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Don't you forget about them.

There is a new wave of online content services popping up - companies taking the plunge and trying to bring the booming mobile media market (the amount of money spent on cell phone ring tones and wallpaper is Europe and Japan is staggering) to the desktop. They think that eventually people will be willing to pay to get their favourite videos and songs on-demand ... the thinking is that people are willing to pay for this content on their phones, so eventually (if all the planets align and - one supposes - pigs start to fly) they will be trained to pay for this content on computers too.

Will this ever pan out? Who knows. My thinking is "no" simply because of conditioning and expectations. People have been paying for phone content from the word go. Fine. But people are also used to getting media on their desktops for free, and "free" is a concept that has a lot of inertia. Hope springs eternal, however, and the latest attempt at cracking this market is Video-C, coming to you from across the pond and offering new music in a "video magazine" format.

Because they are in the U.K., these guys have a couple of things going for them that might boost them from "another failed start-up" to "somehow surviving". One, Brits are already used to paying for TV. They pay a license fee to watch the telly, and it isnt that big of a stretch to imagine them paying for on-line video. Two, Europe has a cell-phone music-n-graphics market that is already over 1000 times the size of the same market over here. People are paying for content there, albeit in a different format. So who knows?

Anyway, the point of all this rambling is that, while the service will eventually be subscriber-based, at this point in time they are trying to attract eyeballs by offering a lot of their key content for free. One such item is a fabulous new single from Simple Minds called Home. This release seems to have fallen between the cracks in North America, and I am betting you haven't heard this yet, and you really should. You can check it out here in startlingly high-quality video and sound for absolutely free. Better yet, selecting the "progressive / broadband" option will boost the already yummy video quality up to near-DVD clarity. Give it a spin. It really is a nice piece of work.

NOTE: This feed is Quicktime, but if you are somehow bereft of the format, you can watch in either Real or Windows Media. Obviously, though. using either of those will give you video and audio that both looks and sounds like shit. Also, if you have Quicktime Pro (or know someone that can get it for you *cough cough*) you can save the "progressive" feed as a full-quality QT file for your future viewing pleasure. Have fun.

Posted: Fri - September 9, 2005 at 05:28 AM        


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