Media streaming has become a staple of our daily digital consumption. So much so that this week music lovers in the US finally welcomed the arrival of Europe’s music-streaming subscription service Spotify, while angry Netflix customers turned to social networking sites to vent their rage over subscription fee increases. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Netflix has always been an interesting case study in how to manage a digital transition – moving its customers gradually over from DVDs delivered by mail to the efficiencies of movies being streamed to TVs and a variety of web-connected devices. The transition became something of a schism on Tuesday as customers were faced with a stark choice of a DVD-only or streaming-only service to avoid a substantial hike in monthly subscriptions that combined both. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Cloud storage service Dropbox is looking to raise between $200m-$300m in a new round of fundraising, according to TechCrunch. This gives the company a valuation of approximately $5bn, TechCrunch estimates. Read more

Chris Nuttall

When Zediva’s founders briefed me pre-launch on their innovative new online DVD rental service last week, my main concern was whether it could “scale” robustly to cope with thousands of users. Despite their assurances, it seems the answer is it can’t, at least for now. The site was closed to new users within a few hours of its launch on Wednesday and existing users like me are having problems accessing the movie rentals. Read more

Chris Nuttall

UPDATED - with Roku Netflix announcement.

Netflix has made its official movie debut on a media player device with the launch of Seagate’s GoFlex TV HD media player on Tuesday.

The player is part of a complete refresh of Seagate’s FreeAgent Go line of products, which Paul Taylor will look at in depth in his Friday personal technology column. Read more

Chris Nuttall

With streaming Netflix movies now available on TV screens through the Xbox, PlayStation 3, Tivo, several Blu-ray players and LG HDTVs, the little Roku set-top box, which became one of the first Netflix streamers 18 months ago, is in need of some differentiation.

That came today with the launch of 10 free channels on the box, which sells for as little as $80.
Pandora radio, Facebook and Flickr photos, FrameChannel feeds, MobileTribe social networking and video from Blip.TV, Mediafly, Motionbox, Revision 3 and TWiT make up the lineup.

(This review was first published on November 23 2009) Read more

  • IBM took its offer to buy Sun Microsystems off the table when the onetime Silicon Valley powerhouse asked for more money, and said it wanted to talk with other potential buyers when IBM balked. People familiar with the negotiations said everything might still be worked out, since no other suitors are expected and the financial difference between the two sides isn’t vast.
  • The Associated Press is hoping to stanch what it claims is the rampant unauthorised republication of its content across the web. Websites – including Google News – will have to seek permission to use the work of the AP or its member newspapers, and may face legal action if they don’t comply.

 Read more

Chris Nuttall

Amazon has found itself another route to the television and Roku another use for its set-top box under a partnership announced today.

The internet retailer has been exploring ways to widen access to its Video on Demand service beyond the computer and has already made it available through Tivo digital video recorders and Sony Bravia TVs. Read more