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  • Microsoft reportedly set to launch Xbox Music on October 26th, ad-supported option on tap

    by 
    Donald Melanson
    Donald Melanson
    10.03.2012

    We've known that it was coming for some time now, and today we have a report of an actual launch date for Microsoft's Xbox Music service. According to The Verge's sources, the rollout will coincide with the launch of Windows 8 on October 26th. What's more, the site is also reporting that the service will include a free, ad-supported option in addition to paid subscriptions -- rates for the latter leaked out last month. As expected, the service will be available on Windows Phone, Windows 8 and the Xbox 360 at launch, with iOS and Android apps said to be coming at a later date.

  • Rdio begins paying artists $10 for every user they attract

    by 
    Daniel Cooper
    Daniel Cooper
    10.02.2012

    Streaming music services have a bad reputation when it comes to paying their artists, who only earn a few cents each play. Rdio is trying to remedy that (and grow its subscriber base) by paying songsters $10 for every user they personally attract that stays around longer than a month. Brendan Benson, Scissor Sisters and Snoop Dogg Lion have already signed up, but it's not just for big names, any musician with an Rdio account can join -- tempting us to upload our Lady Gaga covers played on the Sousaphone in the quest for some of those rockstar riches.

  • BBC in talks to build Playlister, a streaming music service for its own music archive

    by 
    Daniel Cooper
    Daniel Cooper
    10.02.2012

    The BBC is home to a massive archive of highly desirable music that, sadly, due to licensing reasons, remains gathering dust in is enormous vaults. The Telegraph is reporting that the corporation's music head, Tim Davie, is trying to put some or all of that material online for users to enjoy without additional charges. He's said to be in talks with Spotify, Deezer and Apple to help build a service called Playlister, using the trio's bulk-deals with the record labels to get around the long-winded wrangling that would otherwise be required. If successful, it'll launch in 2013 free to license-fee paying Brits in a similar fashion to the wildly successful iPlayer -- although we'd pay a little extra if Fearne Cotton was excluded from the catalog.

  • Vevo's website redesign simplifies the video watch page, adds artist pages

    by 
    Jamie Rigg
    Jamie Rigg
    09.21.2012

    Chances are you've enjoyed Vevo's music video catalogue in one form or another, and purists who prefer .com access are being rewarded today with a fresh website design. The "video watch page" was previously littered with related clips, a playlist and other distractions, which have now been dispatched for greater focus on the tune at hand. Much of this has been moved to "artist pages", a new pop-up hub (pictured above) which is full of extra info on your chosen act. Head over to Vevo to see the enhancements for yourself, and with impending OUYA support, you might want to consider it your primary dispensary for that daily dose of Biebzilla.

  • Ubuntu One Music Store comes to mobile and web, skips the plugins

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    09.12.2012

    If you'd wanted to shop Ubuntu One's Music Store in the past, you had to use a plugin through an app like Banshee or Rhythmbox. Not very convenient, we'd say. Someone must have been listening up in Canonical's cloud, as Ubuntu One just brought its 7digital-based store to the web and mobile devices. Apart from widening the software scope, it's billed as a more direct interface to shop for tunes and send them to Ubuntu One's cloud for either streaming or syncing. Don't think that's enough of a perk? Early purchasers get half a year's worth of Ubuntu One Music Streaming for free -- as strong an incentive as any to dip a toe into the (music) stream before jumping in.

  • Apple is developing Pandora-like music service, Wall Street Journal reports (updated)

    by 
    Megan Lavey-Heaton
    Megan Lavey-Heaton
    09.06.2012

    A tweet from the Wall Street Journal's Dennis Berman states that Apple is developing a streaming-music service that is similar to Pandora. The news comes six days before Apple's September 12 media event. Berman said details will be posted on the Wall Street Journal's site shortly. We'll update this post when those details come out. Update: The Wall Street Journal piece is thin on the details, but said that Apple is in talks with music providers to secure the additional licensing needed to proceed with the service. The paper's source said it would work on all Apple devices and possibly PCs running Windows. The WSJ has a good history of being credible, and such a move is a logical next step after picking up the pieces of Ping, Apple's failed social network that was tied into iTunes. It's possible that if this goes through, it could be part of next week's announcements and would fit in well with the traditional fall slate of iPhones and iPods. It's more likely we'll see something related to this than to the Apple TV.

  • Grooveshark circles back again, swaps app for HTML5

    by 
    Jamie Rigg
    Jamie Rigg
    09.06.2012

    It's hard to keep up with whether Grooveshark is in the Google Play store, or out again, but now it doesn't matter. The music streaming service has decided to ditch its yo-yoing app, and instead opt for a flashy new HTML5 website for all devices. It's gone live in the US with an international launch "in the coming months", although this London-based editor didn't have any trouble using it. If you've been missing your favorites list, then jump over to Grooveshark.com and get listening -- after all, you might see it disappear again soon if a fresh lawsuit from EMI has any impact.

  • Spotify comes to Denon and Marantz receivers, shares music over NFC

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    09.05.2012

    Spotify didn't want to leave all the spotlight time to phone manufacturers today. To start, it's widening its toehold in the living room: three Denon AV receivers and four Marantz counterparts now have support for streaming Spotify Premium music through respective firmware updates, with control coming either through the on-device screen or through Denon's mobile remote app. You're not necessarily left out if you have no compatible home theater to call your own, however. As long as you have a device with at least Android 4.0, an update to the Spotify app will let you apply audio effects or share Premium music between NFC devices through a tap. All of the updates are free -- just know that you'll need Spotify's full $10 per month subscription to grease the wheels. Check the source links for the supported receivers and app updates.

  • Plex launches new Web Client and PlexPass subscription, updates Media Server

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    08.30.2012

    Plex fans among us just got treated to a smorgasbord -- albeit one that isn't completely free. The media front-end developer hopes to boost its bottom line through PlexPass, a subscription service that amounts to a paid beta program. Shell out $4 per month and you'll get early access to in-development features, including a slate of premium-only extras during their incubation phase. One of the more ordinary (if important) features is going live today: a revamped Web Client not only rivals the native OS X app for speed but offers full media playback on top of the usual queue management. Whether you subscribe or not, you'll want to get an updated Media Server app that supports both PlexPass and the new client along with improving the server's behavior in several areas, such as lowering its memory use and supporting RTMP transcoding. We hope Plex keeps enough components on the free side of the fence as time goes on. For now, at least, we'll see the paid model as a way for loyalists to reward a company that has been powering their home theater PCs for years.

  • Spotify Radio gets thumbs up, thumbs down on desktop

    by 
    Terrence O'Brien
    Terrence O'Brien
    08.11.2012

    Pretty much from day one, the mobile Spotify Radio feature outclassed its desktop counterpart, thanks to the presence of one feature -- thumbs up and thumbs down buttons. The ability to more finely tailor the music selection to your tastes is a pretty essential feature for any automatically generated playlist. Finally, Spotify is bringing the buttons to the Mac and Windows clients in an update rolling out today. Your likes and dislikes are synced across platforms and, best of all, the update finally lets you view radio stations you've created through the mobile app on your desktop.

  • Warner Music Group says streaming services now account for 25 percent of digital revenue

    by 
    Donald Melanson
    Donald Melanson
    08.09.2012

    We've been seeing plenty of evidence that streaming music services like Spotify, Pandora and Rdio are pulling in more folks than ever, and we now also have a good idea of how that growth is affecting the bottom lines of music labels. In its third quarter earnings report, Warner Music Group revealed that streaming services now account for a full 25 percent of the digital revenue for its recorded music group. As AllThingsD reports, that translates to 8 percent of Warner Music's total revenue for the quarter, or about $54 million in all. What's more, that growth in streaming appears to be a net plus for the company all around, as it's apparently not cutting into traditional sales of digital music (at least, not yet), and is also bigger than the decrease in sales of physical media.

  • Pandora channel gets refresh, version 3.0 arrives on Roku

    by 
    Mat Smith
    Mat Smith
    07.31.2012

    Pandora's music-sharing channel on Roku has been spruced up with a new station screen design and a few minor (but welcome) new features. Version 3.0 adds genre station functionality within a new grid interface, while the whole family (or at least up to five of them) can now connect their Pandora accounts to the same Roku hardware. For extended play, a new screen saver will display track details alongside album art and the renovated search will also display those album covers in results. Roku owners can expect their channel to auto-update in the next 48 hours, but anyone who hasn't yet sampled the delights of Pandora can pick up the free download from the streaming box's channel store.

  • Samsung Music Hub launches on Galaxy S III stateside with free trial in tow

    by 
    Joseph Volpe
    Joseph Volpe
    07.31.2012

    Samsung's come a long way from the days of its first Galaxy S device. Relying back then, out of necessity, on third parties like 7Digital and Kobo to provide a white label content platform. Time, fortune and the popularity of its Android devices has changed the company's tack and with the unveiling of the Galaxy S III, it's heading for a streamlined user experience that integrates hardware with in-house software. Although Music Hub has already launched overseas in several European countries as part and parcel of its latest flagship, that service is now finally ready for primetime in the US. Built upon the mSpot tech it acquired this past May, the company's freemium service combines the best of both worlds, offering non-paying users access to a digital storefront loaded up with millions of tracks from all four major labels (and some indies, too), a web-based player, as well as the ability to store purchased music remotely and offline for "registered devices." Whereas, the subscription version builds upon those gratis goods by adding personalized radio stations, free streaming and an iTunes-like "Scan & Match" feature to the mix for $10 monthly. Ever cognizant of the already crowded digital music platforms provided by rivals, Samsung's tricking out this stateside debut with some goodies for the curious: a 30-day trial and one free album of their choosing. It's a nice incentive, for sure, but with so many already entrenched in the musical realms of rivals -- iTunes, Google Play and Spotify, for starters -- adoption of this new ecosystem's going to be a hard sell indeed. Click on past the break for the lowdown on this me-too, mobile music offering.

  • Spotify adds radio streaming to its Android app

    by 
    Mat Smith
    Mat Smith
    07.31.2012

    Catching up to its iOS sibling, Spotify's announced that its premium (and all US-based) users can now enjoy the same not-so-random radio playback functionality on Google-powered mobile devices. This includes creating "radio stations" from any artist, album or playlist you suggest and the ability to gradually improve Spotify's playlist-making skills by offering thumbs-up (or down) feedback on its efforts. Visit the source for the Android app's latest version.

  • Spotify marks its first anniversary in the US with 13 billion listens, a whole lot of sharing goin' on

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    07.21.2012

    They grow up so fast, don't they? Spotify's US launch was just over a year ago, and the streaming music outlet wants us to know just how big its baby is getting. Americans listened to more than 13 billion tracks on the service in the first 365 days, and they shared more than twice as many -- 27,834,742, to be exact. Not surprisingly, just over half of that socializing went through Facebook, as you can see in the company's sugar-coated chart. Spotify is likewise flaunting 2,700 years' worth of time spent skulking around its app platform. Don't feel any pangs of regret if you forgot to buy something for Spotify's birthday, by the way: the company isn't holding any grudges and says you'll "love" what it has gift-wrapped for year two. We're hoping that involves more free radio stations and fewer holdout musicians.

  • Sony's Music Unlimited service finally reaches Japan homeland, offers access to over 10 million tracks

    by 
    Mat Smith
    Mat Smith
    07.03.2012

    The rest of the world has been sampling Sony's streaming music wares for a while, but the all-you-can-listen subscription service has finally launched today in Japan, priced at 1,480 yen per month. Music Unlimited has now rolled out to both Sony hardware and various mobile OS', in a bid to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Spotify. Users can still 'match' their existing music collection to the cloud service -- if available -- and will be able to stream available music on any compatible device and even cache their playlists for offline playback. Hit up the PR after the break for all the details.

  • Rdio goes minimalist, tries another redesign on for size

    by 
    Donald Melanson
    Donald Melanson
    06.29.2012

    Finally get settled into the last Rdio redesign from just a few months ago? Well, we're afraid you've got a bit more adjusting to do. The streaming music service has now rolled out another sweeping visual overhaul of its website and desktop apps -- one that ditches the former iTunes-like appearance for a far more minimalist look, although all of the key elements remain in the same places as before. Naturally, that brings with it yet another software update for the desktop apps, although there's no word on any changes for its mobile apps just yet.

  • Spotify now official on BlackBerry App World for compatible handsets

    by 
    Joseph Volpe
    Joseph Volpe
    06.25.2012

    Spotify's been available to a certain segment of the BlackBerry population for some time now, but as of today it's become an official listing on RIM's app store. The app, which exited beta last December, hasn't changed -- there aren't any UI or performance tweaks in tow, simply a more convenient means of accessing the application without having to redirect to a dedicated mobile site. You can hit up the source below to start your download, but bear in mind you'll need a premium account to take advantage of the company's streaming service on-the-go.

  • So, Tesco buys Peter Gabriel's WE7 music service for $16.7 million

    by 
    Daniel Cooper
    Daniel Cooper
    06.15.2012

    British Supermarket behemoth Tesco has snapped up WE7, a streaming music service co-founded by Peter Gabriel that offers personalized radio stations to users, for £10.8 million ($16.7 million). The UK's biggest supermarket has purchased 91 percent of the company, with the remaining stake set to be transferred over shortly. It looks like the chain will use WE7's infrastructure and resources as the spine for a beefier music service as British supermarkets look to diversify into the entertainment market following its purchase of Blinkbox last year.

  • Voice control comes to MOG's music streaming service with Ford SYNC AppLink

    by 
    Zachary Lutz
    Zachary Lutz
    06.06.2012

    Good news for those who like music on-the-go, Ford had just added a new heavy hitter to its AppLink platform, and this time it comes from none other than MOG. The streaming service boasts a catalog of 15 million tracks, which is available to mobile devices for a monthly subscription fee of $9.99. With the Ford SYNC integration, users may access this vast library either through voice commands or in-dash controls, and as another nice touch, one's music queue will automatically resume from wherever they left off. Voice commands include "artist only" and "similar artists," along with "downloads" for situations when you aren't able to stream and "shuffle favorites." Finally, users may also create presets based on what's currently playing, simply by pressing and holding one of the in-dash preset buttons. This availability is solely for iOS users, but if you'd like to learn more, check the full PR after the break. %Gallery-157259%