Beats Music updated with subscriptions via in-app purchase, Facebook friend search, and a lot more

Beats Music for iOS was updated today to version 1.0.7, but don’t let the minor version number bump fool you: this update has a lot of new stuff, including an entirely new subscription model, packed in.

The biggest news in this update is the option to purchase a subscription directly from the iTunes Store through an in-app purchase. Previously users had to add the Beats Music service to their carrier phone bill in order to enjoy the full feature set, such as on-demand streaming music and downloads.

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Apple and Shazam planning to team up for music identification feature built into iOS

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Apple and Shazam are teaming up to build a music identification feature natively into iOS, according to a Bloomberg report. The feature will allow users to find the name and artist of a song that’s playing, likely with the option to download the song from the iTunes Store or create an new iTunes Radio station.

Unlike some of Apple’s other music-releated features (such as Podcasts and iTunes U), the system will be built into the OS directly rather than require a separate download. So far there isn’t any confirmation of whether this feature will appear in iOS 8 or a later version, but with WWDC right around the corner, Apple will need to work quickly to secure the deal if the feature is to be announced with the next-gen software update.

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Apps, rather than streaming music, may be responsible for ‘peak iTunes’ – analyst

We noted at the end of last year that iTunes music downloads appeared to be on the decline for the first time, a shift that was confirmed this month. The operating assumption has so far been that music streaming services are taking over, and that a growing number of consumers are now content to simply have on-demand access to music, rather than to own it.

Asymco’s Horace Dediu, an analyst who often has interesting things to say, has suggested an alternative explanation: that we’re actually listening to less music …  Read more

Apple launches Best of 2013 page on iTunes, highlights top music, apps, books, and more

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Apple has just published its Best of 2013 page, highlighting some of the most popular music, movies, TV shows, iOS apps, ebooks, and podcasts from the past year. In the music section, Lorde’s “Royals” took the pick for Song of the Year, while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist was named Best Album.

Gravity, the box office hit starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, was named Movie of the Year. Despite the confusion it caused when its final season was broken into two separate purchases earlier this year, Breaking Bad was Apple’s pick for Show of the Year.

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