Apple and U2 reportedly working on ‘secret project’ to bolster music sales

u2

According to TIME, U2’s partnership with Apple goes far beyond a free album in your iTunes library, much to the chagrin of some users. The group is reportedly working with Apple on a ‘secret project’ to rejuvenate digital music scales.

Details, however, are thin on the ground. Bono is quoted as saying he is developing a new music format that will somehow inspire consumers to buy complete albums once more. Without more information, it’s impossible to tell whether this is a silly pipe dream or an actual possibility. In the age of streaming music, the sales potential for individually bought songs is waning.

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Apple’s digital stores face second outage this week across all platforms (update: resolved)

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Earlier this week, iOS users discovered that the App Store was experiencing some technical issues that caused every item for sale to become unavailable. Now, only two days later, the company’s status page indicates that the App Store on Mac and iOS, iBooks Store, and various iTunes services such as the music store and Radio, are all suffering from even more downtime.

According to the status page, the issues first cropped up around 4:30 PM and have persisted for about three hours so far. A notice on the page states that only “some users” are having difficulty accessing the store, but there’s no mention of exactly how many users could be impacted.

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Rdio preps revamped music streaming app with a focus on free stations

The Rdio music streaming service is preparing to release an updated version of its mobile app later today will place a new focus on its free “stations” feature as competitors like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple’s one-two punch of iTunes Radio and Beats Music crank up the pressure on the service.

Rdio claims its free music library is as much as fifteen times bigger than those of competing apps. Like other online radio services, the new Rdio will automatically create playlists and stations from that library based on a user’s music preferences. Curated stations from musicians and other celebrities will also be available, much like in iTunes Radio.

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Plácido Domingo to close iTunes Festival on September 30, show kicking off today with deadmau5

iTunes Festival London

Placido Domingo has been announced as the final closing act for Apple’s iTunes Festival London. Apple has also added a few more acts than what had been previously announced, to round out the lineup. This includes The Mirror Trap, Friend Within and the London Electronic Orchestra.

The month-long festival starts today at 9 PM UK time (1 PM PST), with ‘Deadmau5′ headlining Monday’s show. A full schedule can be found online at http://itunesfestival.com.

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Apple Store promoting upcoming iTunes Festival w/ pins and wristbands, music-related events

iTunes Festival London

After bringing the iTunes Festival to the US earlier this year at Austin SXSW, Apple’s annual music event in London kicking off next week has been the focus of much of the company’s attention recently. Earlier this week, Apple’s newly acquired Beats Music began promoting the iTunes Festival with a contest within the app to attend the festival.

Apple will also use its retail stores to further promote the event with iTunes Festival Pins to be worn by retail employees to “spark conversation about the event,” according to an internal document obtained by 9to5Mac. Retail employees will also receive iTunes Festival wristbands and redemption codes for music. Select Apple Stores will also host “music-related events” with local artists, according to the document. Read more

Apple promoting iTunes Festival contest within Beats Music in push for new users

Beats Music iTunes Festival

In addition to updating the iTunes Festival lineup with new acts including Ed Sheeran and deadmau5 and reviving the Apple TV channel for viewing the concert on-demand and live, Apple’s recently acquired Beats Music is now promoting the iTunes Festival with a contest to attend the music festival in London. While tickets to Apple’s annual music event are free for attendees (and very limited), the contest by Beats Music to attend the iTunes Festival covers airfare both to and from London.

The promotion of the iTunes Festival in London by Beats Music, which requires users to download and sign up for the Beats Music service, is the latest in series of moves by Apple to promote Beats since Beats Electronics and Beats Music officially joined Apple earlier this month.

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Capo touch brings music learning to iOS, Mac version adds iCloud Sync and more

Capo touch

Earlier this year we showed you Capo, the software that turns your iTunes library into songs you can learn to play on guitar, when version 3.0 of the music learning software for Mac was released. Today SuperMegaUltraGroovy is releasing the first mobile version of that powerful software for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and the developers are updating the Mac version with brand-new features as well.

Using Capo touch on iOS is as simple and easy as you would expect featuring super fast access to music stored locally on your device with cool features like the ability to speed up and slow down music as well as suppress the vocals of a song to focus on the music. Read more

Rap Genius now lets you annotate, copy, and paste lyrics and news from your iPhone

The popular lyrics and annotation site Rap Genius launched its iPhone app earlier this year, and today it released a big update. The latest version of Genius by Rap Genius, version 1.5, now lets you create annotations to content directly from your phone. Previously you could only view annotations from the mobile app. The update also adds another desired feature: copy and paste support. Now you can finally highlight lyrics, copy them, and paste them somewhere else on your iPhone as you would expect. Read more

iTunes Radio streaming is now free on T-Mobile, other services also included

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T-Mobile has just announced at its “Uncarrier 5.0″ event (which apparently double as the Uncarrier 6.0 event) that all streaming music services will now be free to stream on T-Mobile, including iTunes Radio. This also applies to Pandora, iHeartRadio, Slacker Radio, and Spotify.

Any streaming you do will always be done over the company’s fastest available network, and won’t count towards your high-speed data limit.

Customers can visit T-Mobile’s website to request new services to be added to the “music freedom” selection. As streaming services gain votes, they will be added to the program.

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How-to: Unofficial tool allows you to import iTunes and Rdio Playlists to Beats Music

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While Beats Music will soon be owned by Apple, the music service does not easily integrate with iTunes. For instance, there is no official Beats tool to link your iTunes library for streaming from Beats Music. However, an unofficial tool called Beats Importer is a temporary solution that seems to work well for adding iTunes and Rdio Playlists to your Beats Music library. We’ve compiled a tutorial for importing your iTunes Playlists to Beats Music, below:

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Cue praises Beats curated playlists and headphones; Iovine disses Apple’s EarPods

Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Apple, Beats Music, Code Conference(Image via Re/code)

It’s typical in any acquisition for both parties to sing the praises of their new partner, and Eddy Cue was certainly playing his part at Re/code’s Code Conference, saying that Beats’ curated playlists were a key strength and would help music grow again. As Mark Gurman reported in his live blog coverage at Code Conference:

Cue said Apple bought Beats because “music is dying. It hasn’t been growing.” He said combining the two companies will help it grow again [...]

Cue said what makes Beats good is that it provides users with curated playlists.

He said: “When you bring what Beats has got and what we’ve got it’s not two plus two is four. It’s something much more than that” …

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