audio Stories September 30, 2015

AAPL: 110.30

1.24

During the announcement of Google’s Chromecast Audio yesterday, the company made sure to mention that music subscription leader Spotify will soon be one of the many music streaming services supported by the platform. With many Apple Music subscriptions renewing (or not renewing) and Google unveiling a $35 dongle that retrofits our existing home speakers with Wi-Fi, some are rightfully wondering: What about Apple Music?

According to statements from one Googler (via TrustedReviews), Google has no bar on any platform joining in on supporting Chromecast, and the Mountain View company has already directly asked Apple to play along… expand full story

audio Stories September 8, 2015

AAPL: 112.31

3.04

Rdio adds support for more connected speaker systems & smart TVs

Popular music streaming service Rdio is today announcing an expansion of its support for connected speaker systems and smart TVs, including Google’s new Google Cast for Audio platform introduced earlier this year. 

In addition to supporting speakers that integrate Google’s Cast for audio platform, the music service is now available on Harman/Kardon, Denon, and the DTS Play-Fi Whole-Home Wireless ecosystem featuring leading brands such as Definitive Technology, Phorus, Polk Audio and Wren. The company also noted that it’s now available on Samsung smart TVs and arriving soon on smart TVs from LG and Hisense.

Previously Rdio was only available on Sonos speakers and setup boxes like the Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

Rdio is available free with ads or as an ad-free service for $9.99/month unlimited or on certain devices for $3.99/month with a limited number of on demand songs per day.

audio Stories August 26, 2015

AAPL: 109.69

5.95

Another week in the world of Apple and it looks like Tim Cook may have violated some important SEC regulations. Along with that, there has been major demand for Apple Watch, but not where you’d expect it. Oh, and remember Bendgate? Looks like it won’t affect the iPhone 6S. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

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I love AirPlay. It’s simple and elegant. It also means that my elderly but much-loved B&O Ouverture hifi system (with BeoLab 6000 speakers) – which is actually so old that it has a cassette deck – needed only a low-cost WiFi audio receiver to allow it to wirelessly stream music from my MacBook Pro. One $40 add-on and a 20-year-old hifi became bang up to date in its capabilities.

With my particular setup, AirPlay does exactly what we expect of Apple products: It Just Works. I open iTunes, select ‘B&O’ from the speaker output menu, and anything I play in iTunes – whether from my own music library or streamed from Apple Music – plays through the hifi, while system sounds continue to play through the Mac speakers. My partner can stream her own music from her iPad or iPhone just as readily.

I’d previously tried a Bluetooth audio receiver, and the difference between that and AirPlay is night and day. No pairing. No worries about distance. No interference when someone walks between the Mac and hifi. No system sounds emerging at deafening volumes though my hifi speakers.

But despite my own happy experience of it, AirPlay is not without its problems …  expand full story

audio Stories August 25, 2015

AAPL: 103.74

0.62

Apple has pushed out an update to its professional audio software that introduces native integration with the Alchemy softsynth that was acquired as part of the company’s buyout of Camel Audio at the beginning of this year.

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audio Stories August 20, 2015

AAPL: 112.65

-2.36

If you want a Wi-Fi-based multi-room audio system, you so far haven’t had many alternatives to the market leader, Sonos. Other manufacturers offer their own solutions, but generally only in a handful of products. That looks set to change as Yamaha today announced that its MusicCast system will be supported by more than 20 products, with pricing starting from $250. That includes all but one of its 2015 receivers, reports CNET.

Unlike Sonos, MusicCast supports five different lossless audio formats, including Apple Lossless, FLAC and WAV. It’s controlled by an iOS app, which can stream both your own music library and services like Spotify, Pandora and Rhapsody. Support for Apple Music seems likely further down the road …  expand full story

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