21
Jan
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The headphones are gigantic. The advertising is inescapable. And now the maker of either the best or the worst music accessories on the market (depending on who you ask) is in the music streaming game. Beats Music is now on the Play Store, offering a streaming catalog of "over 20 million songs from every genre" for ten bucks a month. Beats will be competing with Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, and oh yeah, Google Music All Access.

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Beats is offering at least one unique feature: an interesting user interface with an unconventional playlist system. You can queue up a streaming playlist via "The Sentence," a series of four somewhat loose variables for location, feeling, company, and genre. Mix up these items with a Mad Lib-style structure and you get an automated streaming channel. If you'd rather listen to something a little more structured, Beats Music offers highlights of new music arrivals and curated playlists, plus the standard search function. An initial setup will guide you through account creation with a series of questions about your musical taste, letting you tailor featured content Netflix-style. All music can be downloaded locally for offline playback, and Beats lets you share favorites and Sentences on Twitter and Facebook.

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Despite the wide catalog, Beats definitely skews towards rap, hip-hop, and pop, at least in its featured content, so those with a more eclectic taste might feel a little underserved. There's also a distinct lack of homescreen or lockscreen widgets, though the app itself roughly conforms to Holo standards. A subscription account will cost you $10 a month with a one-week free trial, but AT&T customers can try Beats Music free for up to 90 days. AT&T users also get access to a $14.99 family plan that allows unlimited music on all shared accounts. Apps are available for iOS and Windows Phone, but single users can only stream to three separate devices.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • kingdazy

    yet another music streaming subscription service. are you fugging kidding me?
    has not ONE exec heard of market saturation? jesus fugging christ, this shouldn't make me mad, but the sheer idiocy of this baffles me to the point of boiling blood.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      How did your heart not implode after all of those fitness trackers from CES?

      • kingdazy

        well, ces was such a "useless device clone" this year, didn't bother paying much attention, for my own sanity sake ;-)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      kingdazy's tune of the day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-P6EolKb90

      • kingdazy

        i love it when my "i've seen everything on the internet" perception is smashed! (theres always something i missed...)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      u mad bro?

      • kingdazy

        really? that's all ya got? a 5 year old 4chan meme? i expect better flames from AP staff. :-)

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

          Sorry, man. Can't waste my better stuff on this. ;)

    • _infoghost

      It's really just MOG 2.0. They have been around for awhile, and are closing since this took over.

  • Marcin Juszkiewicz

    This app is incompatible with all of your devices.

    • HomerSp

      It's region restricted, probably US-only.

      • OmniWrench

        It's a music streaming service, of course it's US only! The rest of the world isn't allowed to listen to streaming music. :-(

      • WTheend28

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  • stu

    Can anyone provide a link to sideload the APK?

  • Hooterman

    Please let this fail, please let this fail, please let this fail...

    • Mantas

      Why do you want it to fail? Just because of the name? Competition is always a good thing.

      • Hooterman

        Because I don't like what this company stands for.

        • veRdiKt

          LOL. Just because Beats by Dre had an awesome commercial about Richard Sherman doesnt mean you can hate. This guy prolly had a pseudo-intellectual status on facebook which described the similarities between MLK and Richard Sherman.

        • xanok

          Care to be more specific?

          • Hooterman

            I value product quality over marketing.

          • Mantas

            And did you try the music streaming service? How can you say anything about the quality? If they sell overprices headphones that does not mean their music streaming service is shit.

          • Hooterman

            Not only do I have no interest to try their service, I have no need. I'm more than happy with my Google Music All Access, and I don't need to support Beats in hopes that I look cool to somebody on the street just because I'm using the hip new one.

            Lastly, I didn't say that their service is shit. It doesn't have to be complete shit to make it inferior. I'm sure it's fine, it plays music like all the other ones do, not a tough feat. But I'm sorry, playing Mad Libs to create playlists isn't going to pull me away from Google Music. Where's my widget? How about custom song upload? Maybe Chromecast support?

            The difference is this service will have advertisements with famous people in them to add street cred to an inferior service. Which makes it marketing over quality.

          • uuuh

            Someone said "Apple"?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

    Sorry nope, I prefer Play Music.

    • Kcls

      Same, plus I got in early so I only pay $8 a month.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

    No Chromecast = Useless To Me

    • Allen Dewberry, Jr.

      Only Pandora( which is nothing but fail to me. I don't grasp how people just listen to stations and not choose there own music.) and GPMAA are the only proper services that support it. And both are very lacking in social aspect. Go complain to Google on that Chormecast API if your mad about it lol.

      • Cesar

        " I don't grasp how people just listen to stations and not choose there own music."

        1. Their =/= there

        2. Sometimes people just want to listen to something without having to choose what to listen to. It's also good for possibly discovering things you haven't heard yet.

        • Allen Dewberry, Jr.

          Well pardon my grammar in the early morning lol. But honestly I've given Pandora plenty of tries since it became a 'thing' back in 2005. Honestly I never liked there algorithm. It was just too mainstream and never diverges that far from the music it has to pick from which is much less then the streaming service, not including I listen to obscure stuff. It would pick a station, play it and play the same stuff even when I liked and changed my listening. It was just bad and I tend to skip over half of it.

          Still IMO i feel like if you should at least try the service before you trash it does have a rather cool way of making up auto playlists and easily going to the album not the pokey way Spotify handles it and more like Rdio/GPMAA/Xbox. Still wish people would try the other stuff before slamming it is my point, its nice if it can stream on the go better. I'll give up Rdio for it and might cancel GPMAA.

          GPMAA isn't bad for what it is but its kind of lacking in diversity though its Smart DJ Playlists are pretty spot on the other stuff is a bit lacking overall still since they made the service even with the library integration. But again this is my opinion lol.

        • Justin W

          This is why I like GPAA - I have my music, their music, and a radio mixing service all in one. There are times when I just don't care to let it run through on shuffle or play my entire library, and radio, as you said, is awesome for new content discovery.

  • Neefu

    Post apk pls

  • Stylus_XL

    Just installed this app - the design is very, very slick. Suggested playlists look good so far. Not sure if this will drag me away from Play Music but it's worth trying out.

  • JM

    Their logo remembers me a robot vacuum cleaner.

  • didibus

    My problem with all these music streaming service is that none of them have all the music I want. It's always missing stuff. Google Music All Access did it right, because it also provides the locker, so you can complete the selection of music with your own stuff.

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      Ditto.

      Led Zeppelin
      Metalica
      AC/DC
      Green Day
      Beatles
      The Black Keys (show up in Google Play, but many tracks won't play)

      ... and tons of other bands refuse to allow their stuff to be streamed for some reason, and Google Music AllAccess is the only service that lets you seamlessly fill in the gaps with your own uploads. The randomly generated genre radio even interleaves your uploads with AllAccess. Can't beat that.

  • supremekizzle

    Probably equalized to have heavy base so only rap music sounds good just like beats headphones. I laugh every time I see someone walking around with beats because I know they got ripped off big time.

    • Bluewall

      Not sure why you're being downvoted, you're totally right.

      • supremekizzle

        It's the people that own beats that are trying to justify their purchase.

        • abobobilly

          Apparently there aren't many of them lol.

          Please, let this app be what beats headphones represent. That is to say, "WASTE".

          On the plus side, I do love the GUI.

          • shonangreg

            The geeks, nerds, and otaku that populate android sites may just be more likely to read technical reviews and long ago knew to stay away from Beats. Their headphones tarnished the name, and Dre as well.

    • Trina S

      Seriously. Those headphones are disgustingly over-priced for what you're getting. Even if you're not an audiophile, reading a couple reviews, you realize you're getting screwed on the price.

      • Matthew Fry

        And yet you see legitimate people using them. I personally have never heard Beats headphones but I am uninterested in paying a premium for popularity. In fact, the more and more I learn about headphones the more I think that the quality of a set of headphones is an inverse relation to their name recognition.

        • RTWright

          I've tried them, they are -nice- but not -great- as they do tend to boost bass a lot more than I care for. They are extremely over-priced, but so are a lot of others like Bose. I'm sorry but I'm a huge audio-nerd. I spent most of my life in the 80's inside a recording studio, where the job was make it sound good on the cheapest piece of crap speakers/headphones you could, because then it sounded even better on the good gear. There is a point where you cannot tell the difference in the quality of the recording, only the difference in sounds between one set of speakers/headphones to another. No one really builds the same so it's hard to tell if it's really the recording or just the hardware that is good. Especially if you already have a fantastic record quality on the music itself. And before anyone states that you can definitely tell the difference between your $5 cheap crap gear to a $100+ premium? DUH! You better for that price difference!

        • abobobilly

          Some people have this false perception that owing beats makes them "True Audiophiles".

          Seen quite a few examples, and every person i met gave me atleast double facepalms while justifying their purchases.

        • StarNoStar

          I have never once met an audiophile (one that actually knows what they're talking about) who prefers this beats garbage. Most prefer Sennheiser, HiFiMAN, Fischer, etc....

          Quite the contrary actually, as most of the proclaimed "audiophiles" who use beats headphones can't tell me what the difference between lossless and lossy is, what a transcode is, etc... basic basic stuff if one expects decent sounding music.

    • Guest

      It's so sad because it's true. I think it's just a name brand thing. People assume beats is great because they see the marketing/promotions for it everywhere and everyone has a pair.

      No one actually bothers to do research on the headphones themselves.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        Funny thing: you just also described Apple consumers

        • xanok

          He also described Samsung consumers.

  • Spasillium
  • Ryan Callihan

    A hamburger menu. Me gusta.

  • CBNforum

    I am happy with Google All access music at $7.99 a month! I am able to upload my 10k+ songs, merge them with tons of Play Music, create my own playlist, download or stream them on my devices....

  • RTWright

    I wasn't going to post anything on this one, but all this hate for an app and or company that made it.... It's amusing, funny and sad all at the same time. For starters, what do you care if it's another streaming app? Is anyone here holding a fully loaded and cocked gun to your head and forcing you to buy or use it? No.....! Is having more streaming apps a good thing? Yes...... Why? Because this can eventually lower prices due to competition ( Not that $7.99 a month for Play is a bad thing as they are still the cheapest with the bigger library other than iTunes ).

    Point is, if you don't like it? Don't install it, don't read the articles on it, don't bother with it at all. Especially don't make a fool of yourself by posting in public how you want this company to fail or start a crying/whine-fest about not another streaming app. All that does is gives the rest of us ammunition for pointing out how stupid you look on here!

    • kingdazy

      are you seriously trying to imply that having a discussion, expressing opinions, being vehement about them, in the fucking comments section of a website that is focused on that particular set of hobbyists with opinions about this particular subject is "stupid? that its a "crying/whine fest"?
      that's just asinine, sophomoric philosophy 101 Why don't you head over to Gawker, where they talk about nothing and everything. More your speed.

      • RTWright

        Thank you kindly for proving my point ;)

  • John Smith

    i'll stick with Pandora for free.

  • Joshua Bluehawk

    Wow. I couldn't even register... Every time I did it would tell me that my e-mail and my usernames (no matter how many I tried) were already taken... Which is impossible. >_< I'll be sticking with Google Play Music for $7.99, thanks.

  • Bruno

    Am i the only one who doesn'T give a fuck about Dr. Dre and all his products? They sucks, that's it. I always keep the Beats audio thing ''off'' on my HTC One and the Beats music player keeps bugging when i change from artist to another artist. I'm considering buying a new phone just to get this important-thing-in-a-smartphone work properly.

    • Mado

      You surely are not the only one. I used an HTC phone pre-Beats and the music quality is already good enough because of the SRS Audio. Newer HTC phones also includes a built-in EQ, making Beats more useless. Thank goodness HTC phones from the One Max onwards won't have it.

    • Trina S

      You could also root it and remove the Beats audio software or install a different ROM that doesn't include those features. It'll save your sanity and a few dollars.

  • BecauseMusicIsUniversal
    • Kdee

      upvote so others can see

  • firesoul453

    Still waiting for a streaming service that doesn't cost $10 a month... (and has offline playback)

    • TUT

      Google play music :)

      • firesoul453

        Does it let you save the music for offline?

  • Alphajoe

    The three main reasons why I'm really excited about this (although it's not yet available in my country): It has a family plan, it supports more than one account and it does not make me pay multiple times for having my girlfriend listen to music as well.
    Finally at least one competitor who brings something new to the table. Now I'm waiting eagerly for the competition to react.

  • Scoobydoo

    Did anyone try to transfer Beats offline music and listen on any other device. Meaning copy the files on a USB stick and listen in car.

    I tried, renamed the files to .mp3 but no use.

    Any pointers.

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