Tag - Music
Spotify has broken a major milestone, with the streaming music service claiming it has now got more than 100 million active monthly subscribers. The Swedish streaming company advised earlier today that approximately 30 percent of its user base pay a monthly subscription fee, and the number of users of the service continues to grow at a rate of 1.8 million users per month, though at a cost to its bottom line.
If there is one piece of software at WWDC16 that many Apple fans were hoping to see get a redesign, it is the iOS Music app. Not that there weren't many great features in it -- there were -- but that the whole approach to the interface in the iOS 9 version of the app killed the simplicity that Apple built its original iTunes music empire upon. To see Apple regress in this area was as painful to witness as it was to use. So has Apple's redesign of the iOS Music app in iOS 10 made listening to your music a pleasure again?
On the occasion of Apple Music's upcoming first-year anniversary, a quartet of Apple music executives -- SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, VP of Content and Media Apps Robert Kondrk, Apple Music Chief Creative Officer Trent Reznor, and the still-untitled Jimmy Iovine -- gave an interview with Billboard that covered not only Apple Music, but the state of the music industry in general. Along the way, the execs indirectly refuted a recent claim that Apple would cease offering music downloads within two years
Spotify may try to push more of its free users to become subscribers, by restricting some of its catalog to those paying the monthly fee. A report claims the music streaming service apparently came close to restricting an album on the day of its release to just paid users, preventing free users from listening at its launch last month, and though Spotify supposedly decided against going through with that course of action, it appears it may have been more for technical reasons than ideology.
Amazon is looking to compete more directly with music streaming services, such as Spotify and Apple Music, a report claims. The retailer is said to be finalizing licenses with labels to launch the service, which will allegedly operate separately from the Amazon Prime subscription, with the report suggesting it will cost consumers approximately $10 per month, roughly the same as its potential competition.
Upcoming changes to the App Store are welcomed by Spotify, but the music subscription service believes there is more Apple could do to it, an executive for the music streaming service has advised. Global head of corporate communications and global policy Jonathan Prince calls Apple's changes, which include alterations to the way it handles app subscriptions, a "nice gesture, but doesn't get to the core of the problem with the Apple tax and its payment system."
A series of Apple services are having problems this afternoon, perhaps mirroring yesterday's Apple Music outage. According to the Apple System Status page, the iOS and Mac App Stores, the Volume Purchase Program, iTunes in the Cloud, and Apple TV services may be unavailable for some users. (Update 5:22 PM ET, more services are listed as affected by the current outage)
Reports on social media are growing about issues with the iCloud Music Library that appears to be affecting Apple Music subscribers using both iTunes on OS X and the Music app on iOS devices. A number of users have said that they are suddenly getting the "Join Apple Music" screen in the Music app on iOS when it is opened, while iTunes users who are using the service may see "unable to connect to iCloud Music Library" warnings. In some cases, users have reported that the iCloud Music Library has disappeared.
Okay, let's not even try to contrive some drama. Last week, I was challenged to quit iTunes -- and this week I'm back, having done so and realized that technically, it's quite easy. Yet I'm also back in the sense of using iTunes again: there were problems, there were lots of recommendations, there are many people who loathe iTunes, but one week ago, I wasn't fussed: and this week, I am glad to be using it again.
Apple has taken steps to try and fix an extremely rare bug in iTunes where a user's local music files were being deleted, by sending two engineers to one user's home to find the source of the problem. A blog post from one affected user claims a pair of senior software engineers from the company were flown from California to his home in Atlanta to analyze the situation, in response to increasing reports of unauthorized music file deletions.