AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Ben Reid (April, 2007)

AfterDawn: News

iTunes music sales exceed 2.5billion - Apple unstoppable?

Written by Ben Reid @ 11 Apr 2007 6:12

iTunes music sales exceed 2.5billion - Apple unstoppable? Recently, consumer electronics giant Apple Inc. announced that its market leading iPod music devices had sold 100 million units since launch in November 2001, making it the fastest selling music player in history.

Apple's online music outlet the iTunes Store has enjoyed similarly great success. It boasts the world’s largest online catalog with over five million songs, 350 television shows and over 400 movies. The iTunes Store has sold over 2.5 billion songs since its debut as well as 50 million TV shows and over 1.3 million movies. The diamond combination of the iPod and the Store has kept Apple sitting pretty at the summit of the digital music market.

Despite rivals Microsoft putting a lot of effort behind the release of its so-called "iPod killer" Zune & Zune Marketplace combo, the software maker has done little to rain on Apple's parade, with modest sales since its launch last November - although Microsoft remains confident that it will have reached its one-millionth Zune owner by June.


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Halo 3 gets beta release next month

Written by Ben Reid @ 10 Apr 2007 5:22

Halo 3 gets beta release next month One of the most highly-anticipated titles so far for Microsoft's Xbox360 console - Halo 3 - is set to be released to the public at beta stage from 16 May. The beta will last for three weeks ending on 7 June.

Gamers will be able to experience the online multiplayer aspect of the game from which developers Bungie can gain feedback.

The Halo brand has been a huge success since its launch along with Microsoft's original Xbox console, with the games shifting in excess of 14.7m copies worldwide, & more than 800m hours of online Halo games having been played. It has also made large sums in sales of action figures, graphics novels, books and clothes

Halo 3 is expected to be released towards the end of the year, and is key to Microsoft in its battle with the rivalling Playstation 3 from Sony and Nintendo's Wii console.

Bungie's content manager Frank O'Connor said the beta would contain "quirks, a couple of roughedges". "A lot of secret features are hidden in this beta. We're keeping a lot of our powder dry for Fall," he added.


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Future of low-end PS3 appears in doubt

Written by Ben Reid @ 09 Apr 2007 10:23

Future of low-end PS3 appears in doubt In spite of the fact that maker Sony denies that it has been discontinued, the 20GB version its PlayStation 3 console is apparently becoming harder to track down, with at least three retailers no longer offering the cheaper, less featured version.

In a statement, the electronics giant announced that the 20GB version, which retails at $499 is still shipping to retailers. The general feeling among retailers is that there's a lack of demand by consumers for the 20GB model.

Sony has stressed a number of times that the 60GB PS3 is the more popular of the two, therefore some stores have opted to only sell that model.

The PS3, which debuted in Europe last month, is currently struggling up saleswise with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii console. Research figures show that Sony's sales have dropped off sharply while the Xbox 360 and Wii have shown more seasonal declines.


AfterDawn: News

High-Def revolution hurting DVD rentals?

Written by Ben Reid @ 08 Apr 2007 12:25

High-Def revolution hurting DVD rentals? DVD rentals and sales have been patchy this year and John Marmaduke, CEO of Hastings Entertainment, believes that the increase in holiday sales of High-Definition televisions maybe causing consumers to stay at home and watch the growing number of HD channels -- rather than go out and rent / buy a DVD.

He reckons that instead of renting high-def DVD's to watch on their HDTV's, consumers are tuning into 24-hour HD networks such as HDNet, Discovery HD Theater and INHD because the format war between Blu-Ray and HD DVD is scaring people away. "I think the industry is being punished for no unanimity with high-def,” he said. “Anecdotally, I’m hearing a lot talking about all the high-def channels they’re discovering."

TV Predictions

AfterDawn: News

Zune price-drop coming?

Written by Ben Reid @ 07 Apr 2007 9:41

Zune price-drop coming? Software giant Microsoft may be considering different distribution models for its iPod-rivalling Zune media device, with one of the propositions said to be offering the device at a next to nothing price tied to a subscription -- similar to a cellphone contract.

"Microsoft is exploring lots of ideas, and this is just one of them," confirmed a spokesperson for the company. The spokesperson said a subsidised Zune is only one of a series of "wild ideas" that Microsoft is currently considering in an attempt to compete with Apple's upcoming iPhone. The software maker has yet to announce plans to head towards the telecommunications market, though is considering such a move.

"It's a direction Zune would want to head in, but is it going to go there immediately? Probably not," the spokesperson said.


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Canada's new Government shows support of Canadian music

Written by Ben Reid @ 06 Apr 2007 8:48

Canada's new Government shows support of Canadian music Canada's new Government has pledged $650,000 funding to Vancouver-based record label Nettwerk Productions.

The company's CEO famously blasted the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)'s tactic of tracing and suing music fans caught sharing music on P2P networks. "My artists would never sue a fan," said Terry McBride back in August of last year. "I want those fans to share that music. When [the original] Napster hit, we had the same knee-jerk reaction that everyone else did: 'Who are these kids, let's get them and sue them.' But after a while we realized that they were no different than I was when I was as a teenager, just looking to consume as much music as possible."

Of the cash-injection by the Government, Canada's Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Chuck Strahl said, "I am proud that our Government is supporting Nettwerk Productions' efforts to develop, promote and distribute works by talented Canadian songwriters such as Sarah McLachlan, the Be Good Tanya, the Great Lake Swimmers and many others."


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