Pocket-sized screens are in again: The rise of smartphone e-reading

By Chris Meadows
August 13, 2015 // 1 Comment

Everything old is new again. Jennifer Maloney at the Wall Street Journal has just noticed that more and more people seem to like reading on little tiny pocket-sized devices. Of course, those devices are now smartphones rather than Palm Pilots or iPod Touches, but the principle remains the same. A [...]

Requiem for the iPod Touch

By Chris Meadows
July 17, 2015 // 4 Comments

It’s funny how viewpoints change over time. Apple just introduced a new version of the iPod Touch the other day, with a faster CPU and better camera hardware. The price stays about the same, starting at $199 for 16 GB and topping out with a new $399 for 128 GB option. But the screen size remains [...]

Why own media when you can rent the library?

By Chris Meadows
April 30, 2015 // 3 Comments

Is ownership of media passé? Over the last few years, I’ve noticed an interesting trend develop. It started with music, as “all-you-can-eat” services like Pandora and Spotify popped up to offer users a chance to listen to as much music as they wanted either free with advertising, or for a [...]

Apple music DRM case wraps up with final witness

By Chris Meadows
December 14, 2014 // 2 Comments

The Apple iTunes DRM case proceeds apace. After finding a replacement plaintiff to supplant those who were found not to have bought iPods during the required time period, the case moved forward, hearing reluctant testimony from a former iTunes engineer who worked on blocking the interoperability of [...]

Apple iPod DRM case heats up, but might still fizzle

By Chris Meadows
December 7, 2014 // 1 Comment

The wheels of justice grind slowly, and sometimes a bit of grit gets stuck in the gears. This seems to be the case with the ten-year-old lawsuit against Apple over the DRM policies it used to enforce on iTunes Music Store music and iPods. Over the last couple of weeks, it’s started moving again, [...]

Thirty years of time shifting: The Supreme Court decision legalizing the VCR

By Chris Meadows
January 18, 2014 // 1 Comment

Today marks an important anniversary for our digital media era—an era that couldn’t have been foreseen thirty years ago, but nonetheless relies to a very great extent on a legal decision exactly thirty years old. Today is the 30th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision that declared [...]

13-year-old bemusedly tries old Sony Walkman for a week

By Chris Meadows
December 24, 2013 // 3 Comments

Kids these days, eh? The BBC’s Magazine section has a story on a 13-year-old kid’s experience over the course of a week using one of the original Walkman tape players, which came out 30 years ago this week. As you might expect, it’s replete with “How does this work? This looks funny. I [...]

Voice Dream reader app can now play audiobooks

By David Rothman
December 8, 2013 // 1 Comment

The new version of the Voice Dream reader app, a superb iOS text-to-speech app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, can now play audiobooks, too. Even at $10, costlier than the typical app, Voice Dream is a Buy, capital B, at the Apple App Store. Voice Dream 2.9.2 can handle zipped MP3s as well [...]

iPad success secret: Building on the iPhone, and replacing laptops

By Chris Meadows
November 5, 2013 // 1 Comment

Wired is running an excerpt from a forthcoming book by Fred Vogelstein, looking at how Steve Jobs made the iPad successful when no other tablet ever had been. There’s an interesting parallel with e-readers in this story. No dedicated e-reader had ever been successful before Jeff Bezos pushed the [...]

Enjoying tablets and smartphones? Thank e-books!

By Chris Meadows
October 31, 2013 // 5 Comments

The world has been changing a lot. In the 98 years my grandmother has been alive, we’ve gone from cars as rickety novelties on dirt-track roads to polished metal eggs on highways that span the globe; the Wright Brothers’ first flight to putting people on the moon and machinery on Mars. [...]

Android still lacks iPod Touch alternative

By Chris Meadows
September 12, 2013 // 11 Comments

Why is there still no good Android alternative to the iPod Touch? I last posed this question over two years ago, when Apple’s imposition of the 30% fee policies to apps with stores first caused me to question whether it was worth staying with the platform. At the time, there just weren’t any [...]

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