Download Amazon Prime videos to iPhone, iPad, & Android

Kindle Fire users have been able to download select Amazon Prime titles to their tablet for offline viewing for some time, and now the feature is coming to iPhone, iPad, and Android users. From Recode:

The feature isn’t available for every video Amazon streams, since Amazon needs to work out deals with individual content owners (that is, pay them more money). Amazon says it has “thousands” of titles available for download; in most cases, subscribers will have 15 to 30 days to watch them.

And it looks like those titles include a pretty diverse lineup: There are Amazon’s own home-grown shows, like “Transparent,” of course. But there are also offerings from CBS (“The Good Wife”), Fox (“Sons of Anarchy”), MGM (“The Hunger Games”) and Paramount (“Star Trek Into Darkness”).

One particularly noteworthy get: Amazon says Prime members can download the old HBO shows that Amazon landed last year, including “Girls,” “Entourage” and “The Wire.” That’s something even HBO and HBO Now subscribers can’t do.

This is a really nice feature for frequent travelers and road tripping families. I've contemplated getting a Kindle Fire tablet in the past just to use this feature while on long flights. With yet another useful feature included in a $99/year Prime subscription, I may have to consider getting it. Get the Amazon Prime Video app for iPhone, iPad, or Android (Android setup is a little complicated) and try a free one month trial of Amazon Prime.

Netflix losing many of its biggest movies

From Recode:

Netflix says it is not renewing a distribution deal with cable network Epix, which means its U.S. subscribers will lose access  to big Hollywood movies like “Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, “World War Z” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction”at the end of September. The trade-off, says Netflix: It is making its own movies — but subscribers will have to wait a while to see most of them.

After this deal expires most of the big Hollywood movies on Netflix will come from Disney - which includes Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm. Netflix is banking that its original series and movies will be good enough to retain subscribers and attract new ones. Epic will look to replace the lost revenue with a deal with Hulu or someone else or a new exclusive deal with Amazon perhaps. Netflix really is trying to become HBO before HBO can become them.

However, HBO has done a pretty good job of making its content available to cable subscribers and cord-cutters/nevers alike. Anecdotally, I've been watching more and more HBO this year and less and less Netflix. It's almost September and I still haven't finished the current season of Orange is the New Black and never made it past the first episode of Marco Polo. In my opinion, HBO's content is consistently higher quality and more relevant to me. However, Netflix clearly wins on the variety and size of their content library. Hopefully this new battle between HBO and Netflix for original content creates even more great content for consumers that is available outside of the cable bundle.

2 months in with the new Macbook

I've been using the new Macbook as my main work machine for over two months now. I'm coming from a 2011 13" Macbook Pro, and haven't used anything newer extensively. That may mean I have a lower reference point, but it may also be closer to what a typical user would experience when upgrading. Here are a few quick impressions, and my thoughts on who this machine is best for.

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Watch F1 live streaming online on iPad, iPhone, Android, more

Watch F1 live streaming online again this season.  NBC is televising and streaming several Formula 1 Grand Prix’s in the US on mobile devices and computers.  NBC also streams lots of pre-race coverage of practice and qualifying sessions leading up to race day.  A cable TV subscription is required to watch F1 live streaming through NBC and their cable channels.

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WKND streaming guide update

As you may have noticed, in recent weeks I've been spending less time putting together the weekend streaming guide. The new job has been taking up a lot of my time, and my travel schedule has been busy as well. At this point, my plan is to do away with the weekly streaming guide, and instead post quick updates when there is news. A weekly email will still go out every Friday afternoon eastern time, including a summary of any posts from the week.

If you're reading this post as an email and would like to unsubscribe you can do so below (but I'd be really sad to see you go!).

Thanks for being a reader/subscriber, have a great weekend.

-John

MLB spinning out streaming video service - a model for the future of TV?

From Recode:

MLB Advanced Media, the company that streams video for Major League Baseball and many other clients, is getting ready to spin out its tech operations in a deal that would give the new company a value of at least $3 billion.

And as part of the spinout prep, MLBAM is bulking up: It has signed a long-term deal with pro hockey’s NHL, which will give MLBAM the rights to pro hockey’s digital subscription products, as well as its cable TV property.

MLB Advanced Media made MLB.tv possible, one of the first large-scale live streaming initiatives. That early experience led to them developing the back-end tech for other big live streaming entities, such as WWE Network, watchESPN, and HBO Now.

However, this is the first time that MLBAM is purchasing streaming rights from a media company and selling advertising. Could this be a model for the future of live sports? Will MLBAM morph into a major competitor for ESPN, or would ESPN consider buying them at (just) $3 billion?