30-day trial of premium service includes radio, free album
Samsung has brought its Music Hub service to the US, following an initial launch in Europe. Based on technology from recently acquired mSpot, the music service will allow Samsung Galaxy S III users to buy music from its 7digital-based online store and access the content from the cloud, streaming purchases to the handset and a web-based player. A subscription service adding more features is also available.
Windows Phone gets 7digital music store
UK-based music download service 7digital has launched its Windows Phone app (free, Marketplace), joining existing iPhone, Blackberry, and Android versions. The app brings 7digital's catalog of 18 million tracks to Windows Phone, including recordings from the main four record companies and many others.
RIM may have music service tied into BBM
RIM is in the process of developing its own BlackBerry-themed music service with a unique tie-in, tipsters unearthed on Thursday. The company is believed to have at least one deal among the top four music labels and negotiating the rest. Its service would stand out through a connection through BlackBerry Messenger, though CNET couldn't get information as to how it would work; it would most likely take advantage of BBM sharing to spread tracks.
Facebook and Spotify may have official deal soon
Facebook may have a pseudo-official music service, according to leaks surfacing on Wednesday. The plan would load both the desktop app but also a direct streaming option through Facebook itself. A social side would exist in the version relayed to Forbes and would allow for friends to listen together.
7digital updates Android music app, sells music
Web-based UK music and video store 7digital has now updated its Android music app (free, Market), allowing users in the US, UK, Canada and 13 other countries to download MP3 music. The app has a digital locker that stores user's purchased tracks. Past purchases need to be downloaded locally first, however, which allows users to put them onto any device with the app.
Spotify limits listening again on listeners
Spotify in a memo on Thursday confirmed plans to again restrict free listening on its service. The European streaming site is halving the total free listening time per month to 10 hours and is now introducing a per-song cap. Anyone who signs up from May 1 onwards will, after their first six months, listen to a track for free up to five times for the life of the free account.
BlackBerry PlayBook to have official video chat
RIM enterprise strategy VP David Heit at a Boston event said the BlackBerry PlayBook would have an official video chat app. Instead of relying on third-party apps like Android, it should have a new peer-to-peer app intended for all users, similar to FaceTime. Heit didn't tell PCWorld if it would use a standard that would allow chatting with other platforms or if it would be limited to the PlayBook, although the current roadmap shows no BlackBerry phones with front cameras this year.
BlackBerry PlayBook to come with 7digital music
RIM late Tuesday scored a deal to give the BlackBerry PlayBook a preloaded music store. 7digital's store will be preloaded on the tablet and give access to about 13 million pay-per-track songs. The store is the most popular on BlackBerry phones and is one of the few to have an international scope, having grown beyond Europe to reach the US two years ago.
Acer Alive store and clear.fi sharing debut
Acer's live event today brought with it plans to emulate Apple's app and media stores but also introduce a new media sharing feature for PCs. The store, nicknamed Alive, will give computers and mobile devices a "real-time" reaction. As users buy or download titles of any kind, the store will use a Genius-like recommendation system to suggest content and refine results.
iTunes Beatles deal an exclusive past January
Apple's deal for the Beatles on the iTunes Store is an exclusive "into 2011," EMI representative Dylan Jones said. While Apple hasn't characterized the catalog deal as a matter of sole rights, its deal isn't based on the calendar year and will prevent other stores from getting the catalog until sometime beyond January 1. Jones wouldn't be drawn by AllThingsD into saying when the exclusive would end.
Approval in doubt
Online music shop 7digital has submitted an iPhone app for sale at the App Store. A representative from the company notes that the title is "still with Apple," in fact, and that "positive discussions" are taking place between the companies. It is unclear when or even if the app will be approved, as it may violate App Store policies.
Nokia CWM service has poor uptake
New figures provided to music labels show Nokia's Comes With Music unlimited music service has had a relatively poor uptake despite having a year to expand. Data from July obtained by Music Ally shows just 107,227 active users worldwide for the service, which lets buyers of specially-labeled phones get a year's worth of unlimited music downloads they can keep after the subscription ends. The news comes despite heavy promotion by Nokia and the support of all the major music labels.
7digital arrives in US
Popular UK online music shop 7digital this morning launched its US store. The primarily web-based service focuses on price and is offering some newer albums as well as many older ones at $7.77. Songs can also run as low as 77 cents each, and all downloads are platform-independent, 320Kbps MP3s that should work with Apple devices as well as most other portable players. The store has long had access to all four major music labels as well as key independents.
RIM music service coming
BlackBerry handset maker Research in Motion (RIM) will reportedly launch an online music download service for BlackBerries in order to compete with competitors Apple and Nokia. The application will be a result of a partnership with a UK-based music website, 7Digital and, according to 7Digital's marketing manager Peter Davis, will be free to download. In a unique approach, the quality will change depending on the network: BlackBerry users on a 3G network will download lower bitrate AAC tracks to save time, but can immediately move to 320Kbps MP3 downloads when on Wi-Fi. A sync feature will also connect the phone to a computer over Wi-Fi to transfer without requiring a USB link.
BBerry Push for 3rd Party
RIM this morning said it had launched a new push API (application programming interface) for third-party BlackBerry apps using Java. Previously only available through the enterprise server, the feature will let software get real-time alerts for news, games and other information without having to keep the program active. It can use either the cellular network or Wi-Fi and lets apps jump directly to the newest information when they open.
MP3 Compatible logo
A new logo meant to promote legal music download sites and emphasize the fact the files contained on the sites can be played on any digital audio player has been backed by seven of Britain's largest music download sites, according to a Tuesday BBC report. Designed by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), the logo will mean customers can play the purchased files on PCs, Macs and portable music players. The logo will appear on online music stores from HMV, Woolworths, 7digital, Digitalstores, Play.com, Tescodigital and Tunertribe. Also, BPI, the British record industry's trade association is backing the idea, adding that the logo means artists are being paid for their work.