Entertainment

Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special is 2020’s salvation

Mariah Carey, pray for us

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Christmas Icon Mariah Carey, together with Apple TV+, released the official trailer for Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special.

The holiday extravaganza will feature Carey and a fabulous line-up of superstars: Tiffany Haddish, Billy Eichner, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri, Misty Copeland, and Mykal-Michelle Harris. Carey’s nine-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe will also have a special appearance in the show.

The Special tackles a holiday cheer crisis where only one person can solve: Santa’s great friend, Mariah Carey. Through musical performances, dynamic dancing, and groundbreaking animation, the Queen of Christmas is about to bring a holiday spectacular that will make the whole world merry.

Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special will premiere globally on December 4, exclusively at Apple TV+. The soundtrack single and new music video for “Oh Santa!” will also be distributed by Sony Music and released on Apple Music and other streaming platforms on the same day. Other soundtracks will be available exclusively on Apple Music by December 4, and on other platforms by December 11.

Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions. It’s also available on over 1 billion screens, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku devices, as well as at tv.apple.com/sg, for S$6.98 per month with a seven-day free trial.

For a limited time, customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, or iPod touch can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free. This special offer is good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device.

Entertainment

Spotify is now adding free audiobooks

Narrators include Forest Whitaker and Hilary Swank

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A few years ago, Spotify implemented support for podcasts. Practically overnight, the audio streaming platform became a top destination for podcast listening, rivalling already established giants like Apple Podcasts and Pocket Casts. However, it isn’t done with expanding yet. Spotify is now adding free audiobooks to the service.

Reported by Hollywood Reporter, the platform now has a starting lineup of nine audiobooks. Currently, because of tough copyright laws, the lineup contains books already in the public domain. However, the audio recordings themselves are Spotify’s property.

Speaking of the recordings, the voices on the audiobooks are pretty special. The narrators include Hollywood actors like Forest Whitaker and Hilary Swank. The two celebrities narrate Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, respectively.

Other titles include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (narrated by David Dobrik), Jane Austen’s Persuasion (narrated by Cynthia Erivo), Jean Toomer’s Cane (narrated by Audra McDonald), Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations (narrated by James Langston), Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (narrated by Sarah Coombs), Nella Larsen’s Passing (narrated by Bahni Turpin), and Stephen Crane’s Red Badge of Courage (narrated by Santino Fontana).

This isn’t the first time you can listen to audiobooks on Spotify. Some podcasts, even on other platforms, are essentially audiobook readings. However, the new nine-title slate signifies a new push to deliver exclusive audiobooks to the platform. The new audiobooks are currently free for all Spotify users, premium or not.

SEE ALSO: Spotify is testing its own Stories feature

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Entertainment

Disney+ coming to the Philippines soon?

We’re cautiously optimistic

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Finally! The days of using VPN and “other means” to catch up on the latest The Mandalorian or WandaVision episodes could be coming to an end for Filipinos.

An Instagram account with the handle @disneyplusph was just activated and while it’s not verified, it certainly follows the look of other official Disney+ accounts.

Photo by GadgetMatch

Adding fuel to the fire that this is likely happening soon is the announcement that the entertainment giant’s streaming service is also hitting other Southeast Asian markets through Hotstar — a video streaming service most popular in India.

There was even news previously that Disney+ will be streaming in India via Hotstar but that was delayed.

We reached out to Disney’s representatives in the Philippines, but it still hasn’t been confirmed as of writing. There’s not a lot to go on for now but we’ll surely keep our eyes peeled for more updates.

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Entertainment

Netflix is adding studio-quality audio to Android

Filters out noise in noisy environments

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Over the years, Netflix has improved video and audio quality across the board. Today, if your internet allows it, you can select movies and shows in Ultra HD. Today, the platform is continuing its path to a better product. Netflix is adding studio-quality audio to Android.

In their official technology blog, Netflix explained the improvements over the current status quo. Though the platform already has Dolby Atmos and adaptive bitrate audio, the new feature, called, Extended HE-AAC with MPEG-D DRC, will make audio quality adapt to internet speed, filter out background noise, and “scale to studio-quality.”

In particular, the feature will improve loudness and dynamic range. Netflix aims to make audio the same levels for all genres and relative to each other. It should be a welcome feature for when the world welcomes back a commuting lifestyle.

However, if you want something more cinematic, the platform already has Dolby Atmos, as mentioned above.

Currently, the feature will be available only on Android. The platform has not announced when (or if) the feature is coming to other devices. Users will need an Android device that runs Android 9 Pie at least.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is pulling out Bridgerton sex scenes from porn sites

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