Tag - Pandora
Welcome to the inaugural article for a little series we're calling "Should You Subscribe," where the MacNN staff talks about our experiences with services that charge you some sort of regular fee for using them. Who is Amber taking aim at for the first article? Her newest, yet most-used subscription service: Pandora One.
It's Monday, so it's time for another episode of the MacNN Podcast! Charles is off and about this week, so hosts Mike Wuerthele and Jordan Anderson take to the microphones like it's 2010 again! Join us for a topic-filled 45 minutes, covering the Error 53 lawsuit filed last week, a possible start of filming for Apple unique programming, Apple executives on a (non-MacNN) podcast, and the normal off-topic meandering!
Pandora is looking to possibly put itself up for sale, and is working to enter discussions with potential buyers, as the service endures challenging trading conditions, according to a report. The music streaming service is supposedly working with Morgan Stanley to conduct acquisition talks with suitors, though apparently only at a preliminary level, and follows after the publication of a disappointing quarterly financial report involving a net loss of $19.4 million.
Owners of the 2015 and 2016 model year Hyundai Sonatas will be able to retroactively add CarPlay support early next year, but will have to pay for the privilege. The car company had previously promised that the CarPlay upgrade would be free, but now says owners will have to buy a special SD card in order to obtain the upgrade, according to the Detroit Free Press. The company's broken promise and change of direction could spark legal action, as the same vehicles can use Google's Android Auto without paying extra.
After the US stock market close today, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) made some minor modifications to the Internet radio royalty rates. The new rate, for subscription services like Pandora, is set at $0.0022 per stream, with increases or decreases for the next four years based on the consumer price index. The change is a tiny decrease from $0.0023 per stream, where a stream is defined as a single user playing a single track, in part or in whole. Non-subscription services, like streaming terrestrial radio stations are now set at $0.0017 per stream. The recording industry demanded a bit more, while the streaming services requested approximately half of the new rate.
Rdio is allowing its users to download an archive of their collection, ahead of the streaming music service's shutdown next week. Triggered by an acquisition by Pandora, Rdio is giving anyone who previously used the service the option of collecting a copy of their personal data, with a dedicated "farewell" page offering facts relating to Rdio's usage alongside the user data, with the closure set for December 22 at 8pm EST.
Pandora is attempting to make its service more personalized towards its users' tastes, with the launch of Thumbprint Radio. Described as a "hyper-personalized station for each listener," Thumbprint Radio is a streaming music station on both the iOS and Android versions of the app, based on songs the user has given a "thumbs up" on over the entire lifetime of the account, with it also making extra changes to the list every time the user thumbs another track they're listening to.
Pandora is acquiring aspects of a rival streaming music service for $75 million, as it attempts to improve its own audio offerings at the same time as lowering the number of players in the music streaming industry. As part of the deal, Pandora will take control of "several key assets" from Rdio, including technology and intellectual property, as well as absorbing some of the Rdio staff and Rdio filing for bankruptcy.
Pandora is paying the RIAA $90 million, to settle a lawsuit concerning the streaming of song recordings produced before 1972. At the same time as the settlement announcement, the streaming service's latest financial results report has been greeted poorly, with the stock price for Pandora dropping considerably in after-hours trading, after it suffered a third-quarter loss that may have been caused by the introduction of Apple Music, among other factors.
A new software update for older Ford vehicles from 2011 onwards with the second-generation Sync system installed has added support for Siri Eyes Free, Apple's control and command technology designed for automobile use. Once the version 3.8 software update has been installed (which typically takes about a half-hour), "Siri Eyes Free can be activated by pressing and holding the voice button for at least 3 seconds," the company says.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE