This Week’s Top Story:
Google and Apple find themselves facing off again this week with the releases of Google Music and iTunes Match, respectively. In the past couple of months, the two tech giants have come head-to-head in the social network, advertising and smartphone technology markets and this week the battle extends into the music world. iTunes, long considered a music industry game changer, released iTunes Match this week which allows users to convert all of their files to a standard format (256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality files, to be exact) and utilize cloud technology to have this music available across all iDevices. While this system is limited to 25,000 songs, this is still an exciting advancement in music technology.
Just a couple of days later, Google struck back by opening up Google Music to the public and taking it out of beta. Google Music also utilizes cloud technology by allowing users to upload their music library and then add songs from the new music store. At the moment, Google Music is just hitting industry standard as far as functionality and pricing. However, as Devin Coldewey explained so nicely in his TechCrunch post, Google has a track record of releasing simple products and expanding on them post-release. Coldewey advised, “revisit the service in six months and compare how far it’s moved with how far the competition has moved.”
Meanwhile, streaming programs like Spotify and Rdio that have become increasingly popular should not be overlooked in this process. Spotify’s relationship with Facebook has caused a surge in users (4 million new users since f8 to be exact). At the same time, the Rdio Music Player on the Vox tablet will include the Kobo ebook reader, allowing users to discover music and books in the same app.
We say: Let the games begin.
Yelp filed for 2012 IPO that could gain up $100 million for the company.
The Stop Online Piracy Act has been a source of debate across the Internet this week as technology companies fight back and make their opinions known across the Internet. The act would grant the government the right to censor and remove website with pirated content, even if said content was posted to the site by a user not associated with the website. Tumblr was among the leaders spurring conversation by censoring the Dashboard’s of their users and routing them to a political advocacy page, which would inform the user about the act and provide next steps such as contact information for their Congressman and a phone call with talking points.
Diaspora Co-Founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy died at 22 this week.
Foursquare revamped their badge system to increase user engagement by providing a level system within badges.
Be on the Lookout:
This year’s second annual Grouponicus will reach 41 cities within the U.S. and Canada. Grouponicus is a special holiday promotion that provides Groupon offers that can be used as holiday gifts.
RIM announced the BlackBerry Bold 9790 and Curve 9380, but users were much more interested in a leaked photo of what could be the first BBX phone, the Blackberry London which will launch in late 2012
In a not-so-surprising move considering the relation between the two companies, Skype adds ability to video chat with Facebook friends from the desktop browser.