Items tagged with music

As part of a massive holiday giveaway promotion, Microsoft is offering over 100 MP3 albums through its Music Deals app for free to everyone. That is, everyone who uses Windows 8 or owns a Windows Phone.The promotion is available for a limited time but it is worth taking advantage of. Country, Rock and Roll, Rap, and Pop music are just some of the genres available in the collection Microsoft is offering. Among the free albums are ones from artists such as Eminem, The Rolling Stones, Linkin Park, Mumford & Sons, Lana Del Ray, U2, Stone Temple Pilots, Faith Hill, The Who, Bon Jovi, The Doobie Brothers, Katy Perry, and many more.In order to bolster your music collection, not only will you need... Read more...
Robots... they're taking over! That's a refrain we've heard for years, of course, but you have to wonder how close we're actually getting when they start to appear in popular music videos. Honda's Uni-Cub, described as a 360-degree personal mobility device, is shown front-and-center in OK Go's latest music video. Granted, the band has a penchant for oddities when it comes to crafting videos to showcase their songs, but this is certainly one of the most interesting uses to date. The song, "I Won't Let You Down," has been viewed over 11 million times on YouTube, and much of the attention has come to the robot within. In the video, OK Go's members ride the Uni-Cub in a synchronized maneuver with... Read more...
Apple took the world by surprise when the company bought the Beats brand for $3 billion earlier this year, which remains the Cupertino outfit's largest acquisition to date. Now the big question is, what will Apple do with the Beats Music portion of that acquisition? We've heard a few different rumors, the most recent of which is that Apple will relaunch Beats Music as part of iTunes next year to bolster the latter's declining music sales. That's the word from The Wall Street Journal, which spoke with a person who is supposedly familiar with Apple's streaming music strategy. While nothing is yet official, integrating the two brands is at least plausible, considering that music sales at the iTunes... Read more...
Earlier this year, Google acquired a company by the name of Songza. Now, we're seeing some fruits of the integration. Playlists have become awfully important for all music apps, from Beats to Rhapsody to Pandora. And now, Google Play Music is joining the fun with curated music stations that respond to whatever it is that you're presently doing. The only major catch? It's just available to All Access members that pay a monthly subscription fee, so those who use the free version of the service won't be able to partake. Here's a description of what's new, right from Google itself: "If you’re a Google Play Music subscriber, next time you open the app you’ll be prompted to play music for... Read more...
Don't look now, but we might be on the verge of a price war in the streaming music space. Music labels probably won't let that happen to the degree that we'd like, though if Apple is successful in relaunching its Beats Music subscription service at $5 per month as it reportedly wants to do, labels and music artists will feel the pressure from competing services like Spotify to follow suit. News of what Apple is trying to do comes just hours after Spotify announced a new family plan starting at $14.99 per month for two users. Each additional user runs another $5 per month for their own Premium plan (a $9.99 value), and you can have up to five users total, billed together but each with their own... Read more...
The search game is changing as Google makes a concerted effort to cut down on music piracy while simultaneously helping to promote legitimate download sites like Netflix and Google Play. In keeping with its transparent theme, Google spelled out some specific changes it's making (as well as already made) to search in an updated How Google Fights Piracy report. So, what can you expect? One of the things Google has been doing is experimenting with its ad formats. The sultan of search wants to make it easier for people to find legitimate sources of media. And for the "relatively small number" of search queries for movies that use terms like "download," "free," or "watch," Google's ads will point... Read more...
Online services are slowing coming around to the idea that not all of its customers are single users who never learned how to share. The latest to experience this epiphany is Spotify, which is rolling out a discounted family plan for multiple member households. With Spotify Family, up to four members can share a single billing account while keeping music listening preferences separate. Each person on a Spotify Family plan has a separate listening history, recommendations, and playlists -- everyone has their own account, in other words. These are Premium level accounts, too. That means you and little Billy can both listen to music offline, play any song at any time on any device, and not be bothered... Read more...
U2’s collaboration goes way beyond the album Apple forced on iPhone users at the launch event. According to a report in TIME, the band and tech company have been working on a project that could give bands a new way to deliver albums to their audiences. Hopefully, this new album format doesn’t involve auto-downloads. Itunes already puts album artwork front-and-center. The new album format Apple and U2 are developing is expected to make new uses of album artwork. Image credit: Apple People involved in the project are stressing that, although this new format is expected to be difficult to pirate, it’s not based on major new technology. Instead, the new format is based on presenting... Read more...
In a new interview with Esquire, legendary rocker Gene Simmons claims that the music industry isn't dying - it's been dead for quite some time. As the interview was conducted by Gene's 25-year-old son Nick, it seems inevitable that file-sharing would be brought into the discussion, and it was. But despite that, this isn't a simple matter of an old crank complaining about the younger generation - he does make some great points. When asked about what advice he'd give starting musicians, Simmons replied, "Don't quit your day job is a good piece of advice. When I was coming up, it was not an insurmountable mountain. Once you had a record company on your side, they would fund you, and that also meant... Read more...
The streaming music landscape isn't getting any less competitive -- just the opposite -- so in order to remain relevant in what's become a fast growing market, Rdio reportedly will join some of its more popular competitors by launching a free, ad-supported radio service. Rdio's transition to a freemium model will kick off with an updated app next Thursday. The four-year-old service faces stiff competition from the likes of Spotify, Google Play Music All Access, Beats Music (now owned by Apple), and others. It's available in 60 countries, though presumed to have less paying subscribers than Spotify (10 million) and Rhapsody (2 million). Rdio, which was founded by the creators of Skype, hopes that... Read more...
It's long been rumored that Google would offer some kind of streaming music service through its YouTube division, but with the release of Google Play Music All Access, it seemed as though YouTube was destined to remain a video sharing site. Perhaps not. We're now hearing that YouTube will launch a service called YouTube Music Key with ad-free music, audio-only playback (for enjoying in the background or listening with the screen turned off), and offline playback. Where does that leave Google's existing music service? We're not entirely sure, though according to Android Police, Google is going to rebrand its terribly named Google Play Music All Access to a slightly less terrible Google Play Music... Read more...
Valve's Steam digital distribution platform is the go-to place for games, and there's even been an effort to flesh it out with creativity and productivity software. Now there's evidence to suggest that Valve may take things a step further by adding new types of content, including film, TV series, videos, music, and plugins. Could it be that Steam is growing into something much bigger than a game library? It's too early to tell, but what's out there is certainly interesting. Credit goes to SteamDB for digging through the recent Steam Beta update and noticing several new application-type IDs, such as the ones referenced above. It makes sense, given Valve's aggressive push to land Steam in your... Read more...
It looks like Apple's first order-of-business following its $3 billion Beats acquisition will be to tell about 200 people to, ahem, beat it. Apple's no doubt been very hard at work since it made its announcement of its desire to purchase Beats public, and it's no surprise: This isn't exactly a small acquisition. At quick glance, it might look like bad form for Apple to get rid of 200 people from a company it's just acquired, but the sad fact of the matter is, there will be far too much positional overlapping. For example, those to be culled include human resources, finance, and support - all areas that Apple has easily covered. Things are not all that bad, however. Apple has promised to take... Read more...
Are you looking to listen to music to fit your energetic mood this morning? Perhaps there will soon be an option to do that on Google Play Music All Access. We can only assume that's part of Google's end-game for acquiring Songza, a streaming music startup similar to Pandora that's based out of New York City. Songza's twist in the streaming music scene is that it boasts "expert-made playlists for every occasion." For example, there's a Moods category that lets you select playlists based on how you're feeling, be it cocky, introspective, seductive, spacey, or any of the 32 available moods. Other categories include Activities, Genres, and Decades, each of which is filled with dozens of sub-categories,... Read more...
Google's billion dollar purchase of YouTube was certainly a wise buy, but it's been some time now since the service has innovated in a huge way -- particularly on the financial front. Now, according to reports, YouTube is planning to launch a paid streaming music service. Though it may be tough to believe, YouTube is actually a primary source of music listening for many nations around the world. If you want to hear a song, just search for it on YouTube and either listen to the video or listen to a clip uploaded from a fan. However, YouTube has faced lots of criticism over the years from music labels who suspect that uploads don't agree to their terms. With this service, YouTube would be partnering... Read more...
Clear Channel has reason to celebrate today. It's iHeartRadio streaming radio service just surpassed 50 million registered users, a feat that took just three years to accomplish. To put that into perspective, iHeartRadio's rise to 50 million users came faster than it did for rival Pandora, as well as couple of social networking services you might have heard of -- Facebook and Twitter. Pandora still has the lead with around 250 million registered users, but clearly iHeartRadio is not to be ignored in the online radio space. And while Pandora has the present advantage in number of users, iHeartRadio offers a bit more in terms of features. In addition to evolving music playback based on your likes,... Read more...
LeBron James is on top of the world. As you're reading this, he's preparing to play Game 4 in the NBA Finals, the world's largest stage for basketball. He's paid well -- extremely well -- to go out there and put a ball through a hoop, but it's his endorsements and investments that bring in the serious money. For example, when Apple acquired Beats Electronics for $3 billion last month, Sir James opted to sell his stake in the company for a cool $30 million. That's about $11 million more than what he'll make playing for the Miami Heat this year. That's also more than half of everything he earned in 2013, which included about $19 million in salary with the Heat and $39 million in various sponsorships.... Read more...
We’ve been getting used to billion-dollar-plus acquisitions lately, and thus a rumor that Google is in talks to buy streaming music service Songza for just $15 million doesn’t quite make ones eyes pop, but it’s still noteworthy that the search giant is working to enhance its product offerings. It would seem that the current Google Play Music streaming service, with its $9.99 per month All Access plan, needs some spicing up in the form of better playlists. With oceans of music available, many people rely on pre-curated playlists--sometimes made by celebrities or popular musicians--to keep up on the hottest new tunes. Songza has evolved into a music streaming service that only... Read more...
It would appear that Amazon is on a mission to make its Amazon Prime service the end-all-be-all package for entertainment and convenience. Amazon Prime members already receive free and discounted expedited shipping options, unlimited streaming of a vast catalog of movies and TV shows, free Kindle ebook rentals, and other benefits. On top of it all, word on the web is that Amazon wants to offer streaming music as part of the deal. According to BuzzFeed, Amazon has already inked agreements with major labels to add a bunch of old and newer music for existing Amazon Prime members to stream on demand, similar to how Prime Instant Video works. This is a crowded and competitive space Amazon is getting... Read more...
Spotify has proven to be quite a popular streaming service since its launch in 2008, as the company announced today that it has reached 10 million paying subscribers. That’s 10 million people across 56 markets paying for the Premium level of the music streaming service that lets you find and play virtually any song on any connected device at any time; download tracks for offline listening; and enjoy it all with no ads and no contracts. In the U.S., you’ll pay $9.99 per month for the privilege, although of course Spotify still offers a free option for plenty of users. There are 40 million active users total, in fact, that enjoy Spotify. “We’ve had an amazing year, growing... Read more...
Don't call it a... ringback? The tones that were frequently played back on dumbphones never really found their way into the smartphone realm, but that's changing. RealNetworks has announced plans to launch a "Listen" app for iPhone, Android, and mobile web in order to give callers the ability to pipe music to the ears of the folks that they're calling. In other words, it allows them to dictate how the ring sounds on the other end. It's still a multi-billion dollar business on the dumbphone front, and RealNetworks is hoping to capture some of that momentum on the smartphone front as well. The app is expected to launch in the United Kingdom later this month, with a U.S. release slated for next... Read more...
The sands of the ever-fickle music industry are shifting again, and this time it’s Apple that has to scramble to adjust. Once the king of digital downloads, Apple is facing a reported double-digit drop in music sales, largely because of competition from streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify. In response, Apple is considering launching a Spotify-like service of its, according to three sources who spoke to Billboard. Apple already has its iTunes Radio which is more similar to Pandora than Spotify, but Apple may have outsmarted itself by building in too many features to the service to make it quite as carefree to enjoy as some other options. Further, there have apparently been some... Read more...
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