Weekly wrapup, 10 – 14 September 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

The biggest digital lifestyle news this week was in the digital music space. UK mobile carrier Vodafone announced that it will offer Omnifone’s MusicStation service, which has been hailed as the most significant online music venture since iTunes. For a weekly fee of £1.99 (just over $4) users can “download” and share with other MusicStation users as much music as they want. Most importantly, this fee covers all data charges, which can be costly and have kept people from downloading more music and utilizing the carriers’ 3G networks. All four music labels are taking part in MusicStation — the Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, EMI, and Warner.

In more digital music-related news, we reported on speculation that ‘Universl Music Group (UMG) is exploring the possibility of introducing an ISP music file-sharing tax. Called “TotalMusic”, the idea would be to charge the customers of ISPs and cellphone carriers a flat-rate fee as part of their data service plan, in exchange for the right to download and share the label’s music over the ISP’s network. While the idea isn’t entirely new, it’s unlikely to ever be implemented as would not only require buy-in from ISPs who would have to pass on the costs to their customers — the “tax” would be compulsory — but it would also need the other major labels to join the scheme.

Two more rumors this week that we felt compelled to comment on: BBC content could be coming to XBox Live and Apple is gearing up to launch the iPhone in the UK, with further details to be announced on Tuesday.

The award for the silliest news this week goes to Sony BMG who are to introduce a new music format called the “ringle” — a combination of a CD single and ringtone.

More digital lifestyle news:


Our main feature post this week was a comprehensive look at the Internet streaming efforts of the big five U.S. television networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and The CW, in which we concluded that their online offerings remain sporadic and their Internet strategies feel like “we have to” rather than “we want to”.

In a post titled ‘Mobile web experience will not improve without new hardware‘, Daniel Langendorf argues that we need to rethink our expectations and approach to the mobile Web: “I’d also like to get away from the thinking that the mobile Web experience should be like surfing the Web on our desktops or laptops. It’s not the same experience. It never will be. One is large, with at least a 12-inch display, and the other is tiny, with a match-book-sized screen.” What’s needed is a more holistic approach to designing true mobile information devices.

Poll: Should Apple become a wireless carrier?

Reports this week suggest that Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Co. have studied the implications of joining the upcoming U.S. wireless spectrum auction. Given that the chance to wrestle power away from incumbent telco’s such as AT&T and Verizon is too tempting to dismiss outright, we’re asking readers: should Apple become a wireless carrier?

That a wrap for the week. Have a relaxing 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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