Video might have killed the radio star, but streaming hasn’t killed the record store. Photos: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Stroll into your local record store and you won’t find the dusty-floored wasteland of empty bins you might imagine. Chances are you’ll see something that’s more vibrant, relevant and vital than before.
Like the nerdy know-it-alls at specialty wine stores and comic book shops, today’s typical employee at an indie record store is still a tastemaking wizard — just turned up to 11. Staff picks bear the unerring zeal of the true believer, and staffers are more focused on uncovering stuff that you’ll never find on a Walmart CD shelf.
“Since there’s been a turn to Spotify, Bandcamp and iTunes, we sell way more vinyl,” said Jim Haynes, assistant manager at San Francisco’s Aquarius Records. “We’re at about 75 percent vinyl to 20 percent CD and a smattering of cassettes. People are turning to an even more seemingly obsolete medium.”
Predictions of the end of physical media are as played-out as those reports about the death of rock ‘n’ roll, with everyone and their mother proclaiming that Spotify and other streaming services have killed the local record store. That fear-mongering sounds smart and might even contain a kernel of truth, but the reality is much different.
Apple wants to deliver content directly to your iPhone, iPad or Mac and according to a report, it’s ramping up development of its own Content Delivery Network (CDN) to take make it happen.
Dan Rayburn at Streaming Media reports that Apple’s CDN plans are ramping up as the company has begun negotiations with the US’s largest ISPs to secure paid interconnection deals that would let Cupertino beam updates directly to your iPhone more efficiently than the third-party providers it currently uses.
Twenty years ago, if someone had told us we’d be streaming our favorite shows from the internet legally, we would have scoffed at them and disregarded it, never mind how the speed of broadband internet has changed the way we live our everyday lives. Roll on to the last couple of years, where media streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus have taken over and the days when we sat in front of the television flicking through 57 channels with nothing on are no more. Now there’s a whole host of entertainment right at the tap of a button, and we literally have to make no effort to leave our seats as these services take over our smartphones, tablets and electronic devices in a huge way.
But which service to pick? We’ve researched every possible choice out there, engaged in some elaborate hands-on testing, and narrowed down the extensive list to one reigning champion. If you look at the table below, it becomes fairly obvious that each media streaming service provider excels in some aspects but lags behind in others. By comparing each feature, it became much easier to narrow down the overall ultimate media service app.
This time on The CultCast: hipsters have beards installed; the mysterious life of Timothy Cook; exciting rumors around the new Jobs movie; Mavericks 10.9.2’s features and fixes; why you should install iOS 7.0.6 like, right now; Netflix pays off Comcast; and we’re too sexy for this podcast.
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Not many of us have 4K devices yet. A 4K Ultra HD TV would pack about 33 million pixels, more than six times the resolution of even the MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
Yet 4K is coming, and when it drops, Netflix CEO Reed Hasting doesn’t want his service to be caught with its pants down, saying during a recent earnings call that he hopes his company will be “one of the big suppliers” of 4K by the time it launches in 2014.
To make sure they’re ready for the crush of 4K Ultra HD TVs next year, Netflix is already streaming some 4K content.
Netflix 5 brings HD video and AirPlay to iPads running iOS 7. You may have thought you had HD video streaming to your retina iPad, but you didn’t. 5 fixes that, and it also lets you throw your TV shows and movies up onto your big screen via Apple TV with native AirPlay streaming.
The Netflix app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch has been updated to bring high-definition video streaming to devices running iOS 7. The release also adds support for AirPlay, and some improvements and optimizations that make the app more stable under Apple’s latest software.