Sennheiser Launches Official Online Store in India

Sennheiser Electronic India Private Limited,  a wholly owned subsidiary of Sennheiser electronic GmbH / Germany since February 2007, has launched its official online store shop.sennheiserindia.com. The online store will sell to Indian consumers and complement the brand’s existing distribution channels via authorized distributors.

The store allows music lovers and audiophiles to browse, choose, and buy from more than 150 Sennheiser products. The products will be delivered free of charge within 7 working days for all metros and serviceable locations in more than 10,000 pin codes across all the cities in the country. While the usual payment options are available right away, cash-on-delivery, a critical factor in Indian e-commerce ecosystem, will be launched soon. Additionally, buying the products directly from the brand allows customers to avail the best post sales service support from Sennheiser India and a 2 year warranty on every product.

Sennheiser Electronic India has launched this e-store keeping in mind the changing buying habits and growing e-commerce market in India. The e-store is for the convenience of consumers as it provides freedom to shop anytime they want even from the comfort of their home. It will also benefit our reach across breadth and depth of the country by complementing and boosting our strong distribution network in India.

– Kapil Gulati, VP – Consumer Business, Sennheiser Electronic India

The online store initiative is powered by Net Distribution, a leading e-Commerce Services company that creates and operates online shopping channels for several brands in India.

Gangs of Wasseypur – First Film in India to Premiere Music on Mobile First

A fancy stage, celebrity guests, and guests from media. Well, that is a typical setting for the music premiere of a movie’s original soundtrack in India. Not any more for some of them.

Presented by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and produced by Anurag Kashyap, the forthcoming film – Gangs of Wasseypur, has earned the interesting distinction of being the first film in India to premier the film’s soundtrack on mobile platform before the album’s physical release. Gangs of Wasseypur has garnered unprecedented buzz from international media and has been selected for the prestigious “Directors’ Fortnight” at the 65th Festival De Cannes.

Airtel and Hungama Mobile collaborated in this interesting change to marketing and distributing entertainment with an intention to tap into the growing tribe of mobile music listeners and generate ancillary revenues from mobile downloads, ringtones, and caller-tones.

Airtel mobile subscribers got 10 days of exclusive access to music from the forthcoming movie via Hello Tunes and Airtel Radio. Hungama Mobile, a part of Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., is the largest aggregator, developer, publisher and distributor of Bollywood and South-Asian entertainment content in the world. It powers close to 75% of all mobile entertainment content in India.

Rumor: Flipkart Opening Digital Music Store ‘Flyte’ Soon

The quick eyes of Setu at Woikr.com (no doubt helped by being there just in time) has revealed a new face of Flipkart. It seems that the Indian e-retail store is opening a digital distribution service for music, called “Flyte”. While the exact facts of the music store are yet to be revealed, the household online retail name wants to take up as much of the untapped market share of ecommerce as is possible in India. Considering that the brand is trusted, it would be nice to see digital music sales pick up in India which has long been known to be a pirate island.

Flyte

Flipkart had acquired Mime360, a Mumbai based company that specialized in hosting streaming music for Indian labels such as Saregama, Universal Music and others. This, coupled with the fact that Flipkart had acquired rights to Chakpak.com’s huge digital catalog, obviously points out to the launch of this music (and hopefully movies) digital distribution platform.

The biggest clincher of the entire episode would be the pricing scheme decided upon by Flipkart. To satisfy the Indian wallet, they must price it evenly at about Rs. 15 to Rs. 20 per song, offering discounts and the like to newly released albums and movies. From what had transpired on the Twitter account, it seems that the songs will definitely be 320kbps DRM free (!), and that an eBook store with ePub files will be implemented in the “near future”. (You must know that by now I have a “:D” face)

 

Of course, the success of this entire venture depends on the end user. I am sure Flipkart has thought this decision through, but everything depends upon the non-pirating customer who believes that music actually carries a price and that the royalty money helps the musicians make more music. I really hope this works out for Flipkart and that a video game digital distribution with Indian prices starts up there!

[Image from Woikr.com]

Ubuntu Unveils Web Music Streaming Service

It’s official, Ubuntu has rolled out a Web Music addition to their Ubuntu One service.

An addition to the Ubuntu One “cloud service” now allows all users with a paid subscription to save, store and stream music directly from a web browser. After logging into your  UbuntuOne  control panel, there is a new tab showing off the features, which include offline listening, access to the vast Ubuntu One Music Store and 20GB of storage, with a monthly subscription. Of course there is also a 30 day free trial for the service should you want to try before you buy.

Previous to today, the service was only available from a mobile device running iOS or Android. A free app, available in both the Apple App Store and the Android Market, provided mobile users with a way to stream and access all the content stored in their cloud. Although users have access to the iTunes Cloud and Google Music on their respective handsets, many use alternatives that provide “personalized  radio” based on recommendations, tag matching and “crowdsourced” content such as Spotify and Pandora. Unfortunately UbuntuOne Web Music does not include this, but playlist creation, queue management and shuffle might be enough for you.


It really does seem as if Ubuntu is laying the framework and infrastructure for eventually providing a mobile operating system or partnering with an OEM for shipping U1 services directly on devices. They have a niche market with Ubuntu installations on many personal computers, they have cross-platform sync through a proven cloud service that allows file storage, contact and note sync, and now completely cross-platform music streaming.

Ubuntu says they will continue building out their One service and 2012 will be a big year. The mobile space has been heating up for a long time, and although there might not be any room for a new platform, providing tightly integrated services could be a real differentiating factor for many OEMs. Hopefully Canonical sees this opportunity and can seize it, truly bringing Ubuntu to the masses.

HTC And ‘Beats by Dr. Dre’ Partnering To Serenade Smartphone Users

Although you might have heard about “Beats Audio” thanks to the HP Touchpad, feel free to unlearn that correlation. It looks as if Hewlett-Packard has missed their chance to really let their devices stand out in the mobile space, as news that HTC and Beats Electronics have officially announced a partnership in efforts to ‘redefine the smart phone category and redefine the way sound is heard‘.

If you’re questioning this and are concerned that it sounds too good to be true, you might be on to something. Beats by Dr. Dre  is manufactured and distributed exclusively under license to Monster Cables. Yes, Monster Cables, the same company that produces audio and video cables that sell for a exorbitant mark-up price because they can.

As posted on the “Beats by Dr. Dre” blog and reported by AllThingsD, the partnership is an attempt to redefine the sound on smartphones and mobile devices. HTC will be able to use the brand as a huge key differentiator in the battle for victory in the smartphone race, as it’s one of the major issues that OEMs are having when deploying new devices and marketing to users — answering the question of “what makes our phone different?”. HTC can market a premium sound experience by leveraging the current success of Beats by Dr. Dre in popular culture.

The obligatory article pun? The partnership is to the tune of 300 million dollars.

[Review] UberMusic For Android – One Sexy Looking Music Player

The developer behind Launcher Pro Fedrico Carnales has released another quality app on the Android Market, UberMusic. The application was in an open beta testing phase for quite some time, before it was released on the Android Market, last weekend.

As its name implies, UberMusic is one uber cool music player for Android. The main question is does UberMusic stand a chance against the current best music player for Android PowerAMP? Well read my short review of the app to find out!

UberMusic_1

UberMusic_2

I have absolutely no doubt in saying that UberMusic for Android is the best looking music player available for the platform. The app looks gorgeous, and has a very polished feel to it. The best feature of the app is the dynamic background of the Now Playing screen. The background of the now playing screen automatically changes to display the image of the artist or the album of the song. The app pulls the required album art from Last.fm. Pretty cool, eh?

UberMusic also has other basic features like Last.FM scrobbling, and headset controls. Sadly, the app lacks some very important features like a lock screen widget, an equalizer, and the ability to resume or stop music playback when a headset is connected or disconnected. Compared to PowerAMP, UberMusic lacks a lot of advanced options including buffer tweaks, and lyrics support.

Fedrico has said that he is working on an equalizer and a lock screen widget, and hopefully, the next update of the app will include these two features.

UberMusic_2

Music quality is another area where UberMusic disappoints. It was just nowhere near PowerAMP’s level. While PowerAMP uses the ffmpeg decoder to playback music, UberMusic uses the native Android decoder. Due to this, the sound output of UberMusic is not as good as PowerAMP.

Where UberMusic trumps PowerAMP is its support for skins. These skins completely change the look and feel of the app, unlike the ones for PowerAMP, which just change the UI color. Right now, there are not much themes available, but whatever are, are of top-notch quality. The Metro’ skin imitates the WP7 music player, and looks visually stunning.

In the end, I recommend UberMusic to anyone who just wants a visually stunning music player, with basic features. For the hardcore audiophiles out there, stick with PowerAMP.

UberMusic can be downloaded from the Android Market for $3.49.

Ak-47 Turned into a Electric Guitar

Who said guns are only used to kill people? They can play music too! That’s what designer César López did with an old decommissioned AK-47. He turned it into a electric guitar and plays them on the streets of Bogota.

Cesar Lopez

The instrument is called as Escopetarra, a combination of the Spanish terms “rifle” (escopeta) and guitar (guitarra). López does not sell any of his creations nor receives money from his music, rather he expects listenrs to take away his words, “in the end the gun dies and the guitar is born”

Here’s a video of César López performing with his Escopetarra.

Does it still shoot? Oh no! So don’t chicken out when you see someone with a rifle-guitar in his hand ;)

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle.

Google’s New Music Player For Android Leaked!

Back in December, last year the Android 3.0 Honeycomb music player APK file leaked on to the Internet.

It was the same music player which Google had previewed at the Google I/O in 2010. The last APK of the music player that leaked was pretty buggy and slow.

However, TechFrom10 somehow managed to get access to the test’ version of Android Market, and was able to download the latest version of the upcoming Music Player from Google. He was also able to download some other goodies like a Camera app, Desk Clock and the 3D Gallery app.

Android_Music_Player

The new version of Android 3.0 Honeycomb music player is much better, both in terms of performance and stability. The UI has also been tweaked by Google, and the app looks simply gorgeous in landscape mode. As mentioned earlier, the app also supports music streaming using your Google Account and syncing via W-Fi.

Sadly, the Desk Clock, Camera and the 3D Gallery app will just refuse to start on any of the Android phones I tried. Nevertheless, users can download the latest version of Music player from here.

(Source)

Nokia X1-00 Is A Entry Level Music Phone

Nokia just announced a new low-end phone aimed at music lovers around the globe the Nokia X1-00.

The X1-00 is made with music lovers in mind, and sports a loudspeaker rated 106phon. According to Nokia, 106phon is enough to rattle your window frames!

Nokia_X1_00

The phone also comes with a 3.5mm audio jack, hardware keys to control to music playback, FM Radio and a microSD card slot, which supports up to 16GB memory cards. The handset also features a dedicated torch!

A special feature of the X1-00 is that it comes with five phonebooks. According to Nokia, the X1-00 might be shared between an entire family and even neighbors and thus five phonebooks will help them all save their contacts, separately.

The X1-00 runs on Symbian S30 which is enough to suffice to the basic needs of the people. The handset will hit the retail stores of some regions of the world by April. The handset should retail for around €34 before taxes and subsidies.

Last.fm Down For Past 12 Hours

The popular music service Last.fm seems to be down for the past 12 hours and no one really seems to care about it. One of our authors Sathya, just bought a subscription service and the service has been down for him.

Last.fm Logo

I did check with several other people and Last.fm is not loading for them too. So has everyone forgotten about the Last.fm service? Or is is that Pandora has become more popular.

Even the Last.fm blog hasn’t been updated yet with any information. Looks like they don’t care too. Anyways, if you are having trouble accessing Last.fm, you might as well try out some Last.fm alternatives we had written about earlier.

Is Last.fm down for you too? Are you missing it? Do let me know through your comments.

Update: The problem has been going on for the past 18 hours now, Last.fm has been updating their account @lastfm with updates.

We’re really sorry about this, we’ve been working flat out to fix downtime for 18hrs now. As soon as we have a update we’ll let you know.

Update 2: Last.fm has now put up a blog post about the problem, you can view it here http://blog.last.fm/2011/01/21/about-the-last-24-hours. They are saying that the problem occurred due to a hardware failure at the datacenter. Things should be back to normal now.