindsay Campbell and Joost CEO, Mike Volpi, discuss the company’s pitch to content owners, how the service differs from competing Internet TV offerings, and the value proposition Joost is offering to advertisers.

That a wrap. Have a great weekend readers.

last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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