Deezer, a company that provides an online music streaming service, announced today that it has acquired Stitcher, the well-known internet radio and podcasting brand. Sometimes acquisitions leave us scratching our heads in confusion. Other times they leave us feeling uneasy as we wonder whether the buyer will be able to successfully navigate the market they're now setting foot in. Occasionally companies are simply after talent. Then in certain situations, we watch as beloved brands disappear under a competitor's name.
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.
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.
Amazon finally acquiesced a few weeks ago and released an Instant Video streaming app for regular Android devices. Compatibility is a little limited, but at least it exists now. To encourage customers to use it, Amazon is offering 500 Amazon Coins to anyone who streams something using the app. Free money, yay!
Roku already gave users the ability to stream content from their Android devices to their set top boxes, but now the company is taking things a bit further. Instead of select files, the company will give people to capability to stream whatever is on their screen. We've seen this from Miracast devices, we've seen it from Chromecast, and now we're seeing it from Roku. Update: In fact, Roku is using Miracast to deliver this functionality.
Hardware Kickstarters are a risky business, but the makers of Matchstick have the hardware all nailed down. This is a streaming stick similar to the Chromeacast, but it's based on Firefox OS. There is apparently an appetite for such a thing because it's only taken a few days to smash through the original $100k funding goal.
TiVo customers are accustomed to convenience. That's the fundamental premise behind recording TV shows for later, after all. Sure, it sucks to miss a show because it came on during a time when you were busy, but that's more of an annoyance than a problem. The latest version of the Android app addresses a similar annoyance--being restricted to whichever room the big screen is in. After quite a wait, customers are now free to stream TiVo content and live TV directly to their mobile devices.
In a bit of non Android-related news that we just couldn't pass up, Adobe and Google have announced "Project Photoshop Streaming" for Chrome OS, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Adobe is looking to bring access to its
Creative Suite Creative Cloud suite of products to Chromebook users, and the journey begins with Photoshop.
Before you get too excited, there are a few caveats. First, you've got to apply to be a tester.
Plex makes streaming media from your PC or server to another device staggeringly easy. It's also a killer deal with on-the-fly transcoding, Chromecast, automatic library organization, and a ton of other features for just a few bucks per month. It was such a good deal that Plex decided the cost of a premium Plex Pass subscription should go up a little. The upside being current subscribers can lock in their rate.
Pandora is currently rolling out a redesigned version of its Android app that may just cause more than a few double takes. The Internet radio service has looked largely the same on Android for a few years now, but the UI introduced in 5.5 is strikingly different - at first, at least. This change is stark, but it's only surface deep.
The Pandora app has been stripped of its blue gradients.