Apple Music blasts onto Sonos speakers tomorrow

Apple Music becomes an official part of the Sonos ecosystem Wednesday after months of beta testing on the wireless speakers. “The feedback from Apple Music members on Sonos during the beta period has been great,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, in a press release. “Sonos plus Apple Music […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Amazon Echo adds Spotify to its musical repertoire

Amazon’s Echo smart speaker just upped its music game, adding Spotify streaming to its ever-growing list of skills. Now playing your favorite artists and playlists is just a voice command away — at least if you’re a Spotify Premium subscriber. “Now playing your favorite music from Spotify is as easy as asking Alexa,” said Toni […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple Music Now Has Over 10 Million Subscribers After Just 6 Months

Apple Music has surpassed 10 million subscribers across iOS, Mac, PC, Android and Apple TV in just six months, a milestone that took its largest rival Spotify around six years to accomplish, Financial Times reported on Sunday.

Apple Music, which launched in over 100 countries on June 30, 2015, has cemented its position as the world’s second largest streaming music service behind Spotify, which last announced reaching over 20 million paying subscribers and more than 75 million active users three weeks before Apple’s streaming service became available.

Spotify was an early entrant in the streaming music market when it launched in Europe in October 2008. The service did not expand to the U.S. until July 2011 due to lengthy negotiations with major record label companies, and it has since launched in nearly 100 countries and territories worldwide. Unlike Apple Music, Spotify also offers a free ad-supported tier with limited features on desktop and mobile.

Music industry analyst Mark Mulligan predicted last month that Apple Music would have 8 million subscribers by the end of 2015, and he expects the service to reach 20 million total users by the end of this year. At that pace, Apple Music could top Spotify as the largest streaming music service by number of subscribers in 2017, assuming that Spotify maintains around its current rate of growth.

Apple has reportedly internally set a goal of reaching 100 million Apple Music subscribers. Tim Cook confirmed 6.5 million paid subscribers last October.

Update: Spotify told Business Insider that it experienced its fastest subscriber growth ever in the second half of 2015, but did not provide an updated subscriber total.

Tags: Spotify, Apple Music
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The Beatles Are Coming to Apple Music on Christmas Eve

The full music collection of The Beatles will be available on Apple Music and other music streaming services on Christmas Eve, according to a new report from Re/code. The report comes a week after a similar report from Billboard, which said that The Beatles were coming to a streaming service on Christmas Eve but did not specify which one.

The world’s most famous band will finally be available on streaming music services, starting this Thursday, Christmas Eve. And they’ll be available very, very widely: Industry sources say that the Fab Four’s music will be on all of the obvious music services, including Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and Tidal, as well as some you might not expect, including Amazon’s Prime Music.

The only music service that won’t have full access to The Beatles’ catalog is Pandora, which doesn’t do direct deals with music owners. However, Pandora does offer some access to select Beatles songs on its web radio service. Additionally, The Beatles’ catalog will also be available on music services’ free tiers, unlike artists like Taylor Swift.

The Beatles’ catalog originally appeared on iTunes back in 2010, giving Apple exclusive rights to the digital distribution of the famous band’s music until 2011. More recently, „The Beatles: +1“ collection debuted on iTunes, packaged with remastered versions of hit songs and mini-movies made by the famous quartet.

Update: The Beatles have confirmed their music will be available on Apple Music and eight other streaming music services worldwide on December 24 at 12:01 a.m. local time.

Tag: The Beatles
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New ‘djay Pro’ App for iPad Brings Redesigned Interface, Powerful Mixing Tools, and More

Following the launch of the ultra powerful iPad Pro, Algoriddim, the developers behind the popular line of djay apps for Mac and iOS devices, set out to build a professional quality djaying app designed with the new tablet in mind.

The result of that effort is djay Pro, which is available today for both the iPad Pro and older iPads. djay Pro takes some of the best parts from the djay Pro app for Mac and refines and improves them for use on a touch screen. Algoriddim tells MacRumors that the screen size and the power of the iPad Pro allowed the app to come together amazingly fast because they were so excited by what’s possible with Apple’s latest tablet.

djay Pro is designed for professional users, but it also has a clever interface that’s able to shift and grow with skill level. Algoriddim’s Michael Simmons likened it to the layers of an onion, with users able to add or subtract layers of tools for as much simplicity or power as they desire.

At its core, djay Pro has a fresh design that’s modern and less distracting while still incorporating all of the tools a professional needs. The default app interface includes two decks along with a range of different mixing tools, but it is able to incorporate up to four decks, displayed vertically or horizontally for mixing up to four audio tracks together. Advanced performance modes offer access to horizontal and vertical colored wave forms, live sampler and drum pads, and FX racks.

The built-in music library is able to combine local music, a Spotify catalog, and files stored in iCloud Drive or Dropbox into a central location so tracks can be mixed together and manipulated regardless of where they’re stored. It also includes a song recommendation engine that’s able to suggest tracks that will go well with what’s playing.

djay Pro includes all of the video features from vjay, allowing users to create video mashups to go along with song mixes. The video features sync to the music and there are audio visual effects with video tweaks that mimic sound effects like echoes and strobes. Pre-bundled video content is included, and there’s support for title and image overlays.

djay Pro offers support for iOS 9’s split-screen multitasking feature, allowing the djay Pro app to be used with Slide Over or full Split View mode on compatible iPads. With split-screen multitasking, djay Pro has the potential to be used along with other music apps, and because it includes integration with music libraries and Spotify, it is the first app that allows users to select and control their music using the multitasking window. Apps like Spotify and Apple Music have not yet integrated multitasking support.

Specific to the iPad Pro, the new app includes a selection of more than 70 keyboard shortcuts for the Smart Keyboard that merge touch and key strokes in a unique way that can only be done on a tablet, plus access to the camera and AirPlay for recording 1080p videos and displaying them in real-time. Also unique to the iPad Pro is the ability to import and work with both 4K and 1080p video when using the app’s video manipulating features. The iPad Pro is the only device that can handle two 4K/1080p video streams at once as the Mac version only supports 720p video.

The app integrates with professional DJ hardware and Cue Points, beat grid edits, metadata, and FX purchases from other versions of djay for Mac and iOS will sync to the new djay Pro app.

djay Pro was designed with the iPad Pro in mind, so the iPad Pro is going to offer the absolute best performance with the app, but it is also fully functional on other iPads like the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 4, aside from the iPad Pro only features.

djay Pro can be downloaded from the App Store for $19.99, a limited time sale price that will rise to $29.99 in the future. [Direct Link]

In celebration of the launch of djay Pro, Algoriddim is also making djay 2 for iPhone, normally $2.99, available for free for a limited time. [Direct Link]

Tags: djay, Algoriddim
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Review: Sonos Play:5 speaker is a rumbling, room shaking rabble-rouser

The flagship speaker from Sonos has been revamped, redesigned and relaunched. The result is awesome. The new Play:5 is a big, beefy speaker that sounds absolutely wonderful. It’s available in stores today, and although it’s not cheap, I’d recommend you go out and get one. Or two. Stereo is even better. Sonos is a truly […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Adele’s New Album Won’t Be Available on Apple Music

Following in the footsteps of Taylor Swift, Adele is opting to restrict her upcoming album from streaming music services. „25,“ Adele’s highly anticipated album set to release tomorrow, will not be available on Apple Music, Spotify, or other Internet-based streaming music services, reports The New York Times.

Citing three sources with knowledge of the album release plans, The New York Times says Adele was involved in the decision not to share her album on streaming music services. „25“ is Adele’s first album in nearly five years and has been preceded by „Hello,“ a single that’s already extremely popular, so the decision to restrict the album from streaming services may make fans unhappy.

Taylor Swift was one of the first major artists to take a stand against streaming music, opting to pull her songs from services like Spotify that offered a free listening tier. According to Swift, she did so because „music should not be free“ and artists should value their work. It’s likely Adele has similar motives, as restricting Swift’s latest album „1989“ from music sites did not significantly impact its popularity. „1989“ sold upwards of 1.2 million copies during its first week of availability, and its believed Adele’s new album could sell 2.5 million copies.

Swift initially refused to share her songs on Apple Music because Apple executives did not intend to pay artists during the Apple Music free trial period, but after the company reversed course, she too changed her mind and allowed Apple Music to stream „1989“ and her other albums.

While Adele’s new music will not be available on Apple Music, customers interested in obtaining the album will be able to purchase it through iTunes.

Adele had also asked Apple to stock her new album in its retail stores, but Apple declined the offer. It’s not likely the refusal impacted Adele’s decision not to offer her music on streaming sites, and Adele and Apple have also reportedly discussed a possible $30 million tour sponsorship. The status of that potential deal is not known.
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Pandora Acquires ‘Key Assets’ and Employees From Rdio for $75 Million

Two of the biggest Apple Music competitors and most notable names in the streaming music industry are joining forces, with Pandora today announcing its $75 million acquisition of „key assets“ from Rdio.

According to a press release on the acquisition, Pandora has gained unspecified „technology and intellectual property,“ and a number of Rdio’s employees will be given roles at Pandora. Pandora plans to use Rdio’s assets to „offer fans greater control over the music they love,“ with an expanded Pandora listening experience set to launch in late 2016, depending on licensing. Pandora wants to become the „go-to destination“ for wherever and however its fans want to listen to music.

„The Rdio team built an acclaimed product and technology platform that has consistently led innovation in the young streaming industry. I’m pleased that many members of the Rdio team will continue to shape the future of streaming music, applying our tradition of great design and innovative engineering on an even larger stage with Pandora,“ said Anthony Bay, chief executive officer of Rdio.

Pandora has more than 80 million users and continues to be one of the most popular streaming music services. Pandora offers its users the ability to listen to free, ad-supported radio stations centered around particular artists or songs rather than offering on-demand listening like Apple Music.

Rdio offered a similar ad-supported free listening tier, but it also included Rdio Unlimited, a service that let users listen to any song on demand as is possible with Spotify and Apple Music. With its acquisition of Rdio’s assets, Pandora may be angling to expand into the on-demand market to better compete with other streaming services.

The acquisition hinges on Rdio obtaining permission for the transaction from the United States Bankruptcy Court. With approval, Rdio will wind down its Rdio-branded operations in all markets as Pandora is only acquiring assets and not the Rdio brand.
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