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  • 8:30

    • 10 out of 10
    • Weather Report
    • This is Weather Reports quintessential line-up captured live. Jaco Pastorious and Peter Erskine join Wayne Shorter and, of course, Joe Zawinul to create this masterpiece.
  • Modern Lovers

    • 10 out of 10
    • Modern Lovers
    • This timeless masterpiece is little known, but it has inspired almost as many bands as The Modern Lovers' own inspiration -- and only slightly better known -- The Velvet Underground & Nico.

  • Abnormal Anonymous

    • 8 out of 10
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    • Very few albums manage to capture snapshots of a quality of life in the manner that Congo Norvell's sophomore record, "Abnormals Anonymous," does.

      Comparisons to the Velvet Underground are

  • Rift

    • 8 out of 10
    • Phish
    • This quasi-concept album (the only of its kind) from these Vermonters finally showcased their ability to convey a message with a studio album, whereas previously they only succeeded in doing so live.
  • Another Day on Earth

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    • Brian Eno
    • In his first proper solo release since 1996's relatively cold "The Drop," Brian Eno has constructed a whimsical and ecclectic masterpiece which is arguably one of the year's strongest records thus fa

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SVI: Apple TV is Losing Momentum

Apple continues to refer to the Apple TV as a "hobby." Translated that means a "failure." It’s time for that to change if Apple really wants a to be involved in the digital living room, according to the Silicon Valley Insider on Friday.

Recently, there have been a flurry of announcements by other companies as they seek to secure the beachhead of the U.S. digital living room. Those include an LG Blu-ray player that also connects to Netflix, a new Dell mini computer with built-in HDMI ports, Verizon’s FiOS HDTV, the Roku player from Netflix [and the partnership with Microsoft and the Xbox]. Other include direct Internet connections on some Sony Bravia HDTVs so that viewers can watch movies from Sony Entertainment.

"Suddenly, Apple TV has lost most of whatever edge it may have had. It can play iTunes movies, and YouTube videos, and... well, that’s about it," Dan Frommer wrote.

It may be that while Apple is seeking to control the user experience, it’s being too selective, even when it comes to mostly non-competing video sources.

Moreover, there’s a game going on. LG or Netflix would be happy to invite selected sources, read Apple, to be available on their hardware and Apple would also be all too happy to have Netflix sign up with them. Whoever gains the upper hand will have a coveted spot underneath that new HDTV with its limited HDMI inputs. [Assuming that the customer doesn’t invest in an A/V HD receiver with multiple HDMI inputs.]

"An Apple TV with an optional Blu-ray drive could replace the DVD player in every living room. An Apple TV without one is a compromise -- there just aren’t enough movies on iTunes to make digital delivery a feasible, primary option today," Mr. Frommer opined.

TMO notes that TVPredictions made the prediction that Apple TV would be an outright failure. Mr. Frommer proposed that Apple doesn’t need to do much to make our viewing experience better and thereby improve the Apple TV chances for success -- it just needs to open up a little more to some additional, key Internet video sources.

That’s not a lot to ask.

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