Bad taste in music? Here’s how to avoid sharing on Spotify

We all have our secret Lady Gaga songs tucked away in our playlist or the 80s’ Monster Ballads that are loved rather than laughed at, so now as Spotify comes to the U.S., here’s how to avoid sharing the skeletons in your musical closet.

Why the Future of Hardware Is Services

There is re-definition of the consumer electronics landscape and we are seeing a future for hardware that combines hardware, software and connectivity with specific services. Without the services, the devices may lose our attention and end up at the back of the proverbial drawer.

Android This Week: Dual Displays; App Updates; NFC Expands

This week saw a new Android handset with two 3.5-inch displays: the Kyocera Echo on Sprint can turn into one larger display or run two apps on the screens at the same time. Twitter saw a huge update while Sonos software is coming soon to Android.

Yes! Control Your Sonos With an Android Phone.

Sonos, the maker of a wireless music system, will soon have a free Android app, so the people who purchased one of the 67 million Android phones sold last year can control their Sonos music playback around their homes with their handsets (and their tablets).

How to Build a Consumer Platform: Lessons from Sonos

One has to look really hard to find a Silicon Valley startup that has found success in the hotly contested consumer electronics marketplace. However, one company might just change that: Sonos, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based maker of networked digital music devices.

Viva La Wi-Fi!

Wi-Fi was hot last year and it’s only getting hotter in 2010 as the availability of personal hotspots such as the Mi-Fi and the rise of the Direct Wi-Fi standard mean that putting a Wi-Fi chip in anything makes the device more useful.

What Features Should the New Apple TV Have?

The consumer electronics industry, like its mobile phone counterpart, is going into a phase of flux, where Moore’s law and smart software and services would dictate how tomorrow’s consumer devices are built. Everyone — from start-ups such as Sonos to Microsoft (s MSFT) and Sony (s SNE)  — is trying to figure out their next move.

Apple (s AAPL), which has been great so far at building clever products that leverage software, services and commodity hardware, has so far lagged in its efforts. Apple TV, its Internet set-top box, has been a disappointment. Michael Wolf, who spearheads GigaOM Pro, thinks it is time for Apple to refocus its attention on this device.

“Since the launch of Apple TV, the company has launched its app store, pushed into gaming, and started offering HD video content on iTunes,” he writes (subscription required). “Add it all together on a refreshed box, and it could be a potent combination.” Higher video quality and adding gaming capabilities are two of his picks. I was wondering if you would like to share your perspective in the comments section.

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The Battle for the Home Network Pits PCs Against Set-top Boxes

[qi:032] The other night I watched “Corpse Bride.” The Tim Burton flick was streamed from Netflix via my Time Warner broadband subscription, though my Linksys router to my Roku box, and from there through an HDMI cable to my television. But I could have watched a different movie on my TV using Time Warner’s video-on-demand service, sent through the set-top box provided by my cable company.

A few years back I couldn’t get movies delivered on demand, unless it was through my cable provider. But now services like Netflix — or better yet, Amazon — provide me with high-definition versions of new releases streamed via my Roku box for about as much as it costs through Time Warner or as part of a trip to the closest Blockbuster. In other words, my PC has become — as it has for so many others — the gateway to much of my entertainment. And that trend is worrying service providers, which don’t want to see their customers switch from paying for a triple-play package of voice, video and data to just data. Read More about The Battle for the Home Network Pits PCs Against Set-top Boxes

Sonos Controller for the iPhone/iPod touch

There was no doubt that, when initially released, the Sonos was a game changer.

But as time progressed, and Apple introduced the Airport Express with AirTunes, then the AppleTV (also with AirTunes support), and then the iPhone/iPod touch with the Remote app; the Sonos began to show its age.
While Sonos has continued to release variations of their Zone Players, where they were originally garnered much of their praise, their Controllers — based around the original iPod scroll-wheel design — now feel very dated. Now, breathing some new life into their lineup, and not to let Apple steal all their glory, Sonos has released their own controller app for Apple’s touch devices.
Available for free, the Sonos Controller (iTunes link) allows you to do everything you could via the original controller — including listening to Pandora, Rhapsody, and Last.FM as well as streaming music off your NAS/Time Capsule, and controlling the song/volume in each area. Additionally, now you can also search for artists via the on-screen keyboard and set-up/manage your Zone Players directly from the device.
I can almost hear the collective “finally” from the Sonos community as something like this has been a long time coming.