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Plenty of apps are adding Chromecast support these days, but two of them are worth singling out: NPR added the ability to cast audio to the iOS and Android versions of its new NPR One app, which the broadcaster launched just a month ago as a new way to consume public radio content. ABC added casting to the iOS and Android versions of its Watch ABC app, which offers pay TV subscribers access to full episodes of TV shows like Scandal and Modern Family. And there’s good news for Apple TV owners as well, as the Watch ABC iOS app now also supports AirPlay.

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San Francisco-based IoT startup Aether Things is now ready to ship its connected loudspeaker after initially delaying shipments in July. The Cone, as the speaker is called, is for now only available to paying subscribers of Rdio’s music service, but there’s a twist: Rdio subscribers will get $5 off their Cone for every month they’ve paid for the music service, up to a total of $180 of discounts off the $400 sticker price of a Cone. There’s still no word yet on when Aether’s Cone will support additional services, or ship to folks not subscribing to Rdio.

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This is neat: A new free Android app called Viddit makes it possible to beam videos found on Reddit straight to any Chromecast-equipped TV. The app, which doesn’t require any type of registration, casts a continuous stream of videos from any Subreddit, with the ability to skip videos through a simple right-swipe. The developers of the app have said that they want to add the ability to log in with your Reddit account and automatically access your subscribed Subreddits in the near future.

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Netflix has seen its traffic grow “at an incredible rate” since launching in the UK two years ago, according to local ISP Plusnet, whose Senior Product Specialist Dave Tomlinson detailed Netflix’s traffic patterns in a blog post Thursday. YouTube video streams still amount for more overall traffic on Plusnet’s network, according to Tomlinson, but Netflix sees a much higher spike in the afternoon and evening. That’s a good sign for Netflix’s international expansion: The streaming service is set to launch in six additional European countries next month.

In Brief

Serendipity music map
Every second there are ten pairs of people on Spotify who start listening to the same song within a tenth of a second of each other — whether it’s obscure Norwegian black metal or the latest Enrique Iglesias song. As part of Spotify’s new Media Artist in Residence program, Kyle McDonald visualized the pairs in a project called Serendipity. By using d3.js, Storm and Spotify’s API, McDonald constructed a fast moving map around the world showing that music tastes may be quite local (only within miles of each other) or across several timezones. While McDonald said via Twitter that the real-time version is only in Spotify’s office, the one for the public on the web is still pretty interesting to watch. And be sure to have your headphones in — the songs change as the map moves.

Media companies like BuzzFeed, NowThis News and Fusion are increasingly creating content that is designed to live on other apps and services rather than just including links to their websites. This promiscuous approach to media is a smart strategy in an increasingly crowded environment Read more »

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This is pretty cool: A few Netflix engineers integrated the streaming service’s connected TV app with Hue connected light bulbs from Philips to change the colors of your living room light based on the movie you’re watching. This is similar to a recent SyFy experiment with Sharknado, but in Netflix’s implementation, the light color even changes while you navigate through Netflix’s TV app queue. The integration was done as part of Netflix’s most recent hack day, where other teams built an Oculus Rift UI, a command line Netflix app and a mini player Chrome extension to binge while you’re working. Sadly, all of those hacks are internal, and may never become part of any actual products.

BuzzFeed has come under fire for deleting thousands of old articles, which founder Jonah Peretti says didn’t live up to the kinds of standards the site wants to adhere to now. Should the company be criticized for doing this because it’s a journalistic no-no, or congratulated for evolving? Read more »

In Brief

The YouTube app on your television may be getting a makeover: Google has updated the interface for its YouTube App for TV to reduce the number of clicks needed to get around menus armed only with a remote control. The update has already rolled out to Microsoft’s Xbox One, and will head to other streaming devices “in the following weeks.” The new interface relocates subscriptions to channels and videos to a menu on the left hand side, like on the web, and it also puts a search bar on the top of the default home page. You can check out a preview of the interface in your browser here.

In Brief

Sportscaster ESPN is getting ready to shut down its public API. ESPN’s API team announced this week that it won’t be issuing any new API keys going forward, and that all previously issued API keys are going to be revoked in early December. The move will help the company to “better align engineering resources with the growing demand to develop core ESPN products,” the team said in a blog post. ESPN isn’t the only media company that recently decided to pull the plug on a public API: Netflix announced two months ago that it will shutter its public API in November.

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