Studio Ghibli Film Catalog Now Available on Digital Rental Platforms

Some of the most acclaimed films in animation history are finally available to rent online. GKIDS, the animation specialist distributer, has released the catalog of acclaimed Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli starting Tuesday. From a report: 22 films from the studio — including Oscar winner “Spirited Away” and nominees such as “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “When Marnie Was There” — will be made available to rent on all major digital platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon VOD, Vudu, Google Play and Microsoft. The films will be be priced at $4.99 per title, and all will be available in HD, with most being offered in the original Japanese language as well as English dubs.

The news marks the first time that Ghibli’s films have been made available via digital rental. The catalogue has been one of the pillars of GKIDS’ business since the distributer acquired the North American film distribution rights to the studio’s films in 2011, followed by the home media rights in 2017 — previously, the majority of Studio Ghibli films were distributed via the Walt Disney Company. Since 2017, GKIDS has partnered with Fathom Events to host a series of limited run screenings of the studio’s films throughout the year. The catalog was made available for digital purchase in 2019, and GKIDS has an exclusive deal to stream the films in the United States on HBO Max, where they have been included since 2020.

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AMD Launches Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 CPUs

AMD unveiled its 5nm Ryzen 7000 lineup today, outlining the details of four new models that span from the 16-core $699 Ryzen 9 7950X flagship, which AMD claims is the fastest CPU in the world, to the six-core $299 Ryzen 5 7600X, the lowest bar of entry to the first family of Zen 4 processors. Tom’s Hardware reports: Ryzen 7000 marks the first 5nm x86 chips for desktop PCs, but AMD’s newest chips don’t come with higher core counts than the previous-gen models. However, frequencies stretch up to 5.7 GHz – an impressive 800 MHz improvement over the prior generation — paired with an up to 13% improvement in IPC from the new Zen 4 microarchitecture. That results in a 29% improvement in single-threaded performance over the prior-gen chips. That higher performance also extends out to threaded workloads, with AMD claiming up to 45% more performance in some threaded workloads. AMD says these new chips power huge generational gains over the prior-gen Ryzen 5000 models, with 29% faster gaming and 44% more performance in productivity apps. Going head-to-head with Intel’s chips, AMD claims the high-end 7950X is 11% faster overall in gaming than Intel’s fastest chip, the 12900K, and that even the low-end Ryzen 5 7600X beats the 12900K by 5% in gaming. It’s noteworthy that those claims come with a few caveats […].

The Ryzen 7000 processors come to market on September 27, and they’ll be joined by new DDR5 memory products that support new EXPO overclocking profiles. AMD’s partners will also offer a robust lineup of motherboards – the chips will snap into new Socket AM5 motherboards that AMD says it will support until 2025+. These motherboards support DDR5 memory and the PCIe 5.0 interface, bringing the Ryzen family up to the latest connectivity standards. The X670 Extreme and standard X670 chipsets arrive first in September, while the more value-oriented B650 options will come to market in October. That includes the newly announced B650E chipset that brings full PCIe 5.0 connectivity to budget motherboards, while the B650 chipset slots in as a lower-tier option. The Ryzen 7000 lineup also brings integrated RDNA 2 graphics to all of the processors in the stack, a first for the Ryzen family.

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Twitter Is Becoming a Podcast App

Twitter has launched a test version of Twitter Spaces today that includes podcasts, “letting you listen to full shows through curated playlists based on your interests,” reports The Verge. From the report: The redesigned Spaces tab opens with Stations, topic-based playlists combining podcast episodes pulled from RSS with Twitter’s social audio events and recordings. It functions like a Pandora station but for spoken word and is pretty different from the a la carte listening podcast consumers are used to on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Live and upcoming spaces are still in the tab, further down the page. The test will roll out to a random group of users across the world, initially only in English. The more users listen, the more tailored the audio Stations will become. But Twitter isn’t starting from square one — the company is relying on what it already knows about its users’ interests to curate the playlists. It’ll draw from the interests of people they follow, as well.

“What we’re really trying to capture here is as if it’s like another user recommending you something,” Twitter senior product manager Evan Jones, who focuses on audio, told Hot Pod. Podcast discovery is notoriously difficult, limited either to top 100 charts, hand-picked selections on apps, or — more often than not — word of mouth. No platform has managed to crack it, yet. It’s easy to imagine the promotional possibilities around being able to share and listen to podcasts in the same app, but it’s not quite there yet. The test does not yet have a clipping capability, and listening can only happen in the Spaces tab, not on the timeline. That being said, Spaces has a clipping feature that could be applied to podcasts at some point.

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