Spotify updating iOS app with neat touch preview and new swipe gestures

Spotify has announced an update to its iOS app to add some very handy new features. You’ll be able to preview any song just by touching the track and holding your finger down. Tapping it then plays the full track.

The app is also getting two new swipe gestures designed to make it even easier to queue music and save tracks to My Music …  Read more

Touching the dial: How iTunes Radio could be tuned for a better user experience

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iTunes Radio, Apple’s first real foray into streaming music, made its public debut back in June 2013, where it was announced alongside iOS 7. Over a year since its release, the service hasn’t exactly taken over the world, quite literally. It’s still only available in the United States and Australia. If you compared iTunes Radio today with iTunes Radio as it existed the day it was first available to use, you’ll notice that not much has really changed.

Of course, just last May, Apple announced its acquisition of Beats Electronics, which brought along with it Beats Music, a robust and almost entirely different approach to streaming music. While Apple may seek to integrate Beats Music more tightly with iTunes in the future, at this time it hasn’t.

So in the meantime, what could Apple do to make iTunes Radio more appealing to customers? Some might say the music selection is limited, or that streaming doesn’t always work correctly. However, focusing on the service strictly from a feature standpoint, there are many small changes and additions Apple could implement that would have a huge impact on the usefulness and utility of iTunes Radio. Let’s take a look.

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Spotify now reports 15 million paid subscribers

Spotify 15 million premium users

Streaming music subscription service Spotify shared its latest user numbers today, announcing that it now has 15 million paid subscribers to its premium service and 60 million active users. Spotify’s paid user count of 15 million accounts is up from the 10 million paid subscribers it previously reported just over six months ago.

Since then, Apple has officially closed on its $3 billion deal to acquire Beats Electronics and Beats Music, which gave it access to its own on-demand music streaming subscription service. Before Apple’s Beats acquisition last year, the Spotify competitor was believed to have just over 110,000 paid subscribers of its own. Read more

Algoriddim releases djay Pro for Mac w/ Spotify integration, 4 deck support, iCloud syncing, more

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Algoriddim is ending the year with a bang with the launch of djay Pro for Mac — its most powerful version of the popular music mixing app.  Spotify integration added access to over 20 million songs for djay users in May, and Algoriddim released djay for Android for the first time this part October. With the release of the professional version of djay for the desktop, Algoriddim is adding access to your Spotify library for mixing right in the DJ app and highlighting ‘pro’ features and capabilities with this brand new version. Read more

Bose reportedly planning to take on rival Beats Music with upcoming music streaming platform

Beats on Apple TV

Bose and Beats have been at each other’s throats in recent months, with the former inking a deal with the NFL to ban the Apple-owned company’s gear from appearing on camera at the league’s events. Apple fired back by pulling Bose products from its physical and online stores.

Now things may be about to get even more interesting between the two companies as Bose reportedly plans to launch a direct competitor to the Beats Music streaming service. The information comes from a job listing posted by the speaker manufacturer.

The listing states in no uncertain terms that…

iPod Classics are hot gift item as surprise holiday demand pushes prices through the roof

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Apple kept making the iPod Classic for much longer than many expected, but when it finally called time over lack of components there were still plenty of people who wanted one. The Guardian reports that some iPod Classics are now selling for up to four times the original price.

Versions of the 160GB Classic – which can hold around 40,000 songs – are being sold as new via Amazon for up to £670. More than 3,000 of the models – the seventh, final version came out in 2010 – have been sold on eBay since the Classic was retired in October, most for between £350 and £500. Even refurbished older models now cost far more than the £229 for which the later generations retailed.

While The Guardian was looking at UK prices, the same phenomenon can be seen in the US on Amazon and eBay …  Read more

iTunes Radio is ad-free for all & offering $5 iTunes credits today courtesy of Verizon

iTunes Radio, Apple’s ad-supported Internet radio service, is today available with “limited interruptions” courtesy of Verizon. That means that you won’t be seeing the normal ads you’re used to on the service and instead just a message from Verizon that states, “Enjoy with limited interruptions courtesy of Verizon.” The company is also handing out $5 iTunes store credits through a banner ad on iTunes Radio (pictured above).

It’s not just for Verizon customers, however, as the offer comes today only as part of Verizon’s “Connection Day” promotion offering free digital content and services to all users, not just Verizon customers. Read more

Billboard 200 chart will include streaming listens from Beats, Spotify, Google Play, & others in album sales

Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Apple, Beats Music, Code Conference

Billboard is about to add data from music streaming services to its weekly Billboard 200 charts for the first time as services like Spotify and Apple’s Beats Music become increasingly popular. The New York Times reports that Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan plan to start incorporating both streams and downloads from music streaming services, in addition to the music sales the chart already covered, in order to more accurately reflect popular albums based on what users are listening to. The first chart including streaming services will include data for next week and arrive online Dec. 4: Read more

Apple reportedly bundling Beats Music with iOS next year

iPhone 6 Beats Music

According to a new report from the Financial Times, Apple is expected to bundle the Beats Music streaming service with an upcoming version of iOS next year.

Apple will bundle the subscription music service it acquired from Beats into its iOS operating system early next year, instantly making it available on hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads – and ramping up pressure on Spotify, the market leader in music streaming.

The report comes amid rumors that Apple is planning to rebrand the Beats Music subscription service for a potential relaunch around February, although FT has added that the bundling is expected “as early as March.” Read more

iHeartRadio iPhone app updated w/ CarPlay support & Today widget

iHeartRadio CarPlayiHeartRadio, the Internet radio streaming app, is out with a new version for iPhone today adding a couple of new features for listeners. First up is support for Apple’s CarPlay feature for CarPlay-equipped vehicles. This presents an optimized version of the iPhone app on CarPlay equipped cars’ built-in screens when connected to the iPhone making it easier to navigate and control the app when driving.

Apple has mentioned that iHeartRadio is a supported CarPlay app since the re-branded feature was introduced earlier this year, but support was not yet available when we reviewed CarPlay in an aftermarket Pioneer display last month. iHeartRadio brings a wide variety of content to CarPlay with stations ranging from talk radio to sports to various music genres, and traditional AM/FM stations with online streams can be accessed through CarPlay using the new iHeartRadio app for iPhone. Read more

Decline of music downloads continues as on-demand streaming audio up 50 percent

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Apple’s presumed plans for an on-demand music service as part of its Beats acquisition is looking increasingly well-timed as Nielsen data shows that U.S. on-demand music consumption climbed 50.1 percent year-on-year, while music downloads fell by 12 percent in the same timeframe.

“With On-Demand streams surpassing 70 billion songs in the first six months of 2014, streaming continues to be an increasingly significant portion of the music industry,” says David Bakula, SVP Nielsen Entertainment …

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Report: Apple planning to introduce locally targeted ads, additional non-music content to iTunes Radio

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(Image via Apple)

According to a new report from The Information, Apple is planning to offer “locally targeted advertising” to users through its iTunes Radio platform sometime this year. The report also says Apple is planning on working with “broadcast radio stations” to increase the amount of content it offers on the platform. This additional content would focus on non-music offerings that would further expand Apple’s content streaming platform. Earlier this week, 9to5Mac reported that Apple is planning to introduce several local NPR stations as well as sports content from ESPN to iTunes Radio… Read more