Google today announced Google Cast for audio, which the company says takes advantage of Chromecast tech to send audio to third-party hardware like speakers, A/V receivers, and sound bars. The feature will allow users to tap a “cast” button from within music and radio apps on Android, iOS and the web to stream audio to Google Cast enabled speakers.Read more
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.
Users of the Shazam iOS application have begun noticing that Shazam is testing a new “Listen Now” feature with the Apple-owned Beats Music streaming service. Like it does with iTunes Radio, Spotify, and Rdio, this feature allows a user to tag a song with Shazam and then instantly play it in Beats Music. We tested the feature this morning and it works as advertised. You’ll need a Beats Music subscription or a 14-day free trial in order to make use of the feature. With Beats now under Apple’s wing and Shazam a key partner for Siri in iOS 8, it makes sense that the trio would integrate in a fashion such as the new Listen Now button in the Shazam app. You’ll need the latest Shazam update to make use of the feature.
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:
Apple’s apparent purchase of Beats took everyone by surprise. I must confess that my immediate reaction was to be slightly appalled. As someone whose audio tastes run more to B&O and B+W, I’ve always viewed Beats headphones as over-bassed, over-priced fashion items. But then my tastes in music admittedly differ somewhat from those of the typical Beats customer.
Even so, it’s still a little baffling at first glance. Tim Cook himself said a year ago that Apple asks two questions when considering an acquisition:
Would it help us make a great product, and would the culture fit at Apple?
My immediate answer to both would be “no,” so why would Apple spend $3.2B on a headphone manufacturer with a small sideline streaming music service … ? Read more
What do 1980, 1989 and 2003 have in common? They were the peak sales years for LPs, cassettes and CDs respectively. After that, a very slight resurgence in vinyl aside, it was all downhill.
Billboard magazine has an interesting piece in which they suggest that perhaps 2012 might join that list – as the year that saw peak sales for music downloads, with streaming services like Spotify, Rdio and now, of course, iTunes Radio the heir apparent …
Vimeo On Demand: After launching a brand new iPhone app in November and rolling out its Tip Jar feature in September, Vimeo is today officially launching its new Vimeo On Demand ‘self-distribution service’ that allows Vimeo PRO creators to sell content directly to their audience. Vimeo said content creators will keep a 90 percent share after transactions fees and will also be able to “choose their price; select country-by-country availability; customize their page design; and offer content on Vimeo, their own website, or both.” Purchased videos will be available to users across all devices that support Vimeo. Previously, Vimeo had a preview of the service available on its website that offered a selection of movies for $5.00.
“What used to be a confusing and labor-intensive process is now open and simple with Vimeo On Demand,” said Blake Whitman, Vice President of Creative Development. “We always strive to provide our community and visitors with the best experience possible, and this opens up a new world of viewable content and support for creators. We are proud of this first phase of Vimeo On Demand, and we’re already working on another suite of creator-focused features to release in the near future.”
Rdio version 2.1.3:Internet radio streaming service Rdio has been updated with a refreshed UI that brings brand new album/playlist views on the iPhone, as well as larger album art, the ability to see friends who have listened recently, and much more.
- New album/playlist views on iPhone. Shows large album art, friends who have listened recently, and more.
– Various bug fixes and UI improvements.
Tumblr version 3.3:A nice update to the Tumblr iOS app today brings a bunch of new features including a brand new camera, the ability to create photo sets right from within the app, and a few other UI enhancements and usability features:
- Brand new camera!
– Create photosets straight from the app
– Double-tap posts to like!
– Tap the avatar in your profile to change it
– Link posts: Copy or enter a URL and we’ll fetch the title!
Apple Store version 2.5: Apple’s Apple Store app for browsing the Apple online store, scheduling appointments and much more was updated today with new delivery options and an easier experience for checking if products are available for local pickup:
– New delivery options make it even more convenient to get your Apple products. Choose different shipping options for different items in an order.
– An even easier way to see if the product you want is available for pickup at your favorite Apple Retail Store (U.S. only).
We just got word that Spotify will launch tomorrow in the US (as reported last week). Perhaps something nice to put on your new Mac?
New York, July 13, 2011 – Spotfy, the award-winning digital music service loved by millions of Europeans, will become available tomorrow morning in the United States by invitation and subscription. Spotify is a new way to listen to and manage your music, discover new tracks and share songs and playlists with friends – music whenever you want it, wherever you are.
Be one of the first people in the U.S. to experience Spotify by signing up at www.spotify.com.
Spotify will announce more details at 8:00 AM EST.