Steve Jobs’ greatest legacy

Charles Arthur from looks back at the (legal) online music industry before the Jobs Effect:

There were legal services, but they were so dire they wouldn’t pass much muster today: there was PressPlay and MusicNet (from rival groups of record companies), which required $15 a month subscriptions for low-quality streaming (when most people had dialup connections, not today’s broadband). You couldn’t burn to CD. They were stuffed with restrictive software to prevent you sharing the songs.

Needless to say, Jobs and Apple changed all that, starting with the iPod and iTunes in 2001.  Today a huge selection of music is available DRM-free at a respectable cost, and Apple has overtaken the big box retail stores as the number one source of legal music.  With their upcoming iTunes Match service this fall, you’ll be able to re-download all of your music (whether it was legally obtained or not) as high-quality AAC files for $25 a year.  Since a large chunk of that goes to the music labels, Jobs and Apple found a way to even monetize the music that found its way onto computers through LimeWire and Napster all those years ago.

Apple TV vs. Roku

CNET does a comparison between the Apple TV 2 and the Roku 2:

There are more ways to stream Internet video–Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and the like–than ever before. On that subject, I’ve laid out my hardware recommendations for a variety of consumers in an earlier story (Which streaming-media device is right for you?) But looming large in the marketplace these days are the two $99 offerings: Apple TV and Roku 2. It’s enough of a horse race that it’s worth a separate discussion.

I have experience with both of these boxes, and they each have their strengths.  The Apple TV 2 is an absolute must have if you are already committed to iOS and the Apple ecosystem.  The Airplay feature alone is worth the cost of entry, and when iOS5 comes out this fall look out for a console-style gaming explosion.  The Roku works better as a standalone solution, and if you don’t have an iTunes library bursting with purchased video content it could be a better choice.  The Roku offers “channels” that you can download and install for free- Pandora and Amazon being two of the more notable ones.

the end of television

Robert Hof for Forbes:

Television advertising may be doing just fine despite the slumping economy. But within the next five years, it’s going to be eclipsed by online ads, according to a new report from market watcher Forrester Research.

The next 5-10 years will be a time of great change for television.  As it stands now, television executives have little incentive to change the programming model put in place in the 1940s: put a show on the air, sell ad time, reap profit.  Other avenues of distribution have been choked by a reluctance to cannibalize the cash cow of on-air ads.  What happens when the bottom falls out on that revenue stream?

Come on, Irene

Gizmodo is reporting that this weekend’s hurricane is worse than you think:

Instead of passing offshore like yesterday’s forecasts predicted, the storm looks like it will track northeast, barreling through New England with a likely direct hit in New York City and on Long Island. If the storm stays on its current trajectory, which is very likely, said Bryan Norcross, a hurricane specialist with The Weather Channel, New York City and Manhattan will suffer a direct hit.

The sound of silence

Om Malik reflecting on Steve Jobs’s announcement:

Today, we are living in a world that’s about taking short-term decisions: CEOs who pray to at the altar of the devil called quarterly earnings, companies that react to rivals, politicians who are only worried about the coming election cycle and leaders who are in for the near-term gain.

And then there are Steve and Apple: a leader and a company not afraid to take the long view, patiently building the way to the future envisioned for the company. Not afraid to invent the future and to be wrong. And almost always willing to do one small thing — cannibalize itself. Under Steve, Apple was happy to see the iPhone kill the iPod and iPad kill the MacBook. He understands that you don’t walk into the future by looking back. If you do, you trip over yourself and break your nose. Just look at Hewlett-Packard, and you know what I am talking about.

Steve Jobs has taught the world not only about the benefits of change and progress, but about perseverance and sticking with what you believe in.  Malik sums it up best:

As a founder of a company, Steve’s biggest gift to me is not the MacBook or the iPhone. Instead it’s the confidence to disrupt myself.