Over the last few weeks, we've heard of a feature popping up for Google Play Music All Access users here and there (thanks for the tips!), whereby the app or web interface would link users to relevant music videos inside the app. When listening to or browsing music, the app would show a YouTube icon, sometimes in the center of the screen, sometimes weirdly positioned in the "now playing" bar. It was clear Google was still testing the feature but it looks like now, with the publication of an official change log for Play Music's latest update, Google may be flipping the switch on a wider basis.
So you know that mixtape that Peter Quill, excuse me—Star-Lord, dances to throughout Guardians of the Galaxy? Well those tunes are currently available on Google Play for free (Update: to people who live in the US). So if you want to be an earthling who feels like a space-traveling superhero who uses these songs to remind him of Earth, now you can do so without spending any money.
Anybody who owns an ADT-1 has noticed the inexplicable absence of a Play Music app, something that became even more apparent after the Nexus Player began shipping with it. Well, the wait is finally over! An update to the Play Music app began rolling out earlier today, and it includes a banner on the Leanback Launcher for those of us with Google's development hardware. If you've got a Nexus Player, you haven't been left out with this update.
SoundHound is one of the apps you can use to recognize those songs you hear playing in the background, whether it's in a commercial or in a department store. Now its developers are bumping things up to version 6.3 and giving everything a spiffy new look.
The interface above will probably look similar across platforms.
Overall, everything is still dark and looks generally SoundHound-y, but stuff has moved around a bit to make music more discoverable.
During October we've been positively innundated with new versions of apps, mostly from Google as the company plasters Material Design over nearly its entire catalog. But there have been some notable launches as well, dominated by Google's own Inbox (and the scramble that comes from an invitation system). For some other highlighted picks from October and a few honorable mentions, read on.
The market seems to have settled on $10 per month as a reasonable price for unlimited streaming music, which is a pretty good deal when you think about it. If you miss the supposed high fidelity of a real CD, you're pretty much out of luck—unless you use Tidal. This service costs $20 per month for lossless tunes, but there's now an Android app, so at least you have the option.
Apple's platform has long been the king when it comes to music performance and production apps, but that might be changing. Algoriddim has developed a version of the popular djay 2 turntable app for Android, and you can buy it today. Not only that, but Algoriddim says it has managed to deal with Android's famous audio latency issues in this app, making it suitable for all your turntable needs.
Do you ever wish you could just break into song? No? Okay, that doesn't actually surprise me, but Sony wants to put a microphone app on your phone so you can sing into it whenever the need arises. Yes, it's the new SingStar app, which plugs into the PS3 and new PS4 versions of the game.
Spotify has announced an option for families that allows them to add discounted accounts to a primary Spotify account, very much like a carrier family plan. After signing up for a standard $9.99 Spotify Premium subscription, users in the US can add up to four more premium accounts for $5 each, a 50% discount. A family of five can thus get a premium account for each member for a total of $29.99 a month.
Say it with me now: piracy is bad. There are ways to get free copies of just about everything online, but even setting aside the legal and moral aspects of it, doing so can come with the risk of infecting your computer with something icky or falling victim to a phishing attempt. People who know their way around the woods will continue to be able to take advantage of things, but Google's working on reducing the likelihood that the average user will end up in a place they don't want to be.