Items tagged with music

Depending on where you live in the world, you may find yourself in the midst of a stay-at-home order. Even if one does not exist in your area, health professionals are strongly urging the public at large to practice social distancing in order to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. If you find yourself going stir crazy during these wild times we live in, one thing you can do is tune into SiriusXM and listen to premium content at no charge. Howard Stern, one of the streaming service's biggest draws, announced the freebie offer during one of his recent broadcasts. SiriusXM then issued a press release, confirming that users in North America can access its more than 300 channels at no charge starting... Read more...
Good news, music lovers—Spotify is testing a streaming music subscription plan for couples, roommates, best friends, and any other package of two that you can think of (so long as they share the same address). The discounted plan essentially means that a couple does not have to choose between sharing a single plan or shelling out for a family plan, which allows up to five people under the same roof to have their own account. That's the good news. The bad news is, the new Premium Duo tier is only being tested in select areas at the moment, and specifically Chili, Columbia, Denmark, Ireland, and Poland. If you happen to live in one of those areas, though, the Premium Duo subscription runs... Read more...
Video may have killed the radio star, as The Buggles so famously put it nearly four decades ago, but what the band couldn't have predicted at the time is that digital streaming would murder physical media. Best Buy is now an accomplice—the retail electronics chain recently told music suppliers that it was pulling CDs from its stores this month. If you walk into a Best Buy location, there is a good chance you will no longer see rows of music CDs. When communicating its decision to music suppliers, the company said it was yanking them on July 1, this past Sunday. This led to reports that Best Buy was done with music CDs altogether, though that's not actually the case. While Best Buy is saying... Read more...
About a week ago we talked a bit about the rumors floating around that Spotify was working on a refreshed version of its mobile app and free tier service. New details on the revamped service have turned up and according to the rumors some users are already seeing a new UI and features. Among the new features in the revamped service are options to play songs on demand in select playlists. This is one of the features normally reserved for premium subscribers. Spotify has an event set for April 24 where the new free service is expected to be officially unveiled. The refreshed UI for the free mobile app reportedly has Gold Edition playlists that have on-demand tracks inside. Playlists that can... Read more...
Spotify is working on wooing more customers to its free music service by making it easier to use. The rumor comes from people who claim to be familiar with the company's plans. This will be the first major change to the Spotify service since the company went public last week. Spotify maintains that 2 million people are illegally listening to its paid music service. The free service is supported by ads, while the paid service is ad-free. The source of the rumor claims that an announcement of the revised service is expected in the next couple weeks. Exactly what the updated service will feature is unclear, but reports claim that the free mobile listeners will be able to access their playlists faster... Read more...
Spotify is headed towards a pivotal moment with an initial public offering (IPO) looming next month. As the world's largest music streaming service, there is a lot of buzz surrounding the company's IPO. Leading up to the big day, Spotify made an interesting revelation, saying that around two million music listeners have managed to skip listening to ads without being a paid subscriber by using unauthorized third-party apps designed to block ads. These apps can essentially be seen as ad blockers for Spotify. It's unfortunate for Spotify, which offers two main tiers to choose from—a free music listening experience that is supported by advertising, and a subscription service that lets users... Read more...
It's been a while since we heard much out of the RIAA after the organization was frequently in the news during its hunt to force anyone who even thought about illegally downloading music to pay damages. At times, the RIAA filed suits against deceased people essentially making it look like the bad guy to many music fans. The RIAA has now released information that looks at revenue statistics from 2017 and the music industry saw some growth last year. According to the statistics, revenue from recorded music in the U.S. increased 16.5% to an estimated retail value of $8.7 billion. Wholesale revenues grew 12.6% to $5.9 billion. RIAA attributes most of the growth in the industry to paid music subscription... Read more...
Hey, good news everyone, Google is going to be serving up more ads through YouTube in between music videos! Isn't that awesome? Wait, you're not stoked? Well then, that is unfortunate, because apparently the video streaming site will forge ahead with showing a greater number of ads to some users. It's part of an effort to get more people to subscribe to YouTube's music service. Lyor Cohen, YouTube's head of music, told Bloomberg that the ad campaign will primarily target people who mostly use YouTube as a music service. These are people who passively listen to music on YouTube for long periods of time, as opposed to those who fire up the streaming service to watch other types of content. "You're... Read more...
A new rumor is circulating that claims YouTube is getting ready to launch a new music service in March. According to people claiming to be familiar with the matter, the new service is called YouTube Remix and it's Alphabet Inc's latest attempt to combat Spotify and Apple in the music industry. The same sources claim that one major music label, Warner Music Group, has already signed on. Warner is one of the three major music labels globally. YouTube is reportedly in talks with the other two global music superpowers: Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music. YouTube is also in negotiations with Merlin, a consortium of independent music labels according to the sources. While streaming services... Read more...
If you're an audiophile or someone who would simply prefer listening to the highest-quality version of a song or album possible, then Spotify's plans to offer a lossless subscription option should get you excited. That is, as long as you're willing to pay a bit more for the luxury. Starting this week, some of Spotify's customers have been receiving a prompt offering them a service upgrade, with premiums over the current subscription being $5 to $10. In some cases, people are offered nothing more than an upgrade to lossless audio (in addition to their preexisting premium subscription), while others get offers for a free vinyl as well as discounts on "limited edition" vinyl. If you're someone who... Read more...
Apple's AirPods launched to some seriously mixed reaction when they were unveiled a couple of months ago, but it's seemed that since then, some have warmed up to the idea of having a cordless experience when listening to music. Many who've adopted AirPods early generally have good things to say about them - at least those who've managed to not lose half of the pair yet (yes, it's happened)! When AirPods launched, their niche-ness led some to wonder if we'd ever see a second iteration. Well, based on a newly-granted patent, there's almost no doubt that we will in fact see a follow-up. An obvious concern with earbuds like these is that they have the capability of falling out during exercise, which... Read more...
American rock band OK Go is well known for shooting mind-boggling and eye-catching music videos. Their latest music video may be their best on yet. Their song “The One Moment” is a super-slow-motion 4-minute video shot captured in over just 4 seconds of real time.  Director Damian Kulash, Jr remarked, “The song ‘The One Moment’ is a celebration of (and a prayer for) those moments in life when we are most alive. For the video, we tried to represent this idea literally-- we shot it in a single moment. We constructed a moment of total chaos and confusion, and then unraveled that moment, discovering the beauty, wonder, and structure within.” The music video naturally required an immense amount... Read more...
Hush little baby, don't say a word. And never mind that noise you heard. Unless, of course, it's an array of screaming floppy disk drives cranking out the Metallica classic Enter Sandman. Everyone is going to have soundtracks that bring forth a deluge of memories from the past. Some might consider the Star Wars theme to be the ultimate for that. For metal fans in the 90s, Enter Sandman is going to be right on up there for many. Heck, it even managed to drive Megadeth's Dave Mustaine to begin Sweating Bullets a year after its release. However, this version of Sandman, may just top that for some of you.  At HotHardware, we love the creativity behind taking old-school computer equipment and... Read more...
Move over Spotify and scoot your booty Apple, you'll both need to make room for Amazon. The world's largest online retailer is now an official player in the streaming music business with Amazon Music Unlimited, an on-demand music service boasting "tens of millions of songs," hand-curated playlists, and personalized stations. Oh, and it's pricing plans are rather attractive, too. The streaming music field has become a bit crowded in recent years, but if there was one company in a position to make some noise, it was Amazon. And that's exactly what it's doing. Pricing is pretty standard at $9.99 per month for non-Prime members, but if you have a Prime subscription, you get a discounted rate of $7.99... Read more...
Somewhere along the line it was decided that $10 per month would be the standard rate for an unlimited streaming music subscription. Spotify and Apple Music both charge that amount for their base service, as do several others such as Rhapsody and Google Music. But is that too much for the general public at large? Amazon and Pandora seem to think so, as both are preparing to launch streaming services for as low as $5 per month.Pandora is a bit different than the other music services named. It's essentially an Internet radio model that learns what types of music you like and tries its best to play tracks it thinks you'll be into. Starting perhaps as early as this week, it will offer an expanded... Read more...
Nothing is simple when it comes to the music industry, especially where streaming is concerned. Ever since Napster originally hit the Internet and caused musicians, songwriters, and anyone else involved in the industry to see just how easy it is to share music online, there's been constant debate on how to better do things. We've even seen mega-stars like Taylor Swift chime in on various matters - something we've learned can have real effect. While it could be argued that Apple's size - and the amount of cash in its pocket - will keep it safe in the music industry while things continue to be debated, there are some companies that can only endure so much. Spotify is a great example of this, and... Read more...
Another week, another Windows 10 Insider Preview build! This time, Microsoft is only targeting users on the 'Fast' ring, meaning that the build should be considered bleeding-edge with the possibility of noticeable bugs being present. If you're not concerned with such things, build 14352 has a couple of cool treats in store. At the forefront, Cortana has received a big update, with Microsoft touting the ability to turn the AI assistant into a personal DJ. Through its Groove music service, Microsoft allows you to use Cortana to pick and choose something to play, and then control it. Commands such as "Hey Cortana, play Taylor Swift" or "Hey Cortana, play 'Party Songs'" can be used. You can also... Read more...
At the beginning of the month, Amazon announced that it was expanding its family of Alexa-enabled products with the Echo Dot, a $90 hockey puck-shaped device that brings the power of Alexa to your existing speakers, and Amazon Tap, a portable version of Echo. The latter is now available to purchase for $130 with free two-day shipping for Prime members. Unlike Echo, the Amazon Tap is battery powered, hence why it's portable. Amazon says it provides up to 9 hours of music playback, giving you ample time to hang out with friends on the beach and relax all day long, or keep the backyard barbecue going late into the night. When your guests leave, you can plop the speaker into its charging cradle and... Read more...
Several companies have tried to topple Spotify in the streaming music space, including bigwigs Microsoft (Groove, formerly Xbox Music) and Apple (Apple Music), yet it remains one of the most popular options out there. But lest Spotify rest on its laurels, there's another big name reportedly crashing the party—Amazon.Amazon already dabbles in streaming music, which it offers as a free perk to its Prime members. However, it's not an all-out streaming service and instead boasts a comparatively small library of 1 million songs. What Amazon has in store for the streaming music space is a standalone service similar to the competition.Apparently Amazon has been meeting with publishers to discuss licensing... Read more...
It's going to be a merry Christmas for fans of The Beatles. At long last, they'll be able to stream hundreds of songs from the iconic band through a choice of nine different streaming services, including Apple Music, Amazon Prime Music, Deezer, Google Play Music, Microsoft Groove, Napster, Slacker Radio, Spotify, and Tidal. The Beatles music has been curious absent from streaming services up to this point, and it was only in 2010 that the band's music finally made its way to iTunes, seven years after Apple introduced it to the world. It could (and still can) also be heard on YouTube, which boasts a pretty large collection of tracks. Beginning Christmas Eve at 12:01 AM (local time wherever you're... Read more...
A jury decided that Cox Communications should have to pay BMG $25 million for not doing more to prevent its subscribers from illegally downloading and sharing copyrighted music files. The award is less than a quarter of the maximum amount Cox could have been fined, though it's a huge blow to the ISP nonetheless. BMG took Cox Communications to court over allegations that it essentially ignored the illegal activity occurring on its network. It also took issue with the ISP failing to address repeat offenders by not sending notices to pirates or taking any action to stop some of them from sharing copyrighted songs through BitTorrent applications. "Cox not only knowingly provides the means by which... Read more...
Internet service providers (ISPs) and music labels alike are keeping a close eye on the outcome of a lawsuit BMG filed against Cox Communications. Following a week of trial hearings, BMG has asked the court to confirm that Cox failed to disprove that it's responsible for illegal sharing of copyrighted music that occurs on its network. If Cox is held responsible, it could face a fine of more than $200 million. That proposed amount takes into consideration 1,397 copyrighted songs that are part of the suit, each of which carries a maximum $150,000 in damages. All tallied, it comes to precisely $209,550,000, assuming a max penalty in each instance. BMG's lawsuit claims that tracking company Rightscorp... Read more...
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