AOL just sent us word that it's relaunching its AOL Radio service, which is now powered by Slacker. It's a major overhaul with a top-to-bottom redesign, custom artists stations, improved functionality, fewer commercials, and a greater than 10 million song catalog. Listeners will have over 200 stations to browse, including custom artists stations, ESPN Radio, and a whole bunch more.
Video may have killed the radio star, but Vdio, the online video equivalent of Rdio, will do battle with Netflix for streaming supremacy. Up until yesterday, Vdio was a secret project headed by Skype creators Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, along with a modest team of heavy hitting players who aren't accustomed to failure, people with experience from Skype, Napster, Microsoft, TV Guide, and Apache. Does Netflix have anything to worry about?
Hackers took control of Sesame Street's YouTube channel on Sunday and replaced videos of kid-friendly puppets with real-life actors engaged in hardcore porn. Security firm Sophos reported on its suddenly appropriately titled "Naked Security" blog that the XXX-rated content was available for around 20 minutes before the channel was pulled for "repeated or severe violations of our Community guidelines."
Hulu is officially off the auction block, which means Google is going to have to be content with YouTube, Apple will have to find another way to boost its Apple TV platform, and Yahoo, Microsoft, Amazon, Dish Network, and all the rest who were interested no longer need to concern themselves with what was gearing up to be an epic bidding war. For whatever reason, Hulu simply had a change of heart.
Music streaming service Pandora has taken heat as of late despite being one of the most downloaded apps on most mobile platforms. The problem is that as time goes on, investors are becoming increasingly skittish regarding Pandora’s ad revenue. At present, the company is not expected to turn an annual profit until 2014. As a result, Pandora’s stock price has tumbled 16 percent in recent months.
Raise your hand if you've heard of Epic Meal Time. Great. What about Leo Laporte's This Week in Tech? Excellent. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog? If most of you geeks aren't raising your hands by now, something's wrong. But that's not what this is about.
And that's why I'm here: I'm not going to point you in the direction of super well-known video shows that you could (really, should) be watching. I'm here to show you some of the slightly less popular gems that might have flown under your Geek Radar for some odd reason. I'll wait while you make the popcorn.
We've been duly impressed with Western Digital's media streamers, handing out high marks to both the WD TV Live and WD TV Live Hub in our reviews (here and here), each one falling just short of a Kick Ass award. Maybe Western Digital can get over the hump with the introduction of its next generation WD TV Live player, the first in its category to come with Spotify baked in, the company claims.
We’ve been hearing for several weeks that Microsoft was close to finalizing content deals that would allow the Xbox game console stream TV. Today Redmond announced the program, and the partner list is impressive. The deal encompasses cable providers like Comcast and Verizon, but some individual stations like Bravo, BBC, and HBO are also on board. However, this isn’t the kind of service that encourages users to cut the cord; there are conditions.
The former peer-to-peer file stealing sharing service turned legit is changing hands once again. After filing for bankruptcy nearly a decade ago, Napster's assets were picked up by Roxio for $5.3 million in cash and stock in 2002. In 2008, Best Buy spent $121 million acquiring the music subscription service, which by then had more 700,000 subscribers. Best Buy was never able to do much with Napster, and now Rhapsody will take over operations.
The consumer outrage over Netflix's recent price hike and even more recent announcement to spin off its DVD-by-mail service into a completely separate business has been well documented here and elsewhere on the Web. Now that the dust has had some time to settle, are subscribers ready to forgive and forget, or at the very least move on? Researchers at Piper Jaffray seem to think so.