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Phorus App Allows Users to Stream Their iOS Device to the New Phorus Speaker and Receiver For In-Home Audio Control
Posted by Andrew Stevens on September 27th, 2013
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Phorus has become available on the App Store, allowing users to stream audio from their iOS devices to the new Phorus PS1 speaker and PR1 receiver. This provides them with easy access and full control to a perfectly synced whole-home listening experience through the use of their iOS device.
“We are honored to be selected by RadioShack to help them further build out their wireless audio category, especially given the focus on audio in RadioShack’s new store formats,” said Dannie Lau, general manager at Phorus, in a press release. “The PS1 Speaker and PR1 Receiver are the perfect solution for RadioShack customers looking for an unmatched whole-home listening experience at an affordable price point, especially going into the holiday season.”
Your computer is a powerful piece of technology, and it usually has a lot of storage space on it, enough to store band discographies that you’ve never even listened to one track off of. Your phone and tablet are great mobile devices, but they’re also great for listening to music and watching videos while at home. So, you’re sitting on your couch or laying in bed, and want to listen to that one album from that band that you’ve never really listened to all the way through. However, you’re too lazy to get up to your computer to actually put it on there. Or maybe you downloaded season 5 of Breaking Bad but your storage space is best measured in kilobyes, not gigabytes. If only there was a way to stream the media from iTunes to your iOS device!
Well, there is, and it’s called iTunes Home Streaming. This streams media from an iTunes library over a local wi-fi network to any iOS device.
Set it up on iTunes first. Log in with the Apple ID of your choosing – it’s best if this is the same Apple ID that was initially set up on the device, and is logged in to iCloud, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be. To manage the Apple ID that is logged in to Home Sharing, go to Settings -> Music or Video and tap Apple ID.
To access music from a local iTunes library, go to the Music app. Tap More, Shared, the name of your iTunes library (configurable from iTunes’s preferences), and then the standard music listings will instead show what is available from the remote library, which can then stream the music to your iOS device.
Now here’s the kicker: it also works for video. As long as the video in the iTunes library is compatible with iOS, then it will play. DRM-protected content purchased from iTunes plays back via Home Sharing too. These videos can also be streamed from AirPlay to an Apple TV. It’s the ultimate in high technology being used for new levels of laziness.
Now, the only real downside to Home Sharing is that it only works over local wi-fi. There are plenty of ways to stream music and video over the internet, but that would fill up a completely different article. Until then, enjoy using thousands of dollars of technology to stream video to TV without getting up to your computer.
Regular users of the Spotify app have just been given yet another reason why the service is the best music product out there. Radio functionality has just been added in the latest update.
It’s a feature that’s been available for PC/Mac users for quite a while and allows users to create stations based on their favorite artists, albums or playlists, with only a single tap saving the track for future reference.
For those who want faster access, the Radio tab makes it possible to view and listen to other stations. Give a favored song a thumb up and it all goes towards Spotify’s personalization system which recommends ideal stations for the user. It should ensure that there’s never a time where you’ll be stumped for what to listen to next.
The service is currently available for free in the US while other countries will require a premium subscription to access the functionality.
Get the update now and enjoy!
How many music cloud storage apps does it take to fill an iPhone or iPod touch? We’re not sure; they roll out so often it’s hard to keep track. On Tuesday there was a noteworthy addition – Amazon Cloud Player arrived on the App Store. It didn’t get much attention from Apple, but that’s likely because the service is very much like iTunes Music Match.
If you are a U.S. subscribers to Amazon’s music service you can now access your cloud-locker to stream your collection of MP3’s to your device. You can also download music to save bandwidth when you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection or for offline listening. Cloud Player also allows you to upload your existing music collection and access your iPhone or iPod touch music library. You can create and edit playlists, but you have to buy the songs and albums, or own them already, to store them in Amazon’s corner of the sky.
Cloud Player devotees get 5GB of free stooge. Add-on storage plans start at $20 a year for 20GB. Be sure to enable automatic downloads if you want your collection to stay current – the default setting is “off.”
The only limitation to Amazon Cloud Player on iOS is that Amazon doesn’t want to give Apple a 30% take on all sales, so like their Kindle app, content must be purchased on Amazon.com and then it gets synched to your device. Look for an iPad release soon.
What happens when a location-based service like Foursquare and a radio streaming services like Pandora are mashed together? We end up with something like WahWah.FM. WahWah.FM, a German-based start-up, is a music service that lets users create their own radio stations by picking music on their own iPhones and simultaneously listening and streaming those songs to anyone else who’d like to listen.
Unlike Pandora and other services that may use algorithms and recommendations to pick songs for stations, every user is their own DJ and can choose which songs they will listen to and broadcast to their listeners. Users can tune into to other users all over to world to check out what they’re listening to. Stations can be posted to Facebook to let friends know that music is being broadcasted. And there are even ways to interact with the listens to the stations each user has created.
WahWah.FM is a free service and is now available on the App Store. Check it out and start streaming.
With the rise in popularity of “cloud” services like iCloud, Dropbox, and Box, another category of cloud services has started to pop up describing themselves as “personal clouds” or “private clouds.” PocketCloud, and it’s iOS app PocketCloud Explore, is one of those services.
These personal clouds often provide access to a remote computer instead of uploading all files to a “cloud” server in possession of the service. With the free version of PocketCloud Explore, users gain access to one remote computer, have 2GB of actual cloud storage, are limited in upload/download size, and audio and video streaming are restricted to 30 seconds. Subscribers can use ten remote computers, the upload/download limit increases to half a GB, and video and audio streaming becomes unlimited in length (Windows only, Mac coming soon).
PocketCloud comes with a companion program that must be installed on the remote computers users wish to access on the fly. The program is available for both Mac and Windows, but the Mac version is unable to stream audio and video as of now.
A PocketCloud subscription will cost $5 per month, but it’s currently on sale ($7.99 for three months and $23.99 for the year).
Remember iSwifter and its impressive capabilities in terms of bringing Flash to the iPad? That same cloud-based technology has gone one step further now, with news coming out of GDC, that the firm will now be offering a licensing program for PC-based gaming applications to be streamed to iOS devices.
As co-founder of iSwifter, Rajat Gupta, explains “It is virtually impossible for developers to bring PC games to mobile as quickly as we can through our lowest cost streaming cloud service, and to provide a native-like user experience with automatic enablement of touch gestures,” so this is potentially huge news for iOS device owners. The lofty ambition, according to co-founder and Chairman, Peter Relan, is to “do to applications what Netflix™ did for movies.”
As always, we’ll keep up to date on the latest progress with such a move. While waiting for companies to embrace this concept, why not check out the current iSwifter app?
Released: 2010-09-09 :: Category: Utilities
Movies are great, right? How about free ones streamed directly to an iOS device? No, I’m not talking about a subscription service like NetFlix but an entirely free ad-supported service.
Popcornflix promises hundreds of free full length movies all at the tap of the screen. These films aren’t going to be huge blockbusters, but that’s not to say the quality is dire. Plenty of different tastes are catered for with the ability to browse according to genres such as Action/Thriller, Comedy, Romance, Horror and Family. All films are professionally mde and full of (sometimes vaguely) familiar stars.
In particular, I’d personally recommend quirky indie film Lymelife starring Alec Baldwin but there are sure to be other hidden gems out there. The makers of Popcornflix promise that at least one new movie is added every day so users should struggle to ever run out of options.
Popcornflix is out now, it’s an Univeral app and completely free to use.
Today is a good day for fans of music like the indigenous folk rock music of southern Papua, New Guinea as NPR has launched an updated version of their music app for the iPad. The newly launched NPR Music is a one-stop listening shop for iPad users, providing free access to basically everything NPR has to offer. Users have access to extensive music collections from a variety of genres, all organized by category for easy perusal. Furthermore, you can check out news, signature NPR programming, listen to live events or even stream entire stations all with a couple taps and swipes.
In a move that will really please audiophiles, NPR Music allows you to save playlists for later offline listening, a free service which normally locked away as a “premium” features in apps like Spotify. We do however assume that at some point the app will bombard you with endless pledge drives until you find some way to insert $20 into your iPad. But isn’t that a small price to pay the first time you whip out your iPad, load up your NPR app and completely blow the minds of your hipster friends?
Fandor, an online indie film streaming service that caters to both independent film fans and the mainstream movie crowd, released an iPad app today. This move comes shortly after announcing a partnership with the Roku streaming set-top box back in November. Going mobile brings one of the web’s largest collections of entertaining films that celebrate cinema to iPad users. The films within the collection include the likes of FILM SOCIALISME from the Legendary director Jean-Luc Godard. A magisterial essay on the decline of European civilization, the film was an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival. Fandor offers its users great films such as this as well as others not found anywhere else.
The app features a unique way in which to discover new films via the “Spinner” which offers members a way to have a film randomly picked for them or to select criteria such as era, genre or length before spinning. Members can also take advantage of integration with Twitter, Facebook and email to recommend their favorite movies with friends. The company supports indie filmmakers by sharing a portion of its subscription fee with them as well as with distributors. New members can sign up via a seven-day unlimited free pass on Fandor. Subscriptions range from $2.99 per week or $99.99 for the year.
MyStream, the mobile to mobile music sharing app that launched earlier this year, has announced a recent update that adds additional media file type support, fixed a few bugs within the MyPlayist function and improves the loading screen behavior. The app, created by entrepreneur Richard Zelson, acts as a virtual earphone splitter and allows users to share their music via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Now, the app features social networking integration and a new expanded playlist sharing functionality, which allows the full song to be played by turning on “Access MyPlaylist” and selecting a top 10 list of songs to be made available for others to enjoy. This was a major point of feedback from users of the previous version. Previously, the app only allowed full playback of the host’s song in real-time while others could only be played as 30-second samples. MyStream is available as a free download in the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
Rdio Unlimited Family, announced today, is a new discounted way to have more than one account for your family and friends. Calling it “the industry’s first digital music family plan,” Rdio hopes to allow folks who know each other group their accounts in bundles of up to three at a time. Each account acts as it’s own individual account, with the ability to listen to an individual mix of the over 10 million songs on the Rdio service. Users can also follow other Rdio listeners, and share songs and playlists with other users, Facebook, and Twitter. The accounts are fully functional Rdio accounts, able to access their unique settings on a variety of devices and platforms, including the iPad, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile 7, as well as home devices like Sonos and Roku.
“When we first introduced Rdio, everyone in the industry offered the same rates and service plans for on-demand music: five dollars per month for Web-only access and ten dollars per month for Web and mobile,” said Drew Larner, CEO of Rdio. “Now with whole families using Rdio, we’ve had a tremendous number of requests from our users for a family plan. We’re really proud to be the first digital music service to bring this type of plan to market.”
The new Rdio Unlimited Family Plan, users can save 10% with a two-account plan, at $17.99/month. If there are three accounts purchased in the bundle, there is a 23% savings, coming in at $22.99/month, while additional accounts above and beyond the three are charged at the standard $.9.99 per month. So, while a family of six will save some on the first three accounts, it might behoove them to purchase two family accounts, with up to three accounts each.
We hope to see more services adopt this “buy more, save more” approach with time, and Rdio is leading the way. I look forward to the time when the discounted savings includes more than three at a time, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.
Wi-Fi has given technology buffs a huge amount of freedom. It’s not that long ago that we were all constricted by cables making the likes of video streaming possible but a little awkward and requiring plenty of forward planning. Now we’ve got the wonders of Wi-Fi and apps like Air Playit.
Air Playit is an app that enables its users to stream any video or audio files that are stored on their PC straight to their iOS device. Video conversion tools mean that video libraries can be converted instantly to a format that iOS devices can read. Users aren’t restricted to being on the same Wi-Fi network either with it being possible to set up the server to work across the internet too.
The app also supports Apple TV-Out so that users can stream content to their TV via their iOS device. Options to customize output quality and audio parameters are also available. It’s a pretty comprehensive app indeed and one that offers tons of convenience.
Air Playit is out now in iPhone and iPad varieties. Both are free.
Released: 2011-07-15 :: Category: Entertainment
Ages ago, when mankind first learned of fire and kept small dinosaurs as pets, I used to work in a very large bookstore. One of those big ones that sold DVDs and wooden toys on top of books and stuff. Stick with me, the bit about the DVDs is important. So, having worked in a store that sells DVDs I’ve come to learn something about our society: American people go absolutely nuts for British television.
Seriously, so many people would spend upwards of $80 or more on a single season of some show about a woman who marries people and lives in wine country or something. And maybe solves murders. Average citizens solve a lot of murders over there, don’t they?
Perhaps it’s because they’ve finally realized that their shows have a massive global appeal, or maybe it’s because they finally got the funds together, but BBC Worldwide has created (and is unleashing) their BBC iPlayer: an iPad app that allows a fairly extensive (1500 hours worth on day one) amount of their catalog to be streamed digitally. The managing director of BBC.com (Luke Bradley-Jones) has told guardian.co.uk that the service will feature newer episodes but also grant users access to “… the best from the catalogue stretching back 50 to 60 years.”
Some content is available for free (add-supported, of course), but subscriptions are available for €6.99 (roughly $10) a month and €49.99 (about $72) a year. Sure subscription fees are always daunting, but considering the fact that most BBC enthusiasts plunk down more than triple that in a year or less, I think this seems like a great deal. Especially when considering the perks that the US version will include: 3G and Wi-Fi streaming, as well as (this is the big one) downloading videos directly to the iPad for offline viewing. I mean seriously, who wouldn’t be willing to pay a little bit each year to be able to load up some Doctor Who, Primeval, Top Gear and more, whenever they’d like? Imagine how awesome those commutes would be.
The BBC iPlayer is due out “Thursday” in 11 Western European countries, but US, Canadian and Australian residents will have to wait until later this year. Bummer.
The Pixies, the seminal indie-rock and grunge alternative-rock band from Seattle, formed in 1986, disbanded in 1993, and reunited in 2004. In 2011, they released Pixies Official, an app chock full of streaming Pixies music, available for free on the App Store.
Developed by Topspin Media, Inc., the Pixies Official app features free streaming of their Purple Tape, free download of the 2004 Coachella show, artwork from Vaughan Oliver and Simon Larbalestier, who are the creators of the original artwork for all five of the Pixies’ studio albums, and on-demand streaming of a ton of archive performances. These include a show from Manchester in 1988, the first 2004 reunion show at the Fine Line Cafe, and the acoustic 2006 Newport Folk Festival show.
The app also contains fan profiles, fan badges and leaderboards, integration with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, and (duh) an in-app store where users can buy the complete catalog of studio albums and a ton of Pixies merchandise.
[Source: Music Ally]
Spotify has landed in the US with a great deal of press coverage and speculation, but what is it, exactly?
Spotify is a streaming music service – more akin to Rdio or MOG than the randomly-generated playlists of Pandora – that has one killer feature its competitors don’t. It’s free. Yep, once an account is established (which is tricky at the moment – more on that in a bit), streaming is enabled for Macs and PCs through the iTunes-like Spotify desktop client. The catches are relatively minor. The free service is ad-supported, so expect to hear song snippets when you least expect them, or see an ad for Coke dominate your Spotify screen for a few seconds. Taken as a whole, however, it’s a lot of content for the surprising cost of nothing.
For those wanting more, Spotify offers an Unlimited Plan for $4.95 which features unlimited streaming to PC/Mac with no ads or a Premiere Plan for $9.95 a month to stream all content to the iPhone and select other devices. If you’re hurting for an invite to join the fun, you can jump to the head of the line by purchasing an Unlimited or Premiere plan…or…
You can win one of two invites to Spotify USA by helping us reach 2,000 fans on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/148apps. Once we hit that magic number, all of our recent fans’ names go into a hat for a random drawing. Two lucky winners will receive invites to the music party of the year.
There’s nothing overtly new about this seasons variety of the amazing MLB At Bat apps, but with baseball season just around the corner, it’s now prime time to pick up the app. As an extra treat for those who download early, the MLB will be streaming around 150 spring training games this season as part of the free MLB.tv mobile preview. In addition, each game will receive the same on-air radio treatment and batter-by-batter action that each game gives you during the regular season. Check out the full list of Spring Training goodies:
Customize At Bat’s home screen to feature your designated favorite team Watch Live streaming of about 150 Spring Training games with a special mobile free preview of MLB.TV Listen to available radio broadcasts of Spring Training games Follow batter-by-batter action for every Spring Training game Enhanced video library archive, searchable by player or team Breaking news, schedules and interactive rosters and players stats for every team
For the first time ever I’ll get to see my Astros play spring training ball in the Grapefruit League. I’m more than just a little excited.
For those who had never used MLB At Bat in the past, it is the most amazing baseball game day app that you will ever touch. With the app you can follow any game in the country for free (well, after the app cost), and even listen to the games (you can choose between the home and away broadcast team) over internet radio. Best of all, if you purchase MLB.tv, you can watch each game via live streaming to any iOS device. The additional price ($99+) may seem a bit steep at first, but with well over 100 games going on this regular season, it’s a hard deal to pass up for real baseball fans.
Released: 2011-02-24 :: Category: Sports
OnLive, the streaming game service that plans to take the world by storm, has announced today as the launch day for its official OnLive iPad viewer. The free service allows users to watch any game being played by any member of the OnLive community at any time. So if you’re feeling like a video game voyeur then this may just be the perfect app for you.
The app comes with a few strings attached, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before you install. First off, this is a viewer only, so you won’t be able to actually play any games, but rather instead only watch them. If you want to interact with the titles available on OnLive first you’ll need to set up an account and then stream the games to either a PC or the newly released MicroConsole. Also, keep in mind that OnLive requires a rather large chunk of bandwidth, even to simply watch games, so make sure you’re running an Internet connection that can keep up with the requirements. In our quick tests, the quality was not so great on 802.11g, but very good on 802.11n. But it’s free and your mileage may vary.
Some might scoff at merely releasing a viewer rather than a full-on OnLive client, but OnLive representatives have explained to us that the games on the service have been tuned for consoles and PCs and aren’t yet ready to run on the iPad. The conversion of PC video games that are used to a full keyboard and mouse to a touch only device, just isn’t that easy. Does that mean we might see a true iPad client down the line? Absolutely, it’s just a matter of letting the OnLive crew continue to tweak and hone the service until it’s ready to support actual gameplay. Basically, users should think of this as an important first step and a sort of proof of concept for what will be available on down the line.
Not so long ago, PlayOn launched the web app version of their popular streaming media service. Among other features, PlayOn allows you to stream content from your computer (with an installable server application) straight to your iDevice without needing any sort of plug in box or fancy connection. This meant that from your iOS Safari browser you could watch anything that was being pumped through your PC.
Now the service is a bit sweeter as Apple has approved the native PlayOn app. PlayOn Platinum subscribers (free for 14 days, after which a subscription will be required for only $39.99 for the first year and $19.99 for each year thereafter) can now download the app and cleanly stream whatever they want to their iDevices, including including “Hulu, Netflix, Amazon VOD, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, TV.com, PBS, CNN, SpikeTV, and The Ultimate Fighter.”
“We’re very pleased to receive approval on the native app, which will make PlayOn even more accessible to iPhone users,” states Jeff Lawrence, CEO of MediaMall Technologies. “Although the HTML5 development surpassed our expectations about what a web app can do, we’re happy to be a part of Apple’s official app ecosystem and provide consumers with another way to easily find and access the video content that they love. We look forward to continuing the expansion of our library with additional content providers, so stay tuned!”
PlayOn Mobile is available for free in the App Store, and can be downloaded as soon as now!
Those wishing that the currently Europe-only Spotify music streaming service and iPhone app would hit to the rest of the world now have another option – MOG Mobile Music.
The MOG network has been around for a while but its new iPhone app makes it a serious contender in the audio subscription market offering similar, if not better, features by comparison to its rivals.
Highlights of the service include a library of eight million songs and some 700,000 albums that can be streamed to your iPhone over 3G and Wi-Fi and bundled into playlists. An unlimited number of songs can also be downloaded to the iPhone and stored for periods when you’re outside of Wi-Fi or cell areas.
The above features are all par for the course when it comes to this type of app and service but there are a few gems to be found in MOG Mobile Music too. The first is the true on-demand nature of the listening. Songs can be played at any time and repeated unlike many similar services that prevent repeat play, and you can listen to user playlists and customizable artist radio stations on the go. Artist radio isn’t as strict as the others either, with a simple slider determining how much of the artist you hear and how many similar artists are played.
It’s flexibility that seems to be the key difference between MOG and its rivals and, for a $9.99 per month fee, looks set to take a lead in the cloud-based music subscription game.
If you fancy trying out MOG Mobile Music, a three-day free trial is currently available when you download the app. No credit card is required either so you can sample the service risk free during this period.
While Pandora got the top billing when Apple demoed iOS 4 multitasking, other music services are also updating their apps to support background play.
Multitasking in iOS 4 allows compatible apps to run in the background while another app runs in the foreground. Apps in the background can continue to perform tasks such as play music streams.
Slacker Inc has announced that its personal radio application, Slacker Radio, has been updated to support multitasking and is available now for free on the App Store. The currently Europe-only Spotify is also headed for background-centric adjustment with the company announcing on its blog that an update has been submitted to Apple. The blog post goes on to suggest that a “surprise” will also be included in the update to thank users for their patience.
As well as music streaming, GPS navigation apps and social networking clients are also popular background enabled apps. Expect to see many more updates of this type in the coming days.
Released: 2009-01-12 :: Category: Music
The Hulu Blog today confirmed what many have been murmuring about online for some time. Hulu is bringing its streaming TV service to the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The aforementioned murmurs also questioned how this delivery of most of America’s top TV shows would be paid for, they too were given an answer with the introduction of the Hulu Plus subscription.
Formerly only available via a PC or Mac, the Hulu Plus app and subscription service will combine to deliver episodes from current and classic TV shows on iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 as well as the iPad and third gen iPod touch.
At present the service is working on an invite-only basis (apply for one here) and will cost users $9.99 per month but, for this fee you do get a good deal of benefits. Full seasons of TV shows will be available including big hitters such as Family Guy, 30 Rock and The Office with up to 720p HD resolution available. Through the Hulu Plus app, users will be able to browse, search and resume playback at the same point on different devices. For iPhone and iPad users, you will even be able to stream over 3G!
While we’ve not had the chance to fully test Hulu Plus yet, this sounds like the service Apple’s portable devices have been crying out for and one that will likely bring about a few discussions inside Apple HQ. With the recent acquisition of media streaming startup Lala, it is rumored the company is gearing up to introduce a cloud-based iTunes service that could include streaming TV shows to iPhones and iPads.
The Hulu Plus app is available for free on the App Store and includes a bunch of freebies that don’t need a subscription in order to try out. The movie Super Size Me is included as well as clips and episodes from a number of TV shows as well, so it’s worth sampling the app for these bonuses alone.
Check it out on the App Store here
Elgato has announced that the 1.1 update to its EyeTV app now provides iPad compatibility for streaming TV wherever you are.
Now, before you get too excited, the EyeTV app does need Elgato’s EyeTV software and tuner as well as a Mac or PC in order to stream TV but. if you fulfill these requirements, today is a good day for you. An Elgato package isn’t that expensive either, with products starting around the $150 mark and taking advantage of the free digital video signals it catches.
Elgato is renowned for its EyeTV software that turns your computer into a digital TV and allows for recording live shows as well as scheduling using a small tuner that connect via USB. The EyeTV app for iPhone and now iPad allows users to view all of their recorded content as well as watch TV live on their device, taking advantage of the in-built TV guide. The app even allows you to set recordings on your home computer remotely.
At $5.99, the EyeTV app is a worthy investment for existing EyeTV users and will more than likely lure many new customers too.
Having Hulu on the iPhone would be a dream and a half, but without Flash support, the service is a no go. Instead, Fox Mobile is releasing an app called BitBop, which quietly came out as a beta yesterday. It’s only compatible on four Blackberry phones at this point, but will eventually be available for the iPhone and Android operating systems.
Like Hulu, BitBob is coming loaded with content from 25 content partners including NBC, CBS, The Food Network, A&E, and MTV, and will include all of their most popular shows and series. In an earlier interview with mocoNews, Joe Bilman, Fox Mobile’s EVP of Global Products said that the application would be free but access to the entire catalogue would probably cost $10 a month. I think it’s safe to say that the many content partners are quite a bit more excited about BitBop’s monthly access plan than Hulu’s ad based model.
Aside from a few snafus, such as the horrible BitBop name and the monthly subscription pan, the service seems like it will be a big in the mobile market. As much as I love iTunes, the ability to stream content directly to my phone seems a bit more exciting. Hopefully BitBop will follow Hulu in the movie department too, because there’s nothing like having a movie on the go.
[ Source: mocoNews ]
If you’d asked me a while back which company would first release an iPhone app for streaming full-length movies, I’d have probably guessed Netflix. ABC. Blockbuster. Redbox. Hulu. Maybe even Apple.
A much less famous company called mSpot, however, has stolen the crown of “first!”
Not that mSpot is new to the movie streaming business. They’ve already been offering movie streams for PC, Android, Palm, and Blackberry devices; they also have a music cloud-based storage/streaming service. Now, however, their mSpot Mobile Movies app has reached the App Store. The app allows you to browse movies, watch trailers, and rent movies for watching on your iPhone…or, if you decide you want to switch screens, you can hop onto your PC partway through!
The streaming quality looks pretty solid, and works on both 3G and WiFi (how did that get past AT&T?). As for prices, they offer both a “club” option and an a la carte method. The prices aren’t too outrageous, either; movies like Inglourious Basterds and Star Trek are shown as costing just $4.99 to rent, while a small number of old titles like Night of the Living Dead are available for free. mSpot’s library isn’t enormous, but there are enough good titles there that it’s definitely worth a look.
Now, if mSpot can just expand its library, its early advantage could transform it into yet another movie-source contender.
After Apple acquired music streaming service Lala Media at the end of 2009, many believed it would be bringing this cloud-based technology to its iTunes service very soon. While Lala will shut down on May 31st it appears that it may still be a while before a streaming version of the iTunes Store for both desktop computers as well as iPhones and iPads will be launched.
Lala offers a catalog of over 7 million songs that stream directly to users over the internet. In order for listeners to listen to a specific song at any time and as many times as they wish they are required to pay a $.10 fee. Songs are also available to download at prices similar to the iTunes Music Store. Apple acquired the company in December 2009 for an undisclosed fee thought to be around $17 million.
However, after initial excitement at the Lala Media shutdown announcement, it appears not to denote an imminent launch of Apple’s own streaming product.
Apple is said to be talking to record labels regarding a streaming service but these discussions have been pegged as “preliminary at best” according Peter Kafka writing for MediaMemo at All Things D.
The success of streaming music and video applications like Spotify and Pandora for the iPhone and the new ABC Player for iPad have added weight to the rumours that Apple will begin to deliver music and movies in the same way via iTunes but it appears this move could still be a way off.
Apple is well aware of the demand for streaming music services after showing Pandora’s application streaming music while making use of the new multitasking feature found in the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0.
One of the key factors in such a service is the method in which payment would be made by consumers. While Apple has strong ties with the major record labels it took a long time to thrash out a mutually beneficial deal. Changing the landscape for music delivery may introduce further issues. Streaming music a user already owns on iTunes is one possible outcome however a subscription model may also be made available which would tie in to an iPhone and iPad application.
With Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference only a month away, those hoping for an announcement on the topic will likely be disappointed, with many sources claiming the launch of a streaming iTunes service won’t happen before the third quarter of this year.
[via MediaMemo ]