Items tagged with music

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...
Apple users with massive libraries of songs now have a much higher ceiling when it comes to the number of tracks they're allowed to upload. As was previously promised just before Apple Music launched in late June, iTunes Match and Apple Music's scan-and-match feature now support match limits of up to 100,000 tracks.Previously Apple set the match limit at 25,000 songs, which for the average Joe is probably way more than enough. But for music lovers who've spent years amassing tracks, this is a big upgrade that should bring about a few smiles. Also, perhaps a few frowns from Android users -- Apple's new limit is twice as much as the 50,000 tracks supported by Google Play Music.It's taken a few... Read more...
Up to this point, Apple's been quiet on the virtual reality front - no doubt due to the fact that it has some not-so-super-secretive plans to jump into the automotive market soon. Well, it seems now is the right time to show off something VR-related, and to do so, the company has called-upon the help of its favorite band in the world, U2. Apple has worked with U2 quite a bit over the years, and given the band's pull, I'm sure its services are far from being pro bono. Last fall, Apple got into hot water after forcing an iTunes download of the band's latest album to user accounts, which to this day still seems like a baffling move. Nonetheless, it didn't affect the company's relationship with the... Read more...
We hate to admit it, but where old tech is concerned - tech we grew up with - not everyone feels nostalgic about it with completely fond memories. It could be because the newer tech is just so much better, or more common sense. Take the old IDE cable interface, for example. Plugging that thing in was a true chore. So too was the need of having to manually set the dip switch at the back to treat a drive either as a slave or master. Who ever thought that was level of complexity was a good thing? While the SATA connector dramatically improved our storage's I/O connection, so too did optical media serve as a better replacement for magnetic media with floppy drives. Floppies came in all shapes... Read more...
Loved today, hated tomorrow. That's how it goes on the Internet, which is made up of a fickle community of users that will turn on your in an instant if there's a perceived slight. Spotify, long considered one of the so called good guys of the Internet, is finding this out the hard way after making some key changes to its privacy policy. Spotify wants to collect certain information from your mobile device, including contacts, photos, and media files, all "with your permission," of course. What's more, Spotify puts the burden of local law on you, the user, to determine if that's a good idea and to "seek the consent of your contacts to provide their personal information to Spotify" if necessary.... Read more...
Proving once again that some lawmakers are still living in the stone age, the UK government has just reintroduced a law that deems ripping CDs and DVDs illegal. Want to toss that new album onto your MP3 player? Convert that DVD movie for viewing on the plane? No, and no. Don't even think about it. What's most ridiculous about this law is that it was remedied last fall, with "Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations 2014". That made it instantly legal for such personal ripping to occur, but as that has been effectively overturned, we're back at square one again. Flickr: Dave Allen There's not much that can be said here that's not blatantly obvious. Imagine... Read more...
Microsoft announced name changes for its Xbox music and video features this week as part of its overall effort to create a familiar experience for users across all devices when Windows 10 launches. The Xbox Music app will become Groove, while Xbox Video will become Movies & TV. In a sign of just how Windows 10-centric things have become in Redmond, the updated apps will first be available in Windows 10 and then roll out to other devices.Xbox Music will receive more than just a name change. Groove will have an updated user interface and better support for keyboard, mouse, and touch navigation. On the touch side of things, the app will let you pinch to zoom and drag your finger to pull tracks... Read more...
Given how much Apple Music has been in the news this month, it's almost hard to believe that the service has yet to launch. Tomorrow, that will change, as Apple will be rolling the service out for iOS, OS X, and Windows (Android support is coming this fall). In order to make sure you're ready for the service, you'll want to be running the latest version of iOS (8.4), or the latest version of iTunes on a computer. To reiterate the basics of the service, Apple Music will cost $9.99/mo for one individual, or $14.99 for a family of up to six members. As soon as you sign up, you'll be granted three-month free trial, which is hugely enticing... Read more...
How much pull does Taylor Swift have? As it turns out, a lot. Yesterday, we reported on Swift's open letter to Apple, in which she criticized the Cupertino company for not wanting to pay artists during the free trial period of its Apple Music service -- in effect, asking them to work for free. It didn't take long for the company to respond, with Apple SVP Eddy Cue confirming that artists will get paid during the free trial period. Credit: Eric Cable While the company hasn't made an official announcement, Apple's SVP Eddy Cue took to Twitter to spread the good news. He even gives a nod to the title of Swift's letter title, saying: "We hear you @taylorswift13... Read more...
Taylor Swift has become pretty vocal with her thoughts on the music industry's business practices this past year, most notably slamming Spotify for offering its users a free subscription option. Now, and perhaps not surprisingly, Swift has the upcoming Apple Music service and its free trial in her sights. In a Tumblr post, Swift reaffirms her admiration for Apple, but is disgusted at the idea that no artist will be paid during its three-month trial period. "I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company," Swift notes. Apple's move here is a bold one, because no one likes to work for free, and I'd imagine the feeling of being taken... Read more...
You know that feeling opponents would get when Michael Jordan used to step on the basketball court? We imagine that's what streaming services like Spotify and Rhapsody are feeling right about now as news spreads that Apple's about to become a direct competitor. Having built up iTunes into what it is today, Apple shouldn't have much trouble rolling out a streaming service that's capable of competing with established players. After all, iTunes is where most music is sold these days, and that's been true for very long time now. So even though Apple is late to the party, it has the advantage of being home to hundreds of millions of iTunes customers, many of which have already... Read more...
The people have spoken with their wallets, and what they've said is they prefer their tunes served up on a streaming platter. Or at least that's the message music lovers are sending to Warner Music Group, which for the first time saw its streaming music revenue skip ahead of revenue from selling song downloads last quarter. It's a fast growing category. Aided by popular services like Spotify, WMG said its streaming revenue grew 33 percent in the second quarter of its fiscal 2015. At the same time, Warner's digital revenue grew 7 percent overall, indicating that download sales went down during last quarter. It's a bit ironic given the tension between music labels and streaming services. Image... Read more...
For whatever reason, there are certain songs that, once heard, tend to play over and over again in your head. It's quite annoying, and try as you might, there's no easy way to purge the unwanted tune from memory, or so we've always thought. Well, guess what? Not only is it possible to get one of these so called "earworms" to wiggle on out, it's as simple as chewing on a stick of gum. So says a new study on the subject conducted by researchers at the University of Reading's Centre for Cognition Research and School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences. What the study found was that chewing on gum interferes with articulatory motor programming. In doing so, the number of unwanted musical... Read more...
No one except Apple itself knows when it's going to be relaunching its Beats Music service, but one thing we can feel pretty confident about is that when it launches, it's going to make a big impact. Apple doesn't do things small, and given its expertise in the digital music market, Beats Music could become a huge deal, and hit competitors right where it hurts. According to Re/code, Apple has a couple of ideas in mind that could help it stand out of the crowd. If we're talking about features that already exist, Apple simply wants to do them better better. For starters, depending on the negotiations it's able to make with music labels, Apple would like to offer a 1~3 month free trial period, which... Read more...
If a report this week by The Verge is accurate, Apple is quietly encouraging music labels to part ways with streaming music service Spotify. Apple is reportedly developing a Beats streaming service that would compete with the likes of Spotify and YouTube. The service is expected to appear in the next version of iOS, likely this summer. Apple’s efforts to undermine Spotify are apparently drawing some attention from the Department of Justice, which is already keeping an eye on Apple for past issues.  It’s easy to see how talking to music labels about their contracts with Spotify could raise questions for DOJ officials, but there has been no word on whether there is (or will be) any official... Read more...
If you like to rock out with your iPhone out (or any other iOS device), get ready for a visual change to your Music app when iOS 8.4 arrives. It's already out in the wild in beta form, and those who've played with the next version of Apple's mobile operating system note that the Cupertino outfit overhauled the Music app, both in terms of form and function.Apple describes the facelift as a "beautiful new design" in its release notes, adding that it's designed in a way that's supposed to make exploring your music collection easier and more fun. One way to do that is by personalizing your playlists by adding your own image and description. You can also see pictures of artists in the Artists view.It's... Read more...
Today (March 14) is a day when nerds, geeks, mathematicians, and pie lovers alike all celebrate Pi Day. This year is particularly special, as the sequence extends to the year as well -- 3.14.15, the first five digits of Pi's infinite range. Pretty cool, right? Microsoft thought so, and to celebrate the occasion, it's offering up a 12-month Xbox Music Pas for $31.41. "This subscription gives you access to millions of songs to play on your Xbox, the Web, or your Windows Phone, PC and tablet. This offer is good for new subscriptions and renewals of existing subscriptions," Microsoft stated in a blog post.That's a pretty swank deal if you're into Xbox Music, as the annual pass usually runs $99. The... Read more...
Pandora remains one of the most popular Internet radio stations out there and it's about to do something that could attract even more music listeners. During Pandora's investor day last Thursday, company executives said Pandora is likely to add a paid day pass to its service that would allow listeners to rock out with their cocktails out to ad-free music this summer. The thought process is that someone hosting a summer barbeque or pool party may want Pandora to DJ the event, but rather than pay $4.99 for a month-long Pandora One subscription, they'd be able to snag a 24-hour day pass for $0.99. That price isn't set in stone, though, and neither is the length of the pass -- Pandora is currently... Read more...
Long before there were smartphones and iPod devices, there was the Walkman, which allowed us to groove to Guns N' Roses belting out Paradise City and Sweet Child O' Mine while on the go. Of course, it was helpful to carry a pen or pencil in case those cassette tapes needed adjusting, but whatever, Sony changed the game with its Walkman. Well, the Walkman is making a comeback, though at around $1,200, it will attract an entirely new audience.It's also a different Walkman than the one you might remember (or heard about from your folks, depending on your age). Sony's new Walkman NW-ZX2 delivers High-Resolution audio to reproduce master quality recordings as artists intended for them to be heard.In... Read more...
The music industry has a history of fighting advances in technology, and rather than continue to do that, organizations like the RIAA and music labels in general would do well to pay attention to market trends and figure out ways to capitalize on them. Right now, the trend is towards streaming music -- downloaded album and song sales dropped sharply in 2014, while streaming services like Spotify are on the rise, according to data compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. Full album download sales declined 9 percent to 257 million albums in 2014, while individual song downloads dropped 12 percent to 106.5 million in the same time period. Interestingly enough, it's not just streaming... Read more...
With Google responsible for at least 50% of the world's search traffic, I think it's safe to say that the company knows what it's doing in search -- but that doesn't mean that its service can't be improved over time. No one seems to realize that better than Google itself, as we've seen many features rollout over the years that have been really useful. Personal favorites of mine have been on-demand sports scores, Wikipedia snippets, as well as flight information. This week, I can add another favorite to that list: lyrics. As I'm sure many of you have, I've turned to Google whenever I've needed to make sure that I've been singing a line correctly, or to figure out what's being... Read more...
Another year is almost in the books, but before we head into 2015, Spotify took a stroll down memory lane and revealed what we collectively listened to most this past year, which turned out to be Ed Sheeran. He beat out Eminem, Calvin Harris, Avicii, and David Guetta (in that order) for top male artist on the streaming service, while Katy Perry vibrated our eardrums more than any other female artist.The rest of the top 5 in the female category include Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey, Beyonce, and Lorde. Unfortunately, Spotify doesn't include the exact number of times each artist was streamed, so it's impossible to compare Katy Perry to Ed Sheeran, or to know if the top 5 groups (Coldplay, Imagine... Read more...
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