Opinion and analysis of the day's music news.


GOOGLE'S MUSIC PLANS: MOBILE, BROWSER
Google's music plans are being welcomed by executives who have heard the pitch, according to an LA Times article. The article gives away only two tidbits about Google's strategy: (a) mobile and (b) browser: "The talks center on securing a sweeping set of licenses that would give Google the latitude to offer an array of products and services through its Android operating system for mobile phones as well as through computer browsers, said executives familiar with the discussions."

So, according to this info, Google does not plan a client-based store or service a la iTunes or Spotify. Just how Google plans to integrate a store or service into its Android music player, for example, remains to be seen. Given Google's browser-based initiatives - Google Docs, for example - and its desire to expand its Chrome web browser, making its personal computer-based music experience a browser-based one makes sense.

Jac Holzman, who just a few days ago had a nice Q&A with the Times that touched upon Elektra's 60th anniversary, was the only person to go on the record. "Google has smart people, and they recognize record companies need to be more than just suppliers," he said. (Los Angeles Times)


TOSHIBA TABLET PC COMING
-- Toshiba has announced a tablet PC that runs on Google's Android operating system that it plans to launch by the end of the year. The Folio 100, not Toshiba's first tablet PC (but its first Android tablet) will first go on sale in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and is expected to sell for 399 euros ($514). The company says it has no plans yet to launch it in North America or Japan. (Wall Street Journal)


WALKMAN OUTSELLS IPOD
-- For one month in Japan, according to researchers at BCN, Sony's Walkman outsold Apple's iPod. Sony's 47.8% of sales, across a variety of models, edged out Apple's 44% share. (SlashGear)


THE ECONOMIST ON NET NEUTRALITY
"The best solution would be to require telecoms operators to open their high-speed networks to rivals on a wholesale basis, as is the case almost everywhere in the industrialised world. America's big network operators have long argued that being forced to share their networks would undermine their incentives to invest in new infrastructure, and thus hamper the roll-out of broadband. But that has not happened in other countries that have mandated such "open access", and enjoy faster and cheaper broadband than America. Net neutrality is difficult to define and enforce, and efforts to do so merely address the symptom (concern about discrimination) rather than the underlying cause (lack of competition). Rivalry between access providers offers the best protection against the erection of new barriers to the flow of information online." (The Economist)


THEATER GETS BOOST FROM CRUISES
-- The theater business is being helped by the cruise business, The Guardian points out. Cruises have plays, and cruises are an increasingly popular form of entertainment and leisure. Writes Alistair Smith of the Celebrity Eclipse: "The theatre itself was actually of a far higher standard than many of (London's) West End's crumbling playhouses - more comfy seats, better sightlines, excellent acoustics and high-end equipment. Celebrity spends up to $1m per show for three 60-minute productions on every ship in its line. Each vessel has a 1,150-seat theatre, employs a cast of 18, plus nearly 40 musicians, a stage crew of six and various other technical crew across the music lounges on the ship." (The Guardian