Sony Corp.

Irony: Sony Updates ‘Music Unlimited’ App On the Same Day It Announces Its Death

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In what may be its final update before the service is put to pasture, Sony has given the Music Unlimited app on iOS an update….on the day it announced that it would ending the service. So what can we expect from Music Unlimited Version 2.3.0, which weighs in at 7.7 MB? From the official changelog:

  • New: Skip & skip back by swiping the album cover art
  • Fixes minor bugs on player features

The update will likely go by unnoticed as the reason Sony is shutting down the service is due to lack of consumer interest, i.e. enough subscribers to warrant the cost of the service. While I’m sure that it’s purely coincidental that an update was pushed the same date that Sony would announce the service’s death, (and I’m 100% certain that those working on the app have had no idea that Sony would be killing Music Unlimited) the situation is comedically and sadly very representative of the internal disarray that Sony faces. No division is safe and no plan/initiative/service has a long term vision where software and hardware are working together to achieve it.

Sony’s ‘Music Unlimited’ Reaches End of Line

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Likely in an effort to streamline their internal operations and cut where the feature usage does not warrant the costs, Sony has announced that it’s killing its Music Unlimited program. Previously dubbed as Qriocity when it launched in 2010, the streaming service looked to tackle iTunes and other similar services like Pandora and Spotify by allowing users to stream music for a monthly fee. Come March 29th, 2015, Music Unlimited will reach end of line in the 19 countries it operates in. More details after the jump.

PlayStation Store Update (01-20-15)

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Welcome to the PlayStation Store update for January 20, 2015. We have a great update this week packed full of new content and sales. PlayStation 4 users can now take advantage of  the updated version of Saints Row IV Re-Elected, the intriguing Ironclad Tactics, and Motorcyle Club (also available on PlayStation 3).

PlayStation 3 users now have access to an updated version of the original survival horror game Resident Evil along with Best of Arcade Games (also available for Vita). PlayStation Vita users now have access to the fantastic, Atlus published RPG  Citizens of Earth (also available on PlayStation 4). There is also a very large sale this week which includes games for all 3 platforms along with classics from the PSP, PS1, and PS2 library.

Finally, as you are probably aware PlayStation Plus users now receive all of their free games at the beginning of the month and then are given discounts on extra content the rest of the month. PlayStation Plus users get discounts on Citizens of Earth and Ironclad Tactics.

2015 Sony Blu-ray Players Feature Guide

Sony_BDP_S5500_1As usual, CES turns into a floodgate of new and upcoming products from Sony which can at times be hard to decipher. Which units are available and what the differences between models are sometimes gets blurred or buried in general articles that only give you a summary of what it is that Sony is offering. To that end, I’ve put together a few articles which I’m humbled to say have been extremely well received by you, our readers. Those include:

Each of those articles aims to give you a simplified breakdown of Sony’s latest offering in a manner that is easy to follow. After the jump, I’ve put together a 2015 Sony Blu-ray players feature guide where we highlight their latest fleet. If you haven’t already, I do recommend reading our previous piece on why I believe the 2015 Sony Blu-ray players are a big deal.

Sony 4K Action Cam Specs (FDR-X1000V)

Sony_4K_Action_Cam_X1000v_02Just last week, we showed off Sony’s SteadyShot image stabilization technology in their Action Cam lineup from the CES 2015 show floor and earlier this week, we gave you an in depth look at the Sony 4K Action Cam FDR-X1000V. While our overview goes into detail about what you can expect the POV camera to over, it doesn’t include some of the finer details like dimensions, video formats, and more. Just as a recap, some features of the 4K Action Cam include:

  • Professional 4K (3840 x 2160) video recording with up to 240p HD / 120p Full HD
  • SteadyShot™ image stabilization works from bikes to aerial shot and more
  • Control up to 5 Action Cam via phone or LiveView™ Remote3
  • Splash proof body with universal tripod mount
  • Built-in stereo mic for quality sound with wind noise reduction
  • Automatically creates highlight video in MP4 from multiple clips
  • Loop recording prevents running out of memory card
  • Live stream your video via Ustream
  • Advanced manual control allows flexibility in movie expression
  • Ultra wide up to 170° pro quality f/2.8 bright ZEISS® lens

After the jump, you’ll find the Sony 4K Action Cam specs.

Why the 2015 Sony Blu-ray Players Are A Big Deal

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At this point, we take Blu-ray players for granted. While 10 years ago when they launched (which is crazy to think about), they were all the craze and came with some hefty price tags, the market is now all but saturated with units starting around $30. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t models with considerably more features which equally command a larger price tag. Instead, it’s that we take the technology and what it offers for granted. Because of that, we tend not to cover them, as nothing exciting has happened with Blu-ray players other than the addition of 3D playback and 3D conversion a few years back.

CES 2015 changed all that when Sony introduced a series of new Blu-ray players that are not only worthy of your attention, but potentially your hard earned dollars as well. After the jump, we reveal what these new Sony Blu-ray players are kind of a big deal.

Sony Open to Sale and Joint Venture Offers for its TV & Mobile Divisions

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Like clockwork, after getting back from CES and being dazzled by the extensive fleet of new products Sony had on display, a bucket of cold water has been poured over us which reminds us of the very real challenges that Sony faces. When speaking to reporters, including us during his opening keynote at CES 2015, Sony CEO Kaz Hirai noted that reforms have succeeded “in some parts but not in others.” Kaz was specifically referring to the resurgence of PlayStation, which just saw the PS4 climb past 18.5 million units sold and the embrace of their digital imaging business which has expanded beyond consumers into the medical field and perhaps automotive field in the future.

Where the company still lacks is its mobile and television division, which have each lost considerable grounds to rivals. The two divisions have singlehandedly caused billions of dollars in losses for Sony. To put that in perspective, Sony forecasts a 230 billion yen ($1.9 billion) net loss for the business year to March. Speaking behind closed doors, Sony seems to be further emphasizing that not all of their turn around plans are succeeding and that ”no business is forever.” That comment is not only directed at investors, but to Sony divisions as well, iterating that

 every segment now needs to understand that Sony can exit businesses 

As you’d probably guessed, the segments in question are Sony’s television and mobile divisions. Details after the jump.

2015 Sony 4K TV Screen Size & Feature Guide

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CES 2015 proved to be a very interesting year for Sony’s 4K television line. With the company announcing a heavier focus on PlayStation with less reliance on mobile and its TV business, it was unclear what we could expect from Sony. With the show now over, we have a clear picture of Sony’s 4K ambitions for 2015. Though the company has done a much better job at simplifying its TV lineup, there still remains many choices for consumers, including screen size options. With each line that Sony offers, say X900C vs. X930C, Sony not only offers different features like Magnetic Fluid Speakers versus onboard speakers, but different screen sizes as well.

After the jump, we have a 2015 Sony 4K TV screen size and features breakdown to hopefully help remove some of the confusion.

Meet the Sony 4K Action Cam (FDR-X1000V)

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At CES 2015, Sony continued to show their commitment to 4K by making the ultra high resolution format more affordable and available on a larger variety of devices. Ironically, in this article, we’ll be introducing to you one of the smallest ways to record 4K content. Enter the Sony 4K Action Cam FDR-X100V. As the name suggests, this small POV camera is capable of recording native 4K while still fitting in the palm of your hand. Best of all, the camera is jam packed with features that will help you get the best footage possible, no matter if it’s shot in 4K or 1080p.

Details after the jump.

2015 Sony 4K TVs Shrink Slightly In Screen Size (X940C)

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One of the big surprises from Sony at CES 2015 was the X900C and X910C 4K televisions, which offer an exceptionally thin profile. In fact, the TVs, which come in a 55-, 65-, and 75-inch sizes, are just .2-inches thick. You can check out our short video from the CES show floor showing just how incredibly thin they are. While it was all but certain that Sony would bring new 4K televisions to market, we hadn’t considered that the company could shrink down their design by as much as they did. One expectation that we did have for CES 2015 was larger televisions from Sony.

Good thing we’re not betters over here as Sony interestingly enough has gone in the other direction for their 2015 fleet of 4K TVs. While their televisions are thinner than ever, screen size seems to have taken a hit as well. Details after the jump.

Sony Showcases Their Mobile Products Underwater

Though it’s a far cry from an underwater store in Dubai, Sony brought their full line of waterproof devices to CES 2015 and put them on display in a tank of water. Products shown include the Sony SmartWatch 3, SmartBand Talk, Xperia Z3, and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. Enjoy your trip to Dubai Las Vegas in the video above!

Google Cast Helps You “Throw” Content Onto Your Sony 4K TV

Amidst all of the exciting features launching on Sony’s 2015 4K TVs with Android TV, one that stands out is Google Cast. Giving you the ability to “throw” apps from your mobile device to your TV, Google Cast brings a refreshing ease of use to your content consumption.

For instance, using the YouTube app on your Android or iOS device, you can automatically display the video playing on your device directly on your TV – without needing to navigate to an app on your television. This equally helps to save precious battery life on your smartphone or tablet. It’s a win-win! Check out our video above to see Google Cast on Sony’s 4K TVs with Android TV in action.

Comparing the 75-inch Sony 4K X910C and X940C

In 2015, the Sony 4K X900C series will launch and usher in a era of extremely slim televisions. Measuring at .2-inches, the Sony X900C (55- and 65-inch), X910C (75-inch) are one of the worlds slimmest televisions and 4K none the less.  While thicker and featuring the wedge design, the Sony X930C (65-inch) and X940C (75-inch) offer the extremely impressive Magnetic Fluid Speakers and give those who aren’t looking for a surround sound option an all-in-one television.

In the video above, we compare the two different models from the CES 2015 show floor.

Meet the Sony FDR-AX33 Camcorder – “4K for 1K”

4K has become more affordable. You may remember the slogan from last year – “4K for 2K.” That saying received an update by Sony Electronics President and COO Mike Fasulo on the Sony press conference stage on Monday. Now boasting “4K for 1K,” Sony has brought 4K into an entirely new price point and demograph. The new Sony FDR-AX33 4k HandyCam camcorder brings with it a 30% smaller and 20% lighter design at half the price of the AX100.

We got hands on with the camcorder at the Sony booth at CES 2015 – check out the video above to get an inside look at the FDR-AX33.

Giving the New Insanely Thin Sony 4K TV A Spin

At CES 2015, Sony unveiled their new 4K TV lineup – featuring their thinnest TV ever. At only .2 inches, the XBR X900 series is even thinner than the Xperia Z3. To fulfill your 4K dreams, the unit is available in 55″, 65″, and 75″ and, although no price point has been announced, we can expect to see the TVs launch as early as Spring 2015. With such impressive specs, we’re sure you’d like us to stop blabbing and just let you see it. With no further ado, check out the video above for a glimpse of the new Sony 4K TV.

Sony Teases CES 2015 With ‘Welcome to the New World’ Video

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It’s hard to believe it, but CES 2015 is nearly two weeks away. CES has always been an important convention for Sony where in the past, the company had debuted their 4K TV fleet, new Xperia smartphones, and much more. For CES 2015, Sony wants us to ‘Welcome to the New World’ in a teaser video. The cryptic video features shots of beautiful color, lollipop, and human emotions among other things. Those three likely hint at new 4K televisions from Sony while lollipop is surely a reference to the latest Android build that’s expected to hit Sony’s entire Xperia Z line in early 2015. As the human emotion, you sometimes have to hear to believe, referencing Sony’s growing line of high-end speakers.

The video is available after the jump.

Sony’s Qrio Smart Lock In Action (video)

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Late last week, we reported on the Qrio Smart Lock from Sony. Part of Kaz Hirai’s Seed Acceleration Program which seeks to raise Sony’s pioneering spirit of the past by funding smaller and more risky projects, the Qrio smart lock aims to make the installation of a smart lock not only simple, but one that lacks tools as well. In addition to a simple installation process, the Qrio is more affordable that other smart locks in the market like Lockitron ($179) and August ($249) and carries a nearly $130 price tag. Seeing how the project isn’t directly from Sony, Qrio launched on Makuake, Japan’s equivalent to Kickstarter in order to gain part of the funding it needs.

After the jump, the Qrio Smart Lock can be seen in action.