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  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Once More, with Feeling

    • 10 out of 10
    • Various Artists
    • Most musical episodes of TV shows frankly stink. They are usually little more than ill-conceived vehicles intended to let the stars show off what musical talent they have. Once More, With Feeling,

  • Velocifero

    • 6 out of 10
    • Ladytron
    • "Back to the future" isn't the right turn of phrase for Ladytron's newest album,

  • Is This It

    • 10 out of 10
    • The Strokes
    • The Strokes set the music world on fire with this 2001 album, with headlines declaring that the New York band was here to save Rock and Roll. While the band hasn't made as much of a splash since t

  • Billy Miles

    • 10 out of 10
    • Billy Miles
    • Take the voice of a young Billie Holiday and stuff it into a svelte, petite body with the face of an angel, and you have some idea of what it's like to experience the music of Billy Miles in her self-
  • Gimme Fiction

    • 10 out of 10
    • Spoon
    • Gimme Fiction by Spoon is a terrific album by an Austin band that I was lucky enough to catch on an Austin radio station during a Christmas visit.

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News

BW: Web Video Poised to Go Mainstream

Web-based video has had its problems in its infancy. Now, industry partners are working on the infrastructure and technology changes that will take Web video from an experimental affair into mainstream America, according to BusinessWeek on Friday.

For example, CBS is streaming every game of the NCAA basketball tournament to 500,000 people who pre-registered. Others can still get the stream, but they may have to wait a bit. That’s going a little better than Oprah Winfrey’s experiment in which 700,000 viewers tried to watch her Webcasts.

Despite glitches, emerging technologies may be on the cusp of delivering Web video as easily as the dedicated cable and satellite feeds we’ve become accustomed to. Verizon and Cablevison are spending billions of dollars to expand bandwidth into homes and cell phones. AT&T and Verizon together just spent US$16.3B in the 700 MHz radio spectrum auction to deliver high speed wireless services.

In addition, the Content Distribution Networks (CDN) play an important role. Akamai, with 30,000 servers is the biggest and carries that March madness video in addition to Apple’s iTunes traffic.

The current efforts are aimed at both infrastructure improvements and technological changes, BusinessWeek’s Peter Burrows pointed out. Limelight Networks which uses servers that can hold, then relay more content is one, however they’ve run into a patent dispute with Akamai. "We’ve spent 10 years getting ready for the broadband explosion," said Akamai CEO Paul Sagan. "Our original patents were all about video and rich media."

A new appreciation for P2P technology, suspect for the uses it has specialized in the past, has also emerged. Renaming the technology (P4P) and pressing it into commercial use has taken some of the antagonism out of the equation.

Soon, the marriage of infrastructure and new technologies will begin to make Web video routine for everyone. "Every time we reach a new frontier -- a million simultaneous users, or 5 million, or 15 million´┐Żyou’re going to see glitches," said Mike Gordon with Limelight. "They’ll get fixed, and we’ll move on. We’ve got to," he added.

How fast that change comes and whether it will harm the legacy DVD and emerging Blu-ray business probably isn’t as important as the serendipitous effects of new products that will be enabled by all that bandwidth.

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