TouchMyApps » Amazon http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:22:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.5 Black Friday Online Sales Roundup http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/25/black-friday-online-sales-roundup/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/25/black-friday-online-sales-roundup/#comments Fri, 25 Nov 2011 17:48:32 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=61393 Apple’s One-day shopping event is finally here. Discounts are dead on from the leak revealed several days ago, with the MacBook and iMac lines being discounted by $101. iPad 2s now start at $458 (16GB wifi model), while the 64GB model has dropped by $61. Accessories are also on sale – the Apple Wireless keyboard, … Read more]]>

Apple’s One-day shopping event is finally here. Discounts are dead on from the leak revealed several days ago, with the MacBook and iMac lines being discounted by $101. iPad 2s now start at $458 (16GB wifi model), while the 64GB model has dropped by $61. Accessories are also on sale – the Apple Wireless keyboard, Trackpad and Magic mouse are discounted by $11 each. We’ve also included links below to other online Black Friday deals, including Amazon and Griffin. And if you missed it earlier, don’t forget to check out our Black Friday App Sales and Freebies Roundups. Happy Shopping!

Apple’s One-day Shopping Event. Good for only Nov 25th.

All products on sale can be found on this page here.

Amazon’s Black Friday landing page can be found here. Below is a small sample of items on sale, some of which are iDevice related.

Griffin’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals are good from Nov 25th – 27th.

ZAGG is currently running the iPad 2 an Hour Giveaway. Try your luck! And ZAGG’s major sales won’t happen until Nov 28th, which is their Cyber Monday sales, which will see most products discounted by 50%.

ThinkGeek’s Black Friday Sale is good for only 1 day (Nov 25th)

iSkin’s Black Tag Event has most items on sale at 30-50% off (Nov 25th and Nov 28th). Meanwhile, shipping is free on Nov 26th and 27th. Discounts will apply on checkout.

Gelaskins for your iPhones, iPads and other devices are now 20% (until Nov 29th).

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Gear up for Holiday Shopping with Price Check by Amazon http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/11/22/gear-up-for-holiday-shopping-with-price-check-by-amazon/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/11/22/gear-up-for-holiday-shopping-with-price-check-by-amazon/#comments Mon, 22 Nov 2010 21:24:02 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=43466 Just in time for Thanksgiving Weekend (and Black Friday Sales), Amazon has released Price Check, a handy little app that will make price comparisons on Amazon.com a breeze. With Price Check by Amazon, you can use your iPhone to instantly compare prices with Amazon.com and its merchants while on-the-go. Price Check enables you to search Amazon … Read more]]>

Just in time for Thanksgiving Weekend (and Black Friday Sales), Amazon has released Price Check, a handy little app that will make price comparisons on Amazon.com a breeze.

With Price Check by Amazon, you can use your iPhone to instantly compare prices with Amazon.com and its merchants while on-the-go. Price Check enables you to search Amazon products quickly using barcode, picture, voice, and text search. All prices are in US Dollars and search the Amazon US catalog. Compatible with iPhone 3Gs and iPhone 4 devices with auto-focus cameras and iOS 4 or greater.

Much like the popular barcode scanning app RedLaser, Price Check lets you “scan” a product’s UPC, which will then display the item in question, along with prices from other online retailers. Another neat feature that is not found on similar apps is the voice search. Simply say the name into the mic and Price Check will do all the heavy lifting. Amazon’s app is free to download, though you’ll need to have an iPhone 3GS/4 to take advantage of the barcode scanning.

Price Check by Amazon Amazon, Price Check by Amazon – Free


App Description

Ever wondered if you were getting the best price on a product when you were out shopping? With Price Check by Amazon, you can use your iPhone to instantly compare prices with Amazon.com and its merchants while on-the-go. Price Check enables you to search Amazon products quickly using barcode, picture, voice, and text search. All prices are in US Dollars and search the Amazon US catalog. Compatible with iPhone 3Gs and iPhone 4 devices with auto-focus cameras and iOS 4 or greater.

Price Check by Amazon provides access to Amazon.com product descriptions and customer reviews to guide you in making informed purchase decisions. When you find a low price while using the app, simply log into your Amazon account to complete a secure purchase. Price Check by Amazon supports 1-Click check-out and Prime memberships.

Search for products using four easy methods:

• Scan a barcode: Amazon’s barcode scanner will match your item and provide Amazon and merchant product pricing in seconds.

• Snap a picture: This app uses Amazon’s photo matching algorithm to instantly match your picture to books, DVDs, CDs, video games, and more.

• Say the product name: Speak your search queries and use voice search to return accurate product matches and Amazon’s pricing.

• Type your search: Type the product name to retrieve instant matches.

The categories available within Price Check include: Books, Textbooks, Movies, Music, Video Games, CDs, Electronics, Home & Garden, Automotive, Baby, Beauty, Camera & Photo, Cell Phone & Services, Clothing, Computers, Grocery, Health & Personal Care, Home Improvement, Industrial & Scientific, Jewelry, Kindle, Kitchen & Dining, Magazines, Music Instruments, Office Products, Patio & Garden, Shoes, Software, Sports & Outdoors, Video, & Watches.

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Apple refuse to sell DRM-free eBooks http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/08/30/apple-refuse-to-sell-drm-free-ebooks/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/08/30/apple-refuse-to-sell-drm-free-ebooks/#comments Mon, 30 Aug 2010 07:18:36 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=38530 Canadian Science Fiction giant, Cory Doctorow, has put up a nice piece about why Apple and Sony suck. Rather than getting into boring techie talk, he very stealthily opines as a writer who longs for a DRM-less world, one where users can share, buy, borrow, and lend digital content as easily as they do non-digital … Read more]]>

Image courtesy of funny-potato.com/blog

Canadian Science Fiction giant, Cory Doctorow, has put up a nice piece about why Apple and Sony suck. Rather than getting into boring techie talk, he very stealthily opines as a writer who longs for a DRM-less world, one where users can share, buy, borrow, and lend digital content as easily as they do non-digital content. As a content creator, his is a unique and important viewpoint that clashes directly with antiquated pro-Bono business models. Doctorow’s body of science fiction is captivatingly modern and so too are his finger-to-the-man opinions that hopefully, will help change the way digital books are circulated.

Surprise, surprise: Apple and Sony rejected Cory’s idea of circulating DRM-free paid versions of his books with the following note below, while Kindle, Nook, and Kobo stores embraced the idea. This is the note that Cory wants added to his books (from Craphound):

“If the seller of this electronic version has imposed contractual or technical restrictions on it such that you have difficulty reformatting or converting this book for use on another device or in another program, please visit http://craphound.com for alternate, open format versions, authorized by the copyright holder for this work, Cory Doctorow. While Cory Doctorow cannot release you from any contractual or other legal obligations to anyone else that you may have agreed to when purchasing this version, you have his blessing to do anything that is consistent with applicable copyright laws in your jurisdiction.”

If an author, whose livelihood is supported by his work, can support DRM-free and even FREE content, why can’t Apple and Sony? It is simple Gorden Gekko-esque greed, based in stodgy economic models, that gets in the way. Apple may have abandoned DRM in music files in 2007′s big digital-brouhaha, but they’ve hardly left the backwards business model that trusts no one. Their stitch against the suggestion, of course, points to Craphound where all of Cory’s novels are freely downloadable. His works not only come in every format under the sun, but they come Braveheart free.

Whether or not Apple allow content creators to SELL DRM-free books isn’t the issue here; it’s why they don’t allow the above addendum to be included in the iBooks Store.

You can read more from Cory Doctorow all over the net, but his most famous haunts are his personal blog: Craphound, and BoingBoing, a popular geek site he and a few mates pioneered.

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Kindle for iOS gets audio and video http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/06/28/kindle-for-ios-gets-audio-and-video/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/06/28/kindle-for-ios-gets-audio-and-video/#comments Mon, 28 Jun 2010 14:01:20 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=35239 God bless Amazon and God bless books. Having conquered one-click home shopping and set the stage for quality eBook readers, Amazon have augmented Kindle for iOS with audio and video features despite Apple’s attacks. AppleInsider note that many old titles such as “Les Miserables” have received loving digital audio/video shots in the arm. Augmented titles can … Read more]]>

Amazon's audio/video eBook selection

God bless Amazon and God bless books. Having conquered one-click home shopping and set the stage for quality eBook readers, Amazon have augmented Kindle for iOS with audio and video features despite Apple’s attacksAppleInsider note that many old titles such as “Les Miserables” have received loving digital audio/video shots in the arm. Augmented titles can be licensed starting at 9.99$ and are ‘yours’ to keep an eye on and never lend, loan, or show anyone else, ever.

You can get started at Amazon’s audio/video book selection.

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comScore study: iPad attracts readers http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/24/comscore-study-ipad-attracts-readers/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/24/comscore-study-ipad-attracts-readers/#comments Wed, 24 Mar 2010 08:26:35 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=29999 If you can make out the squiggles on this page, you may well be a potential iPad customer, or at least that is what numbers released by a comScore iPad study suggest. The study comes in several parts, but concentrates on the intended use, demographic, and receptiveness to paid content evidenced by iPad and e-Reader … Read more]]>

If you can make out the squiggles on this page, you may well be a potential iPad customer, or at least that is what numbers released by a comScore iPad study suggest. The study comes in several parts, but concentrates on the intended use, demographic, and receptiveness to paid content evidenced by iPad and e-Reader customers. In fact, the iPad already “matches Amazon Kindle in awareness and purchase intent”, helping to cement at least one of the iPad’s uses in the dredges of ostensibility.

While I’ll not contend the research, the bit which gets me is this:

Male and female survey participants had nearly identical favorability around the choice of the name “iPad” In the case of both genders, approximately 49 percent had a positive impression of the name, 27 percent were indifferent, and 24 percent had a negative impression.

Obviously, the group studied by ComScore have never shared maxiPad jokes.

More fun after the gap:

The following is ComScore’s study brief.

iPad Matches Amazon Kindle in Awareness and Purchase Intent

Consumers Indicate Willingness to Pay for Digital Content for iPads and e-Readers, With Highest Receptivity among Younger Adults

Reston, VA, March 22, 2010 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released the results of a survey of 2,176 Internet users regarding their awareness, attitudes and opinions of the Apple iPad and other e-readers/tablet devices. Results were analyzed across age and gender profiles, as well as the “iOwners” consumer segment, defined as those owning either an iPhone or iPod Touch. The complete results of the study are available for purchase (details included at bottom).

“The tablet and e-reader market is developing at a breakneck pace right now, and Apple’s entry into the market is sure to accelerate mainstream consumer adoption,” said Serge Matta, comScore executive vice president. “These devices have the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the way consumers currently access digital content. While only time will tell exactly how consumer behavior will change, our research suggests that not only will a variety of markets be impacted by the introduction of these devices but also that there are substantial opportunities for those in the digital content ecosystem.”

E-Reader Awareness and Purchase Intent

Consumers were asked several questions regarding their awareness of various e-readers and tablet devices and their past purchase behavior or intent to purchase these devices. The results showed very high awareness of the iPad out of the gate, with an aided awareness of 65 percent, the same as that of the Amazon Kindle e-reader. Overall, consumers have demonstrated a high level of interest in these types of devices with between 58 percent and 69 percent of consumers having conducted online research of the top five devices. Amazon Kindle rated highest in terms of current device ownership at 6 percent of all Internet users, followed by Sony Reader at 4 percent. The iPad rated highest in terms of consumers seriously considering purchase over the next three months at 15 percent of Internet users, with the Kindle at 14 percent.

E-Reader Awareness and Purchase Intent
March 12-16, 2010
Total U.S. Internet Audience, n=2,176
Source: comScore, Inc.
Percent of Respondents
Aided

Awareness

Researched Online Bought Seriously Considered Buying in Next 3 Months
Amazon Kindle 65% 69% 6% 14%
Apple iPad 65% 66% 1% 15%
Barnes & Noble Nook 28% 63% 2% 10%
Sony Reader 39% 65% 4% 9%
Samsung Papyrus 11% 58% 1% 8%

iPad Usage Intentions

Consumers were also questioned about which features and activities they would be most likely to use if they owned an iPad, with responses indicating that they viewed the iPad differently than a traditional e-reader. Just 37 percent of respondents indicated they were “likely” or “very likely” (i.e. top 2 boxes) to read books on the device, 9 percentage points higher than those who indicated they would be “unlikely” or “very unlikely” (bottom 2 boxes). Nearly half indicated a high likelihood of using the iPad for browsing the Internet (50 percent) and email (48 percent), while more than one third said they would use it for listening to music (38 percent), reading books (37 percent), maintaining an address book/contact list (37 percent), watching videos/movies (36 percent), storing and viewing photos (35 percent) and reading newspapers and magazines (34 percent).

iPad Usage Intentions
Q: “If you owned an iPad, how likely would you be to use the following features of activities on the device?” (7-point scale)
March 12-16, 2010
Total U.S. Internet Audience, n=2,176
Source: comScore, Inc.
Percent of Respondents
Likely

(Top 2 Boxes)

Unlikely

(Bottom 2 Boxes)

Differential
Read books 37% 28% 9
Read the newspaper/magazines 34% 30% 4
Browse the Internet 50% 21% 29
Email 48% 21% 27
Watch videos/movies 36% 28% 8
Listen to music 38% 26% 12
Maintain an address book/contact list 37% 27% 10
Use a calendar 33% 29% 4
Store and view photos 35% 26% 9
Download apps from the iTunes App Store 26% 36% -10
Play arcade, card games, word games or number puzzles 30% 32% -2
Play action, strategy, role playing, 1st person shooter games 22% 44% -22

“iOwners” Represent Attractive Target Segment for Digital Content

Results also showed that iOwners exhibited very different characteristics and receptivity to the purchase and use of digital content than non-iOwners. 52 percent of iOwners said they were willing or very willing to pay for newspaper and magazine subscriptions specially formatted for e-readers, compared to just 22 percent of non-iOwners. Similarly, 50 percent of iOwners who also own an e-reader said they had spent at least $60 on e-books in the past three months compared to only 24 percent of non-iOwners. These findings suggest that those who are already familiar and comfortable with making digital content purchases via iTunes may have a relatively higher receptivity to making similar purchases for the iPad.

Additional Findings

Several additional findings emerged from the research:

  • Male and female survey participants had nearly identical favorability around the choice of the name “iPad” In the case of both genders, approximately 49 percent had a positive impression of the name, 27 percent were indifferent, and 24 percent had a negative impression.
  • While ownership of an iPhone or iPod Touch was a strong predictor of those who have already ordered an iPad, it was not a strong predictor of purchase intent. 3 percent of iOwners had already purchased the iPad compared to 1 percent of non-iOwners, but 15 percent of each consumer segment indicated an intention to purchase the device in the next three months.
  • iOwners had significantly higher awareness of the iPad than non-iOwners, with 84 percent of iOwners having heard of the iPad compared to 61 percent of non-iOwners. 22 percent of iOwners also indicated they had seen an iPad commercial on TV compared to just 12 percent of non-iOwners.
  • The most important device attributes (top 2 boxes on a 7-point scale) that consumers indicated they would like to have included in the iPad were: ability to use multiple applications/programs at once (43 percent), having a screen the same size as a laptop or desktop computer (37 percent) and having a built-in camera (34 percent). Among iOwners, the percentages were substantially higher at 56, 66 and 51 percent, respectively.
  • Consumers were asked about whether they would use an iPad “instead of” or “in addition to” other digital devices, and indicated the highest likelihood of substituting for the iPod Touch (37 percent). Despite widespread belief that the iPad might threaten netbook adoption, only 22 percent of consumers said they would use it instead of the device.
  • Consumers’ existing carrier service appears to be a significant determinant of purchase intent, with 25 percent of AT&T Wireless customers who are aware of the iPad saying they intend to purchase the device in the next three months compared to just 10 percent of Verizon customers.
  • 34 percent of males indicated they were likely to use the iPad for playing action/strategy/role-playing games compared to 28 percent of females. More than half of 18-24 year olds (53 percent) said they were likely to use the iPad for this form of gaming, 15 percentage points higher than 25-34 year olds, the next highest age segment.
  • Younger consumers indicated a high willingness to pay for news and magazines specially formatted for e-readers. 68 percent of 25-34 year olds and 59 percent of 35-44 year olds said they were willing to pay for this content, representing substantially higher percentages than people age 45 and older.

Complete Study Results Available for Purchase

Included in the survey are questions addressing consumer perceptions of device functionality and wifi capability, purchase intent, past spending behavior, and the impact of e-reader/tablet ownership on usage of other digital devices. All responses also include cross-tabbed results by age and gender profiles, iOwnership, and primary mobile device carriers and OEMs.

To purchase the complete results of the study, please email learnmore@comscore.com.

Here is more iPad loveliness from TouchMyApps!

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The day the music died – Apple pressure labels to drop Amazon’s Daily Deals http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/04/the-day-the-music-died-apple-pressure-labels-to-drop-amazons-daily-deals/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/04/the-day-the-music-died-apple-pressure-labels-to-drop-amazons-daily-deals/#comments Thu, 04 Mar 2010 07:23:26 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=29042 When the iPod arrived on the scene in 2001, it lacked the iTunes store. Of course, users could rip their own CD’s or download from various file-sharing sites. Other options existed, but none ubiquitously had parity with online piracy. Then in 2003, the iTunes music store opened offering tracks in Apple’s locked-down FairPlay version of … Read more]]>

When the iPod arrived on the scene in 2001, it lacked the iTunes store. Of course, users could rip their own CD’s or download from various file-sharing sites. Other options existed, but none ubiquitously had parity with online piracy. Then in 2003, the iTunes music store opened offering tracks in Apple’s locked-down FairPlay version of AAC. Ascribe what you will to the quality of the tracks and selection; snub your nose at those days all you want – in 2007, Apple dropped DRM from its music, raised compression quality, and garnered a fuzzy Samaratin aura from its fans: good news. But while iTunes in many ways forged a new, prosperous path for online music sales, it devolved into a hedged-in business which is first and foremost, looking out for its own. Amazon’s music store is Apple’s primary competition and the two have been playing cats’n mice in each other’s back yards for many years, taking advantage of proprietary market advantages. One such is Amazon’s Daily Deals MP3 sales which allow the online retail giant exclusivity on all Daily Deal sales for 24 hours. Apple won’t have it, however.

Why this matters isn’t just skin deep: Amazon and Apple are at it; come to think of it, Apple and Google are at it. Apple are just plain at it. Both Apple and Amazon have a goodly amount of pull on their respective markets, but Apple have the upper hand in that they are the emergent hallelujah media baby. And why not? They created the iPod and iPhone – what they say matters, what they think matters more. But where Apple’s attacks really hurt is where they affect the consumer, the artist, and the market in general. According to AppleInsider, Apple have taken issue with Amazon’s exclusive Daily Deals programme which promotes: albums, artists, and songs, and is great for exposure and sales.

In many ways, for the consumer and the artist it is a win. The label and distributor also benefit. Hype drives much of the online market and Daily Deals is just that.

A company’s bottom line –sales– and public esteem forged from exclusivity contracts are certainly bolstered. Amazon’s current advantage with their Daily Deals programme comes from the fact that in addition dosh, their Daily Deals programme rakes wuffie from the internets, from blogs, from forums, from feeds, and from the general feeling that online music sales are alive and healthy. It is a win-win situation, and one Apple won’t stand for.

In reaction, they are attacking Amazon’s advantage – a natural thing for a competitor. But, particularly as Amazon’s deals stand as unique gateways to purchased content, their attack is unrightfully stinky. Generally, I agree with Apple’s business and practical acumen. Removing DRM from songs was a great step in accumulating consumer trust, but attacking a competitor who also offers DRM, and whose sales help to rebuff loses incurred because of online music piracy, is short-sighted and wrong.

In 2007′s open letter about DRM entitled ‘Thoughts on Music’, Steve Jobs extols the benefits of open sales, saying:

If such requirements [DRM] were removed, the music industry might experience an influx of new companies willing to invest in innovative new stores and players. This can only be seen as a positive by the music companies.

Amazon’s store is full of DRM-free MP3 files which are playable on most every media player in the world. Apple’s DRM-free files are based on the MP3′s de facto successor, and the baby standard of the Moving Pictures Experts Group, but the general hardware market hasn’t yet caught onto the format. Support is growing across many manufacturer lines, but it is far from steady. Their exclusivity deal is an amazing chance for hoarding the dosh and wuffie. And in a competitive market, it is only fair play. But Apple, who have been in a punching position for years, won’t, it seems, take Amazon’s expression of capitalism while sitting. Currently, they are pressuring music companies to drop exclusivity with Amazon via the Daily Deals programme. It isn’t hot air either: Apple have withdrawn ‘marketing support’ from sales items featured as Daily Deals.

In one way, it is fine and dandy: all’s fair in love and war. Ostensibly, Apple and other vendors could capitalise on a Daily Deal abolished world. But what would be the point? The 24 hours is only important because as it stands, it is exclusive and hype-able. If Amazon’s Daily Deals were axed, the fun, the competition, the hype, would die. So too would panic-purchases. And what good does it serve to drop support of artists and albums which are featured as Daily Deals? In the end, who is hurting?

The market is a funny thing. It breathes and lives, kicking at stones which block it and piling others it likes. It thrives on surprise, on nuance and Apple are threatening to remove both stones. Instead, their ideal market would be that of a giant-serving free market ala NAFTA which drops poorer/smaller countries into subservient roles of the larger, greedier nation.

If the sale of online music can already be parsed so well into profitable of terms, then hindering them is the next logical step, right? Piracy exists because it is easy, because it is free, and because it allows the most freedom to the user. Eliminating a user’s choice and indeed, a chance at hype purchasing is a retrograde step which will hinder a market which is hanging because of support from vendors. If Apple succeed in convincing publishers to react to every beck and call, then online music is already on a path of doom – this time, it is paved in no small part by the company who helped bring music out of the pirate’s den into the boardroom.

Maybe it’s better to be a LemmingS.

Music is the fabric on which this reedy life is woven. I enjoy it any way I can, particularly whilst out and about and via headphones.

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Apple out to destroy Amazon’s eBook market with iPad and iBooks http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/04/apple-out-to-destroy-amazons-ebook-market-with-ipad-and-ibooks/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/04/apple-out-to-destroy-amazons-ebook-market-with-ipad-and-ibooks/#comments Thu, 04 Feb 2010 16:33:13 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=26637 The modern internet junkie is the lowest of common denominators. It feeds on rumours, loves unsubstantiated ‘facts’, tires of truth, and salivates for one-eyed wisdom. I am probably one. Apple struggle on and offline against this rock-hurtling beast who incessantly protects the first to complain. Well, Amazon complained. Their has been a lot of hissing … Read more]]>

The modern internet junkie is the lowest of common denominators. It feeds on rumours, loves unsubstantiated ‘facts’, tires of truth, and salivates for one-eyed wisdom. I am probably one. Apple struggle on and offline against this rock-hurtling beast who incessantly protects the first to complain. Well, Amazon complained.

Their has been a lot of hissing since Amazon refused Macmillian’s demands for tiered pricing. Amazon have been scrambling to protect their eBook selling scheme. Meanwhile beleaguered publishers are doing the same to protect their cut of the dollar. The average internet reader however, sees the argument in favour of smaller green numerals. Apple’s strategy probably will cost more to consumers than Amazon’s. At first, it seems unfair. CEO Steve Jobs hinted that eBooks bought from iBooks or Amazon would be the same price. Did he lie or did he foresee something else: Amazon being forced to adopt Apple’s pricing scheme. The two ARE very similar: both allow publishers 70% of the final sale.

By proxy, this issue is reminiscent of a prior, similar struggle: the introduction of tiered pricing in the iTunes music store. After the internet’s long brush with unsanctioned downloads, iTunes became the major player for legal music downloads, mitigating losses from piracy – or so we have been told. So, when studios wanted to raise prices on music, Apple conceded very little ground (cue Ice Cube’s Thank God). They did however, adopt a tiered pricing policy whilst ridding their songs of DRM restrictions to appease the end user.

The eBook industry is new territory for Apple. They first have to enter through front door, then place their shoes in the entryway. After bowing to the office thrice, they can discuss business. Currently, eBook sales’ undisputed leader is the Amazon who through de facto leadership have been able to force pricing on publishers. The difference between the sale of eBooks and music, however, is that piracy of music was entrenched in the internet for years prior to Apple selling music; digital music sales didn’t bolster piracy. The sale of eBooks, however, buoys up piracy for the simple reason that once online, DRM or DRMless, digital books are easier to copy and distribute than hard copies.

So, as Amazon throw a fit when MacMillian demand tiered priceing; they ignore the simple fact that hitherto, every eBook sale has contributed to the format’s piracy and dissemination; they ignore the fact that the consumer has put up with deplorable end-use rights – and their role is to complain? The high prices of eBooks through any distribution channel was a mistake, but it may now be a necessary evil. If the first eBook was sold to the consumer full of users-rights at a reasonable price, piracy wouldn’t be such an issue. Instead, users were stripped of their rights from the first and by all rights, have struck back. Piracy has become a necessary method for the user to combat digital distribution which is modelled on brick-and-mortar tactics.

iBooks eBooks (wow!) will be priced with flexibility in mind, but some books will cost as much as 14.99$. There is good and bad news in there. First, 14.99$ is incredibly steep and what you get are nicely-coloured ones and zeroes with 0 ownership rights. Purchases cannot be lent, borrowed or sold. That book isn’t yours – think of it as a perennial loan.

Despite great maturity in online sales, Amazons reaction to publishers’ demands has been to pull books from their online shelves: a decision which has robbed writers. When faced with a similar dilemma in iTunes music sales, Apple didn’t pull music from the store and rob its artists. Instead, they discussed with studios and then applied changes afterward. Amazon’s arbitrary hissyfits cost money, waste time, and weaken the already feeble sales of online books in an era when the publishing business is hobbling.

Right, but at least they have the backing of the lowest common denominator.

How can Amazon who have effected so much good in the market be the same company who: pull the works of writers; whose distribution has to some extent, fueled piracy; whose current hissyfits countermine the industry?

The eBook market was never about the consumer – what market is? It has always been a horribly managed, overpriced market. And it has to change. Apple, having joined the fray are riding out a spat that was bound to happen eventually. But will they be able to shake an unfair bias from the lowest common denominator? And if they can, what will change?

***

Popular Sci-Fi writer, John Scalzi, is documenting his struggles with Amazon at his blog: Whatever. He is also the creative consultant Stargate: Universe, so if you don’t read, but still opine about this issue, you may at least have seen his work.

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Headphone Deal: Klipsch Image X5 – Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/01/27/headphone-deal-klipsch-image-x5-amazon-gold-box-deal-of-the-day/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/01/27/headphone-deal-klipsch-image-x5-amazon-gold-box-deal-of-the-day/#comments Wed, 27 Jan 2010 16:39:26 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=26833 Pretty sweet news: the Klipsch Image X5, a great earphone which usually sells for 250$ has dropped to 149.99$ today only! It is a balanced, comfortable inner earphone which keeps the outside out and the music in. Though TMA has not reviewed it, shigzeo has spent a considerable time at the Apple Store in Seoul … Read more]]>

Pretty sweet news: the Klipsch Image X5, a great earphone which usually sells for 250$ has dropped to 149.99$ today only! It is a balanced, comfortable inner earphone which keeps the outside out and the music in. Though TMA has not reviewed it, shigzeo has spent a considerable time at the Apple Store in Seoul auditioning and wishing. If only I lived in a place where Amazon ships!

Klipsch Image X5 Noise Isolating Earphones

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Good for girls: MacBook and iPhone http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/01/25/good-for-girls-macbook-and-iphone/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/01/25/good-for-girls-macbook-and-iphone/#comments Mon, 25 Jan 2010 11:01:04 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=26694 I’ve never really looked at it this way before, but evidently, the MacBook/iPhone combo is a winning ‘get’ for girls. AllAbout, a great Japanese site for -everything- has an article promoting the MacBook and iPhone combination for girls. Their main points are: It is stylish and cute for fashion-conscious customers The new MacBook’s screen is … Read more]]>

I’ve never really looked at it this way before, but evidently, the MacBook/iPhone combo is a winning ‘get’ for girls. AllAbout, a great Japanese site for -everything- has an article promoting the MacBook and iPhone combination for girls. Their main points are:

  • It is stylish and cute for fashion-conscious customers
  • The new MacBook’s screen is great for surfing the web
  • The iPhone’s multimedia/internet/organisational features are great for both private and work life
  • Both machines’ rounded edges nicer for girl’s hands
  • Both platforms offer loads of software which you can use from day 1

Right now, Amazon have a special SuperSaver deal for American customers.

$954.59 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.

[via AllAbout] Japanese Language

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Great headphone deals http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/14/great-headphone-deals/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/14/great-headphone-deals/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2009 14:14:49 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=15376 The world of audiophillium is an intense place. There are so many great toys, too many of which come at insane prices. Settling – purchasing a cheaper alternative – happens often and unfortunately, can sometimes cost more in the long run in what can only be called, the Real McCoy envy. But, buying The One … Read more]]>

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The world of audiophillium is an intense place. There are so many great toys, too many of which come at insane prices. Settling – purchasing a cheaper alternative – happens often and unfortunately, can sometimes cost more in the long run in what can only be called, the Real McCoy envy. But, buying The One – that headphone or amp that you know will change your world – is even more troubling as it can sink your rent cheque for some months.

Jaben.net’s Deals – Jaben often bundle great products together to form truly inspiring audio packages which can be shipped all around the Globe.


news-headphone-greatdeals-jabenamazon-ck10 Jaben.net – CK10 Bundle 279$

This bundle is remarkably priced. The CK10 is not marketed outside of Japan and remains close to 300$ at most international vendors. Jaben throw in a 149$ portable amp and two more goodies: interconnects and a line out dock to create the best current portable audiophile package.

Though not yet reviewed at TMA, the CK10, is an all-time favourite of mine, impressing with its smooth, detailed rendering of any music and bypassing the competition’s tiny soundstage. The amp package along with iPod dock and interconnect ensures that the CK10 is adequately fed from your iPhone or iPod, exhibiting its best sonic characteristics.

The CK10 build quality is top-notch, beating out even Westone’s UM2, UM3X and W3 for sturdiness, quality parts, and housing robustness. Its Achilles heal? While Audio Technica made a great noise-free cable that is stronger than any competitors, it remains improperly bumpered and lacks quality stress relief. Despite this caveat, it is the best of the small form factor iems on the market.

Amazon’s Deals - If you live in the USA, you are blessed with one of the most trustworthy online stores. Lenient return policies, great selection and many shipping options, Amazon is the king of the jungle.

news-headphone-greatdeals-jabenamazon-ck10 Audio Technica CK10 211.99$

If you don’t care for the entire 279$ bundle from Jaben, Amazon have rounded up some great resellers whose USA prices nearly mirror those of Japan. If you can snatch up the CK10 for 211.99$, go for it.

news-headphone-greatdeals-jabenamazon-ad700 Audio Technica ATH-AD700 79.22$

My first high-end Headphone was not the Koss Porta Pro, it was the AD700, an open-design Headphone that has great stage and fast attack. It is a great companion to rock music and even electronic and extremely comfortable. Considering that it retails closer to 140$, Amazon’s deal is a no-brainer.

news-headphone-greatdeals-jabenamazon-appleinear Apple In-ear headphones (previous generation) 21.99$

While not the new dual-balanced armature version that are gaining a serious fandom, the previous generation in-ear headphones represent a huge sound quality jump from Apple’s included earbuds and seal a goodly amount of noise out of your music. Originally retailing at around 50$, the new Amazon price makes these a hard bargain for many competing products.

news-headphone-greatdeals-jabenamazon-er4s Etymotic ER4S 179.00$

Concurrent with my love affair with Westone’s UM2, I mingled with the ER4S. It is the grand daddy of all universal inner ear monitors and has remained in its nearly 20-year market life, one of the most highly sought-after inner ear monitors. Each driver is hand-selected and matched, a feat not bested by any other manufacturer – one that proves Etymotic’s devotion to audio quality is not just skin deep. The ER4S is an unbelievable sounding IEM with a linear if not slightly treble-elevated frequency response. Along with the CK10, it is one of the most neutral earphones on the market and at nearly half its MSRP, a steal at 179.99$.

news-headphone-greatdeals-jabenamazon-sa6 Sleek Audio SA6 179$

Sleek’s SA6 retails for 250$ and features the same detachable coaxial cables as its more expensive sibling, the Custom CT6. For 179$, the SA6 is a wonderful sounding steal from one of the most exciting new audio companies on the planet. For lovers of all types of music, Sleek’s universal earphone is great. While not as smooth as the CK10, it offers a weightier, foot-tapping sound with great extension and staging. The added bonus of Sleek’s design is of course, its modularity. Users can add treble or bass to their music by snapping on bass ports or treble tubes for a truly unique audio experience.

news-headphone-greatdeals-jabenamazon-superfi5 Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5 134.95$

UE’s new designs are stunning. I was duly impressed by the shiny MetroFi 220 and the UE700, but the SuperFi 5 new, space-age design is one of the sleekest earphones on the market. And, considering its retail price of 170$, a great steal from Amazon.

news-headphone-greatdeals-jabenamazon-um2 Westone UM2 264.98$

The UM2 was my first foray into high-end portable music and remains a benchmark for quality build in an inner earphone. It sounds good, is well made and features a noiseless cable that can withstand long and sweaty band performances and insane road climbs on your Marinoni bicycle.

news-headphone-greatdeals-jabenamazon-w3 Westone 3 349.99$

This phone retails at 399$ and has changed the universal inner earphone landscape for discerning listeners. Suffice it to say that Westone’s top-of-the-line consumer product has become a benchmark for audio quality, and to some, the ultimate universal IEM (though some others prefer the UM3X).

news-headphone-greatdeals-jabenamazon-z-buds Zagg Z-Buds Red 31.99$

When I reviewed the Z-buds, 79.99$ was too much to ask. However, Zagg have retooled the Z-Buds cables to better fit active mobile phones users’ lives. For just shy of 32$, the Z-Buds are a worthy and innovative buy.

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From the iPod Screen to the Big Screen – Cory Doctorow’s ‘Little Brother’ Option Sold to Don Murphy http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/21/from-the-ipod-screen-to-the-big-screen-cory-doctorows-little-brother-option-sold-to-don-murphy/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/21/from-the-ipod-screen-to-the-big-screen-cory-doctorows-little-brother-option-sold-to-don-murphy/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2009 00:40:25 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=13861 I will not camouflage the process in which I discovered Cory Doctorow‘s books. Unfortunately, it was nothing so romantic as stealing into a used book shop and thumbing through bins of old books only to discover an interesting cover. eReader’s initial pre-App Store, Jailbreak-only release got me browsing its online shelves for good science fiction … Read more]]>

news-littlebrother-bigscreenI will not camouflage the process in which I discovered Cory Doctorow‘s books. Unfortunately, it was nothing so romantic as stealing into a used book shop and thumbing through bins of old books only to discover an interesting cover. eReader’s initial pre-App Store, Jailbreak-only release got me browsing its online shelves for good science fiction in late 2007 and early 2008 – that is where I discovered Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.

Of course, most copyrighted works are not available for digital download unless purchased at online shops which are sometimes hard to get at with a Canadian Credit card. Saying that, until discovering ‘Magic Kingdom’, I had come across the Creative Commons Licence naught but several times and did not expect it to encompass books that I wanted to read in my leisure. To my surprise, the annals of the Gutenberg Project server housed thousands of books that I could curl up to including Cory’s. In fact, most of his novels have been published simultaneously by large publishers and under the Creative Commons Licence. What that means for someone like me, who rarely stays in the country longer than a year is that my library can easily be transported in my pocket rather than braving the high seas and months of rotting in a box next to my winter clothes.

Finding Doctorow’s novels was a bit of luck that hinged on my first love of the American science fiction grandmaster, Isaac Asimov. I, Robot has been a favourite collection of mine that, with Asimov’s Robot series, helped shape my definition of science fiction along with The Foundation series and the grand daddy of them all: Frank Herbert’s Dune. Had Cory Doctorow not chosen to title one of his short stories, “I, Robot”, I probably would not have found the delicious Down and Out. And by parenthesis, I would not have found Little Brother, the option to which has been sold to Don Murphy of “Natural Born Killers” and “From Hell” fame. Options are of course, sold all the time and do not secure movies themselves, but at least in this case, have proven the interest of a rather famous moviemaker.

Little Brother, in just a few words, is a story that contrasts innocence and involvement as it traces the lives of several high school students who, along with all of San Francisco, were in the wrong place at the wrong time after a terrorist attack that destroyed the Oakland Bay Bridge and BART transportation system. Without ruining the story, I will merely mention that it escalates into a no-holds barred military state that suspends the rights of all citizens and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Indeed, Little Brother would make an excellent film if Murphy is up to the task. It is clever, perfectly timed and, with issue-founded conservatism of the founding laws of a country, is ripe for moral debate. Above all, it reads like an adventure that could very well happen today and to your child or to you.

Cory Doctorow’s Book can be downloaded from his webpage, or bought from online retailers.
Novels Amazon: Little Brother, Eastern Standard Tribe, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

Short stories and other compilations: Wasteland: Stories of the Apocalypse, Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present, Content: Selected Essays, A Place So Foreign and Eight More

Care for more Book articles? Look below:
Enter the QueuePhoneA Comparison of Three eBook Readers

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A Comparison of three Ebook Reader Apps: Kindle, eReader and Stanza http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/02/three-ebook-reader-apps-kindle-ereader-stanza-a-comparison/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/02/three-ebook-reader-apps-kindle-ereader-stanza-a-comparison/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2009 04:55:04 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=11972 Three of the more prominent ebook reader applications on our favorite platform are Stanza, eReader, and the Amazon Kindle App. I’m a big book reader, the type ‘bound with real paper’, but I’m not against reading on my iPod Touch as well, especially when faced with some content that is only available as an ebook. … Read more]]>

Three of the more prominent ebook reader applications on our favorite platform are Stanza, eReader, and the Amazon Kindle App. I’m a big book reader, the type ‘bound with real paper’, but I’m not against reading on my iPod Touch as well, especially when faced with some content that is only available as an ebook. So, I’ve downloaded each of these apps, along with a few books for each, and figured I’d give you all a look at each one, and what I think the positives and negatives are.

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I’m going to start with the newest, Amazon’s Kindle. Amazon has its own portable device, the Kindle, but they wisely decided to not limit their store sales to only that hardware by introducing this app for the iDevice. Ease of downloading books for your Kindle App falls somewhere in the middle of the three I’m going to look at, as you must first go on the internet (through Safari or your computer) to the Amazon store. From there you purchase the Kindle book, through whatever means you have set up with Amazon. The good news is, the book you’ve ordered will then wirelessly download to your Apple device, and within moments you can begin reading.

er4The Kindle App has a nice main menu, with various sorting options for the books stored in the application. Within the book itself, there are three background color/text color choices, plus multiple text sizes. I found that at my reading pace (when the device is held vertically) I needed to set the text at the second to smallest text size (shown in the picture above) if I wanted to be able to read each ‘page’ on the screen before the device starts to go dark (as if shutting down, because you haven’t touched the screen in too long). The Kindle App allows you to switch to a horizontal screen, as well as to lock the screen so it can’t move. I personally want to get as much text on the screen as possible, without having to hit the screen unnecessarily to keep it from going dark (in other words, only hitting the screen when I’m read to turn the page). You can retrieve a menu that shows chapter marks as well as any bookmarks you may have put into the story you’re reading. It’s a clean app, but it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as the others.

er5 er6

Though the App is fairly new, eReader itself has been around the longest; it’s the way most people have been reading ebooks for years. There’s a fairly wide selection of free books available on eReader, but in some ways, this is actually the most difficult app to order or purchase books from. Again you must first go on the internet (through Safari or your computer) and select one of the stores that sells eReader books. You must also have an eReader account, and then go through the process of purchasing and downloading. On the up side, there are a few more choices in stores you can purchase from (as opposed to Kindle, which is just the one store).

er7The eReader App itself has a serviceable main menu. It’s not as pretty as the other two apps I’ve checked out, which is also true of the main body of these books themselves. Again, I had to move the text setting up from the smallest size (allowing the most text on the screen) to the next level up (medium – as shown in the picture above) in order to be able to read a page without the screen starting to go black. In eReader you have a lot more options for font type, line spacing, margins – and eight different color combinations for background and text. Again you can switch between horizontal and vertical orientations for viewing the book, but you have to go into the menu to lock it in place (unlike Kindle, where that option pops up on the screen as you move from one to the other). Ultimately, eReader, even with all the additional options, feels more bare bones than either Kindle or Stanza, the last app I’ll look at.

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Stanza has the easiest options for purchasing ebooks, as it’s all done directly through the application itself. From the main menu, you access the Online Catalog, which gives you access to a number of different stores and free book sites. From each of these, you select the book you want to purchase, it charges your iTunes account, automatically downloads the book requested, and you’re ready to read.

The main menu I found to actually be the easiest to navigate, as it presents multiple options up front (purchasing, books sorted in multiple ways, even the things you’ve read most recently). Stanza isn’t doing anything that the other Apps can’t do; it’s just presenting it in a little more straightforward way. I will say there is a noticeable lag as the App loads the book you want to read; a book you’ve already purchased and downloaded, it already resides on your device, but it seems to take a few moments to format it. This same lag crops up when you switch from horizontal to vertical viewing, as the App adjusts what page you’re on. That said, there are again a lot of options in choosing font size (literally a sliding scale, as opposed to preset size options), a near endless variety of color choices for background and text. I could actually set the font size much smaller in Stanza (as shown in the picture above) and still be able to read to the end of the page before it went dark.

So, each eBook reader App has its pros and cons, but I found all of them to be easy to use and read books on – and that’s really what it’s all about. Still, if I had to choose just one, Stanza is the one I most often use and would recommend. As a summary:

Kindle [Amazon.com, Free]

Pros:

  • Large store backed by Amazon
  • Nicest looking App

Cons:

  • Only one store to purchase books from
  • Limited book viewing options

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eReader [Fictionwise, Free]

Pros:

  • Most selection due to being the format in existence longest
  • Lots of book viewing options

Cons:

  • Bare bones application
  • Most difficult to download book purchases

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Stanza [Lexcycle, Free]

Pros:

  • Multiple stores to purchase books
  • Easiest to download purchases
  • Most straightforward menu
  • The most options for book viewing

Cons:

  • Noticeable lag when loading books

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Care for more Book articles? Look below:
Cory Doctorow’s ‘Little Brother’ option sold to Don Murphy – Enter the QueuePhone – Waiting for the iPhone 3GS got you down? Try reading!

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