Program will be bi-weekly, focus on West Coast rap and hip-hop
Following the decision to release his first album The Chronic as an Apple Music exclusive, untitled Apple executive Dr. Dre will debut a new bi-weekly radio show on Beats 1 on Saturday, July 4, entitled "The Pharmacy," focusing on West Coast urban music and other tracks of interest to Dre. The first episode will debut at 6PM ET, and joins a host of other shows hosted by prominent musicians.
Third-party app combo make home video playback drop-dead easy
Today's Pointers is going to be a bit short and sweet because, like everyone else in the US, we're itching to get out of the office and engage in dangerous, noisy, polluting activities of an excessive nature. So while you are waiting in the burn unit or drunk tank for either treatment or bail money, here's a great tip for making all that waiting time easier: a simple way to get your iOS devices to play any non-DRM'd audio, photo, or video file format without taking up any space. It's like iTunes Match, but for all kinds of media files.
MacNN and Electronista deals for July 3, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware, software, and games for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. We've checked all of yesterday's deals, ruthlessly purged the dead ones, and have added a bunch more, including a sub-$300 960GB SSD, a curved LG monitor, and a Roomba.
GarageBand gets expanded EDM library
Following the launch of Apple Music, Apple pushed out the latest version of GarageBand for both Mac and iOS. GarageBand, as you are likely aware, is Apple's entry-level music production software that ships free with all Macs. While the latest release doesn't do much to change the experience of using the software, it does introduce a range of additional content that can be used to create new music.
MacNN and Electronista deals for July 2, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware, software, and games for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. We've checked all of yesterday's deals, ruthlessly purged the dead ones, and have added a bunch more, including the Bose Solo TV Sound System, a refurbished MacBook Pro, and a Brother multifunction printer.
Spotify, Rdio, Deezer all pull Prince songs from services
The battle for musicians to receive payment for their music from streaming services has resulted in an unusual move by one artist. Prince has started to request that all streaming services pulls his back catalog of tracks from their collections, with Spotify being one of the first to remove the singer's music, though according to a report, the struggling Tidal will apparently continue streaming Prince's songs to subscribers.
Scrabbling around for reasons to diss the service
It's not compulsory to like anything, and the world would be a dull place if everybody thought the same way. Plus, there are criticisms you can make of Apple Music's launch, its various limitations, and how iTunes 12 is still complex, some of which we delved into earlier today. Only Apple Music is getting a bad press primarily for being good, and for doing what you'd expect a streaming music service to do. It has honestly been criticized for being fun. Damn those Apple people, how dare they make something fun? Don't they know music is serious?
Our music library just got a whole lot bigger
It's been called over-complicated, it's been called confusing, but it's also been called the place where you keep all your music by nearly everyone in the civilized world. That last has now changed: it's the place you get to almost all the music ever created in the history of the world, and then some. Okay, maybe no,t but we had -- hang on, let's check -- 9,692 songs yesterday and today we have (counts on fingers) 30,000,000, give or take the Beatles. The new iTunes 12.2 for Mac brings some minor changes, and one massive one with the introduction of Apple Music to OS X.
MacNN and Electronista deals for July 1, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware, software, and games for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. We've checked all of yesterday's deals, ruthlessly purged the dead ones, and have added a bunch more, including a sale on Mariner Software titles, an effectively-free Wi-Fi range extender, and a Starbucks brewer for $60.
Speakers feature Google Cast, Airplay, Spotify Connect
Sony Electronics announced today three new premium wireless speakers -- the SRS-X77, SRS-X88 and SRS-X99. Like the HT-ST9 and HT-NT3 sound bars and STR-DN1060 and STR-DN860 A/V receivers, all three wireless speakers have Google Cast, AirPlay, and Spotify Connect, as well as multi-room capability through the Song Pal app. The SRS-X88 and SRS-X99 speakers also boast Hi-Res audio capability.
Shuffle, Nano, Touch to continue, but no obvious visible changes seen
An image buried inside the resources of iTunes 12.2 offers a surprising revelation to iPod fans: Apple's iPod lineup, which has seen diminishing sales for years, will get another -- though possibly final -- hurrah, with new color options and likely upgraded processors and storage. All three of the company's current iPod models -- the wearable Shuffle, the diminutive Nano, and the full-sized "iPhone with no phone," the iPod touch -- will see new colors, including strong shades of blue and pink, as well as the now-expected gold option.
Improve the audio quality of a smartphone by acquiring a Bluetooth speaker
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the sales available on our own MacNN Deals page. Today, we have a collection of three Bluetooth-equipped speakers, and while two are fairly normal examples from the portable audio market, one is visually completely different from the others.
Open Beats 1 streams discovered, work on Android devices
Android users do not have to wait until the Apple Music app heads to the platform in the fall before being able to listen to the Beats 1 station, some users have discovered. A number of unprotected live streams have been uncovered, allowing anyone with a suitable client to be able to listen to the stream uninterrupted, even on operating systems not yet supported by the service.
The MacNN staff look at today's massive litany of releases by Apple
It's that time again -- Apple has hit us all with a flood of releases, and leading the pack are Apple Music and Beats One. Join Managing Editor Mike, MacNN Editor Charles, and writer William for a discussion of all the hits, misses, and we discuss if we should keep the wheel in the sky turning for what's on tap, or if Apple's new offering is little more than a rainbow in the dark.
An ambient sound app to relax by, sleep to, or make your own soundscapes
Remember those scenes in the 1992 comedy Cousin Vinny, where Joe Pesci's character couldn't sleep in the rural quiet of the small country town he was visiting. He didn't get a good night's rest until somebody sent him a recording of his New York neighborhood at night. Noise can either keep you awake, or lull you to sleep. White Noise by TMsoft is an app that provides ambient soundscapes, paired with an alarm clock and the ability to record and loop our own "perfectly quiet" environment sounds. We tried out White Noise for iOS on our iPhone 5, and we were often surprised and delighted by the experience.
Garageband hits version 10.1 adds drummers, new loops, more
Apple continued with its cascade of updates on Tuesday with updates to iBooks Author (now at version 2.3) and Garageband (version 10.1), alongside an earlier update for iMovie (updated to v10.0.9). The Garageband update is the most significant of the three, bringing a wealth of new drummers, drum kits, and synthesizer patches, mostly focused on electronic dance music (EDM) and Hip Hop.
Update brings Apple Music, fixes to the venerable music player
Breaking: As predicted, Apple has just made iTunes 12.2 available for OS X users, as of 6PM ET. While not yet available through the iTunes update menu, the package can be seen and downloaded through the App Store's update tab. The software, which was expected earlier today to coincide with the launch of Beats 1 and Apple's paid music services, brings a revamped set of free and paid services to the music-management program, replacing iTunes Radio and making other minor interface changes to align with the iOS release.
Lack of update preventing Apple Music from arriving on Macs
[Update: iTunes 12.2 now released at 6PM ET] While iOS users are experiencing changes related to Apple Music, Mac users are also seeing things fall into place, but at a far slower pace. Before Mac users will be able to use Apple Music and listen to Beats 1, they will have to upgrade iTunes from the current version 12.1.2 to version 12.2 -- an update which is currently unavailable to download by users, and is conspicuous by its absence on a day when Apple has overloaded it servers with a plethora of major, minor, and security updates.
MacNN and Electronista deals for June 30, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware, software, and games for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. We've checked all of yesterday's deals, ruthlessly purged the dead ones, and have added a bunch more, including a cheap GoPro Hero3+, a cut-price 128GB iPad Air, and a Samsung 48-inch curved HDTV for $700.
Virtual music storage locker hit with problems; workaround revealed
The launch on Tuesday of Apple Music appears to be wreaking havoc with existing users of iTunes Match, the company's virtual music cloud storage service. Reports beginning yesterday and worsening today indicate that users who have not or are unable to currently update their iOS version to the just-released 8.4, as well as Apple TV users, are seeing issues including duplicate entries for artists and playlists, inaccurate album art, and a general inability to download or stream songs.
Beats One streaming radio live, alongside Apple's new music service
[Updated with correction, lightening of server load in US] As expected, Apple has launched iOS 8.4, with an accompanying OS X 10.10.4 update. Alongside the software release, Apple has also fired up the Apple Music service and Beats One. Apple Music provides access to some 30 million tracks in the iTunes catalog, both for streaming and offline listenings. Music curation includes recommendations for songs and albums from experts, with playlists for various activities and song genres.
The downward spiral of the music business, a 5K iMac giveaway, and more
Episode 21 of The MacNN Podcast is now available! Join us for a very speedy hour as we talk about a great new contest where you can win a 5K Retina 27-inch iMac, the licensing kerfuffle with Apple Music that features a happy ending, more troubles for MacKeeper, the plaudits and perils of e-publishing, the trauma of having to send in a Mac for repair, and our picks for App(s) of the Week! Show notes after the jump.
Pair of devices illuminate keys to be struck for thousands of songs
Purveyor of musical instrument learning technology One Musical Group announces today the North American launch of its piano product line: The One Light keyboard and The One Smart Piano which the company claims is the worlds first MFi-certified upright piano. Both devices are already in production and with a US launch bering funded on Indiegogo.
MacNN and Electronista deals for June 29, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for offers, bundles, sales, and discounts on hardware, software, and games for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Today, we've wiped the slate clean of older deals, with the new collection including a $300 50-inch HDTV, a 1TB SSD for under $400, and a 720p IP surveillance camera for $60.
Virtual locker included with paid Apple Music, to expand to 100,000 songs
Through confirmations, now-deleted posts, and a series of tweets, Apple has revealed that iOS 8.4 will be released tomorrow, June 30, at 8AM PT (11AM ET), and SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue has clarified how iTunes Match and the paid Apple Music subscription service will work together. In addition, Senior Director of Apple Music (and former Beats CEO) Ian C. Rogers revealed that with the arrival of iOS 9, the cloud music locker both services share will expand to hold 100,000 or more songs.
Sole holdout band remains, still seeking mega-payout
Sirius XM Holdings has agreed to a legal settlement with independent and major record companies for its use of recordings created before 1972. The satellite radio broadcaster will pay $210 million to plaintiffs ABKCO Music & Records, Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings, and Warner Music Group.
No response as of yet from breakdown engineer regarding claims
A recent critical teardown of Beats headphones claimed to shed some light on the "generic" nature of Beats headphones, including extra metal being inserted into the set to give the appearance of more quality than actually exists. However, a recent post mortem of the teardown sheds some doubt on the source of the original headphones, claiming that the set that was actually torn down was a Chinese knockoff of the popular audio brand.
MacNN and Electronista deals for June 26, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. In the post are all the still active deals from earlier this week, with new sales featuring a ridiculously cheap multifunction laser printer, an action camera for $60, and a $55 Apple TV deal.
MacNN and Electronista deals for June 25, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. In the post are all the still active deals from earlier this week, with new sales featuring a cheap 4k 42-inch television, an iPad Air, and the UE Mini Boom.
Makes album exclusive, 'first time it has felt right' for streaming
Pop star Taylor Swift has relented in her mini-dispute with Apple over licensing fees (which will now be paid during the three-month free trial of the subscription Apple Music service) and is offering her hit album 1989 for streaming for the first time, in an exclusive for the forthcoming service, which launches June 30. In a series of tweets, Swift announced that it was simply "the first time it's felt right in my gut" to offer the album for streaming.
New always-on radio station will be free, debuts June 30
As the countdown progresses towards the launch of iOS 8.4 and the arrival of new features and services for Apple's Music app, the company has invested in a billboard to promote one of the principle free new features: the Beats 1 radio station, which will be free of charge to all users of iTunes. A new, gigantic billboard for the service is now live in Time Square in New York City, host Zane Lowe tweeted.
Apple will pay rates comparable to Beats Music for free trial period
The New York Times reports that while Apple has opted to pay rights holders for music used during the company's extended three-month free trial of its subscription streaming service -- bucking standard industry practice -- the rate is smaller than the revenue-based percentage song owners will get once listeners subscribe to the service, which will cost $10 per month or $15 per month for a "family" membership that allows up to six individual accounts.
Pressure mostly came from labels and community, not artists
Contrary to what media reports would have you believe, Apple's recent reversal on the previous (and industry-standard) policy not to pay rights holders during the 90-day free trial period was a case of the company responding more to concerns from indie labels and its own user community rather than any band-wagoning open letters, sources tell MacNN. New reports say that Apple, having changed both that and other more minor terms in its standard contract, is now signing up independent record labels and artists at a furious pace as the June 30 debut of Apple Music looms.
MacNN and Electronista deals for June 24, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for sales, discounts, offers, and bundles on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. In the post are all the still active deals from yesterday, including three great ones, with new sales featuring a 60-inch Sharp Aquos HDTV, a gaming notebook from MSI, and a Humble Bundle including the Borderlands franchise.
Dual-nature of protocol allows Android, iOS users to control without reboot
At the 2015 International CES in January, Kenwood introduced the two multimedia units that would serve as flagships for its Kenwood and Kenwood Excelon lines. Today, the manufacturer announced that the Kenwood Excelon DDX9902S and Kenwood DDX9702S Apple CarPlay receivers are shipping to retailers.
Google adds free option to music streaming service before Apple Music launch
Google is attempting to increase its user numbers for its Google Play Music service, barely a week before Apple is scheduled to launch its own streaming music service. A free version of the service is now available in the United States, one that matches Spotify by providing periodic advertising during music playback, though unlike the main Google Play Music All Access subscription, it doesn't provide a high level of customizable music playback options.
MacNN and Electronista deals for June 23, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for sales, discounts, offers, and bundles on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. In the post are all the still active deals from yesterday, including three great ones, with sales on an Asus notebook, WD Elements external drives, and a Sony Handycam with a built-in projector
Light up your office and make it 'Hammertime,' all in one package
There's no reason why your tech can't look good while doing what it was designed to do. That's the reason that sports cars look good and drive fast, after all. That's why we're here to show you the iHome iBT74, an attractive Bluetooth speaker with built in LED lights, designed to help brighten up your corner. Check our full review to find out what we thought about it.
Upgrade also includes Retina support, other new plug-ins
Audio company MOTU is now shipping Digital Performer version 9, a major upgrade to its flagship audio workstation software. Version 9 now includes MOTU's MX4 MultiSynth, plus five new plug-ins, automation lanes and spectrogram display in the Sequence Editor, Retina display support, MusicXML notation export and other new features.
The MacNN Deals return, complete with new offers
After a brief technical-issue-related hiatus, MacNN Deals is back, and so is our daily look at three items you can pick up from the store pretty cheaply. For the first featured items to herald its return, we have selected deals involving an iPhone 5 and two Bluetooth speakers: one with classic looks, the other opting for a more unusual appearance.
Amazon removes invitation requirement to purchase Echo
Amazon has finally made its Echo network-connected speaker available for purchase by anyone, seven months after the company initially launched the device. Previously only sold to Amazon Prime subscribers and on an invitation-only basis, the Echo can now be bought by all customers in the United States without requiring an invitation, with the retailer expecting to start shipments of the device on July 14.
MacNN and Electronista deals for June 22, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for sales, discounts, offers, and bundles on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Since it's the start of a new week, we've wiped the deals slate clean, with the new batch including the iPad Air 2, a 1TB Toshiba Canvio Basics portable hard drive, and some V-Moda Crossfade LP headphones for $70.
Rights holders will receive per-stream fees during trial period
Reversing course after an outcry from artists, Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue has announced on Twitter that the company will, in fact, pay rights holders -- which generally includes the artist -- during the forthcoming Apple Music subscription service's three-month free trial period. Apple's original agreement had said that no royalties would be paid while customers enjoyed the trial, prompting protests from indie and small labels as well as artists.
Vintage style speakers look great, fall short on audio quality
Let me paint an all-too-familiar scenario: You've got a stereo system that still works perfectly fine, but through a series of unfortunate events, you're stuck with speakers that don't work. Or maybe you just bought a brand new computer that lacks speakers at all, and you want to listen to Pandora while you surf the web without cutting off the outside world. Maybe the speakers of your favorite record player just don't do your albums justice. Whatever the reason, you're looking for new speakers ASAP. Allow us to introduce to you the Samson Meteor M2 Multimedia Speaker System, a retro-inspired speaker set designed to alleviate such problems.
MacNN and Electronista deals for June 19, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we search the Internet for offers, sales, discounts, and bundles on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Yesterday's still-active deals follow the new batch, which features two OCZ SSD deals, a Lenovo 4K monitor, and a refurbished Roku Streaming Stick
MacNN and Electronista deals for June 18, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we search the Internet for offers, sales, discounts, and bundles on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Yesterday's still-active deals follow the new batch, which features the HP Flyer notebook, the Samsung NX300 camera, and a 4K LG smart TV for under $900.
Genre-based stations remain, but non-functional outside US
Following the addition of a Music service sign-up sheet (non-functional) in Apple's latest iOS betas, on Thursday the Music app for iOS 8.4 and iOS 9 also gained a teaser trailer for Apple's forthcoming Beats 1 radio station and a new "Radio" tab that offers a number of revamped "genre" stations inherited from iTunes Radio. Like Beats 1 itself, the radio stations will be free to listen to for all users, alongside their own music libraries.
Shut out the world, sleep like a log
This is a kind of sequel to a previous hit Hands On about Meditate Plus, in that it's about headphones from the same company, and you can use them with that app. You can actually use these with anything at all, but they're designed to help relax you. Andrew Johnson Sleep Headphones are like a headband, or perhaps a bandana, which feature built-in earpieces.
Misunderstandings, free trial, terms threaten to derail diversity of sources
While major publishers and record labels are on board with Apple's planned streaming service Apple Music and article aggregator News, independent music labels and news-oriented publishers -- who last week complained about being left out of such announcements -- now say that the terms Apple is offering contain problematic clauses or conditions. For music labels, the three-month free trial is the issue; for news publishers, it's Apple's requirement to opt out.
MacNN and Electronista deals for June 17, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we search the Internet for offers, sales, discounts, and bundles on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Yesterday's still-active deals follow the new batch, including a 24.1-inch monitor from Dell, the sen.se Mother sensor kit, and a refurbished Slingbox 350 for $60.