Weekly wrapup, 30 June – 4 July 2008

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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Digital Music news

Rhapsody launches DRM-free MP3 music store

Rhapsody, the joint venture by Real Networks and Viacom’s MTV Networks, is the latest digital music service to launch a DRM-free music download store. Although the company isn’t ditching Digital Rights Management software altogether – its music subscription service still relies heavily on copy-protection technology – the new Rhapsody MP3 Store is selling DRM-free MP3s priced at .99c per track or $9.99 for the complete album, which is pretty much inline with the rest of the industry.

Verizon, Rhapsody also team up for VCAST Music with Rhapsody service

Not only did Rhapsody launch a DRM-free MP3 music store — see our earlier coverage — but the company has also engaged with Verizon Wireless to offer a new mobile subscription plan called VCAST Music with Rhapsody.

Warner Music jumps on-board Nokia’s all-you-can-eat music plan

Nokia continues to cozy up to the music industry, announcing today that Warner Music has signed onto ‘Comes With Music’, the company’s all-you-can-eat music subscription plan. The major recording label becomes the third of the Big Four to have agreed a partnership with Nokia, following earlier deals with Universal Music and Sony BMG. The remaining major holdout is EMI.

Bono to launch philanthropic (RED) music service

Bono and the rest of team behind the non-profit (RED) are to launch a new music subscription service this autumn with half of revenue going towards buying “life-saving medicine for those living with AIDS in Africa.”

Radiohead teams with Last.fm to offer “In Rainbows” for free, on-demand streaming

Leave it up to Radiohead to find every new distribution method possible for their latest effort “In Rainbows.” This time the band has teamed up with Last.fm to offer the album in its entirety for free, ad-supported, on-demand streaming.

How to tune up a tone deaf Rhapsody

Michael Pinto, Creative Director of Very Memorable, Inc. offers up an alternative vision for music service Rhapsody: “Over one year after EMI took the first step to offer DRM-free downloads (April 2007) Rhapsody has decided to play catch up. Rhapsody is a joint venture between Real Networks and MTV, and that’s where its problems start: At this point for the youth market, MTV is no longer associated with music – if anything on cable it’s been replaced by MuchMusic and on the web there are upcoming dynamic brands like Pitchfork.tv that are poised for high growth.”

Other news

Sony’s PS3 firmware update adds nifty new features

Sony’s next PlayStation 3 update, firmware 2.40, will deliver several features that owners have been wanting for a long time.

AT&T releases official pricing plans for iPhone 3G; total cost of ownership is going up

AT&T announced pricing details today for the iPhone 3G, which goes on sale at 8 a.m., July 11. There’s been a little grousing here and there, but for the most part the No. 1 carrier in the U.S. — and its accomplice, Apple — have received a free criticism pass. Now that official pricing is here, we should be disappointed in AT&T and Apple. The iPhone 3G is going to be a heck of a lot more expensive to own.

That’s a wrap! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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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