streaming stories

Xbox Music launched today on Xbox 360. The streaming music service is similar to Spotify in functionality and pricing ($10 a month for premium service). Later this month it will expand onto Windows 8, and the service will find its way onto Windows Phone 8 shortly after the platform's expected launch in early November.
Google is calling its Nexus Q the "first social streaming media player." What does that mean to the company? Well, a streaming device that looks like a futuristic cannonball, and allows you to play video and music from Google Play and YouTube. It's also controlled by your Android smartphone or tablet, so that you and your friends can all get in on it. Read on for what to expect.
While watching The Daily Show the other night, I saw a commercial (I hadn't had a chance to DVR past it) for the impending release of the Denzel Washington starrer Safe House in a Blu-ray combo pack. According to the ad, the combo-pack gives you three ways to watch, anytime, anywhere: a Blu-ray disc, a DVD and a digital copy "PLUS all-new UltraViolet." Uh, wouldn't that be FOUR ways to watch anytime, anywhere? While Universal's viewing arithmetic may be faulty, what may be even more off is the fourth billing given UltraViolet. What's UltraViolet? Possibly the future of all home video — if the powers-that-be can smooth out some start-up kinks.
Piracy is tough to quantify. Company A will tell you that it lost X amount of dollars because of Y number of pirates. Comedian B instead made 200,000 sweet, sweet dollars (and counting) by deliberately not doing anything to stop piracy. It turned out well for Louis C.K., but the move is important for more than how it filled his wallet. Louis C.K. made his latest comedy special available for download for only $5. He didn't upload a torrent of it himself, of course, but he also rejected all of the usual protections, saying, "I made this video extremely easy to use against well-informed advice. I was told that it would be easier to torrent the way I made it, but I chose to do it this way anyway, because I want it to be easy for people to watch and enjoy this video in any way they want without 'corporate' restrictions." In other words, he allowed piracy through his actions, but he was hoping that wasn't what would happen. People torrent because it's free and easy. Turns out: easy may be more enticing than free.