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Google pulls GrooveShark music streaming service from Android Market

Posted in Android by Conner Flynn on April 7th, 2011

The already controversial GrooveShark music streaming service is not finding it easy with mobile platform vendors. GrooveShark’s mobile music streaming application was already booted out of Apple’s App Store last year, and now they have been booted from Google.

GrooveShark for Android was removed from the Android Market this week. But don’t worry, the GrooveShark for Android application is still available from the company’s website and can be installed on any Android device that allows sideloading. The iPhone version is also available, though only installable on jailbroken devices. It ain’t easy getting your mobile Grooveshark on. It seems there are too many sharks in the water and not enough chum.

Amazon exploring Mobile-Payment Service for Handsets

Posted in Amazon by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2011

Amazon.com is considering the introduction of a service that would let customers pay for goods in brick-and-mortar stores using their mobile phones. This info comes from “two people with knowledge of the project” so we don’t have any confirmation just yet.

This service would use near field communication (NFC) technology, which allows devices to transmit data like payment information, loyalty points and coupons by simply tapping them against special cash registers. It makes sense for Amazon to venture into this field since Microsoft, Apple and Google are said to be planning software, devices or services with NFC themselves. If this does happen it should happen within six months time.

Amazon to buy UK movie streaming and rental service Lovefilm

Posted in Amazon by Conner Flynn on January 20th, 2011

Amazon has announced that it has some spare change and has agreed to buy up all the remaining shares of Lovefilm that it didn’t already own. The British company is a subscription-based movie rental and streaming service for the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Looks like Amazon might have the final piece in place to battle Netflix. The acquisition is expected to be complete by the end of Q1 of this year.

Sears, Kmart launch Alphaline Entertainment movie download service

Posted in movies by Conner Flynn on December 28th, 2010

Sears and Kmart are launching Alphaline Entertainment, a new venture to sell downloadable movies online. It’s powered by Sonic’s RoxioNow backend just like Best Buy and Blockbuster, and the price is $3.99 rent / $19.99 new release.

There are plans to embed the service in a variety of connected Blu-ray players, mobile devices, TVs and more. So, would you use this service? Or are you happy with the one you are currently using?

Microsoft working on TV subscription service for Xbox, PCs

Posted in Xbox 360 by Conner Flynn on November 29th, 2010

Reuters has some information suggesting that Microsoft is getting ready to launch a video subscription service for the XBox 360. The details are scarce and nobody knows yet how this will work, but Microsoft has several options.

The first option is to become a virtual cable operator and charge for bundles of channels. This is a model that we all know well and one that networks are familiar with. They could also create one app per channel, similar to what Roku does. It will be interesting to see what happens with this one.

Netflix debuts service in Canada

Posted in Netflix by Conner Flynn on September 22nd, 2010

Netflix has released details of its new Internet Movie subscription service launched today in Canada. It’s the first Netflix service outside the US. It will be available for $7.99 per month on a number of different devices, with the possibility to sign up for a free trial month.

Netflix also revealed that it has now signed Canadian license agreements with major studios such as Lionsgate, MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox and Universal Pictures, as well as Canadian distributors Alliance Films, Maple Pictures, eOne and Mongrel.

YouTube to offer pay-per-view movie service by end of 2010

Posted in YouTube by Conner Flynn on August 29th, 2010

You can find all kinds of stupid pet tricks and stupid human tricks on YouTube, but no pay-per-view content like Apple, Amazon, and others. Well, the Financial Times is reporting that parent company Google has been in talks with “Hollywood’s leading movie studios” for several months regarding the launch of an international pay-per-view service by the end of this year.

Looks like it would cost about $5 for new titles (streaming, not download) that would be available the same time as the DVD releases. The site has been doing rentals on a trial basis since early this year, with a handful of indie titles.

Blockbuster and Comcast team up for DVDsByMail Service

Posted in Comcast by Conner Flynn on August 9th, 2010

In an effort to unsettle Netflix, Blockbuster and Comcast have teamed up to offer their new service, which is called DVDs By Mail. This is basically a discounted Blockbuster Online subscription for Comcast customers.

The site’s only advantage is discounted pricing for existing Comcast subscribers with a Double or Triple Play package. If you log in to your Comcast account it looks like you will be greeted with a dollar off Blockbuster’s most basic, one disc at a time plan ($7.99 versus $8.99). All other options are priced as they would be for a non-Comcast customer.

And now a moment of silence for this PS3, which was destroyed in a fire

Posted in PS3 by Conner Flynn on August 5th, 2010

It makes us sad to see consoles like this. I can only thank god that my own PS3 is still pristine and unburnt. Let’s bow our heads in silence for a moment.

Yes, this is what a PlayStation 3 looks like after a fire. Sniff. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. No gamer should ever have to go through this. What kind of sick world would do this to a console? Everyone raise your PS3 controller high and hit the X button in a mock 21 gun salute.

PlayStation Plus announced: $50 a year

Posted in PS3 by Conner Flynn on June 15th, 2010

We knew it was coming and today at E3 PlayStation Plus has been announced. Before you get your Playstation panties in a bunch, the PlayStation Network will not change. You still have what you already have for free. But if you like you can upgrade for $50 a year or $18 for three months.

The first three months are even free. You get a whole bunch of premium content, including “hundreds of dollars of products” throughout the year, early access to betas, and Qore. It’s for the gamer who doesn’t want to miss anything.

Sony to reveal PSN+ subscription service at E3

Posted in PS3 by Conner Flynn on May 25th, 2010

Word on the street is that Sony is set to reveal a premium tier of the PlayStation Network service, labeled PSN+, during E3 2010. Unlike Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold service, PSN+ will focus on giving paid subscribers additional bonuses without limiting online multiplayer between paying and nonpaying users.

Subscribers will have access to a rotating list of PSP Minis and PSone Classics, exclusive in-game DLC, discounts to the PlayStation Store and “first hour” demo access on full retail titles. After the first hour of gameplay, players will be able to purchase the full title, but demo access will only be available once the entire title has been downloaded.

Best Buy’s CinemaNow streaming movie service starts this month

Posted in Best Buy by Conner Flynn on May 18th, 2010

We’ve known Best Buy’s CinemaNow streaming service was in the works, but it’s finally ready to launch this month. Users who have an LG Blu-ray player will have access to $3-$4 rentals first, with purchases costing $9.99 to $19.99.

As they fine tune the service, it will be available across platforms just like Netflix and the others. Our guess is that you probably won’t be using the service.

Google Editions e-book service launching this summer

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on May 4th, 2010

Google isn’t content to just make public domain books freely available for e-book readers. Google has just confirmed that its Google Editions e-book service will be launching in late June or July. Looks like the service will let users buy digital copies of books they find through Google’s existing book search service, and let retailers sell Google Editions on their own site and retain the “bulk of the revenue.”

We don’t have a ton of details yet. Nothing on pricing or which publishers involved, but Google has said that it planned to make between 400,000 and 600,000 books available with prices to be set by the publishers.

Hulu subscription service will be $9.95 a month for older shows

Posted in Hulu by Conner Flynn on April 22nd, 2010

Sadly Hulu is ready to invade our wallets. At least some parts of Hulu won’t be free for much longer. We heard back in January that they were considering charging for the service and now the LA Times says that a subscription service could go into effect as early as May 24th. Yikes.

According to “people familiar with the matter,” viewers would be asked to pay $9.95 per month for access to episodes that aren’t brand new. Hulu will continue to provide the five most recent episodes of hit shows for free, but a paid subscription will be required to view shows older than that.

Microsoft is launching a music streaming service this month

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on July 14th, 2009

Microsoft is launching a music streaming service this monthPeter Bale, executive producer of MSN recently spoke to the Telegraph and announced that Microsoft will launch a streaming music service “imminently”, by the end of July. Bale said the service will be similar to Spotify, a streaming music service that offers both an ad-supported listening option as well as a premium subscription service with no ads. Bale also added that Microsoft is considering extending the service to the Xbox 360, but he didn’t give any other details.

They are still examining a business model. Apparently the service would let users stream tunes for free as long as they listen to ads every half hour or so. It will be interesting to see how this initiative will tie-in with the company’s Xbox 360 and Zune.


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