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Google Music comes to iOS via Safari

google music 300x168 Google Music comes to iOS via SafariGoogle Music is still in its beta and not a lot of people are getting it as yet. It’s not even available in other countries. But the guys at Google still want more people experience what they think may be a game changer in entertainment and cloud computing so they have finally released a version that is compatible with Apple’s iOS.

The new version of Google Music can be accessed on devices that carry iOS. But this is not a completely separate app – the access will go through the Safari browser. This is a mixed bag for some people. Others prefer a separate app so they can access Google servers even without the browser, while others want their access to be done through the browser so they won’t have to install any extraneous apps.

The browser interface actually acts similar to an app. Users can slide between the songs and as a nifty feature, the songs you are playing will continue to do so even when the browser is closed. Of course, browsing through the library and searching for songs can be done through the browser as well.

Google Music is not the first to market with a music streaming service – it already has competition from Spotify and other music streaming services and soon from Apple’s own iCloud service. Google Music has to make unique product decisions to distinguish it from its competitors.

Lo and Behold! Google TV Unveiled

There you go folks. Google has spilled the beans about its latest and grandest plan of conquering our lives. Google has just launched Google TV. This time Google is aiming to bring web contents we enjoy consuming on our computers to the sweetest spot in our homes – those areas where we sit back, relax and enjoy watching TV shows and programs.

But exactly is Google trying to bring in here? It’s not a TV set. It’s not a TV media player but what Google has been known for – software platform. And for Google TV, Google is interweaving the web and TV into a single platform.

Google TV will let us watch contents we enjoy from the web. It has  a built-in search with auto-suggest function, a web browser in Google Chrome, a TV homescreen console, and most importantly it has Android running in the background.

How will Google TV change our viewing habits? And how will it affect commercial TV programs. For our TV viewing habits, Google TV will give us more choices and possibly more TV viewing time. For commercial TV programs, this is like Google hauling competition. Google TV might blur the thin line that separates canned TV programs, to freely available online entertainment content.

So, what’s the big plan? Google is working with Sony and Logitech to bring in Google TV on set-top boxes, Blue-Ray players and other media hardware. Google is also releasing the Google TV SDK and web APIs to let third-party developers create more exciting and fun apps that will run alongside Google TV.

It’s going to be fun and exciting in the next few days. Google TV is certainly going to make waves. And if Apple rocked the tablet world recently, Google will certainly rock the TV world soon as well.

GetGlue Makes its Services Stickier with New Features

Adaptive Blue has just updated it’s free browser add-on, GetGlue.com with personalized new releases for each user, real-time suggestions, the ability to quickly decide if a book, a movie, or album is for you as well as a new interface.

Let’s take a look at the new features which were just rolled out by GetGlue:

Personalized new releases – GetGlue scans new releases in movies, music, and books and give your the ones that are most relevant to you based on what you have already liked before.  These movies pertain to your favorite genre which could either be a new album from your favorite artists, or even books on particular topic that interests you.

Real time recommendations – GetGlue automatically updates your recommended movies, music and books everytime you encountered new releases. You can quickly browse through these list by clicking on the “Recommended” filter.

Things you’ve already liked – GetGlue shows you similar things that you’ve already liked while you visit a movie, an album or a book on GetGlue.com or anywhere on the web. It also shows you reviews and liked items by your friends, neighbors and the entire GetGlue community who have similar tastes as you.

New activity streams - GetGlue’s new activity streams compress daily activities of various users. This gives you the ability to explore more items from these activity streams.

New interface - Finally, GetGlue has also redesigned the site’s overall interface – now bigger, shiner, simpler and definitely more fun.

So, there. Are you using GetGlue? Do you like the new features so far?

Boxee Brings NHL Game Center Live to its Updated Service in Beta

NHL GameCenter Live Home Screen 300x187 Boxee Brings NHL Game Center Live to its Updated Service in BetaFor those of you who are currently using Boxee, which is currently in beta have a reason to rejoice as Boxee announced two new exciting features of its service. First is that NHL GameCenter LIVE is now available on Boxee.  If you are subscribed to this service on a monthly or annual basis, you can now enjoy watching great Hockey games and fights in HD mode on Boxee.

The other part of Boxee’s exciting announcement is related to updates to its service which is currently in beta mode. The latest version of Boxee beta has some interesting new features such as the following:

File Identification Progress – This feature lets you to easily see how many files Boxee is scanning, has identified, and doesn’t recognize in your media collection.  You can check the status of its media from any menu sidebar or from the Media settings menu.

Manual Movie and TV Show Identification – This feature lets you tell Boxee what’s in your media collection. It allows you to change incorrectly labeled files, find and identify unresolved files and select files to label them correctly.

Facebook & Twitter in your Boxee feed – Boxee Beta now lets you see recommendations from your Facebook and Twitter friends and contacts within Boxee. You can see shared videos in your feed with an icon on the right that tells you where they are from.

New & Improved RSS Management - The new version of Boxee Beta also now lets you better manage, discover and play RSS feeds in Boxee. You can search, arrange by category or sort through the most popular, top rated, new and HD feeds available on your Boxee account. You can then use the RSS feeds app to play back your favorites.

Bug Fixes and Fixes and Fixes, and Fixes! – Of course, just like any other version updates, the new Boxee Beta has addressed hundreds of bugs and issued various fixes to these.

Netflix Now Streams TV Shows and Movies to Nintendo Wii

nintendonetflix Netflix Now Streams TV Shows and Movies to Nintendo Wii

Nintendo and Netflix are treating Wii users all over the world with free streaming of TV and Movies on TV sets via Netflix services. The new TV and movie streaming services are provided free of charge to Wii users with existing Netflix plans starting at $8.99 monthly.

With a Nintendo Wii connected to a broadband service, a Netflix subscription you can practically turn your Nintendo Wii into a multimedia device. We’re talking here of unlimited movies and TV shows delivered courtesy of Netflix.  You can also opt to receive DVDs delivered straight to your door step.

Certainly this new service will boosts Netflix’s clout in the home entertainment scene. The Nintendo Wii remains to be the most popular gaming consoles, thanks to its motion controls which users find useful for both exercising and gaming controls.

As for Nintendo Wii, this new service extends its purposes and functions from a mere gaming machine to a portable multimedia entertainment device. It’s definitely a win-win for both parties.

To have streaming TV shows and movies from Netflix on your Nintendo Wii, you simply need to request for a free instant streaming disc from www.netflix.com/wii. Once you have your CD, you can pop it inside your Nintendo Wii and you will presented with a catalog of movies and TV shows that you can freely watch.

via Business Wire

Amazon Preps Up Kindle for iPad, Will Apple Approve It?

Screen shot 2010 03 23 at 5.23.38 AM 229x300 Amazon Preps Up Kindle for iPad, Will Apple Approve It?If you were Steve Jobs running Apple which is about to release a magical and revolutionary product that has one of its features going up against the Amazon Kindle, will you allow the Kindle application on the iPad apps store? I mean knowing pretty well that this will compete with the iPads iBooks application?

Well, it seems Amazon is hoping that Apple will not mind this at all. After all, the Kindle for iPhone and recently Kindle for Mac were approved. But the thing is the iPad iBooks is not yet fully operational and full operation will commence only as soon as the iPad is released to consumers.  Publishers are expected to get into the iPad frenzy, making sure that their e-book catalogs make it through the iBooks app store.

Still, there’s no harm in trying. After all Amazon was clever enough to market its upcoming Kindle app  not as specific to the iPad but for other tablets as well. Hence calling its Kindle Apps for Tablet.

Kindle Apps for Tablet will have the same features as the other iteration of the Kindle app. Be it for the iPhone, BlackBerry, PC or Mac. Specific for Tablets are some enhancement in the user interface including:

  • Tailored to the size, look, and feel of your tablet computer
  • Customize background color and font size to ease eye strain
  • Adjust screen brightness from within the app to make reading easier
  • Page turn animation replicates the look of turning a page in a book. Or choose Basic Reading Mode for a simpler and unadorned reading experience

So there, will you be getting your e-books from the Kindle Store once you get your iPad or will you stick to the plan and get it from the iBooks app store instead?

Internet TV Guide Clicker Redesigns its Homepage, Goes Full Blast with New Features

clicker 490x538 Internet TV Guide Clicker Redesigns its Homepage, Goes Full Blast with New Features

Clicker, an Internet TV guide which just launched 3 months ago is gearing up for a full blast operation as it launches a new homepage coupled with some new features.  If you’re like me who just learned about this site now, Clicker’s dictum is to help you, Internet TV consumers to find the right show, right when you need to find it – as in Now.

What Clicker does is to catalog all broadcast programming online including TV-quality web original shows. It then delivers a seamless and well organized experience for you to find what’s available to watch and watch isn’t. It also tells you where to watch the Internet TV show as well as which of these shows are well worth watching.

And to make all these happen, Clicker has redesigned its homepage and peppered it with social, personalization, recommendation and management features.

Key features of Clicker’s new homepage include the following:

  • Search on top – to make it easy for users with small screen resolution to use Clicker’s main service – Search
  • Headliners – include important shows and episodes, breaking news and other important TV content
  • Popular Shows/Episodes – a placeholder for soon to be personalized recommendations feature of Clicker
  • Clicker Right Now – lets you peek into what other Clicker users are doing/watching
  • Categories – browsing Clicker’s catalog by subject
  • Playlist – used to be buried on the second layer of Clicker’s site and is now place prominently on the homepage

So there, if you’re into Internet TV programs, check out the newly redesigned Clicker.com now.

TiVo Premiere Will Change the Way You Consume Media Content

TiVo, a multimedia company popular for providing advanced television services has just launched TiVo Premiere and TiVo Premiere XL Boxes.  Basically what these two boxes do is to provide you with a one box that aims to change the way you consumer various forms of media content.

TiVo Premiere combines cable programming, movies, web videos, and music all in one box  that will unlock the real value of your HDTV set. It is energy efficient and promises to even surpass what the DVRs have done to our media viewing and listening habits.

If you’re multimedia consumer, there’s probably no reason why you would hesitate in getting the TiVo boxes. Well, of course that’s assuming that you are ready to spend $299 or $499 for either of these two TiVo boxes. And these will all happen come April 2010 when the TiVo Premiere and TiVo Premiere XL will be released.

Don’t worry whichever you choose to get, you’d still get the same features such as broadband and broadcast integration, TV Baby Browser, easy to use HD layout, built-in Adobe Flash Player, 45 hours of HD storage or 400 hours of standard definition programming feature.  If you want more recording capacity, you can opt to get the TiVo Premiere XL box instead. This option offers 150 hours of HD or 1350 hours of SD programming.

Are you getting one of these TiVo boxes? Or are you satisfied with your current TV box.

Samsung Embeds Skype into LED HDTVs

SamsungTV SkypeCall 1 490x382 Samsung Embeds Skype into LED HDTVs

Samsung has just unveiled their latest HDTV line-up, the LED 7000 and LED 8000 series. Wait, before you stop and say that these are just another one-of-them Samsung HDTVs, well think again because they are actually not just your ordinary HDTVs.  These HDTVs are quite unique because of the fact that they come embedded with Skype software.

Yes, folks this simply means that you can now have the comfort of making video and voice calls through these Samsung HDTVs. Do you have any idea how crisp and clear the person you are Skype-ing with would be? Well, the idea is pretty cool for me and I would love to get one of these new Samsung HDTVs. Although we may all have to wait for quite some time since Samsung is launching the new TVs worldwide sometime before the second hald of 2010.

Going back to the two Samsung LED 7000 and 8000 series TVs. These two products will come with Samsung’s free InternetTV service as well which will let you access selected online content.  And you also need to buy the FreeTalk  TV Camera to enable the high quality video calls.  Voice calls on the other hand will be handled by Skype’s SILK audio codec which is capable of producing super-wideband audio quality.

If you don’t have a Skype account yet, you can create one using the TV’s remote control via the TV’s simple Skype interface. Of course, the bottomline is that voice calls and video calls will be free provide that you are communicating with another Skype user.

Cool? Yes, of course!. So, I’ll watch out for those Samsung LED HDTVs if I were you.

Wal-Mart to Enter the VOD Market, Eyes Vudu Movie Service

Screen shot 2010 02 23 at 5.30.36 AM 490x293 Wal Mart to Enter the VOD Market, Eyes Vudu Movie Service

Wal-Mart has been in the DVD retailing business for quite some time now. And while this has been doing good for them, the company lacks one service which has been the the more popular way of bringing digitial movies to U.S. consumers – video-on-demand service.

But Wal-Mart may be preparing up to enter this arena soon, as New York Times is reporting that the video company is eyeing Vudu, an online movie service provider. Although the deal has not been confirmed yet by both companies,reports had it they have began informing Hollywood studios about the deal.

If the deal is indeed true, Wal-Mart maybe facing up stiff challenge against the likes of iTunes, Netflix and other online video-on-demand services. While Vudu for its part has been pretty much making some noise especially during the recent CES Event wherein the company managed to struck some deals with LCD TV manufacturers in putting Vudu services in their products.

Previously, Vudu has been advocating the use of a separate device that would connect to home TVs but could not manage to get some leverage. Since then, the company concentrated on delivering online movie service instead.

We’ll see whether this deal would make some headway in the coming days. It will be exciting to watch how Wal-Mart would put up a challenge against iTunes, Amazon, and other big names in the video-on-demand service. And whether which one will emerge as the households’ choice of VOD provider.