Apple has a new trick, one all but overlooked in its recent announcement of the second-generation iPad. Devices running iOS 4.3 now do Home Sharing of iTunes 10.2 library content via wi-fi.
So if you have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch running iOS 4.3, you can stream movies, music, and other stuff from your PC or Mac running iTunes 10.2. This does not include the streaming and transfer of movie rentals.
Netflix recently announced it would start investing in original programming. Now producers who license their content to Netflix are retaliating against a partner that they increasingly see as a competitor.
Both Showtime and Starz have announced that they will withhold shows from Netflix.
We hit the soundbar beat pretty hard at this show and our coverage wouldn't be complete without mention of two Bose products. The CineMate 1 SR ($1350) is said to be the bestselling bar in North America over the past nine months. It uses seven of the same tiny drivers that make the famous Bose "jewel cubes" sound pretty good (we know this, having reviewed them in another form). There are also two radiators providing side effects. And the bar's pretty control savvy, with multi-room control and Control 4, Crestron, RTI, and Savant compatibility. The same bar features in the Lifestyle 135 system ($2100) which adds a console with iOS dock and room correction.
"Technology breeds crime," FBI agent and one-time con man Frank Abegnale told a CEDIA breakfast audience. "It always has, always will." The subject of Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can discussed the misdeeds of his youth and offered two bits of advice to those seeking to avoid identity theft: (1) Use a micro-perf shredder--other kinds leave paper intact enough for reconstruction. (2) Pay for everything with credit cards, not with debit cards, which offer little recourse against fraud; nor with checks, which tell crooks more than you want them to know about your bank accounts.
Until now the default price for an album download has been $9.99, with iTunes setting the standard for other music download stores. But a recent pricing experiment involving Arcade Fire and Amazon suggests that a lower price will turn more downloaders into paying customers.
The days when Napster was the world's largest free music library are long gone. Soon, though, it may become the world's cheapest legitimate music subscription service, with a new plan that asks consumers for a mere $5/month for five free tracks and a whole lot of streaming. That's hardly even lunch money!
Why do tech critics and readers alike persist in saying "X is dead?" Do we have a morbid fascination with death, mirroring society at large? Or is it just that we never feel more powerful than when we are the arbiters of life and death, giving technology that is already moving along a certain trajectory a further push into oblivion? X, in this context, is a mature audio format or technology. (I won't address video or computer technology here. Death somehow seems more final in those categories.) A whole lot of Xes have been prematurely declared dead over the years. Maybe what "X is dead" really means is "X does not fit into my agenda."
That's the slogan of IPac, a pro-consumer group. They want the folks in Congress to know exactly what they're doing when they limit fair use of popular products. The impetus for the campaign was a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the latest version of the broadcast flag bill. Eighty-year-old Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) announced that his daughters had given him an iPod and he was having great fun listening to his favorite albums on it. This changed the tone of the hearing as Stevens and Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) grilled lobbyists on both sides of the issue, including Mitch Bainwol of the RIAA and Gary Shapiro of CEA. To date the campaign has raised enough to buy 12 iPods. They'll come preloaded with a commentary, for senatorial edification, by legal heavyweight Lawrence Lessig on "balanced copyright." Come on, people, there are still 88 senators left!
When the phrase "video revolution" was in vogue, a generation of viewers weaned on commercial broadcast TV suddenly found they could skip ads in a whole bunch of new ways. With a VCR, they could time-shift programming and fast-scan through ads. They could rent ad-free movies at a video store (trailers don't count). And they could subscribe to pay-TV channels, paying for hipper programming almost without ads. But the heirs to those technologies--DVRs and video on demand --are increasingly overrun by ads, even though consumers have paid to avoid them.