I’m something of a font junky, thanks to my history in print, so I was very glad of the chance to see a comprehensive Look at the New Microsoft Fonts at The NeoSmart Files. I actually saw most of these fonts at last year’s Typographica conference (where I also saw the first public look at QuarkXPress 7, a story I wrote up for Publish.com).
At Typographica, Matthew Carter – one of the designers behind the new fonts – gave a talk on them, and the one thing that I remember was his statement that the fonts had been designed with resolution independance in mind: they had to look good from 72dpi upwards, and be extremely readable on high resolution, dense-pixel screens.
I think they’ve done a good job – and in particular I love Calibri.
I’ve been resolutly ignoring the departure of Amanda "Z-List" Congdon from RocketBoom, but, on the principle that everything is funnier in comic form, I point you at Rocketboom the comic.
I love the fact that someone who creates content that never hit more than a million downloads (and more often did around 300,000) can cause such wailing and gnashing of teeth around the Blogosphere, while the same bunch of people nod their head in agreement with Chris Anderson that "the era of the blockbuster is over". By comparison, the best selling album in the US of 2005 (Mariah Carey – people, are you nuts?) sold 6 million copies, closely followed by 50 Cent (nearly 6 million). An average episode of Desperate Housewives reaches 14 million households.
Does this whole video podcasting thing remind anyone else of Warhol’s quote that "in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes"? I think that Andy would have LOVED all this.
In The Rise and Fall of the Hit Christ Anderson claims the era of the hit is over, and extends this to other forms of content.
I’m going to work on something about this, because my hunch is that Chris is wrong: what’s dying is, in fact, just bad repetitive "more of the same" work. Where something is unique, it does well: look at the 21 million people who watched England’s world cup game with Paraguay in the UK. Of the top 10 box office movies, nine were made in the last ten years, and seven in the past five. When a film like Titanic can make $1.8 billion on sales alone after having cost $200 million to make, there’s still a lot of profit to be made on Blockbusters: it takes an awful lot of small-budget movies to make up a profit of $1.6 billion.
Engadget has this little interesting snippet on Microsoft’s plans to launch a portable music player:
But it gets better. To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you’ve already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They’ll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it’ll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player.
I’ve banged on for a long time about the lock-in between iPod and iTMS, and this seems like a good way to break it – although an expensive one for Microsoft. Even assuming that David Card’s research is correct and most people have 20 or less iTMS songs on their iPod, that could still work out at around $10 per iPod convert. And of course, it raises the question of whether this will act as a disincentive to buy from Microsoft’s own service (or it’s partners). Why buy from them when you can buy from iTunes, and get the same song on both platforms? Or will the scan be a "one-time-only" thing?