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media

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Canadian Television App CTV GO Gets Chromecast Support, Revamped UI, And More

Google services may take a while to make the long trek north from Seattle to Vancouver, Detroit to Toronto, or from Portland to Montreal—but Canadians still get to enjoy Google hardware such as the Chromecast. Television network CTV has added support for the spiffy little dongle inside the latest version of its Android app (though this, too, kind of took a while).

CTV-Go-Chromecast

Chromecast support is the most exciting item on the changelog, but this release also tweaks the interface.

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Amazon Music 4.3 Makes Streaming Easier Thanks To A New Prime Music Section, Quicker Access, Better Search, And More

Those of you with an Amazon Prime account also have a stockpile of music open to you through the company's half-a-year-old streaming service, and with version 4.3 of the Android app, the retailer is making those tracks easier to access.

Instead of browsing through the company's virtual store shelves and adding albums to your library as though you were buying them, you can just browse through a separate Prime Music section. When you click on a song there, it simply starts playing.

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DIRECTV Android App Gets 13 More Live Streaming Channels Including MSNBC, Showtime Showcase, And QVC

DIRECTV has added the ability for its customers to stream thirteen additional channels to their Android devices. The Play Store page doesn't contain an extensive list of which ones are new, but it does mention MSNBC, Ovation, QVC, and Showtime Showcase. All of these are available inside the home, with only QVC accessible outside of the home as well.

These additions bring DIRECTV's full list of channels with live streaming support up to 110. Of them, 51 are still streamable once you step out of the house.

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Hulu Gives Android Users Exclusive Free Access For The Holidays

Using Hulu on an Android device usually requires a Hulu Plus account, but in the spirit of the season, the company has apparently decided to offer people the ability to stream shows to their devices for free. The exclusive deal was announced on the Android Google+ page in a post that welcomed folks to come watch the latest episodes of their favorite shows.

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[Deal Alert] Get PlayOn And PlayLater Lifetime Subscriptions With AdSkipper For Only $19.99

PlayLater lets you record online video on a PC and save it for later use. PlayOn takes that content and makes it viewable on your TV or mobile device. The latter can help you find shows available online and, as long as you have the requisite subscriptions (to Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.), get you up and running.

Altogether, these are good tools for cord cutters to add to their digital utility belts.

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Google Continues Fight Against Piracy By Emphasizing Legitimate Media Sources In Search Results

Say it with me now: piracy is bad. There are ways to get free copies of just about everything online, but even setting aside the legal and moral aspects of it, doing so can come with the risk of infecting your computer with something icky or falling victim to a phishing attempt. People who know their way around the woods will continue to be able to take advantage of things, but Google's working on reducing the likelihood that the average user will end up in a place they don't want to be.

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Rdio Android App Update Lets You Turn AAC Audio Quality All The Way Up To 320 Kbps

The cool kids like the quality of their music turned up all the way to 320 kbps (the coolest ones prefer lossless), but that's a luxury that often goes away with streaming music over the Internet. Rdio says it's had enough with that lower quality crap (I can't really tell the difference, but the cool kids tell me that stuff's awful), so it is bringing in the ability to stream and download songs at 320 kbps over both Wi-Fi and a cellular connection.

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HBO Plans To Launch A Streaming Service That Doesn't Require A TV Subscription Sometime Next Year

I've wanted HBO for a while now, but I haven't desired it strongly enough to subscribe to an expensive cable plan and put up with an ugly box under my TV. I'm a young twenty-something that has cut the cord with no desire to get tethered down to such a dated system, and since I refuse to pirate content, I've opted to miss out on some great shows. I would love to give HBO my money, if only they would let me.

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At Long Last, Google Voice Should Be Able To Send And Receive MMS Messages On Most US And Canadian Carriers, Including AT&T, Sprint, And T-Mobile

As cool as Google Voice's free text message service is, it has always been a bit barebones. Big features like MMS have been missing for a lot of users, with some notable exceptions. Multimedia Message Service, usually used to simply attach a photo to a text message, is handled by completely different servers at most carriers, causing some problems with Google's forwarding system. It looks like Google has addressed these issues, at least for most people in the US and Canada, finally enabling the sending and receiving of MMS via Google Voice. 

Google employee Alex Wiesen announced the new feature on his personal Google+ account.

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Comedy Central Releases Official Android App Complete With Full Episode Streaming And A Channel Guide

The folks over at Comedy Central have hit up Google Play with an official Android app, and it's looking pretty good. The company's promising full episodes available the day after they air, stand-up specials, and access to some older content - such as every episode of Chappelle's Show. The app can toss up a TV schedule if you just want to know what's coming up next.

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A TV subscription is required for most of the content, though the Play Store page says a login isn't required to view the latest episodes.

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