It's official folks, the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has finalized the release of the specifications for BDXL. What this means is that manufacturers can now grab licensing information and licensing applications needed to begin producing Blu-ray media with up to 128GB of capacity.
"The BDA worked diligently to create an extension of the Blu-ray Disc format that leverages the physical structure of the design of the disc to create even more storage capacity," said Victor Matsuda, Blu-ray Disc Association Global Promotions Committee chair. "By using the existing Blu-ray technologies, we have created a long-term and stable solution for archiving large amounts of sensitive data, video and graphic images. We expect further growth of the Blu-ray Disc market as the introduction of 100GB/128GB discs will expand the application of Blu-ray Disc technologies."
It might be awhile before these super high capacity discs see any kind of mainstream use. In this early stage, BDXL discs will be used in commercial segments like broadcasting, medical, and document imaging enterprises with heavy archiving needs, the BDA says.
If we'd been asked to come up with a name for Google's upcoming music retail web store, we would have shrugged our shoulders and muttered something like 'Google Music'. Turns out Google is just as straight forward and uncreative as us. TechCrunch did some digging around on Google's servers and found what appears to be a logo indicating the service would be called Google Music. The file has since disappeared.
Google demoed the web-based music store at Google I/O last month. It was shown off with the ability to do over the air downloads to Android phones. Google didn't really give any detail about the service, which is expected to roll out with the new web-based Android Market. We were skeptical that Google would be doing the actual sale of the music themselves, but would rather be a storefront, but this new evidence makes us think they might go toe to toe with Apple after all.
Apple is expected to launch a cloud-based music service at WWDC next week. So if Google wants to get people interested, they should get Google music ready to rollout soon.
With the announcement of Google TV we are sure, now more than ever that the future of media lies in on demand IP TV. With just about every tech company lining up with boxes and software trying to pipe Internet content into the living room, the future promises some pretty fierce competition.
Regardless of what you think about Apple in general, they are currently in the unusual position of being the weakest player in this emerging new media category. The current $229 Apple TV with 160GB of storage is an abomination of overbearing DRM and extremely limited utility. If the rumors are correct however, an ARM based version for $99 running iPhone OS 4 might be just around the corner.
The story was first picked up by Engadget who claims that the source of the leak was "very close to Apple" and the box would even offer full 1080p streaming. It remains to be seen if consumers will ultimately warm up to the idea of an Internet appliance as a separate box, or if they will favor software solutions build into TV sets such as Google TV. If boxes are the future Apple still has its work cut out for it competing with the likes of Microsoft and Sony who sell millions of dual-purpose game consoles into households every year.
Does a revamped Apple TV stand a chance? Let us know what you think.
Unless you have some super-fancy configuration set up, odds are good that you--like most--default to Windows Media Player as your multimedia software of choice for playing just about anything that comes across your system. There's no shame in that. While a number of freeware tools support more codecs and/or file formats, and come bundled with other fun features and extensive customizations, it's alright to admit that you use Windows' built-in tool for the job.
In fact, you might very well have found yourself quite fond of your operating system's default media player. That's alright too. I'm not about to show or suggest third-party tools that might add confusion to your routine. Instead, you might want to check out a little chunk of software called Windows Media Player Plus! This app--really, a series of plugins--isn't a replacement for Windows Media Player. It simply builds free enhancements into Windows Media Player to give you even more options to tinker with and features to enjoy.
It looks like the New York Times is serious about charging for online content. The paper's editor in chief Bill Keller has discussed his plans to adopt a metered model for online content. The plan would only charge so-called heavy users of the website. Most people would be allowed to go on through to the content without paying. However, subscribers to the print edition will get access to the website at no additional charge. The changes will go into effect in January.
Keller prefers this system as it is less restrictive than a traditional "pay wall" model. "Under our metered model, basically people who use Nytimes.com as their newspaper, who read a lot and depend on it, will be asked to pay a small subscription price,” said Keller. The plan will also make some of the most popular content available freely to everyone in order to drive traffic and encourage subscriptions.
Do you think it can work? We imagine they will be tracking users via IP addresses and that could be easy to spoof. The Wall Street Journal makes quite a bit selling an online subscription, but their content is mainly aimed at business people with expense accounts. Do you read more than a few articles per month on the Times' website?
Warner Bros. on Thursday announced it has expanded its "DVD2Blu" upgrade program. Effective immediately, consumers who spend their hard earned cash building up their DVD collection can begin swapping their movies for Blu-ray versions starting at $4.95 per title.
There are nearly 90 Warner Bros. flicks to choose from, including Gran Torino, The Bucket List, Ocean's Eleven, Get Smart, Freddy vs. Jason, Pride and Glory, and a whole bunch more. Most of the titles can be had for the above mentioned $4.95 fee, while a handful cost $6.95.
The DVD2Blu program was first launched in 2009. Consumers who want to upgrade are provided with a postage-paid envelope to mail their existing DVDs in, sans case. For orders over $35, the service offers free shipping, otherwise it runs another $4.95 per order.
A new study from ScanScout could be mighty troubling to advertising types. Apparently about 24% of all online video is being watched during the traditional television primetime hours of 8PM-11PM. You know, the time the networks assume we're watching so they can charge more for ads. It's really starting to look like online video is replacing a certain amount of live TV viewing.
The programmers have always seen their online offerings as a secondary option for people, not as a replacement for their broadcasts. This is evidenced by the approach networks are taking to Hulu and Netflix. But these numbers indicate viewers are perfectly happy to stream what they want if the network isn't giving it to them.
The study also clearly indicated that primetime isn't the only time people sit down to stream video. The other time when users streamed higher than average amounts of content was weekend days. It was 31% higher than during weekdays. It's clear that when people have time to watch a program, they are increasingly turning to online sources. Do you find online video is eating up time you might have spent watching TV in the past?
In a recent blog post, Jessie Becker from Neflix's marketing team said the online video rental and streaming service has mailed out discs to a number of Wii owners to enable streaming on their Nintendo-brand console.
"We are in the final phase of getting ready for the launch of streaming to the Wii," Becker writes. "Today, we shipped out instant streaming discs for the Wii to some of our Netflix members. Their feedback will ensure that we deliver a great experience to everyone when we launch."
The upcoming launch will complete Netflix's console triple play, though it's unclear exactly when the service will go live. Those who receive a disc will have access to the streaming service right away, but in an email to CNet, a Netflix representative said, "We have not announced a full launch; however, it will be soon."
Would you be willing to pay $17.99 a month for a digital subscription to The Wall Street Journal? That's how much the newspaper is going to run on Apple's upcoming iPad, which is a little bit more than Kindle owners have to pay ($14.99 a month).
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch apparently got the memo that Apple product owners are willing to pay more (zing!), but the question is whether or not the subscription is overpriced. The Wall Street Journal isn't the only U.S. media outlet developing an application for the iPad, and it will be interesting to see what others try to charge
Advertisers are already jumping on board the iPad frenzy, too. According to The New York Times, advertisers have been spending big bucks to buy ad space on the iPad applications from different media outlets (Times included). Chase Sapphire in particular has bought 60 days worth of advertising from the Times, the paper reports.
DivX on Tuesday announced that the latest version of its DivX Plus software is now available for download. The free software has been completely redesigned with a streamlined interface and supports up to 1080p HD H.264-based video in the MKV file format.
"DivX Plus software represents a major step forward in our mission to create a seamless, high-quality media experience that empowers consumers to enjoy the content they care about not just on the computer but on any device in their lifestyle," said Kevin Hell, CEO of DivX, Inc. "Our new software connects the content that millions of users watch on their PCs to the millions of DivX devices all over the world, offering a bridge between the Internet and the living room."
Some of the key features of the DivX Plus software package include easy video transfer to DivX Certified devices, a wide range of playback support, browser-based HD video, MKV streaming to game consoles, and the ability to convert 1080p HD content without shelling out for the paid version.