STREAM­ING SER­VICES

Dig­i­tal songs, TV and movies are rapidly stream­ing into Aus­tralian homes, writes Jen­nifer Dud­ley- Ni­chol­son

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

The flow- on ef­fect

ONCE upon a time, all songs ar­rived on CDs and all tele­vi­sion pro­grams were broad­cast. How times have changed! Aus­tralians are in­creas­ingly em­brac­ing stream­ing ser­vices that let them ac­cess this me­dia when they want, where they want and with­out hav­ing to store it.

Just this year, doors have opened to a host of fresh mu­sic­stream­ing ser­vices and dig­i­tal TV of­fers in­clud­ing Google’s TV ser­vice.

We’ve in­ves­ti­gated 10 of the best on your be­half.

TELE­VI­SION

1 ABC iView [ Free] The na­tional broad­caster is ahead of the game in video stream­ing and re­cently launched its ABC iView ser­vice on iPhone and iPod. The apps give users ac­cess to home­made and im­ported TV episodes. Shows can be streamed over wi- fi or 3G and users can cre­ate a ‘‘ watch­list’’ within the app. 2 Fox­tel on Xbox 360 [$ 10-$ 19.50 a month] This low- com­mit­ment, month- by­month propo­si­tion lets Xbox 360 users stream pay- TV chan­nel pack­ages over their broad­band con­nec­tion, swap­ping, adding and ditch­ing chan­nel packs as they wish. Live AFL games have been added to the ser­vice’s $ 10 monthly sports pack, while four other pack­ages in­clude movie and gen­eral en­ter­tain­ment chan­nels. 3 FetchTV [ Varies] FetchTV is a hy­brid tele­vi­sion ser­vice of­fer­ing a com­bi­na­tion of free- to- air, pay and in­ter­net TV. The FetchTV set- top box of­fers ac­cess to free TV and movie rentals, with TV on De­mand of­fered as an ex­tra pack­age. Seven on- de­mand chan­nels are avail­able, in­clud­ing BBC Earth, Warner TV and ABC for Kids. FetchTV is avail­able from in­ter­net providers in­clud­ing iiNet, Op­tus and In­tern­ode. 4 YouTube Chan­nels [ Free] The world’s big­gest on­line video repos­i­tory of­fers more than just funny cat videos. YouTube has added chan­nels to its of­fer­ing, where videos have been hand­picked to play one af­ter the other, much like a TV sta­tion. Orig­i­nal chan­nels are avail­able on top­ics in­clud­ing news, sports, health, style, com­edy and, yes, pets ( bit. ly/ Qp3wya) and can be played from YouTube apps inside tablets, smart­phones, smart TVs and Blu- ray play­ers. 5 Quick­flix [$ 14.99 a month] Users who subscribe to Quick­flix’s WatchNow ser­vice can stream TV shows to their smart­phones ( Ap­ple iPhone/ Sam­sung Galaxy S III), com­put­ers ( Mac and PC), games con­soles ( PlayS­ta­tion 3), Blu- ray play­ers and smart TVs ( Sony and Pana­sonic). The stream­ing ser­vice de­liv­ers pop­u­lar US and UK shows in­clud­ing

True Blood, The Wire, En­tourage and Lit­tle Bri­tain.

MU­SIC

1 MOG [$ 6.99/$ 11.99 a month] Tel­stra’s new stream­ing mu­sic ser­vice ( mog. com) of­fers ad- free ac­cess to 16 mil­lion songs for a monthly fee and prom­ises the high­est qual­ity stream­ing songs at 320kbps. The ba­sic model lets you stream mu­sic from a com­puter’s web browser for just $ 6.99 a month, while a pre­mium $ 11.99 monthly ser­vice also de­liv­ers mo­bile phone ac­cess. in Aus­tralia in May and of­fers a choice of free ad- spon­sored song stream­ing from a com­puter, ad- free com­puter stream­ing for $ 6.99 a month, or ac­cess to songs on com­put­ers, smart­phones and tablets for $ 11.99 monthly. The pre­mium sub­scrip­tion in­cludes a 320kbps bi­trate and the abil­ity to save songs on your phone. 3 Sony Mu­sic Un­lim­ited [$ 4.99/$ 12.99 a month] Sony’s 15 mil­lion- song stream­ing ser­vice is not just for Sony de­vices. Mu­sic Un­lim­ited’s pre­mium ser­vice, which costs $ 12.99 per month, can be used on Google An­droid smart­phones or tablets, or Ap­ple iPhones and iPods. Sony Mu­sic is of­fer­ing a 30- day free trial of this ser­vice at mu­sic.sonyen­ter­tain­ment­net­work.com. 4 Rdio [$ 8.90/$ 12.90 a month] The US ser­vice beat its Swedish ri­val to Aus­tralia by a few months and of­fers 15 mil­lion tracks to stream to a com­puter or mo­bile de­vice. The ba­sic Rdio ser­vice lets users stream songs as they like through a web browser. 5 Nokia Mu­sic [ Free/$ 1.49 a track] Nokia’s mu­sic ser­vice ar­rives pre- in­stalled on its Win­dows Phones, al­low­ing users to stream songs from its Mix Ra­dio for free. Song down­loads are avail­able for $ 1.49 a track, and the Win­dows app also has a Gig Finder that lets users buy tick­ets.

2 Spo­tify [ Free/$ 6.99/$ 11.99 a month] This Swedish mu­sic­stream­ing ser­vice ar­rived

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