Free streaming music from You Tube, but w/o the video…from Songza!

I want my MTV Songza! Don’t know how they do it or where they pull the music from (some say a bit of it comes from the music-only part of music videos found on you tube) but they got it right for me. My favorite blog, Uncov, reviewed this a week back and loved it as well . Songza is free, and you can create playlists of your favorite songs and share those with friends. Not sure how they monetize this but hey its free and very responsive/quick in loading up what songs you want to hear. Try it out -its worth a look.

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My data = ‘invisible advertising’

There’s a discussion that’s been going on for some time now about data ownership. Dave Winer at Scripting.com has probably said it the best on his blog for some time now – he’s right on target concerning data ownership.  Huh? What does this mean? Read on….I belong to Facebook facebook (and other social networks as well, but I’m using Facebook as an example for today’s post). I filled out the answers to many questions, identified some people as friends or acquaintances, have used some of their plug-ins/3rd party apps. and participated in a few polls. Facebook has this (my) data and is in complete control of it and owns it right now – my preferences, opinions, friends, and even some of my buying habits. I also use Amazon and eBay – they too have my data and they know which books and items I’ve bought or bid on, they even built a profile of items I’ve looked for for future ‘recommendations’ (OR what I call, ‘invisible advertising’). The same for Netflix netflixand iTunes. itunesNow, think about all of this for a minute. Collectively, these services by virtue of the fact I have used their websites know more about my own real interests, likes and dislikes and specifically what I’d prefer to watch (Netflix), read (Amazon), who I talk to (Facebook), what I listen to (iTunes) and buy (Amazon amazon & eBay ebay ) better than anyone else other than myself. What if this cumulative profile of me was something I could use and take with me and ‘offer’ to a prospective website retailer that might like to ‘sell’ me something because that ‘something’ is very likely something I’d want to buy from them? Would my profile and data be worth something to this retailer? There is something of value I can offer them and in return I can get something of value to me, from them (i.e. a discount or other services). Could I use my profile then to negotiate a better deal for myself for that item if I purchased that item at their website? Conversely, why not let several web retailers offer me big discounts on certain items I am most likely to buy? And finally, when do advertisements no longer resemble advertisements? When they appear as ‘information’. The ‘ad’ part becomes invisible when I am properly targeted using my own data. I’ll no longer see an advertisement but rather some information I want to know about because I’m already interested in receiving that information (hence the term ‘invisible’ advertising). But, I want to control my own data. I want to be able to use this information about myself that OTHERS collect and use it for me, after all, I created it. I gave it up voluntarily to these web sites but I still want control of it – where it goes and to whom. If I had a simple XML file that resided on my own hard drive collecting this information, then I’d have my bargaining chip! And ultimately this will lead to less advertisements and more information being given to me. A better web experience all around. A win-win for me and the retailer. Thoughts?

The new ‘kid’ on the block

Where can you download hundreds of new movies without DRM, in the format of your choice, for $2-5.00 a pop? Unbox? iTunes? NBC Direct? Movielink? CinemaNow? Nope. None of the above. Instead, try zml.com. From the same folks who brought us ‘allofmp3.com’ (now defunct) brings us the newest thorn in the side of Hollywood, zml.com (this stands for The Movie Library). Until Hollywood shuts this one down, it is the newest equivalent to what Kazaa or Limewire once was – access to full, brand-new Hollywood hits available for download – except with a download ‘fee’ attached.
Simpsons Movietransformersrescue dawnmistbeowolf

If you want to try this service I’d suggest getting a pre-paid Visa card because who knows what they’d do with your credit card number once grabbed in their database running out out of Russia. My sources tell me the site is up and functioning (I did not try it). From what I’ve read, it takes a little over an hour to download a full length film ( 700 meg Divx file) -this was on a DSL connection (so broadband would be significantly quicker). Formats run from Divx to iPod (mp4), PDA to DVD (vob).

These kinds of illegal movie download sites pop-up from time to time. But it seems when Hollywood legally ‘sanctions’ (officially ‘license’) a bona-fide movie download site, they always seem to shoot themselves in the foot or force the website to remain captive to its licensors (the studios) restrictive, anti-consumer un-user friendly demands which ultimately strangles the web service. Done right (which the illegal sites seem to get right because they DON’T have the studios in their faces) are the ‘key’ elements that go a long way to providing some traction and consumer popularity. These illegal sites all tend to promote 5 essential consumer ‘key’ elements that make them very attractive to use and popular. They are (1) broad choice of current or new movie’s offered + library (2) flexible choice of video formats (3) priced fairly (4) no DRM (5) ease of use

The 1 item that Hollywood can’t seem to get around is DRM. The use of DRM and the reasons why the studios insist on DRM has another solution than the “all or nothing” proposals of the past. This issue CAN be handled differently. Handling this another way would allow consumers to have the same flexibility that an ‘open’ (or non-DRM’ed file) digital file would have – complete interoperability between different kinds of hardware playback devices (DVD players, iPods, computers, etc.) AND still contain the DRM algorithm ‘flavor of the month’ that Hollywood desires. More on this another time soon.

UPDATED: Those ‘elusive’ online Academy Award Screeners for 2007…

My post on November 4th comes with a new update today. It’s Sunday and a lazy day for me so I spent some time online looking for some ‘academy’ screeners to see what I could find. Oscar These are high quality DVD’s of movies that are sent around only to Academy voting members. They are highly ‘protected’ from theft pirate bay org. (or so it is touted), with each copy mailed to each member, signed for and numbered, registered by each studio – and I’m sure there are other safeguards taken as well . But somehow, someway, each and EVERY year most of them end up on the newsgroups first, then inevitably the digital file filters down to the easier to ‘Phd’ applications ( Phd = push here dummy) like Limewire limewire or Kazaa Kazaa in their heyday.

How does this happen despite the increased security and improved technological ‘fingerprinting’ and ‘watermarking’ movies are found there? Its not like one or two movies get pirated and released online before they come to DVD retail stores or available online through iTunes iTunes, Unbox Unbox, Movielink movielink or CinemaNow. cinemanow MOST of them somehow make it online. Now that being said, I think that the availability of these movies online like this just increase the sales of the DVD and interest through discussion by those who get to say they have ‘seen’ the film first. Its in the word of mouth. I believe that any real fan of a movie will buy it to own the copy anyway – proud to have it at their convenience to watch. I do it with my favorite music and bands because I play that music over and over again. Just like my favorite movies (but far less than I do a favorite song, btw). Anything less than my favorite gets rented anyway.

Nowadays, they put movies up on YouTube and other services in several parts. I think I read somewhere that soon YouTube will allow you to post something that is ‘movie’ length, i. e. 2+ hrs. This will invite people to post full-length features online a bit easier in single or 2 digital files (generally a divx file can be as small as 700 megs per film vs. the 3-4 gigs VOB file ripped directly from a DVD).

So without much further ado, here is the list, links and where I found these SO FAR:

UPDATE from November 4th: (*note: not all of the below mentioned titles are ‘Academy Screeners’, some are art house pics, some are DVD screeners that were leaked earlier than their DVD street date -most likely by an employee – and all are found in the divx binarydivx newsgroup as well as some others and are available for download for free by anyone with a newsgroup reader, newsleecher newsgroup account, newshosting and some par files). If you need some help understanding how to do all of this, you can look it up on the web here (and its not an easy exercise to do and that’s why services like Limewire and Kazza thrived for so long) or try iTunes.

*The Brothers Solomon, King of California, Redacted, Fifty Pills, The Banishment, In Memory of Myself, The Edge of Heaven, Thieves, The Man Who Shot Chinatown, The Man from Earth, Shattered, September Dawn, Dragon War.

“Do or do not… there is no try.” ~ Yoda

yodaYoda said it perfectly. (at the 3:40 point)

<object width=”425″ height=”355″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/g-zD-RohzNY&rel=1″></param><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/g-zD-RohzNY&rel=1&#8243; type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=”transparent” width=”425″ height=”355″></embed></object

Terabit-class data pipes – hundreds of movies in an ‘instant’

Caught an article from the UK about researchers in Japan figuring out how to move data over the web thousands of times faster than is possible right now. This would give you and I the ability to download hundreds of movies almost instantly (providing we had the big pipefiber pipes to our home as well). Just think of what you can do with this kind of network speed and ability to move data so quickly over the internet. One day I’ll look at my 3 MBPS data broadband connection as I now look at my old 56k modem.56k modem

WSJ reports on Google’s gPhone ambitions…

Today, the WSJ had an article on Google’s possible mobile phone plans. Last week on November 10th, I predicted here that Google would buy a wireless spectrum (probably the 700MGHz one up for bids) and if not that one, they’d buy a mobile carrier. Then giveaway the monthly service and minutes in exchange for users seeing or hearing ads – along with an optional ‘pay’ ad-free service. Coupled with their ‘android’ OS announcement, I’m still going to predict this will actually happen in the coming months.

Here is what the Journal’s article said in a nutshell: Google is doing the following right now-

gPhone picture

Developed Android software for mobile phones.

Made Google applications — including email, chat and mapping — available on cellphones.

Sells advertisements for certain Web sites accessed by cellphone.

Enables users to do Web and business searches with cellphone browsers, by text message or with a call.

Is testing an advanced wireless network at Google headquarters.

Operates a free Wi-Fi network in Mountain View, Calif.

Expected to bid for wireless spectrum in a January FCC auction.

How do you submit and where do you submit your videos on the web to create an RSS feed and share your content?

I saw this post today at reelseo.com and thought it was a very nice, fairly concise list of where to go to market your videos on the web and where to go to create an RSS feed. I wanted to include it on here because I think its pretty damn good. Read on:

I am not sure why, but it is a pain in the ass to find the URLs for the various video search and video sharing websites where you can upload your video and/or submit your video RSS LogoRSS and/or MRSS feeds.

If anyone has links to additional ones that I am missing, please add below in the comments.

Where to submit Video RSS and MRSS Feeds

Where to submit Videos via Upload

Other Ways to get your Videos On Video Search & Sharing Sites

  • Miro – Miro converts any media RSS feed into a channel.
  • Video Upload Pro – Software to submit your videos to multiple video sites including Atom Films, Blip.tv, BoFunk, Bolt, ClipShack, EvideoShare, Flurl, Google Video, Guba, Jumpcut, Live Video, Myspace Video, PutFile, Veoh, Vimeo, Yahoo Video, Youtube, and more….
  • HeySpread – Free online tool to send videos to multiple sites
  • TubeMogul
    • TubeMogul is the hands down the best free tool to submit videos to multiple video sharing sites in one go. Currently supporting Metacafe, MySpace, Yahoo, Revver, AOL Video, DailyMotion, Blip, and BrightCove, TubeMogul does a great job at syndicating your videos out to these video sharing sites with full support for Titles, Tags, and Descriptions and provides analytics for you to track your video views across all of these websites. I highly recommend this free tool.

Ghost or Angel or….what the hell is this?

I caught this piece of video today link here .

Normally I don’t pay much attention to this kind of stuff but this story from the local Ohio TV station and their video is very compelling. What is that IF the video is genuine?? Did someone alter the video? There is a better and a bit larger version of this here on the CNN site but I don’t know how long this link will be ‘live’. The YouTube version is permanent.