The scene: a board room. Ominous and shrouded in mystery, all that can be seen is a long, black glass desk and on either side, twelve featureless chairs. In each sits a grumpy old person. The rest of the chamber is a dark, empty void. Out of the abyss a lone man appears, approaching the head of the table. He's adorned in blue jeans, a white dress shirt and a dark blazer.
We've only got about a month left before Ouya units start landing in the hands of backers and a few months before the full-blown retail launch. A retail launch that we now learn will include GameStop, Best Buy, Target, Amazon, and an undisclosed number of other sellers. Yes, including brick-and-mortar stores. Things are starting to look pretty good for the little console that could.
Speaking in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Ouya's CEO released a few extra details, including the price: $100 for the console, which we knew.
Blockbuster, the former golden child of movie rentals, is feeling left out lately. No one is paying attention to its online offerings, no doubt partially because it's been broken into a thousand pieces. However, today the company launched a new, central service for renting movies online with just one app for all devices: Blockbuster On Demand.
When we say "rent", we do mean that. There is no subscription option that we see yet, and every movie costs a few bucks to check out for a 24-hour period.
Two weeks ago, we took a look at the invite-only beta of Redbox Instant. In that article, we gave a brief glimpse into what the fledgling service's library had to offer. Of course, the inevitable question had to be asked: how does it stack up against Netflix? Or Amazon Instant Video for that matter? While we're at it, how does Google's Play Store compare? Those are pretty big questions! So, they deserve pretty big answers.
Amazon introduced today a new service that gives back to customers who have purchased physical CDs over the last 15 years. Yes, fifteen. It's called AutoRip, and it essentially offers free MP3s of CDs purchased since 1998. If you've been buying music from Amazon for a while, this is absolutely killer. It's worth noting that not all titles are eligible for AutoRip due to licensing restrictions, but Amazon is adding more AutoRip-eligible titles "all the time."
Just like with other Amazon music purchases, the AutoRip tracks go straight to your Cloud Player library and don't count against Cloud Storage limits.
If you've been searching for a way to safely play your Android phone's music library in the rain or at the beach, Amazon's got a deal for you. Grace Digital's ECO X Terra (orange only) is available for just $50 shipped, which is a notable $100 discount over its original price.
If you're wondering how the ECO X Terra works, it's simple – just cram your Android-powered phone (or "any mp3 player") into the center compartment, and enjoy your tunes.
Update: Turns out the app is only compatible with LG Google TV's for the time being (meaning no Google TV set top boxes are compatible at this time). That's lame.
Remember Google TV? You know, the Google-developed set top box running an Android variant that never managed to catch on? Well, if you're one of the small but dedicated users of the most neglected streaming device around, there's reason to celebrate: Amazon's Instant Video app, previously "exclusive" to the Kindle Fire, iPad, Roku, TiVo, Blu-ray players, various connected TVs, and just about everything except standard Android devices, is available on Google Play from your Google TV.
While Google's been working feverishly to build out its Play Store, bringing it to other countries and expanding its offerings, the company's music store has been lacking one crucial feature that its competitors have: library matching. Where Amazon and iTunes can scan your current collection and add the songs to your online storage, Google has, until recently, required users to upload every individual track manually. A long and tedious process. In mid-November, the scan and match feature came out for Europe, and today it arrives for US residents.
Since its launch, we've had bittersweet feelings about the Amazon Mobile app for Tablets. The app shows promise as a tablet-friendly shopping solution, but until now has suffered an extremely limited compatibility, only working with tablets running 4.1 and up and carrying a 1280x800 resolution.
An update to the app today, however, has changed all that. Along with a few bug fixes, the update (to version 5.50.1010 for those keeping count at home) brings support for devices in 7" or 10" form factors, with a variety of resolutions, and loosened OS requirements.