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Sonos app hits big 5.0: Universal search, smarter playlists, more

Sonos app hits big 5.0: Universal search, smarter playlists, more

Sonos has pushed out its new Sons app for iOS and Android, graduating the software from beta, and bringing universal search, musical alarms, and smoother multi-room support to all users. The new Sonos Software v5.0 updates the interface considerably, but it's the ability to search for music across all available sources rather than one at a time that will likely please avid listeners.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gets second season with Agent Carter spinoff

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gets second season with Agent Carter spinoff

Joss Whedon's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been renewed for a second season, patchy ratings aside, with ABC opting to not only bring the Marvel universe characters back, but to make a spin-off too, Marvel's Agent Carter. The news - as well as giving Whedon fans still sore over Firefly some evidence that the screenwriter and producer can, in fact, get a second season out of a TV network - will see Captain America's Hayley Atwell star in a series of her own, set in 1946.

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Philips Ambilight TVs get speedy game mode and deep hue control

Philips Ambilight TVs get speedy game mode and deep hue control

Philips has boosted its Ambilight LED backing light system for more immersive TVs, with the 2014 upgrade improving color-changing response speed as well as offering contextual information through lighting. The tech, which will be loaded on the 2014 Philips Ambilight TVs, includes a gaming mode that allows the colors to keep pace with faster gameplay, where before it had been tuned for a more leisurely response.

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Is the long-awaited Apple television vaporware?

Is the long-awaited Apple television vaporware?

Apple is working on a television. That’s what the rumor mill says, at least. It’s also what analysts claim, what Steve Jobs hinted to in the Walter Isaacson biography on his life, and what everyone hopes to see. But at this point, I’m starting to wonder if all of those claims and our hopes and our dreams about an Apple television won’t ever translate to an actual device launch.

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This streaming war could bring YouTube and Spotify to their knees

This streaming war could bring YouTube and Spotify to their knees

YouTube, Spotify, and other streaming music providers like Pandora are reportedly facing a potential revolt from songwriters, angry at the meager slice of the royalty pie they receive, and threatening to veto tracks being included in some regions. Publishers - representing songwriters - have long had smaller rewards from streaming licensing compared to record labels, for instance making around 12x less from playback through Pandora, with chatter of a push-back brewing.

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Amazon inks HBO deal for Prime Instant Video and Fire TV app

Amazon inks HBO deal for Prime Instant Video and Fire TV app

Amazon has inked a deal with HBO which will see Fire TV gain an HBO GO app, and Prime Instant Video the home for select back-catalog access to shows like The Wire, True Blood, and The Sopranos, as well as new content in the future. The agreement, which Amazon - sparing no hyperbole - is describing as "unprecedented", is the first time HBO has licensed out its content to an online streaming service, and comes only days after Netflix announced it would be putting up its rates to offset the increased cost of bolstering the shows it offers.

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