Qualcomm and doubleTwist Want to Popularize MagicPlay, Their Open Source Version of AirPlay

Qualcomm and doubleTwist Want to Popularize MagicPlay, Their Open Source Version of AirPlay

Feb 27, 2013

The lack of an official AirPlay variant on Android is certainly something that has been open for third parties to attempt to jump in on. We’ve seen Zapstreak making strides toward a version of this, and now doubleTwist wants to jump in on this market along with processor manufacutrer Qualcomm. Their new service MagicPlay wants to be an open AirPlay replacement.

This protocol will be open source, and will stream media to Qualcomm devices running the AllJoyn protocol. Their chips are in devices as diverse as TVs and cars. As well, it will be possible to actually stream media over wi-fi, which hopes to alleviate some of the hassles that come with streaming media.

The benefit that MagicPlay will have in starting out is that doubleTwist has a sizable install base on Android, of 10–50 million downloads on Google Play alone. While they’ve tried to use AirPlay in the AirSync app, this is still limiting to only AirPlay receivers. While Zapstreak’s DLNA support gives it the widest compatibility, it will still need a way to breakthrough into the mainstream. doubleTwist may just provide that opportunity for MagicPlay. TechCrunch reports that it should start hitting this spring with source code available in Q3 2013, and doubleTwist is demoing it at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Zapstreak SDK and Apps Supporting Its DLNA Media Streaming Technology Go Public

Zapstreak SDK and Apps Supporting Its DLNA Media Streaming Technology Go Public

Nov 29, 2012

Zapstreak, the SDK for developers to add DLNA media streaming to their apps, is now public, and users can now download apps using Zapstreak to try out for themselves. One such app, musiXmatch, allows users to stream music and discover song lyrics, is available on Google Play right now. Another, video2brain allows for educational videos to be easily sent to smart TVs. As Thomas Friedl, lead developer of video2brain, says, “We want to serve as many platforms as possible, giving our subscribers the choice to learn whenever and wherever they want. Using Zapstreak, we were able to bring our video based courses to the living room, turning smart TVs into a rich source of 21st century education.”

While this technology has potential uses as it expands, what about Miracast, which is available in the Nexus 4 for providing display mirroring? When I spoke to Stefan Bielau, co-founder of Zapstreak, he expressed to me that because Miracast is such a limited protocol at this point, versus the more open DLNA standard (which is supported by many smart TVs and the Xbox 360 and PS3), their service will have key advantages over Miracast. As well, with their plans to launch on iOS and Windows 8, they’re hoping to expand out their technology to be more than just an AirPlay alternative, to possibly be more flexible.

Zapstreak Shows Early Results of Android to TV Media Streaming Behavior Through Shortbeam

Zapstreak Shows Early Results of Android to TV Media Streaming Behavior Through Shortbeam

Aug 9, 2012

While they didn’t exactly publicize this app when announcing the initial Zapstreak SDK, there has been one app using their technology on Android, called Shortbeam. This app allows users to stream video from services like YouTube and Reddit TV to a DLNA-compatible TV or media device, along with their photos and music.  Fusion Sheep, the developer of Zapstreak, has shared some data on how users are streaming media with the service to this point.

So far, video has overwhelmingly been the most streamed media, representing 65% of what is streamed to TVs. Photos are actually second above music, at 18% to 17%. A total of over 469 hours of media has been streamed, though the average stream has been for just over 2 minutes. Users may just be interested in finding a way to view short-form content on their TVs, not to use their phones as a media hub to be beamed when necessary.

Inteestingly, the Samsung Galaxy S II was the most popular streaming source. TVs represented 9 of the 10 media receivers, with only the DirecTV set top box being the non-smart-TV in the list. Coincidental or not, 6 out of the top 10 were streaming from and to the same manufacturer. While sample size issues are abound with this information, it could show that cross-hardware branding is a potential strength for manufacturers to focus on.

Shortbeam is free from Google Play. The Zapstreak SDK is still in beta.