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.
Now AAPL Stock: 97.9 ( + 1.47 )
Comixology fires up $6 all-you-can-read service
Amazon-owned Comixology has launched an all-you-can-read comic subscription service. After a 30-day free trial, for $6 a month, subscribers can draw from a large selection of the Comixology library, minus Marvel and DC comics. For now, the service is US-only. http://bit.ly/1WMAOft
QuarkXPress 2016 now shipping
Quark is now shipping QuarkXPress 2016, the newest version of Quark's graphic design and desktop publishing software that now features near-WYSIWYG fixe HTML5 publishing as well as improved operability with InDesign and Illustrator and support for multi-Color Gradient Blends, OpenType Stylistic Sets, a Color Picker (Eyedropper tool), Touchpads for Pinch and Zoom (Mac only) and more. Users on any previous version of QuarkXPress (versions 3-10) can upgrade to version 2016 for $350, while QuarkXPress 2015 users can upgrade to 2016 for $180; new licenses are available for $850 (education licenses are available for $90). http://bit.ly/1OL23Pu
Kanex debuts GoPower USB-C for MacBooks
Kanex today introduced its GoPower USB-C, a portable power solution designed to charge a USB-C MacBook on the go along with an iPhone or iPad simultaneously. Featuring 15,000 mAh of power--capable of charging an iPhone 6s seven times or the USB-C MacBook one full time--the GoPower USB-C Portable Battery features one 3A USB-C port and one 2.4A port for other devices, priority charging detection technology and a pass-thru charging to your devices when the battery is plugged into a power source. http://bit.ly/1TKaf8z
i.am+ EPs earphones are Apple Store exclusive
Musician turned consumer electronics entrepreneur Will.i.am has launched a new pair of Bluetooth wireless earphones, dubbed the i.am+ EPs. The new earphones are an Apple Store exclusive, and feature large 14mm drivers and aptX support for high-quality wireless streaming. The i.am+ EPs support A2DP controls, have a 30-foot range and can last up to six hours on a charge. The design is said to be inspired by the "iconic shape of vinyl records," and are made from spun metal and paired with a woven fabric cord. When not in use, the EPs magnetically click into place around the neck. The iam+ EPs are available now at select Apple Store and Apple.com for $230, are available in gold-on-black or black-on-black. http://bit.ly/1OKVlt2
Ultimate Ears debuts UE Roll 2 speaker
On Tuesday, audio accessory maker Ultimate Ears unveiled a new version of the UE Roll Bluetooth speaker. The new UE Roll 2, which sells for $100, looks identical to the previous version, but gets about 15 percent louder. In addition, the unit now supports a Bluetooth source signal up to 100 feet away, an improvement on the original's 65-foot limit. While both the old and new versions of the UE Roll offer an IPX7 waterproof rating, the company now includes a blow-up "floaty" with the speaker to avoid the risk of prolonged exposure. The new unit will begin general shipping next month. http://bit.ly/1TJWE0Z
Philips launches Hue White Ambiance bulbs
Philips latest HomeKit-compatible Hue light bulbs have hit the market. The new Hue White Ambiance bulbs are designed to allow users to control their color temperature to enhance either focus, or create a more relaxing tone. Combined with the latest update to the Philips Hue app, the new bulbs can be set according to user "routines." The "wake-up" mode gently turns up the brightness of the bulb, while conversely, the "go to sleep" mode gradually reduces the color temperature and brightness. The Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit retails for $130, while single bulbs sell for $30. http://bit.ly/1TJT3Qn
Pluggable Technologies three-display USB-C dock
Peripheral company Plugable Technologies today launched the industry's first wave of USB-C docking stations with both Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. The Plugable UD-CA1 Docking Station integrates support for both of these new capabilities, along with the full set of standard USB docking features like wired network, audio, and extra USB ports. Model UD-ULTCDL builds on this, adding support for three total displays using DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology. The UD-CA1 retails for $129, with the UD-ULTCDL selling for $179, and available soon. http://bit.ly/1TrVVTJ