New payment option lowers cost for multiple users to access Spotify
Spotify is adding a new subscription option to its plan roster, one which covers multiple users. Spotify Family will provide access to the premium version of the music streaming service to up to five nominated users, with the group plan being discounted heavily compared to the single-user subscription, a payment option Rdio first introduced in June of last year.
Move seen as part of rumored rebranding shift coming next year
One of the US' largest carriers, AT&T, has abruptly ended a promotion it began with Beats Music prior to the latter being acquired by Apple. The carrier was previously offering the ability to include a Beats Music subscription on a customer's wireless bill if desired, and told AppleInsider that it will continue to offer the plan to existing customers and those currently on the free trial. There is, however, no longer any access to a free trial through AT&T's website.
All-in-one DJ solution looks to remove focus on laptops, adds high-resolution displays
A new entry in Native Instruments Traktor series of DJ controllers was unveiled today, with the Traktor Kontrol S8. The newest model in the company's flagship line looks to change the way DJ move into the future, by pulling emphasis away from the laptop in order to focus more on the crown. Native Instruments does this by adding technology to controllers, such as high-resolution LCD displays that respond to touch-sensitive controls.
Denied for Mac offers rule creation option for avoiding the music you hate
Since it's now commonplace to regularly listen to randomly generated or pre-curated music playlists, there will inevitably be songs you're not a fan of thrown into those mixes. Denied for Mac does one thing, and does it really well - it spares you from songs you don't care to hear, while streaming content from subscription-based platforms or iTunes. Though a convenient addition to an average listening experience, is it worth paying for?
Apple counting only full album downloads; 81M more have 'experienced' tracks
Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue revealed on Thursday that the U2 album Apple bought and gave away to its users for free, Songs of Innocence, has now been deliberately downloaded by users more than 26 million times, with another 65 million users having listened to at least one of the songs from it either through iTunes Radio, Beats Music or on iTunes. This figure, Cue said, was a little shy of double the sum total of all U2 music bought from iTunes since 2003.
Audiophile-grade amplified headphones feature perfect fit, great sound
Blue, a company that has specialized in microphones, has turned its techniques the other way around to create a set of serious headphones -- called Mo-Fi -- with an almost Apple-like attention to detail, from the packaging to the execution of the design. This is the sort of thing we were hoping Apple would create for Beats after the first year or two, but here it is now. At $350, they are not meant for casual listening, and it might be dangerous to wear them while walking the streets. They are primarily intended for serious listening to high-quality music. Are they for you? Find out in our review.
Grooveshark disagrees with decision as it's based on 'an early iteration' of the service
After record labels were granted a summary judgment from a US District Court judge in New York in September, streaming music service Grooveshark says it's gearing up for an appeal to the the case. The reason for the appeal sounds somewhat defiant, as Grooveshark states it doesn't agree with the decision since it was based on "an early iteration of Grooveshark."
Plans to revamp Beats Music next year at lower monthly price
Apple is asking the major music labels to adjust their agreements with the iPhone maker to allow to go ahead with a planned revision of the subscription-based Beats Music service that may well portend a lowering of the monthly cost. The company apparently plans to introduce changes to the service next year, and wants to obtain new rights and features at a lower price as part of what it has in mind. Streaming services have recently gained in popularity at around the $10 per month mark, which is what Beats Music charges.
Founder realized he held company back, company to now stand on its own merit
Baboom founder Kim Dotcom confirmed today that he has parted ways with the music startup. Stating reasons tied to his reputation with the music industry, Dotcom sold his stake in the company, which he launched at the start of the year. Dotcom had also vacated his position at Mega, a cloud storage company he created after the legal trouble involving his previous venture Megaupload, to focus on the music service.
Spotify opens Canadian streaming service to everyone
Spotify has opened up its service in Canada to all users, following a brief invitational period. The streaming music service boasts over 20 million songs served on 320kbps streams, with chief content officer Ken Parks claiming the collection has been "tailor made for Canadian music fans." Users have the same ad-supported free and paid service options as other regions, with Spotify Premium priced at $10 per month.
Nearly 6,000 songs uploaded by employees under company instruction, without licenses
Another blow was dealt to Grooveshark today, as a New York judge found that its parent company infringed upon copyright by uploading 5,977 songs. Identified by its parent company Escape Media Group, Grooveshark employees -- including founders Samuel Tarantino and Joshua Greenberg -- were found to have participated in illegal uploads, some under instruction by the company.
Deezer launching in United States with beta streaming for Sonos owners
Music streaming service Deezer is finally heading to the United States, after being available across Europe, Canada, and a few other countries for some time. In order to differentiate itself from the competition, Deezer plans to offer a higher quality of stream to owners of Sonos speaker systems, with a far higher bitrate than Spotify and Rdio streams available on 90 percent of the catalog.
U2 partnership allows large launch, free Sounds of Innocence album until October 13
Not leaving any stone unturned, Apple made a final announcement during the iPhone 6 unveiling that moved away from hardware. After bringing the much-rumored group U2 to the stage to perform their new single during the event, Tim Cook and Bono played out a little event on stage that would lead to one of the biggest musical launches in history, and it was happening on iTunes.
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.
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.
Includes battery-powered preamp, adjustable headband, more
Blue Microphones, a digital audio brand best known for its USB audio mics popular with both podcasters and musicians, has expanded into headphones with the release of its first Mo-Fi headphone set. As recently noted by one of our reviewers, most headphones sound much better when paired with a combination DAC and amplifier like the Sony's PHA-2 portable headphone amps -- but Blue has taken it a step further by building the amp directly into its headphones.
Screenshots of YouTube Music Key show mixes, recommendations, 20M song library
Google's long-rumored music service for YouTube will apparently cost $9.99 per month, according to a leak. Dubbed YouTube Music Key, the subscription service will provide advertising-free music playback on the desktop, mobile, and through the TV, with the ability to cache songs on devices for offline playback, similar to the existing Google Play Music All Access subscription.
Trial period will be free, pricing expected to be similar to US premium cost
Roughly a month after first announcing its expansion into Canada, subscription streaming music service Spotify is now sending invites to people who signed up to receive notification when the service was imminent. Invitations are currently still on a limited basis, but the company is testing the service in Canada presently, Electronista has verified. Canada is not yet officially listed on the company's website as one of the countries it serves, but an official debut is expected in the coming weeks.
Napster, unRadio help company grow, launching services in Europe and Latin America
Rhapsody International announced today that it hit a significant milestone for its business. The company revealed that it reached two million subscribers for its premium services, including Rhapsody, Napster and the joint venture with T-Mobile called unRadio. On the success of unRadio, the company announced plans to extend the service to other parts of the world.
Now offers Tune Your Taste, verified accounts, song history, more
As the process of Beats Music's acquisition by Apple continues, the iOS app for the subscription-based Beats Music service has received an update to both make playback better and more reliable as well as to improve the overall user experience. The new version 2.2.0 gives users the ability to customize the services's "Just For You" recommendations by changing artists and genres with a new feature called Tune Your Taste. In addition to some other changes, Beats reports that it has "fixed a ton of bugs."
One-year anniversary of Chromecast celebrated with extended music trial
Google is providing owners of the Chromecast streaming dongle in the United States free access to Google Play Music All Access for 90 days. An extension of an offer which has already been made available in other Chromecast countries for some time, it is being made available to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Chromecast's launch.
Extra music added on top of existing million-track Amazon Prime Music collection
Amazon is attempting to improve the selection of music available on its Prime Music service, to make it more appealing to Prime subscribers. The retailer has announced it has added "hundreds of thousands of songs" to the Prime Music catalog, as well as more curated playlists to the service, though it appears users wanting more modern music may be disappointed.
Most remain undisclosed, but details on Beats buyout rationale emerge
Apple CEO Tim Cook disclosed during Tuesday's conference call with analysts that Apple had acquired 30 companies and/or their talent over the course of the past nine months, back to the beginning of the fiscal year which began last October. Of these, less than half have been publicly revealed -- though a few of the higher-profile buyouts, such as the record-setting Beats Electronics and Music deal, have made headlines. On the topic of the latter company, Cook shared a bit more detail on the thinking behind it.
New app versions include videos, interviews, photos and lower cost
In an unusual move, Concord Music Group and former Beatle Paul McCartney have re-worked five of the singer-songwriter's classic albums -- McCartney, Ram, Band on the Run, Wings over America and 1980's McCartney II -- as multi-media iPad apps. The re-worked iPad versions feature not only remastered audio of the albums in question, but also videos, interviews, artwork associated with the release (such as single covers) and photos from the period.
Bitcoin added to currency conversion options in Google search
Google has updated its currency-based searches to include results for Bitcoin. Coindesk reports reports the search company is now working with digital wallet service Coinbase to track the price of the digital currency and perform currency conversion functions, just as Google Search does for other currencies. The same conversion can also be performed by the Google Search mobile apps.
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.
Songza purchase by Google estimated to be worth at least $15M
Google has acquired Songza, a music app for Android and iOS which provides curated mood-based playlists. Though purchased for an unknown amount, speculated to be upwards of $15 million, the app will apparently remain active with no immediate changes instead of being shut down, though its features are highly likely to make their way into other Google music products, including Google Play Music and the rumored YouTube music service.
'The YouTube 15' debuts July 11 with pop, R&B, rock and hip-hop music
YouTube is looking outside the box with its latest music expansion, partnering with SiriusXM. The two will join forces to offer a weekly radio show on the satellite radio service starting July 11 at 6PM ET. The show will be hosted by YouTube personality Jenna Marbles on SiriusXM Hits 1 as it presents existing and emerging music stars.
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.
Best Way to Manage Music Libraries
Yesterday in the MacNN Forums, Mac Elite "schalliol" was explaining a situation he has, where he would like to be able to maintain a high-definition music library on a NAS that can be played from iTunes, Sonos and other applications from the server -- and wondered if there was a way to push MP3/AAC versions of songs to mobile devices. "Which app did this?" asks "Thorzdad" after his wife's iPhone unexpectedly began beeping and producing weather warnings.
Samsung closing Hub Music service at start of July
Samsung is shutting down its Hub Music service on July 1st. In an e-mail to users, Samsung advises music downloads from the Samsung Music Library will no longer be available to download from that date, and warns to download any DRM-free music and use remaining Samsung Music vouchers before it closes. As a replacement, the e-mail suggests the use of its Milk Music service, and is also offering three free months of Google Play Music.
Refusal to agree on YouTube licensing terms induces removal threat
Independent record labels may see their music videos removed from YouTube, if they do not agree to new licensing terms relating to the video site's rumored music service. The videos could be removed "in a matter of days" if an agreement is not reached for the service, which is believed to start testing soon and become available to the public later this year.
Over 1M songs available on Amazon Prime Music at launch
Amazon has launched its long-rumored music streaming service, just one day after reports claiming it would do so this week. Prime Music follows on from Prime Instant Video and the Kindle Lending Library as an extra service included in the $99 annual Prime delivery subscription, giving customers the ability to stream music to multiple devices without any advertising.
Possible June, July launch touted for launch as part of Prime subscription
Amazon's rumored music streaming service could be launching sometime this June or July, though it may have issues competing with Spotify, Beats Music, and other competitors, according to a report. Rather than aiming to provide a wide selection of music, including newer titles, it is rumored Amazon will offer a restricted catalog, using songs and albums that are six months old or order.
Trial period extended to 14 days, bug fixes featured in latest version
On the heels of Apple CEO Tim Cook describing the Beats Music service as an example of "subscription done right," the app for iOS has been updated to extend the trial period to 14 days, and version 2.1.0 now offers a yearly subscription at a discount -- possibly reinforcing Cook's pledge that the service will continue to operate as before, at least for the foreseeable future.
Spotify access now integrated in djay for Premium account holders
The music-mixing app djay for iPad and iPhone has been updated to version 2.5, offering Spotify integration to those with Premium accounts, enabling users to unlock as many as 20 million streaming songs for use within the app. A free seven-day trial of Spotify Premium is available to all djay 2 users. In addition, the new update introduces Match (powered by The Echo Nest) that recommends complementary tracks.
Streaming service adds worldwide subscribers at rapid clip
Streaming on-demand music service Spotify has announced that it has hit a milestone in mainstream adoption, with 10 million paying subscribers among its 40 million worldwide listeners. The figure is up 66 percent from March, when it reported just six million paying customers. Among the top streaming services, Spotify has a much broader reach than any of the others, operating in 56 worldwide markets.
Site now offers music for commercial use under two pricing structures
Stock photography site Shutterstock has announced another revenue source with its introduction of music licensing. With the launch of its new service, Shutterstock Music, the company now offers 60,000 songs for use thanks to a deal with Rumblefish, and is aimed at the growing need for licensed music in commercial video projects.
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.
Producer is chair of Interscope Geffen, suggested buyout of Universal
Revisiting his notes, Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson has said that he thinks the rumored $3.2 billion Apple buyout of Beats Electronics may not be primarily about the latter company's accessories and music service. He said that he believes that the deal centers primarily around gaining Iovine and his access to content companies and producers that may make any agreement worth the money.
Aquafada Cloud Authoring platform utilizes by Kobo to digitize its magazine content
Digital e-magazing software publisher Aquafadas and e-reader maker Kobo have begun collaborating, in light of Aquafadas' cloud-based eZine publishing offering. The Aquafadas Cloud Authoring platform allows Kobo to digitize magazines on a mass-focused level, and has done so for more than 200 titles and a total of over 7,000 issues.
Acquisition, if true, would be Apple's largest buyout ever by nearly 10x
In what could be a rumor intended to manipulate stock prices, the Financial Times is reporting that Apple is planning to buy the maker of the popular (though not well-regarded by audiophiles) Beats headphones and Beats Music streaming service for $3.2 billion. If true, the deal would be by far the largest-ever acquisition by Apple. Coincidentally, the report's alleged price for Beats -- more than three times higher than its valuation -- is the exact same amount paid by Google for Nest.
New 'Turn Blue' to be released May 13; two songs available now
As part of an ongoing effort to differentiate itself from other streaming services, iTunes Radio has lately been on a tear of offering pre-release albums streamed on the ad-supported service. The latest entry is the new album Turn Blue by The Black Keys, now available to listen to in its entirety through a dedicated "First Play" channel. Also currently available under the "First Play" moniker are new albums by Michael W. Smith and Chromeo.
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.
Add-on service to capitalize on iPhone, Mac popularity
On Thursday, Apple opened its iTunes Match cloud storage and syncing add-on service to Japan, two-and-a-half years after its original US debut, and in time to take full advantage of the iPhone's staggering popularity in the country. During a conference call with analysts, CEO Tim Cook said that the iPhone now accounts for more than 57 percent marketshare, and that Mac sales have also improved -- seeing "double digit" increases. The subscription-based service is ideal for users who want to carry around large libraries of music with the confines of the space-limited iPhone.
Song-identification technology may be enlisted for Siri, iTunes Radio
Citing unnamed sources "with knowledge of the product," Bloomberg is reporting that Apple may enter into a partnership with song-identifying app Shazam to bring the music-matching feature to iOS 8. Users could, for example, ask Siri "what song is playing?" as they listen to iTunes Radio or other streaming music services, with the voice assistant enlisting Shazam's services to return an answer after a short identifying pause. This in turn would produce a link to the song on iTunes.
Design issues, need for compelling offering cited
YouTube's untitled on-demand music service launch has been postponed again. The move is allegedly a requirement for the company to "get it right" from day one, and for the service to be competitive with similar offerings from other vendors immediately upon release. The service, originally slated to go live at the beginning of 2014, is now not likely to see release until the end of the year, or later.
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.
Sources cite revamped effort curating discussions, discovery
Even though Twitter is shuttering its #Music service and has yanked the supporting app from the iOS App Store, the microblogging service is preparing a new but similar offering, according to services familiar with the matter. The new service is allegedly forsaking the app-driven approach, and focused on conversations about content, hosted on Twitter itself.
Ad-free subscription music service shutters in late April
Last.fm is shutting down its subscription-based music streaming service at the end of next month. The company reveals in a forum post that it's closing the $3 ad-free streaming radio function from its apps on April 28th, though it will continue to operate its ongoing "Scrobbler" music tracking, playlist building, and new music recommendation service to users as normal.