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.
People use Twitter to share just about everything: mundane thoughts, witty commentary, pictures of food, and their favorite sounds. That last bit is the only part of this list that requires a user to jump away from the app. Now the company is addressing that. Twitter has rolled out Audio Cards, a way for users to stream music and other sounds directly within the Android app.
The experience is not all that dissimilar to how Twitter handles images.
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.