Well, the rumors were correct on the mysterious device that momentarily showed up on Google's support page. The Chromecast is a media dongle that allows you to sling web content the web and cloud-stored content, using a smartphone or Chrome browser as a remote control. It's a bummer that it still doesn't have the ability to stream or mirror content stored on the device like Apple's AirPlay, but hey, for $35, we can't complain.
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As we reported months ago, Pandora has finally come to Windows Phone 8. Even better, Windows Phone 8 users get free ad-free listening for the rest of the year, a feature that typically costs $3.99 per month, or $36 per year, known as Pandora One. A few weeks back, Pandora also announced a monthly 40-hour listening cap for free users, so this makes Pandora on Windows Phone 8 the best bang for your buck--provided you want to use a Windows Phone. One other cool feature is that Pandora integrates in with the Windows Phone Kid's Corner feature. When in Kid's Corner, Pandora doesn't show or play any explicit content. You can download it now.
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If you love listening to Pandora when you're on the go, you may have to start paying up. Pandora has announced that it will now be capping mobile users to 40 hours of listening per month. If you reach that cap, the music will stop, and you'll need to pay a fee of $.99 if you'd like to continue listening for the remainder of the month. The reason behind this is the rising costs of the per-track royalty rates that Pandora has to pay.
"Pandora’s per-track royalty rates have increased more than 25% over the last 3 years, including 9% in 2013 alone and are scheduled to increase an additional 16% over the next two years. After a close look at our overall listening, a 40-hour-per-month mobile listening limit allows us to manage these escalating costs with minimal listener disruption."
Pandora says this should only affect about 4% of its users, so it shouldn't be a huge deal. Subscribers to the Pandora One service, which eliminated the ads altogether for $36 per year, are not affected.
Read More | Pandora
Ford and Spotify have announced a partnership that sees the popular streaming music service make an appearance in Ford vehicles. Spotify is now compatible with Ford SYNC AppLink, streaming its catalog of over 20 million tracks over the car radio. You'll need to download the new iOS or Android Spotify apps to take advantage of the new hotness. You be able to access your songs, playlists, and custom stations, and can even control things with voice commands. Aside from Spotify, Ford SYNC AppLink allows you to access other service, like Pandora, Amazon Cloud Player, MOG, Slacker, and Rhapsody.
Read More | Ford
Microsoft is touting a bunch of the new apps that will be coming to Windows Phone 8, and one it's really excited about is Pandora. You're in for a little bit of a wait for the app, as it won't appear for Windows Phone 8 users until early 2013, but when it does, it will offer ad-free listening for the first year. That's basically free 12-month subscription to Pandora One from Microsoft for users of its new smartphones. Pretty nice.
Ever wonder how your favorite tech companies, apps, services or social networks like Facebook and Twitter actually make money? Do they even make a profit? This cool HTML5 optimized page by RCS See Interactive answers that very question. It gathers up all of that info and breaks it down into categories in a cool interactive way. It lets you know which companies make money from advertising, subscriptions, lead generation, selling your data (yep, that happens a lot!), freemium models, and royalties. Go check it out! Tap any circle and what you find may surprise you.
Read More | How Do They Make Money?
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is working on a streaming music service that would give iTunes, Spotify- or Pandora-like functionality. However, the details are scarce at the moment. Here's a Tweet from Dennis K. Berman:
Read More | WSJ
Having a DVR has been my favorite upgrade since getting a high definition TV with HD programing to pair. Though I didn’t think the DVR could get any better, Dish Network decided to prove me wrong. As much as we love our DVR’s here at Gear Live, we love our music just as much (just check us out on Rdio.) That being said, Dish has now introduced Pandora Radio as an added bonus to its DVRs. You’ll now not only be able to watch any prerecorded show you saved to the DVR, but also enjoy your beats from any room in the house connected to the DVR. You can read the full press release below.
We sat in on a panel where Pandora's Jackson Gates, Daren Tsui of mSpot, and Kevin Wortis were interviewed by Gartner's Mike McGuire about the future of cloud music services at SXSW. It was an interesting discussion, focusing on what the benefit of the cloud brings to music, and the problems associated with expecting users to pay for something that they've been used to getting for free for at least a generation. It's an interesting time, and obviously the models differ substantially for companies like Pandora and Spotify, for example. Click on through for the highlights of the discussion!
In this episode we give you a look at the Cadillac User Experience, also known as Cadillac CUE. This is the new infotainment system that you can expect to find in the upcoming Cadillac XTS and Cadillac SRX as a standard feature, as well as an optional feature on the upcoming Cadillac ATS as well. Cadillac CUE offers a bunch of cool, new features that make driving more fun:
Connectivity: CUE seamlessly connects you to a world of content. Its available 3D GPS navigation system has map-integrated Doppler weather reports. It accesses every contact and song on your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. It reads text messages aloud and streams Pandora Radio. With downloadable custom apps, its content possibilities are endless. With CUE, you are always connected.
Convenience: CUE starts with a clean, uncluttered design. From there, intuition takes over. Spread your fingers to zoom in closer on a map. Swipe to breeze through your music. Program the homepage to keep your favorites front and center. With fewer buttons and more intelligent controls, CUE also offers natural voice recognition, allowing you to effortlessly place phone calls and play music.
Control: Proximity-sensing technology detects your hand as it approaches the 8-inch LCD touch screen. When an icon is pressed, the screen pulses to acknowledge the command, keeping your eyes safely on the road. Even the gauge cluster is reconfigurable (select models), offering four display layouts that mix vehicle data, such as a speedometer and fuel gauge, with navigation, entertainment and 3-D vehicle image.
Big thank you to GoToMeeting and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! GoToMeeting provides rich, super-simple collaborative virtual meetings. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like on the site.