music apps Stories August 12, 2015

Rdio has likely been feeling the squeeze from the launch of Apple Music, and is today adding live streams of 460 traditional AM/FM radio stations, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The rollout, which starts Wednesday, includes 460 stations owned and operated by stakeholder Atlanta-based Cumulus Media Inc [including] long-running stations such as Cumulus’ KLOS-FM (95.5) in Los Angeles and KFOG-FM (104.5) in San Francisco, along with talk radio and sports outlets … 

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music apps Stories October 20, 2014

Spotify Family to offer half-price Premium subscriptions for additional family members

Anyone who has ever shared a Spotify Premium account with a partner or – worse – their kids will know the problems: arguments over who gets to use it when, and your playlists and recommendations polluted by the likes of Jason Mraz or the soundtrack from The Lego Movie.

Spotify Family will soon allow you to purchase additional Premium subscriptions for up to four family members for half-price. The first family member will continue to pay $10/month, but additional family members pay just $5/month.

Your account. Your music. With Spotify Family, everyone gets their very own account. Enjoy separate playlists and recommendations and play your music whenever you like.

Premium for everyone. Everyone on the plan gets the full Spotify Premium experience. Listen offline. Play any song, anytime, on any device. No restrictions. No ads.

The more the merrier. Having a family can be expensive. But music doesn’t have to be. With Spotify Family, you can add up to four family members to your account, and each additional user gets 50% off Spotify Premium.

No tantrums. No more fighting over what to listen to, and no more interruptions when someone else logs in and starts playing.

Spotify said a family membership has been one of its most requested features, and that the package will roll-out globally in the coming weeks.

Spotify apps are available for both OS X and iOS, as well as Windows and Android. Spotify is currently available in over 60 countries, with Canada joining the list just last month.

music apps Stories June 10, 2014

Apple cracking down on apps offering third-party music downloads, incentivized ad watching & social sharing?

Apple has reportedly started cracking down on apps offering the ability to download music from third-party services like YouTube that normally don’t allow users to do so. In addition, a separate report claims that Apple has also started going after apps that incentivize users to either watch ads or share content through social media networks.

The first report comes from MacRumors, which notes the App Store has replaced results for the search query “music download” with an advertisement for iTunes Radio followed by other music services like Spotify (pictured right). At first glance it appears to be Apple simply cleaning up search on the store (I’d expect to get iTunes Radio, Spotify, etc for the search “music download”), but MacRumors also claims that “Apple has asked them to remove audio downloading functionalities from their app, perhaps to prevent potential piracy.” For now the apps still live on the App Store and the change doesn’t appear to have taken place in countries outside iTunes Radio availability. Results in the Canadian App Store continue to show apps for download music illegally from YouTube and other online services. 

Another report has popped up claiming that Apple is also not too happy about apps that are encouraging users to watch ads or share to social networks in exchange for rewards. A report from TechCrunch detailed the change, which also appears to extend to apps promoting apps other than their own through the methods mentioned above.

It’s worth noting that Apple’s App Store guidelines have always had rules against promoting other apps and we’ve seen Apple reject apps in the past that include functionality that might compete with the App Store. There are a lot of grey areas in the App Store guidelines.

We’ll have to wait and see if this is part of a broader change to the App Store in iOS 8, which also introduced app bundles, Editor’s Choice picks, app video previews, and more, and if Apple is truly going to remove these third-party music downloading apps for good.

music apps Stories January 28, 2014

Popular lyrics site Rap Genius launches new Genius app for iPhone

Just a month after Rap Genius got stung by Google for gaming search engine results, the lyrics and annotation site is delivering its popular service to iOS users with the launch of its first iPhone app.

While it features an optimized view of its annotated lyrics service its known for, it also has a Shazam-like feature for picking out the music playing around you. If you have music saved to your iPhone in the Music app, Rap Genius will pick songs it has lyrics for and present those to you as well. The music discovery feature was a bit hit-or-miss for me and a rather limited number of songs from my Music app appear, but the lyrics service of course works really well for the songs it does have.

Genius by Rap Genius is available for iPhone and iPod touch for free on the App Store.

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