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Netflix Vs. Amazon: A Battle for Online Streaming

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Netflix and Amazon compete to stream TV shows and movies.

Kung Fu Panda and Shrek are facing off against Jack Bauer and FBI agents Mulder and Scully in the latest Netflix-Amazon fight for streaming video subscribers. Which side are you betting on?

Netflix and Amazon both announced this week that they had inked deals for new content. Netflix said Sunday it signed a deal with DreamWorks Animation, which will add live-streaming of popular franchises like “Shrek” and “Madagascar.” But you’ll have to wait to watch — the deal starts in 2013. Amazon’s new contract with Fox, announced Monday, gets it TV shows including “24” and “The X-Files.” Subscribers can start watching later this fall. (Fox is a division of News Corp., which also owns SmartMoney.com.)

The added content could make a difference for consumers deciding which streaming service offers the best value in the aftermath of Netflix’s recent pricing changes. Netflix now charges $7.99 per month for unlimited streaming, for a total $95.88 a year. Amazon charges $79 a year for its Amazon Prime service, which offers subscribers free two-day shipping and free streaming.

But it’s what you can watch that often dictates choice, and from that perspective, the deals aren’t especially exciting. As we’ve previously reported, the streaming selection on Netflix and Amazon is pretty thin, and focuses mostly on older and niche titles. That’s still largely case with these deals – the first movie in the “Shrek” franchise is already 10 years old, and “The X-Files” wrapped its last season in 2002.

Amazon’s Fox deal adds 2,000 titles, for a total 11,000. That’s double what it offered six months ago, but still shy of the 12,571 titles InstantWatcher.com says are stream-able on Netflix. (Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey declined to disclose the exact number of titles available.) “DreamWorks releases two to three films per year — that’s not a huge amount of new content,” says Dan Rayburn, principal analyst with the Digital Media Practice of Frost & Sullivan. And it’s certainly not enough to offset the loss of Disney and Sony Pictures content from Starz, which recently announced that it would end its relationship with Netflix next year.

Pay Dirt readers, will the addition of DreamWorks or Fox content sway your movie rental decisions?

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Amazon would begin streaming Fox content in 2013. The new shows will be available to subscribers this fall.

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    • By WebOsPublisher

      World leaders in icon design,we offer thousands of free icons,custom design services,software,royalty-free stock icons and much more.
      Iconfactory : Home : Can I make custom disk icons for Mac OS 9 and OS X?
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      Home Support Item
      Can I make custom disk icons for Mac OS 9 and OS X?
      During the transition from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X, the way custom icons are stored on disks changed. We’ll quickly explain what happened and give you some tips to work around the issues.
      Disks (or in the language of Unix, “volumes”) in Mac OS X have a special file called ”.VolumeIcon.icns” at the root level of the disk. You can see this in a Terminal window by using the commands:
      % cd /Volume/DISKNAME
      % ls -la
      where DISKNAME is the name of a disk with a custom icon attached.
      On Mac OS 9, the disk uses the same mechanism as a folder; a hidden file named “Icon\r” at the root level of the disk contains the custom icon. You can see this from a Terminal using the same commands as above. The only difference is that the file will be displayed as “Icon?”. The question mark is displayed because the OS doesn’t know how to display the carriage return in the file name (represented by ”\r”.)
      So, you have a situation where the two versions of the Mac OS are looking for different files. If you’re trying to make a disk that mounts correctly on both, you’ll need to supply both files.
      Let’s assume that you’re working with a folder that you’ll eventually use with Toast or some other disk creation tool (we’ll refer to this folder as a “project folder” in the following instructions.)
      You can quickly create the “Icon\r” file required by Mac OS 9 using the standard copy and paste technique with Get Info on your project folder. You can use the Terminal to verify that “Icon?” is displayed in the folder.
      Creating the ”.VolumeIcon.icns” file is a bit trickier. The reason is because Unix (and the Finder) doesn’t want to display a file with a period as the first character in the name. Any attempt to rename a file with a period at the beginning will cause the Finder to display a warning dialog. This means you’ll have to work at a Terminal prompt.
      The following step-by-step instructions will help you out. The “project folder” referred to below is the folder where you are storing the contents of the disk you are creating:
      Create the .icns file using IconBuilder Pro.
      When you save the file, make sure the Platform is set to “Mac” and the ”.icns File” type is selected.
      Save the file using the name “VolumeIcon.icns” (without the period in front) in the project folder.
      Open the Terminal application in the Applications > Utilities folder
      In the Terminal window, type “cd” followed by a space. Then drag your project folder into the Terminal window. This will save you from having to type the Unix path name. Press return and your Terminal will now be able to work with the contents of the project folder.
      To see the contents of the folder, do “ls -la” followed by a return. This should show you a list of the files, including the “VolumeIcon.icns” you saved above and the “Icon?” file created by copy/paste. If you don’t see these files, repeat the previous step to “cd” again.
      In Unix the “mv” command is used to rename files. Since our goal is to rename the “VolumeIcon.icns” file to ”.VolumeIcon.icns”, we’ll use this command in the Terminal window: “mv VolumeIcon.icns .VolumeIcon.icns”. Check your typing and press return.
      Because the filename contains a period, you won’t see the results of your efforts in the Finder. However, after you burn the contents of the project folder onto a CD-ROM, you should see the icon show up on the desktop for both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X.
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    • hi all the best to yous for 2012
      alfred beilin

    • I think the unbox program allows you to download videos from a pc and show them on the xbox. I think native streaming apps for xbox, ps3 and wii would be far better. Also some content not already on netflix.

    • Amazon is available on xbox360. You need to network link it to windows media center via a amazon unbox application. Also, you can get amazon on ps3 with another program.

    • I’m pretty sure that Amazon’s deal with Fox begins this Fall, not in 2013. Check out Amazon’s homepage for more information.

About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.

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