In times past, there have been concerns about Netflix' ability to continue acquiring rights for streaming video content. The more users the company gets, the more pressure there is to get high-profile content. After the loss of the Starz deal, there was some doubt, but today there is a renewed hope for fans of Netflix and Disney at least: the two just inked a deal that will bring first-run movies from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel, and Disneynature to the streaming service in 2016.
Android 4.2 is out now and it brings a bunch of new goodies. Multiple users on a tablet, photospheres, and gesture typing are all pretty neat. What about this Miracast thing, though? If you're part of the majority of Android users out there, you know that it involves screen sharing and something vaguely to do with WiFi. Well, here. Let's clear some of that up for you.
So, Uh... What Is Miracast?
As our lives fill up with screens, it becomes all the more important for them to work together. Today's YouTube update brings that dream a little closer to reality. Now, if you own a Google TV set top box and an Android device, you can use the latter to play, pause, or add videos to a playlist on the former. This is already possible for PS3 owners, so the expanded capability is a welcome addition.
Before there was Google Music, there was Subsonic. This app has attracted quite a lot of users for its ability to stream music that you have stored on your PC. The only trouble is that it has always been fairly ugly. This update solves that issue.
After installing the Subsonic app, you have to pick up the server software for the computer where all your media is stored. Sadly, this software will cost you $15, but there is a free trial.
You'd be forgiven for not knowing exactly what Color is or does. The sordid history of this app, and its parent company Color Labs, is a complicated one. Headed by Bill Nguyen, famous for founding Lala, the incredible music streaming service that was purchased by Apple and promptly closed down, Color Labs received $41 million in funding for its initial app Color for Facebook. Several fundamental changes and a year and a half later, the company is reportedly going to close the books on itself.
When turntable.fm first came out on Android, we were excited. In my review, I said that it was a fantastic start, but could use a bit of polish. In no small part, because of those dang iOS-style buttons. While I still believe that iOS- buttons do not single-handedly make a lazy port, it's nice to see that the developer has taken the time to bring the UI in line with the newest guidelines.
While services like Spotify and Rdio may steal the spotlight most of the time, there are other streaming subscription services out there. Related: we need a better name than "streaming subscription services." Rhapsody, originally founded by Real Networks and since become an independent entity, has a pretty impressive library that users can now download for offline playback. An essential feature for a modern cloud music player. Update: To clarify, it's the ability to download songs on an individual or per-album basis that is new.
Chances are, most of you only ever hear about Epix in an article discussing streaming rights (like this one). Epix is an online streaming video service a la Netflix that you can only get access to if you have a cable bundle that includes the site. Or, you know, if you have Netflix. For now anyway. The real value of Epix is the stable of movie rights it brings to the table, and now the joint venture is sharing its media library with Amazon Instant Video for all of the online retail giant's Prime customers.