The cool kids like the quality of their music turned up all the way to 320 kbps (the coolest ones prefer lossless), but that's a luxury that often goes away with streaming music over the Internet. Rdio says it's had enough with that lower quality crap (I can't really tell the difference, but the cool kids tell me that stuff's awful), so it is bringing in the ability to stream and download songs at 320 kbps over both Wi-Fi and a cellular connection.
Sometimes you've just got to sit back and marvel at the ingenuity of some Android developers. While Motorola was busy putting expensive infrared sensors all over the front of the new Moto X to enable a few gesture controls, developer OnTheGo Platforms was adding it in with something that just about every smartphone already has. Behold, BrainWave, an app that lets you play, pause, and navigate your music like a frickin' Jedi.
One of the earliest uses of mobile apps was to identify music on the go. I remember using Shazam on a flip phone many moons ago. The apps are more robust these days, but you still have to open them in time to catch the song. BASE Music Sensor says it can do better. It sits in the background and listens for music passively without wrecking your battery. Or so the developers claim.
Music streaming service Spotify has crept over the border into the unforgiving arctic north of Canada today, bringing with it the gift of music. Spotify touts its 20 million song catalog and 320kbps audio quality, but that's less special than it once was. What does make Spotify special for Canadians is that it's actually available in Canada unlike some services.
WhoSampled - it's easy enough to guess what the service is about from its name. Touting the "world's largest and richest database of music DNA" and an apparent one million users, WhoSampled sends users on a "journey of musical discovery" starting from a single song that contains a sample from another song.
The service (which began as a website before launching on iOS) gives users detailed sample information, including where in a song a sample appears, what type of sample it is, and what part of the original song is being sampled.
Pandora is currently rolling out a redesigned version of its Android app that may just cause more than a few double takes. The Internet radio service has looked largely the same on Android for a few years now, but the UI introduced in 5.5 is strikingly different - at first, at least. This change is stark, but it's only surface deep.
The Pandora app has been stripped of its blue gradients.
Shazam, the app that makes identifying songs and TV show sound bites simple, also makes acquiring said content easy as well. Now the company has announced that it's adding Google Play Music to the app's list of supported streaming services and is integrating it directly into the experience. It's even giving Google's offering top placement.
The latest version of the Android app shows the store alongside Rdio, Beats Music, and Spotify. The option to stream is available in a drop-down arrow next to the play button.
You might remember back in August an update to Google Play Music added public playlist search, which is neat. However, Google then pulled the feature. Presumably it wasn't ready for release at that time, but now it's back in the newest build, and you can download it below.
With a Sonos sound system, people can pump music through every room of the house using their Android phone or tablet as a master control device. This wireless audio jujitsu previously required users to directly plug a Sonos Bridge into their routers, which would create a dedicated network for the system to do its business on. With version 5.1, the Bridge is no longer required. New customers can set up their Sonos systems using their existing Wi-Fi networks.
Google's official Glassware selection has a new member today - Pandora. As Carl Edwards explains in a post to the official Pandora blog, the addition of Pandora to the Glassware page of Google's MyGlass interface is the result of Pandora's semi-annual 72-hour hackathon. "It was such a hit," the blog says, "that we decided to show it to Google."
In keeping with Google's UX vision for Glass, the Pandora app is exceedingly simple.