A few years ago, my wife and I took the plunge to “cut the cord” on cable television. We just weren’t watching enough TV to justify paying for it, and we wanted to see if we could do without it. So we decided to go the streaming route where we would get our TV shows through Hulu Plus and Netflix, and our movies through Amazon, Netflix, and iTunes. To this day, we are glad that we have made the choice to do this.
But, one of the things that we have always had a hard time with is figuring out where and when a movie or show is streaming. For example, sometimes a TV show is on Hulu Plus, but not on Netflix, or a movie is available on iTunes, but not on Amazon or Netflix. A part of me wishes that all the different services would release shows and movies at the same time, but we know that is a pipe dream.
That’d leave you with the arduous task of searching between all the services, if it weren’t for a new app: Can I Stream It?.This web app takes the headache of trying to figure out what is playing on what service, and I have really liked using it. Here’s why.
Let’s face it, cable is expensive and it is definitely not going to be getting cheaper any time soon. About two years ago, my wife and I finally made the decision that it was time that we “cut the cord” so to speak, and get rid of our cable bill. As I look back on it, it was probably one of the best decisions that we made. I thought I would miss it, and there are times when I do, but for the most part, I have definitely learned to live without it.
I didn’t get rid of watching television all together, and I don’t think I could ever do that. But, what we did do was we took a long look at some web alternatives that would help us get our TV fix. As with any other cost cutting move, it definitely did not come without some sacrifice on our part. But, if you are every interested in making the move, then continue to read on and see if it is the right move for you.
I want to make this crystal clear: I love bookstores. I love going to them and checking out the bookshelves and the magazine racks, and finding some good things to read. I discovered a bunch of books and magazine because of bookstores, including the .net Magazine, the best web development magazine out there. That being said, I find more and more often that I go into bookstores and leave empty handed. Here’s why.
Let me start off by saying that even though I have a Kindle and read magazines on my tablet from time to time, sometimes there is just no substitute for a real, physical book. This is especially true of programming and web development books, which I tend to reference a lot so I prefer the physical copy to its digital counterpart. I also have a pretty nice bookshelf that would go to waste if I didn’t keep buying print books. So I truly enjoy going into bookstores in hopes of finding something new to read, whether it be a coding book, fiction, or a new magazine. But as I said in the intro, I tend to go into bookstores with the intention of buying a book, and end up leaving empty handed. The culprit for this is technology as a whole, specifically smart phones, the Internet, and e-readers.
Amazon blazed the trail for eBooks with their Kindle platform, starting with the original Kindle device and the Kindle store. Since then, they’ve broaden their scope, and released native reader apps for almost every platform available: Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, and more. Even still, that didn’t cut it. If there wasn’t a native app for your platform, you simply couldn’t read your Kindle books. Linux and Chromebooks, among others, were out of luck.
That’s all over now. Amazon just released their new Kindle Cloud Reader, a full-featured Kindle web app so you can read your Kindle books right in your browser. It’s got all the features you’d expect, lets you save your books for offline reading, and even works great on the iPad. After the break, we’ve got screenshots and more info about the newest Kindle app, the app that just might be the main future of the Kindle platform.
There are tons of online storage options out there: Dropbox is my personal favorite, but there’s also Windows Skydrive, Mozy and more. Last week, Amazon entered the game with their new service, Amazon Cloud Drive. I’ll tell you why Amazon is making a strong case for file storage in the Cloud and giving other services a run for their money.
For the last couple of years, everyone has been expecting both Apple and Google to officially announce and launch their online music players — music in the “Cloud.” I was particularly excited for Apple to announce an online version of iTunes after the bought up my favorite online service, lala (RIP); however, that day has yet to come. When Amazon announced their Cloud Drive/Cloud Player, I was actually pretty surprised because I hadn’t heard much about it. After trying it out I’m pretty happy, and very surprised that they beat Apple and Google to the punch.