Wal-Mart is making its way into the DRM-free music download market. The retailer has announced that EMI music and Universal Music will be participating in its music download service which will offer DRM-free tracks for the price of 94 cents each, which is five cents cheaper than tracks containing DRM-coding sell for on popular sites such as Sony Connect and Apple's iTunes. Universal music, which is the largest music publisher in the world, did not give iTunes permission to sell its DRM-free songs when iTunes went into the market earlier this year.
Music software company RealNetworks Inc. and Viacom Inc's MTV Networks have announced that they will be joining forces and are planning to merge their online music offerings. The two companies are hoping to create stronger competition for Apple's iTunes. The joint service is expected to use Verizon Wireless for its mobile distribution. It is likely that the agreement between MTV and RealNetworks will mean the end of the service that MTV launched last year with Microsoft, Urge.
Software company Vlingo Corp. has made available a beta version of its new speech recognition software for mobile phones. The software will allow users to pull up maps and search results by speaking the search queries into the phone. The software allows users to do searches without confining them to a predetermined list of words which are offered by other voice recognition software packages. The software uses what Vlingo is calling adaptive hierarchical language models in order to learn user speech patterns, accents and words, which will improve the software's accuracy over time.