Digital Song Downloads Slipped Further in First Half of Year

Digital downloads of songs continued to fall out of favor with Americans in the first half of the year, while free and paid music-streaming revenue kept growing, even without much of a bump from the launch of Apple Music.

That’s according to mid-year sales figures released by the Recording Industry Association of America on Monday. They show overall music industry revenue fell a half percentage point to $3.2 billion (roughly Rs. 21,009 crores).

Revenue from paid subscriptions to services like Spotify and Rhapsody grew 25 percent to $478 million (roughly Rs. 3,138 crores), while revenue from free services like Pandora grew 22 percent to $550 million (roughly Rs. 3,610 crores). Streaming revenue as a whole surpassed $1 billion in the first half of the year for the first time.

Download sales revenue fell 4 percent to $1.3 billion (roughly Rs. 8,535 crores), while physical disc sales dropped 17 percent to $748 million (roughly Rs. 4,910 crores).

Apple Music, the tech company’s online music subscription service, launched on the last day statistics were recorded.

RIAA CEO Cary Sherman said in a statement that while streaming music revenues continued to grow healthily, he criticized the rates being paid to labels and artists for streaming music, saying they “do not always equal fair market rates.” Certain rates for Internet radio are set by government bodies.

The rise of digital streaming has helped the industry maintain annual revenues around $7 billion (roughly Rs. 45,958 crores) since 2010, offsetting the decline in revenue from digital downloads of single tracks that began in 2013. But the level is far below the industry peak in 1999 of $14.6 billion (roughly Rs. 95,855 crores) when compact discs were dominant.

Intex LED-4300 FHD 43-Inch Full-HD Television Launched at Rs. 32,000

Intex, expanding its full-HD television portfolio, launched the LED-4300 FHD at Rs. 32,000. The new LED TV is now available via physical retail stores as well as online e-commerce websites.

Notably, the company already has 42-inch and 50-inch full-HD LED television sets available in the market at Rs. 41,999 and Rs. 49,000 respectively. The new Intex 43-inch LED TV comes with two built-in speakers, producing sound output of 10Wx2.

The company touts that the LED-4300 FHD television features Power Save Facility, which helps in reducing power consumption. The company adds that the new LED TV offers fast response time of 8ms and also features auto channel search, sleep timer, and full-HD Video playability via USB 2.0.

The Intex LED-4300 FHD TV offers several connectivity options including one RF, two HDMI, two AV-in, one AV-out, two USB, YPbP, VGA, PC audio-in and headphone out.

Commenting on the launch, Nidhi Markanday, Business Head, Consumer Durables and IT, Intex Technologies said, “We all have witnessed the evolution of television from black & white boxes to flat screens. With this new offering, Intex Technologies has created another yardstick in this evolving process. With rich features, elegance and fine detail, the LED 4300 is a great deal for the consumers.”

Earlier this month, Intex launched the 48-inch LED-5010 FHD TV at Rs. 39,990. Last month, Intex unveiled the 2111-FHD television at a price of Rs. 9,990. The 21-inch television featured a full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) resolution display. The standout feature of the Intex 2111-FHD television was its full-HD resolution, which promised to offer more detail and a sharper picture, despite the small dimensions.

Creative SBS E2800, SBS E2400 2.1 Speaker Systems Launched in India

Creative has announced the launch of two new home entertainment 2.1-channel speaker systems for the Indian market, the SBS E2800 and SBS E2400. The E2800 will retail at Rs. 4,599, while the cheaper E2400 will cost Rs. 3,599. Both speaker systems will go on sale by the end of September.

The Creative SBS E2800 has a range of connectivity options, including RCA (for connectivity with TVs and DVD players), FM radio, USB and 3.5mm line-in. A remote is also included in the sales package to control the system. The system is a powered 2.1-channel speaker set, with two satellite speakers and a combined amplifier/input/subwoofer unit, with an output of 50 Watts.

creative_e2400_main.jpgThe second system launched is the cheaper Creative SBS E2400. It has a lower power output rating of 24 Watts, but is similar to the E2800 in all other ways. Both devices notably lack Bluetooth connectivity, which is commonly available in other 2.1-channel home entertainment speaker systems at similar prices.

“We’re extremely excited to be introducing this amazing sound system to the Indian market. It’s the perfect solution for anyone looking for a powerful yet affordable all-in-one home entertainment speaker system,” said Ernest Sim, Regional Sales Manager of Creative Technology Ltd, adding, “And it’s the perfect audio upgrade. Just connect the SBS E2800 to your TV set or tablet and experience a whopping 50 watts of audio power, together with powerful bass from the subwoofer – you’ll be absolutely blown away with its powerful room-filling audio performance for movies, music or gaming.”

GoPro Is Going Drone

gopro drone

GoPro cameras are everywhere, so attaching them to drones makes sense. So why doesn’t GoPro start building its own drones? That is a match that seems destined to happen. Well, the company sees it this way as well and GoPro founder and CEO Nick Woodman says that the company is indeed developing its own drone. I think it had to happen eventually. How could it not?

Speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt SF Woodman confirmed that “development is on track for the first half of 2016. We have some differentiations that are right in the GoPro alley.” This is great news for people who make to takes lots of aerial video.

Woodman didn’t drone on, so he did not reveal what the company’s first drone will be able to do, or how much it will cost. It is too early right now. Hopefully the drone will be able to compete against the drones from the big-boys in the industry. Since development is said to be on track for the first half of 2016, we will have to wait a while for more news on this one, but eventually we will learn more and when we do, we will pass it on to our readers.

Mad Catz R.A.T. PROX And PRO S Gaming Mice Now Shipping

R.A.T. PRO S

Mad Catz has today announced the launch of its new R.A.T. PRO S tournament grade gaming mouse and R.A.T. PROX gaming mouse which has started shipping this week priced at $200.

The R.A.T. PROX has been designed to provide gamers with the next generation of adjustable gaming mice and is completely compatible with Microsoft latest Windows 10 operating system.

It features a durable magnesium alloy chassis and Modular Sensor Units (MSU) as well as offering a choice of optical and laser sensors each with built-in memory profiles. The modular sensor units are hot swappable and can be used to suit individual style of play, says Mad Catz. Darren Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz explains :

Since launching our flagship R.A.T. range some five years ago, we have been working hard on what comes next and today we’re excited to announce the official debut of the game changing R.A.T. PROX. Designed for passionate PC Gamers, who demand high performance and a level of customization that suits their individual style of play, the R.A.T. PROX represents the next generation of gaming mice.

PC gaming continues to represent a sizable segment of our business, and one which we feel is poised to grow further. We believe the introduction of the R.A.T. PROX, will connect with core gamers around the world, enabling us to expand our market share and appeal to an ever widening audience.

R.A.T. PRO S

A signature feature of the Company’s high-performance R.A.T. gaming mice range, the R.A.T. PRO S also features adjustable Precision Aim, temporarily slowing the speed of the mouse to aid with aiming. For the first time, the R.A.T. PRO S now allows gamers to set their own custom DPI for the button, enabling more accurate customization than ever before.

In addition, the R.A.T. PRO S adjustable Palm Rest is modeled on the flagship R.A.T. PROX, and can be used to not only adjust the length of the mouse, but to also enable players to make lateral and horizontal adjustments tilting the palm rest (+/- 15%) to suit their hand size and grip style

Check out the press releases for both the Mad Catz R.A.T. PROX And PRO S gaming mice via the links below or jump over to the Mad Catz website here to purchase.

4 New Hannspree Wearable Devices Introduced

Hannspree Wearable

The new Hannspree Pulse is priced at $140 or £89 and features an all-metal frame, a calfskin leather wrist strap, and a round 1.22 inch display offering users a 240 x 206 pixel touchscreen display.

The Pulse is also fitted with a vibration motor, an integrated speaker, support for USB inductive charging, and a 320 mAh battery that’s good for up to 3.5 hours of active use and up to 4 days of standby time.

As you can see by the design of the sweatband style wearable the Active 24 (pictured below) its designed for fitness tracking and is priced at $75 or £50 and is equipped with a heart rate sensor, 3-axis G sensor for pedometer functions, and Bluetooth 4.0 support. The wearable features a 0.9 inch, 96 x 96 pixel display, together with a 250 mAh battery providing up to 9 hours of active use or up to 7 days of standby time.

Hannspree Active 24

The Hannspree Prime is priced at $90 or £60 and is a smartwatch equipped with an SIM card slot but can also be connected to your smartphone for incoming notifications. Its fitted with a microSD card slot accepting up to 32GB of removable storage and supports GSM networks.

The Prime wearable is capable of sending and receiving messages, making calls, and playing music, among other things. Featuring a 1.54 inch, 240 x 240 pixel IPS touchscreen display, a 0.3MP camera, a 380 mAh battery for up to 5 days of standby time or up to 4 hours of talk time.

Hannspree Prime

While the Hannspree Ledgend (pictured below) priced at £70 or $110 US has a square design with rounded edges and a prominent button on the side. Fitted with a leather wristband, a metal alloy case, and a scratch-resistant screen. Features include a 1.54 inch, 240 x 240 pixel IPS display, Bluetooth 4.0, and a 220 mAh battery for up to 3.5 hous of active use or 3 days of standby time.Hannspree Legend

 

Apple TV And Siri Remote Taken Apart By iFixit

new apple TV

Earlier today we got to see a video showing off a range the features on the new Apple TV and now we get to find out what is inside the device.

The guys from iFixit have managed to get their hands on the fourth generation Apple TV and have taken the device apart, along with Apple’s new Siri Remote to find out what is inside.

Apple TV

First up is the new Apple TV which comes with Apple’s A8 processor and 2GB of LPDDR3 SDRAM, we wonder how this device will score compared to Apple’s other devices on iFixit’s repair index.

iFixit scores devices from 1 to 10 on their repair index, with 1 being the hardest and 10 being the easiest to repair, Apple devices usually have low scores on the iFixit index as they are pretty difficult to repair.

The new Apple TV managed to score 8 out of 10 on iFixit’s repair index, this means that the device is pretty easy to repair, certainly easier than other devices.

siri remote

Next up is the new Siri Remote, this come with a microphone for voice control with Apple’s Siri and also a track pad.

siri remote

The teardown of the Siri Remote reveals that the device has a 410 mAh battery built in, the battery is rechargeable and should last for a few months, according to Apple.

Apple TV

You can find out more details about what iFixit found inside the fourth generation Apple TV over at their website at the link below.

Two New Omate Smartwatch Introduced From $149 Running Android 5.1

Omate Smartwatch

This week via Facebook Omate the smartwatch company that launched their first wearable via Kickstarter, has announced the launch of two new wearable wrist worn devices in the form of the Omate TrueSmart-i and the TrueSmart+ both of which will be available before the end of the year.

Omate explains in their Facebook post that the TSi and TS+ are upgraded versions from design to engineering of the original TrueSmart and now come supplied running Android 5.1.
The smartwatch screen measures 1.54 inches in size and now offers a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels. The Omate TrueSmart-i and the TrueSmart+ will be available in October and November priced at $169 and $149 respectively.

Although it might be worth reading their original Kickstarter campaign comments to understand how the first wearable smartwatch launched and some of the issues that are still outstanding for some of those backers. Features included on the TS+ :

• The TrueSmart+ runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop and Omate User Interface 3.0.
• Its upgraded 1.54” display has a resolution of 320×320.
• Low power always-on sensor hub: The TrueSmart+ integrates a low power Bosch BHI160 sensor hub.
• The BHI160 provides an ideal all-in-one-solution for always-on sensor applications such as fitness tracking and step counting at very low power consumption.
• Its capacitive touch panel features the double tap to wake up the watchface.
• The Micro-SIM card holder uses a similar tray as iPhone to insert the SIM card.
• Its strengthened rubber straps integrate WiFi / 2G / 3G and GPS antennas.
• The Ocharger has also been upgraded to a magnetic cradle which is compatible with the TS1.
• No camera on TS+ but we have a TSi model which will feature it.

Jump over to the official Omate website for more details of their Facebook page via the links below.

solidLUUV All-In-One Camera Stabiliser

solidLUUV All-In-One Camera Stabiliser

Photographers looking for a more stable platform when using their smartphone, action camera or compact camera may be interested in a new 3-axis mechanical camera stabiliser called the solidLUUV.

The solidLUUV has been designed to be robust, versatile, portable and easy to use and has already won a reddot 2015 design award and ISPO Award Product of The Year.

The camera stabilisation device has now taken to Kickstarter to raise €100,000 to take the design into manufacture. Watch the video below to learn more.

Nowadays, everyone has a smartphone or an action camera in their pocket. We have high resolution cameras and state of the art camera technology at our fingertips. But what do we have to show? Nothing but shaky videos. LUUV has created the solution: solidLUUV!

Create smooth, shake-free videos every-time with solidLUUV! solidLUUV is the world’s first all-in-one camera stabilizer and works with all action cams, smartphones and compact digital cameras.

The solidLUUV stabilizer is a fully fledged steadycam, functions one-handed, and can be used with all smartphones, action cams and compact cameras. It won’t matter if the new GoPro is 20 % lighter or if Samsung announces a new smartphone generation. solidLUUV is adaptable to all of your cameras.

Government Mulls Raising FDI Cap to 100 Percent for DTH, Cable Networks

Government is considering a proposal to raise FDI limits to 100 percent in broadcasting carriage and content services, including DTH and cable networks, aimed at attracting overseas investment and improve infrastructure.

An inter-ministerial committee is considering FDI proposals, including hiking foreign direct investment cap in cable networks, direct-to-home (DTH), Mobile TV, HITS (Headend-in-the Sky Broadcasting Service) and Teleports to 100 percent, from 74 percent at present, sources said.

In case of broadcasting content services – uplinking of news and current affairs TV channels, the proposal under discussion is to raise the limit to 49 percent from the present 26 percent, they said. These proposals were mooted by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) in 2013. It had suggested raising FDI limit for broadcast carriage services up to 100 percent and for uplinking of news channels up to 49 percent. Increase in FDI limit will help improve the pace of digitisation of broadcasting services across India.

The inter-ministerial committee comprises officials from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Information and Broadcasting, Telecommunication and Space.

“The committee is discussing all these recommendations,” sources said, adding the panel discussed all these issues its meeting held last month.

In broadcasting content services, 26 percent foreign direct investment is permitted through government approval route. Companies which are involved in the business of broadcasting carriage services include Dish TV, Siti Cables, Hathway services and Den Networks.

In March, cable television services firm Den Networks had approved increasing limit of foreign investment in the company from existing 49 percent to 74 percent. Similarly in August, Hathway Cable had received FIPB approval to increase foreign investment limit in the firm from the existing 49 percent to 74 percent.

To attract foreign funds, the government has already relaxed FDI norms in sectors such as defence, construction and railways. It is also considering relaxing norms for rubber and coffee sector.