Music January 19

AAPL: 96.66

-0.47
Stock Chart

Apple continues to talk high praise of Apple Music, most recently leaking that the service has 10 million paying subscribers, but it has remained somewhat quiet about its Beats 1 online 24/7 radio station. Beats 1 launched to much fanfare with Zane Lowe leading the effort, and while it seems to be doing decently, it isn’t a sensation in the music business yet. It’s especially timely to talk about Beats 1 now that Apple has retired the iTunes Radio ad-supported stations, leaving Beats 1 as the only way to get free streaming music from Apple. I’m intrigued by the uptake of the station — there’s a poll to find out how often you tune in below the break — as it seems Beats 1 has an awareness issue.

I tend to like the music that is played but I just forget to tune in. I think Beats 1 is good but Apple needs to support it better within iOS and iTunes to make it stickier. Here are some suggestions …

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Music January 12

AAPL: 99.96

1.43
Stock Chart

A new patent awarded to Apple today suggests that the company’s audio plans for future iPhones may go beyond reportedly ditching the 3.5mm headphone socket in favor of Lightning and Bluetooth. The patent is very densely-worded, but seemingly describes a method of getting higher-quality and higher-volume audio from speakers built into slimmer devices.

Apple’s statement of the problem is clear enough.

Given the area constraints imposed on many portable electronic devices, it is increasingly difficult to provide high-quality audio sound output and pickup without hindering the ability to make portable electronic devices smaller and thinner. Consequently, there is a need for improved approaches to provide high-quality audio sound output and/or pickup from portable electronic devices as they get smaller and thinner.

The language describing Apple’s proposed solution is less clear, but from a combination of this and the accompanying diagrams, I at least have a working theory of what is being suggested …

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Music December 30, 2015

AAPL: 107.32

-1.42
Stock Chart

Prior to the launch of Apple Music, I had a Spotify Premium subscription. Although I listened to my own music a good 80% of the time, I considered the equivalent of one album purchase a month to be decent value to have access to other music when I felt like something new.

But while Spotify didn’t much change the way I listened to music, Apple Music really has. Its ‘For You’ recommendations – especially the playlists – are so good that the 20% streaming I used to do has now grown to 50%. As I mentioned in my Apple Music Diary series, the service has introduced me to more new artists I really like than Spotify did in all the years I used it – despite my initial concerns that it wouldn’t do so.

But the very effectiveness of Apple Music in introducing me to so much new music has thrown up a couple of problems …

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9to5toys 

Music December 25, 2015

AAPL: 108.03

-0.58
Stock Chart

One of the most common gifts every year is an iTunes gift card. For the techie that already has everything, it’s often the gift that many give out of a lack of other options. Nevertheless, it’s a gift that any iOS user will certainly put to use. iTunes gift cards can be used for basically anything, including music, movies, apps, TV shows, and subscriptions. If you’ve got some money to spend on iTunes now thanks to a gift card, keep reading for some of the best things on which to spend it…

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Music December 22, 2015

AAPL: 107.23

-0.10
Stock Chart

Update: It’s now official.

Building on a report from Billboard last week, Re/code now says that starting on Christmas Eve, The Beatles will be available on Apple Music. The report from last week said that the hit British boy band’s catalog would launch on one streaming service on December 24, but left out specifics.

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