Tag Archive for ‘Streaming’

YouTube Premium Is Amazing ➝

Gus Mueller:

A few months ago while watching climbing competition videos on YouTube with the family, I finally broke down and began the 30 day free trial of YouTube Premium.

I now wish I had done it years ago.

Removing ads instantly changed my YouTube viewing habits. What was previously a pit of frustration waiting for horrible little clips to play turned into a wonderful experience of listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan concerts in the background, devouring guitar lessons, enjoying the funk covers of Scary Pockets, and more.

YouTube has become my most frequently used video service for quite sometime now and I can’t imagine that being the case if not for YouTube Premium. It completely changes the experience.

If you’re looking for something interesting to watch, I recommend Glen & Friends Cooking, Grand POOBear, and Summoning Salt, to name a few.

➝ Source: shapeof.com

Helvetica Documentary Available to Watch for Free ➝

Oh You Pretty Things:

Filmmaker Gary Hustwit is streaming his documentaries free worldwide during the global COVID crisis. Each week we’ll be posting another film here. We hope you enjoy them, and please stay strong.

Helvetica is available until March 24. It’s an excellent documentary that anyone who is interested in design should watch. I plan on watching it later tonight and look forward to seeing which of Gary Hustwit’s films will be available next.

➝ Source: ohyouprettythings.com

TV App Regression

TV App’s Watch Now Tab

Joe Cieplinski, on the state of Apple’s TV app:

At first, when I saw the way Apple was mixing and matching all the content from available channels, iTunes rentals, purchases, and streaming services like Prime, I was annoyed. How am I supposed to find shows specific to certain sources in here? And more importantly, how can I tell the difference between what I already have access to with my existing subscriptions, and what is going to require a new subscription or a one-time payment?

And that’s the rub. You can’t easily get a screen with all the content you already have access to. Sure the library tab will show you movies and tv shows you’ve purchased on iTunes. But my HBO subscription? Prime? These are just mixed in with all the rest of the content. You can dig and find HBO specific pages, sure. But they are buried behind multiple layers of UI.

Joe goes on to make the point that all Apple needs to do is get you in the door with the one-year free trial. After that it’s a sea of impulse buys. $4 for a movie rental, $5 for a new channel subscription, and so on. It’s so easy to spend money in the Apple TV app because there’s no differentiation between what you do and don’t already have access to.

And that’s why I’m so irritated by tvOS 13. I was a massive advocate for the TV app. Up until now, it was an excellent way to take all of the streaming services I had access to and aggregate my watch list into a single location. It didn’t matter if the show was on Hulu, Crackle, or Prime Video, I could let the TV app keep track of that for me.

This was such a fantastic experience. The TV app even let me skip launching the app itself by displaying my Up Next queue right in the top shelf. That’s entirely gone now, though, and it’s all been replaced with a bombardment of advertisements enticing me to spend just a few more dollars to gain access to the next hit show.

I don’t want that, though. I don’t need more monthly subscriptions or one-off movie rentals. So I’ve decided to move the Apple TV app into a folder and shift focus toward alternatives.

I’ve been acquiring physical discs more lately. I just bought the entire series of Avatar: the Last Airbender on blu-ray and have been slowly converting each disc into MKV files that I can store on our Plex server. It almost seems like everyone forgot how cheap discs are and how incredibly good the quality is. And if you’re willing to spend a little bit of time ripping, converting, and maintaining a Plex server, in the long run you’ll end up spending far less than you would on streaming services.

There’s a part of me that considers the ultimate goal to be acquiring enough media through physical discs and purchased media that I won’t need to pay a monthly fee for video services anymore. But until I’ve acquired a large enough catalog of shows and movies in Plex, we’re still stuck using streaming services to supplement.

WatchAid’s Top Shelf Extension

I’m not using the Apple TV app to aggregate that content anymore, though. I’ve transitioned our watch list to WatchAid instead. It’s not a perfect app, but it offers most of the features I miss from the old TV app and doesn’t include as much of the up-sells — there are still links to purchase content in iTunes, but those are pretty unobtrusive.

I do wish you could explicitly tell WatchAid what services you had access to, so it would only surface those as streaming options. And I would love to see a tab for browsing only content available in your chosen services, but I guess this is as close as I’m going to get at this point.

It would be better if Apple went back to the drawing board and updated the TV app to a bit more friendly to users again. For now, though, WatchAid is leaps and bounds better than the current state of the TV app.

Plex Partners With Lionsgate to Expand Its Collection of Free Streaming Movies ➝

I can imagine a future where I don’t pay for any streaming services at all. Plex already stores all of my ripped DVDs and Blu-rays, adding in free streaming of Warner Bros. and Lionsgate content will give us access to quite a bit content all in one place.

➝ Source: 9to5mac.com

Plex to Offer Free, Ad-Supported Content From Warner Bros. ➝

I’m a proud Plex Pass owner and have gone all-in on it for storing my media. I use it for music, ripped movies and TV shows from DVDs and Blu-rays, and have even stripped the DRM from all my iTunes content to keep in Plex too. I typically use Infuse for playing back video content, but that could change if this Warner Bros. deal turns out well.

➝ Source: appleinsider.com

Disney Announces $12.99 Bundle for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ ➝

This is a great price for all of these services, but I hope they offer a bundle with the ad-free version of Hulu. Maybe something like $18.99 a month? I can’t imagine moving from my existing Hulu plan to the bundle unless there is an ad-free option.

Details on Disney’s Streaming Service ➝

Peter Kafka, reporting for Recode:

Disney+ will launch in the US on November 12, for $7 a month. It will have a very large library of old Disney movies and TV shows — crucially, including titles from its Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars catalog — along with new movies and series made exclusively for the streaming service. It won’t have any ads. And it will allow subscribers to download all of that stuff, and watch it offline, whenever they want.

This is a great deal for a lot of excellent content. But the most important question for me: will Disney+ play nicely with Apple’s TV app?

Plex Plans to Offer Ad-Supported Movies and More Premium Subscriptions ➝

Sarah Perez, reporting for TechCrunch:

Media software maker Plex is preparing to take on The Roku Channel and Amazon Prime Video Channels, possibly as soon as this year. The company is in discussions with rights holders and content providers, with a focus on bringing free, ad-supported movies to the Plex platform – similar to how The Roku Channel got its start. It’s also talking to premium networks and content providers about offering their programming and subscriptions through Plex.

Although I’d prefer they focus their efforts on improving the music playback experience on iOS, I certainly won’t mind having access to more content. Especially since it will be available through a media application that I already use — if it’s not in YouTube, Plex, or the TV app, I’m probably not watching it.