Back in 2008, Steve Jobs referred to Blu-ray as “a bag of hurt” due to the complex licensing surrounding the high-definition video format. Since then, no Mac has shipped with a Blu-ray drive inside, and watching a Blu-ray movie on a Mac using an external player hasn’t even been supported by OS X.
The European streaming music service, Spotify, has announced that it’s officially coming to the U.S. Travel to Spotify’s website and you’ll see these words:
“The award-winning music service that’s taken Europe by storm will soon be landing on US shores. Millions of tracks ready to play instantly, on your computer and your phone. Any track, any time, anywhere. And it’s free!”
Just in time for summer road trip season, WaterField Designs has released the stylish Apple TV Case so you can bring your set-top box along with you. Remember last year when the whole family had to crowd around your iPad? Now you can stream your media to Grandma’s 100-inch plasma HDTV using an Apple TV and AirPlay.
The Apple TV Case sports separate padded pockets for the Apple TV, an HDMI cable, the power cable, and the included remote. When fully packed, the case holds everything flat so you can squeeze it into that sliver of space you have remaining in your car’s trunk. The Apple TV Case comes in your choice of Tangerine (orange) or Flash (silver)—perfect for Halloween or if your travels take you to Princeton University.
You have mobile entertainment devices in the form of iPods, iPhones, and iPads. You also have a very large and very stationary entertainment device in the form of your television. Increasingly, companies are trying to find ways for the two of them to interact. Personal Communications Devices hopes that when you consider such interactions, you’ll look at its $99 Bigstream wireless streaming product.
Bigstream comprises two major components—a large transmitter dongle that afixes to your iPod, iPhone, or iPad’s dock connector port and a remote receiver that plugs into your TV via a composite video/analog audio connection. Charge the dongle (a charge lasts just more than two hours), switch on the receiver, choose from among three channels to transmit on, select a compatible application on your iOS device or iPod, and video and/or audio streams to your connected TV.
The iTunes Store will begin offering eight million of its 10 million songs in Apple’s DRM-free format, iTunes Plus, today with the remaining two million songs offered in iTunes Plus by the end of March.
Cinephiles and lovers of air-conditioned theaters alike will appreciate MoviePass, a new service that aims to bring a smartphone-controlled, all-you-can-watch option to movie-going. I attended the start-up’s official launch event on Wednesday in San Francisco, where guests not only got to test out the new service, but also watch a free screening of the new Transformers: Dark of the Moon movie (more on that later).
MoviePass works similarly to Netflix. For a monthly fee of $50—plus a $3 surcharge for each 3D movie—subscribers can watch as many movies at as many participating theaters as they want. (You can only watch each movie once, and only watch one movie per day.) The company is also working on a limited pass option, where moviegoers can pay $30 for four movies per month.