Beats Music streaming service to launch next month
Beats Music, the streaming music site spun out from the maker of the popular premium headphones, will make its debut in January of next year, it was revealed on Wednesday. The site for the service has gone live, and users can now register a user name for when it goes live next year. The particulars of Beats' new music offering are as yet unknown, but the company will likely reveal them in the weeks leading up to its unveiling.
Rumor claims Google dissatisfied with current state of the service
YouTube's long-rumored music service has allegedly been delayed until sometime in early 2014. The subscription music offering is said to be preparing for a first-quarter launch, though an exact date has yet to be set, and it is thought that the delay itself has been caused by Google's dissatisfaction with the service as a whole.
New Eminem album free, others discounted
Microsoft is giving hip-hop loving users of its Xbox Music service the chance to download a free copy of Eminem's Marshal Mathers LP2. The company's Major Nelson announced the giveaway on Monday, saying that it is open to Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone users. Downloading the album on any one Windows device will grant access to it across all of one's Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone 8 devices, as well as on one's Xbox console.
French music streaming service avoided US because of intense competition
Paris-based Deezer will finally offer its music-streaming service in the United States. The service, which has launched in a number of other countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and across Europe, will be available to use in the US sometime next year, though the company is reluctant to provide a final launch date until it can find another company to provide extra support.
Winamp media player closure after long lifetime
AOL will be shutting down Winamp on December 20, after operating for 16 years. AOL, which acquired Winamp parent company Nullsoft in 1999 for $80 million, will be closing the Winamp.com website and associated web services, something which will affect existing Winamp installations, and will stop offering the media player for download.
Windows Phone app updated with new name, new look
Nokia has rebranded its music streaming service for Lumia smartphones, and has updated its Windows Phone app at the same time. Nokia MixRadio operates in a similar manner to the advertisement-free Nokia Music service it is replacing, this time with a greater emphasis on the downloadable mixes, as well as introducing a personalized mix.
Leaked images claim Android, iOS platform support on the way
Nokia Music could be heading to the iPhone in the future, according to an allegedly leaked graphic. The app, which currently provides streaming music to Nokia Lumia and Asha smartphones as well as through Windows 8, 8.1, and RT devices, may end up on both iOS and Android devices as Nokia expands the reach of the service.
HBO Go appears on support page for Chromecast
Google appears to be preparing to add an HBO Go app to its Chromecast HDMI dongle. The addition has already surfaced on Google's support page, which was spotted by Droid-Life. The app, which is already available for other Android and iOS devices, enables HBO subscribers to stream shows and movies.
Small but powerful addition to the Play lineup
Improvements in wireless technology over the years has made it increasingly easier to offer music playback in every room of the home. Involved in this "music everywhere" movement since 2002, Sonos has long prided itself on providing customers with audio products that not only sound great, but are also incredibly simple to use. In our full review, we will test to see if the latest addition to the Sonos lineup, the Play:1, fits right into this plan -- while still remaining an affordable option.
Pandora updates Android app with tablet UI, Chromecast streaming
Pandora has updated its Android app with a new design specifically for tablets. Aside from offering an interface made for a larger display, Pandora 5.0 for tablets retains most of the features the smaller-screen version currently offers, with more details for stations available to read, lyrics and artist information, and improved social sharing. The update also introduces Chromecast streaming for the first time.
Dock being sold in limited numbers before wider availability in 2014
Microsoft has started selling a docking station for the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2, with sales said to be in limited quantities before wider availability next year. The dock's appearance is accompanied by Microsoft demonstrating one of its recently-announced Surface covers, one which is dedicated to music creation and playback.
Second music streaming service from Google could still launch this year
Rumors of a YouTube music streaming service have resurfaced, with a new report providing a lot more detail about Google's potential plans. It is now thought by report sources that the tiered service, in a similar vein to Spotify, iTunes Radio, and its own Google Play Music All Access, will be launching before the end of the year.
May have created or remastered new sound sets
Electronic musician Adam Young, founder of the Owl City music project, has revealed himself as having been responsible for at least some of the new sounds that debuted with iOS 7. While his exact role is unspecified, the overall tone of the new sounds are distinctly more electronic compared to the default tones of iOS 6.
Music editor Liquid Notes receives new track view, more control elements
Re-Compose's latest update to its music editing software, Liquid Notes, has its focus on user interface improvements. Released yesterday, its previous multi-function knob has been replaced by individual control elements for chord substitution, tension, and function. Other notable changes to Liquid Notes include more control while in track view, allowing for a high-level overview of one's musical arrangements on a single-instrument level. Ableton Live is now better supported, with the addition of a "multiple single-track import" feature to accommodate Live's lack of support for multi-channel MIDI arrangements. Available as a free trial download, or fully licensed software priced at $175, Liquid Notes can be obtained online from Re-Compose.
Music site exploits publicity, complains of 'substandard' terms
A digital music news site was forced to take down a copy of an iTunes Radio contract it had been given and published -- opting to post the entire contract online rather than just discuss the portions it wanted to highlight, prompting a copyright claim from Apple. While some have claimed that Apple's beef was more about suppressing business details than protecting copyright, the site's tactics raise the question of whether its okay to break the law in the name of trying to garner hits.
Universal Music Group puts uncompressed albums on Blu-ray
Universal Music Group (UMG) is attempting to improve sales of albums on physical media by using Blu-ray. The High Fidelity Pure Audio format uses the high capacity of Blu-ray discs in order to provide uncompressed music tracks to listeners, with the first discs using the method going on sale later this month in the United Kingdom.
Two Android personal media players shipping later this year
Sony is continuing to extend its line of Walkman-branded personal music players with a raft of new models, including two Android devices. The Walkman NW-ZX1 and NW-F880 range, powered by Android 4.1, will be going on sale in Japan later this year, alongside new media players in the S-series and M-series ranges.
Twitter-generated playlists available from within streaming music apps directly
Twitter has expanded the reach of its #music service, with two music streaming companies adding it directly into their apps. Spotify and Rdio both offer the option to view playlists generated by Twitter #music, with the additions being the first time Twitter #music has appeared in apps other than its own iOS version, and the website.
Deezer adds app to Panasonic, Philips smart TVs, updates earlier apps
Deezer has made apps for its music streaming service available for Panasonic and Philips smart televisions, with devices from NetRange, Loewe, TCL Thomson, Sharp, and Vestel also set to receive it in the future. Earlier app releases for smart TVs from LG and Samsung have received a few updates at the same time, including the ability access the playlists of friends, a shuffle mode, and enhanced search functionality.
Win a Minx Go portable Bluetooth speaker
Since 1968, Cambridge Audio has been in the business of making amplifiers, tuners and later CD players. Fast forward to 2013, and the company has taken on building speakers for both the budget-minded and the most discerning audiophile looking for the best of the best. On the consumer end of the scale is the Minx wireless speaker range. The Minx Go Bluetooth speaker is the smallest of the bunch, but promises to offer "big music anywhere." Electronista has one to give away to our readers.
Direct streaming from Spotify to compatible speakers
Spotify has announced it is working with a number of hardware manufacturers to bring controllable music streaming to other devices, taking on AirPlay and other audio transmission systems. Spotify Connect will allow for subscribers to send playlists to nearby speakers or home theater systems, and in a move similar to Google Chromecast, the audio will stream directly to the sound-producing device from the service itself, instead of from the smartphone.
Bargain hunters can also grab free tunes from iTunes Festival
As part of its overall Back to School programs, Apple has slashed prices on a number of albums from popular and up-and-coming artists, pricing full albums between $7 and $8 for its iTunes Back to School sale. In addition, the company is offering six free tracks of music from artists associated with the iTunes Festival. The discounted albums would normally cost $10-15 each, while the six free songs are available through the iTunes Festival app for US-based users. The app also offers live video streaming of performances and more.
Music video content app for Apple TV could happen as soon as this week
Music video provider Vevo may have signed deals with both Apple and Samsung to provide streaming and on-demand content. For Apple, the deal will likely mean a new app on Apple TV, possibly coming as early as later this week. For Samsung, Vevo is allegedly providing the content for the Korean company's smart TV lineup. The on-demand music video service would be similar to the content already provided to Microsoft's Xbox, reports say, but the new deals add a second channel that would stream videos 24 hours a day.
Google Play music service now rolling out across Europe
The Google Play Music service has reached Europe after first debuting in the US three months ago. The service is also already live in Australia, where it has been live for a month. The Play Music is now also live in Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and the UK, giving those users the opportunity to enjoy unlimited, ad-free music. For early adopters the price is €7.99 if they sign up before September 15 after which it will revert to €9.99.
Browse playlists reaching iOS, Android first, all Spotify platforms in future
Spotify is adding a new item to accompany its existing Discover and social features for providing new artists and songs to users. Browse consists of playlists curated by experts employed by the company, which will offer tracks based on an assortment of moods and moments, such as romance or tracks for the morning commute.
Google Play Music All Access expands to Australia, New Zealand
Google has launched its streaming music subscription service in Australia and New Zealand. The two countries are the first outside of the United States to gain access to Google Play Music All Access, with initial users getting a free trial and a $10 monthly fee if they sign up before the end of August, when it rises to a higher $12 per month.
Ripped tracks free to customers for purchases in last decade
Amazon has extended its AutoRip service to the United Kingdom and Europe, following a successful launch in the United States. The service provides a digital copy of physical albums bought through the retailer, with songs automatically appearing in the user's Amazon Cloud Player as MP3 files, which saves the user time in ripping tracks from the CD, as well as providing the music early without having to wait for the CD to arrive.
The new iOS 7 Music app looks set to continue Apple's digital music lead
Yesterday I took a first look at the iOS 7 beta following its unveiling during the Apple WWDC keynote. As we noted, the changes to the design of the iOS UI are widespread and also include all of the standard iOS apps. While iOS 7 is still a work in progress, it is certainly pointing very firmly towards a new flatter, but attractive and vibrant user experience. As a music lover the new Music app immediately piqued my interest, especially with the introduction of the long-rumored iTunes Radio streaming music service.
Reports cover previous iMusic rumors, record company revenue split
There has been more speculation for what Apple will present at its Worldwide Developer Conference keynote address later today. Recent reports have allegedly confirmed previous rumors of iOS 7 design changes and the iRadio streaming music service, subjects that people already standing in line to attend the event are likely to learn about.
Will focus less on ads in apps, apart from 'developer ads'
A claim from Bloomberg says that Apple is revamping its iAd division to support what will be its free but ad-supported streaming music service (dubbed "iRadio" by pundits), expected to be announced at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference and modelled on the popular user-guided, algorithm-picked music station Pandora. The service, which likely won't debut until later this year with the release of iOS 7, will introduce new business models intended to lure name brands to advertise on the radio-esque music service.
Up to four multi-hour mixes downloadable by Asha users
Nokia will be allowing users of the Asha range of smartphones to use its free music streaming service for the first time. Previously only usable by Lumia Windows Phone devices, the Nokia Music with Mix Radio service will be available on Asha touch devices in the coming weeks, and will initially roll out in Russia before heading into other markets.
Second in series of ads playing up popularity, simplicity
Continuing with a nearly voiceless and poetic new campaign, Apple's latest TV ad for the iPhone is called "Music Every Day" and carries on the theme begun in the previous "Photos Every Day" ad, touting a major feature of the iPhone that is not unique to it, but more widely used on the platform than on any of its rivals with visually beautiful montages anchored to a single, simple piece of music.
Paid-for service provides track recommendations, instant playlists
Google has announced its music service at its Google I/O developer conference. As leaked yesterday in a report, Google Play Music All Access is the search giant's take on Spotify and other similar music streaming services, with users able to stream from the large catalog of tracks already available to download from the Google Play Music store.
Undetailed offering expected during Google I/O as yet unpriced
According to "sources familiar with the company," Google is planning to debut a new subscription music service sometime during the Google I/O conference. Reports have surfaced that Google has signed licensing deals with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group, the three largest record labels in the world in preperations to launch the music offering.
Sony allegedly holding out for higher fee for streaming music
Apple may have hit another snag in its alleged plan to launch an "iRadio" service in the near future, according to an unconfirmed report from London's Financial Times. The forthcoming service, should negotiations get completed, would allegedly see iTunes offering a streaming music service that leveraged its enormous statistical and purchasing information from users to serve curated songs they would be likely to enjoy from artists they have bought before or would probably like. Sony, according to sources, is still holding out.
Rhapsody adds 'liner notes,' technical info to music files
Music service Rhapsody has implemented a new "liner notes" feature, implementing the RIAA's "Give Fans the Credit" plan for including detailed production information with each digital song, including songwriters, background performers, producers and engineers involved in the production. The rollout, scheduled to take place over the next few months, would allow fans to search for music in new ways, such as tracking songs a specific producer was involved in, or for example finding out which songs featured a specific group of sidemen. The service has already started curating collections of tunes grouped by notable names of either producers, engineers or composers.
Uses followed artists, tweets to suggest music, shows popular tracks
Twitter has launched its rumored music service today, revealing both a web app and one for iOS. Twitter #music uses posts on Twitter, artists followed and mentioned by users, to generate a playable list of tracks that are either highly talked about on the microblogging service, artists it believes are emerging, and tracks that individual users may enjoy listening to.
Twitter Music launch may coincide with Coachella festival
Twitter may be launching its much-rumored music service later today, according to reports. A new page under music.twitter.com gives little in the way of clues for the service, and simply shows the Twitter logo, the hashtag "#music" and a sign-in button that requests permission to use the user's Twitter account for an app called "Trending Music Web," but currently redirects to the same page again.
Warner Music said to be close behind, Sony in early stages
Should Apple actually succeed with its alleged plan to start up a Pandora-style streaming radio service, one of the biggest obstacles the company faced may be behind it as early as next week, if a report on The Verge is true. Multiple sources say that Apple and Universal Music Group, one of the "big three" music labels, have reached an agreement on streaming royalties -- and that the company is in the final stages of also closing a deal with Warner Music. The third major label, Sony, is an earlier stage of the process.
Individual marketplaces will reserve space for local artists
In a posting earlier today by Google, the company revealed that it is expanding its Google Music service to seven additional countries. The posting declared that the service is now available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland, New Zealand, and Portugal. In addition to the mainstream music coverage, Google is also hosting a Google Play artist hub customized for the country allowing local bands to sell music directly to listeners.
Finds workaround for obstacles with two major record labels
Late on Thursday, unnamed sources from "people familiar with the negotiations" said that Apple has come up with a clever workaround to the major obstacles preventing it from concluding a licensing deal for its alleged "iRadio" streaming service. The breakthrough is said to have been sufficient to get two of the three major record companies on board for the yet-to-be-announced feature, and relies on letting Apple get the streaming royalty rate it wanted -- far lower than comparable services -- in exchange for creating ways for labels to make up the cost difference.
Online, radio royalties still dwarfed by physical sales
Revenues from online music licensing has beaten revenues from radio for the first time in the United Kingdom. The Performing Rights Society (PRS), collector of music royalties in the country, found that online revenues of £51.7 million ($78.1 million) outweighed the £47 million ($71 million) earned from radio royalties last year.
Service would offer streaming, customized music, buy buttons
Music industry executives are evidently not good at keeping secrets -- a number of them have gone on the record talking about Apple's proposed streaming "radio-like" service, currently dubbed "iRadio," and some details behind it. Following an apparent breakthrough in negotiations with Universal and Warner, the company is pushing to get the service launched sometime this summer, according to reports. Likely to be incorporated or at least tied to the iTunes Store, "iRadio's" main sticking point so far has been royalty rates.
Audible, lympse, Rhapsody and TuneIn now supported
Just a day after Chevrolet debuted a commercial promoting its Siri "Eyes-Free" integration, BMW on Tuesday added support for integration of four iOS apps in new BMW models. Audio books app Audible, Internet radio tuner TuneIn, subscription music service Rhapsody and location-sharing crowdsource app Glympse now work with selected BMW entertainment systems, bringing audiobooks, subscription and Internet radio stations and other functions to the automobiles. BMW first began iOS integration in model year 2011.
Premium speaker set uses high-end material in construction
Audience today announced that it is now shipping the ClairAudient "The ONE" single-driver speaker set. The new model is the smallest in Audience's ClairAudient speaker lineup, at just seve inches high by 5.5 inches wide by seven inches deep. The ONE is tailored for desktop music listening, compact high-end stereo systems and surround-sound home theater.
Nine year old saga concludes with refusal to review previous judgements
Finally closing the door on the trial, the US Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from file sharer Jammie Thomas-Rasset. As it now stands, the Minnesota woman owes the top record labels $220,000 stemming from the 2007 lawsuit finding her liable for sharing 24 songs online. Thomas-Rasset was one of two defendants who did not settle with the group, with both found to have shared the music and slapped with monumental fines for doing so.
Supports wide range of AV receivers, third-party controllers
Whole-house audio systems maker CasaTunes has announced a line of multi-room music servers that offer built-in compatibility with multi-zone AV receivers from a variety of major-brand manufacturers such as Denon, Harmon Kardon, Yamaha, Sony, Pioneer, Marantz and Integra/Onkyo. The servers are configured using apps available for iOS and Android, and extend the capabilities of third-party controllers by adding AirPlay wireless speaker and multi-zone AV receiver support to these systems.
Claims 13M track catalog, personalized stations
DoubleTwist is throwing its hat into the personalized streaming music market with the launch of Magic Radio. Differing from the usual method of creating a station from a single song, employed by such services as Pandora, Magic Radio uses existing playlists, favorite genres, keywords, and mood to personalize stations as much as possible.
Record labels balking at Apple offer, report says
As an initial offer to a record label for a forthcoming streaming service, Apple recently proposed a royalty rate of just 6 cents per 100 songs, sources for the New York Post claim. "Apple wants a rate that is lower than Pandora's," one executive is quoted as saying. Pandora pays labels 12 cents per 100 songs, which itself is below the Copyright Royalty Board's standard 21 cents for digital-only streaming. Spotify pays 35 cents, according to the Post's sources.
Iovine's 'Project Daisy' subscription service may dovetail with Apple's plans
Legendary music producer, label head and Beats Audio CEO Jimmy Iovine has allegedly met with Apple CEO Tim Cook and media services chief Eddy Cue in a "wide-ranging" discussion of the music industry and related topics, including Iovine's "Project Daisy" proposed music service that he had previously pitched to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The meeting has renewed talk of alleged Apple plans for a subscription or premium music service.