Music streaming service comes to Amazon's set-top box with Spotify Connect
Spotify announced this week that the music streaming service has made it to one of the products under Amazon's expanding lineup. Amazon Fire TV owners will now be able to use Spotify Connect to access the millions of songs the service offers on a subscription basis. The company notes that users can navigate Spotify Connect using a smartphone or a tablet as the remote, also seamlessly handing off the sound to the Fire TV. Spotify notes that a premium subscription is required to use the service on the Fire TV, which runs $10 a month.
Sponsored sessions provide advertising-free Spotify for 30 minutes
Spotify will soon be showing video-based advertising to listeners of its free service. The streaming music company has revealed it will start airing the videos to its free users shortly, with both desktop and mobile app users set to see the clips, though marketers will have a few options for how their advertizing efforts get utilized by the service.
Action platforming game Wipeout 2 available for iOS, Android
Activision Publishing has released its action platforming game Wipeout 2, available for iOS and Android devices, as well as for Kindle Fire. Based on the competition TV series "Wipeout," players dodge environmental hazards and challenge to complete each level as fast as possible. Players can choose from 10 playable characters, including Zombie, Pirate and Popstar, with 150 themed obstacles and 135 new levels. Free to download, Wipeout 2 is available on iTunes, Google Play and the Amazon App Store.
Shuffle play mode now available for Windows Phone 8.1, free version supported by ads
Subscripiton music streaming service Spotify has announced that it is bringing its free listening experience to Windows Phones beginning today. In today's software update, owners of phones like the Nokia Lumia 920 or the HTC One (M8) for Windows can now partake in the Spotify experience, with a few limitations. As with the expansion into a free version for Android and iOS in December, the offering is supported by in-app advertising.
T-Mobile adds 2GB LTE option to Simple Starter price plan
T-Mobile is giving customers using its Simple Starter price plan the choice of adding more data. From September 3rd, subscribers can opt to quadruple the LTE data allowance on the single-line plan from 500GB to 2GB, increasing the cost of the plan from $40 to $45, but retaining the same unlimited calls and texts as the original plan. Just as before Simple Starter users will find their data service suspended once they've used their allocation.
Satechi's Bluetooth Wireless Smart Keyboard now available
Satechi has announced the release of its new Bluetooth Wireless Smart Keyboard, suitable for Mac or PC systems. Measuring 0.7 inches thick, the keyboard's wireless functionality allows users to have an extra USB port available to them, and can use the keyboard from up to 33 feet away. Its multimedia keys provide access to controlling video and audio content, including play/pause, volume, forward/backtrack and activating functions on other mobile devices. The white version of the keyboard features specific keys mapped for use with OS X and iOS, and the black version mapped for PC and Android features. Priced at $55, Satechi's smart keyboard is available through Amazon and the company's own online store.
Spotify starts accepting sign-ups for Canadian service pre-launch
Music streaming service Spotify is spreading into Canada in the near future, long after launching in a number of other major markets. While the exact date of the service's launch in the country is unknown, Engadget reports the company is accepting sign-ups for a queue to receive pre-launch invitations, suggesting that it is likely to go live for all potential users sooner rather than later.
Spotify app update adds Play Queue, sorting and filtering for iPhone
Music streaming service Spotify has updated its iOS app, adding new features for iPhone users. Spotify allows users to search for any track, artist or album, make and share playlists, and build a preferred music collection. The release of v1.4 features a Play Queue for iPhone, and a new confirmation for avoid duplicates in a playlist. Within the Your Music section, users can now sort and filter music in their Spotify collection. Free to download, Spotify's iOS app can be found through the iTunes App Store.
Google Search on Android will offer streaming app links on music searches
Google has updated its search app on Android, changing the way it handles music-related queries. Results for songs and artists will now load up a list of links to streaming services, letting the user play that artist's music from within the relevant installed smartphone app, such as Spotify, Rdio, and Google Play Music. Google is rolling the feature out to Android devices in the United States now, and hopes to expand it globally soon.
Samsung adds Spotify Connect support to Shape speaker range
Samsung has updated its Wireless Audio Multiroom range of home audio equipment to allow Spotify to run off multiple speakers simultaneously, bringing Samsung's multiroom speaker system in line with competitor Sonos. Applying to the Shape M7, Shape M5 and other audio products in the range, the added Spotify Connect support allows for music to be controlled through the Spotify app itself instead of through a dedicated speaker app.
Spokesperson puts story in doubt
Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor has left his position at Beats as chief creative officer, according to USA Today. The paper also suggests that one of the company's technology executives, Fredric Vinna, recently left for Spotify, while co-founder Ola Sars has gone to an unspecified Spotify-backed venture. A spokesperson representing Beats and Reznor insists that the report is inaccurate, but without mentioning which parts.
Intrusion of Spotify servers involved one account, payment details protected
Music streaming service Spotify is warning users of an intrusion on its servers, though it appears an extremely limited amount of data was acquired. The company claims that, though user data was potentially at risk, only one Spotify user's data had been accessed in the intrusion, with the company taking steps to mitigate similar intrusions by asking users to upgrade their mobile apps.
Disgruntled free, paid users unhappy by Spotify removal in Shazam tests
Last week's removal of Spotify support from the iOS and Android versions of Shazam in a number of countries may be temporary. The change, which affects users in the UK, Germany, Mexico, and Brazil, stopped users from listening to recognized songs in Spotify, instead forcing them to use Deezer, in what appears to be an experiment on the app's own users.
Adidas fitness tracker will offer offline Spotify music playback before end of year
Adidas is collaborating with Spotify to add offline music playback to its miCoach Smart Run fitness tracker. The update will allow wearers of the smart watch to store tracks and playlists from the streaming music service on the device, so tracks can be listened while running or working out without the need to carry a smartphone for a data connection.
Spotify app for Android receives revamp, new aesthetic
Spotify, a subscription-based music streaming platform, has begun to roll out a newly updated version of its Android app to accompany the previously-released update for iOS. Featuring an over-all new look, Spotify now sports a darker palette, an improved Browse feature and its Your Music tool. Your Music allows users to save songs and albums to their personal Spotify library instead of requiring playlist creation. All compatible Android users of Spotify are anticipated to have received the app update within the next few weeks.
Framily subscribers gain six-month Spotify Premium trial, discounted subscription
After publishing its financial results, Sprint has revealed it is providing subscribers of its Framily plan free music streaming through Spotify, as well as launching an exclusive version of the HTC One M8. In a similar manner to how AT&T offers its customers access to Beats Music, the carrier will be offering all of its customers a free six-month trial of Spotify Premium.
Sprint-Spotify tie-up could include discounted Framily group access
Sprint customers may soon be receiving a discount on Spotify, as part of a deal between the two companies, according to a report. An announcement by the carrier, allegedly scheduled to take place on April 29 in New York alongside its expected HD Voice launch, will apparently see Sprint customers receiving free trials of Spotify Premium, with some carrier subscribers potentially qualifying for Spotify discounts.
App update removes starred tracks from Spotify for new collection system
Spotify has made drastic changes to its user interface, by introducing a new darker theme. The change in appearance of the streaming music service across all platforms is joined by a new feature called "Your Music," something the company previewed in late 2012, allowing users to collect and manage their music without requiring users to create playlists.
Existing Spotify Apps restricted to critical updates in future
Spotify is no longer accepting new submissions of apps for its desktop player, the company has announced. While it will stop any new apps from being added to the client, the service will be continuing to offer access to its Web API and mobile APIs, in what could be considered a move towards a greater mobile focus for the music-streaming company.
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.
Close to capturing second, but still far behind reigning champ Pandora
Barely six months after it debuted, Apple's iTunes Radio has already eclipsed Spotify and Google Play All Access (and others) to become the third most popular music streaming service in the US, according to a new report from Statista. While long-time veteran Internet radio station Pandora continues to maintain a clear lead over all rivals, it has taken 14 years for the latter service to reach its current level of 70 million active listeners (as of last April) and it continues to struggle with profits.
Music curation API used by other music services will remain open despite purchase
Spotify is looking to bolster the music curation and discovery functions of its service, by acquiring music intelligence company The Echo Nest, the streaming music service has revealed. The purchase will provide Spotify with deeper access to The Echo Nest's knowledge base and music curation tools, currently used by competitors such as Nokia MixRadio and Rdio for their own music discovery offerings.
Soundhound update for iOS features an "Add to Spotify" button
Music search and discovery app Soundhound has launched a new feature for iOS users. Integrating Spotify, Soundhound now includes an "Add to Spotify" function, allowing users to turn discovered music into a playlists within Spotify, without leaving the Soundhound app. Users can either automatically add songs, or tap the 'Add to Playlist' icon on the Soundhound results page.
BlackBerry updates BBM app to work with Android 2.3
BlackBerry has opened up BBM for Android to users of older devices. BlackBerry Messenger can now be downloaded and used on smartphones and tablets running Android 2.3 or later, though the older version of the mobile operating system will not have access to new additions to the app, such as BBM Voice, BBM Channels, and Glympse real-time location sharing.
Kickstarter for alternative cloud service and device combo exceeds its campaign goal
San Franciscan siblings Karisma and Sam Nagar have successfully crowd-funded their cloud device and service Pixeom, with eleven days to spare in its Kickstarter campaign. The Pixeom Exchange Device is a prototype that offers an alternative to corporate cloud services that require access to its users' information to use its digital space. Aiming to facilitate a new type of data exchange for Internet users, Pixeom functions by centralizing one's own cloud network in a personal home device, as opposed to a large, remote data center. All of a user's cloud service needs will be supported within the device at a one-time purchasing cost, facilitating storage, social networking, and online auctioning functions that focus on privacy.
Microsoft offers $100 store credit towards an Xbox One for those who trade-in their PS3
Augmenting the launching of its Xbox One late last year, Microsoft is now promoting an offer of a $100 credit towards an Xbox One purchase upon trading in of a Sony Playstation 3. The promotion bring the Xbox One pricing down to $400, which is the same as newly-released Playstation 4. The trade-in offer is available through Microsoft's retail stores in the US, and applies to Playstation 3, as well as Xbox 360 S or Xbox 360 E.
Merchandise marketing through Spotify could help appease royalty critics
Spotify is allowing artists to promote and sell their merchandise through the streaming service for the first time. Band t-shirts, posters, and other merchandise will be offered to Spotify users through the artist's page in the software itself, in what could be considered an olive branch from Spotify to Artists over reportedly-low royalty payments to music makers.
Samsung advances to 26 percent
US iPhone ownership leapt to 42 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from 35 percent a year ago, according to new NPD figures. Samsung phones also advanced, but from 22 percent to roughly 26 percent. LG was the only other major manufacturer to see a gain, inching ahead slightly to 8 percent. Motorola and HTC both fell under the 10 percent mark, and BlackBerry ownership shrank even further to 2 percent.
Clamcase for latest iPad minis turns tablet into faux-ultrabook
Accessory maker Clamcase has produced a new model in its lineup especially designed for the latest iPad mini. The lightweight aluminum case includes a custom QWERTY Bluetooth keyboard that automatically goes to sleep when put in "tablet mode" and wakes up when in "laptop mode." The hinge is offers 360 degree freedom, allowing the keyboard part of the case to act as a stand when not required. The combination of case and iPad mini offers much of the same core functionality as an ultrabook like the MacBook Air, but weighs more than a pound less than one. The case fully protects the iPad mini, and its rechargeable battery lasts for months. The case retails for $129 and is available now.
Linear playlists still require Premium
Spotify has issued an update of its iOS app, enabling subscription-free streaming promised last month. Non-paying users can now stream any playlist, whether curated or self-created, but only in shuffle mode. Linear playback requires a Premium subscription, which costs $10 per month.
Free streaming leads to boom in Spotify downloads
In the days since Spotify rolled out free mobile access to its on-demand music service, the company has seen an explosion in user interest. Cnet reported earlier this week that Spotify saw its app download rate jump 400 percent since announcing its new free mobile streaming feature. The boom in user downloads has led to the app being ranked among the top 10 most downloaded apps in the iOS App Store in more than 20 markets worldwide, including the United States, United Kingdom, and most of Latin America.
Desktop client introduces darker, modern design, UI tweaks
One week after rolling out a free music streaming service to tablets and smartphones, Spotify has started to roll out a visual upgrade to its apps. The Windows and Mac desktop clients have a darker and more modern appearance to them, along with less drastic changes to a number of pages, with the Android app also receiving some minor interface tweaks.
BT Wi-Fi app for iOS updates with automatic hotspot connection
UK telecommunications giant BT has updated its BT Wi-Fi app for iOS, allowing customers to automatically connect to supported wireless hotspots. The update, which could head to the Android and Windows Phone versions in the future, will find and connect to public BT Wi-Fi hotspots as well as those created by BT Home Hub routers in more than 5 million subscriber homes, reports The Next Web.
Tablets, smartphones gain free Spotify service, Led Zeppelin albums
Spotify has rolled out its free music streaming service to tablets and smartphones, just as speculated by reports last week, along with a number of other announcements. While the tablet version of the app will have a similar service to that of the free desktop version, smartphone users will be forced to use a new free "Shuffle" mode instead.
Spotify to bring mobile listening with ads
Internet music service Spotify is reportedly set to roll out free music streaming for mobile devices, expanding on its existing free Internet radio features. A report in The Washington Post claims that the Sweden-based music company has reached licensing deals with the major global music companies to roll out free streaming to mobile devices, allowing mobile users to enjoy a Spotify that only subscribers and desktop users had access to beforehand. The catch: the new streaming feature will be supported by ads.
6008, 7008, 8008, 9708 now have Smart TV accessibility
Philips today announced that it has brought the Spotify streaming music service to a select range of its televisions in Europe. Additionally, the latest software update to many of its televisions has activated the "Cloud TV" service, allowing viewers to stream hundreds of channels over the Internet to recent model Smart TVs
Revenue shared based on stream popularity
Following criticism from musicians, Spotify has defended its business model by providing an in-depth look at its royalty payment framework. In a lengthy blog post, the company claims to have paid out more than $1 billion USD in royalties to-date, including $500 million from this year alone, with 70 percent of overall revenue being shared with the artists.
Side Tree Software's programs on Mac App Store $1 throughout December
Side Tree Software has announced that all of its programs available at the App Store will be $1 each through the month of December. Starting today, apps such as Abuzzle, Equal, Mymyry, SlidePuzzle and Tribbi are available for the $1 sale price.
Spotify secures quarter billion in new funding round
Popular music streaming service Spotify has completed a new round of funding, one in which it raised $250 million dollars, according to The Wall Street Journal. Silicon Valley firm Technology Crossover Ventures played a big role in the newest funding push, according to reports, and the new infusion of cash has sources claiming the firm is possibly worth more than $4 billion. Spotify, reportedly, will use the new cash to expand its global operations, pushing into Asian markets such as Japan.
Digital greeting card software features over 5100 graphics
Chronos today announced its release of its greeting card creation software, Greeting Card Shop. The program allows users to create, mail and digitally share cards and invitations on OS X. Greeting Card Shop's features include support for double-sided cards and invitations; single, double and tri-folding compatibility; and support for multiple cards or invitations per page. Panels can be edited singularly, or as multiples -- which assists with editing graphics that traverse more than one panel.
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.
Direct streaming from Spotify to compatible speakers
Spotify has announced it is working with a number of hardware manufacturers to bring controllable music streaming to other devices, taking on AirPlay and other audio transmission systems. Spotify Connect will allow for subscribers to send playlists to nearby speakers or home theater systems, and in a move similar to Google Chromecast, the audio will stream directly to the sound-producing device from the service itself, instead of from the smartphone.
Browse playlists reaching iOS, Android first, all Spotify platforms in future
Spotify is adding a new item to accompany its existing Discover and social features for providing new artists and songs to users. Browse consists of playlists curated by experts employed by the company, which will offer tracks based on an assortment of moods and moments, such as romance or tracks for the morning commute.
'small meaningless rebellion' against streaming music protests royalty payments
Radiohead lead Thom Yorke has pulled all of his solo music from the Spotify streaming music service. In a Twitter exchange with producer Nigel Godrich, Yorke tweeted that he was starting a "small meaningless rebellion" in yanking his music from the service, trying to highlight the lack of pay artists small and large are seeing from streaming music.
Other editions to be updated 'soon'
Music streaming service Spotify has released a new version of its iOS app, 0.7.1. The update introduces several iPhone/iPod-only features, such as a new Discover mode, which helps find new music to play. The other major additions include a new Now Playing view with an "Up Next" queue, and the ability to edit playlists.
Weak security resulted in DRM-free MP3 file downloads
A vulnerability found in Spotify's web player has been exploited, allowing users to download permanent copies of songs from the service. A Chrome extension by the name of Downloadify used the exploit to download MP3 files that were free of DRM, rather than just stream them, something which Spotify has been quick to rectify.
iSteve trailer now online
Funny or Die has released a teaser trailer for iSteve, its parody movie based on the life of Steve Jobs. First announced last month and slated for release on April 15, iSteve will be a 60-75 minute film that stars Justin Long, who became known in the Apple community for his part in the "Mac vs. PC" commercials, as Steve Jobs. While Funny or Die has branded its film as "The first Steve Jobs movie," it is certainly not the only one currently making its rounds in the news. Ashton Kutcher's Jobs premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January but is now experiencing a delayed release, while Aaron Sorkin's film that is based on material from Walter Isaacson's authorized biography has yet to begin production.
Sources point to new video offering
Spotify is reportedly preparing to launch a streaming video service that may rival Netflix and other established players, unnamed sources have told Business Insider. The unconfirmed report suggests the company is already attempting to find partners that will help produce exclusive content, following a strategy already employed by Hulu and Netflix.
Spotify lifts five-play track limit on free accounts in UK
Spotify has lifted its five-play restriction on tracks used in its ad-supported free service in the United Kingdom. The play-limit, preventing users from listening to the same track too many times once an account is six-months old, is revoked for all users, with previously greyed-out and blocked tracks now able to be played again. While France is the last remaining country to have a five-play limit, all free accounts are still restricted to a maximum of 10 hours of music per month.
Record labels balking at Apple offer, report says
As an initial offer to a record label for a forthcoming streaming service, Apple recently proposed a royalty rate of just 6 cents per 100 songs, sources for the New York Post claim. "Apple wants a rate that is lower than Pandora's," one executive is quoted as saying. Pandora pays labels 12 cents per 100 songs, which itself is below the Copyright Royalty Board's standard 21 cents for digital-only streaming. Spotify pays 35 cents, according to the Post's sources.