NYT music reporter claims Apple won’t be acquiring Tidal after all

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 1, 2016

The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday claiming that Apple was in “exploratory talks” to acquire music service Tidal, which rap mogul Jay-Z bought in March 2015 for a reported $56 million.

Ostensibly, Apple’s interest in Tidal revolves around its strong ties to artists: since the Jay-Z deal, Tidal has given 19 famous artists small stakes in the firm.

The Journal article cautioned that the current discussions might not result in a deal and now Ben Sisario, a music reporter at The New York Times, cited “two highly placed sources” as saying that Apple won’t be buying Tidal anytime soon. Read More

 

Offline viewing on Netflix to launch by year-end?

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 24, 2016

Video-streaming company Netflix seems to be secretly developing a feature that would permit subscribers to download specific television shows and movies for viewing without an Internet connection, industry insider and Penthera COO Dan Taitz told LightReading. Offline viewing on Netflix should launch before the end of this year. A Netflix spokesperson denied comment on the report. Read More

 

YouTube adding ability to live stream video to its mobile app

By Cody Lee on Jun 23, 2016

On Thursday, during its VidCon keynote address, YouTube announced that it’s updating its mobile app with a brand new live streaming option. This will allow users to easily broadcast and watch live video from within the app with little friction.

The feature will initially be limited to top influencers like The Young Turks, AIB and Alex Wasabi, but it will roll out more widely soon. Once it’s enabled, all you have to do is tap the big red capture button, select a thumbnail photo, and start rolling. Read More

 

Amazon to take on Apple and Spotify with new streaming music service

By Cody Lee on Jun 10, 2016

Amazon is preparing to launch a new standalone streaming music subscription service, reports Reuters. The tech giant is currently finalizing licenses with labels for the service, and it’s aiming for a late summer or early fall launch.

Of course, Amazon already offers a limited music service for free to Prime subscribers. But this new service will cost $9.99 per month and offer a much more competitive catalog, putting it squarely up against Apple Music and Spotify. Read More

 

How did this movie streaming app get approved in the App Store? [update: it’s gone]

By Sébastien Page on May 24, 2016

We’ve seen our fair share of oddities when it comes to approval of apps in the App Store, but this one probably takes the cake for the most obvious reason: it lets you stream  movies directly from your iPhone or iPad at no cost. We’re not talking old movies that are in the public domain either. We’re talking recent movies, some of them still being played in theaters.

Update: Apple pulled this app from the App Store. It would have been nice to have an explanation about why and how it was approved in the first place, but I guess we’ll have to let our imagination run wild. Read More

 

How to turn off Netflix’s autoplay feature

By Christian Zibreg on May 10, 2016

Not everyone is a fan of bing watching. I, for one, rarely watch a dozen episodes of Friends in a row. If you’re anything like me, Netflix’s autoplay feature is probably something of an annoyance to you.

It’s especially worrisome if Netflix uses cellular data: forgetting to stop the playback after you’ve just finished watching an episode won’t stop Netflix from playing the next one automatically, resulting in unwanted data charges.

iDownloadBlog’s tutorial series is here to help you with that: in this quick how-to, we’ll show you how to turn off the video autoplay feature across all your Netflix devices—they’re calling it Post-Play—with just a few clicks. Read More

 

Netflix begins rolling out (very limited) support for HDR and Dolby Vision streaming

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 12, 2016

Netflix isn’t wasting any time: they began rolling out support for high-dynamic range (HDR) streaming, with a spokesperson confirming that HDR programming will be delivered to compatible TVs anywhere Netflix is available.

“We are indeed live with HDR,” Yann Lafargue, Netflix’s manager of corporate communications said to FlatpanelsHD.

The new streaming option works with compatible TVs, both in HDR10 and Dolby Vision, resulting in fewer compression artifacts and a greater dynamic range of luminosity than is possible with standard streaming technologies. Read More

 

BBC releases iPlayer Kids app

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 12, 2016

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Tuesday announced a kids-friendly version of its iPlayer video-streaming app, called iPlayer Kids. Available in the UK App Store at no charge, the ad and In-App Purchases free software offers kids a safe environment to watch all of BBC Children’s world-class content in one place.

These include over 10,000 episodes being made available this year alone, including both new and old CBeebies and CBBC favorites such as “Wolfblood”, “Blue Peter”, “The Dumping Ground”, “Topsy & Tim” and “Go Jetters”. Read More

 

Cable network Starz launches $9 per month streaming package for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 5, 2016

Starz, a premium cable and satellite television network, today announced a brand new video service which permits owners of the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Apple TV to stream shows for a low monthly fee of just $8.99 per month.

A companion iOS app lets subscribers download full episodes to watch offline but does not offer live streaming. On the fourth-generation Apple TV, it supports universal search so you can ask Siri for shows to watch, including original ones like “Outlander”, “Power” and the upcoming “American Gods”. Read More

 

Twitter will live-stream Thursday Night Football broadcasts worldwide in the next season

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 5, 2016

Twitter has managed to sign an important deal with the National Football League giving it rights to exclusively live-stream as many as ten Thursday Night Football broadcasts worldwide in the next season, the companies said today.

According to Variety, Twitter will carry the games broadcast by NBC and CBS, to be simulcast on the NFL Network, too.

Free live-streams will leverage Twitter-owned Periscope.

In addition to the live games, Twitter will also stream in-game highlights from TNF and pre-game live broadcasts from players and teams before, during and after games. Read More

 

SoundCloud launches ad-free $9.99 subscription service with offline playback

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 29, 2016

SoundCloud, a Berlin, Germany-based global online audio distribution platform, today pushed a major update to its free audio streaming application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad which includes support for the company’s freshly announced paid subscription music service, dubbed Go.

Priced at $12.99 per month through Apple’s In-App Purchase mechanism or $9.99 on the web, Go offers SoundCloud listeners an expanded catalog of tracks, as well as new features and new functionality in the app.

Go is now available in the U.S. via the updated SoundCloud app and on the web. Read More

 

T-Mobile adds nine new Binge On providers, including YouTube

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 17, 2016

T-Mobile’s outspoken CEO, John Legere, announced on Thursday via a press release that Binge On, the carrier’s feature that zeroes out video streaming, has added support for nine new providers, including Google-owned YouTube.

These providers are now part of Binge On initiative: Baeble Music, Discovery GO, ESNE TV, FilmOn.TV, Fox Business, Google Play Movies, KlowdTV, Red Bull TV and YouTube. Read More

 

New Periscope update makes it easier to watch a broadcast with someone you know

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 15, 2016

Periscope, a Twitter-owned live video-broadcasting app, was updated today in the App Store with changes that make it easier to watch a broadcast with someone you know.

If a person that you follow who also follows you back joins your broadcast, you will now see their name in chat.

“We’ll also prioritize their name in the viewers list, and show you how many of your mutuals are in the broadcast right now,” release notes read. Read More

 

Vimeo now streams 4K video on iPad Pro, gains a bunch of other new features in 6.0 update

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2016

Thursday, Vimeo pushed a significant update to its free of charge app in the App Store which lets you record, upload and share high-quality, ad-free clips on the service.

The new app packs updated navigation tools, has richer uploading options and sports a brand new player with support for 4K streaming and enhanced Picture-In-Picture viewing on compatible devices such as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Search is now faster than ever and you can browse new curated categories like Animation, Documentary, Travel and more. Saving videos to watch offline is now easier than before, you can now upload clips from your smartphone and tablets and more. Read More

 

Vine app gains 3D Touch, caption editing and post ordering features

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 9, 2016

Vine, a Twitter owned mobile application for short-form video sharing, has been updated in the App Store this morning with three new features. For starters, owners of the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s plus can press Vine’s icon on the Home screen to access a shortcut menu with a pair of options to make a Vine or jump into the Explore feed.

In addition, you can now edit your Vine’s caption for a brief period after you post and watch an account’s Vines in any order you want. Read More

 

Spotify links up with Genius to annotate your music

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 12, 2016

Spotify today announced it is partnering with Genius (not to be confused with iTunes Genius), to annotate your music. Genius is the crowdsourced musical knowledge startup that annotates music lyrics and other online content and Spotify is betting that this new feature will help retain its competitive edge over other music-streaming services.

Available at launch via a limited number of tracks through special playlists—called Behind the Lyrics and curated by Spotify and Genius—this feature adds backstory and commentary which pops up as you play tracks on Spotify. Read More

 

Patents hint that broadcast TV and presence detection features may be coming to Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 28, 2015

Apple is researching a pair of interesting new features to give its fourth-generation Apple TV some new smarts and make the box more TV-like. Titled “User detection by a computing device” and “Input device & user interface interactions”, these inventions outline a fresh new user interface for changing channels on an iOS device and a presence-aware remote to keep playing content as long as someone is in the room. Read More

 

Apple Music to begin streaming The Beatles catalog on Christmas Eve

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 23, 2015

It’s official: the entire catalog of the famous English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, will be available for streaming on Apple Music, Spotify and a few other services beginning tomorrow, December 24, at 12:01 local time.

In addition to Apple Music and Spotify, The Beatles catalog will also be available for streaming worldwide via Deezer, Google Play, Microsoft Groove, Amazon Prime, Rhapsody, Slacker and Tidal (Pandora is a notable holdout). Read More

 

Rumor: high-fidelity Apple Music streaming due in 2016

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 21, 2015

For years, Apple has been rumored to be working on high-resolution audio formats for iTunes, but we’re yet to see concrete evidence of those efforts. Still, the rumor persists. On Monday, the reliable Japanese blog Macotakara reported that high-resolution streaming is coming to Apple Music in 2016.

Citing industry sources who spoke to the publication at the Portable Audio Festival in Tokyo, where some of Apple’s products were exhibited, the report states that Apple will offer better-than-CD quality music.

In addition, high-end audio equipment makers are allegedly planning to add audio cables for Lightning to their lineups. Read More

 

Amazon allegedly confirms that Instant Video is hitting Apple TV before year-end

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 28, 2015

Online retail giant Amazon is bringing its Instant Video service to the new Apple TV after all. As a quick refresher, Amazon recently pulled both Google’s Chromecast HDMI dongle and Apple’s Apple TV from sale because the two set-top boxes, in Amazon’s own words, don’t “interact well” with its video subscription service. Confirmation of a tvOS version of Instant Video was inadvertently leaked by Amazon itself in response to a question on Twitter.

The app should hit the Apple TV App Store by the end of the year. Read More

 
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