Weekly wrapup, 31 Mar – 4 Apr 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.

Enter your email address:

Support last100: If you would like to enquire about sponsoring last100 (including our weekly wrapup) please contact us for a Media Kit.

Digital lifestyle news

In the same week that Apple’s iTunes became the No. 1 music retailer (overtaking Wal-Mart), MySpace announced a new joint venture with three of the four major record labels. To be rolled out in stages over the next few months, MySpace Music will offer paid-for, DRM-free MP3 downloads (no details on pricing or quality), ad-supported music and video streaming, ringtones for cell phones, concert ticket sales, and merchandise.

On the Internet TV front, Blinkx launched BBTV. Like others in this increasingly crowded space, which includes Joost, Babelgum, VeohTV and HP-backed Next.TV, BBTV is a desktop application that utilizes peer-to-peer networking to deliver a full screen experience readily suited to long form content such as television episodes or feature films. And thanks to the speech and image recognition technology behind the company’s video search engine, users get access to a text transcription of what they’re watching, so that they can click on any word to jump to the corresponding section of the video, or ’shift-click’ to access Web-related content such as search results from Google, Wikipedia or IMDB.

ChumbyThis week, we also looked at the appeal of the Chumby, a touchscreen Internet gadget that can be customized with various channels that feature widgets, videos, feeds, games, and more. Sarah Perez wrote: “These widgets can be anything – web clips, RSS feeds, games, videos, Tweets, news, weather, a clock, photos, or a million other things. Some of the widgets come from deals made with content providers, like the widgets available from CBS, MTV Networks, MySpace, The Weather Channel Interactive, AOL’s SHOUTcast and Scripps Networks.”

Finally, we examined in further detail how Nokia is repositioning itself as a provider of Web services and applications built around its hardware offering, rather than being thought of as just a handset maker. At the center of its ambitious plans is Ovi, the company’s consumer facing Internet brand (see our previous coverage). Ovi’s tag line is “the key that unlocks every door” (Ovi means “door” in Finnish) and initially consists of a desktop and mobile Web portal that gives one-stop access to Nokia’s current Internet services: maps, music downloads, games and photo/video sharing. This has led to accusations that Ovi is taking a ‘walled garden’ approach, similar to early desktop Web entrants such as AOL or the mobile carriers themselves. “Instead of being ‘the key that unlocks every door'”, writes last100 editor Steve O’Hear, “Ovia, as it stands, feels more like the key to Nokia city.”

Thanks sponsors & readers; more sponsorship opportunities on last100

For the first time (and long overdue!), we interrupt this broadcast to thank our current last100 sponsors — all of whom help support our mission to provide in-depth coverage and analysis of news and products related to the digital lifestyle, including Internet TV, online music, mobile Web and more.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our smart, passionate – and growing – readership: thanks for your support and keep your content suggestions and comments coming.

If you would like to enquire about sponsoring last100 please contact us for a Media Kit.

That’s a wrap for the week! 

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.

Leave a Reply