Archive for July 12th, 2018

Music – Streaming services account for 75 percent of USA volume

Music streaming makes up 75 percent of consumption in the US according to a recent Nielsen study

Americans streamed a record 403 billion songs in the first six months of 2018, marking the latest milestone in the unstoppable march of music streaming services.   According to Nielsen’s US Mid-Year Music Report, audio and video music streaming now accounts for 75 percent of music consumption in the US, compared with physical and digital music sales. That figure is up from 50 percent in the first half of 2016.

While on-demand streaming rises steadily, the rest of the music industry continues to decline. Physical album sales, digital album sales, and digital track sales have all decreased year-over-year for the past several years as users turn toward streaming services as their primary music platform.

Windows 10 – NOTEPAD improved for Redstone 5 in Fall 2018

Windows 10 will see some improved features in it’s text based NOTEPAD editor. These new functions are targeted for the Redstone 5 release in Fall 2018

Notepad is getting a refresher.  It’s coming more into line, aesthetically, with Metro and should no longer look so outdated. But the changes aren’t just cosmetic. You’ll be able to zoom in on text much as you can with Word or on your browser.

Even better: Find & Replace now works with word wrapping. Which means, when you hit Ctrl+F and punch in the word you’re looking for, you won’t have to scroll horizontally to find each instance of the word. Instead, you can scroll vertically!

Notepad will also support line numbers with word wrapping. That’s useful if you’re looking at a big chunk of text and don’t want to lose your place, or are doing some quick edits to the text of some code.

The updates to Notepad were announced yesterday by Microsoft and will appear in Redstone 5 (R5), the next major update to Windows that is expected in October of this year. If you simply can’t wait, you can enter the Windows beta program, known as Windows Insiders. The changes are available now to insiders in the Fast ring.

Microsoft Xbox – Dolby Vision support being tested

The new Dolby Vision support for the Xbox platform is being tested for a future release

Microsoft is preparing to add Dolby Vision support to its Xbox One S and Xbox One X consoles. The addition will mean Microsoft’s consoles join the Apple TV 4K and Google’s Chromecast Ultra as the only streaming devices that currently support both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Microsoft is testing out its Dolby Vision support with Xbox Insiders right now, and it appears to be limited to streaming apps for now. Netflix is one of the first apps to be updated with Dolby Vision for the Xbox One S and Xbox One X, and it’s not clear if Microsoft plans to extend this to Blu-ray discs too.

Dolby Vision is widely considered to be more superior to the current HDR10 support found on the Xbox One. Dolby Vision adjusts the brightness and color of scenes with metadata, and supports up to a 12-bit color depth and higher peak brightness targets than HDR10. While you won’t necessarily see an immediate difference on current TV sets, Dolby Vision support (alongside HDR10) on the Xbox One makes it more future proof in the current HDR standards war. Microsoft’s main rival console, Sony’s PlayStation 4, still doesn’t fully support Dolby Atmos or Dolby Vision.