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Music identification specialist SoundHound unveiled a new version of its iOS, Android, Windows phone and Blackberry apps Thursday, offering new ways for users to explore the results of their song searches. The app, which offers the ability to identify songs by listening in what’s playing around you or having users hum a melody, also expanded its lyrics catalog, which it displays in real-time while a song is playing. The new version comes just as competitor Shazam reportedly secured some smaller investments from the major record companies. The three majors each took a $3 million stake in the company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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In Brief

AT&T is in advanced talks to buy DirecTV for $50 billion, or about $100 per share, Bloomberg reported Monday. AT&T’s plan is to turn the satellite company into an AT&T unit, and keep management on board to run that unit, with plans for DirecTV’s chief executive Mike White to retire in 2016. The acquisition report, which neither company is commenting on, comes after three months after Comcast announced that it was going to acquire Time Warner Cable in a $45 billion deal.

As Jay Rosen argues, the days when it was enough to just give both sides of a story — without providing any additional viewpoints or fact-checking — are over. He said/she said journalism is both an ethical lapse and a failure to understand how the media business itself has changed Read more »

In Brief

Networking giant Ericsson has just beefed up its broadcast services portfolio – on Monday it said its takeover of Red Bee Media, announced in July 2013 with an undisclosed price, was finalized following regulatory approval. Red Bee started off as the BBC’s commercial broadcast management arm (multi-platform distribution, marketing and so on), before being sold off to Australia’s Macquarie in 2005. Ericsson’s own broadcast services efforts began in 2007, but they now benefit from an extra 1,500 employees in Europe (mainly the UK) and Australia, along with a formidable client roster ranging from the BBC and BSkyB to carriers such as EE and brands such as Hyundai.

On The Web

Microsoft’s biggest foray into exclusive content may actually not be all that exclusive: The company is negotiating with Showtime about a partnership for its Steven Spielberg-produced Halo TV show, according to a Variety report. The deal could lead to episodes of the show first airing on Showtime, and then making their way to the Xbox, where Microsoft wants to add interactive features – something Microsoft executives somehow forgot to mention during a recent press event focused on their original content efforts.

In Brief

Chromecast users just got a few more options to beam movies, TV shows and music to the TV screen: Video subscription service Redbox Instant added support for Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter to its Android app this week. Indie movie streaming service Fandor also recently added Chromecast support to its iOS, Android and web apps, and the Android Music app SoundTracker now supports casting as well.

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