I understand the concept of Nest’s seasonal savings program. I also know better than a data center whether I would like to my house to be 66 degrees in winter. There is a reason I have never set the temp that low, Google! 🥶
Finished Reading: The writing’s on the wall for Google Stadia by Sean Hollister

After fourteen months, Google has decided it doesn’t want to be a game company anymore. It no longer wants to build its own games. But is it also signaling it doesn’t want to offer a game service either?

But ask yourself: given Google’s track record of axing niche projects, and the current level of interest in Stadia (versus, say, next-gen consoles), how much longer do you think Google will continue to offer and promote a consumer-facing cloud gaming service?

can’t spot the lie


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Google Play Music is now officially dead, dead, dead (androidpolice.com)

We’ve known for more than a year that Google Play Music’s days were numbered. Its death had even been officially announced, but it’s now really real.

RIP to a real one

I was lucky enough to get into Google Music early, by invitation. I have used it ever since, with a 1-month hiatus around 2014 to determine that Rdio was the best streaming service available (lol). In reality, the only option at the time for people with iPod-filling-sized music collections was Google Music. You could probably run a Subsonic server or something, but that stuff was for nerds. This was one of the largest companies in the world, offering a consumer solution for a consumer problem.

This was all before the wide realization of Google’s penchant for killing its offerings that people actually liked. But this one has obviously been much harder – they’ve started trying to kill their original music service over 2 years ago with no luck.

Youtube (in terms of branding) is already a step down. It has its own trouble with extremism, etc. Also, streaming music on Youtube always seemed like an anachronism to me – your medium is wrong, you are using unnecessary bandwidth, also you aren’t cool enough to have amassed your own collection. Can’t beat (ad-supported) free, I guess.

Grandfathering into the early adopter’s rate has saved me roughly $160 so far, over Spotify and others. May not be enough monetarily to justify staying, but it is enough to say I got in before it was cool. And to people who curate music collections, that is worth more lol.

The wrench in all this is I got a 3 month trial to Tidal, and it is going pretty well so far. It apparently can be combined with Plex, which may be getting back to that holy grail of mine + theirs. Will have a decision to make soon.

 

I am lucky enough to be in both the (soft-)launch of Google Stadia and the beta of project xCloud from Microsoft. Some thoughts on the differences between the two:

  • Stadia works a bit like Xbox Live. You pay a monthly fee, and get a couple games added to your library each month. You lose access if you lapse the subscription, but regain them if you renew again. Xbox costs half as much if you pay annually – not sure Stadia offers that yet.
  • xCloud has 2 options at the moment – stream games from their servers (similar to Stadia), or stream your own games from your own console (this requires opt-in for beta testing the OS on your console).
  • While both work best on 5 GHz band wifi, Stadia gives a more general “you’re good!” connection status, while xCloud will specifically tell you to get on 5 GHz for the best performance. The difference here is you can keep going on Stadia, and xCloud will generally lag and shutdown the stream to change the connection.
  • Playing a console game on a phone isn’t terrible, but is not yet ideal. As it becomes more widespread, I would guess games would adapt their display settings for this, but right now, it’s a lot of tiny text menus.

Of course the biggest difference is the platform buy-in (and I suspect this will be the case with Nvidia GeForce Now as well, if they can stop hemorrhaging games). I have nearly 15 years of game saves and purchases and achievements on one of these platforms. One of the best reasons to set that aside would be ubiquity – if I can pick up a game and play on any screen1, it would be hard to beat the convenience.2

Google has that opportunity, if it wants. The next play is for your triple-A game library to follow you wherever you go. They’ve just got to move quickly, before someone else beats them to it.


  1. Unless it is an Apple screen
  2. Not that I can get to to many other screens right now, given we can’t leave the house.
here’s a terrifying prompt for a game, that has no option to not ask again. maybe someday I will change my mind about Civilization Revolution 2 being able to delete all my calendars