Companies could potentially pull older music to avoid paying
A new lawsuit has targeted Google, Rdio, Sony, and Apple (including Beats Music) over the music royalties associated with pre-1972 recordings, new reports say. Zenbu Magazines, which owns copyrights on many pre-1972 songs, says that the companies have been making money streaming recordings without paying their copyright holders. Within US copyright law, compositions have been protected since 1831, but sound recordings were only added in 1972, meaning that while owners of pre-1972 compositions have been paid for public performances, people holding equally-aged recording rights typically haven't.
Rdio introduces CarPlay compatibility to its iOS app
Music subscription service Rdio has released an update for its iOS app, featuring new CarPlay support and other iOS 8 inclusions. A paid monthly service, a Rdio Unlimited account offers access to albums, songs, playlists and stations, with the option to download unlimited songs via mobile for offline listening. Rdio v3.0.4 adds push notifications for iOS 8 users, and high-resolution images and album artwork optimized for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Rdio music streaming service releases overhauled iOS app
Music streaming service Rdio recently released a major update for its iOS app. A paid monthly service, a Rdio Unlimited account offers access to albums, songs, playlists and stations, with the option to download unlimited songs via mobile for offline listening. Rdio v3.0 for iOS introduces a suite of new features, such as Home, which includes a mix of personalized music-related stories. The Favorites feature allows users to select and highlight preferred content for simplified revisiting. Rdio's new Trending function displays what songs and artists are the most popular, combining Heavy Rotation and Top Charts sections. Free to download, Rdio for iOS requires iOS 6.0 or later.
Google Play Music set to join T-Mobile Music Freedom later this year
T-Mobile is expanding its Music Freedom program, almost doubling the number of music streaming services which can be used by subscribers without touching their LTE allowance. The seven existing music services, including iTunes Radio, Pandora, and Spotify, have been joined by another six, just two months after the carrier launched the initiative.
Song identifier app integrates subscription Rdio streaming
Song-indentifying app Shazam (free) has introduced a new update that incorporates streaming music service Rdio into the app, allowing subscribers to Rdio to hear the full version of songs identified using Shazam. Previously, Shazam would have to switch over to a third-party app if users wanted to hear a full copy of a song they identified in the app, but now those with Rdio installed won't have to fire up the previously-installed Rdio app to hear the full track. Shazam also offers iTunes buying of tracks, and in iOS 8 will integrate with Siri so that users can simply ask what song is playing at any time.
Nine countries added to Rdio's service availabilty
Music subscription service Rdio is now available for use in 60 countries. Featuring music from around the world, users can stream music of their choosing both online and through its mobile app for iOS or Android. Rdio's new markets include Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia. In light of achieving 60 countries, Rdio has compiled a playlist of international music.
Rdio will stop using Spotify-owned music intelligence service in future
Rdio will be changing the way it offers listeners music, by not using The Echo Nest in the future, the company has revealed. Following the purchase of the music intelligence company by Spotify, Rdio is keen to not help its chief competition by providing it with more data about its user's listening habits, instead relying on other methods to offer music discovery and curation.
Music streaming service Rdio adds playlist editing, reviews to app
Social music streaming service Rdio has released an update for its iOS app today. Offering those subscribed the ability to play any music available on the service, users can also access a variety of station mixes based off of any track. Collections and playlists can be created, and synced to a device for offline listening. In v2.5.7, users can edit playlists from any mobile device by adding, removing and rearranging tracks via the app. Collaboration and visibility settings can also now be accessed, and users can now write and read reviews of albums and playlists. The Rdio app for iOS is free to download, with free unlimited access to the service for the first two weeks of usage. Monthly subscriptions for full service access are priced starting at $10.
Aereo reopens new registrations in New York City after extending capacity
Aereo has re-opened itself to new subscribers in New York, after rectifying its temporary capacity issues in the region. The cloud-based DVR service will not be allowing for new registrations, reports CNet, with a company spokesperson advising those who pre-registered will get priority for joining the service, with others expected once the wait list queue is shortened. Aereo's other service areas remain unaffected.
BackBlaze 2.5 updates online accounts, adds e-mail notifications
Backblaze has updated its software to version 2.5, adding a number of account-related and client changes. The main account page has been reorganized with a new overview of computers and attached drives, with e-mail notifications able to be sent to users if their licensed computer does not communicate with the service for 14 days, a similar e-mail for internal and external drives that have not been backed up for some time, and a frequent account summary message for all devices on the account. The client is now twice as fast in compiling a list of files to back up, and removed the 4GB individual file size limit, allowing any file to be backed up.
Rdio adds social sharing bar to web, desktop apps
Rdio has updated its web and desktop apps to make it easier for users to share tracks with social networks. The official blog reveals users can click on a song, album, or playlist and then drag it to a new sharing pop-up on the right-hand side of the screen. Users can then select whether they wish to share the tracks over Facebook, Twitter, or to other Rdio users, or alternatively, add it to a playlist in a fourth option on the same panel.
Microsoft adds classic Windows desktop games to Windows Phone 8
Owners of Windows Phone 8 devices can now download updated versions of classic Windows desktop games, according to the company blog. The Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Minesweeper, and Mahjong are all listed in the Windows Phone Store, and introduce features such as Xbox Live integration, stat tracking, and the option to start a game on one device then completing it at a later time on another.
Rdio opens service to another 20 countries, covers a total of 51
Rdio has expanded its reach to include 20 more markets, bringing its total coverage to 51 territories across six continents. The areas the streaming audio service now operates in include Argentina, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Panama, South Africa, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and Hungary. It is not clear if Rdio will be offering a free account option alongside the subscription version in these countries, something users in the United States, Canada, and Australia already enjoy.
Ad-free service on mobile apps, advertising on Rdio web player
Internet radio service Rdio has launched its free music service in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Stemming from a deal with radio station operator Cumulus Media last month, the service will now offer a subscription-free way to listen to music, as it tries to wean users away from competitors such as Spotify and Pandora.
Deal would see content shared from 525-station radio network with Rdio
Rdio could be offering a free version of its service before the end of the year, as part of a deal with a radio broadcaster. Expected to be announced later today, Rdio is said to be working with radio station operator Cumulus Media that will see the streaming service gain access to the broadcaster's programming and offer an advertising-based free service, in exchange for stock.
Twitter-generated playlists available from within streaming music apps directly
Twitter has expanded the reach of its #music service, with two music streaming companies adding it directly into their apps. Spotify and Rdio both offer the option to view playlists generated by Twitter #music, with the additions being the first time Twitter #music has appeared in apps other than its own iOS version, and the website.
Friend FM pulls music based on friends' habits
Online music service Rdio has launched a series of station-related upgrades. Central to these is "You FM," a Pandora-like station which plays a listener's favorite tracks, along with related ones for variety. Similiarly, new Friend FM stations give people a sample of their friends' tastes.
Rdio adds options for four, five-member accounts in family subscriptions
Rdio has updated its family subscription plans to allow for up to five members to have Rdio Unlimited access in a single account. Two-member and three-member accounts for the streaming music service still cost $18 and $23 respectively, writes The Next Web, with the new four-user plan now going for $28, and the maximum five-member version priced at $33 per month.
Social media features present, no monthly subscription
Video streaming service Vdio has exited its pre-release phase and is now open to users in the United States and the United Kingdom. The service, created by streaming music provider Rdio, will allow anyone in the two countries, including those not subscribed to Rdio, to access the service through the website and through its companion iPad app.
New design puts focus on album art
Streaming music service Rdio has launched a redesigned version of its Mac client. The updated software takes after the current iOS app, adopting a minimalist interface. In the Now Playing view, clicking a list icon at the bottom right of the screen will bring up album art and the current playlist; an enlarged, blurred-out version of the album serves as a background.
Rdio adds people, artist, label search
Twitter has released a new version of its free Mac client, v2.2.1. While mostly a maintenance update, it also adds OS X Notification Center integration, pushing alerts whenever a mention or direct message is received. Some of the update's fixes solve broken Growl notifications, the account switcher going missing in the composer window, and a bug that prevented un-favoriting tweets.
Subscribers sent e-mail suggesting Rdio as replacement
BlackBerry is shutting down its BBM Music discovery service after being in operation for less than two years, with hefty competition from Spotify, Pandora, and others likely to be the cause for the closure. BBM Music will stop functioning for subscribers as of June 2nd, with the phone manufacturer pointing customers in the direction of Rdio with a free 30-day trial as a possible replacement.
Content available for rental and purchase, no subscription service available
Music streaming purveyor Rdio is previewing its long-awaited next effort -- the video streamer Vdio. Calling it a "beautiful new way to buy, rent, and share your favorite movies and TV shows with your friends," the service is available today in pre-release form with a $25 viewing credit given to existing and new Rdio Unlimited subscribers.
Expanded catalog reaches same level as Spotify
Music streaming service Rdio has expanded its music catalog to over 18 million songs, with a large proportion of additional tracks coming from independent artists. The increase of over three million tunes stem from 'landmark' deals with music distributors TuneCore and CD Baby, both of which are considered "two of the best distribution tools out there for independent artists" by Rdio CEO Drew Larner.
Available in app form for Windows, Mac, mobile
A new version of the subscription streaming music service Rdio has launched, bringing with it a native Mac OS X application for the first time. Previous versions were web-based. The new version is available on browsers, and applications Windows, the iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7. All versions allow listening to over 15 million tracks on the Rdio service.
Rdio prices web service at £5, mobile at £10
As expected, Rdio has just launched its paid music streaming service in the UK and France. Pricing is not a surprise either, with £5 ($8) per month for web browser streaming and £10 ($16) for mobile and web streaming. This mimics the price structure and offerings from competitor Spotify, which launched in the UK.
Facebook brings Listen button to musician pages
Facebook has quietly added a dedicated Listen button to the pages for major musicians. Conveniently placed next to the Like button, the Listen button will bring up the most commonly accessed streaming music service on a user's account. In our case, it was Rdio, but Spotify and others can pop up as well.
Roku media hub arrives with slight premium
Roku on Monday kicked off its Canadian launch. The country will get two higher-end models in the lineup, the Roku 2 XD and Roku 2 XS, both of which can handle 1080p video; the XS bundles in the Wii-like motion remote and includes both Ethernet and USB for wired access and local content. Canadians get much of the same content, including Netflix, Rdio music, and major sports like the MLB and NHL, although US-specific services like Hulu Plus are out of contention.
Rdio working on new free-flowing radio feature
Online music streaming service Rdio plans to offer a radio-like listening option to its service, letting users set and forget a station or constant music playback, VP of Product Malthe Sigurdsson revealed in an interview with GigaOM. Doing so would mimic similar features from competitors like Spotify and Slacker, the latter offering it on their paid, Premium service.
Spotify may havw slow US paying subs
Spotify's ability to lure paying subscribers in the US might be disappointing labels if a rumor proves true. Those near the labels have supposedly told the New York Post that there were fewer paying for the $5 or $10 tiers than the industry had hoped for. Free users either weren't staying subscribed for long, weren't leaping to the $10 Premium tier, or weren't renewing, one of the unnamed contacts said.
Weird Al claims Sony underpaying on Internet music
"Weird Al" Yankovic accelerated a trend that may see musicians get better pay for their Internet content after suing Sony Music Entertainment for at least $5 million. The suit, filed in New York City on Friday, followed a similar pattern to the Eminem dispute, where the Straight Outta Lynwood producer and his company Ear Booker alleged that Sony had deprived him of sales revenue at iTunes and elsewhere by counting them as sales rather than licenses, which would give him a 50 percent cut of what the publisher receives. He also argued that fiscal stake in YouTube Sony has in return for its content deal also means he should get a proportionate amount of money for plays on his videos.
RIAA shows streaming on the rise
New RIAA music data has shown streaming music starting to get mainstream acceptance in the US. Although the number of those paying for subscription music services like Rdio, Slacker, and Spotify in 2011 was small at 1.8 million users, it represented an 18.9 percent boost over the year before. Revenue was up by a smaller rate, at 13.5 percent, as the faster paid subscriber rate was partly offset by free or low-cost users signing up.
Music service cuts deal for music digital rights
Rdio has moved on step closer to launching its digital music subscription service in Europe. The San Francisco-based company has signed a licensing agreement with PRS for Music, the organization that manages rights for 85,000 British songwriters and music publishers. The agreement will enable Rdio to legally stream the artists' music to Rdio's subscribers throughout Europe.
Native app brings HD audio to the PC desktop
Mog has posted a new app for Windows desktop owners. With it, subscribers can listen to music from the music service's catalog of over 14 million songs on their windows PC as well as their mobile device or Mac. The app features a native audio decoder for improved audio playback quality.
Beats said buying MOG on HTC's behalf
Beats Audio's increasingly corroborated acquisition of MOG is now thought by sources to have not only been completed but ultimately a shell operation. The anonymous insiders near MOG told GigaOM that MOG had sold for just under $12 million. Although Beats made the purchase itself, it was HTC funding the deal, according to claims.
Sonos Controller 3.7 hands-on
Sonos lived up to its word early Tuesday and released its revamped edition of the Controller for Macs and Windows PCs. The 3.7 update is its first major rework in some time and brings some parts of the mobile apps over to the desktop. We've had an opportunity to try it in advance with some quick impressions.
Beats may get MOG for own music streaming
Partly HTC-owned Beats Audio was rumored Monday to have bought MOG. A single source for Business Insider claimed a quiet deal had been struck last week with no mention of terms. While unverified, MOG was unusually non-committal on whether or not it had been acquired, saying only that it was open to deals.
Rdio simplifies listening and sharing on desktop
Rdio wrapped the technology side of South by Southwest with a redesign of its desktop and web apps. The new interface is consciously much more unified and visual, with album art at the front and elements like playlists at the side. A new drag-and-drop interface, including on the web, lets users add whole albums to playlists as well as quickly share tracks to friends through the People Sidebar.
Spotify goes live in Germany this week
The streaming music subscription service that is Spotify will come to Germany on Tuesday, German media has reported. It will partner with the German version of Interview magazine and the Eventim festival guide. The price will be the same 10 euros (about $13) per month other European countries pay.
Microsoft tries rework of Zune music strategy
Microsoft is looking to redo its music service strategy, leaks uncovered Friday. Those said close to major label discussions told CNET that Microsoft was aiming for a mix of streaming and downloads. The focus would be on the Xbox and an unnamed Windows Phone, possibly made by HTC or Nokia.
Warner sees digital music revenue growth in Q4
Warner Music Group was reported its fourth quarter sales, and while they stayed consistent, at $780 million, revenue from digital music sales increased by 17 percent. What's more, it is now a 28 percent slice of the pie of all sales. This is a sign of the changing way music lovers access their music, and the label provided a further breakdown of these sales.
Rdio outs updated Android app with new features
Digital music service Rdio released a new Android app (free, Android Market) on Monday, with a number of key redesigns. The most noticeable is a new home screen that gives one-tap access to the app's features with new ones that include collections, playlists, new releases, and more. There is also support for Android 4.0's remote control client.
Spotify gets momentum at 3m listeners
Spotify has already reached three million paying subscribers, the company's US managing director Ken Parks gave out in a discussion Thursday [free reg. required]. The benchmark number given to the FT was triple the million from a year ago and saw it growing much faster than before, having reached two million in September and 2.5 million in November. The three million now represented a larger 20 percent portion of the base and didn't include those who were just part of free trials.
IFPI insists on tougher laws despite sales boost
The IFPI in its latest study (PDF) saw an eight percent upswing in digital music revenue in 2011. The increase is the first it claimed to have had since 2004 and lines up with an American rebound in overall album sales. They were important enough for online content to represent 32 percent of the industry association's combined business versus 29 percent in 2010.
US music sees digital finally overcome analog drop
US album sales have grown for the first time in seven years, Nielsen Soundscan reported Wednesday. A three percent increase to 458 million albums in 2011 was helped by digital sales from iTunes and other sources jumping by 20 percent, to 103 million, overcoming a six percent drop in CD sales to 225 million. Single songs themselves grew faster, up nine percent to 1.27 billion songs.
SoundTracking for Android out now
Schematic Labs has announced that SoundTracking (Free, Android Market), its social music sharing app, is now available for Android. The app is designed to allow users to capture a moment in their lives with music and share a track that they are listening, in real-time, using Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare. Users can also share a photo as well as a geolocation, along with the song snippet.
Spotify to add music content apps
Spotify's Wednesday special event will be all about adding an app-like platform, according to new details. An "app finder" would come to the jukebox app, the Wall Street Journal said, and let users add functionality to the normally barebones software. Mimicking the iOS App Store, it would bring in third-party developers but would see apps vetted for compatibility and "other criteria."
Spotify may spread everywhere through API
Spotify's special event on Wednesday may related to third-party app support. Inside updates relayed to AllThingsD revealed that Spotify had been talking with developers about making its music library available to any app as long as it's accessed through a $10 monthly Spotify Premium account. The streaming audio is already available through third-party devices like Sonos boxes, but implementations are usually tied to special hardware deals.
Spotify and others deny underpaying artists
Streaming music services MOG, Rdio, and Spotify have shot back at distributors and artists leaving in a new response. MOG chief David Hyman put the blame the most directly on labels, telling Fast Company that paid revenue from subscription music was a "black hole" that he couldn't control. If a label paid an artist poorly, it was that label's responsibility to improve its internal relationship, he implied.
ST Holdings says subscription music bad
Subscription music services faced more of a backlash after UK distributor ST Holdings stated that it would follow Coldplay's path and keep its labels' music out of subscription music services. All of the work its primarily electronic musicians, such as drum-and-bass artists like Blu Mar Ten, Cyantific, Makoto, and Mistabishi, was being pulled from flat-rate subscriptions on Napster, Rdio, Simfy, and Spotify. The company noted that its digital revenue had dropped for the first time ever, by 14 percent, and that much of the blame could be pinned on having its first full quarter supplying those services with music.