Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Sony BMG Repents – To Offer DRM-Free Downloads In Time For Super Bowl

Posted by telecommatt on January 4, 2008

Sony BMG dropping DRM – Download Squad

It’s not clear how much of Sony BMG’s library will be available DRM-free. But the company does plan to participate in Amazon and Pepsi’s upcoming Super Bowl promotion to give away 1…

Sony BMG, DRM-free, and Amazon in the same sentence? (Without using sarcasm??) And the BOL folks were just talking about how Sony was the last of the Big Four labels holding out for DRM. I guess it doesn’t mean that everything will be DRM-free, but this is certainly big news!

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Matt’s Cuppa LinkRoundup for 9-08-07

Posted by telecommatt on September 8, 2007

I’m somewhat behind in my reading my RSS feeds this week, so here’s a mashup of articles that caught my attention. Please contact me regarding anything you see that you would like me to go into more detail on.

Crazymenu – Group ordering made simple

from Demo Girl by demogirlCrazymenu
is aimed at office workers and people trying to coordinate meals with
their friends. It’s also another great place to find reviews and
menus for restaurants in your area.

DOJ: No legislation for Network Neutrality

Filed under: , ,

with the Web 2.0 movement came a huge push for Network Neutrality, a
cause whose proponents demand that all access to the Internet occur as
equally as possible. In other words, AT&T can’t charge Google more
to transfer a byte of data because Google has figured out a way to make
more money off of AT&T’s bandwidth than AT&T themselves can do.


intuitive code editor for Windows with lightning fast response. It’s
extensible and customizable, thanks in part to its support for
scripting and native plug-ins. It makes development in any programming
or scripting language quick and easy.

Sleep: How and Why to Power Nap

Few skills are as useful for a Friday afternoon as the rewarding power
nap. The Ririan Project introduces 10 benefits to power napping and
details four styles of power nap: nano nap (10 to 20 seconds), micro
nap (two to five minutes), mini nap (five to 20 minutes), lazy man’s
nap (50 to 90 minutes) and the traditional power nap (exactly 20

DIY: Create a Minimalist Laptop Case


Using just cardboard and duct tape, you can create a laptop case that
serves as good protection against scuffs and scratches. The end result
is a laptop case that is practical, stylish, and won’t break your
budget. It might not be as soft or as cuddly as the previously covered DIY T-shirt laptop case,
but it certainly gets the job done, and you have a little more
flexibility with design (choosing the color tape, or even adding
decorative stickers) with this one.

How to Make a Minimalistic (and Cheap) Laptop Case [Instructables]

Why Is The Justice Department Commenting On Net Neutrality?

There’s been a fair amount of chatter over the Justice Department’s decision to comment to the FCC about network neutrality,
but there’s been almost no discussion as to why the Justice Department
should be involved at all. It’s true that the DOJ covers anti-trust
issues, but this isn’t about a merger or the potential to create a

10 Micro-Blogging Tools Compared

Micro-blogging is a term described by Wikipedia
as “a form of blogging that allows users to write brief text updates
(usually less than 200 characters) and publish them, either to be
viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the
user”. Several startups have witnessed phenomenal growth with
micro-blogging services, most notably Twitter. In addition, numerous social networks – including Facebook and Bebo
– have integrated similar status update services. The space is hot and
it’s still heating up. So let’s take a look at 10 of the key players.

Google GrandCentral Review

I just realized that I have some invites for people to get into the
beta for this, if you’re interested leave a comment or email me.

Do you think that in five years you will still have a home number, a
work number, a cell number, and multiple email addresses?  I
don’t, I haven’t for a while.  I’m a pretty firm
believer that in a couple of years we’ll only have one ID which
will work converge all incoming and outgoing communications
channels.  I think that eventually it’ll take the form of a
URI (e.g.,
but for now I’m pretty pleased to have narrowed down all my phone
numbers to one number.  As of yesterday, I only have one phone
number, at least until I get to use my URI.  I have seen the
future of personal communication, and Google GrandCentral is on the right track.

MattsCuppa Note: I have been using GrandCentral for business since it it first entered the market as a beta. I’m continually surprised by people “discovering” it’s usefulness. I’m certain that GC’s purchase by Google has put it in the spotlight in a bigger way than GC could have done by themselves, but GC is not a new product, and the concept harkens back to the days of telecommunications deregulation and universal number portability, if not earlier.

5000+ Resources to Do Just About Anything Online


Since May 2007, we’ve been bringing you resources and tools to
be more productive on the web. Due to popular demand, we’ve
brought all these lists together into one gigantic meta-list: 5000+
Resources to Do Just About Anything Online.

LiveStation: Microsoft’s Joost Rival Debuts at IBC

the service that lets you watch broadcast television online using
Silverlight, is being debuted in Europe at IBC. Read our initial post here.
You’ll remember that with LiveStation, you’ll get access
to an array of live radio and television channels to your computer.
This is, of course, different than video on-demand services like rival Joost,
which operate by enabling you to select which videos you’d like
to watch, and when. The service uses a peer-to-peer network for
scalability purposes. Built by Skinkers, LiveStation’s parent
company is a Microsoft participated company, and its P2P distribution
technology comes directly from Microsoft.

40+ Ways To Access Your Computer Remotely


There are lots of reasons why you’d want to access your PC remotely, and luckily there are also plenty of ways to do so. Crossloop is one of the simplest (it’s also free), but for those willing to venture further, you’ve got lots of options.
Excuse us while we get technical for a second. This list is divided
into four main sections: VNC (Virtual Network Computing), NX, remote
desktop and cross-protocol. If those terms mean nothing to you, you
might want to skip to the “other” section for the most
straightforward applications. That said, let’s begin. (more…)

NoteSake Supports All Languages & Exports to Word


NoteSake, the note-taking and organization tool, has added two new features to improve its service.
Language support has been added, so now NoteSake supports Russian,
Spanish, Latin and more, letting you take notes in any language you
need to. You can also export your notes to PDF and Microsoft Word,
making your notes easier to integrate into your existing desktop
applications and use them for various purposes, like the creation of a
power point slide, or for writing a paper.

EchoSign provides paperless paper trail

To get a signature recorded via fax, recipients must use the service’s cover sheet. (image edited for clarity).

The Office 2.0 conference
was set up almost entirely without paper (except for some checks that
paid for sponsorships). Even the contracts necessary to set up the show
were signed electronically, using EchoSign. There are other companies that provide services to create legally binding signatures, such as DocuSign (review), but EchoSign has simplicity going for it.

True Green Confessions shares your planet-wasting ways

Ever fling fast-food wrappers from the window of your speeding Prius? True Green Confessions invites you to tell the tale. Unlike so many other green social networking websites
that encourage you to practice bicycling, recycling and other
planet-friendly habits, here you can share the shame of not doing
enough or not caring enough about your fat carbon footprint.

Me.dium’s online concert will rock you

Me.dium RockMe. concert(Credit: Me.dium)

RockMe. has got to the be the only five-day music festival where you won’t pay for tickets. It is social-networking site Me.dium’s
attempt to rock your world, and the only thing you need to get in is
your browser. (Of course, you still have to bring your own drinks.)

RockMe., which runs from September 18 through September 22, 2007,
will feature bands, music video competitions, and the world’s safest
mosh pit–it’s virtual. More important to Me.dium, the RockMe. festival
will provide plenty of opportunities for band members and music lovers
to swap fond memories of choice lyrics and drum solos using Me.dium’s

Office 2.0: Ismael’s secrets…and a live videocast

Ismael Ghalimi, the organizer of the Office 2.0 conference (more)
is serious about living the Web 2.0 dream: Aside from a browser, he has
no applications installed on his laptop, except for iWork, which he
says he uses to remind himself what old-style software is like. (Even I
use traditional software for writing and e-mail.)

Check out Ismael’s notes on Office 2.0 services that work. And this comprehensive database of Office 2.0 applications that he’s put together. Useful tips.
But what if there’s no available Internet connection for Ismael
when he wants to work? “I just take a break. Which can be a good thing.”

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Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Blogging, eHub, Environment, LinkRoundup, Music, Productivity, web2.0 | Leave a Comment »

Yet Another iPod Touch Post: I’ve Been Converted!

Posted by telecommatt on September 5, 2007

I have not bought an Apple product since about 1985, and even, it was my dad that bought it because my allowance was only a dollar a week. However, after today’s iPod Touch announcement, I will openly admit that I want one! What changed my mind? Integrated wi-fi. Although it’s basically an phoneless iPhone, this is still serious business. You’re telling me that I can carry my music and access my web apps on the same device? And that it’s software is upgradeable through a software push so it’s likely that there will be new apps added in the future? Plus it’s got the multitouch screen and over 20 hours of battery life. Sold!

iPod touch Web

Tom Krazit from CNET’s Crave blog did a really nice live-from-the-event post (which is where I got the photo from) with down to the minute details. Check out his post and my thoughts here.

Note: You have to read my annotations from the bottom up, since that is how the timeline runs. You’ll see when you get there.

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Posted in Mobile, Music, Nokia770, Products, Technology | 1 Comment »

Hold the DRM Please

Posted by telecommatt on August 22, 2007

Good news from  They’re the next major music source to offer DRM-free downloads. So, unlike iTunes, you actually own your music instead of renting it.

Walmart seeks to keep lead – launches MP3 “DRM Free” music downloads

Filed under: , ,

Aiming to keep its lead in the music retail market, Wal-Mart is launching DRM free MP3 music downloads at
for 94 cents per track and $9.22 per album. The uber retailer’s music
catalog offers digital tracks from major record labels EMI and
Universal. The new MP3 format allows customers to play music on most
devices, including the ubiquitous iPod, iPhone and Zune players.Universal followed EMI in announcing DRM free music
to major retailers but bypassed iTunes, which is in third place behind
Best Buy’s second in the music retail market line-up. This is a good
move for consumers, allowing competition and hopefully provide more
options for the digital music buying public.

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Google + DRM-Free Music = World Domination

Posted by telecommatt on August 13, 2007

More on the Google front. A partnership between gBox, Universal, and Google (which sounds rather complicated to me) is putting more DRM-free mp3’s out there to alienate iTunes and chip away at it’s marketing share. Google touts is as an advertising opportunity, but I don’t think anyone is likely to be fooled into thinking that this is not another small step into Apple’s DRM-laden territory.

On a seperate note, I just thought I’d mention that the formatting on the Forbes website makes it obnoxious to quote from!

Google Key to Latest ITunes Challenge
By ANICK JESDANUN 08.10.07, 4:53 PM ET

NEW YORK – Add gBox Inc. to the growing list of online music services hoping to chip away at iTunes’s dominance. NEW YORK – Add gBox Inc. to the growing list of online music services hoping to chip away at iTunes’s dominance.The Cupertino, Calif., startup was forced out of a stealth mode when Universal Music Group announced late Thursday it would test sales of some digital music without the customary copy-protection technology.Under the program, gBox will get referrals through ads Universal will buy through search leader Google Inc. (nasdaq: GOOG – news – people ), gBox Chief Executive Tammy Artim said Friday.Google will get standard advertising fees rather than a cut of sales under the arrangement. The ads, which would appear when a Google user searches for specific terms such as the name of an artist, will direct the user to gBox.The arrangement with Universal and gBox is separate from Google’s music search service, which directs users to online music stores when they search for specific albums or artists. The company says it does not get paid for such referrals, and it does not restrict links to a single retailer.Google, which has said it has no plans to create a music store of its own, described the new arrangement as strictly an advertising relationship.

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Posted in Google, Music | Leave a Comment »

Songbird is Flock for Music Lovers

Posted by telecommatt on August 10, 2007

Remember Flock, the highly anticipated web browser that let you upload and download photos, post to blogs, and do other social networking type stuff easily from within the browser? If you have more mp3’s than jpg’s, then Songbird might be your personal Grail.

For some reason, I can’t seem to include the screencast in this post, so to view that, please check out the Lifehacker article.

Screencasts: Play the web with Songbird

from Lifehacker by Gina Trapani
Free Firefox-based media player Songbird makes playing local and online
music a whole new experience. View web pages, play music linked on them
and drag and drop the files to your own local library right in
Songbird. We’ve mentioned Songbird before,
but the screencast above demonstrates how cool the bird really is. If
you’re an MP3 blog lover, music searcher, or podcast subscriber, hit
the play button.
[Songbird via Daily Cup of Tech]

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Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Music, Podcasts/Podcasting | Leave a Comment »

eMusic Goes Mobile (But Costs A Lot)

Posted by telecommatt on July 31, 2007

I got this in my email today. (since I’m an eMusic subscriber.) This is very cool. It could mean very good things. The fact eMusic = DRM-free says that this could mean very good things indeed. It’s to bad it’s so freaking expensive. Especially since doing eMusic through the web is not.

If you’re thinking about getting a new mobile phone, now’s
the perfect time. As of today, eMusic
and AT&T are offering “over the air” access to
eMusic’s catalogue of over 2.5 million tracks. Owners of select
AT&T mobile phones can now sign up for a monthly eMusic Mobile
subscription plan. Subscribers will also have access to free MP3
versions of all mobile downloads on the eMusic web site. Click the
button below to learn more about this exciting new service!

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Posted in Mobile, Music | Leave a Comment »

I’d Like a Whopper and that New Bobbie Williams Track, Please

Posted by telecommatt on July 25, 2007

I don’t think it’ll work. But then I didn’t think that renting movies from McDonald’s would work either…

You want fries with that track?

the past few years mega coffee chain Starbucks has been active in
selling music CDs through its stores worldwide, making the most of the
promotional value of the association between its stores and music – and
now it appears that Burger King wants to get into action too. Burger
King has sealed a promotional deal with EMI that will see its Whopper
munching customers in the United Kingdom receiving free and DRM-free
downloads from artists such as Iron Maiden, Robbie Williams and Corinne
Bailey Rae.
The codes will allow BK customers to download free sample DRM-free
MP3 tracks from a BK branded microsite that will allow consumers to try
out and download tracks from a variety of EMI artists. The promotion is
the first launched through a collaboration between EMI and consumer
marketing company VerveLife. So next time you go for a burger make sure
you pack your iPod.

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Posted in Music | Leave a Comment »

Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 06/18/2007

Posted by telecommatt on June 18, 2007 Forums

  • Links to press coverage of Lala’s partnership with Warner.
    – post by telecommatt Indigo Girls

Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Music | Leave a Comment »

MattsCuppa Link Roundup for 6-11-2007

Posted by telecommatt on June 11, 2007

More backlogged links! I’m especially excited about Remember the Milk being available offline. Most everyone knows I’m an RTM addict, and I am still convinced it’s the most flexible way to manage your GTD-life. Now, I can “remember the milk” from my PC online, from my laptop in line, and my mobile handset where ever. Sweet!

Firefox Extensions For Bloggers has a useful post today with 17 Firefox Extensions That Make Blogging Easy – broken down into Collecting, Writing and Images.

I hate lists like this – I end up spending half my day having to
install and test great new tools which are supposed to make me more
productive but in the short term which are wonderful distractions!

PS: The Split Browser
extension is going to be VERY useful. I quite often wish I didn’t
have to flip back and forth from one tab to another while writing a
post or newsletter in one tab and researching what I’m writing i
another. This is great – why didn’t anyone tell me!

What else don’t I know about?!? What are your favorite Firefox extensions?



any camera phone you can quickly and easily send photos where everyone
can view them. Don’t just tell your friends about it, burstcast

Web As Desktop: Remember the Milk gets Gears


The popular online todo list Remember the Milk has paired up with the spanking new Google Gears to offer a seamless online/offline experience for RTM.

the Milk’s Google Gears integration is really impressive, offering the
entire RTM experience in offline mode—meaning that you can view
your todo lists, add tasks, edit tasks, search your tasks, create Smart
Lists, along with anything else you like to do with RTM. As far as I’ve
seen, RTM is the first popular non-Google app (and the second app
outside of Google Reader) to offer offline access and synchronization
with Google Gears, and it’s done a helluva job. Looking forward to
seeing more of this.

The Week in Sustainable Mobility (6/3/07)

Editor’s Note: Check out Minnesota in the eco news! We don’t often make headlines here. Must be that Minnesota Nice thing…

A Final Batch of Productivity Tips

During my mini-hiatus after the birth of my son a few more productivity tips did come through for the Ultimate Guide to Productivity.

seem to have stopped at this point so maybe the Ultimate Guide to
Productivity group writing project meme has played out its course.
That’s totally fine. I’ve listed the remaining submissions

You can still submit a post if you’d like – just tell us your best productivity tips!

the meantime I’ll start the huge task of reviewing all the posts
again and preparing the much-promised e-book. I can’t give a
deadline at this stage, and as soon as I get a handle on the work
I’ll call for help from others. But here goes nothing!

  1. Tag, I’m It! by Christina Haas
  2. Number 1 productivity tip by Shannon
  3. Productivity: Snooze It or Lose It by Connie Reece
  4. Automation: My Ultimate Guide to Productivity by Alaeddin
  5. Meme Week: My Secret to Productivity by Mark Goodyear
  6. Cutting Out the Bull: Information Overload and Productivity by David Bohl
  7. Fear – The Ultimate Productivity Blocker by Shaboom
  8. Ultimate Guide to Productivity: A Tip the Worx by In The Worx

If I’m not mistaken, this brings our total number of submissions to 137!

be posting the full list shortly so there’s a single page to
access all of the great productivity tips. And again, you can keep
sending them in if you’ve got them…


Upload and play your iTunes library and all your digital music online.
Easy download to your iPod or PC. Safely share music and playlists.
URL: Lala.


An online instructional cooking site that walks you step-by-step through each recipe with video tutorials. URL: Rouxbe.


A browser-based online mind mapping application. URL: Mind42.

Make your site mobile friendly

A nice introduction into the world of the mobile web. Personally it
felt it played down the challenges in places but it still gave some
nice advice.

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Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Blogging, CSS, Energy, Environment, GTD, LinkRoundup, Mobile, Music, Politics, Software, web-based services, Webdev, Websites | 3 Comments »