Opinion: Beats 1 is what sets Apple Music apart from the competition

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Apple announced its streaming music service at WWDC this week after months of much anticipation. The service includes many of the features that our own Mark Gurman reported on months in advance. Earlier this year, I broke down my own thoughts on what features the service needed to have in order to convince me to switch from Spotify. Those requested features included excellent support for my previously acquired music; well-designed, cross-platform apps; exclusive content; competitive pricing; and a killer radio functionality.

In response to the requests for a killer radio functionality, Apple announced something called Beats 1. Beats 1 is a 24/7 streaming radio station that will be integrated directly into Apple Music on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Apple TV. World renowned DJ Zane Lowe will host Beats 1 from Los Angeles, Ebro Darden, a hip hop DJ, will broadcast from New York, and Julie Adenuga, a grime DJ, will host from London. This team together poses a serious threat to not only competing streaming services like Spotify, Rdio, Tidal, and Google Play Music, but also to traditional radio stations and SiriusXM.

No competitor to Apple Music has anything that even remotely resembles Beats 1. Read more

6 ways Apple Music will be better than Beats Music

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When news broke last year that Apple was in talks to acquire Beats, my initial response was concern that the subscription music service I’d only just started to love would change into something different. Then Apple actually bought Beats.

What happened next is Beats Music stopped all significant consumer-facing development completely. Apple TV gained a channel for the service as Apple started pushing the service to iOS users, but Beats Music never came to the Mac and the promised CarPlay app was never released.

When the Apple Watch debuted in April, both Beats Music and iTunes Radio were missing from the platform. That halt in Beats Music development meant that Spotify — which was already on the Mac and CarPlay — had months to grow and introduce compelling features to make it a better subscription music service.

While we won’t know how well Apple Music performs until it launches in three week, these six promised features will make it superior to Beats Music for me: Read more

Apple Music doesn’t stream the entire iTunes library, just most of it (The Beatles among the exceptions)

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Contrary to many assumptions being posted this morning, Apple Music doesn’t allow you to stream the entire iTunes library – just most of it. As The Verge notes, The Beatles are among the exceptions.

Even Beats Music got this wrong, stating in its FAQ that Apple Music gives you everything you get with Beats “plus, you can play all of the songs in the iTunes catalog” …  Read more

Apple confirms Apple Music will allow you to download albums for offline listening

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Streamed music is great for having access to almost everything, but it isn’t always ideal when you’re on the move thanks to patchy data coverage and carrier data caps. While Apple didn’t mention it yesterday, it has now confirmed to Re/code that Apple Music supports offline listening. The feature is also listed in a feature checklist on Apple’s website.

As an Apple Music member you can add anything from the Apple Music library — a song, an album or a video — to your collection. And that’s just the warm-up act. From there you can create the perfect playlist from anything you’ve added. You can save it for offline listening and take it on the road.

Apple didn’t give any details, but offline listening is likely to work in the same way as Spotify Premium …  Read more

Apple officially introduces its Apple Music streaming service at WWDC, coming June 30 for $9.99 after 3 month trial

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Roughly one year after spending $3 billion to acquire Beats, a speaker and headphone company cofounded by music industry veterans Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine, Apple has officially revealed its all-new streaming music service built on that massive acquisition. Apple Music, as we first reported the subscription music service would be called, is the company’s answer to on-demand music services like Spotify. As part of the 2014 acquisition, Apple gained its own subscription music competitor in Beats Music, although the new Apple Music service is the company’s first to be built by the Cupertino company. Details below: Read more

WWDC News Hub/Live Blog: Apple announces iOS 9, OS X 10.11, Apple Watch SDK & Apple Music

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It’s Monday, June 8th and nearly time for Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. We’ve already run down what we’re expecting from the conference, ranging from a significant iOS 9 update for iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches with a focus on quality, an upgraded version of OS X with the same core focus, the new Apple Music streaming service along with the new iTunes Radio, and the native software development kit (SDK) for the Apple Watch. We’ll be following the news closely from before the keynote, during the event, and after the event, and we’ll be live updating this post with the latest information out of the WWDC Keynote.

You can find our live updates and analysis below, as we get closer to show time.

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AP: Apple aiming for 100M subscribers to streaming music service, dwarfing existing services

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Apple is aiming to sign up a massive 100M subscribers for its streaming music service, according to a source cited by the Associated Press (reproduced in the NY Times). This would be more than double the subscriptions for all other streaming music services combined.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry says that existing worldwide streaming subscriptions total around 41M across all services. The market leader, Spotify, has around 4.7M subscribers in the USA …  Read more

Tidal announces desktop app betas, $4.99 student pricing, Ticketmaster integration ahead of Apple Music debut

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Jay-Z’s recently launched Tidal music streaming service, a competitor to Apple’s own services in more ways than one, is today getting a big update right before the debut of the new Apple Music streaming service next week at WWDC. A desktop app beta for both Mac and Windows, $4.99 student pricing, and ticketing features through Ticketmaster integration, all help set a high bar for Apple to impress us with its own announcements next week.

The new desktop app (pictured above) is arriving in beta and brings a few features that weren’t previously possible with the mobile and web apps. The announcement today also includes a refreshed design for the mobile apps: Read more

Apple Music WWDC launch roundup: iOS/Android/Mac apps, DJs, social, pricing & availability

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Apple is ready to show the first fruits of its Beats acquisition next week. As we first reported in early March, Apple is planning to introduce its long-awaited Beats-based streaming music service at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, June 8th. Blending Apple interface design and features from the Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine-created Beats Music app, Apple’s service, known internally as “Apple Music,” is built to take on Spotify and Pandora with several new features and a subscription model. Additionally, Apple is working on overhauling its widely panned iTunes Radio service by striking deals with popular artists and DJs. Below, we detail Apple’s plans for both Apple Music and the new iTunes Radio in an extensive roundup.

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Take a look at the next major redesign of Spotify’s iOS app

Spotify announced yesterday that it would be redesigning its iOS application with support for new features like original video clips and podcasts. A few glimpses of the updated version of the music streaming app were shown off during the announcement, but today a tipster has supplied us with a collection of screenshots from a beta build of the upcoming release.

Below you’ll find a gallery demonstrating the podcast integration, running speed-based tempo detection, and more. Almost every corner of the app has been completely overhauled with a new design. Many of the icons in the older app have been removed in favor of simple text labels, and a host of new features have been added.

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