Streaming media

Amazon is gunning for movie studios next

Amazon is gunning for movie studios next

Amazon's ambitions in original content are climbing up a notch, with plans to create a dozen movies each year that will not only be released via its Prime streaming service, but in theaters as well. The aggressive content scheme will kick off this year, Amazon has said, with Amazon Original Movies also using its heft to trim the amount of time it takes for theatrical releases to make it to on-demand services. Rather than anything up to a year between films being screened in theaters and then showing up at places like iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon's own download store, the retailer's homegrown content will take a mere 4-8 weeks.

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Spotify’s Windows Phone app finally got a revamp

Spotify’s Windows Phone app finally got a revamp

Spotify has rolled out a long-awaited update for Windows Phone, revamping its color scheme with a darker theme and cleaner graphics, not to mention finally porting over some of the exploring features iOS and Android users have been enjoying. The new Spotify Windows Phone 8 app, available today, adds Browse and Your Music, in an attempt to not only help listeners cut their way through the millions of tracks on offer, but to integrate their own favorites into their streaming playlists. They're not exactly new features, however, coming to Microsoft's smartphone OS long after its counterparts on iOS and Android.

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HTC Re adds YouTube live streaming

HTC Re adds YouTube live streaming

HTC's periscope-shaped Re is getting a firmware update, adding YouTube live streaming to turn the camera curiosity into a mobile broadcast tool. The software - which will be pushed out initially through the Google Play store - updates the Re companion app which runs on the paired smartphone. HTC is envisioning the enhanced camera as being used to beam performances and school plays to distant grandparents, or to make friends green with envy by showing them your scuba diving.

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Here’s how Tizen on Samsung’s SUHD Smart TVs works

Here’s how Tizen on Samsung’s SUHD Smart TVs works

Samsung may have invented some new branding for its top-tier TVs, but we're more interested in how Tizen has found its way into the sets as Sammy's smart TV OS of choice. The company has been flirting with the open-source platform for the past few years, predominantly focusing on its potential on the wrist as an OS for smartwatches and wearables, but for the 2015 SUHD TV range it's being repurposed as a catch-up platform for live, on-demand, and streaming content that plays particularly nicely with smartphones and tablets. We stopped by to see how it all worked.

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SuperTooth takes on Sonos with Multiroom speaker system

SuperTooth takes on Sonos with Multiroom speaker system

There's no shortage of options if you want to spread music around your home, but SuperTooth thinks its Multiroom System has an edge by virtue of its affordability. Offering three zones for under $300, the system eschews WiFi in favor of a combination of Bluetooth and its own, proprietary radio connection, piping through audio from whatever sources you have on your phone or tablet. It's a tough segment to break into, though, especially when you consider well-regarded rivals like Sonos are already established.

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The Kanye Christmas Album that wasn’t

The Kanye Christmas Album that wasn’t

Kanye West has not at this time created a Christmas album, but that doesn't mean you can't listen to what it'd sound like if he had. Summoning an alternate dimension in which Kanye has decided he is Santa Claus and is prepared to unleash his "Yeezus" album all over again, this new edition presents "Kreezus." That's Kris Kringle, if ever there were a way for Kanye to be such a thing. You can listen to the full album right this minute, in all its parody-filled glory.

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New Pee-Wee Herman movie heads to Netflix

New Pee-Wee Herman movie heads to Netflix

The next Pee-Wee Herman movie approaches. It's said to be rolling with Judd Apatow as producer, and it's said that Netflix will be the initial sole distributor of the film in the near future. Clues are already in place - just have a peek at your Netflix queue right this minute if you're a major Pee-Wee's Playhouse fan. Right now you'll find the second big movie Big Top Pee-Wee, Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special, and Pee-Wee's Playhouse - all five seasons worth of the original show!

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Microsoft MixRadio sold to LINE

Microsoft MixRadio sold to LINE

Microsoft is selling MixRadio to LINE, washing its hands of the personalized streaming music service that started life as Nokia Radio. MixRadio, which builds custom playlists as well as offering pre-organized, themed playlists constructed by music industry insiders, was originally part of Nokia's exclusive multimedia offering for its Lumia Windows Phones; it was renamed back in late 2013, ahead of Microsoft taking the reins. Plans had already been vaunted for an expansion of the app beyond just Microsoft's own smartphone OS, and now LINE says it intends to continue that process.

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Dish brings Netflix to their Hopper DVR

Dish brings Netflix to their Hopper DVR

Dish subscribers can now watch Netflix, all without having to bring in a second box. Both companies announced today that Netflix will make a home on Dish’s second-generation Hopper DVR, leading Dish to claim they’re the first major US pay-TV provider to offer Netflix. Dish also says the Netflix interface you might enjoy elsewhere will continue on inside Hopper, making a cross-platform existence a bit more palatable. Dish also says they will be rolling Netflix out to their other hardware in the coming months.

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Vessel arrives to poach YouTube stars for subscription service

Vessel arrives to poach YouTube stars for subscription service

You probably haven’t heard of Vessel, but soon it will likely become part of your daily vernacular. The startup video service is trying to bring some of the more prominent YouTube creators under their banner, which offers up both free and paid subscriptions. The free service offers up videos from entities like Funny Or Die, while the paid model brings in homegrown viral stars. The paid service also delivers videos a full week before you’ll see them anywhere else, with an attractive, incentivized model for viral video stars.

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