Vuze Update Aggregates Devices for Torrent Junkies

(Credit: Vuze/CNET)

CNET is reporting that popular torrent client Vuze (formerly known as Azuereus) has released an update that allows users to streamline their content through various devices, including iTunes, Apple TV, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The update features a transcoder that re-formats all downloaded content to work with external devices via a specific plug-in developed by the Vuze programmers.

Integrating the automatic conversion process allows content to be compatible with both televisions and mobile devices via the new Devices tab, which offers a drag and drop interface depending on which format the user chooses to export to. Whatever device is connected to the user’s computer will be recognized by the software wherein users can choose what downloaded content goes where. While iTunes will automatically sync up with Vuze, users will manually sync their portable devices without much effort. Those using video game consoles will see their content streamed onto their televisions directly from their computer.

Word around the tech-verse is that speed is an issue with Vuze’s latest update, but considering the utility of the program it would seem that the slow rate of conversion is a small price to pay. 25,000 people responded to a poll put forth by the Vuze team asking which devices they’d most like to see homogenized with their computer content (iPod was rated the highest), so clearly there is no shortage of a user-base. We’ll just have to wait to see what’s in store for the forward-thinking torrent client during the much-anticipated next update.

iPhone Obsessions: Intua Beatmaker – Worth the $20?

The Intua Beatmaker is not exactly new on the iPhone application frontier, but it is yet another means by which audiophiles can take their production obsessions on the go. A fully functional sampler, complete with music, sound effects and EQ, the Beatmaker definitely takes the cake for one of the most comprehensive music apps on the market.

Perhaps one of the highlight features of the Beatmaker is the recording property, where users can plug in a microphone or headset into the audio jack and record their own effects. That’s certainly something to be said for the $20 price tag; clearly some thought was put into its technology because few developers have found alternative uses for some of the iPhone’s biggest features. That being said, the Beatmaker bears several other features that music lovers will enjoy, particularly its multi-track sequencer, live pattern arrangement properties, and network sharing capabilities available for further download within the app.

The interface for the Beatmaker is far more intuitive than previous production apps on the market today,(namely iDrum, previously reviewed by AudioMicro.) The sampler, equalizer and control functions are easily translated onto a smaller surface making it accessible for casual music lovers and hardcore producers alike. Despite its intuition and all around entertainment factor, this is just one of those investments that may not be the wisest for the casual app-junkies out there. But for all the audio junkies out there, this is one that you may want to include on your  iPhone’s front page, right next to your Facebook app.

New iPhone Sims 3 Game Features Music Customization

At today’s iPhone 3.0 software media event, several announcements were made regarding the latest software upgrade for Apple’s mobile phone. Among copy and paste features, MMS, and other application-based announcements, Electronic Arts was able to show off the latest installment of their highly successful franchise The Sims. Like many other applications soon to be developed for the iPhone 3.0 software, The Sims 3 will be among the most immersive games to allow users to access their music while the game is being played, reports Kotaku.

This announcement comes in tangent with a broader feature that EA announced. Sims 3 will include an in-app store where players can purchase things for their Sim-environment, namely an avenue to play music already available on the users’ iPhone. This will most likely include something like a stereo or jukebox; in any case, instead of playing pre-recorded music provided by the developer, users will be able to customize playlists from their iPhone’s music library, leaving characters in the game dancing to familiar music. Even if players aren’t necessarily in a room with a jukebox, music may be played simply for ambiance. For more news on the iPhone 3.0 media day including new features and applications, click here.

Thanks Gizmodo/Kotaku for the image

Get Ready For The Gadget Orchestra Thanks to Rockstar

Never has an amalgamation of music hardware and software come together to produce such a resounding orchestral piece than this recent YouTube concoction. With an iPod touch, an iPhone (running the Bloom application), a Korg Kaossilator, a Nintendo DSi and a Nintendo DS (running Electroplankton), the Japanese media aficionado uses the Belkin Rockstar multi-headphone jack to connect all the hardware seen here.

The Belkin Rockstar is by no means new on the market, but with new iterations of all the latest mobile media reaching consumer hands at an unstoppable rate, the Rockstar seems to be the easiest solution for sharing entertainment with a buddy. If anything, all this guy needs is one more output to record his pieces onto. Either way, sharing media is always an issue, and even if you don’t happen to have everything seen in the orchestra, the Rockstar is a great bet.

Rock Band Beatles Due Out This Year

It was recently announced that Harmonix and Electronic Arts, developer and publisher of the successful Rock Band music video game series, will be releasing the Beatles edition of the record-breaking game on September 9th of this year. The game will feature tracks from every era of the band’s catalog thanks to Apple Corps., who recently opened up their library for the game’s development. What was assuredly a tumultuous story of music licensing issues and copyright ownership has now culminated in an actual release date. While pricing may range anywhere from $59.99 (for the standalone software) to $250 (for special limited edition hardware), several options will be availavle to the consumer. Keep track of updates and pre-order information at the game’s official homepage.

“This is an Internet Problem Not a Pirate Bay Problem”

As closing arguments concluded this week in the widely publicized Pirate Bay trial, defendant Fredrik Neij made it clear that he and his team is innocent, claiming that the problem lies not in their technology but on the Internet supervision in general. If convicted, the four-member team of Pirate Bay operations could face up to two years in prison and a damage claim of up to $12.7 million.

vnunet.com is reporting that the defendants noted that “a survey he had undertaken of more than 1,000 torrents showed that 80 per cent were for legitimate downloads,” and that  “the prosecution did not carry out such a survey.” While the prosecution also claimed that the site makes over $1 million in advertising revenue, defendant representative Jonas Nilsson completely rejected the notion, pointing out that the site actually runs at a loss and that all revenue goes towards maintenance.

The crux of the Pirate Bay trial is largely correlated with the user aspect of the website. Fundamentally speaking, users upload their own content to the Pirate Bay servers, basically providing a portal for other users to download. This is basic sharing. So the defense is in fact correct by claiming that this entire trial is indicative of a much bigger problem, namely with the principles of net neutrality and how the web is surveilled. Whatever verdict the jury chooses to deliver in April will be a monumental precedence in the world of digital distribution and the protection of rights and IP.

French President To Be Sued For Imroper Use

If you thought copyright infringement practices were limited to user generated YouTube videos, think again; French President Nicolas Sarkozy is evidently at the center of a music copyright infringement debacle after offering only 1 euro for a popular song used throughout his party’s online campaign content. ZeroPaid.com notes that “[Sarkozy] admitted to using the artists song multiple times for a political campaign which goes beyond the scope of an obtained license.”

The song “Kids” by Brooklyn-based indie band MGMT is well known among the music community, not to mention overseas. While Sarkozy’s party paid the 53 euro to France’s music licensing bureau, MGMT’s lawyer Isabelle Wekstein caught wind of the transaction and was quick to point out the insufficient royalties.  After offering the band a “symbolic” 1 euro for the infringement accusation, the party was quickly scrutinized by Wekstein, calling the offer “insulting”.

On the heels of Sarkozy’s move to create a “three strikes” program for those who improperly use copyrighted  material, this story comes as particularly ironic. Not only does Sarkozy endorse the disconnection of users who receive three official complaints, but his platform has campaigned for said protocol all throughout Europe.

Image courtesy of theage.com