Audio

Astell & KernWhile the iPod and iTunes dominate portable players, some users consider the music’s sound quality to be less than stellar. This has opened up a niche for rivals to offer higher-fidelity recordings on higher-end devices. This week, a look at one such player, also a PC appendage and an app audio upgrade.

 Read more

Paul Taylor

Crowdfunding is by now a well established route for startups to raise the capital they need to develop, manufacture and market a new product.

But Olive Media, a seven-year-old San Francisco-based company whose high performance audio servers are a favourite among audiophiles, has adopted the crowdfunding model to launch the Olive ONE, which it claims is the first all-in-one high definition (HD) music player. Read more

Robert Cookson

LumiTwo of the three founders of Last.fm, the original Silicon Roundabout success story, have arrived back on the London tech scene to launch a new service that helps people discover popular web pages.

Felix Miller and Martin Stiksel, who sold their music “scrobbling” service Last.fm to CBS in $280m in 2007, announced their new venture Lumi in a blog post on Tuesday. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Boxee, the internet entertainment service, is bringing its TV set-top box to the UK this week. Netflix, Pandora and Major League Baseball have proven popular on its D-Link-manufactured device in the US since its launch last year, allowing owners to watch web TV and their own digital downloads on the big-screen TV set. Read more

When Beyond Oblivion broke cover last April even its founder, Adam Kidron, admitted that its plans for a digital music service that would make money from the 95 per cent of people who do not currently pay for downloads were “frightfully ambitious”. The service has yet to arrive – but at least Kidron now has some serious money to back his plans. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Mobile and fixed-line operators have shown little interest in improving the voice quality of phone calls, but the internet phone company Skype came out with a compelling reason for them to do so on Monday.

Speaking at the eComm conference in Silicon Valley, Jonathan Rosenberg, Skype‘s chief technology officer, said its users were talking for almost 50 per cent longer on calls delivered in high-definition quality. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

The music industry has taken another beating in the blogosphere over the last 24 hours after the head of Warner Music lashed out against online music streaming services such as Spotify and We7.

“Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry, and, as far as Warner Music is concerned, will not be licensed,” Edgar Bronfman Jr, Warner Music’s chairman, said on the major label’s analyst call yesterday.

“The sort of ‘Get all of the music you want for free and then, with a few bells and whistles, maybe we can move you to a premium price’ strategy is not the kind of approach to business we’ll be supporting in the future.” Read more

Richard Waters gives his thoughts on the Microsoft / Yahoo deal – listen below: