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  • Daily Roundup: Tesla Model X, DARPA YouTube robots and more!

    by 
    Dave Schumaker
    Dave Schumaker
    01.31.2015

    Tesla's Model X has been spotted in the wild; a new DARPA technology lets robots learn from YouTube videos; and Verizon is changing its policy on "supercookies." Get the details on these stories and more in the Daily Roundup.

  • Adidas adds Microsoft's MixRadio to its miCoach Smart Run watch

    by 
    Edgar Alvarez
    Edgar Alvarez
    11.27.2014

    It was supposed to be Spotify. Instead, it looks like Adidas will rely elsewhere to get more music for miCoach Smart Run users to listen to during workout sessions. Thanks to a new partnership with MixRadio, Adidas is bringing Nokia's Microsoft's music-streaming service to its Android-powered watch, giving runners access to more than 34 million songs right from their wrist -- and yes, they work offline. Naturally, miCoach Smart Run owners need a subscription to MixRadio in order to access the hefty catalogue, but Adidas does have a limited time promotion that offers six months of free access when signing up. Before you can do any of that, however, you'll have to download an over-the-air update for the Smart Run, which is available now via the settings menu.

  • Bake your turkey to the tune of Spotify's Thanksgiving playlists

    by 
    Edgar Alvarez
    Edgar Alvarez
    11.20.2014

    Most people in the US are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving next Thursday, November 27th. Typically, this holiday is mostly about eating a ton of food, watching American football, spending quality time with the family and, most importantly, being thankful for all the good things that happened during the year. But music is very valuable too. As such, Spotify has launched its "Time for Turkey" playlist creator, hoping to help during the cooking process and make the time go by slightly faster.

  • Google snatches up streaming service Songza

    by 
    Terrence O'Brien
    Terrence O'Brien
    07.01.2014

    Google has just purchased music streaming service Songza and, while the exact terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, it reportedly involves what financial experts refer to as "a boat load of money." Apple boosted its streaming music presence by picking up Beats. So it only makes sense that Google would have to fire back with an acquisition of its own. Like Beats, Songza relies pretty heavily on actual human curation to build playlists. The newest member of the Mountain View family uses contextual data about you to decide the best playlist for you at any given time. These lists are put together by DJs, musicians and music critics rather than some algorithm that looks at meta data like genre or BPM. These lists can get you pumped for a work out or just get you through a slow work day, but what they're not is a Pandora style infinite radio station.

  • The TUAW Daily Update Podcast for June 20, 2014

    by 
    Steve Sande
    Steve Sande
    06.20.2014

    It's the TUAW Daily Update, your source for Apple news in a convenient audio format. You'll get some the top Apple stories of the day in three to five minutes for a quick review of what's happening in the Apple world. You can listen to today's Apple stories by clicking the player at the top of the page. The Daily Update has been moved to a new podcast host in the past few days. Current listeners should delete the old podcast subscription and subscribe to the new feed in the iTunes Store here.

  • Apples and Oranges: Amazon moves into the Apple TV space

    by 
    Erica Sadun
    Erica Sadun
    04.02.2014

    Those of us who have been waiting for an Amazon Prime channel to finally show up on their Apple TV now have an explanation as to why it never arrived. Today Amazon introduced FireTV (US $99), an Amazon set-top box that seems perfectly situated to compete with Apple TV. Amazon cited a 350% growth in their video streaming service as their basis for entering this market. With a quad-core processor, a dedicated GPU, and 2GB of onboard RAM, the new unit's specifications compare extremely favorably against both Apple's latest unit as well as Roku. Standout features include enhanced "MIMO dual-band WiFi", a slick user interface, built-in Karaoke, and voice search. The box is about the same form factor as an Apple TV, with a small but much more solid-looking remote. The unit will offer many of the same channels, or "apps" in the Amazon parlance. These include Netflix, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, SHO Anytime, Bloomberg, and Vevo. Streaming music services including Pandora and iHeart Radio should follow soon after launch. A feature called "X-Ray" will provide additional details about what you're watching as you watch it. This extra information is delivered to your Kindle Fire HDX tablet for tight product-line integration. There's also some sort of AirPlay equivalent on offer for watching slideshows of your tablet- and cloud-based photo collections. Apple has to be taking notice of Amazon's latest move. From the Kindle to the TV, Amazon is striding boldly into an arena of consumer content that Apple first pioneered with iTunes and Apple TV. If anyone can transform content delivery from a hobby to a business, Amazon can. FireTV's easier interaction style and spoken commands (yes, I struggle with entering text on Apple TV -- especially when I have to re-enter my WiFi network password) should set a new bar for streaming set top. Apparently there's even a mic built into the remote. I found the interface screenshots to be cleaner than the somewhat confusing menu system I currently see on my Apple TV unit.They're full of bright clear images that feel like a well thought out, navigable system -- and probably a bit of a WiFi hog. So how will Apple react? Certainly that $99 price point for Apple TV has got to give or the Apple unit needs a major refresh. If Apple intends to stay in this "hobby", I would expect an interface overhaul and perhaps some Siri support to stay competitive. I also would think they'd need to open a third party SDK, the way that Amazon will with its open HTML and Android ecosystem. At launch, you'll be able to download and play Minecraft, The Walking Dead, Monsters University, the Amazon exclusive Sev Zero -- all on your TV.

  • Chevrolet adds Beats Music streaming to its in-car system as Beats opens its API to developers

    by 
    Emily Price
    Emily Price
    03.07.2014

    Beats Music is already integrated with Apple's CarPlay system, which means you'll be able to stream music from Beats' catalog in any vehicle that happens to have Apple's setup installed. Now, new API support could mean we'll be able to kick out the jams from even more cars. The streaming music service made its API public today, a move that gives third-party developers access to its vast music collection. In particular, developers get access to the company's library of tunes, album art and track metadata (Beats previously shared its API privately with a few big names like Sonos and Bop.fm). So far, Chevrolet has announced it's adding Beats to its AppShop system -- and we're sure it won't be the last company to do so.

  • Cone is a speaker that always plays the right song

    by 
    Emily Price
    Emily Price
    03.04.2014

    What if you could turn on a speaker and instantly listen to the perfect song for that moment? That's the idea behind Cone, a new web-connected music player that works like a radio of sorts -- but only for the music you want to hear. The device works with your tunes and multiple streaming radio services simultaneously, and starts pumping out the jams the moment you turn it on. If what comes out isn't quite what you want to hear, the front of Cone works as a dial you can turn to listen to something new. Want something totally different? A quick full spin of the front of the device will change up the type of music currently playing to something on the other end of the spectrum. You can also ask Cone to play a particular song, album or podcast by either by speaking to it or making a selection within the device's accompanying app. After setup, which currently requires a device running iOS 7 or Mavericks (and up), you can control Cone exclusively on the device with no need to pull out your computer or phone. The more you use Cone, the more it learns. Over time the device will figure out that you enjoy slow jams on Friday nights, but love to party come Saturday morning. The speaker has a built-in 8-hour battery, so you can take it out on the front porch or with you to the kitchen when you're making dinner. When you do move it, the device's built-in accelerometer tells the speaker it's changed locations, and customizes tunes for your new space. The streaming music services Cone works with will be announced a bit later on, but expect to see the names of some of your favorite players in the space. You can also expect Windows PC and Android support to be headed down the pipeline in the future.

  • TUAW Tip: iTunes Radio uncensored (video tutorial)

    by 
    Shawn Boyd
    Shawn Boyd
    09.19.2013

    If you enjoy listening to music via streaming-music services such as Spotify, Rdio or Pandora, then you are going to get a kick out of Apple's newly released iTunes Radio. The service has been awesome over the last two months of beta testing, featuring a great mix of music and stellar quality playback. The one thing that had put a bee in my bonnet until the iTunes 11.1 update released today had been the butchering censorship of the music on iTunes Radio. Talking about this with fellow TUAW Blogger Steve Sande, he showed me how to fix this. I was so excited, I had to make a video to share with you. In iTunes 11.1, click on the Music icon under Library in the side bar and click the Radio tab. Under the station choose slider, you will find a toggle button to "Allow Explicit." Simply turn it on or off as you please. On iOS 7, while playing a selection from iTunes Radio, you will see an information "i" icon in the top-center of the screen. Tap the information icon and there you will find a similar "Allow Explicit Tracks" toggle. So whether you're listening to Jay-Z, Jay & Silent Bob or Jane's Addiction, you can now enjoy the music your mama wouldn't approve of just the way it was meant to be. try{document.getElementById("fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-506467").style.display="none";}catch(e){}

  • In preparation for iTunes Radio, Rdio update gains radio stations

    by 
    Megan Lavey-Heaton
    Megan Lavey-Heaton
    06.21.2013

    It's interesting to see how the streaming radio giants are preparing to counteract the rollout of iTunes Radio in iOS 7. Spotify finally released a web player in early June. Competitor Rdio unveiled radio stations for its iOS app today, allowing it to go toe to toe against Pandora, Spotify and iTunes Radio on iOS. Like the other services, Rdio allows you to curate the radio stations via artist. Users can see four upcoming tracks in their radio stations and have unlimited skips, which makes sense given that the iOS app is only usable if you pay the US$9.99-a-month subscription fee. The service also has added an autoplay feature that allows you to hear similar music to artists you've recently listened to. Radio stations have been a part of the Rdio desktop and web apps for awhile, and it hit Spotify's iOS app in June 2012.

  • Pandora Premieres will let you hear new albums up to a week prior to their release

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    05.21.2013

    It's hardly a new tactic -- teasing music lovers with a stream of a new album prior to its on-sale date -- but Pandora's getting into that business in an official way today. Not content with letting iTunes drink the whole of said milkshake, Pandora Premieres will allow users to preview upcoming album releases in their entirety before they go on sale. The new station will reportedly feature both mainstream and emerging artists, with albums to hit the Pandora airwaves "up to one week prior to the scheduled US launch date." Listeners can enjoy these early album releases simply by adding the Pandora Premieres station, which will be updated weekly with new releases. Better still, users will be able to replay it as much as they'd like, or listen to bits of pieces of it as they choose. If you'd like to give it a look, head to your Pandora player and search for "Pandora Premieres."

  • Google Play Music All Access: Android / US-only rollout is just the start

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    05.15.2013

    Nearly two years ago to the day, Google introduced Music Beta at I/O 2011. But in reality, it was little more than a gigantic cloud to store 20,000 of your favorite tracks. Despite a plethora of rumors that the search giant would beat Spotify to the punch by launching a subscription-based music service in the United States, we got a digital locker that has done little to distract most listeners from giving Rdio, Pandora, iTunes and other like services at least a piece of their heart. Fast forward to today, and Google's finally joining the bandwagon... in majorly limited fashion. Google Music All Access is presently only available for mobile as an Android app, and only to users in the US. Moreover, it costs $9.99 -- the exact same sum as practically every one of its rivals. Rivals that have multi-year headstarts in terms of mind and market share. (Yes, it's $7.99 per month if you sign up prior to June 30th.) Google has landed deals with the same "major labels" as everyone else, but even product manager Paul Joyce affirmed to us here at I/O that All Access doesn't have access to any exclusives. In a post-keynote meeting with Joyce, he noted that this is only the start for the product. Naturally, Google's going to do its finest work on its own platform, but it's certainly odd to see iOS users left out in the cold given Google's acknowledgement of its importance just minutes earlier.

  • Twitter #Music app helps you find tunes by who you follow

    by 
    John-Michael Bond
    John-Michael Bond
    04.18.2013

    With so much competition already existing in the streaming music world, the Twitter #Music app faces the same problem as every new service -- how do they set themselves apart from the competition? The answer for Twitter is discovery; more specifically helping users discover new musical artists along the lines of the ones they already follow. It takes a few minutes to learn how to navigate the app, but once you understand the ins and outs you'll be flying. There are four screens: Popular, Emerging, Suggested, and #NowPlaying. Popular features the artists who are currently trending on Twitter. Emerging showcases smaller artists who are building twitter buzz, although at the moment it's not clear how they judge if someone is "emerging" or not. Suggested compiles artists based on who you already follow. And #NowPlaying is based on the music your followers are listening to. Music is displayed on tiles with the artist's picture or logo. Simply click on the tile and hear the song by that artist. It's a little disappointing that you're limited to only one song per artist to listen to, especially if you're using the most basic function where the music is simply an iTunes preview clip. The service allows you to connect your Spotify or Rdio account to listen to full songs however. Using the app with just iTunes clips feels like a waste of time, but when given access to the full song the potential for music discovery increases dramatically. For instance, I had no idea M83 recorded new music for the upcoming film Oblivion and now I do. Thanks, Twitter #Music. #NowPlaying is the most actively social component of the service. It shows you what your friends are listening to and specifically which friend recommended it. Given the limited use of the service right now there weren't a lot of recommendations available for checking out, but it was neat to see what one of the obscure rock bands I like was sharing at the moment. Whether this service strikes you as merely a fun distraction or an exciting new way to discover music will probably depend on how much you use your Twitter feed to discover music. I tested it with two different Twitter accounts, one for a music blog I write for that mostly follows bands, and my own personal account that basically only follows a punk band and rappers I think are funny. The end result is easy to predict. The more artists you follow on Twitter the better the suggestions proposed for you are going to be. Otherwise you're going to find the to-be-expected list of Top 40 and popular indie rock acts you find in every streaming services recommendations. It's also worth noting that suggested songs tend to pick older tracks for some artists. The band Alkaline Trio is represented by their newest single "I Wanna Be a Warhol" while indie rocker Kevin Devine brings up his 2005 song "Cotton Crush." "Cotton Crush" is a great song, but Devine has put out three solo albums since then. On one hand I appreciate including deeper cuts in an artist's discography; on the other it seems strange for a new music discover service to reach that deep when it only offers one song by an artist at a time. Twitter #Music is a clever new way to discover music based on the stuff you already like. It's hard to judge the suggestions too harshly when you take into account they are largely based on the suggestions of mainstream Twitter users. The app more than makes up for it with their personalization based on your own personal use. I'd like to see future updates add the ability to listen to more than one track by a single artist, but even in its current form Twitter #Music is going to be getting a lot of use on my iPhone.

  • Slacker music service relaunches, takes aim at Spotify with new iOS app

    by 
    Randy Nelson
    Randy Nelson
    02.13.2013

    Just shy of its sixth birthday, streaming music service Slacker flipped the switch on a major relaunch today that it hopes will put it ahead of competitors like Spotify and Pandora. The company is maintaining a free-to-stream, radio-style model for all users but also has two paid tiers that allow for more listening options. The new service is built on a library of more than 13 million songs, which Slacker is saying makes its offering 10 times that of Pandora's. (But it's a bit shy of Spotify's 15 million tracks as of last summer.) Another of Slacker's biggest new selling points: More than 200 "stations" of curated music in various genres. While all users are able to stream an unlimited number of tracks with commercial interruption, a US$3.99-per-month Slacker Radio Plus subscription removes ads and restrictions on how many songs can be skipped in a row. For those who want more, a $9.99-per-month Slacker Premium subscription offers direct access to every song in the service's library and the ability to create custom playlists. We'll have a deeper look at the new service soon, but for now you can check out what it has to offer via the web or the redesigned Slacker iOS app now available on the App Store.

  • Audiogalaxy acquired by Dropbox, announces end of streaming service

    by 
    Sean Buckley
    Sean Buckley
    12.13.2012

    One of Engadget's must-have Android apps of 2010 is about to make its exit -- soon Audiogalaxy will be no more. The music streaming app's team announced that it has been acquired by Dropbox and will be sunsetting the service during the transition. Rather than streaming music from an anonymous server in the cloud, Audiogalaxy piped music (including playlists and album art) to your smartphone from your own home PC -- all this after returning from the ashes of its previous iteration as the best music file sharing service ever. Sound nifty? It is, but don't rush off to Google Play -- Audiogalaxy is no longer accepting new users. The details of the hire / acquisition haven't been laid bare, but the Audiogalaxy blog promises that service will continue for at least a few more weeks, with mixes getting the axe at the end of the year and personal streaming surviving for an undetermined period. Dropbox hasn't announced anything either, but if it finds its way into the cloud-based music space, we won't be too surprised.

  • Rhapsody app now available on Xbox 360

    by 
    Jordan Mallory
    Jordan Mallory
    12.05.2012

    People with expensive home theater set-ups and/or insane people who listen to music through television speakers now have yet another option when using their Xbox as a weird internet radio device. Specifically, subscription-based streaming music service Rhapsody has launched a new app, which is available now for anyone with Xbox Live Gold and a (paid) Rhapsody account.The app includes access to Rhapsody's full music library, allowing users to access playlists they've constructed on other devices. It also supports gesture and voice commands via Kinect, which sounds good on paper, but we're going to withhold final judgement until we've tested whether our Girls' Generation choreography practice is falsely interpreted as interface navigation.

  • Apple nearing deal with labels for internet radio service, says Bloomberg

    by 
    Terrence O'Brien
    Terrence O'Brien
    10.25.2012

    Rumors of a music streaming service from Apple have been circulating since the dawn of the iPod age. Bloomberg is reporting that an internet radio platform from Cupertino is nearing reality, as talks between Apple and the major music labels have "intensified." The negotiations center around how to share revenues from an ad-supported service that, according to reports, would pose more of a threat to sites like Pandora than it would Spotify. In fact, after Bloomberg reported that the new Apple service could launch during the first quarter of 2013, Pandora stocks plummeted over 17 percent and trading of the company was briefly halted. According to sources Cook and co. are seeking much more flexibility than its potential competitors enjoy and earlier access to new releases. The shift towards ad revenue and a new platform for helping listeners discover music is considered by most involved to be an essential evolution of the iTunes ecosystem as sales of digital downloads have slowed. For more, hit up the source links.

  • Rdio posts Android beta app with new sidebar UI, unified playback and remote control

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    10.16.2012

    Rdio has spent a large part of 2012 revamping its mobile app, and a new beta shows that it's still full of ideas with two months left to go. The 2.3 test version makes the ubiquitous hidden sidebar even more unavoidable than we've seen before, but those not irked by UI homogeneity will be happy to see Rdio gain some multi-device harmony: along with syncing whatever's being played from desktop to mobile and back, the beta introduces a remote control that lets Android gear either serve as the remote or as a target for other devices. A play-later queue persists across devices, too. Although we haven't been given a timeframe for the finished version pushing out through Google Play, there's nothing stopping avid subscribers from taking a slight risk with the beta and getting a taste of their musical future.

  • Microsoft's Xbox Music to challenge iTunes, others

    by 
    Steve Sande
    Steve Sande
    10.15.2012

    Microsoft has announced Xbox Music, a digital music service designed to work initially with the 67 million Xbox gaming consoles that have been sold since 2005. With Xbox Music, Microsoft wants to challenge the dominance of Apple's iTunes and services like Pandora. The service debuts on the Xbox tomorrow, and will be expanded to Windows Surface and Windows 8 on October 26. Eventually, Microsoft plans to provide Xbox Music software for iOS and Android devices as well. Xbox Music features cloud music storage similar to Apple iTunes storage in iCloud and Amazon's Cloud Player. For fans of Spotify and Pandora, Xbox Music will provide an artist-based radio function. If you can put up with ads, Microsoft offers a free music streaming service; otherwise, you can pay $9.99 monthly for a subscription to ad-free streaming. Xbox Music will initially be available in 22 countries, and provides a download-to-own music store containing over 30 million songs -- more than the iTunes library of over 26 million songs. Xbox console owners also have exclusive access to more than 70,000 music videos. Microsoft is replacing the failed Zune device and service with Xbox Music after discovering that Xbox users were spending more than half of their time on entertainment services -- music and movies -- rather than gaming.

  • Samsung partners with Spotify, brings streaming music to its 2012 Smart TVs in Europe

    by 
    Daniel Cooper
    Daniel Cooper
    10.09.2012

    Europeans who have been pining for a(nother) way to bring Spotify into their living rooms can rest easy, now that Samsung is on the case. The pair have teamed up to bring 18 million tracks to Sammy's 2012 E-Series Smart TVs with a new app designed for the platform. The software will arrive later this year, with existing Premium users finding their playlists already syncing, while those new to the service will be offered a short free trial to coax them into signing up. If you've yet to make an investment in one of the displays, the company is also planning to add the functionality onto its Blu-Ray players and Home Theater systems in short order.