streaming

Chromecast closes gap on Roku for streaming dominance

Chromecast closes gap on Roku for streaming dominance

If you’ve not yet bought a Chromecast, what’s stopping you? Google’s tiny streaming stick gets better all the time, and works pretty seamlessly with your existing apps (at least those supporting it). Not having a Chromecast seems silly, and you might soon be in the streaming minority if you’ve not yet snapped one up. A new report shows Chromecast as the number two streaming device in the country, behind only Roku’s legacy system. It’s even more popular than Apple TV.

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House of Cards season 3 teaser out, release date set

House of Cards season 3 teaser out, release date set

After the holidays, there’s typically not a lot going on until the Spring, when going outside for extended periods of time becomes tolerable for most of the country. February is a great time to stay in and stay warm, and there’s now good reason to. Netflix has released the first teaser for House of Cards’ third season, as well as a February release date. Before you continue, mark February 27 on the Calendar; you’ll be staying in that night, and binge watching.

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Report: Amazon bringing ad-supported video service next year

Report: Amazon bringing ad-supported video service next year

Unless you have Amazon Prime, seeing their “Instant Video” app on your Roku or other streaming device is just one big tease. Unless you sign up for the $99/year quick-shipping Prime option, Instant Video is useless. Though we’ve heard this kind of rumor before, it’s back, and from a new source. It seems Amazon may be prepping an ad-supported Instant Video layer, which would make their service free or very low-cost to use for those without Prime. The new video streaming offering is said to be part of an “overhaul” at Amazon’s media branch.

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Billboard to show streaming music stats on their charts

Billboard to show streaming music stats on their charts

The way we consume music has changed dramatically. What used to be album sales have quickly, and sometimes dramatically, turned into streaming audio. Services like iTunes bridged a gap between physical and digital sales, but we’re well past that, now. Streaming is in, and monthly subscriptions have supplanted our out-of-pocket spend for albums. To reflect actual song plays, Billboard will now start to appreciate streaming statistics in their reports. It’s the first big change since Billboard started using SoundScan metrics.

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Report: Apple will make Beats a native app, re-brand it under iTunes

Report: Apple will make Beats a native app, re-brand it under iTunes

In purchasing Beats, many wondered just what Apple would do with the service. Would they shutter it, or somehow make it worthwhile for everyone? The latter seems to be the case, or at least more people will be force-fed access to it. A report from the Financial Times, citing unnamed sources, says Apple will make Beats Music a standard Apple app in the middle of 2015. The app will be pushed to your device (and made unable for deletion) around March 2015.

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Samsung releases Milk Video exclusively for Galaxy owners

Samsung releases Milk Video exclusively for Galaxy owners

Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners are getting a new feature today. Milk, Samsung’s umbrella brand for media, has a video player launching today, the appropriately named Milk video. The service is designed for streaming of shorter video clips (but not ‘Vine’ short) rather than longer-form content. You might catch a music video, but it’s doubtful you’ll see an uploaded episode of an old TV show. Milk Video may sound a bit like a YouTube competitor, but it pulls content from there (among other sources), so it’s really not.

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Netflix killing public API today, wants you to use their app instead

Netflix killing public API today, wants you to use their app instead

If you’re using a non-Netflix app to access Netflix content, things might be grim for you after today. Netflix is shuttering their public API program, which allowed a host of third party apps and streaming services to access their library of content. The API also gave data on our watching habits to Developers, which was intended to improve viewing recommendations. Any app using the API will be met with a 404 error message should it try to access Netflix content.

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Amazon will offer Ultra HD streaming free for Prime members

Amazon will offer Ultra HD streaming free for Prime members

If you’ve got a high-end TV and Amazon Prime, you’re going to like this news. Earlier this year, Amazon announced a deal to bring 4K Ultra HD programs to Prime members. In collaboration with Warner Bros., Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox, Samsung, and Disney, Amazon’s goal was to be the class-leading provider of Ultra HD content. They faced stiff competition from the likes of Netflix, but Amazon just confirmed they’re not going to charge Prime members for Ultra HD content streaming. At all.

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Spotify CEO responds to Taylor Swift, calls her out on earnings

Spotify CEO responds to Taylor Swift, calls her out on earnings

In pulling her entire catalog from Spotify, Taylor Swift took a jab at streaming music. According to Swift, streaming services like Spotify don’t pay artists enough. That’s something we’ve touched on before, and she’s right — they typically don’t. Artists get paid by volume of played tracks, so for the house DJ in Prague looking to be discovered, streaming isn’t so lucrative. Taylor Swift, however, is Taylor Swift. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek took exception to Swift’s commentary, and has issued a response.

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Rikomagic V5 TV stick crams an Ethernet port inside

Rikomagic V5 TV stick crams an Ethernet port inside

There are a lot of companies that are trying to replicate the Chromecast magic. Just a few days ago, the latest was Walmart who outed its own VUDU Spark HDMI dongle to go with its movie streaming service. Now there's a new contender and it's a slightly odd one. The Rikomagic V5 TV strangely looks bulky compared to other dongles that try to take on the Chromecast. But that added mass on the end suddenly makes sense when you discover that it has an Ethernet port on that side.

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