Apple to Integrate Sound Recognition App Shazam into iOS 8

Apple is planning to include a song discovery feature in the newest update of iOS, which will allow users to identify songs and artists with their iPad or iPhone. Apple is working with Shazam, an app that can quickly recognize a song by collecting sound from the device’s microphone and matching it with an extensive song database. Apple hopes the feature will help encourage download sales. Although iTunes is the world’s largest music seller, sales have decreased dramatically in recent years.  Continue reading Apple to Integrate Sound Recognition App Shazam into iOS 8

NBCUniversal Unveils its Plans for New Digital Programming

NBCUniversal announced on Tuesday its push into digital programming with the launch of new series to be distributed via its channel websites, Hulu and VOD. Two series slated to launch on NBC.com include “Saturday Night Line,” about superfans who wait in the “SNL” standby line, and “Heroes Reborn: Digital Series,” a prequel to the upcoming “Heroes” miniseries. In addition, Universal Cable Productions has plans to release more than a dozen digital programs, including “Tesla and Twain” and “Last Single Girl.” Continue reading NBCUniversal Unveils its Plans for New Digital Programming

TV Networks Consider Plan B Options if Court Sides with Aereo

Television broadcasters, which are suing for an injunction to shut down Aereo, are also said to be considering back-up plans in case the Supreme Court rules in favor of the video startup. Options being considered range from lobbying Congress for legislative solutions to possibly transitioning from broadcast to cable transmission. Broadcasters such as ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC contend that Aereo is violating copyright law by capturing over-the-air signals and streaming them via the Web to paying customers. Continue reading TV Networks Consider Plan B Options if Court Sides with Aereo

New Mohu Channels Adapter Combines Streaming and HDTV

After raising nearly $145,000 on Kickstarter, antenna maker Mohu plans to release its Channels TV adapter this June. The Mohu Channels device is a TV adapter that combines free over-the-air HDTV broadcasts with online video streaming services, such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu Plus. Mohu also hopes to include the ability to play back local files, time shifting functionality to pause and fast forward through live programming, and an Android app that can be used as a remote. Continue reading New Mohu Channels Adapter Combines Streaming and HDTV

Sprint and Spotify Partner to Promote Streaming Music Service

Wireless carrier Sprint and streaming music service Spotify are reportedly joining forces to push the music service out to Sprint’s customers, similar to a plan already underway between AT&T and Beats Music. The new partnership will include free Spotify trials for Sprint customers and the option to pay for the music service using Sprint’s billing system. Spotify’s premium service costs $9.99 per month, although some Sprint customers will likely qualify for discounts. Continue reading Sprint and Spotify Partner to Promote Streaming Music Service

New Deal with VEVO Will Bring Music Content to Yahoo Screen

Yahoo and VEVO announced a new partnership to bring music videos, concerts, and other original music programming to video channel Yahoo Screen. The deal includes new financial incentives for Yahoo to promote VEVO videos, particularly on the Yahoo home page, mobile app, and Yahoo sites outside the U.S. It is all part of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s strategy to focus on video to keep visitors on the site longer. VEVO, meanwhile, hopes to break its dependency on YouTube. Continue reading New Deal with VEVO Will Bring Music Content to Yahoo Screen

Maker Studios Says Disney Offer Approved by Shareholders

Maker Studios announced that Disney’s offer to acquire the YouTube multichannel network (MCN) has been approved by a majority of its shareholders, despite Relativity Media throwing its hat in the ring with a surprise bid of $1.1 billion (mostly stock) on Sunday. Also, the Superior Court for the State of California in L.A. yesterday rejected a request by former Maker executives, including former CEO Danny Zappin, seeking to block the shareholder vote on the proposed Disney acquisition. Continue reading Maker Studios Says Disney Offer Approved by Shareholders

Cloud Computing Proves an Asset for Productions on a Budget

Today’s cloud services — including CGI, digital intermediate, asset management and storage — are allowing small productions to realize their big visions with less money. Independent films and live events are more frequently using cloud computing to get the rendering and storage services they need without the high costs of traditional physical infrastructure. Productions can also save money because cloud computing helps speed up the long shooting and filmmaking process. Continue reading Cloud Computing Proves an Asset for Productions on a Budget

Microsoft Announces Studio-Grade Skype TX for Broadcasters

Microsoft’s latest messaging tech, Skype TX, integrates high-quality Skype calls into broadcasting. The new product, which bypasses ads and notifications, is studio-grade software that offers improved video and audio quality. It features HD-SDI video output and input, balanced audio output and input, auto aspect ratio conversion, support for multiple calls and API integration. Microsoft envisions TV shows, news programs and live events using Skype TX to connect with people outside of the studio. Continue reading Microsoft Announces Studio-Grade Skype TX for Broadcasters

Sesame Street Unveils Sesame Go Video Subscription Service

Sesame Workshop, the maker of the long-running children’s television show “Sesame Street,” has launched an exclusive, standalone video subscription service. For $4 per month or $30 per year, subscribers will have access to hundreds of ad-free episodes, including shorter 30-minute episodes that have never been seen in the U.S. before. The interface with its simple and colorful buttons was designed especially for kids. Children can watch Sesame Go via the Web, tablets or smartphones. Continue reading Sesame Street Unveils Sesame Go Video Subscription Service

In 2013, 71 Million People Watched Online Computer Gameplay

Last year, more than 71 million people worldwide watched other people play computer games, according to a report from games research company SuperData. More than half of those people were in the United States and one in five American gamers either watch or participate in eSports, or organized video game competitions. At the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship last year, 32 million people watched the professional gamers battle it out. Continue reading In 2013, 71 Million People Watched Online Computer Gameplay

Pro Music Curators Create Specialized Playlists for Listeners

The access to millions of songs on Spotify, Pandora and other online music streaming services has music fans feeling overwhelmed. Some fans are now turning to professional music curators to help them identify the best songs for their specific mood. Professional playlist makers typically do not compile mixes based on broad genres or decades, but instead, they create mixes for specific occasions or emotional states, such as a family road trip or a sad break-up. Continue reading Pro Music Curators Create Specialized Playlists for Listeners

NCAA Tournament Marks New Record for Live Video Streaming

Turner Sports announced that NCAA March Madness Live set a new record with 69.7 million live video streams collectively across platforms. The 2014 tournament’s live video streams were up 42 percent compared to the previous year. NCAA March Madness Live — in partnership between the NCAA, Turner Sports and CBS Sports — netted 15 million hours of live video consumed, which is also a new all-time record. Live streams via tablets and smartphones were up 71 percent this year. Continue reading NCAA Tournament Marks New Record for Live Video Streaming

NAB: DataFission Platform Aims to Search the Unsearchable

DataFission has developed generally applicable technology that can index, search and report on all forms of unstructured, metadata-free digital data. With deep roots in military research, this San Jose company has developed algorithms that can index files and streams of data, without human interaction, in one sweep. The system can index any type of data, including video, still images, music, audio tracks, text, software and metadata. According to its brochure, DataFission is “Solving the world’s problem of searching the unsearchable.” Continue reading NAB: DataFission Platform Aims to Search the Unsearchable

New $1,300 LaCie Thunderbolt 2 External Drive is Lightning Fast

LaCie’s Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 is an external storage drive with four times the data transfer speed of USB 3. The $1,300 device is unique in its ability to handle two simultaneous streams through a single cable, making it ideal for transferring large 4K video files. It can support daisy chaining up to six peripherals, such as other hard drives, cameras and monitors. The chipsets for the technology are already built into the Mac Pro and the latest MacBook Pro with Retina display. Continue reading New $1,300 LaCie Thunderbolt 2 External Drive is Lightning Fast

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