Amazon Prime Music Gets Its Own Exclusive Content With Launch Of Amazon Acoustics

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Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Amazon is expanding its Prime Music service today with the launch of a new collection of exclusive acoustical recordings from a number of artists, both established and up-and-coming. At launch, there are just over 30 recordings being made available, which is accessible by way of the Amazon Music app on iOS, Android, Android Fire devices, Amazon’s connected speaker Echo, or online at the Prime Music website.

Included in the “Amazon Acoustics” collection are several artists performing covers of well-known songs, like Joshua Radin doing Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” Surfer Blood doing Outkast’s “Hey Ya!,” Jessie Baylin doing Harry Nilsson’s “He Needs Me,” and Tokyo Police Club doing a version of their own, “Argentina (Part I) [Acoustic].” Other tracks include newly written songs, like Deer Tick’s “Grandfather Song,” which didn’t make the cut for its 2013 album but is now available as a part of this collection.

While Prime Music is one of the member-only benefits…

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Dropbox Arrives On Roku With An App For Viewing Your Personal Photos And Movies

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Dropbox has quietly launched on the Roku, with an app that allows you to view the photos and videos you have stored in your account directly on your TV by way of Roku’s streaming media player. The new app itself is simple to use – you can browse through your folders, view thumbnails and slideshows, and even search for items by name.

But wait, I know what you’re thinking – does this mean you can now use Dropbox to watch your entire digital movie collection, beyond just your home videos?

Apparently not at this time.

The app’s launch was spotted earlier today by Dave Zatz, who suggested that Dropbox’s arrival could make for an interesting competitor to Plex or perhaps a way to store exported TiVo recordings, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. At least, not at this point.

After uploading a handful movie files in the following formats – .mkv…

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Killer deal: Amazon will pay you $10 to buy a $30 Google Chromecast

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Originally posted on BGR:

Google’s little Chromecast dongle is pretty awesome. The device plugs into the HDMI port on any HDTV or monitor and instantly gives users access to movies, TV shows, videos, music, photos and more that can be streamed from any Android device. Best of all, perhaps, the Chromecast is wonderfully inexpensive at just $29.99.

For a limited time, however, Amazon is making Google’s Chromecast an even better value by offering a deal that really may be too good to pass up.

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Reed Hastings on the future of non-linear television

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Originally posted on Fortune:

When it comes to the transformation of the medium we call television, there’s arguably no other company that sums up that disruption better than Netflix—a former DVD-rental company that has become one of the most powerful streaming-video players in the world, accounting for an estimated 35% of the traffic on the Internet. So it’s probably worth paying attention when Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings talks about the future of television.

Speaking to attendees at the Re:publica conference in Berlin last week, Hastings said that what he likes to call “linear television”—in other words, the kind most of us grew up with, where a show takes place on a certain channel at a certain time—has a fairly bleak future (thanks to Quartz for pointing to the speech). “We will come to see that linear TV declines every year for the next 20 years,” Hastings said, “and that internet TV rises…

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Pandora’s “Sponsored Listening” Ad Format Exits Beta, Offering Mobile App Users An Hour Of Uninterrupted Listening

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Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Following the arrival of stronger-than-expected earnings last week, radio service Pandora this morning announced the expansion of its “Sponsored Listening” ad product, which is now being made available to all advertisers. The product, which was first introduced this past fall, was said previously to be scheduled for a launch in the second half of 2015. Instead of more interruptive ads, similar to what you would hear on terrestrial radio, Sponsored Listening lets users opt to watch a video or other rich media ad at the beginning of their Pandora session in exchange for an hour of commercial-free music.

These ad units, which require at least 15 seconds’ of users attention, can now include things like a swipeable slide gallery or a 360-degree product spotlight, in addition to video – the latter which was the only ad format initially available when the product first launched into beta. The idea is to capture users’ uninterrupted…

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