Last week at a press event in Austin at SXSW, Rdio gave us a look at its brand new, completely overhauled music experience. We got a look at the new Rdio, and we walked away impressed by the beauty of what the streaming music company is attempting to pull off. There are a lot of changes, and we think that most people will think they're all good.
New Rdio isn't just a visual makeover though. Wilson Miner, head of design for Rdio said, "We want back to ground zero and rethought the whole user experience from the groud up to put the focus 100% on music and people." That people part is a big deal, because social integration is a big part of the new Rdio. When you log in, you've got a constant bar on the right-hand side that shows your online contacts and what they're listening to. There's also another tab that gives recommendations of who to follow (oh, and you should definitely follow the Gear Live Rdio profile!) Wanna share a track or album with a contact? The old way still works, but now you can just drag and drop content onto contacts as well. Very fluid.
Days after Time Warner Cable announced they'd be getting HBO Go, Cablevision announced yesterday that it too had secured an agreement to offer its customers access to HBO GO streaming content.
The cable provider said customers should have access to TV shows and movies from HBO and its sister network Cinemax in the next few months.
"Given the success and popularity of our own Optimum App, we know our customers want the flexibility to watch the programming they receive as part of their cable television service in new ways, on a variety of devices, so we are very pleased to have reached agreement to offer HBO GO and MAX GO to our digital cable customers," John Trierweiler, executive vice president of product management," said in a statement.
HBO GO is accessible online via HBOGo.com and via the Roku set-top box, but subscribers can also watch on mobile devices, including the iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.
Starz Entertainment has ended contract negotiations with Netflix and will pull its content from the Watch Instantly platform effective February 28, the company announced Thursday.
"This decision is a result of our strategy to protect the premium nature of our brand by preserving the appropriate pricing and packaging of our exclusive and highly valuable content," Starz said in a statement. "With our current studio rights and growing original programming presence, the network is in an excellent position to evaluate new opportunities and expand its overall business."
In a statement, Netflix downplayed the current impact of the Starz partnership and said its content accounts for 8 percent of domestic viewing. As Netflix adds more movies and TV shows in the first quarter, it expects Starz viewing to drop to about 5-6 percent next year before the content is pulled.
Apple just released an update for the Apple TV that brings a couple of new and welcome features to the platform. First, iCloud integration for television shows. There is a new "Purchased TV Shows" area that shows all shows that you have bought, either through the iTunes Store or from the original Apple TV (the current model doesn't allow purchasing, just renting.) You can go into this area for a list of shows you own, and then can drill into that show to see which episodes you've purchased, indicated by the iCloud logo. The other feature that the update brings is Vimeo support. You can now browse and play content from Vimeo, and if you have an account, you can even put in your credentials to access your inbox and mark videos you want to watch later.
The update is available now to all.
In this episode we open up the Sonos PLAY:3, the latest wireless Hi-Fi speaker system from Sonos. The PLAY:3 is the smallest wireless speaker system that Sonos offers, allowing you to plug it in and set it up just about anywhere, but still getting big sound. You can pair two of them together for a wide stereo sound stage, and you can also turn it vertical and it will automatically go into mono sound mode. We open up the PLAY:3 and show you how it looks - be on the lookout for our PLAY:3 review over on Bleeding Edge TV!
You can get the Sonos PLAY:3 now for $299.
Big thanks to our sponsor - GoToMeeting makes it easy to collaborate with anyone, anywhere - and they have just released their new HD faces feature that lets you see the webcams of up to 6 users as a time. Also, be sure and grab a free $5 credit from JackThreads now!
Netflix subscribers, you're gonna wanna pay close attention, because the company has announces some new plans and price changes that will affect everyone. Here's the long and short of it--Netflix has decided to split their DVD rental service and Watch Instantly streaming service into two separate offerings, each with their own pricing models. First, Netflix Watch Instantly unlimited streaming now costs $7.99 per month, and that does not include any DVDs by mail. Unlimited DVDs now start at $7.99 per month, 1 out at-a-time, and it does not include access to Watch Instantly. In fact, none of the DVD plans include Watch Instantly access. Access to each service now starts at $7.99 per month, so if you want both, it will now cost you $15.98, which is up from the $9.99 that it would have cost you yesterday.
The new pricing goes into effect today for new customers, and existing Netflix members will see the new pricing go into effect on or after September 1.
Read More | Netflix Blog
Amazon said late Wednesday that it will allow customers to store an unlimited amount of music on its Cloud Drive and Cloud Player, provided customers purchase a storage plan.
Amazon also announced a Cloud Player web app for the Apple iPad.
Amazon launched its Cloud Player in March, a companion to the Amazon Cloud Drive. At the time, the service came with up to 5GB of free, online music storage, expandable to 20 GB with the purchase of an MP3 album at the Amazon Music Store.
Additional storage plans start at $20 per year for 20 Gbytes of storage.
To encourage users to subscribe to those premium plans, Amazon is effectively eliminating MP3 files against that tally, allowing users to store 20 Gbytes of photos (or documents, or other content), rather than divvy it up. Amazon also said that users can store all of their MP3 or AAC files that they purchased through Amazon for free, and they won't count against the quota, either. Those files cover new files that a user might purchase as well as older files that a user bought before the new promotion.
Looks like Spotify has finally gotten those US record labels in check, as it has put up a page on its site inviting US users to submit their email addresses in order to gain early access! Spotify is the super-popular music streaming service that has taken Europe by storm, offering free access to millions of tracks on-demand from your computer or smartphone. The company has been trying to launch in the US for quite some time, but has seen numerous hurdles and delays. It looks like that's all been turned around now though, and you'll soon be able to ditch your Rhapsody, MOG, and Rdio subscriptions for another service that pretty much does the same thing.
Read More | Spotify US
This deal marks the first time that Miramax movies have been available through a digital subscription service, Netflix said.
Starting June, subscribers will be able to access movies Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love, The English Patient, Good Will Hunting, Bad Santa, Scream, Spy Kids, The Piano, and Kill Bill. Netflix will add "hundreds" of Miramax titles, which will be added to Watch Instantly on a rotating basis, the company said.
"From day one, we've been very clear about the importance of digital and our desire to respond to the significant pent-up demand for our films—delivering to consumers whenever and wherever they want," Mike Lang, CEO of Miramax, said in a statement. "This agreement is an important first step in our digital strategy. Netflix has always been a trailblazer, with a tremendous track record of innovation and quality customer service. We're thrilled to now be in business with them as we build and revitalize the proud Miramax brand."
Passengers on American Airlines flights are about to get a new perk. Instead of craning their necks to catch reruns of "Monk" and excerpts from "The Tonight Show" on tiny aisle TV sets, they'll be able to wirelessly stream content to their personal devices from the comfort of their own seats.
American announced Tuesday that it will begin testing an inflight streaming service, created through a partnership with Aircell, that gives customers choices of movies and TV shows that they can stream to Wi-Fi-enabled devices in the air.
"American was the first North American airline to launch inflight Wi-Fi, and today we again set a new industry standard as the first domestic airline to test inflight streaming video content," American's vice president of marketing, Rob Friedman, said in a statement. "We know our customers want to be connected on the ground and in the sky, so we are working hard to stay on the leading edge of connectivity through technology enhancements like this."
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