Say hello to the alive web!

We now have seamless connectivity via mobile devices; people can always be connected. This connectivity offers an opportunity to create a different kind of Internet experience that’s more immersive and interactive. That persistent connection is what allows us to create and experience the Alive Web.

Rdio Taps Developers to Compete in Digital Music Arena

Rdio, the social music subscription service built by Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, is one of the later entrants to the digital music space. But it’s working hard to catch up by tapping developers to make its service widely available.

Apple’s AirPlay Arrives on Android: DoubleTwist

Android smartphones and tablets can now stream music, videos and photos to AppleTV over Wi-Fi using the doubleTwist AirSync application. A quick test of the software shows that its simple to configure and can pipe digital media output to AppleTV with the tap of a button.

What Should Apple’s iCloud Look Like?

Friday morning, John Paczkowski of Digital Daily confirmed Om’s report earlier this week that Apple acquired the domain name Apple has acquired and not used domain names in the past, but if Cupertino is planning to use the iCloud brand, what should that trademark encompass?

Will Apple’s Spectrum Bet Pay Off?

Apple has gone all-in for streaming as the primary means of getting content onto its devices. That has distinct strategic advantages for Apple, but it’s not without risks, especially for users.

Hands On with mSpot, an iTunes in the Cloud

mSpot, a new music streaming service for your own audio collection, recently launched on Android 2.0 or better devices. Thanks to local caching, mSpot offers playback even when your phone has no data connection. But seamless on or offline playback is hurt by one main issue.

Today in Connected Consumer

Apple has never said what it intended to do with Lala, the streaming music rental service it bought late last year. But the announcement today that Lala is no longer accepting new users and will shut down altogether on May 31 is fueling speculation that some sort of web-based version of iTunes will be announced shortly. Back in January, however, the CEO of, Michael Robertson, wrote a very interesting story suggesting that Lala would become more than simply a streamed version of iTunes but would form the foundation of a far-reaching cloud-based media strategy by Apple. Now that the media-centric iPad is a reality, Robertson’s piece is looking more prescient than ever.

Today in Connected Consumer

It’s long past time to reinvent the music business without the typical record-label structure but better late than never. A new startup launching today, Hello Music, hopes to replace the traditional label A&R function with a do-it-yourself digital platform meant to connect aspiring bands and artists with commercial opportunities, while BACH Technology of Norway has a plan to take digital music distribution beyond the MP3 file. Oh, and Verizon says it’s not actually cutting off Internet access to users to download music illegally.

Apple Pondering Music Streaming?

CNET is reporting Apple is in an “advanced” stage of talks with music service Lala, according to a pair of sources, one of which asserts that terms have already been agreed upon. If so, such a deal could portend big changes in how the iTunes Store does business.

Lala launched in 2006 as a CD trading website, followed by more permanent changes to its business model. Lala now sells DRM-free MP3s for as little 89 cents, as well as “web songs” for 10 cents. According to Lala, a “web song is a song that lives on the Internet,” that dime getting you unlimited number of plays from a web browser, which isn’t a micro-subscription at all. Yeah, this sounds exactly like what Apple is interested in. Read More about Apple Pondering Music Streaming?

Today in Connected Consumer

Want proof that DRM drives people mad? Check out Media Rights Technology, a Silicon Valley provider of “content management” services. In 2007, the company sent cease-and-desist letters to Microsoft, Adobe, RealNetworks and Apple, claiming that Vista, Flash, RealPlayer and iTunes were infringing MRT’s technology under the DMCA. Their alleged crime? Not using MRT’s anti-stream-ripper to protect Internet radio transmissions. Then this week, MRT subsidiary started selling Beatles downloads for 25 cents a track. When challenged by EMI, MRT founder Hank Risen claimed BlueBeat actually owns the copyright on the tracks it’s selling because he recorded them himself  using “psycho-acoustic simulation.” Yesterday, a judge issued a restraining order. Restraints might have been more appropriate.