Mobile: Amazon Turns to the Cloud for Streaming Flash Video

Amazon has been quietly testing what it hopes will be an improved means of viewing Flash video content on mobile devices. For the past six months, some Kindle Fire users have been provided with an “experimental streaming viewer” option when they attempt to access video clips on sites including CBS.com, Fox.com and NBC.com. The Silk browser for Kindle Fire enables the streaming by splitting the workload between the mobile devices and Amazon cloud servers. Continue reading Mobile: Amazon Turns to the Cloud for Streaming Flash Video

In the Wake of Heavy Losses, Future of Nook is Uncertain

Barnes & Noble announced this week that it will stop producing its own color tablet e-reader, the Nook, in favor of third party, co-branded devices. The company’s decision may reflect a trend in the decline of dedicated e-readers competing with the growing popularity of tablet devices. Consumers are looking to tablets, which have more features and apps available, including e-reader capability, compared to standalone e-readers. Continue reading In the Wake of Heavy Losses, Future of Nook is Uncertain

Netflix and Amazon Continue Pursuit of Younger Audience

Netflix today announced the launch of Netflix Families, a new destination site intended to promote Netflix’s family-friendly offerings. The website features Netflix recommendations for parents and children, streaming tips and promotional content. Also, Amazon announced that it has added more than a thousand books, games, educational apps, movies and TV shows to its Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, including kids’ titles from Disney, Warner Bros. and Electronic Arts. Continue reading Netflix and Amazon Continue Pursuit of Younger Audience

Technicolor Certified Program Ensures Hues Across Devices

Technicolor, working with Portrait Displays, has developed a new standard for guaranteeing the hue quality across computer and mobile device panels. The Technicolor Color Certified Program will provide displays that meet the standard with a seal of approval. “For the end user, the result should be consistent tones across all certified devices either automatically or when the Technicolor color setting is enabled for specific programs or apps,” explains Engadget. Continue reading Technicolor Certified Program Ensures Hues Across Devices

Kindle Worlds: Amazon Debuts Fan Fiction Publishing Platform

Amazon announced Kindle Worlds yesterday, a digital publishing platform that enables fan fiction authors to publish under official licenses and receive royalties. The current deal is limited to “Gossip Girl,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “The Vampire Diaries” from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment, but Amazon promises licenses for more Worlds in the future. Stories will be made available via Amazon.com, Kindle devices, iOS, Android and Kindle Free Reading apps. Continue reading Kindle Worlds: Amazon Debuts Fan Fiction Publishing Platform

Amazon Debuts Virtual Coins for Appstore and Kindle Fire

Amazon.com distributed tens of millions of dollars in new Amazon Coins virtual currency earlier this week by depositing 500 Coins, the equivalent of $5, into the accounts of every customer using a Kindle Fire. The company will also offer Coins at discounts of up to 10 percent when purchased in bulk. In an effort to increase customer loyalty, the Coins can be used for products and services available at the Amazon Appstore and within Kindle Fire tablet apps. Continue reading Amazon Debuts Virtual Coins for Appstore and Kindle Fire

Amazon Developing STB, Smartphones and Other Devices

Amazon is reportedly moving beyond its Kindle tablet line with the development of multiple CE devices aimed to compete more directly with Apple and Google. According to people familiar with the plans, the company is developing a range of new devices including two smartphones and an audio-only streaming device. The e-commerce giant is also working on its own set-top box for streaming video content. Continue reading Amazon Developing STB, Smartphones and Other Devices

Microsoft Reportedly to Pay $1 Billion for Nook Digital Assets

According to internal documents obtained by TechCrunch, Microsoft is pursuing a $1 billion purchase of the digital assets of Nook Media LLC, the digital book joint venture between Barnes & Noble and investors. “In this plan, Microsoft would redeem preferred units in Nook Media, which also includes a college book division, leaving it with the digital operation — e-books, as well as Nook e-readers and tablets.” Continue reading Microsoft Reportedly to Pay $1 Billion for Nook Digital Assets

Could Amazon Set-Top Box be an All-In-One Media Center?

Amazon reportedly has plans to launch a television set-top box that would stream video over the Internet to televisions and provide access to the company’s expanding video services, including the Amazon Video on Demand store. The new device, expected as early as sometime this year, would compete with Apple’s set-top box, Apple TV, in addition to video-delivery products from Roku, Boxee, Microsoft and Sony. Continue reading Could Amazon Set-Top Box be an All-In-One Media Center?

Less is More as Consumers Turn to Short Form Content

As the shift to mobile devices continues, media including e-books, music and video are becoming increasingly popular when distributed through a “less is more” model. Consumers are gravitating to short form content they find more convenient. Amazon has brought back serial novels for its Kindle, Capitol Records Nashville has debuted at number one with its EP releases, and shorter films such as the 42-minute documentary “Inocente” are drawing viewers and winning awards. Continue reading Less is More as Consumers Turn to Short Form Content

Amazon AutoRip Service Updated to Include Vinyl Records

Amazon already offers its AutoRip service, which began in January and provides free digital copies of purchased physical CDs. The company has just announced an extension of that service to include purchased vinyl records from Amazon dating back to 1998. For every vinyl purchase, Amazon will provide MP3 versions to the consumer’s Cloud Player immediately and for free. Every major record label is represented on AutoRip. Continue reading Amazon AutoRip Service Updated to Include Vinyl Records

Amazon to Acquire Goodreads for Competitive E-Book Edge

Amazon announced it will purchase the popular book discovery and recommendation website Goodreads, a social service that centers on book recommendations and reviews. The acquisition — which comes at a time when readers are increasingly turning to tablets and e-readers to search for authors and books — could help push Amazon ahead of competitors Apple and Google in e-book retailing. Continue reading Amazon to Acquire Goodreads for Competitive E-Book Edge

Two Full-Sized Tablets Priced to Compete at Under $300

Apple’s iPad is now three years old. Since it hit the market in 2010, it has sold more than 120 million units and basically launched the tablet industry as a whole. But pricing remains an issue for those consumers considering making a purchase, as many name-brand tablets start as high as $499. And even lower-priced, full-sized tablets sell for between $300 and $400. However, this is about to change. Continue reading Two Full-Sized Tablets Priced to Compete at Under $300

Small Bookstores Sue Amazon, Seek Open E-Book Market

Independent bookstores have filed a lawsuit alleging agreements between Amazon and six large book publishers violate federal antitrust law. The small bookstores cite the proprietary coding software that only allows users to read e-books on a Kindle or the Kindle app. They are making an argument for open-source coding that would allow for a more open e-book publishing market. Continue reading Small Bookstores Sue Amazon, Seek Open E-Book Market

Mobile: Amazon Acquires Voice Recognition Company IVONA

Amazon has acquired IVONA Software for an undisclosed sum. Amazon already uses IVONA voice recognition software on the Kindle Fire, which helps users navigate the touchscreen and enables other voice commands. Amazon may now integrate the software into other Kindle products, and could also use the technology to create a competitor to Siri as rumors persist that Amazon could be working on a smartphone. Continue reading Mobile: Amazon Acquires Voice Recognition Company IVONA

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