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A Status Report On The Cloud Music Warzone


I don’t care if you’re a war buff or what sport you’re into, you’re going to be hard pressed to find a more back and forth battle than that for supremacy of the cloud music market right now. Increasing definitive headlines all proved to be premature: “Amazon wins cloud war”, “Google and Apple will acquire licensing before releasing music lockers” and “Apple to beat Google on cloud music.” Now that the dust is somewhat beginning to settle, the only thing that can be said with complete surety is that the enormous number of variables involved promises a very interesting future for the business of cloud computing.

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AvantGuild How to Pitch Series: How To Make Money Writing for Mobile Apps

mediabistro.com’s (the family of blogs and products this blog is product to be part of) AvantGuild has a new item in their How to Pitch series. Check out:

How To Make Money Writing for Mobile Apps

While some lament the loss of print magazines and other markets, savvy, forward-thinking writers are branching out into new platforms.

Just ask Scott Weber, a Laguna Beach-based screenwriter who’s written 11 self-guided tour apps for GPSmyCity.com. “The screenwriting business is very difficult right now, and I was looking through listings for writing jobs,” he explains. “The idea of doing these walking guides just seemed like a fun thing to do.” His goal is to create 25 different tours

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AOL Acquires Personal Splash Page Startup About.me

Simplicity sells. Yesterday About.me co-founder Tony Conrad announced in a blog post that the custom splash page and personal analytics dashboard had been sold to AOL less than a week after its launch to the public. He and his co-founders, Ryan Freitas and Tim Young and the rest of the team will move forward “start-up-style” from within Brad Garlinhouse’s Consumer Applications group at AOL.

Founded in 2009, About.me raised $425,000 in funding from investors including AOL Ventures and True Ventures. The site allows users to build a simple homepage with a photo, a brief description and links to the user’s other social media profiles. The site launched in private Beta in September with 400,000 users.

This marks the second acquisition to AOL for Tony Conrad, who had sold a previous venture, Sphere, to the company in April, 2008. Conrad did not disclose the numbers for About.me, but TechCrunch estimates that the company sold for tens of millions of dollars.

Do Not Adjust Your Web Browser! MobileContentToday is Now ThinkMobile.com

There is nothing wrong with your web browser. Do not attempt to adjust the URL. We are controlling the transmission. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your web browser. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to…

If you typed or clicked a link for MobileContentToday.com, you are in the right place. We’ve got a new name and a new look that I hope you like.

Frank McPherson and I are still here to provide news, opinions, reviews, and tips about mobile gadgets, accessories, apps, services, and more. So, stay tuned to ThinkMobile.com!

Here’s a last parting view of the old MobileContentToday logo.

In San Francisco on Sept. 23? Swing By ThinkMobile West & Say Hello!


If you are in around the San Francisco bay area next week Thursday (Sept. 23), please plan on swinging by the ThinkMobile West conference at the Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF.

ThinkMobile West

You can find the list of great speakers and topics on this page:

ThinkMobile West Speakers

And, hey, you’ll find me there too! I’ll try to remember to pack a red and blue Aloha Shirt. So, I should be relatively easy to find in the crowd. If you see me, please say hello and let me know what mobile tech thoughts you have on your mind.

FYI: While Frank McPherson and I will keep blogging here, be ready for changes to ye olde MobileContentToday blog in a few weeks. It will have a new look and a new name! The blog is going to align with the popular ThinkMobile conference series. This blog and the conference is owned and managed by WebMediaBrands/mediabistro.com.

Wanna know a secret? I prefer the name “ThinkMobile” already :-)

Frank and I will continue to “Think Mobile” thoughts and jot them down on this blog. So, stay tuned!

Hello World

Now that I have my feet under me here, I would like to take this time to introduce myself. Hello, I am Frank McPherson, and I am happy to join Todd in writing for this web site. I have been using mobile devices since the early 90′s when I bought a Sharp Wizard QZ-7000. When I first heard of the Newton MessagePad I just new I had to have one, and bought one of the very first MessagePads when they were released in 1993.

What Apple did with Newton continues to influence my views of mobile computing to this day. I know I am in a minority that thinks that a stylus is actually a natural form of input, but we don’t write on a pad of paper with our fingers, we use a pen or pencil, and I think mobile devices ought to be replacements for pads of paper. I wouldn’t want to go back when a stylus is the only way we interact with mobile devices, but I also do not think it should be done completely away with.

Steve Job’s return to Apple marked the beginning of the end of Newton’s short life, and as I looked at the handheld computing landscape at the time my choices were the new Microsoft Handheld PCs or the new Palm Pilot. I was attracted to the Handheld PC’s expandability via the PC Card slot, and larger screens. While I didn’t particularly like the keyboards on the handhelds, I also did not think I should have to learn how to write in a different way such as how you had to write on the Palm Pilot’s input area.

My decision to use the Handheld PC lead me to find the MSN Handheld PC forum and my introduction to Todd, who was the forum manager. Todd’s invitation to me to become assistant forum manager later lead to being named a Microsoft MVP for mobile devices, a relationship with the mobile division at Microsoft, and to writing four editions of books on using the Handheld and Pocket PCs.

When Google announced Android, I became intrigued by Android’s integration with the Internet and particularly the Google applications I found myself using more and more every day. I bought the T-Mobile G1 shortly after it was released and tolerated its shortcomings until T-Mobile released the myTouch 3G, which is my current personal phone. I continue to also use a Windows Mobile standard phone to keep up with Microsoft’s developments.

I am excited about writing for MobileContentToday because it aligns with my own long-held belief that what is important is how we use mobile devices to be more productive, grow, and have fun. While I am attracted to shiny objects like most other men, I am less excited with the latest and greatest hardware than by the latest and greatest software and capabilities. What is certain is that the mobile industry is rapidly changing, which makes keeping up with and writing about the mobile industry fun. I hope that you come along with me for the ride

ANNOUNCEMENT: Welcome Frank McPherson as Co-Editor & Co-Blogger of MobileContentToday!

You’ve probably noticed a second blogger byline appeared on the MobileContentToday blog last week. It is my great pleasure to welcome my old friend and fellow mobile tech geek Frank McPherson as co-editor and co-blogger here. Frank and I go way back to the Windows CE days in the 1990s. We’ve remained friends and gadget hounds over the years. Frank will provide more information about himself and his focus here. I’m excited to have a second voice and opinion appear in this blog. Although Frank and I are friends, we don’t always agree (although I’m slowly coming around to his point of view about speech recognition – we’ve argued about that topic for years). But, I think that the fact that we don’t always see eye-to-eye will make this blog more dynamic and interesting.

Frank was kind enough to participate in a series of podcasts with me before he started blogging here. You can find the two most recent podcasts embedded below (both from November 2009). You can look forward to more tag-team podcasting from us as well as Frank’s daily contribution to this blog.

So, please join me in welcoming my old friend, a great guy, and an extremely knowledgeable gadget geek, Frank McPherson!

MediaBistro eBook Summit Starting Today!


Hey, if you are in NYC today or tomorrow (Dec. 15/16), you might want to consider taking in the…

MediaBistro eBook Summit

Yes, yes, this is an unashamed plug for the nice folks who own this blog and keep me happily blogging about mobile devices. eBooks and especially eBook readers have been a hot topic in the mobile tech world in general and this blog in particular.

If you are interested in any aspect of the fast growing ebook industry, you definitely want to check out this two-day conference. I mostly “read” books as audio books these days. But, I am reading the last book of the Star Trek Destiny trilogy using Kindle for iPhone (there are very few unabridged Star Trek audio books). If you have an SF Kindle ebook to recommend to me, please do!

MobileContentToday.com is now Mobile Browser Friendly

iPhone 3G view

I’m happy to say that this blog, MobileContentToday.com, now has a mobile browser friendly view. And, here’s even better news: You don’t have to do anything special to find it. Just point your mobile device browser at:


…and you will see a simplified version of this blog that renders quickly and attractively in a mobile browser. You can see what it looks like on my iPhone 3G in the screenshot above. And, you can see an example of what an article with a photo looks like on a Windows Mobile smartphone in the screenshot below…

Windows Mobile smartphone view

About MobileContentToday

You can take it with you. With faster network speeds, more advanced handsets and a seemingly endless supply of content and services, everyone from business execs to busy teens are dependent on having access to productivity tools, e-mail, music, games, TV shows and more wherever they are — and whenever they want — all from a gizmo that fits in the palm of their hand. MobileContentToday aims to help content producers and providers, marketers and advertisers keep up on important happenings in all parts of the mobile content industry as well as what end users want and are coming to expect from their mobile device.