This week, Jim, Tim & Kirk look at Netflix’s “never mind” about Qwikster and call back to in the infamous “lost” podcast, where the prediction was made that Qwikster wouldn’t make it through October. (03:22 – 14:10)
Next, we deal with previous podcast business involving Hitler and R.E.M. (14:14 – 19:40)
Then, instead of discussing Facebook for the iPad, we parse the saga of Phoenix Jones, superhero and the rest of the Rain City Superhero Movement, and determine that one of the things a superhero needs is multiple copies of his costume. (19:45 – 30:30) –
Finally, it’s Jim’s favorite album of the 21st century – The Hold Steady’s Boys and Girls in America, – the latest inductee into the Medialoper Bebop Great Albums Hall of Fame. (30:30 – 43:13)
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Zune owners are a notoriously thin-skinned lot. It might have something to do with the Zune’s perpetual status as a third place also ran in the portable media player market. Or maybe it’s the fact that the Zune apparently borrows so much of it’s “innovation” from the world’s worst portable media player.
Whatever the reason for their prickly nature, Zune owners have a whole new reason to grumble. Early this morning every 30 GB Zune on the planet stopped working. You have to give Microsoft credit, this was an act of synchronized ritual suicide that has not been seen before in the consumer electronics business.
How does something like this happen with a mainstream product? Some have speculated that this could be a date problem related to the new year. In fact, many are already referring to this as the Z2K9 bug. But, if that’s the case then there’s a bug in Microsoft’s bug. You would expect a problem of this sort would manifest itself at midnight on New Years Eve, not the night before.
The NBC programming that went missing from iTunes last December has finally turned up in the Zune marketplace. Fans of The Office, Heroes, and 30 Rock can once again pay to download episodes of their favorite programs — provided they own a Zune and a Windows PC.
Given the Zune’s miniscule market share it’s curious to see any network choosing Microsoft’s media platform over iTunes for paid downloads. When NBC pulled its programming from iTunes, network officials sniffed at the relatively small sales the Apple service had generated. By comparison, sales in the Zune marketplace are bound to redefine the term “nano”.
Clearly this move isn’t about selling digital content online. NBC seems to be more interested in punishing Apple for exercising control over iTunes pricing than it is in actually expanding the market for legal downloads.
The utopian dream of ubiquitous media access is on the verge of becoming a reality. Consumers can watch TV on their iPods, download sports highlights to their cell phones, and take vast libraries of music with them wherever they go. You would think that all of these new digital distribution systems would be a boon for consumers, but that isn’t necessarily the case.
There are signs that media companies are using the transition to digital distribution as an opportunity to redefine consumer expectations about the value of media products, while at the same time eliminating much of what is currently considered to be fair use.
When consumers buy digital music, movies, or television programs from iTunes, Amazon, and most other digital content sources, they are ultimately paying more, getting less, and being forced to make platform decisions with long term implications.
Here are nine reasons why most digital media products are a bad deal for consumers:
As part of my Medialoper reporting duties, I often venture into the real world to get a sense of what’s happening outside the walls of the Internet. I have set up a little lab to study the media consumption habits of ordinary Americans. In order to keep the science almost rigorous, the group I’ve assembled is pretty much random, much like, well, what you’d find in an average office setting.
Since the dawn of the 2006-2007 Fall television season, I’ve had two conversations relating to traditional motion picture viewing. The first was a rather bizarre discussion about Lost. It started out as a review of the season premiere, but, well, died. Somehow it was a rehash of Season One — which, thankfully, I had seen enough of to fake my way through the conversation. Never let it be said that we don’t go the extra mile here.