More Difficult than Expected to sell Ringtone at iTMS Japan

It’s really in late fall on Japanese calendar, but a little bit earlier to see the season’s most beautiful mountains covered with fall foliage.   Here in Lake Yamanaka, there is an annual fall foliage festival for two-weeks-long starting last weekend.

My mentor invited me here, and I talked a lot about Apple and its surroundings with him and Matsuki-san.

Matsuki-san, who has been releasing and selling Audiobook series at iTune Music Store (iTMS) Japan, started selling some albums of ringtones for iPhone as well.

iTMS U.S. allowed users to pick a specific 30-second-part of tunes listed, for setting it to ringtone of their own iPhones.

Japanese edition does not have such a feature, which maybe depends on the difference of copyright control system in each nation.   In Japan, “Chaku-Melo” (ringtone without performer’s voice singing lyric) requires paying copyright fee only to its composer via JASRAC or Japan’s copyright control authority, but “Chaku-Uta” (ringtone with performer’s voice singing lyric) does paying fees both to its record label company as well as to its composer.   But if someone picked a short-time part of an entire tune and made it a ringtone of his or her iPhone device, iTMS Japan would have no business scheme to handle it.

Matsuki-san overcame these issues and started selling brand-new Chaku-Uta tunes at iTMS Japan.   iTMS Japan does not allow to pick a specific part of tunes listed, but you may bring your favourite ringtone to your iPhone by the procedure almost same as that of U.S. edition described above.

At MOSA’s seminar scheduled on November 8th, he intends to explain how to overcome the issues on registration to iTMS and AppStore.

http://www.mosa.gr.jp/?p=1965&page=2

So stay tuned on that.

Live Stream by iPhone Alone

When I was participating Tech Crunch 50 in San Francisco last month, I found a cute Chinese-American girl at an exhibitor’s booth.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a shot with her then, but she explained qik, an innovative cellphone stream-casting service.

She said “So far you may not use qik application unless your iPhone jail broken. But may I have your business card for future notice?”

That’s why I dropped her my card.

This week I got a custom-made qik iPhone app from them (I think it would be only for TechCrunch 50 attendees), which can be installed onto jail-unbroken iPhone, actually I did. And I ran it on my way to home.

It realizes about 250kbps uplink throughput at average, in the bus travelling as fast as 50 kilometers an hour.

Its motion comes up smoothly. You may bring a live streaming with an iPhone device alone. Both visual and audio quality are not so bad.

Because qik may cause overload to cellphone network and cellphone carriers claimed it to Apple, qik application is not available at iPhone AppStore. Then I found an interview of Mr. Miyakawa, Softbank Mobile’s CTO.

http://www.toyokeizai.net/business/interview/detail/AC/41ae5c76a7018abe6289b53e0351a417/

Softbank Mobile will start discount sales of Planex WiFi routers in order to reduce the traffic of the company’s cellphone 3G network, but I think they had better distribute FON routers for free instead. And if they distribute it together with Yahoo BB’s ISP contract, they earn the money in an entire company group, although cellphone carrier and ISP are different Softbank’s subsidiaries.

Let me say it again, qik is a completely good work. When we watch TV live programs covering F1 car race championships, we see live pictures by “on-board camera” which is embedded in running cars. Similarly, how about marathon runner’s neck-hanging iPhone with qik application? It enables livecasting at the level of athlete’s sights as TV watchers would be running together with, and it gains a sense of really being there.

If a number of runners use qik with iPhone at huge events like Tokyo Marathon and Oume Marathon, for instance, it would be very interesting as social movements, but Softbank Mobile will give up to keep the service availability.

I wonder if IBM’s WiFi handover technologies would be spread over more in the near future to solve the problem.

Open Web Asia 2008

I’m in Seoul.

There is a syndication site called “Open Web Asia“, which organizes tech blogs reporting web industries and services from every nation in Asia. The site’s organizers held an event in Seoul today, which is named “Open Web Asia ’08“.

Today I brought you live stream of the conference, and recorded video have been already uploaded to Asiajin.
http://asiajin.com/blog/2008/10/14/open-web-asia-08-video-report/

Only the first session was not uploaded due to technical difficulties on WiFi, I will do that later.

Enjoy the show.

Meeting Two Andrews

I visited Cerego Japan’s office in Shibuya, and Mr. Andrew Shuttleworth, co-organizer of a Tokyo-based monthly event “tokyo2point0”, introduced me to Mr. Andrew Smith Lewis, founder of the company.

When Cerego Japan released an application called “BrainSpeed” around the beginning of this year,  I covered a story about their language learning site “iKnow!” in my serial column of Fuji Sankei Business-i Newspaper.   But this time, I got so impressed with a new style of learning languages one another by the contents created by the users themselves, and the new type of advertising based business model that I’ve never heard of.


(Right) Andrew Smith Lewis, Founder of Cerego Japan
(Left)  Andrew Shuttleworth, Organizer of tokyo2point0

Cerego Japan won an award called “DEMOgods” at a tech conference “DEMO”, which was held in the 2nd week of last month, I could not witness it because I was in San Francisco to attend Tech Crunch 50.

I’m looking forward to iKnow’s new features coming soon.

http://www.iknow.co.jp

CNET Japan covers iKnow! and Cerego Japan in detail.
http://japan.cnet.com/special/media/story/0,2000056936,20367453,00.htm

Debut on Asiajin

I posted my first article to Asiajin, an English blog bringing web-related news from Japan to the overseas.

http://asiajin.com/blog/2008/10/03/golf-digest-online-suspended-its-service-due-to-malicious-attacks/

With my poor skill of writing in English, I’d like to keep contributing if I have time.

I just have to finish up my story for IT Leaders magazine, but I did one for Asiajin without thinking the order.

Now, I do my best to finish up the story for IT Leaders.

JAIC Mobile Day and Mizudaki-chaya (J-style Bar & Grill)

I visited “Mobile Day” at JAIC or Japan Asia Investment Co.,Ltd.

There were the presentations by Mr. Kitamura and Mr. Quaeed Motiwala, they both are working for JAIC’s US subsidiary based in Palo Alto.

 

It contains JAIC’s portfolio describing which ventures they invest in, and the latest trends about US mobile industries.

By the way, when I was in San Francisco the other day, I also visited the annual convention of CTIA Wireless, but I could find nothing interesting there. And, in order to find something new, I visited JAIC’s event today.

They said this year’s focusing-on is “Location Based Service” (LBS in short can be also understood among the people), Mr. Motiwala raised “Loopt” as one the most pupular LBS services.

As featured on TechCrunch previously, it is an application to let you informed of friends who are near you geographically.

Loopt has released iPhone App as well, but it’s unavailable at Japanese iTune AppStore, as alerted with the message shown above.

As soon as I finished greeting to the event organizers and some audiences whom I know, moved on to Shinsen, Shibuya.

This is a Japanese-style diner called Mizuchaya, previously I introduced it with its curry menu in lunch time (http://digitalway.iza.ne.jp/blog/entry/551675), the diner’s chef “Nitchan” changed evening menu and style as well, and it’s gonna be a diner focusing on Shamo Mizudaki or one-pot dish of gamecock with vegetables at the table.


It was a party commemorating the renewal.

I ate a dinner too much before being in Mizuchaya to take another many dishes, the chef kindly cooked a relish for me.

I drank some glasses of shochu (rough distilled Japanese spirits), and it was already 2am when I found myself. I’ve been off my guard despite the next day was a weekday, no doubt.