Tag - Music
Editor's note: As we are winding down site operations, the staff of MacNN is rerunning some personal favorite stories, both those that are important, and those that are favorite memorable moments in the world of technology news. I'm staff writer Malcolm Owen, and while this isn't exactly a story relating to Apple directly, it does show the effects of when another store tries to do the same thing, specifically concerning musical guests.
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.
Now AAPL Stock: 120 ( + 0.22 )
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