Spotify’s Soundtrap Expands its Free Toolset for Podcasters

Acquired by Spotify in 2017, cloud-based audio recording studio Soundtrap just expanded its free tier for podcasters, now offering access to an unlimited number of projects and 2,210 loops. All creators using Soundtrap will now have unlimited free storage for podcasts and songs. Founded in 2012, the Swedish-based company has offered four subscription tiers, ranging from $10 to $17 per month, all supporting an unlimited number of projects, 550 instruments and 4,100 loops. Soundtrap’s free tier previously limited users to five projects and 900 loops. The number of available instruments will remain the same. Continue reading Spotify’s Soundtrap Expands its Free Toolset for Podcasters

Slack, Other Chat Apps Aim to Supplant Email in Workplace

Slack, valued at $7 billion during its last funding round, went public yesterday and closed at $38.62, which is 49 percent higher than the $26 reference price set by the New York Stock Exchange. The company, which provides workplace collaboration tools, said it currently has 10+ million daily users and 88,000 paying customers. While it positions itself as an antidote to overstuffed email boxes, it has heavyweight competition with Google (Hangouts Chat), Facebook (Workplace) and Microsoft (Teams). The latter, which is bundled with Office software, is already in use by 500,000+ organizations according to Microsoft. Continue reading Slack, Other Chat Apps Aim to Supplant Email in Workplace

Microsoft Shares Vision For Present and Future Productivity

Microsoft recently invited journalists into its Envisioning Center for a peek into its vision of the future — in particular, its vision of the future of productivity. Inside the center, Microsoft houses some of its prototype work. Journalists witnessed teams working together on giant collaborative screens, meeting in rooms equipped with devices to automatically recognize participants, and doing work at touch-powered desks. The bulk of all provided demonstrations revolved around the use of touch, voice, and augmented reality. This marks a new way forward for Microsoft.

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Facebook Picks Up Redkix to Enhance Workplace Messaging

Facebook aims to beef up Workplace, its enterprise messaging competitor to Slack, with the acquisition of email startup Redkix’s talent and technology. Facebook plans to enhance the communication functionality of Workplace with the Redkix app that combines email, calendar and messaging features. Facebook did not reveal specifics regarding integration of the technology or the acquisition financials. The Redkix app is expected to shut down, while.the company’s employees — including CEO Oudi Antebi and CTO Roy Antebi — will join the Facebook Workplace team. Continue reading Facebook Picks Up Redkix to Enhance Workplace Messaging

Workplace: Facebook Tests Free Version of Slack Competitor

Facebook’s Workplace is a social networking tool designed for the enterprise, enabling an efficient chat and collaboration platform for employees. It is similar to the Facebook used by friends and family members, but instead is meant to foster interaction between co-workers. Now, Facebook is introducing a free version intended for smaller businesses that are not as interested in the administrative and analytical features offered to subscribers. (It is still being tested, so the release is limited.) The new version will be named “Workplace Standard,” and the paid version will go by “Workplace Premium.” Continue reading Workplace: Facebook Tests Free Version of Slack Competitor

Slack Strives to Be Artificial Intelligence-Powered Office Portal

Slack has plans to evolve its workplace app to become the center of the office’s digital environment, connecting a wide variety of third-party business apps, with the ultimate goal of becoming the artificial intelligence-powered portal to the entire workplace. Head of search, learning and intelligence Noah Weiss described those plans for Slack, currently used by three million people every day in the work environment, and added that the company is also evolving its voice capabilities to become more sophisticated. Continue reading Slack Strives to Be Artificial Intelligence-Powered Office Portal

VR/AR Expected to Impact Much More Than Video and Gaming

Most conversation about virtual reality and augmented reality focuses on how it will impact gaming and video entertainment. But a recent report from Goldman Sachs upends that notion, with its prediction that VR and AR will instead open up “an entirely new marketplace of applications” for both the business and consumer sectors. The report states that virtual reality hardware will be an $80 billion industry within 10 years, which is actually a slow adoption when compared to that of smartphones and tablets. Continue reading VR/AR Expected to Impact Much More Than Video and Gaming

Quip Launches New Desktop Version of its Productivity Software

Quip, a company founded by Google vets Bret Taylor and Kevin Gibbs, recently released its mobile creation and collaboration tool for desktop computers. The toolset enables users to connect desktops and mobile devices to the cloud for a version of distributed computing, usually the purview of large data centers. Part of an emerging trend to use as much computing as possible, Quip’s solution has similarities to Amazon’s Silk browser in the Kindle, which has features of local and cloud computing. Continue reading Quip Launches New Desktop Version of its Productivity Software

Splice Fosters Music Collaboration with its New Cloud Service

More than 100,000 music producers and artists are reportedly now using a cloud-based service called Splice to produce music tracks on-the-go. Users store their tracks in the cloud and provide collaborators with access to edit the tracks with compatible music editing software such as GarageBand or Ableton Live. Splice’s technology helps manage how each user has tweaked the tracks. The startup, which officially launched in September, makes money by selling add-ons for music editing software. Continue reading Splice Fosters Music Collaboration with its New Cloud Service

Facebook’s TODO Project Aims to Steer Open Source Software

Facebook has launched the TODO project (“Talk Openly, Develop Openly”) to help streamline the process of executing open source software projects, a major concern in a new era of cloud and mobile computing. Since Monday’s announcement, more than 30 companies have joined the initiative including Google, GitHub, Dropbox and Twitter. The TODO project plans to streamline the process of releasing and updating software, as well as develop a common set of tools for these programs. Continue reading Facebook’s TODO Project Aims to Steer Open Source Software

Gear VR: Samsung Expected to Unveil New HMD at IFA 2014

It has been confirmed that Samsung, in collaboration with Facebook’s Oculus VR, is developing a virtual reality device called the “Gear VR.” The company is expected to announce the device, along with the Galaxy Note 4, at IFA 2014. The Gear VR will feature a modular design, allowing the user to plug in a Galaxy using USB 3.0. The device uses the smartphone’s accelerometer, gyroscope, and processing power for head tracking, which creates the VR effect. Continue reading Gear VR: Samsung Expected to Unveil New HMD at IFA 2014

Samsung and Oculus Collaborate on Virtual Reality Headset

Engadget has an update to the recent reports of Samsung working on an unannounced virtual reality headset. Samsung is reportedly working with Facebook-owned Oculus VR on a media-focused headset. Samsung is working on the hardware side of the product, including next-gen OLED screens, while Oculus is handling the software side. The headset will be navigated via motion and voice, using either a paired game controller or as a standalone device. Continue reading Samsung and Oculus Collaborate on Virtual Reality Headset

Billboard and Twitter Introduce First Real-Time Music Charts

Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts is a collaboration between Billboard and Twitter where fans help rank the most popular songs shared on the social network in the U.S. The first chart, the Billboard Trending 140, is a ranking of songs shared in the U.S. measured by acceleration over the past hour. A real-time view of the most shared tracks over the past day is available. The second chart, the Emerging Artists chart, is ranked by the number of times each song by an up-and-coming artist was shared over the past day. Continue reading Billboard and Twitter Introduce First Real-Time Music Charts

NBCUniversal Opens Tech Center with Focus on Collaboration

NBCUniversal announced the launch of its 63,000-square-foot NBCUniversal Technology Center in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. The $17 million facility will serve as the new center for the company’s core technology team and home for its new Media Labs operation, which plans to work with academic research groups, startups and venture capital firms. The facility’s Technology Show Lab will provide the opportunity for employees and outside partners to collaborate on new products and technology innovation. Continue reading NBCUniversal Opens Tech Center with Focus on Collaboration

500px Aims to Revolutionize Photo Licensing with Prime Service

Online photography community 500px is launching a commercial licensing marketplace called Prime that plans to charge licensing fees starting at $250. 500px says Prime is different from other licensing services because regardless of the license or who purchases the images, member photographers will earn 30 percent of proceeds for each photo sold. 500px is hoping “to fundamentally change the way photos are licensed” by “changing the way photo licensing companies work with photographers.” Continue reading 500px Aims to Revolutionize Photo Licensing with Prime Service

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