First came Amazon, then came Google, and now, finally, Apple has joined the musical cloud. In an announcement last week, Steve Jobs publicized Apple’s work to put iTunes in the cloud with its new, free service iCloud. While iTunes in the Cloud is among other features available as part of iCloud, including bookstore, device backup, document storage and photo stream services, it is certainly one of the most talked about and highly anticipated. However, while Amazon and Google’s cloud music services are available now, the iCloud will not be fully usable until the fall. Read more
A few weeks ago, I blogged about how Amazon beat both Google and Apple to put music in the cloud, even though they sidestepped some strict U.S. licensing agreements. Well, it turns out Google was not too far behind with the launch of their own musical cloud service, which came out just six weeks later. But was Google following in Amazon’s footsteps too closely? Read more
Last week, Amazon launched their Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player, an Internet service that lets anyone store music and other digital files – photos, videos, documents, and files under 2GB – on Amazon’s servers and access them via the Web and Android devices.
Amazon is actually giving users 5GB of Cloud Drive storage free of charge, which equates to about 1000 songs. And, if users just buy one MP3 album through Amazon, they’ll be able to access 20GB of cloud storage for a year. The Cloud Player works on PCs, Macs and Android devices, but not iOS devices (yet) since the uploader is built using Adobe’s Air platform. Read more
This week was my dad’s birthday, and, as a technology buff, we always try to get him the next big thing on the market. This year, it was perfect timing, as the third edition of the Amazon Kindle had just been released.
While we still receive the ever-slimmer Boston Sunday Globe newspaper, my family has long since given up on physical books, much preferring the Kindle e-reader. Already having versions one and two just wasn’t enough – the third-generation Kindle showed some significant improvements in size, weight, display, and functionality that made it a “must have” and the perfect birthday gift for dad. You can see some of the physical improvements in the photo below, progressing left to right, versions 1-3.
The latest, more compact, 6-inch Kindle e-reader from Amazon has now adopted the Wi-Fi feature that the Barnes & Noble Nook has rivaled, giving it both Wi-Fi and 3G wireless. It has also updated the memory capacity from 2GB to 4GB and doubled the battery life from two weeks to four weeks (with the wireless is turned off).
CNET notes some of the other improved features, including:
- Better screen with higher contrast and faster page turns
- PDF support
- Larger library of hundreds of thousands of e-books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs via the Amazon store
- Built-in keyboard for notes
- Capable of storing 3,500 electronic books
Eight fonts available, including two new extra-large sizes
- Displays image files
- Plays MP3 and AAC audio
So, for all the remaining physical book page turners out there, this third-generation Kindle may very well change your mind and help you make the switch to the modern e-reader world. Sign me up!