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Microsoft pulled Xbox Music from the ashes of the failed Zune platform — a great MP3 Player and iTunes-like service that never caught a toehold with the community. Now, the company seeks to compete with the likes of major players such as Spotify, Rdio, Pandora and more by making its music service available to a wider range of audience with the introduction of one more platform for your listening pleasure — in this case the web.

In the past, the service has been shackled to Microsoft-centric devices like Windows Phone and Surface tablets, but now it reaches critical mass with the introduction of a web-based version of the of the music app. (more…)

We all capture thousands of photos every day and share them on different online services. The problem arises when you have to save those images on a single platform. It may not be the best idea to upload photos from every device you own and then save it on your computer or on any other cloud storage service. If you are looking for a place to upload more photos, you should give Picturelife a try.

Picturelife is a new startup founded by OMGPOP’s founder Charles Forman. It permits users to backup their photos from different devices. Currently, the service works with iPhone, Android, Windows and Mac. Once installed, it automatically creates a backup of all your photos online so that you can access them online.

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As July approaches, an increasing number of Google fans get worried about how they are going to continue getting the updates from their favorite RSS feeds. Why? Because not too long ago, Google announced its nonsensical decision to shut down one of its most popular services – Google Reader – once and for all. The date is set for July 1st and users of the service are looking to find a competent alternative.

Fortunately for internet users, the web provides a wide variety of feeds subscribing services to choose from. With Google Reader shutting down, people might be looking for something that is not only a replacement but a ‘fresh’ replacement, to be more precise i.e. that is new, has an appealing interface, and is just as functional as Google Reader. Here to be that very replacement is a service that offers all that and much more called InoReader.

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I have been using Pocket since it was known as Read It Later, and it’s served my purposes brilliantly, replacing Evernote whose interface I never much cared for. Whenever I come across an article or video that I want to revisit later, I add it to Pocket and forget about it. But there is still one feature in Evernote that I sorely miss: tagging.

When I first came across FaveBucket, it seemed to offer the perfect marriage: Pocket’s lovely interface and Evernote’s robust tagging and categorising abilities. What’s more, it also offers an ability to password-protect bookmarks. So how does it actually fare in real-world?

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For so long, blogging has dominated online publishing. Virtually every site which publishes content with any regularity displays posts in a date-ordered stream, no matter whether the content is news, social media updates, photos, or videos. It says a lot, also, that the world’s favourite CMS, WordPress, is designed, primarily, for blogging.

In many cases, the blog style of presentation works perfectly well, particularly when it comes to time-critical content. That said, it can hardly be the only worthwhile method of digital publishing – true creativity cannot be achieved if everyone has to use the same template.

ReadyMag is a new service which aims to fix this problem with a blank canvas, in the form of a digital magazine. Web based, but very mobile-friendly, this invite beta startup is hoping that, given the right tools, many of us will want to publish our content in a linear, self-contained format. But is print-shaped publishing really the next big thing in online content?

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I’ve got a serious problem: I’m addicted to music. It’s unusual for me to not be listening to music, especially when I’m working. The stereo is always on when I drive. Headphones are on when I walk the dog or go the gym. I’ve been in and fronted multiple musical groups, from alternative indie to heavy metal. I own hundreds of CDs, but made the transition to going all-digital over my university career, when I valued portability over all else.

These days, I’ve got multiple devices, each with a finite amount of hard drive space. I’ve got an iPod Classic that can hold everything, but my iPhone and iPads are both much more limited. My Android devices have even less room to spare. Rdio recently saved the day. We reviewed Rdio in 2011, but a lot has changed since then. Read on to find out what still makes Rdio worth the subscription today. (more…)

The online education field is rapidly expanding. There are old warhorses like Khan Academy, new educators like Coursera, and universities getting into the game, like MIT’s OpenCourseWare and CalTech’s many online courses. Indeed, you can actually consider getting a full education on the web, maybe even for free.

But while the “classroom” is going online, the tools we use to study often aren’t reflecting the changes. As a student, you are watching a video on a screen, and that makes it difficult to take notes and share them with your classmates — unless you want to go back to writing your notes on paper.

That’s where VideoNot.es comes in. It’s an online notepad designed to make it simple to take notes from your online lectures. It’s one of the few apps designed specifically for distance learners, and if you’re taking a course online, you should be sure to check it out.

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I love Instapaper. I’ve used the bookmarklet web app before I had an iOS device to read from, even when the web interface was — admittedly — rather ugly. But it still made reading longform articles much nicer than reading on most websites, especially back in 2009.

I tried the original Read it Later, and then gave Readability a shot. Pocket came along, and I dismissively tried it and left it behind, returning each time to the familiarity of Instapaper. I liked the service, Marco’s stand on how he ran his businesses, and — most of all — I loved discovering new articles in Instapaper from The Feature and Instapaper’s deceptively simple built-in social network.

All the while, Pocket kept adding features and improving its service, while Instapaper stayed the same — good, but not moving forward. The more I heard about it, the more I knew I had to give it a more serious try. With Instapaper being sold to Betaworks, it seemed like the perfect time to give its chief competitor a shot.

So I jumped over the fence to see if the grass was truly greener on the other side. (more…)

Tablets are being used in all industries for a variety of well-deserved reasons, including in consumer-facing businesses which can utilise the interactivity that a tablet could provide to present information to customers. However, the expense of time, money and resources has always been set fairly high, perhaps high enough to push businesses away from the idea or to simply block them off from being able to even think about doing so.

That’s where Showcase Workshop comes in, a web app all about creating interactive presentations and then distributing them amongst your organisation. Let’s take a look. (more…)

Television watching continues to evolve and we are starting to see a movement towards it becoming more social than ever before. Apps are being used as what are called “second screens”, where people can interact about a show on their iPad while they are watching it on their tv. I truly believe that over the next couple of years we will start to continue to see an even bigger change in the television set itself as well as the way we watch shows and movies on it. With the advent of the Apple TV and Airplay, you can already start to see how the TV is becoming more than just a place where we sit to watch our favorite show or play video games.

To continue some of the nostalgia of it all, how many of you are old enough to remember what the paper version of the TV Guide used to be? I remember as a kid searching that thing weekly to see when my shows were going to be on for the week. Now, it is a relic and has been replaced in a variety of ways. One of them is a web app that I am going to be reviewing today called Next Guide. It takes parts of the old and mixes it with the new and tosses in some social features.

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