Music Technology

Netflix Update

A few minutes ago I got an email from Netflix Canada saying I will be paying more this month, in line with the previously announced hike in fees.

The new rates are of course as follows :

$8.99 for Basic subscription (inc. SD broadcasts on one device only)
$10.99 for Standard subscription (inc. HD broadcasts on up to two devices)
$13.99 for Premium subscriptions (inc. both HD and 4K broadcasts on up to four devices)

Lately, they’ve been adding more films, music documentaries, and concerts so I’m probably going to continue subscribing for the time being. The second season of Stranger Things is coming up in late October.

Although I am somewhat concerned that Disney will be pulling Lucasfilm, Marvel and Pixar films from Netflix soon, I already own my favorites from these film companies on Blu-ray and DVD (thanks to the Disney Movie Club) so I don’t think I will miss them.

Discounted Gift Cards

Select Rexall stores are offering a $5 discount on $50 iTunes gift cards until September 14th, 2017. Please consult your local flyer for details.

New Android Hifi Music Player

The Hiditz AP200 is an Android powered high fidelity music player that is available through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

This Bluetooth and wi-fi compatible device plays most Hi-res lossless formats (32 bit/384 kHz), can play for over ten hours and is cheaper than most hi-fi devices that are currently on the market.

The 32 GB version comes in an aluminum body with three color options (Black, Blue, and Silver) and 64 GB version comes in stainless steel body with three options for the back panel (Rosewood, Pure Glass, and Carbon Fiber Glass).

Click here for additional details on this device.

Walt Disney Collectibles and Gifts, Disney Figurin

Levitating Turntable

A levitating turntable is now available via Kickstarter.

The Mag-Lev Audio turntable will play your 33 rpm LPs and 45 rpm singles, the latter with an adapter that is included with the purchase of the turntable. And the actual turntable is available in several finishes, as described on this Kickstarter page.


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Netflix/Disney News

Netflix has hiked their monthly subscription fees in Canada for new members, to $8.99 for Basic (standard definition playback on one screen/device), $10.99 for Standard (high definition playback on up to two screens/devices) and $13.99 for Premium (ultra high definition playback on up to four screens/devices).

Current members will not be subject to this hike for some time but will notice fewer Disney and possibly Marvel titles in the new year as Disney establishes their own streaming service in 2019.


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Still Waiting…

I had hoped for details on any change to the intellectual property provisions of NAFTA by the first of August but it appears too early, even for speculation.

A new council had been created earlier this month and there are concerns about privacy. But nothing yet as too what else the United Stated will want changed.

Unfortunately, our government has extended our copyright term from 50 to 70 years due to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement so now we’ve got to wait twenty more years for copyrighted works to enter the public domain, regardless of the fact that the United States has withdrawn from the agreement.

I certainly hope they will not go after our ability to make private copies of recordings for personal use or attempt to resurrect proposals to tax hard drives and flash media. But I am hoping they will negotiate higher exemptions for personal importations by mail.

As it stands most imported parcels valued under $20 are exempt from duties and taxes, as stipulated on the Canadian Border Services Agency web site. And I think this amount is way too low.

eBay had proposed a higher de minimis threshold for Canadians since July 2016 and had created an official Parlimentary petition that year and a petition for its users earlier this year.

They published a study (PDF) by the C.D Howe Institute and I’m guessing from eBay’s response to the renewed NAFTA negotiations that they will petition the government again on this issue.

According to a 2016 Nanos Research poll, 76% of Canadian respondents want a $200 exemption and over 15,000 Canadians had signed the official Parlimentary petition that year, so i’m guessing eBay will bring attention to this issue again durring the negotiations.

I will, of course, keep an eye out for new information and will update this site a.s.a.p.