Interesting. Fair enough, you’re right, it does look like a failed product for them. Also the way Apple currently works, we can’t expect them to put much effort into changing that.
I only say failed so much as they were earlier to the market but they’re not the reason why streamers are taking off. The streaming devices are around ~39% of the market of the streaming market as a whole, and Roku has almost half of that. Roku marketed to cord-cutters, people who want alternative ways to get their television. Apple seemed content to sell to their current customers and provided an expensive box that didn’t really offer that much. Google pimped Google TV and watch those devices fail one after another, Vizo Co Star anyone? And then in comes Amazon with rather impressive specs and suddenly Roku is is trying to compete against what was, at the time, a better hardware device, Apple ups his game and Google re-enters.
What’s my point in all this? Amazon is one of the leaders, and whether or not other devices catch-up or exceed what they offer to different groups, the Echo is at the forefront. No one was really paying attention to these things until this third parties like Roku and Amazon started doing what they’re doing.
I always recommend the Roku route myself to anyone not in a paywall already. But Echo is wanted.
I have 1 Echo, 1 Echo dot, One Fire Stick, Two Amazon TVs, 2 Roku devices. I returned POS that was the original Chromecast. I also had the Vizio co-star which had great specs, ran like an oven and was generally awful all around.
Apple stupidly constrained the iTunes ecosystem to their own hardware. They should have released iTunes apps for Android, Roku, and FireTV. Even though they repeatedly referred to the AppleTV as a “hobby” device and not a core product, they were deeply invested in its success, so much so that they sacrificed iTunes for it and today Amazon is eating their lunch.
If you have an Echo or Dot, ask it “Does this unit have a soul?”
The response is from Mass Effect.
So apparently, if you change the voice to UK English, you can no longer use Echo to buy stuff. You get a message that you must switch the language to your country’s. Silly. I was really enjoying the English accent.
That’s pretty idiotic. You have to wonder at some of these decisions on these devices, locking voices and the device names has to be at the top of some exe or marketing ploy at the cost of end-user experience.
Yeah, sorry stusser and others, you guys should probably switch back to US English unless you’re actually in the UK. In addition to the above, I believe she also interprets accents differently based on language setting and some third-party services seem to act wonky.
I already switched back, actually. The UK English voice is a matronly englishwoman, not a perky cheerful one. It wasn’t what I wanted.
What this isn’t here yet?
not sure I am going to change it though. my game nights are filled with women and some men who work in IT… this word is used a lot.
Someday the younger generation will watch this scene from Star Trek IV and not get the joke.
I had missed the news on how badly Spotify is doing and how quickly things are going to go to shit for them this year, but that really worries me as I tie both my Echo and my Home units to Spotify as my main search.
What do you guys use for direct track plays, album plays, etc from your Echo? Any recommendations on who has the best selection of artists after Spotify? Does Pandora allow direct play of titles (not “like” titles) with their highest subscription plan?
Spotify. Not much help for you, I’m afraid.
Yep, I’m kind of afraid what will happen. Literally the largest streaming subscription services for music is going to fail, and it literally is due to the cost of payments to the music services that provide content. The system is very broken and needs a change, but I don’t think you’ll ever get the content houses to understand that.
This is telling:
Spotify’s single biggest expense are the payments it has to make to record labels and music publishers, as they are for every other streaming music service, whether it’s Apple Music or Rdio or Deezer. In 2015, the amount that Spotify had to pay for royalties and distribution fees climbed by 85%, to about $1.8 billion. In other words, costs grew by more than revenues did.
I buy the tracks on Amazon for the most part. I also buy them on Google and just listen to them on my home system. I have no interest in monthly services not even Amazon’s. Prime has some tracks but I’ve seen them pulled at random, so i just buy what I like, one track at a time.
So if Spotify dies, what do the music execs think is going to happen? Everybody is going to buy tracks on iTunes? Dumbasses.
People like Spotify because it’s reasonably priced and easier than piracy. If it isn’t reasonably priced, or goes away, people will just pirate again.
It’s like media suits need to re-learn the Napster lesson every couple of years.
Thing is, it’s a situation which doesn’t have an obvious solution, other than Spotify’s sub rates increasingly dramatically. On the one hand Spotify is paying more in total than it can afford. On the other, artists say they receive a pittance from Spotify on a per-play basis. So it doesn’t sound like either side can concede much if anything. The problem is people not paying as much for music in total as they did before (and presumably Spotify’s ad rates being nowhere near as much as traditional radio)
Yeah, sucks for them. But the alternative is the content owners get nothing.
They either don’t know that or don’t believe that. This is the same industry that was going after pirates aggressively right after they lost a lawsuit that proved they kept prices of CD artificially high.
I think I’m in the minority when I actually buy tracks and don’t subscribe, but I still do. I just refuse to buy 18 songs to get two I like.
I still have hundreds of CD’s laying around in a couple of bins. I detest having to store/host my own media anymore, and after twice having ripped and loaded all that onto media and having lost it a second time due to a failure I said fuck it and started buying online. That was the iTunes phase and don’t get me started on the fact getting that content off iTunes is a pain in the ass now that I’m not in their ecosystem. I do have a little content on Amazon, but that’s the whole point of streaming. I don’t want to own the content. I want to pay a monthly and just use it. Several of the other services are still out there, but again, when the one with the biggest subscriber base is about to fail, it just means the distributors will see high fees elsewhere to make up for it.
I really hope they don’t fail, but those articles paint a bleak picture.