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

Spotify CEO: I’ve always assumed Apple would offer a streaming service

If Apple does indeed reach a deal to acquire Beats Electronics and announce it this week as expected, the clock is once again counting down to offer up your take on the whole scenario before it’s actually official. Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson got that opportunity earlier this week thanks in part to Dan Lyons of Fake Steve Jobs fame; Isaacson told Lyons he believes the expected $3.2 billion acquisition by Apple is all about creating a world class video service led by Beats’ co-founder Jimmy Iovine.

But when you think about Beats and what the company has to offer for Apple, the subscription music service launched by the company in January earlier this year comes to mind. Spotify, of course, dominates in this space as seen by the company’s announcement today that they now have 10 million paid subscribers and 40 million active users. 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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Opinion: Beats Music is actually so good that I’m worried about Apple ruining it (à la LaLa)

Beats Music for iPhone

My first reaction to yesterday’s news that Apple is nearing the close of a $3.2 billion deal to purchase Beats Electronics was one of worry, but not for the reasons that I saw in much of the commentary from others. I’m less concerned with what Apple could have planned for the headphones business or that the price tag is so high; after all, it’s exciting to think that Apple could make a major acquisition (its largest yet) after somewhat of a quiet period. What worries me is what Apple has planned for the not-so-popular-yet subscription streaming service Beats Music… Read more

Beats Music 2.0 update delivers iPad version for subscription music service

 

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Well, there it is. Beats Music updated to version 2.0 today bringing native support for the streaming music subscription service for iPad users. Beats Music teased the iPad version just yesterday in a teaser image shared over Twitter. Beats Music also recently added support for in-app subscription purchasing making it easier for users to use the full version of the service. The update also includes the ability to find other Beats Music users you may already know through Twitter. Read more

NPR added to iTunes Radio as the first news streaming service

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Now this is interesting (if you like talk radio): Recode is reporting that iTunes Radio is slated to pick up streaming news today through a partnership with NPR.

NPR’s channel, which should be live today, will offer a free stream, 24 hours a day, which mixes live news with segments from pre-recorded shows like “All Things Considered” and “The Diane Rehm Show.” NPR officials say that within weeks, some of the broadcaster’s local stations should begin offering their own channels, with a similar mix of live and taped news.

You can add the new station to your iTunes Radio lineup below:

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Opinion: Five years from now, will we have given up all control of our technology?

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I know, it seems an odd question. But a few different things over the last couple of days got me thinking …

Years ago, before either Google or Apple ecosystems were really deserving of the term, I managed all my device synchronisation manually: I decided what content got synced on what devices. My music too: iTunes was allowed to play it, but not to manage it – I took care of the folder structures and meta-data myself. And the miscellaneous notes I kept were in a folder full of text files, the format deliberately chosen to be compatible with anything, not sitting inside Apple’s Notes app.

My view was that it should be me, not some piece of software or online service, that made the decisions about how things got done. Fast-forward to today, however, and things are quite different around here …  Read more

Have music downloads hit their peak, with streaming taking over?

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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 …

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