CES 2020: Startup Creates AI For Better Sports Refereeing

ST37 Sport et Technologie, a small startup within the French Pavilion at CES’s Eureka Park, was demonstrating an AI-driven real-time referee assistant that will, in their words, end subjectivity in sports. The company’s autonomous robotized cameras connect to an AI that interprets the images in real time and sends the results to smartwatches or screens. The system is designed to assist referees in making better calls, provide helpful tools to scouts, and offer coaches and athletes valuable tools for improving performance. The ETC team suggested to ST37 that the data would also be extremely useful for on-air color commentators. Continue reading CES 2020: Startup Creates AI For Better Sports Refereeing

Audible and Amazon Continue to Dominate Audiobook Market

Audiobook sellers like Amazon-owned Audible are competing for the ears, not eyes, of book lovers. And they’re showing promise. In 2016, audiobook sales climbed to $2.1 billion, representing an 18 percent jump from the previous year (the format experienced a 26.2 percent sales increase during the first three quarters of 2017). Audible represents about 41 percent of all audiobook sales, and when paired with Amazon, which sells audiobooks directly through its website, the two make up more than half of the market. Audible’s library includes 400,000 titles and its annual subscriber growth is in the double digits.

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Facebook Debuts GitHub Incubator for Open-Source Projects

Last week, when Facebook launched a project — Create React App — to help React developers begin new projects, it became the first to live in the Facebook Incubator on GitHub, the company’s new process for releasing open-source projects. Facebook has already open-sourced almost 400 projects, and, with the Incubator, the company wants to make sure it could manage new programs efficiently and create the best chance for their success. Facebook has hundreds of thousands of followers on GitHub. Continue reading Facebook Debuts GitHub Incubator for Open-Source Projects

Survey: Netflix Subscribers Envision the Service Replacing TV

Netflix continues to invest heavily in its original programming as the company competes with pay TV and rival streaming services. The company has also reduced its U.S. library as licensing costs climb, while adding to its international offerings in markets such as Canada and Great Britain. To get a sense of the brand’s perception in an evolving digital landscape, AllFlicks surveyed 3,000 visitors to its own site and Reddit to learn how the company is faring as compared to pay TV and other entertainment businesses. With this select group, 75.5 percent believe Netflix could replace traditional TV. Continue reading Survey: Netflix Subscribers Envision the Service Replacing TV

Beats Music to Close Now That Apple Music is Live on Android

Apple acquired Beats Electronics for $3 billion in May 2014. While it was expected that the Beats Music streaming service would be folded into iTunes Radio to take on Spotify and similar offerings, Apple Music was launched more than a year later. Now, Apple has announced that it plans to officially shutter Beats Music on November 30. A statement on the Beats Music site encourages subscribers to check out Apple’s new service: “Your subscription will be cancelled, but you can move your picks and preferences over to Apple Music right now.” Continue reading Beats Music to Close Now That Apple Music is Live on Android

Discover Weekly: Spotify Debuts Personalized Music Playlists

Spotify’s new feature, Discover Weekly, is a two-hour personalized music selection based on users’ listening habits, delivered every Monday morning. It aims to introduce new music and artists to subscribers based on newly created case profiles. The playlists are much like recommended mixtapes generated by algorithms that evolve over time, relative to user data. The new feature is an attempt by Spotify to maintain its subscriber base as it faces growing competition from rival services such as Rdio, Deezer, Apple Music and others. Continue reading Discover Weekly: Spotify Debuts Personalized Music Playlists

Findaway Launches Tablet Specifically Designed for Libraries

Findaway launched its Playaway audio player in 2006, a device that came pre-loaded with one audiobook. Despite distribution deals with Borders and Barnes & Noble, the product failed to gain traction, likely due to the lack of customization options. However, since libraries are in the business of passing one item from person to person, the device had some appeal. Now the company is introducing its Playaway Launchpad, designed specifically for the children’s sections of libraries. The device comes pre-loaded with educational apps developed by app maker Fingerprint. Continue reading Findaway Launches Tablet Specifically Designed for Libraries

Scribd Adds 9,000 Audiobooks to E-Book Subscription Service

Subscription service Scribd — the “Netflix for books” — now has 45,000 audiobooks in its library after striking a deal with Penguin Random House Audio. The new titles include popular works by Lena Dunham, John Grisham, and George R. R. Martin. According to Scribd, audiobooks have doubled the time users spend reading on the service. Audiobooks also help bolster Scribd’s catalog, which currently does not include digital books from two major publishers: Penguin Random House and Hachette. Continue reading Scribd Adds 9,000 Audiobooks to E-Book Subscription Service

Google More Than Doubles Cloud Storage Capacity for Music

Google is now offering users more cloud storage to upload their personal music files through Google Play Music at no cost. Earlier this week, Google upped the cloud capacity of music storage to 50,000 songs, far exceeding the 20,000 song limitation previously in effect. The company’s upgraded cloud capacity for music storage dramatically surpasses that of its competitors, including Apple, Amazon and Xbox Music. Additionally, other cloud offerings for music storage generally come at a premium cost. Continue reading Google More Than Doubles Cloud Storage Capacity for Music

Apple TV Users Can Access Bonus Content with iTunes Extras

Apple unveiled a new version of iTunes Extras that offers Apple TV users access to bonus content for movies they buy through iTunes. It also enables studios to dynamically update content related to their films. The update comes as Hollywood looks to provide film fans with added incentives to purchase digital movies. In the wake of declining DVD sales, the studios are hoping consumers will turn to digital purchases rather than renting or watching via subscription VOD services. Continue reading Apple TV Users Can Access Bonus Content with iTunes Extras

Apple’s Plans for Photos App Will End Aperture Development

Apple unveiled a new Photos app during its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month in San Francisco. Now it seems that the app will serve as a new platform for the upcoming OS X Yosemite. As a result, Apple will no longer develop its Aperture pro photography application, and iPhoto will be replaced by the new Photos app. The transition is designed to provide a more seamless experience, since users will be able to edit and search their Photo Library in the cloud on any Apple devices. Continue reading Apple’s Plans for Photos App Will End Aperture Development

Amazon Launches Ad-Free, Streaming “Prime Music” Service

As expected, Amazon has launched Prime Music featuring more than one million songs and hundreds of playlists. The new service offers unlimited streaming without ads or restrictions. It is free to Amazon Prime members and could potentially help attract new subscribers (those who are interested can sign up for a free 30-day trial). Prime members can also listen to downloaded music offline on their Kindle Fire, HDX, iOS, Android and Mac/PC devices via Amazon’s Cloud Player. Continue reading Amazon Launches Ad-Free, Streaming “Prime Music” Service

Amazon Prime Ready to Launch its Anticipated Music Service

Amazon has reportedly reached agreements with record labels in order to launch a streaming music service by June or July. The Prime music service does not plan to feature recent song releases, but will offer a catalog of tracks and albums that are six months old and older — providing an additional benefit to Prime members who already enjoy access to movies and TV shows via Instant Video, an e-books lending library, and free two-day shipping on products ordered through the retail site. Continue reading Amazon Prime Ready to Launch its Anticipated Music Service

Netflix Turns to Original Series and Licensing 5-Star Content

According to Netflix CFO David Wells, the streaming service plans on spending $3.2 billion on streaming content in 2014. Netflix acknowledged that a large fraction of the currently available material is not necessarily popular with its audience and plans to spend more money on shows with higher potential. A content shift through the next few quarters toward more original series along with licensing exclusive and higher-rated shows will account for this extra spending. Continue reading Netflix Turns to Original Series and Licensing 5-Star Content

VUDU Allows UltraViolet Users to Share Movies with Friends

Walmart announced that its VUDU media delivery service will introduce a new feature that allows customers to share content from their UltraViolet collections. The “Share My Movies” feature will enable users to share movies and TV shows with up to five friends or family members by simply entering their email addresses (they also need to be VUDU customers). The company hopes that the ability to share libraries will encourage more consumers to sign up for the service. Continue reading VUDU Allows UltraViolet Users to Share Movies with Friends

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