What started off as a somewhat barebones streaming music app is developing into a fleshed out package with new features being rolled out every so often. We're talking about Google Play Music, which is Google's version of Spotify. In a continued effort to make the app more spiffy, Google for the first time is making use of its Songza technology acquired this summer to offer users music based on mood.
Nvidia earlier this month launched a 24 hour celebration of PC gaming called GAME24. In addition to being the first GAME24 of (hopefully) many more to come, it was also the first live streamed 24-hour global celebration of PC gaming. By the numbers, it was a success -- GAME24 attracted more than 1.3 million gamers from nearly 150 countries who tuned into the live stream to see tech talks, a 24-hour modding competition, and more.
Netflix on Thursday announced a deal that will see the release of four full-length feature films starring comedian and actor Adam Sandler exclusively through the streaming service. Sandler's Happy Madison Productions will work with Netflix to develop each of the four films, so you can probably expect a similar style of humor as past Sandler movies, and perhaps a continuation of the usual cameos.
Google is pitching its Chromecast device for streaming chores, Microsoft recently unveiled its Wireless Display Adapter based on Miracast technology, and now Mozilla is jumping into the fray with Matchstick, the first HDMI stick based on Firefox OS. Currently up for pledges on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, Matchstick's makers hope to find an advantage over the competition by offering up a completely open hardware and software platform.
Sometimes the Windows Phone platform gets forgotten or otherwise overlooked by developers. Such has been the case with Spotify, which has been serving up free tunes to Android and iOS users for some time now, but hadn't extended the same courtesy to Windows Phone. Well, that changes today -- Spotify has finally brought the free mobile music experience to Windows Phone users around the globe.
New York-based Verizon user finds Netflix to be nearly 10x faster with a VPN than without it
Netflix and Verizon are now locked in a blame game over the sluggish performance of the former’s video streaming service on the latter’s network. This despite Netflix (grudgingly) agreeing to pay Verizon to ensure the smooth delivery of its streaming video content to the ISP’s subscribers. Regardless of who’s to blame, it’s paying customers of both companies who are being made to suffer for no fault of theirs. One such end user caught in the crossfire, New York-based entrepreneur Colin Nederkoorn, posted a video exposing the severity of the issue. The video has since gone viral, having amassed over 400,000 views on YouTube.
Here's something a little bit different -- Intel is planning to give away a whole bunch of prizes as it seeks to discover the very best streamers on Twitch. It's part of a collaboration with GoodGame Agency (of Team Evil Genius fame) to offer the gaming community a reality web series dubbed "Intel's Next Top Live-Streamer." Contestants will compete to become an official member of the Intel Stream Team.
Netflix received a cease and desist order from Verizon's legal team last week due to a message the streaming service was posting to customers during times when network congestion resulted in lower quality videos. The message read, " The Verizon network is crowded right now. Adjust video for smoother playback." Fast forward a few days and Netflix is backing off its shaming campaign, though it hasn't ruled out using the same or similar messages in the future.
After reluctantly inking a multi-year agreement with Comcast to ensure that its video streams reach customers without a degradation in quality, Netflix probably isn't all that gung-ho to pay what it feels would be another extortion fee, this time to Verizon. Instead, Netflix has been showing Verizon customers a somewhat snarky message blaming the ISP for low-quality video streams, and Verizon is none-too-happy about it.
Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre are now Apple guys
After remaining eerily quiet for weeks following rumors and speculation of a $3.2 billion takeover, Apple this week finally announced that it has agreed to acquire Beats Music and Beats Electronics for $3 billion, $200 million shy of the originally reported figure. That includes a $2.6 billion purchase price and around $400 million that will vest over time. In addition, Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple as part of the deal.