Youtube

Gmail/Youtube coming back to Fire ?

Amazon has decided to sell Google Chromecast and Apple TV products again and Gmail, Youtube and Google Play users may be able to access those services through the Fire TV or the Fire tablets again. These products have re-appeared on amazon.com should be re-appearing on the Canadian site soon.

New Tablet

Amazon Canada has just released their 8″ Fire tablets in Canada, enabling people to access Netflix, Spotify, Facebook, Kindle, Prime Music and Prime video for 12 hours on one charge for less than $130.

The device has a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor and is available in with either 16 GB and 32 GB internal storage, which can be expanded by another 256 using a MicroSD card. It also has front and back facing 720p HD cameras, though these are 2 MP.

I personally don’t use my tablet for photography so I wouldn’t mind the lower resolution. But I prefer a larger screen, although this compact tablet would be great for those longer train or plane rides. I’d definitely consider one for those trips over my significantly more expensive Samsung tablet, which doesn’t have as much battery life and storage capacity as the Fire Tablet.

Yes, Youtube, Google Play and Gmail will not likely be available via an app on this tablet because of the ongoing issues in-between Google and Amazon. But you should be able to access these services through the tablet’s browser and Plex is available on this tablet, an app that allows people to access media on their personal computer.

Overall, i’d say it’s a great tablet for the price.

Piracy in Streaming

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has released a report (PDF) this month and although it appears that the majority of consumers use legal streaming services to listen to music, 40% stream music from sites that are illegal.

These illegal sites, unfortunately, do not give royalties to the artists and also appear to be promoted by Google via their search engines.

This has become a concern because 85% of music consumers from the age of 13 to 15 stream music and video according to this report and the IFPI believes the issue is compounded by the popularity of music videos on Youtube, which “accounts for 46% of all time spent listening to on-demand music”; The IFPI believes upload services like Youtube “are not returning fair value to the music community”.

More people are listening to legal streaming services though, which is up from 37% last year to 45% this year. But the IFPI wants to obtain more revenue from Youtube, comparable to that of Spotify, whose royalties are estimated to be $20 per user, per year; The report claims less than a dollar in royalties are collected per user per year from Youtube.

The IFPI is also concerned about stream ripping, which involves the capturing of audio from streaming services.

This report estimates that more users are stream ripping, up from 30% last year to 35% this year. But advancements have been made to end this practice with the dismantling of YouTube-MP3.org earlier this month.

That site enabled its 60 million plus users to rip audio from Youtube videos but the Recording Industry Association of America sued and the owners of this site settled by closing it down.

RIAA had also successfully closed Sharebeast as well this month, a site that “averaged 14-16 million visits per month at its height in 2013” according to the Official RIAA press release.

Bad News For Betamax Fans

It looks like Betamax is officially dead, according to a Sony press release that was released today.

Yes, the video format was not killed off during the format Betamax/VHS war and actually lived on in the video production and broadcasting industries until digital video. But Sony has now decided to stop making their blank beta format videocassettes.

Unfortunately that means that some of you hardcore beta fans will no longer have easy access to blank videocassettes for your classic videotape cameras, including those micro MV video cassettes that you’ve used in the 90’s and early 2000’s. And although I don’t have an official Sony betamax videocamera it appears that i’ve used the format several times to film some of my older Youtube videos and have a few of the discontinued Sony micro MV videocassettes in storage.

My format of choice is now of course those digital SDHD cards but hard drive and solid state hard drive camcorders are getting more and more affordable as time goes by.

Stickaid 2013 is Next Saturday

Stickaid 2013 will begin at 12pm UTC/7am Eastern Next Saturday
click here to find your local time

Stickaid 2013 is a 24 hour fundraising event for Unicef UK held in London, England that will air live on Youtube.

Unicef UK is currently helping the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and refuges of the Syrian war in the Middle-East. Please support their efforts.

Youtube Music Subscriptions ?

Billboard has reported yesterday that Youtube is working on a new premium service that may enable individual subscribers to view music videos offline and/or without adverts.

Apparently Google has already secured licenses with Warner, Sony and Universal. But I’m guessing a Canadian service will take so time to be implemented.

Additional information on the American service can be found on the Billboard article. I will post information related to a Canadian service as soon as it becomes available.