Just in time for the holidays, a new version of infinite carousel is on the way this week! The new version is completely re-written and has several new features. Among them, the ability to display videos as well as images, easier styling, tighter code and a new slick countdown timer. As long as these elves keep pounding at their keyboards, Santa will be able to deliver this new release this week.
At first I thought my eyes were beginning to go when I ran some Google searches today. It seemed as if Google’s links were brighter than they used to be. Knowing how Google likes to run tests in the wild, I decided to fire up another browser, stay logged out, and ran the same search. Low and behold I was right. Google was testing brighter links. See a blown up, unedited version for yourself:
On the left is the normal Google links color and on the right is the version being tested. As you can see, the purple and green link colors are slightly different and more bright. Personally I didn’t like looking at an entire page of links this color but who knows what Google will decide to do.
So last night I received my invitation for Google Music (beta). In case you haven’t heard about it, Google is launching their own cloud music player that allows you to listen to your MP3 music collection from virtually anywhere you can access the web. So if you’re like me and have an extensive library of music and wish you didn’t have to copy it to every place you wanted to hear it, then you might find this a cool new service.
Google’s Music is similar to Amazon’s Cloud Player which launched a couple of months ago. In fact they’re so similar they’re nearly the same service. Amazon gives you 5GB of free space to upload your music and bumps you up to 20GB if you buy an MP3 album. Google is slightly different in that they allow you to store 20,000 songs in your account. I looked at their help site and didn’t see any news about if you could upgrade that or if they plan to charge in the future. Both services play your music through modern web browsers just fine and aside from some occasional buffer stutter, both seem to do what they promise. Neither service currently has an app for the iPhone but both do for Android users. I have to imagine that this will change in the future and it is possible (although kludgey) to play both Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player via the iPhone web browser.
I have to say I think that could computing is perfect for storing and playing music. I worry about my computer dying and my backup not being recoverable, therefore losing my pictures and music in the process. Having the cloud option is one nice way of not having to worry about losing all my tunes while at the same time being able to use them.
Of course Apple is also rumored to be nearing the debut of their cloud music service but as of this post it’s only a rumor.
So, what are the pros and cons to Google Music?
- Easy to use
- Comes with some free music
- Works in most browsers
- Free (for now)
- Good amount of storage space
- Can’t share songs
- Occasional network stutter
- Needs separate desktop application installed to transfer your music to the cloud
- No iPhone app
So if you’re into storing and playing music from the cloud, sign up for an invitation to Google Music and in the meantime, use Amazon ;)
In case you missed the Google developer conference news this week, one cool item that came out of it was the online version of Angry Birds. Build almost entirely in HTML it’s just like the smartphone version (and free). Check it out at http://chrome.angrybirds.com. Note that it works best in Chrome but can also be played in Firefox.
In Internet terms I’m old. I used the first real web browser, NCSA’s Mosaic, back in the early 1990’s. Mosaic was quickly eclipsed by Netscape and Internet Explorer. And that was it for a long time. Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Kind of like Coke and Pepsi. The big two. After that it’s all a blur as the market gradually changed to include Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, and a handful of lesser known browsers. Today, the leaders of the browser wars are IE, Firefox and Chrome. IMO Opera is a good browser but doesn’t have the traction that the other browsers do. Safari is also decent, but if it weren’t bundled with Macs and iOS devices it probably wouldn’t have as high a market share as it does (I know, the same could be said for Microsoft bundling IE with Windows).
Anyway, within the past couple of weeks we’ve seen the release of IE9, Firefox 4, and Chrome 10; the latest and greatest in the web browser arena or se we’re being told. They have more bells and whistles and are more standards compliant than ever before. Here’s my problem. I don’t think we’re any better off today than we were back in the 1990’s. Why is that you ask? Well, I’m happy to tell you. Continue reading The Latest Batch of Web Browsers — Are We Any Better Off?