MP3

Joseph Menn

Along with Google, Amazon beat digital-music kingpin Apple in the race to launch a cloud offering that lets users hear their songs on any device, but this week’s deal with Lady Gaga shows just how much it dreads the widely anticipated arrival of competition from Cupertino. 

Chris Nuttall

Just ahead of Apple’s expected announcement of an autumn refresh of its iPod lineup today, SanDisk has unveiled an update to a rival portable media player in the sub-$100 category.

SanDisk claims parity in market share with Apple where the iPod shuffle plays and says its Sansa Fuze+ has far more features. 

Maija Palmer

copyrightIt is another change of tactics in a war that has been going on for 50 years. This week, consumer electronics companies led by Apple, HP, Sony, Panasonic and Research In Motion, broke off the latest round of talks to reform the Europe’s convoluted system of private copy levies.

The copy levies are surcharges placed on devices such as MP3 players and printers by 22 European countries, to compensate writers, artists, and musicians for small amounts of personal copying of their material. It is not to be confused with illegal filesharing; the copy levies are intended to cover handfuls of copies in the private sphere, which many countries allow.