Goodbye DRM

So Apple now has high quality DRM-free music on iTunes (for just EMI labels at the moment, but that should change quickly). I went right away to see what songs I had purchased are eligible to be upgraded for $0.30 apiece.

Only 4 songs (and 2 of those are songs Katie bought that I wouldn’t be caught dead listening to) were eligible. So I upgraded those songs and then purchased an album I have wanted, but never got around to buying (Coldplay’s Parachutes). The whole process is painless and now I have an extremely high quality copy that is DRM-free.

I am almost decided that future album purchases will be on iTunes (if the iTunes Plus version of the album is offered). I don’t remember the last time I played a physical CD since I instantly rip CD’s these days and store them afterwards. Why deal with that hassle anymore? As Mark Cuban wrote a few days ago, we aren’t too far away from CD’s becoming extinct.

Now I just have to get an off-site backup strategy together.

iTunes New Music Tuesday is missing on Tuesday

Anyone else notice that there has been no iTunes New Music Tuesday today? Meaning no free single of the week and no new albums on the iTunes Music Store?

Makes you really wonder if sometime this week (I’m guessing tomorrow) that DRM-free music is released on iTunes. Apple did say that DRM-free music would be on iTunes by the end of May and the end of May is Thursday. Due to Memorial Day, you can make the case that Wednesday is the new “Tuesday” this week.

How Apple could really clean house with AppleTV

I don’t own an AppleTV and probably won’t in the near future. Maybe it will get on my wedding registry. However, I have seen an AppleTV in action and my mind is buzzing with possibilities Apple has opened up.

If Apple allowed add-ons to AppleTV, some possibilities I just thought of:

  • AM/FM/HD tuner for local radio (with full control via AppleTV and the wireless remote…just another menu option on the main menu). Plug the tuner into the USB port and your all set.
  • Live access to streaming video. If ABC could figure out how to have on-demand high quality streams right from their web site, then why couldn’t Apple do the same? Imagine being able to subscribe to an entire season of Boston Red Sox baseball thanks to an AppleTV feed of MLB.TV, all live and streaming. Or whenever needed, access your 24-hour news network of choice. Or heck, how about watch your local news live, but all via streaming video? I can essentially do this with ABC.com’s web site right now (granted with prerecorded material, but at least on my Comcast internet connection, it is instant streaming). Say goodbye to paying for Cable TV as we know it.
  • Right now, speaker systems are a pain to hook up. Couldn’t you picture Apple designing a simple wireless surround sound speaker system at some point? I could, it is right up their alley…an era that is traditionally an eyesore (lots of cables and bulky speakers) and needs the Apple touch.

I won’t be buying the first version of AppleTV…but I could see it becoming something real special in the future.  I can’t wait until I can legitimately ditch Cable TV and get only the content I want (live or prerecorded).

Crazy day yesterday

It isn’t often you can wake up at 4:00am in order to see your cousin graduate from college. Well, that is what I did yesterday. The main reason for the early wakeup call? Not one, but two Presidents of the United States were speaking (George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton) at UNH’s graduation.

I was very impressed with the speeches given by the faculty and the two Presidents. Lots of humor and having fun, despite awful weather (rain and temps in the 40s). It was the first time I ever saw someone who was President speak. Definitely something I will always remember.

Then Senator Obama was speaking at my former university, SNHU.  If only I had graduated a few years later…it would have been really neat to see him speak.

Off day

I took today off from work so I could get my car towed to the garage and repaired. It was kinda a tense week, as I drove to work every day in a car with a several ticking time bombs inside. However, the car survived the week and will be repaired by Tuesday.

So I spent the day doing some things around the apartment that I have wanted to do for awhile. Pretty productive day overall.

My brothers are coming over tonight and are bringing the XBOX 360 with them to try out on my HDTV.

Tomorrow we get to stand outside in the pouring rain for 6 hours to watch our cousin graduate at UNH. Should be a cold, miserable, blast!

$1,730?!?!?!

Well my “new” car (a 2002 Subaru Forester I bought last year) just failed inspection and needs $1,730 worth of repairs (well, $1,400 if you only include the leaking head gasket that needs to be replaced to pass inspection, but there is several other things that need to be done and might as well get done now).

This sucks.