Entertainment

Netflix’s Space Sweepers tackles spaceships and robots

Get on a space battle!

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Sci-fi lovers, heads-up! Netflix has a new film, and it’s entitled Space Sweepers. It’s a space opera regarded as the first Korean space blockbuster, directed by Jo Sung-hee of A Werewolf Boy and Phantom Detective.

The film is set in the year 2092, where a spaceship named Victory is one of the many that live off salvaging space debris. It’s crewed with a genius space pilot Tae-ho (Song Joong-Ki), a mysterious ex-space pirate Captain Jang (Kim Tae-Ri), a spaceship engineer Tiger Park (Jin Sun-Kyu), and a reprogrammed military robot Bubs (Yoo Hai-Jin). Together, the spaceship Victory surpasses all other space sweepers.

After successfully snatching a crashed space shuttle in the latest debris chase, Victory’s crew finds a 7-year-old girl inside. They realize that she’s the humanlike robot wanted by UTS Space Guards, and decide to demand ransom in exchange.

With stunning space action and thrills coupled with a comical tension between the crewmates who do not harmonize with each other, Space Sweepers is setting up to be a one-of-a-kind space drama.

Space Sweepers will stream on Netflix on February 5, 2021.

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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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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