playlists Stories April 18, 2016

SongShift Hero

SongShift is a just-released app that lets Spotify users import playlists directly into Apple Music. In the past, there have been some roundabout ways to accomplish that task, but SongShift is one of the first apps that takes advantage of a new iOS 9.3 provision that makes it possible for third-party apps to access Apple Music.

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playlists Stories March 9, 2016

apple-music

As much as I think the Apple Music user interface is still a total jumbled mess, I do think there are also a few features that Apple should add as it simultaneously cleans up what’s already there. A big one for me is the potential for private, collaborative playlists and streaming radio stations.

What Apple Music currently has, as far as users sharing music goes, is the ability to share a playlist, station, album or song from within the app via email, third-party apps or copying the link to share elsewhere. But once sent to someone, the person only receives a link to open the shared selection in Apple Music. It works, but it’s not exactly taking full advantage of the potential for user collaboration and a truly interactive experience that ties together the various social aspects of the service.

The new sharing features could be twofold. First, the ability to have collaborative playlists that one or more other people could contribute to. That’s a feature that some competitive services, notably Spotify, already have, but I’d like to see Apple take it a step further with the ability to create not just collaborative playlists, but private, custom radio stations that stream in real-time…

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playlists Stories January 19, 2016

Starbucks-Spotify

For me, coffee at Starbucks is secondary to the great music you discover courtesy of your twenty-something barista’s Spotify DJ skills. The good news is you can now easily save those Spotify playlists for listening later through an update to the Starbucks iPhone app today. expand full story

playlists Stories December 14, 2015

Apple Music Christmas

While it undoubtedly drives the rest of my family crazy, I sure love Christmas music and don’t mind one bit that it takes over radio stations on November 1st. FM radio is okay in the car and I’ve used Pandora and iHeartRadio the last few years to find a variety of Christmas music, but ads and skip limits are no good when you’ve got access to a streaming music catalog everywhere you go. This year I’m all in with Apple Music and finding it terrific as my own personal Christmas music station.

Apple Music does a pretty good job of serving up a variety of ad-free Christmas music through stations and playlists … if you know where to look. Here are a few tips to set you in the right direction if you want to feel festive and spread the Christmas mood:

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playlists Stories July 20, 2015

Screenshot via Re/code

Screenshot via <a href="http://recode.net/2015/07/20/spotifys-personalized-computer-generated-playlists-are-here-and-theyre-pretty-good/" target="_blank">Re/code</a>

With custom playlists at the center of Apple Music’s discovery experience, Apple’s biggest streaming competitor Spotify is also focusing its efforts on playlists for its latest feature called Discover Weekly. It’s not exactly a “me too” feature, though, as Apple’s and Spotify’s approaches each differ in how playlists are created. While Apple highlights having human editors curating its featured playlists, Spotify is basing its new feature around listening behavior to deliver weekly recommendations… expand full story

playlists Stories July 3, 2015

How likes & other user input work to personalize your Apple Music experience

Apple has talked a lot about how it’s tackling curation better than the other guys by putting a big focus on hand-picked, human curated playlists for Apple Music, but how exactly does a user’s input alter the music the app serves up? The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple spoke directly with Apple to answer that question and put together a guide detailing exactly how likes and other user input work to customize some aspects of Apple Music but not others:

First, let me tell you one of my big problems, or sources of confusion, with likes on streaming services. Let’s say I’m listening to a Metal station and a great song comes on, but I consider it to be Rock. Do I like it? I enjoy the song, but I’m afraid if I like it, more Rock songs will come on the Metal station, diluting it… What if I don’t like it? Will it never show up again, even in Rock? Perhaps I should skip it, but is that equivalent to a “dislike”?

The guide is great if you really want to make the most of the service, but further proof that Apple Music is a complicated mess and not very intuitive for users when it comes to how likes, hearts, and other user input features of the service affect recommendations.

Head over to The Loop for the full guide on how the way you use Apple Music might make for a better, more personalized experience.

playlists Stories July 2, 2015

applemusic1

Many have praised Apple Music’s launch this week, although the focus has largely been on the free component of the service, a 24/7 streaming radio station called Beats 1. But how are users reacting to the rest of the Apple Music service? It received a lot of positive reviews in the media, but users have noticed some user experience issues and technical hiccups with Apple Music that might keep them from making a switch from the competition when the service’s free three month trial is up. Since the issues aren’t getting a lot of attention from the main stream media, I wanted to share everything we hate about Apple Music so far and what Apple needs to fix before converting potential switchers: expand full story

playlists Stories May 25, 2015

How to back up Apple Watch settings & data

Backing up Apple Watch doesn’t work exactly like your iOS device, and some of the data on the watch— like Workout and Activity calibration data, for example— won’t be included in your backup. Head below to learn exactly how to back up your Apple Watch, what to expect when doing so, and how to access the data if need be.

playlists Stories November 3, 2014

Southwest Airlines has just announced that it’s launching a new in-flight entertainment service that will offer users the ability to listen to Apple’s Beats Music streaming service free via onboard Wi-Fi. expand full story

playlists Stories July 21, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 10.19.35 AM

Earlier today, Apple released iTunes 12 to developers with a new design to fit in with OS X Yosemite. We’ve taken a look at the new player and below is a gallery of what end-users can expect to see come fall:

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playlists Stories March 17, 2014

YouTube for iOS updated with changes to comments, improvements to playlists

Google updated YouTube for iOS today to version 2.5 with a few new changes and enhancements. The bigger changes include support for sharing entire playlists (where previously you could only share individual videos) and the option to quickly get to your own saved playlists from the sidebar.

Comments have also received some upgrades, giving users the ability to reply to other commenters and create conversation threads. Users can also now delete their own comments and see whether another user’s comment was posted publicly or not.

You can grab the free YouTube app on the App Store.

What’s New in Version 2.5.0

* Share and like playlists * Quickly access your favorite playlists from the Guide * Reply to comments and delete your own * See if a comment was shared privately or publicly

playlists Stories February 11, 2014

Rdio iOS app gets playlist editing, user & critic reviews, more

Rdio, the popular subscription music service, is rolling out an update today to its iPhone and iPad app that brings a couple of welcomed new features including playlist editing for iPhone and iPod touch and reviews. As for the new playlist editing features, Rdio explained in its blog post:

Now, you can update your playlists from your iPhone or iPod touch — in addition to creating playlists and adding new tracks, you can now remove and rearrange tracks until you’ve made the best playlist ever (or it’s dethroned by your next playlist, of course). You can also customize the playlist artwork, change its visibility and collaboration settings, and more.

The new Rdio app also includes reviews for albums and playlists from both users and critics. Not only will you now be able to write your own album and playlist reviews from within the app, you’ll also be able to browse reviews from critics in addition to reviews written by other users.

Rdio notes in its blog post that it has “also made tweaks to the app’s design, user interface, and overall performance.”

The updated Rdio app for iPhone and iPad is available on the App Store for free.

playlists Stories July 2, 2013

Spotify for iOS gets ‘Discover’ feature, editable playlists, new icon and more

Spotify updated its iOS app today with a few new features, one of which is a brand new ‘Discover’ experience that is rolling out to all users as we speak. As you might expect, the feature allows users to discover content based on their previous listening habits, and is of course a nice feature to have as Apple prepares to roll out its iTunes Radio service with built in Genius features.

Also included in today’s update for Spotify is a brand new logo and the ability to edit playlists directly on your iPhone. Spotify noted that “a shiny, new Now Playing view, featuring the ‘Up Next’ queue” is available now on iPhone and rolling out to all users soon.

A full list of what else is new and fixed in today’s release is below:

What’s New in Version 0.7.1

• New: Ever find yourself wondering what to play on Spotify? Introducing the new Discover experience on iPhone. (Coming soon to everyone.) • New: A shiny, new Now Playing view, featuring the ‘Up Next’ queue on iPhone. (Again, rolling out to everyone soon.) • New: Say hello to our new logo. • New: You can now edit your playlists on your iPhone. • Improved: We’ve changed the order of the iPhone search tabs. Now it’s Artists, Albums, Tracks. (iPhone/iPod only.) • Improved: We’ve moved the … context menu button in the Playlist and Album views to the top right of the screen. It’s better there. (iPhone/iPod only.) • Fixed: Ford integration now works correctly when your iPhone/iPod is set to a language other than English. • Fixed: In your playlist folders, “All Tracks” will now show you the actual number of tracks. • Fixed: We’ve sorted lots of crash issues too. • Fixed: The unread messages in your inbox will now update correctly. • Fictitious: This app shares 73% of its DNA with bees.

playlists Stories May 2, 2013

Songza for iOS updated with shake-to-play, improved HQ Audio and playback, more

Popular music streaming service Songza for iOS updated to version 3.0 today featuring significant performance improvements and a few new features.

Users can now shake their device while on Songza’s concierge page, which allows you to make a playlist based on your activities like studying or working out. Pretty cool.

What’s New in Version 3.0

Welcome to Songza 3.0, reimagined to help make the things you do every day better!

– Doing something special? From the Concierge screen on iPhone or iPod Touch, shake your device and tell Songza exactly what you’re up to; Songza will then find the right music to make it better. For example, you could enter ‘Entertaining’ and Songza will find you music to soundtrack the perfect party.

– Enjoying your favorite artists is now better than ever. When you search for an artist, you’ll see every expert-curated playlist on Songza that features them. Any playlist you choose will begin with a song by that artist.

– Get faster performance and less buffering, even when you have so-so internet connection. We’ve also fixed the most common crashes and bugs.

– When you’re in a rush, a long press on any Concierge situation (e.g. Driving) immediately starts playing the playlist Songza thinks you’ll love most at that moment. Starting your Songza playlist can now be as fast as turning on your car radio.

– Songza’s HQ Audio feature, powered by Audyssey, significantly improves your headphone sound quality without increasing your data plan usage. With Songza 3.0’s improved HQ Audio, 200 headphone models are now available and it’s now easier to select your headphones whenever you add a new pair.

– A new full-screen Concierge experience takes advantage of the iPhone 5 screen and removes visual clutter, while a simplified navigation focuses on the most powerful and user-friendly additional features.

– To make music discovery easier, in-app tips on iPhone or iPod Touch help you move from playlists you’re getting tired of to new playlists that will make you feel fresh all over again.

– We’ve made navigation simpler by removing unnecessary things and unburying cool features like browsing playlists by mood, genre, decade or activity.

Songza 3 is available for free in the App Store.

playlists Stories March 21, 2013

Apple has updated its Podcasts app today with a number of new features. Among the most notable is the ability to create custom stations that update automatically as new episodes of podcasts are available. There are also a number of new enhancements for stations and playlists, including iCloud support to keep stations up to date on all your iOS devices.

The app also now includes a redesigned “Now Playing” view that shows playback controls, as pictured in the screenshots above.

Other improvements include On-The-Go playlists and support for syncing playlists from iTunes, an option to have stations begin playing with the latest or oldest episode, and other fixes and performance enhancements: expand full story

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