Posts Tagged ‘United States’


Apple Uploads Game of Thrones on iTunes as soon as USA broadcasts completed.

2 April 2013

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Though over 4 million saw the season 3 premiere of Game of Thrones in the USA, millions more will be watching it across the world faster than ever. Illegal downloads (if you believe in such a thing), clogged servers across the globe. Measurements are not so well tracked but Heroes is believed to have achieved 145,000 downloads from one site with Game of Thrones hitting almost 3 times as many.
On the legal side (if you believe in such a thing), Apple moved to make the most of it by putting
Season 3 on iTunes, as soon as broadcasts were shown across the continental USA. Lawyers that self-promote their services to the USA TV networks, worked hard to bring down many links for illegal sites. Torrent activity also was being chased by lawyers working to entrap and shut down the sites.

Overall estimates seem to point to over 1million downloads reports Jethro Nededog at the wrap.com. Australia was a respectable 3rd only to the UK and USA in downloads so far. I say respectable as HBO seems to view the piracy as a compliment.

As Apple released season 3 to iTunes so fast, I query why this was not publicized, as many would have paid the $4 versus hunting down an illegal episode

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Loren W
Melbourne Australia

Is JB Hi-Fi Market Recovery Short Sighted?

I have to admit I read with some interest a recent article (worth a read) by Roger Montgomery, founder of Montgomery Investment, in the weekend Australian. His observation on JB Hi-Fi and the concealment of a more complex reality, though I admit I agree with, I believe missed a few key points, though some were touched on.

Firstly, the US and UK market and the majority of the online market unlike the Australian brick and mortar market, is not built on haggling.  This means that almost anyone walking into JB and making even the smallest of purchases can haggle their way to a lower price. This is starting to show its age. I cannot walk into an Apple store and haggle a price, though they also are seeing the light and offering to price match against the likes of JB Hi-Fi and others, adding to the market competition.

Price haggling in this way as JB and others do is a dying trend but one that falsifies Roberts own perspective on JB being higher than the US market on list price alone. The point you missed is that because the perception in some cases and reality in others and the advent of online business means a haggled price though the norm does not help with perception regardless. Consumers are more market research savvy than ever, and an item that is $400 at JB say a new tablet, might be 20% less online. For many consumers, it is not worth trying to haggle when you can buy even from the US and have an item delivered 10-15% cheaper (even though JB would might have matched it if asked). In regards, to competition Apple recently announced they would price match other retailers on their own products, making the competition even hotter, there. Finally there is the dreaded Moore’s Law impact which observes the speed the market changes due to the speed the underlying technology improves. This means with new technology coming out so fast it makes the previous items outdated faster than ever, that the level of inventory required (and a risk) and resulting impact on profits is not surprising going to take a massive hit.  In the last 3 weeks alone we have seen a new Operating System for Microsoft, and Apple; a new iPhone beater for Samsung, a new office suite for Microsoft, a new tablet by Google all being released and a rumored new iPod, iPad, and iPhone (and Samsung again) in the next 3 weeks.  This trend and speed to market has resulted in many of the JB Hi-Fi’s peers in the US and UK going bump and many others going online only to reduce their product overheads. Pricing is a mindset; when was the last time you walked into Coles and negotiated over a bottle of milk. This duality of looking for a better price online and not knowing for sure what the lowest price is in your own retailer is silly at best, or market suicide, and the times have changed.

I recently had a chat with an area sales rep for Canon Camera Australia, that I cornered when I found the latest camera the 7D, had an RRP of $2100 in Australia, $1700 in the US and $1200 in Hong Kong and a cost to JB for $1600 but I was able to purchase it from an importer across the street from Canon HQ in Victoria for $1300, with the full warranty supported globally by Canon (cheaper if you buy online direct) Previously some folks would not have supported the gray import warranty. Canon had a different view and does not use the ‘Gray import’ label instead opting for a ‘Parallel import’ label. Their view is simple and one that folks like JB have to be worried about. Canon’s view was that though the retailer in Australia might not like it, a market savvy consumer should not be punished for their purchase by not having their warranty supported. It was highlighted that this trend is growing and folks like JB Hi-Fi will not be the only ones impacted.

Instead of price deflation what Australia needs is honest price reality, so the lowest price is always offered. Expect to see many other stores impacted in the same way.

Loren is founder of tech-news.tv and a self-proclaimed ‘technologist evangelist’, introducing new products and services for the likes of British Telecom UK (BT) and NEC Australia Japan, including business broadband for BT in 1994, and Data Centre Service for NEC.  He is a beta tester for Google, Microsoft, and Apple. His twitter followers (over 65,000) follow his views and blogs from all over the world He is contactable on twitter @mr_internet and on email at loren@loren.net.au

When iTunes Match launched, the world celebrated. Apple offering cloud services we could all use.

Uniquely, iTunes Match, lets you use your own music library and Apple, looks at the music and if it already exists in Apples extensive cloud library, it moves none of your music but associates your music in the cloud so you can listen to it on any of you iOS devices like the iPad, Mac, iPhone,  and AppleTV.

This is a better way for those that have broadband (with sometimes slow upload speeds) and especially if you have a large existing music library. Amazon and Google offer similar choices, but require you to upload all your own music. Amazon charges for storage above 5GB.

Unfortunately iTunes Match does not work outside the USA.

Actually that is not correct, it does not work unless you have a US address, & US credit card. The assumption is you must therefore live in the USA.  Apple has not said why.  However there are companies offering these minor details, allowing iTunes Match access for all across the globe.

It is believed Apple did not want to launch the service globally as it does not have the cloud infrastructure in place to handle the traffic this would cause if used in mass.

How it works: Once you log into to your iTunes account and register your US credit card and details, you can pay the $25 per annum to apple.  iTunes uses any outstanding vouchers or credits you have before it uses your credit card. There are only 3 steps after that

As it says you can use iTunes whilst iTunes Match is doing its thing. I have just under 10,000 songs, and this takes up 53GB of space. Apple is limiting space to 25,000 songs, so I find this very generous.

That aside there are downsides, though they are few but the first one is a biggie.

1)      Your Own Corrupt Music Data – It is believed many people will have corrupt data (or meta tags) associated with their music tracks. This means in the traditional garbage in and garbage out world of IT, that Apple might miss associate some of your music library with the wrong songs. This can be dangerous if you over write your master library with that from your new found cloud friends Apple. Note there are some good programs that fix the meta tags either automatically or manually (like Tag and Rename and Tune Up Companion, with the later attaching itself to iTunes so you can drag and drop your music into it to cleanse and correct meta tag issues) . So it is worth backing up your music library so it cannot be over written. If you can wait it is worth cleaning you music tracks to make sure all your meta tags are in order.

2)      Music Quality–  Audiophiles that enjoy the new remastered tracks of everything from the Beatles to the Who, may have ripped their music in raw or high quality that is better than the 255k that Apple is offering (that is overall better than most have with 64k and 128k tracks), but an issue none the same (it might be possible to keep the higher-definition tracks in the cloud I am still testing that now). I estimate 5% of my music is above 255k, or around 25 albums or 500 songs).

Time: This is not a quick process but I hope well worth it. I am currently over 2  hours in and will update this after it is complete.  Step 1, The diagnosis phase took 1 hour, Step 2, the matching phase took an hour also matching about 3 songs a second Competition: The Google Music Service as mentioned is similar but it took 21 days to upload half my music, a daunting task indeed, but the service works very well, also globally, and on any browser (phones, tablets, pcs, or macs)

 


In this challenge there is one easy winner Samsung but which Samsung 10.1 wins might surprise you.

Updated 13 May 2011- It is being widely reported today that Samsung is about to introduce black and white 10.1  models some with 4G as well as different sizes. So I am going with 6 models for now, we will see if how this story matures.

I was delighted to hear that Samsung was releasing their new 10.1 Galaxy Tab named the 10.1v, (or P7100) it launched  in Australia before the US, UK or the rest of Europe.

SO does that mean there is another model ?

Oh yeah, the US is getting the 10.1 (not 10.1 v)

Actually the USA is due to get 2 models (at least) the 10.1 wifi only and  the 10.1 3G / Wifi .

Sounds simple..

Then there was the Google i/o 2011 this week and eBay was flooded with the tablets Google gave away on day 1.
Better still they were offering what they called the Google i/o GT special edition or GT P7510

In this model there are some differences, it is bigger and lighter than the 10.1V so it is the 10.1 , but there is no SD card slot , so it is just like the 10.1 but with no SD card slot (Like the 10.1V)

The story goes that the 10.1V was well out the door prior to the Apple iPad being announced, Samsung went back and ‘improved’ on the 10.1V and now has the 10.1. which is lighter than the 10.1V and Apple iPad.

But it has some compromises as well.

So when I was trying to decide which version to review/buy/get the decision was easy after all there wouldn’t be much difference surely.

  • Lightest – Well the 10.1 is the lightest, biggest and thinnest compared to the 10.1V.                                              – Winner 10.1
  • Best Video Quality (playback) –  the 10.1V                                                                                                                          – Winner 10.1V
  • Best Camera – 10.1 has a 3MP camera and the 10.1V has an 8MP camera and 1080p vs 720 on the 10.1     -Winner 10.1V
  • Best Looking – well the 10.1GT with the white android back is a limited edition                                                      – Winner 10.1G
  • Best Memory/ Storage  – 10.1 has a microSD card the 10.1V and 10.1G do not                                                       – Winner 10.1
  • Best Phone Reception – only the 10.1V and 10.1 3G have sims                                                                                       – Tie 10.1 3G and 10.1 V
  • Longest battery life – battery in 10.1V is 6860 mAh  in  10.1 6800 mAh                                                                     –  Winner 10.1V*

* needs to be verified if bigger battery = longest life.

One thought is that Samsung will try to sell out of the 10.1V as soon as possible and then introduce the thinner 10.1 in parts of the world that got the 10.1V

But is the lighter, bigger 10.1 better, I don’t think so.

What do you think ?