Online streaming is the way to go?

This article titled Daniel Ek’s Spotify: Music’s Last Best hope from a July edition of Bloomberg Businessweek on Spotify is a real eye-opener for me. First of all, I have never heard about Spotify before, for all my ignorance on the world of online music streaming. Second, the experience of Spotify gives us a powerful example of discovering profitable business model out of what seems to be a dead end. By the way, this is usually impossible without a certain level of passion involved.

Link to the article here:

Daniel Ek’s Spotify: Music’s Last Best Hope: The Swedish streaming service, about to make its U.S. debut, may be the industry’s best shot at remaining profitable and relevant

To sum the article up, the biggest challenges to Spotify are 1. to maintain a highly reliable and stable service, which the company already do quite well; and 2. to convince people to stream/rent rather than to own, which is both critical to Spotify’s future and extremely difficult. Some of the largest markets for the music industry, namely North America and Asia, are still considerably conservative with strong “collection” mentality, as mentioned in the article. In these markets, people still love the feeling of having CDs on their shelves (as in North America), or carrying a 150GB mobile hard drive brim with illegal downloads around (as in China). Money is not the critical issue here, habit is.

On a side note, animes are actually being distributed in a very “spotify” manner in Japan: free, fast, and straight to your cell phone. Check out Niconico douga’s anime section, for example, it is really something.

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You are already dead… island

Talking about Dead Island, the following video is probably the best among the game’s very few attractive public presentations after its unique trailer (often spoken of as “better than the game”). Be warned you may suffer from certain suffocation or pain in the stomach while watching, enjoy.

In comparison, negative publicities are flying all over the internet, including major no clipping glitches, dancing zombies, faulty character models and the HARDEST BOSS FIGHT EVER. And of course a ton of criticism to the game itself.

Badass.

Tempted to fist all zombies into sky, I would still play the game under normal condition through first, just showing some respect to other people’s labour you know?

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I am planning to churn out a K-on!/!! review over the weekend, so お楽しみに. I would like to point out though that a certain critical task I am currently engaged in (other than playing Dead Island on normal and watching animes, that is) is very time consuming, so I may not update the blog as often in the following month or so. I still try to keep up to a three day schedule though, or in other words by-weekly.

The IdolM@ster EP 9, 10

Sarcasm warning, fans beware!!

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To be frank, EP9 and 10 of Idol M@ster provide little excitement and are bent on cliches. I mean, when you see two consecutive episodes in a standard-length anime each devoted to trivial detective comedy and certain dubious sports event, “filler” warning shall sound immediately…

Well, at least we can expect some non-filler episodes in the future, just look on the bright side.

EP9 features a trivial detective story starring the twins, Ami and Mami. Better start to remember names, since it's past 50% already...

The entire EP9 revolves around a certain case of pudding murder Continue reading

2ch Forum’s Anime Saimoe 2011 Round 1 E,F (repost from Anime News Network)

The interesting thing here is being an anime watcher for years, I have never really looked into “Saimoe” (“most moe” xD) vote on 2ch… And the result is that the vote has grown to such a scale and treated quite seriously by people, while being entirely oblivious to me…

It is quite an interesting grass-root anime activity with certain questionable taste (and pure akushyumi at times?!) involved. Well, doesn’t hurt to take a peek at what’s happening out there:

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Anime basics-post #1 (Background illustration)

After considering several alternatives, I decide to use this daunting title anyways, since it is a real eye-catcher. I would like to make clear however that despite the title, this article is not meant to be “educational”. Rather than trying to define and “teach” the basics of anime, it is more a personal account of what I consider to be the key elements of modern Japanese animes that viewers should be aware of. My goal for this article is to help readers better enjoy watching anime by picking out the “shiny little things” commonly present in most titles.

In this first post, I shall discuss a critical element and point of interest in anime: Background illustration (背景 haikei).

First of all, I want you to consider the scene below from the legendary Hayao Miyazaki’s (宮崎駿)classic Spirited Away 千と千尋の神隠し):

The famous "train on water" from Spirited Away (Spirited Away)

I believe a fair amount of us (including myself) were drawn into the world of anime by watching Spirited Away- if not the train scene specifically. Continue reading

Update: Natsume Yuujin Chou EP9, 10

As expected, Natsume Yuujin Chou EP9 and 10 (airing every Monday) continue with the series’ usual relaxed pace. In EP9 Natsume went through a less-than-friendly though uneventful encounter with a stone spirit whose intention and background are entirely unexplained. Actually, the main point of the episode is most definitely the school Bunkasai (cultural festival) during which you get to see Natsume wearing a pink apron. This is not a joke, btw.

Apparently Natsume is not only popular with youkais, but guuuurrrrrrlz as well

Continue reading