Google took us further into the digital media future with some compelling announcements at the fourth annual Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco this week. Recent Google I/O keynotes seem silly in retrospect — both Google Wave and Buzz were epic busts. But this year Google narrowed its focuses to it’s strengths, namely the Android mobile operating system and the Chrome browser and operating system. The gist was this: Use Google’s web-based tools and applications, combine with seemingly infinite storage space in the cloud, and bulky hard drives and desktop PC’s will become mere artifacts of our technological evolution. A Google account combined with a device running Android or Chrome OS will be all you need to do [almost] anything.
Spotify now offers users various packages for purchasing downloads of the tracks already streamable via the service. A single track goes for $1.29 cents a track but for $50 you can download 100 tracks (that’s 50 cents a pop). The one catch being that all credits expire after 30 days (extendable to 90 days depending on ensuing transactions). Each purchased download can be re-downloaded up to four times.
50 cents is a great deal for the savvy investor, however, many users are sure to get got by simply clicking “Get Album” on, say, the new Beastie Boys’ “Hot Sauce Committee Party Two” and pay $14.28 straight up for the 16 tracks.
The downloads come via 7digital in 320 kbps format.
Alternatively, the digital album goes for $7.99 at Amazon (320 kbps mp3), $10.99 on BeastieBoys.com (in multiple formats including lossless plus a bonus remix), and $14.99 at the iTunes store at 256 kbps AAC (incl. 30 minute Fight For Your Right Revisited video download).
When it comes to this particular release — the choices are so varied it could be a toss up. How would you go about purchasing the MP3 download?
Digital Hollywood took over the Ritz at Marina del Rey for its Spring 2011 conference, a nice change of scenery for the hundreds of studio execs, advertising and entertainment execs, online video creatives, technologists, SAG members and agents in attendance. (Members of the Dallas Mavericks, who could be spotted in and around the pool area, apparently enjoyed their stay as well).
Between absorbing the latest trends as discussed by multiple panels we managed to interview a few executives from top online media companies.
In the video below, Ooyala’s Vice President of Biz Dev, Chris Wong, explains the importance of streaming video solutions providers, why most companies require DRM (digital rights management) to control copyright, and ponders the meteoric rise of Netflix and the potential impact of its competitors.
Click here to view on YouTube.
Academy-Award nominated film director and war photographer Tim Hetherington was killed in Libya Wednesday along with award-winning Getty photographer Chris Hondros, according to Business Insider and ABC News.
Hetherington was last heard from via Twitter on Tuesday: “In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.”
Three other journalists were injured in the mortar attack that killed Hetherington and Hondros in Misrata according to ABC News. The New York Times is only confirming the death of Hetherington, stating that Chris Hondros and one other photographer remain hospitalized in “grave” condition. Photojournalist Guy Martin was also reported to be gravely wounded in the attack.
Hetherington’s acclaimed 2010 documentary on the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, “Restrepo,” was nominated for an Academy Award. The film was co-directed by Sebastian Junger.
Chris Hondros’ most recent photos from Misrata, dated April 20, can be seen at Getty Images. In recent years Hetherington worked with ABC’s Nightline, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, among other publications. The Liverpool, UK-born photojournalist was 41 years old.
This post was syndicated from LAist.com, where I am Associate Editor. A direct link to my LAist.com post index is at the top of my blog. This post was originally published here on April 20, 2011 at 10:40 a.m.