Items tagged with music

If you're tired of waiting for an album to ship to actually hear what has already been mixed and mastered, you're in luck. If you're a Pandora user, that is. Pandora Premieres launched this week, giving listeners the chance to hear select albums up to seven days before those albums are destined to hit store shelves. With Internet radio, music streaming and digital sales overtaking physical CD sales, it's things like this that are apt to keep people coming back. Pandora Premieres will feature previews from a wide variety of artists, both established and emerging, across multiple genres, up to one week prior to the scheduled U.S. launch date. Listeners can enjoy these early album releases simply... Read more...
The world needs another paid streaming music service like it needs, well, another paid streaming music service, but let's not be pessimistic about a possible newcomer in Google, as is rumored to be the case. We'll know more as Google I/O progresses, though for now, word on the web is that Google is throwing its trombone into the paid streaming music arena, and there's reason why Spotify and others should take notice. After speaking with "people familiar with the matter," The Wall Street Journal reports Google has already inked deals with Universal Music Group (UMG), Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group. Google's services would, for a fee, provide users with unlimited access to a collection... Read more...
The RIAA isn't an entity that's looked fondly upon by many consumers, given that they've been pretty bent on making it difficult for consumers looking to purchase music legally in the digital age. Granted, we're (mostly) out of the DRM era, but those memories remain for many. Despite that, the RIAA is still an important association in the grand scheme of the music universe, particularly when it comes to counting sales and pointing to albums and artists having the broadest impact. In a move that shows the association becoming more at peace with the digital shift, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today announced the integration of streams to its historic Gold & Platinum... Read more...
In the ever-changing world of streaming music, Slacker has made a name for itself. And that name is getting bigger. Since re-launching in February, the music service has revealed its latest audience growth figures, adding over six million new users in that span. Here are a few tidbits from the company. Since mid-February, new users are coming, they're listening longer, and they're subscribing: · More than six million new listeners joined, with 3.5 million on mobile · People have increased average listening time by 25 percent · Slacker is now installed on more than three times as many iOS devices · Rocking the charts, Slacker is consistently ranked among the top three... Read more...
In retrospect, it was only a matter of time until Twitter created a music service based on trends and engagement, and Twitter #music looks to be a service that suits the social platform quite well. The service officially launches today--the site is now love--and is also available as a separate iPhone app. The idea behind Twitter #music is simple; it detects and “surfaces” the most popular tracks and artists based on various types of Twitter activity. Music that emerges on #music is currently pulling from iTunes, Spotify, and Rdio, although Twitter says that it’s looking at additional music service providers, as well. If you want to check out tracks by those you follow on Twitter,... Read more...
Despite the huge success of iTunes as a distribution model for music, Apple is certainly feeling the heat from several streaming music services, most notably Pandora and Spotify. The Cupertino company is widely rumored to be developing a similar music service of its own, and according to the Verge’s “multiple sources”, deals between Apple and music labels Universal and Warner could wrap up as early as this week. The so-called iRadio service (even though that name is already taken) could roll out this year (or even this summer), and it would provide intriguing competition in the streaming Internet music radio space. Pandora and Spotify, for as excellent as both services are,... Read more...
Twitter started as a social network. Now, it's both a communication tool and a news delivery service. But what will it evolve into? As the company strives to pick up revenues, the sky seems to be the limit. This week, Twitter acquired a unique company with a unique name: We Are Hunted. In a nutshell, We Are Hunted was a music discovery engine, and we use the term "was" because We Are Hunted is shutting things down immediately in order to work with its new overlord. The team intends to continue creating new products in the music arena, but they'll be channeled via Twitter -- in other words, you can't just use We Are Hunted's services without also using Twitter. In recent months, Twitter has also... Read more...
Pandora revealed some impressive numbers today, starting with the fact that the streaming music service is now home to 200 million registered users. It took six years for Pandora to go from 0 to 100 million listeners after it launched in 2005, and then was able to double that number in less than two years. "When we launched Pandora in 2005, we hoped to create a new way to discover and enjoy music that was completely personalized for each and every listener. We envisioned a time when artists of all kinds would thrive on radio, connecting with fans who loved exactly their kind of music," Pandora founder Tim Westergren stated in a blog post. "I have to admit, we had no idea what was in store! I... Read more...
With BBM Music shutting down after just a year and a half, allow Nokia and Microsoft to showcase a music service heading in the opposite direction -- away from the grave. This week, the Nokia Music app for the desktop and tablet editions of Windows 8 was launched, enabling Music+ subscribers to squeeze even more out of the service. Nokia’s head of music, Mike Bebel, had this to say: "When we launched Nokia Music+, the improvements were all designed around consumer feedback. So what did the biggest fans of the free Nokia Music service want most to take it to the next level? What people wanted most were unlimited skips, more offline storage, access to lyrics and the ability to use the service... Read more...
Cars were once a technological wasteland. Brand new vehicles, with ancient technology. And while modern cars still lack modern tech appointments, the gap is getting a bit less wide of late. Volvo just announced a voice-activated music system in conjunction with Spotify. It's fully integrated into the dash through Volvo's Sensus Connected Touch solution, making it both voice activated and touch enabled. The new system allows drivers to be able to stream music with a 3G/4G dongle or via the driver's mobile phone connection through their dashboard. Drivers will be able to play any Spotify track they want just by just saying its name, allowing car owners the ability to remain connected when driving.... Read more...
When is a music-streaming service not officially a music-streaming service? When it's YouTube. Even though the service has had the primary goal of allowing people to upload their own videos, YouTube quickly became a haven for music - music either uploaded by fans, or the record labels themselves. Music is now huge on YouTube, even though services like Spotify, Last.fm, Pandora and so on all exist. I even have friends who've spent time crafting playlists for music on the service, just because of how convenient it is. So isn't it about time, then, that Google launch an official music-streaming extension of YouTube? Well, it should come as little surprise that Google has been planning this... Read more...
Microsoft has confessed that the Xbox 360 has been undergoing a makeover for the past few years -- a transition from a pure gaming console into an entertainment console. In fact, gaming consoles on the whole are now expected to serve double-duty in a lot of ways, and Microsoft seems to be leading a lot of those charges. This week, Slacker has made itself available for the Xbox 360 console, allowing Xbox LIVE subscribers in the U.S. and Canada to listen to millions of songs and hundreds of expert-programmed stations for free, including a new video game music station curated by popular gaming culture blog, Destructoid. The app is now available through the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Slacker for Xbox... Read more...
The music streaming market is already kind of crowded (and Spotify might have already perfected it, obviating the need for any more players anyway), but because Google is Google, the company is reportedly in talks with music labels to develop its own music streaming service. According to the Financial Times, Google’s service would more or less be the same model as Spotify, including offering both a free ad-based version and an unlimited-streaming paid tier. Part of the necessary infrastructure is already built because of Google Music, but evolving from an upload or buy-and-stream service to one where a user can stream from a massive online library of tunes is a major move. Google Music... Read more...
Ever heard of Gracenote? Chances are your ears have heard its work, and your eyes have seen its magic, even if you weren't aware. Back in the day, those who popped CDs into CD-ROM drives and ripped 'em to iTunes would need Gracenote's expertise to automatically add metadata to those tracks. The company actually does quite a bit more than that these days, and it's about to put a lot of its future into the bright minds and able hands of developers. The Gracenote Developer program launched today, making the company's music APIs and SDKs available for developers. This opens the world's largest and most trusted source of music metadata and music recognition technology to developers who are building... Read more...
Microsoft has put a huge amount of effort, money, time, and resources into pumping up the Windows Phone Store. And there's no question as to why. Apple and Google both enjoy remarkably robust app marketplaces, and in the war of ecosystems, having an enviable app store goes a long way to attracting new users. Now, Windows Phone has yet another flagship app in its pocket: Spotify. What has become the most talked-about music streaming app in the U.S. now has a home on Windows Phone 8, and we'd guess that it'll surpass Microsoft's own music app in a short period of time. The initial release is just a beta, but it'll still let users create their own playlists, discover new artists, and enjoy offline... Read more...
For as much criticism as iTunes consistently receives, it hasn't prevented music lovers from downloading songs time and again. Just the opposite, Apple today announced that music fans have purchased and downloaded more than 25 billion songs from the iTunes Store to date. In case you're curious, the 25 billionth song was "Monkey Drums" by Chase Buch. Phillip Lüpke, who purchased the milestone track, will receive a €10,000 (he's from Germany) iTunes Gift Card for his impeccable timing. "We are grateful to our users whose passion for music over the past 10 years has made iTunes the number one music retailer in the world," said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software... Read more...
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will return to the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 10, airing live on CBS from 8-11:30 PM, but might we already know the winners? We would if it were up to Spotify users! The streaming music service analyzed its data streams to predict which nominees would walk away with gilded gramophones. For the Album of the Year category, Spotify's data suggests Mumford & Son's folk album Babel is a lock, beating out rock albums from The Black Keys and Jack White, and breakouts from Fun. and Frank Ocean. Goyte featuring Kimbra will snag both Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance with "Somebody That I Used to Know," while The Lumineers will... Read more...
The music business is a drastically different one now than it was even a decade ago. Slowly but surely, many entities tied to the record and music industry are shifting to take the new realities into account, and this week, Billboard announced that it would do likewise. The new Billboard.com finally gets with the Internet age, acknowledging music streaming as a major component to what's hot and trending. The company has added playable charts into the mix, with one-click access to hit playlists using Spotify, MySpace or Rdio players. There's also the opportunities to watch recent videos via VEVO, and easily use the Web to sift through 180,000 archival charts. It's doubtful that streaming music... Read more...
Streaming music is a happening thing these days. While the record stores of yesteryear aren't apt to ever return in full force, the streaming generation is most certainly ushering in a new way of listening to music. Rdio is one name that's making big waves along with iTunes and Spotify, and soon, it'll be delighting users in ever more parts of the globe. The service is now offering music lovers up to six months of free music on the Web in nearly all countries where Rdio is available. New Rdio listeners can sign up and activate free streaming at rdio.com, with no credit card required, then dive right into Rdio's library of over 18 million songs. The nation list now includes UK, Australia, Canada,... Read more...
These days, it's tough to find a major consumer electronics company that doesn't have its hand in the music world. From Apple to Samsung to Microsoft, music is now a pretty common card to play. Nokia's no different. The company already had the Nokia Music platform, but now, it's pulling a Google by tossing a "+" sign onto the end of it and sprucing things up a bit. Nokia Music+ is a new subscription-based service that costs just €3.99/$3.99 per month. For those that love the original free Mix Radio service, it will remain intact – this is all about adding extra. By introducing features like infinite skips and unlimited downloads, the service is expanding in a way that'll make it more... Read more...
One of the oldest written songs in history is the Hurrian Hymn to Nikkal. It's inscribed on a clay tablet and dates back to 1400 BC. Unfortunately, you can't build a radio station around the 3,400-year-old song on Pandora, but there are plenty of alternatives. In fact, music lovers listened to over 1 million different songs by over 100,000 different artists on Pandora in 2012, the Internet radio service claims. "A belated happy new year to our listeners! We hope you've hit the ground running in 2013. At the end of each year at Pandora we always pause to take a look back. We have much to be thankful for, but the passion and joy we feel from our listeners is at the top of our list. Thank you for... Read more...
While it's pretty hard to get a leg-up in a music industry that's already saturated by mega-corporations, Rhapsody has done a fine job of keeping up. And now, there's a deal out there that'll surely have MetroPCS fans thinking twice before spending another dollar on iTunes or Spotify. The two have partnered to introduce a new mobile music offer: a $5 unlimited on-demand plan for monthly subscribers. Available now, MetroPCS customers can add Rhapsody for $5 to its newly simplified $40, $50 and $60 monthly smartphone plans. "We are thrilled to work with MetroPCS to bring on-demand music to the consumer with these amazing plans," said Jon Irwin, president, Rhapsody. "The future of digital music... Read more...
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