Amazon Prime is the best deal in tech, and now Amazon aims to make it's two-day shipping, Kindle Lending Library, and instant movie and television streaming service a bit more accessible with an alternate price structure. Amazon customers now have the option of paying $7.99 per month for a Prime membership, which some may find more palatable compared to the yearly $79 lump sum pricing. Obviously, paying for a year up front offers a 20% savings, but we're sure many will opt for the monthly payment interval. Some are calling this a direct shot at Netflix and Hulu, each of which also offer instant streaming of television and movies, however, both lack any sort of shipping option (or retail store,) or monthly ebook lending library.
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Xbox Music has hit the Xbox 360 consoles of beta users, and now we are hearing that the fill service rollout is set for October 26th, just three weeks from now, and the same day that Windows 8 is released. Reportedly, the rollout will begin with the Xbox 360, Windows 8, and Windows Phone, with iOS and Android Xbox Music apps coming soon after. Smart. The service will have a paid subscription, as well as a free, ad-supported option as well.
Read More | The Verge
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
Amazon has announced yet another video sponsorship for Prime Instant Video, this time with premium cable network Epix. The partnership will bring over 3,000 movies from the likes of Lionsgate, Paramount, and MGM to Amazon's streaming offering, including movies like The Avengers, The Hunger Games, Thor, and more. Amazon and Epix have announced that this is a multi-year licensing deal. Amazon Prime Instant Video is available as one of many perks of the $79 per year Amazon Prime membership. The Epix titles will be available 90 days after they appear on Epix VOD. Netflix had previously held an exclusive license for Epix content, which has now expired.
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In a move that's far overdue, Apple has finally launched Hulu Plus on the Apple TV. A software update was released early this morning that adds the Hulu Plus app to the second- and third-generation Apple set-top-box, but it's a behind-the-scenes update. All you need to do is restart your Apple TV if you don't see Hulu Plus on the home screen.
Users can get a 1-week trial, log in with their existing Hulu Plus account, or subscribe right from the Apple TV using their connected iTunes account.
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E3 is right around the corner (a.k.a. next week) and word has slipped that Microsoft is planning to introduce a product called Smart Glass at the event. Xbox Smart Glass will be a companion application that you use with the console that will allow you to send video to the Xbox 360 from a smartphone or tablet, similar to what you can do with an iOS device and Apple TV using AirPlay. The cool part? Aside from naturally running on Windows 8 tablets and Windows Phone devices, Smart Glass will also run on iOS and Android in a multiplatform play for supremacy. About time, Microsoft.
Read More | Examiner
If you're an Amazon Prime member who also owns an Xbox 360, listen up! Amazon has just announced the launch of its Instant Video platform for the Xbox 360 for those who are both Xbox Live Gold members and also belong to Amazon Prime. The Amazon Xbox 360 app gives users access to the 17,000 movies and television episodes available on the service, and even those who aren't Prime members can still access the video-on-demand purchase and rental service. The Amazon app also includes support for Kinect. If you're in the US, you can download it now. Check out a video of how it all works after the break.
Just a quick PSA for all you music lovers out there--that new Rdio design we recently talked about? Well, it's now live for everyone. Our favorite streaming music service has rolled out the new clean look for all, and it's pretty fantastic. Check out a video walkthrough below.
Read More | Rdio
Step aside, Bluetooth, as Koss has just unveiled a new line of headphones that stream music wirelessly over Wi-Fi. The new headphone line is called Striva, and they access audio channels delivered from the Internet that you organized and choose using the MyKoss.com dashboard interface. In addition, you can also use any device that has a headphone port. You just plug in the CAP (content access point) and the headphones can then tune into music from devices like smartphones, tablets, etc.
To start, there'll be two Striva models on the market--the over-ear Striva Pro ($450 USD,) and the in-ear Striva Tap ($500,) both of which include touch-sensitive gesture-based technology that lets you switch channels and manage volume by using swipes and taps. Check out a video explaining it all below.
Spotify is set to reveal a special announcement in just five days. The CEO of the music streaming service, Daniel Ek, will be giving a keynote address at Ad Age Digital, and immediately after, Spotify will hit us with the news. Of course, as soon as the announcement is made, we'll give you the scoop on what's up. In the meantime, what do you think it'll be? Sound off in the comments!