D'oh! Record companies losing sales on $1.29 pricing

…maybe not losing money overall, but losing sales, which drops them down the chart, which, in turn, loses more money.  Billboard, (via Giz) is reporting that songs that got jacked to $1.29 are seeing significant decrease in sales in just two days of higher prices.  At the moment, it appears that the price increases overshadow the loss of sales so there is still more money coming into the labels for $1.29 songs…but that’s just for now.  These things often spiral.

It isn’t all about music revenue for the artists.  They don’t always get paid based on sales revenues.  For the artists (some of them anyway), it’s about having a #1 hit or top 10 hit.  If the record companies decide to jack the price of an artist’s song by $.30, it appears that he or she has a much longer shot at getting there.  Their peers at $.99 are at a significant advantage.  This also affects the artists reputation and standing when negotiating future contracts.

This isn’t a minor blip either.  Take a look at the cart to the left furnished by Billboard.  $1.29 songs plummeted.   $.99 songs skyrocketed.

While two days of data might not a trend make, it certainly has to elicit pause.  If you are a record company exec, the decision to put the $1.29 bump on a song is a lot tougher knowing you are going to cost your artist a couple of rankings, maybe even the shot at a top seller.

Maybe Steve Jobs was right about keeping the $.99?  He’s got a pretty solid track record.


ZuneHD to take on iPod touch

Engadget got a peek at what is likely the new ZuneHD.  So how will this thing compete with the iPod touch?  We’re assuming it will be cheaper than the iPod touch, it will likely have a higher pixel count.  It looks more 16:9ish than the iPod’s 3:2 ratio.  

The tablet space is hot lately with the Amazon Kindle rumored to be getting a bigger screen and the Crunkpad coming out soon.

The Zune, for what it is worth, will have a billion fewer apps sold at release than the iPod touch.

This is becoming frighteningly close to the ZunePhone FailWhale that we all fear.

VoiceOver Kit 1.01 for Shuffle released

For those of you who jumped on the new Shuffle, you might want to hook yourself up with a Software Update.  Apple has released a 17MB VoiceOver update which fixes pronunciation and stability issues with your new Shuffle. 

Apple’s description of VoiceOver:

Musically speaking, the new iPod shuffle is brilliant, thanks to an exciting new feature called VoiceOver. Say you’re listening to a song and want to know the title or the artist. With the press of a button, VoiceOver tells you as the music dips down. It even announces the names of your playlists. And when your battery needs charging, VoiceOver tells you that, too. Learn more about VoiceOver

Via Macworld


When will Apple hit a billion apps?

What are y’all doing on April 20th at 4:57am Eastern Standard Time?  Don’t say celebrating 4/20 because we know you guys don’t wake up that early. 

Us?  We’re going to be downloading a bunch of apps from the App Store.  Apple’s computers are going to decide who the winner is and if their algorithm stays the same, that will be the early hours of April 20th.  Some of our slightly OCD commenters told us so.  So we checked it out by moving our clock forward and getting a screen grab.  It seems legit.

…and daddy needs a new MacBook Pro.

Rules are here.

Timing.  The Promotion shall run from 12:01 a.m. EDT on April 10, 2009 and ends with the downloading of the 1 billionth app (“Promotion Period”). For purposes of the Promotion, the downloading of the 1 billionth app is considered to be either the downloading of the 1 billionth app from iTunes or the receipt of the non-purchase entry after the download of the 999,999,999th app, whichever comes first. Only entries submitted in this time period will be accepted. Sponsor’s computer is the official time keeping device for this promotion.

5. Sweepstakes. …The prize will be awarded for the entry (either through an app download or through the non-purchase online entry) sent immediately following the download of the 999,999,999th app.

Chrysler Peapod to use iPhone as auto Navigation/Entertainment system

Engadget interviewed Peter E. Arnell about the new Peapod electric car in lower Manhattan yesterday.  While it is a nice sub-30 MPH concept at a kind of steep $12,000 price tag, what caught our attention was that the iPhone or iPod touch was the center of the car’s navigation, carbon footprint info and entertainment system (See 2:15 min in).  It wouldn’t really be a stretch to see other car manufacturers following suit here.  In fact, with the 1000 new APIs that include external device control as well as allowing external devices to control the iPhone/iPod, there have to be some exciting app development opportunities in the automotive area.  Developers?  Are you listening?


 Oh and a "disclaimer" here: I was the IT guy who replaced the IT guy who had bits of broken CD shot into his eyes by Arnell.  That was a fun few months :P