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In Brief

This is pretty cool: Some developers from the Telefonica-owned European mobile carrier O2 have been toying with the idea to use an Android smart watches as a Chromecast remote. The O2 Lab team first used Google’s newly-released Android Wear SDK to build a basic remote control app, and then ported the same app to Sony’s Android-powered smart watch – presumably because they wanted to run it on an actual device as well. Check out the video below:

In Brief

Lyve Minds, the personal media startup founded by former Apple exec Tim Bucher, is opening up pre-orders for its Lyve Home device on April 22nd, according to a newsletter sent out to subscribers Tuesday. Lyve Home, which helps to back up photos and synchronize them across your devices, will sell for $300, and the company just previewed some of its functionality in a stylish new YouTube video. Lyve Minds was previously known as Black Pearl Systems, and Bucher told me all about his plans at CES.

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In Brief

And the Chromecast apps keeping coming: Music subscription service Rhapsody added Chromecast support to its Android app this week, making it possible for users to cast any of its 32+ million songs to the TV. Chromecast support also popped up in Rhapsody’s Napster app, which is available in a number of European countries. Rhapsody’s embrace of Chromecast comes just days after Rdio rolled out its support for Google’s streaming stick. Competitor Beats Music has said that it wants to support Chromecast in the future as well, but Spotify is still non-committal.

In Brief

Neil Young’s high-definition portable music player Pono is just about $34,000 shy of hitting $5 million in pledged contributions on Kickstarter, and the project still has 17 days to go. Pono surpassed its $800,000 funding goal on day one, and is now the fourth-most successful Kickstarter project ever in terms of money raised, just behind the Veronica Mars movie, the Ouya game console and the Pebble smart watch.

On The Web

Amazon has been floating the idea of an ad-supported video offering, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The service would be separate from its Prime Instant video service and not require viewers to have a Prime subscription. There are few details about what kind of content Amazon would make available through such a service, but the company apparently at one point considered to make some of its original content available outside of the Prime paywall. However, an Amazon spokesperson has since told Variety that it tests many things, but has no plans to launch such a service. Coincidentally, Amazon is also looking to launch a TV streaming device next week.

This post was updated on 03/28 with Amazon’s response.

In Brief

Last.fm, the CBS-owned digital music outlet, will close down its streaming radio product by the end of April (hat tip to Engadget). Last.fm announced in its forums Tuesday that it wants to concentrate on “scrobbling”, meaning music recognition and recommendation, going forward, and that it will rely on YouTube and Spotify for its music player. The move was widely expected after Last.fm rolled out a YouTube-based radio player in January.

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