Lawrence Hryb (aka Major Nelson), director of programming for Xbox Live at Microsoft, on Tuesday announced the release date of the next Xbox 360 update in a blog post. The update, which will bring a raft of features, will be available next month. Hit the jump to find out the exact release date and other details.
Muziic developer David Nelson still isn't a household name. But this 16-year-old may be pitchforked into the limelight, in case the music industry chooses to confront him over his creation, Muziic, an app that streams YouTube music directly to the user's desktop. He and his dad, Mark Nelson, had launched the media player on February 25, 2009. The Muziic player, to its credit, not only spares users an otherwise mandatory visit to YouTube's website but also lets them search YouTube's vast music library, create playlists, and browse them with ample ease.
While Google gave the nod for Muziic to continue after the latter agreed to expand the size of its video player, the music industry has hitherto chosen to turn its sight away from the father-son duo and Muziic. All that changed on Monday, though, when Muziic expanded its service to include content from label-backed video service Vevo, and that too without any annoying ads. Vevo is operated by YouTube for the companies that own the service: Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, EMI and Abu Dhabi Media Company. As if blocking ads usually displayed along with Vevo content wasn't enough, Muziic circumvents the site's North America-only limitation to add insult to injury.
Push has come to shove for the music industry and the consortium behind Vevo is in the mood for some action. Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff has asked David Nelson to pull the plug on Muziic's use of Vevo's content. "I kindly advise you to immediately cease the use of the Vevo Logo, trademark and any other references to our corporate name," Caraeff wrote in an e-mail meant for the Muziic founder. "With regards to the use of Vevo licensed videos...they are also being used directly without our consent...You can be assured that changes are being deployed to the API in question immediately, however I am still going to ask you directly to cease the use of Vevo videos from within your service." Nelson remains adamant that he has done nothing wrong. He insists that he hasn't taken “any actions to circumvent the delivery of 'pre-roll' advertisements.” He further contends that it is the Youtube API, which currently does not deliver any ads to Vevo content, that is at fault.
The major music labels hope Vevo will do for music videos what Hulu has done for movies and TV shows. In other words, become wildly popular.
Vevo will be a website for music videos and has the backing of co-owners Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment (Abu Dhabi Media Company also owns a stake). On Monday, Vevo announced it had signed up EMI as a video provider, which leaves Warner Music as the only holdout among the four biggest music labels.
"It will be a higher-quality experience around music and videos than anything else that's currently out there," Rio Caraeff, Vevo's chief executive, said in an interview.
Caraeff went on to say that Vevo would host 30,000 music videos by the end of the year, which will include original programs by artists for their fans.
On the technical side, videos will be hosted and streamed by YouTube. Vevo also plans to syndicate videos to a bunch of other sites, a la Hulu.