Tag - Rhapsody
There is something about examining the events of a single week across Apple's four decades that really illuminates how much this company has done. It's as if watching year-by-year, you get inured to Apple's rises and falls, yet comparing specific weeks is like seeing a Before and After picture. Even in this comparatively quiet week of May 7 through 13, the few events are striking for how impossible it seems to be happening to the same company.
Rhapsody International has recently acquired two companies that could help it build is music services in additional areas. It was announced that the company has acquired Schematic Labs, the team behind SoundTracking, and Exfm - each for undisclosed amounts. The two companies were picked up for a different reasons; one team to bolster music discovery, while the other expands upon sharing.
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.
Rhapsody, an Internet radio streaming app and music store, has released an update for its iOS version. Rhapsody is available free for T-Mobile customers with 4G LTE data plans, and as a $10 monthly subscription accessible through an in-app purchase for others. Adding a new TrackMatch integration feature, users can identify and tag a song that is currently playing; any identified song is then available for full-length playback and purchase. The release of v3.1 also includes the ability to listen to live stations from anywhere in the world. Rhapsody v3.1 is available for free for iOS devices running iOS 6.0 or later.
In a twist to the Uncarrier presentation in Seattle, T-Mobile announced that is offering free music streaming to its customers. "All the top streaming services," such as iTunes Radio and Spotify, can be streamed by smartphone customers without affecting their data usage. On top the streaming perk, T-Mobile also revealed its own radio service that it developed in a partnership with Rhapsody. Rhapsody unRadio will be available to the public June 23.
Rhapsody International, the company that houses both Rhapsody and Napster music streaming services, says it is cutting ties with the music recommendation system The Echo Nest. The move comes not long after Spotify purchased The Echo Nest for an undisclosed sum at the beginning of March.
Music service Rhapsody has updated its application for Windows Phone 8, adding a number of new features. The revised software includes a number of changes to work fully with the operating system as well as some cosmetic alterations, and now offers subscribers an option to listen to downloaded music offline.
Google has launched YouTube Capture, a new app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The title lets people shoot video specifically for uploading to YouTube. Unlike Apple's native Camera app, though, Capture includes a variety of editing functions, including not just trimming but color correction, stabilization, and the option of adding backing music. Once a video is ready, it can be uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and/or Google+ simultaneously. The app is a free download and requires iOS 5.
Microsoft has added more apps to the Xbox 360 game console's already sizeable catalog, with an update that covers North America and parts of Europe. The key app additions this time lie in the US, where gamers will be able to watch original content from Blip.TV, as well as access the wide catalog available to Rhapsody users.
Rhapsody announced today the first in a line of new mobile music apps, showing off Rhapsody SongMatch, which allows users to discover detailed information on songs with just a few clicks. The new app, free in Google's Play Store, listens to whatever song is playing and identifies the artist, song name, and album. Users can then store the song for later or share it.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R