Tuesday, October 6, 2009

doubleTwist Unveils An Alternative To...

From tech Crunch re Double Twist, an alternative to Itunes, with multi player ( non ipod) support

doubleTwist Unveils An Alternative To The iTunes Music Store, Powered By Amazon MP3
by Jason Kincaid on October 6, 2009

Last week doubleTwist, the media management software company with DVD Jon as its CTO, released a remake of Apple’s classic 1984 commercial featuring none other than Steve Jobs as a malevolent dictator. The commercial closed with a promise. “On October 6th, doubleTwist brings you Choice“.

Today, doubleTwist has revealed what it means by that: doubleTwist now includes an integrated Music Store, powered by Amazon’s MP3 Store. But unlike iTunes, this app will let you transfer your files to non-Apple devices. The store includes Amazon’s catalog of over 5 million songs, allowing users to purchase songs either as albums or individual tracks (there’s also plenty of free songs available). From a design standpoint, it’s clear that iTunes served as a big inspiration — if you’ve ever used the iTunes Store before, it will take you all of thirty seconds to figure out how to use this one.

In fact, it’s probably safe to say that the new doubleTwist music store is actually easier to use to download music than iTunes is, simply because there’s so much less going on. Upon launching the store you’ll see a handful of top albums and songs, along with a prominent search box at the top of the screen. Click on an album and you’ll see a list of the disc’s tracks, which you can click for a 30 second preview. To buy something simply enter your Amazon ID.

Of course, the store is easier to navigate than iTunes for a reason: there are no movie or TV downloads, no playlists or mixes, and obviously no App Store. But for music, it works like a charm. And there are more features in the pipeline, including recommendations, artist bios, and song ratings.

Once you’ve downloaded your music, you can drag and drop it into whatever device you’ve connected to your computer. Unlike iTunes, doubleTwist supports hundreds of devices, including the Pre, BlackBerry, PSP, Android, and others. The application also lets you manage your photos and movie files, though the company says it doesn’t currently have plans to offer video downloads.

All in all, this is a very impressive effort. Before now Amazon’s MP3 store has been primarily browser based (there are some mobile devices that support it but doubleTwist believes this is the first desktop based application to integrate the store). And there’s no doubt that the doubleTwist download experience is far better than navigating Amazon in your browser. doubleTwist is going to have a hard time convincing the throngs of iPod and iPhone users on iTunes to make the switch, but for anyone else using a device that’s not supported by Apple, it’s quickly turning into a very appealing solution.

doubleTwist’s Music Store is currently available in the Mac version of the app, with the PC version coming soon. The store is currently US-only, but doubleTwist says that UK, German, and French versions are on the way.

doubleTwist image
Website: doubletwist.com
Location:San Francisco, California, United States
Funding: $5M

doubleTwist’s mission is to simplify the flow of media to a wide range of devices and facilitate the sharing of user generated content across social networks.

The company is backed by Index Ventures and Northzone Ventures. Learn More

Thursday, October 1, 2009


excerpt from my daily rss feed this article appeared on lifehacker on 10/01/09 By Adam Pash


Pollux Automatically Cleans and Tags Your iTunes Library

Mac OS X only: Free beta application Pollux analyzes the audio fingerprint of tracks in your music library and corrects the song's title, artist, album, art, lyrics, and more. It's simple to use and it works very well.

While this sort of automated metadata fixing is one of the five big features we want to see added to iTunes, it's not something we're expecting from Apple any time soon. Pollux isn't the first to tackle this territory, by any means, and in the past I've highlightedTuneUp as my favorite tool of this ilk, so the first thing I wondered was: How does Pollux stack up to TuneUp?

To find out, I pointed Pollux at a handful tracks that TuneUp has always had trouble identifying for me. The results: Pollux was able to successfully tag a few of the tracks that TuneUp was lost on. That doesn't necessarily mean that Pollux would have been able to identify all of the tracks that TuneUp was able to in the past, but it does bode well for thefree Pollux. (TuneUp comes in a limited free version, but requires some money for full functionality.) I also pointed it at some tracks TuneUp had successfully tagged and found it batting a thousand there.

Pollux works in a couple of ways: Either you can tell it to automatically analyze and tag any new files you add to iTunes (which makes it simple and unobtrusive), or you can select individual tracks, click its menubar icon, and click Tag Selected iTunes Tracks.

Pollux is freeware (donations accepted), Mac OS X only; for the money, it seems like the best tool of its kind right now.