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Sony's "Music Unlimited"
At a media gathering at CES on Wednesday, Sony announced it will debut a free iOS app that gives iPhone and iPod users access to the company's Music Unlimited streaming media service, reports Venture Beat.
Head of Sony Entertainment Network Tim Schaaff said that the upcoming app, scheduled for launch sometime in the first quarter of 2012, will offer users 15 million tracks piped through the company's servers.
According to Sony, its subscriber-based service has garnered one million users since its U.S. debut in 2011, though that number may rise as the Japanese company hopes to tap into the vast population of iPhone and iPod owners.
At launch, Music Unlimited was in fact limited to home use via a PlayStation 3, a PC or other internet connected set-top devices. Recently, however, access has been granted to select Android handsets after Sony-Ericsson released its own Xperia phone built on Google's mobile OS, and the company plans to continue adding to its list of compatible products.
Music Unlimited will operate like existing services, and will offer offline caching when users are away from a data connection. Competing programs like Spotify and Rdio boast identical feature sets and have already amassed a strong user base.
Schaaff said that instead of directly targeting the subscribership of competing products, Sony will use its retail and international presence and focus on wooing those who have yet to choose a cloud music service.
Pricing has yet to be announced, and there have been conflicting reports as to which iOS devices will be granted access to the service as some report that the iPad will be left out. All sources confirm that the iPhone and iPod lines will be compatible.
Tim Cook described as frugal
In an excerpt from the upcoming book "Inside Apple," Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is described as "extremely frugal," and focuses on work rather than money, reports Fortune.
Despite a recently reported $100 million stock option and ownership of one million restricted stock units (RSUs), Cook lives a relatively spartan lifestyle for a multi-millionaire and states that "money is not a motivator" for him.
A paragraph from the book illustrates just how strict Cook is with his money:
In an organization that frowned on talking about money, Cook was extraordinarily frugal. Well after he had sold more than $100 million in Apple stock, he rented a modest home in Palo Alto, a little over a mile from where Jobs lived. (In 2010, Cook finally bought a house of his own, not far from his previous rental, but hardly an extravagant one. Public records indicate he purchased the house for $1.9 million, which in Palo Alto qualifies as a modest abode.) Asked why he lived so humbly, he once said: "I like to be reminded of where I came from, and putting myself in modest surroundings helps me do that. Money is not a motivator for me.
According to Apple's proxy statement, half of the RSUs will vest in 2016 while the other half will vest in 2021 "subject to Mr. Cook's continued employment with the Company."
"Inside Apple" by Adam Lashinsky will be released on Jan. 25, 2012.
Adobe CS6 and Adobe Creative Cloud
A press release published on Wednesday by Adobe details an upgrade program in which owners of the company's Creative Suite line of professional products can upgrade to the newest version of the software at a discounted price.
In a post on the Creative Suite FAQ web page, Adobe notes that CS6 will be available later this year and current CS3 and CS4 owners are obliged to take advantage of a discounted pricing program that will be active from launch until Dec. 31, 2012.
Adobe claims that CS6 will be a major release that will bring "huge improvements for every type of creative professional" and ushers in Adobe Creative Cloud, a $49.99 monthly subscription service that features CS products, services and tools with no-cost upgrades.
Users can choose between the standard perpetual program licenses or the new Creative Cloud service, allowing a more flexible pricing plan for those who don't want or need all the tools included in CS6.
More details on pricing as well as how existing users can move to Adobe Creative Cloud will be announced alongside the release of CS6.