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A Status Report On The Cloud Music Warzone

cloudmusic

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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Sony Ericsson Xperia Play: Retro Android Game Phone

Sony Ericsson lifted a page from Nokia’s playbook by announcing their game focused phone.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (update: video and full spec sheet!) (Engadget)

It features a 4-inch 854×480 pixel display. This means it is no larger than the largest (with the exception of the 5-inch Dell Streak) current generation Android phones. It will, however, launch with Android oS 2.3 (Gingerbread). As you might expect, its slideout game controller looks a lot like the controllers for its game consoles except that the controls are all flattened. Despite the resemblance to the console controllers or even the Sony PSP, I suspect gamers will require a bit of relearning when migrating to the Xperia Play’s controls.

The controls do, however, look more playable than Nokia’s earlier attempt to product a game-focused phone – the N-Gage, launched in October 2003, can be seen in the photo to the left under the Experia Play.

Sony PSPgo Games Priced to Compete with iPhone: But, That Isn’t Enough IMHO

Back in April I bid… A Not So Fond Video Farewell to the Sony PSP Universal Media Disk (UMD). This is the whacky tiny disc that Sony shipped their PlayStation Portable (PSP) games on. We learned during the spring that Sony’s new PSPgo portable game console would not use UMD. Sony decided to move to online purchasing instead. Now, PocketGamer.co.uk reports…

PSPgo games will be as cheap as iPhone games

They report that PSPgo games will be priced at 1, 2 or 5 Euros. This is very close to the price we see for iPhone/iPod touch games in the iTunes App Store.

But, I don’t think this will make much of a difference unless Sony prices the PSPgo hardware a lot lower than $249.99 (think $99.99). The PSPgo will be available in the U.S. on October 1. The Nintendo DSi is already available and has its own stable of games ready for the holiday sales season. Almost everyone expects Apple to announce a new iPod touch in a few weeks. And, then, there’s the Zune HD wild card (will it have apps & games?). Sony has an uphill battle in store for its PSPgo this for the holiday shopping season.

Podcast 29: Sony Ericsson Unlocked Phones

Sony Ericsson has a number of powerful smartphones like the Xperia X1 and W995a Walkman phone. However, we rarely see them in the U.S. because they are not sold through any of the large GSM wireless carriers (AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile USA). I spoke with Sony Electronics’ Product Manager for Unlocked Phone in the U.S., Steve Media, to learn more about these phones. You can see The Sony Ericsson unlocked phones available in the U.S. at the…

SonyStyle USA phone product page

This podcast is 32 minutes and 3 seconds long.

- You can listen to the podcast right now from your web browser by using the embedded player above.
- You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or this RSS feed.
- You can also point your smartphone’s browser at mobiletoday.podbean.com to listen to or download the MP3 file over the air to your phone.

My Admiration for Sony-Ericsson Just Went Up: S-E Replacing Memory Sticks with microSD Cards

I had to re-read this item in TrustedReviews a couple of times to make sure I understood it correctly…

Exclusive: Sony Ericsson Dropping Memory Stick Micro

Sony’s Memory Stick flash storage solution is part of a long line of interesting but niche storage products including the Betamax video tape, Mini Disc and UMD (Playstation Portable’s disc). This is good news for consumers and will probably help Sony get new customers.

This move makes sense for Sony and is a good follow-up to the Sony-Ericsson Xperia X1 Windows Mobile smartphone that already can use microSD cards up to 16GB.

A Not So Fond Video Farewell to the Sony PSP Universal Media Disk (UMD)

I was one of those people who rushed out to buy the first Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) back in 2005 hoping it would combine a great game machine (it is a pretty good one) with a good WiFi web browsing experience (the PSP’s built-in web browser is, quite frankly, awful).

The thing that probably bothered me the most about the PSP, however, was its game and movie delivery mechanism: The Universal Media Disk (UMD).

According to PC World…

New Sony PSP Go! Loses UMD, Expected in June

…and other sources, Sony will release a new version of the PSP in June. And, it will NOT support the UMD. While I’m sure this is a source of frustration for some current Sony PSP owners, I am glad to see this media format bite the dust. You can watch and listen to my not-so-fond farewell in the video I recorded and embedded above.

Sony Ericsson, AT&T Introduce New Walkman Cell Phone

Sony_Ericsson_W760a.jpg

Apple may have stolen the portable music market from Sony, but Sony Ericsson is keeping the Walkman brand alive with its latest handset, the W760a. RCR Wireless News reports that the device features integration between the music-centric phone and the carrier’s array of music services, including Napster Mobile, eMusic Mobile, Music ID and XM Radio. It also includes a 3.2-megapixel camera and comes in three colors: red, black, and silver.

Interestingly, the handset also features accelerometers to allow users to shake the device to forward to the next track in a playlist or use the motion-sensitivity for gaming—similar to what you can do with the latest batch of 4G iPod Nano and 2G iPod Touch devices. AT&T Mobility sells the 3G-capable W760a alongside two other Walkman-branded Sony Ericsson phones.

Unfortunately, as a GSM-centric handset vendor, Sony Ericsson still only sells devices that work on just two of the four major carriers here in the U.S. (AT&T and T-Mobile), as the report pointed out.

Sony Ericsson Shutters Flagship London Store

Sony_Ericsson_Phones_2.jpgThis doesn’t sound good: Sony Ericsson is planning to shut down its flagship retail store located in London’s high-end Kensington neighborhood, MocoNews is reporting. It turns out that the 3,500-square-foot, two-year-old outlet store has yet to turn a profit.

The money quote from back then: at its opening, a senior SE exec had said that the store was intended as “a showcase,” though it was not meant to be “a money pit.” The report said that between Sony Ericsson’s struggles and the high rents in Kensington, the latter is exactly what the store has become.

In lieu of more openings in Europe, the report said that the struggling handset manufacturer plans to concentrate its efforts in Asia, where it currently has 200 stores—it plans to eventually have 290 and is particularly eyeing India for potential store openings.

Sony Ericsson Launches Play Now Plus

Sony_Ericsson_Music.jpgIt’s official: Sony Ericsson has confirmed the rumors by announcing an unlimited music download service called Play Now Plus, Engadget reports, in response to Nokia’s Comes With Music service in the UK.

“The service, which will be available ‘solely through telecoms operators,’ will provide subscribers with access to millions of tunes, and customers can even keep up to 300 jams after their 6- to 18-month contract expires.”

Lennard Hoornik, Sony Ericsson’s marketing head, said in the report that Swedish carrier Telenor will get the serivce first in the next few weeks before spreading to Western Europe in Q1 2009 and the Asia-Pacific and other regions in Q2 2009. Early reports are that the service will cost US $15 per month, which puts it squarely in line with just about all of the other ones.