Tag Archives: streaming radio

Microsoft Rebrands ‘XBox Music’, Now ‘Groove Music’

microsoft groove musicGoogle and Apple recently made some noise about their streaming radio offerings, and now it’s Microsoft’s turn. While their core XBox Music Pass service wont be changing radically, it will be getting a Windows 10 face lift, with some more intuitive controls, better integration with OneDrive for storing your music collection in the cloud, and eventually an updated app will be released for iOS and Android devices.

Plus it’ll get a new name, moving forward as “Groove”. You can catch the full details and pricing below, or sign up now by installing the Windows 10 Insider Preview.

Continue reading Microsoft Rebrands ‘XBox Music’, Now ‘Groove Music’

Apple Responds to Taylor Swift, Will Pay Artists During Free Music Streaming Promotion

taylor swiftIn a Tumblr post over the weekend, Taylor Swift voiced her disapproval of Apple’s streaming music promotion. It’s a great deal for consumers, as they will receive three free months of Apple Music, Cupertino’s competitor to services like Google Play All Access and Spotify. However, the tech giant initially refused to pay out royalties to artists on the streams played during that free promo.

Apple wanted to make their new service popular on the backs of musicians, with a service which will likely cut into album sales, and for the privilege of “Apple Music Exposure” and lower album sales, they weren’t going to pay musicians a dime.

In response to this policy Swift wrote:

This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field…but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs.

Thankfully she’s high enough profile, that this blog post made a lot of noise. This morning Apple Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddie Cue posted this on Twitter:

It was the right play on Apple’s part as they’re way late to the streaming music game, and we’ve seen how other newcomers like Tidal have fared when hit with bad press. As they’re currently sitting on a war chest of over a hundred billion dollars, there never should have been any debate as to whether they would pay artists the pittance they receive for streams. Happily they’re on the correct track now.

I can honestly say I never thought I would ever side with Taylor Swift on a technology debate, but I’m sure many artists today are happy for her involvement.

Review: KCRW’s MUCH Improved Android App – Support Publicly Funded Radio!

It’s a service I use almost every day, and now their Android app is much easier to use. KCRW is a listener supported radio station in LA, which produces fantastic news and music shows with a global focus. Let’s take a look at their new app for streaming live audio and organizing their podcasts!

KCRW App (on Google Play)

Spotify Removes Time Limit Caps for Music Streaming

spotify nomorelimits1This one’s short and sweet.

Do you use Spotify? Well now Spotify is removing time limit caps for free accounts across all devices. iOS, Android and through a browser, now all devices have the same access to unlimited music streaming. Super handy.

For those wanting to step up, their premium monthly plans will also remove ads and allow for offline storage, but those of you streaming in your cubicle are in for a treat.

More info at Spotify, or read the PR below:

Continue reading Spotify Removes Time Limit Caps for Music Streaming

App Review: Nokia MixRadio for Windows Phone

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Let me introduce you to Nokia MixRadio. I ride my bike everywhere I go and this app keeps the tunes flowing without any interruption of ads. You might be asking yourself: “Isn’t there a Nokia Music app already?” Actually Nokia re-branded the Nokia Music app to Nokia MixRadio with a fresh new UI and features.

Nokia MixRadio offers up a novel way to discover new music and artists. With over 18 million songs available you should have no problem making your own custom mix of music to take with you wherever you go. This app has over 150 prescribed playlists by Nokia’s very own mixologists! You can download 4 playlists which equals about 8 hours of music. Mind you with the free version of the app you still get a ton of streaming music for free however you can only skip ahead 6 songs per hour.  If you need even more music you can upgrade the Nokia MixRadio app for $3.99 a month which includes unlimited downloads. Continue reading App Review: Nokia MixRadio for Windows Phone

Apple Intros iTunes Radio to compete against Pandora, Spotify, Google, Microsoft, etc…

itunes radio announced somegadgetguy streaming internet musicThe iTunes Radio announcement was one of the first things discussed during Apple’s keynote today, but Tim Cook ran over it so fast, I think you can still see tire tread on its back.

What should have been one of the more interesting services announcement for Cupertino was largely ignored. Apple created the online music sales market as we know it today, yet even with that legacy, very little was said about iTUnes Radio. With a nod and a collective shrug, we just took it for granted before moving on to hardware announcements.

Simply billed as “coming soon” on the official iTunes site, Radio will be another streaming service designed to compete with offerings from Pandora, Spotify, Google, and even Microsoft. It will allow you to build “stations” for your favorite music, and those stations will be synced across all of your devices via iCloud, so iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV can all get in on the act.

On a personal note, it’s a little shocking that even Microsoft was able to beat Apple to a service like this. Plus, it’s uncharacteristically tame of Apple not to work being late into more of a consumer oriented selling point. In the past being late to a service, Apple would’ve boldly claimed that they waited to perfect the offerings which were obviously inferior or confusing to consumers. There was no such bravado on display here today, and lacking that confidence is a dangerous place for Apple to be in this viscerally competitive market.

Full deets on Apple.com

Microsoft XBox Music coming to iOS and Android devices.

xbox music streaming online radio launch ios android browser somegadgetguyOnline music streaming radio is a really competitive arena at the moment. You’ve got Slacker, Pandora, Rdio, Spotify, Last.FM, even streaming  terrestrial radio. Recently Google entered this market with Play Music All Access, and we’re pretty confident Apple will eventually arrive with iTunes Radio. Not entirely sure what the hold up with them is, as they kind of created the online music scene, but I digress.

Microsoft certainly doesn’t want to be left out of this market and they’re jumping in now with XBox Music.

The service sounds fairly familiar if you’ve used any other online music streaming solution. Microsoft has a library of around 18 million songs, and you can listen to unlimited music either with ads or ad-free for $10 a month (or $100 a year). After the first six months with the ad supported service however, you will be capped at 10 hours of music per day.

XBox Music Pass allows you to sync your music across all of your gadgets, from your XBox, to phones, tablets, and computers. That might be the smart play here by Microsoft, their music streaming will also come in iOS and Android app flavors. They have to know a large chunk of their XBox live subscriber base probably have phones or tablets from their competitors, but still might consider using the Music app built into their game console.

There’s also  a music discovery service called Smart DJ which should function like Pandora, and an update to Windows 8 will allow users to catalog music they find on other sites like Pitchfork to listen to later in their library.

This is good timing on Microsoft’s part. Sure they’re late to this party, but as they’re trying to move forward with their phone and tablet solutions, filling out the media purchasing options for their ecosystem means customers will be more likely to shop in their stores. As we’re getting set for the release of the XBox One, Microsoft is making a compelling argument for their console to be the front end of the entire living room. Plus iOS and Android users wont be excluded.

And, I did mention they were beating Apple to the punch here right? I mean… That’s just weird…

XBox Music