Within the deluge of exciting announcements made today in lieu of its New York event, Google announced that it has partnered with Warner Music Group to explode the Play Store's music selection, bringing the media giant's full music catalog to listeners all over the world. This means that Google is now partnered "with all of the major record labels globally," along with many independent labels and all the major US magazine publishers, which is nothing if not good news for consumers.
Before there was Google Music, there was Subsonic. This app has attracted quite a lot of users for its ability to stream music that you have stored on your PC. The only trouble is that it has always been fairly ugly. This update solves that issue.
After installing the Subsonic app, you have to pick up the server software for the computer where all your media is stored. Sadly, this software will cost you $15, but there is a free trial.
When turntable.fm first came out on Android, we were excited. In my review, I said that it was a fantastic start, but could use a bit of polish. In no small part, because of those dang iOS-style buttons. While I still believe that iOS- buttons do not single-handedly make a lazy port, it's nice to see that the developer has taken the time to bring the UI in line with the newest guidelines.
While services like Spotify and Rdio may steal the spotlight most of the time, there are other streaming subscription services out there. Related: we need a better name than "streaming subscription services." Rhapsody, originally founded by Real Networks and since become an independent entity, has a pretty impressive library that users can now download for offline playback. An essential feature for a modern cloud music player. Update: To clarify, it's the ability to download songs on an individual or per-album basis that is new.
If you want to listen to your own music on your Android device, there are two ways to do it: first, store it locally, or second, stream it from a cloud-based service like Google Music or Amazon MP3. Obviously playing back locally would be faster (no buffering), reliable (you don't have to worry about reception), not use up valuable bandwidth, and allow you to use whatever music player you want.
Today, Spotify's Android app received an update that should please audiophiles the world over (where available): if you're using the mobile app on Ice Cream Sandwich or above, you can now access an equalizer from the Settings menu. The features is actually called "Audio Effects" in 4.0, but on Jelly Bean it's been changed to the more readily-recognizable "Equalizer" moniker.
Also new is the ability to share music via NFC.
It's never easy to be a questionably-legal music streaming service on the internet. Grooveshark has had trouble with submitting an Android app in the past. A couple days ago, we thought the company had ironed out its problems with Google's ToS when it reappeared on the Play Store. Not so, it seems, as the app has now been pulled yet again.
We haven't heard exactly why the app has been pulled this time around.