Audio News for June 5, 2015

Naxos Launches ClassicsOnline in HD – The world’s leading independent classical label and distribution network announces its new high-definition and lossless classical music streaming and download service. ClassicsOnline HD•LL streaming uses a unique adaptive bitrate technology which allows subscribers to listen to classical music at the highest possible sound quality without loss of signal due to buffering. The site also offers downloads in a variety of 24- and 16-bit lossless formats as well as MP3s. Nearly 60,000 albums are on the site, representing over 500 of the best independent classical labels. Sony Classics will be available soon. Liner notes, libretti, and composer and artists’ information are provided for most recordings. An advanced search engine is designed specifically for classical music, and users can easily create their own playlist. Here is the link.

Showtime Announces Streaming Service – which will be offered directly to consumers with broadband next month and will cost $10.99 a month. It will first be available via Apple, like HBO’s OTT service. The CEO of CBS Corp. said “…we are constantly finding new ways to monetize our programming by capitalizing on opportunities presented by technology.”

Amazon Grows Fire TV – The company has added over 600 channels, apps and games to their platform during the last three months. Using their GameFly service, customers can play popular PC came titles. Game packs start at $6.99 a month. The game controller is $39.99. More TV shows, live TV, music, channels, apps, etc. are brought to the Amazon Fire TV platform every week.

Smart Plug From iHome – iHome’s first Home-Kit-certified product, a $39.99 smart plug will be available starting late June. It is the first in a planned series of smart home accessories. With the smart plug, sonsumers can use Siri or the iHome Control app to turn on and off lamps, fans and other home devices, including remotely from an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Custom scenes can control multiple SmartPlugs with a single command. It fits in a standard wall outlet without blocking the second outlet. It requires iOS 8.1 or later, and can also be controlled from iHome’s Android app, but then loses Siri voice control.

Batteriser Harnesses Otherwise-Wasted Battery Power – It is a reusable stainless steel sleeve that slips over used batteries and instantly tapes into whatever remaining energy is left in the cell.The steady-state system voltage results in a battery lasting up to eight times longer. It will be available for AA, AA, C and D batteries with retail starting at less than $10 for a four-pack. The company claims most batteries are disposed of with 80% of their power still stored in them.

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