Audio News for April 22, 2016

New Google Chromecast –  The new Chromecast is much smaller than the old one. It is meant for audio and video streaming and works on both iOS and Android platforms. You only need a speaker with the proper connectivity ports. The Chromecast also needs constant power so keeping it close to a laptop or TV is recommended. Your smartphone and Chromecast have to be on the same Wi-Fi network. You can download the Chromecast app from the Google Play store or Apple store. The app shows several supported applications, including Wynk and Saavn for music streaming. You can also mirror music from an Android phone or tablet.  You launch the app, choose the Devices tab and tap on the Chromecast. It will then prompt you to connect it to your Wi-Fi network and plays a test tone to alert that the device has been successfully connected.

A new feature is the Guest mode, which allows friends to stream to your speakers without using your Wi-Fi network. After you get it set up it works fluidly. There is lesser power drain from the smartphone and wider coverage than you get with Bluetooth-enabled speakers. You can also work on other application on the smartphone and there are no Bluetooth notifications to disturb your music experience. The new Chromecast has better Wi-Fi tech that allows uninterrupted streaming. Besides streaming video applications such as YouTube and Netflix, you can use Chromecast to play mobile games such as Angry Birds Go, and friends can join in compatible games. The revamped Chromecast app is more intuitive for users. The speed of mirroring the content is faster with the new device, but other operationa are similar, and the new version is more expensive but still a good deal.

Pop Music Icon Price Dead at 57 – The inventive musician Prince died at his home in Minneapolis. He had broken thru in the late 1970s with a mix of black funk and white rock ’n roll. He seems to summon the most original and compelling sounds at will. Prince Rogers Nelson was short and fiercely protective of his independence. It is unknown what will happen to the thousands of unreleased tunes in his vault.

Americans Fear Privacy Intrusion from FCC Set-Top Box Proposal – According to a Vrge Analytics survey and also the Digital Citizens Alliance, two-thirds of Americans say they make a distinction between the personal experience of a mobile or laptop devices and the communal experience of watching video in their living room. They are concerned since tech giants like Google will be furnishing the boxes, that companies will begin collecting information on their children. 73% said it would bother them if ads related to their private activities on their smartphone or laptop showed up on the living room TV. One spokesman said, “The FCC has a lot of work to do to convince Americans that the benefits of changing our living room set-top box are worth the risks to our privacy and security.” (Of course the best way to avoid all this {if you’re not a sports nut} is to get a DVD-R and antenna, Cut the Cord and do away with set-top boxes; I get 37 channels with the best video quality, in Portland…Ed.)

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