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Music streaming services are all the rage these days and it appears that owning just one of these services is just not enough for Google. Today Billboard.com is reporting that YouTube is planning to launch its own streaming service similar to Spotify in that it will have a subscription level of membership as well as a free version.
What sets YouTube apart from similar services such as iTunes Radio, Spotify, and even Google Play Music, is that it will offer music videos, something no one else has even hinted on in the past. While it is still not clear as to how the service will operate, I expect some form of partnership with Vevo, the largest music video producer on YouTube. Vevo is in a nice situation to partner up with Google and YouTube on this and already has tens of thousands of videos in their catalog. What do you think? Would you buy into a music video streaming service? Personally I think I will be sticking to Spotify.
Tomorrow during Nokia World, the company is expected to unveil several new mobile devices including the all new Lumia 1520 phablet, Lumia 2520 Windows RT tablet, and several budget friendly Asha devices. What was not expected however, was the Nokia Guru, a iPod Shuffle-like music player with NFC capabilities.
TweakTown's favorite leakster @evleaks posted a photo this morning via his Twitter account which shows off the new Guru music player in a very Lumia blue color. At the moment, the only solid piece of information we have on the Guru is that it will feature NFC connectivity, a 3.5mm headphone jack, volume buttons and a microUSB port for charging and possible data syncing.
What is unclear is whether this device stores MP3 files, or if it is just a streaming device for the Lumia line of phones. My bet is on the latter if you are wondering. A streaming device such as this only makes sense as the MP3 player as we know it is dieing and is being replaced by bulky smartphones which always have an issue with cord length when placed in a pocket. This device could pair with your phone, and mount easily on your arm or shirt for a workout experience where one does not fight headphone cords constantly.
Today, Sonos announced the release their all new Sonos Play:1, a powerful and extremely compact wireless speaker designed for streaming music throughout your home. The Play:1 is a portable speaker that utilizes Wi-Fi to stream music and is designed to sync harmoniously with other Sonos wireless HiFi devices.
"Sonos was created upon the belief you should never have to choose between quality sound and an easy way to access all your music at home," said John MacFarlane, CEO, Sonos, Inc. "The PLAY:1 makes getting started with Sonos even more accessible to music lovers than ever before."
Sonos says that the Play:1 has been designed with minimalism in mind, and that the unit was designed with a single play/pause button on top of the device to minimize clutter as much as possible. Users can also combine a pair of Play:1 units to the Sonos PLAYBAR and SONOS SUB to create a powerful HiFi 5.1 surround system for the home theatre. The Sonos Play:1 will retail for $199 and is available now.
Brainwavz announced the launch of the latest edition to its headphones lineup. The HM9 marks the third installment to the company's HM series of headphones and has been designed to reproduce high fidelity audio with a sound signature sure to gain the approval of any audiophile. The new HM9 headphones feature large 40mm drivers that have been tuned to provide crisp, clean mids while still providing a powerful bass.
Brainwavz says that the HM9 features large ear pads that have been constructed with sweat-resistant memory foam, while a large metal frame and dual hinges allow the headphones to be easily folded into compact form for transport. The HM9 comes with a set of three cables, one of which features an in-line microphone on a 1.3-meter cable that is compatible with Apple iPhones and some Android smartphones.
1.3-meter and 3-meter standard cables are also included for easy compatibility with Windows PCs, Macs, and any other device that features a 3.5mm audio jack. The Brainwavz HM9 is available for purchase now at Amazon and retails for $149.50.
Today, Tubecore announced that it has surpassed its Kickstarter funding goal by more than 500 percent, raising almost $100,000 with more than 8 days remaining. The Tubecore Duo is a home audio system that is based off of a Raspberry Pi and a tube-based audio amplifier.
The device is capable of streaming music over Wi-Fi and features built-in XBMC compatibility. The entire project is open source and is built with the hardware hacker and modder in mind. "The Duo's cabinet design is based on mid-century design principles," says co-founder and main designer Jason Perkins, "delivering more for less, allowing us to guarantee the hand-crafted cabinet for a lifetime. For a simpler user experience, the Duo utilizes a simple one source interface to control all onboard system features."
Today, Spotify announced that it has began working with "a number of" hardware manufacturers to bring music streaming to household audio systems similar to how AirPlay and other music streaming systems work. The new service is called Spotify Connect and will enable customers to stream playlists to speakers and home theater systems throughout their entire house.
This is quite similar to how Google Chromecast manages to stream audio from Chrome-based devices to TVs around the home. As expected, the system will allow users to pause a track on a smartphone and then resume the track at the same time marker on any sound-producing, Connect-compatible device in the home.
While no supporting products have been named, and no pricing or availability information given, we do know that devices from Argon, Bang & Olufsen, Denon, Marantz, Philips, Pioneer, Revo, Teufel, and Yamaha will be compatible with the Spotify Connect and identified by the logo being highly visible on compatible products.
PAX PRIME 2013 - I was on the ground in Seattle, Washington, today for PAX Prime. While there, I got a chance to check out Corsair's newly unveiled headsets in person. You can see the headsets, learn more about them, and hear my opinion in the video below:
The brief text version is that the new headsets are quite the deal, with the top-of-the-line Vengence 2100 7.1 Wireless headset providing up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. It is completely redesigned from the previous version, despite looking fairly similar. It retails for around $150, making it a good purchase choice.
Earlier today, SteelSeries introduced the world to its latest flagship headset, the Siberia Elite Gaming Headset. SteelSeries says that the new Siberia Elite features the high-quality audio drivers and is equipped with Dolby technology that creates a realistic 7.1 virtual surround sound. The headset will be available for pre-order in September and will retail for $199.99.
The new headset's design features a self-adjusting suspension system that is anchored to a still arc. The headset's ear cups feature RGB illuminated dials that are capable of reproducing 16.8 million color options. These dials control the Siberia Elite's audio and microphone, while the company's SteelSeries Engine 3 software ushers in new levels of customization and profile generation.
"First introduced in 2004, SteelSeries' Siberia headset brought together amazing audio quality with first-ever features like a self-adjusting suspension design and circumaural earcups to the market. The headset quickly became popular amongst gamers with its outstanding quality and performance as well as caught the attention of DJ's and musicians, appearing in popular videos and in places that expanded even beyond our core gaming audience," said Bruce Hawver, SteelSeries CEO. "Siberia is recognized today as one of the fastest growing and highly rated line of headsets by consumers from around the globe. Expanding upon this legacy, today we introduce the next level of Siberia audio combining the acclaimed features, which makes the Siberia brand successful, with the newest and highest-quality audio technology and software that can truly be categorized as Elite."
Today, Creative Technology announced the launch of its newest Sound Blaster gaming headsets set dubbed the Tactic3D Fury. Creative says that the Tactic3D Fury is compatible with both PC and Mac thanks to the dual-mode USB adapter. A 3.5mm headphone jack is also present, which allows the end-user to connect the headset to a mobile phone, allowing them to receive calls during intense gaming sessions.
"Riding on the positive momentum of our Sound Blaster Tactic3D range of gaming headsets, we designed the Sound Blaster Tactic3D Fury with a sleeker, even more comfortable ear cup design than the headsets that inspired it. With this great-looking, comfortable design and our completely customizable suite of sound and voice technologies, we're unleashing the Fury as the best combination of gaming performance and value for the mass market," said Long Chye Low, general manager of audio at Creative.
Included with the headset is Creative's Sound Blaster Tactic3D Control Panel software that enables gamers to customize settings and tailor the sound output to their specific taste . This provides an immersive and accurate 3-D acoustic environment that is unlike any other. The Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Fury gaming headset is expected to arrive on store shelves sometime in October 2013 and will retail at a price point of $59.99.
During the Gamescom event being held in Germany this week, ROCCAT Studios announced the addition of a new high-quality gaming headset to its lineup of gaming peripherals. The new ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 digital gaming headset is the successor to ROCCAT's Kave 5.1.
The company says that the new Kave XTD is based on community and customer feedback and that the new headset builds on foundations laid by the original headset by improving existing features and integrating completely new innovations of its own. The headset features a fully-equipped desktop remote that integrates a built-in premium 5.1 sound card. Additionally, ROCCAT Smart Link technology is built-in. This technology lets the user pair their smartphone to the remote via Bluetooth. This new feature allows users to make and receive calls through the headset while gaming.
The remote also features built-in 5.1 speaker ports, which allow users to hook up their existing sound systems and easily toggle between the headset and speaker output without having to change settings in the PC software controls. ROCCAT says that the Kave XTD 5.1 provides a true, rich 5.1 surround sound. The headset features three driver units per ear cup, which are aligned at a 12 degree angle. This allows the headset to deliver an immersive and crisp sound while weighing 25 percent less than its predecessor.