Death of The Video Rental Store

Death of Video Rental A few weeks ago, I was sitting at a traffic light by the Hollywood Video store near my home and glanced over at the empty parking lot. This was not an unusual sight because for years the parking lot at the Hollywood Video was always empty. But looking a bit closer, I realized the space was being gutted and prepped for an upcoming Advanced Auto Parts store. The Hollywood Video store was gone for good.

To be honest, I have not entered a video rental store in probably 10 years. But, I still felt a bit sad and nostalgic for all those Friday and Saturday nights back in the early 1990’s that I spent in the video store perusing the shelves for the newest flick with my boyfriend (who is now my wonderful husband). Rows and rows of videotapes, which eventually changed over to DVDs, were all lined up right at our fingertips. We really enjoyed going to the video store.

But then my husband and I stopped going to the video rental store. And it looks like everyone else stopped going too.

How to Convert Cassette Tapes to MP3s for Free on a Mac

My wife recently was deep cleaning and ran across a few tape cassettes that she remembered she really liked and asked if I could convert or digitize the tapes to MP3s for use in iTunes and on her iPhone. I figured it wasn’t a big deal so I told her I could before I thought through the process (that’s fairly typical for me). In any case, converting tapes to MP3s using a Mac ended up being simple enough. After the jump, you can read my step-by-step how-to on converting cassette tapes to MP3 on a Mac.

New Media Companies Turning Traditional Media Outlets Upside Down

Two news items caught my eye Friday in gadget news.

First, Apple iTunes increased its dominance as the top domestic music e-tailer. iTunes overtook Walmart in 2008 when it reached 21.42% and now iTunes has captured 26.65% of the overall market. Walmart had 14.99% in 2008 and dropped to 12.54% and retains the second spot. The download music segment represents a quarter of all domestic music sales.

iTunes did not exist just 7 years ago. Originally launched only on the Apple platform in April of 2003, the Windows version did not appear until October. Not remembering when I started to make the switch to digital downloads from CD media, I pulled up my account history. My first purchase took place November 1, 2003 when I purchased Harder to Breathe by Maroon 5 and It’s My Life by No Doubt.

Apple to buy music streaming service, LaLa

LaLa is a music streaming service that I’ve been toying with lately. I quite like the interface; they’ve done a great job with it. They also have an interesting business model in that they charge 10 cents for every song that you want to add to your ‘collection’, which you can then put into playlists. There are also free ways to listen to music as well and you can buy MP3 versions for  $0.89-0.99 in most cases.

Turns out that Apple likes what LaLa is doing and have decided to snap them up. I wonder whether this will be an autonomous subsidiary or integrated into iTunes in some manner. My guess would be for the latter.

Apple blocks Palm Pres from accessing iTunes

Wow, c’mon Apple – are you really hurting for more $ that you needed to block the relatively small number of Palm Pre users from getting to iTunes?! Of course, this isn’t really targeted at just Palm Pres, but other non-iPod/iPhone devices, but still.

I personally don’t use either iTunes, the desktop software (even when I had an iPod) or the online store, but now I have another reason not to. This is the type of behavior that Microsoft engaged in that alienated a lot of people and helped to give them a bad name. Don’t make the same mistake Apple.

via WSJ.

Macworld 2009: Apple iTunes store going DRM-free

You can now get about 8 million tracks free of DRM (copy-protection software) from iTunes with another 2M by the end of April. You can upgrade your existing set of iTunes tracks, but it’ll cost you – 30 cents per track.

The downside is that the record labels will now get to set pricing as opposed to the fixed per track/per album pricing in the past. I’ll take it; it’s a good thing overall.

Converting Audio File Formats in iTunes

iTunes is much more than a digital music jukebox. It’s capable of handling many different tasks involving digital media. Some of iTunes’ most popular features include buying music and vidoes online, burning CDs, and syncing files with your iPod or iPhone.

But one of the lesser known functions hidden within iTunes is the ability to convert audio files. …

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