Beats acquisition may be part of a new focus on music quality, suggests Japanese blog

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Following the presumed acquisition of Beats, Apple plans to up its music game with support for high-resolution audio files in a revamped Music app in iOS 8, and to offer a higher-quality version of its In-Ear Headphones, reports Japanese blog Macotakara

The source of the high-res audio rumor appears somewhat circumstantial, linked to a Warner Music post about the forthcoming release of a ‘Super Deluxe’ version of three remastered early Led Zeppelin albums in 96kHz/24-bit form – a resolution the current iOS Music app cannot play. It is, however, consistent with a similar earlier rumor regarding iTunes support for higher-quality audio …  Read more

Apple and Beats not such strange bedfellows, argues Bloomberg

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Steve Jobs and Jimmy Iovine in 2008 (Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage via Getty Images)

A Bloomberg analysis of the presumed acquisition of Beats Electronics by Apple says that while the two companies may have very different cultures, the partnership is not so strange as it might first appear.

“These aren’t strange bedfellows at all,” said Peter Csathy, chief executive officer of entertainment law firm Manatt Digital Media Ventures. “Steve Jobs really drove the relationship with the music industry. The executives at Apple and Beats know each other very well, and there’s a comfort level there” …

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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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Ultracompact universal audio/MIDI interface announced for recording on Macs & iOS devices

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IK Multimedia has announced what it claims is “the most versatile compact audio interface on the market”. iRig is a small battery-powered box that allows musicians to connect microphones, guitars, line instruments or MIDI devices to a Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

iRig PRO is designed to give mobile musicians and songwriters an interface that can handle the widest variety of audio input signals, so they can create music and audio on the go anywhere, any time.

It accepts virtually every type of audio and MIDI input. Users can plug in a dynamic or condenser microphone; a guitar, bass or other Hi-Z instrument; or any line-level source.

Additionally, iRig PRO is equipped with a MIDI input for keyboards, pads and controllers, making it a truly universal compact interface for recording and composing on the go or in the studio. Its audio and MIDI inputs can be used simultaneously, for example, to control guitar or vocal software with MIDI foot controllers or pedals, for switching presets or controlling effects levels …  Read more

Google announces Google Play Music and ‘All Access’ streaming coming to iOS in next few weeks

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After launching its new Google Play All Access music streaming service earlier this month at Google I/O, Google’s head of Android Sundar Pichai just confirmed during his interview at the D11 conference that the service will be making its way to iOS. Sundar said the service would be available on iOS in the next few weeks.

Google announced its new ‘All Access’ $9.99/month streaming service as part of Google Play Music at its Google I/O keynote presentation a few weeks ago. The service offers curated playlists, but also allows users to access a radio feature that automatically creates endless radio stations with the ability to remove unwanted songs.

Since launching, the service unofficially arrived on iOS last week via an update to the third-party gMusic client for iPhone and iPad. The app is one of the more popular Google Music clients allowing iOS users to access Google’s music services, but today is the first time Google has confirmed its plans to bring the service to Apple device’s through its own app. Read more

gMusic app unofficially brings Google’s new “All Access” subscription music service to iOS

gMusic-All-Access-iOSWhen Google unveiled its brand new $9.99/month “All Access” Google Play music streaming service earlier this month at its I/O keynote, we quickly learned that the service would not be coming to iOS initially. Google didn’t get into why, but today developers of the popular gMusic iOS app has unofficially brought support for the service to iPhone and iPad.

The app previously acted as client for songs stored in your Google Music library, but with an update to version 6.0 today the All Access subscription service is now officially available to iOS users. The changelog on iTunes also lists the ability to “Create/play Radio Stations” and “Search, listen, and add music to your library from inside the app.”

As for why Google didn’t make it’s own All Access app for iOS, we’ve heard from sources close to the situation that Google wants to submit an app but is currently in a holding pattern with Apple regarding what they will accept.

gMusic: Google Music Player is available on the App Store now for $1.99. The updated app will require users to have a Google Play All Access subscription to access the new features.  Read more

Google announces Google Play Music ‘All Access’ streaming service, launching today for $9.99/month

From 9to5Google:

Google just announced its much rumored new music service called Google Play Music “All Access” live on stage at its Google I/O event keynote presentation.

Google execs focused on showing off curated playlists but also made a note of pointing out a “radio” feature that will automatically create an endless radio station based on the song you’re currently listening to. The service will also allow users to search for a particular song or view the “playlist” of a radio station to remove unwanted songs.

Also included is a feature called “Listen Now” that will provide quick access to recently listened to songs, customized radio stations based on your preferences, and recommendations for new releases from artists you like.

The service will be available on the web, tablets, and phones through Google Play and cost users $9.99 per month with a 30 day free trial in the US. Those that sign up before the end of June will be able to get the subscription for just $7.99/month and Google said the service will land in other countries soon.