It turns out Spotify Connect has a very useful feature that the company hasn't done much to make immediately obvious. The service, which lets you stream music to WiFi-connected speakers from your smartphone or tablet, also lets you pump music to other Android devices. The devices don't even have to be on the same network, for that matter. You can connect from an LTE network, as you can see in the screenshots below.
Chromecast streaming is all the rage right now, but BubbleUPnP has been reliably streaming local audio and video to compatible devices like the Xbox 360, PS3, XBMC, or any Universal Plug and Play or DLNA devices for months. Today the app has been updated with a special treat for root users: an "Audio Cast" mode that expands BubbleUPnP's streaming capability to include most third-party apps like Spotify or Google Play Music.
Do we need another streaming music service? There's Pandora for people who always want to listen to something new, Spotify for people who want access to a large number of music as soon as it comes out, and All Access for Android users who want to combine streaming new music with the albums they've already backed up to Google Music. Then there's Rhapsody and Rdio for, I guess, the same people who like Spotify.
An update has rolled out to the Pandora Android app that builds upon what made the Internet radio service popular to begin with - making it easier to discover new music. To this day, Pandora still has an uncanny way of serving out songs that fit a listener's tastes precisely, especially for those who have been tweaking their stations for years. But we are all creatures of habit, and it can be easy to still fall into a rut even with Pandora's helping hand.
Remember when Microsoft angered legions of fans by announcing that the Xbox One would require an Internet connection to use? The company reversed that decision, but thus far, the Xbox Music Android app has functioned in much the same way. Fortunately for it, streaming music is already an established thing, so there won't be nearly as many people excited to find out that the newest version of the app now supports playing playlists offline.
Spotify made news earlier today by lowering its barrier to entry, allowing users to stream music to their phone or tablets for free. Yet it isn't the only music-streaming service in town, and competitor Rdio has expanded access to 20 additional countries. This brings the total number of supported territories up to 51, which this handy map illustrates.
With Google Play Music All Access coming to more and more countries around the world (though obviously still not all of them), Google is expanding the reach of its all-you-can-eat music platform into regions where services like Spotify reign supreme. Listening to music on your smartphone (or tablet) is probably an activity all of us partake in, too, so I'm curious to know what kind of services our readers actually like enough to pay for.
A few months ago we told you about a nifty music streaming app called SoundSeeder, which lets you stream audio directly from one Android device to another over WiFi. At the time I mentioned that it was a cool idea, but the fact that it didn't allow users to stream Google Music songs over the connection was a bit of a let down. Developer JekApps took my complaint under advisement, and let us know that there's a new version that enables Google Play Music streaming after all.
Yesterday Billboard issued a report claiming that Google subsidiary YouTube is preparing to release a streaming music service. This service would be offered in both free and premium tiers a la Spotify, and it is reportedly a separate entity from Google Play's music service, All Access. Specific details on date and price are not available, but Billboard claims that all the licensing deals made through All Access will be available for the new service and a launch is tentatively planned for before the end of the year.
The latest Spotify update isn't anything major, but it should help make it easier to navigate the vast amount of content out there and discover what new tunes you might be interested in. Clicking on the Browse section of the Spotify side navigation menu shoots you out to a grid of genres to choose from. Clicking on any of them presents suitable artists, and there's a menu at the top where you can break down the genre even further.