Amazon Echo (her friends call here Alexa) has been steadily improving since it launched a little over a year ago. Starting today, this little electronic monolith has a new trick up its sleeve: it can now play music directly from Spotify.
Playing music on Echo isn't exactly new: owners can already stream from services like Amazon Music, Prime Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and TuneIn. On top of that, Echo has always been able to play audio from any Bluetooth-enabled device. However, official Spotify support gives users a lot more control over their listening experience than having to manually manage everything (a common first-world problem). Read More
You have ample choices when it comes to music streaming on Android, and SomaFM has been among them for a long time. However, it's always been a paid app. Now, it's suddenly free, and in the Play Store, that means it's free forever. It's not clear what this means for SomaFM's business model, but hey, free stuff is cool. Read More
If you're an American and you've heard the tongue-twisting country music ballad "I've Been Everywhere," odds are that you've heard the most popular version from Johnny Cash, or perhaps the earlier version by the unequaled Hank Snow. There have been dozens of adaptations of the song, for everywhere from Texas to Singapore. But the original was written by Geoff Mack way back in 1959 and popularized by Lucky Starr, and the first set of lyrics was exclusively tailored to cities, towns, and regions in Australia. The song featured such multi-syllabic municipalities as Megalong, Tamborine, Woodenbong, and Grong Grong. Read More
Freeee Stuff!!! Hooray!
Google has three more free albums on Google Play Music and also has discounted a ton of other ones to just 99 cents. Time to pad that music collection my fellow cheapskates, this is a great way to spend all those Google Opinion Reward credits you've been hoarding (they expire after a year BTW, so best use 'em before you lose 'em).
Here are the free albums
And here are the ones you have to pay for, but only $0.99. Read More
Last month Chromecast Audio gained the ability to sync audio playback across multiple devices and multiple rooms. This made the little circular music puck a cheaper alternative to Sonos, a way to fill your home with sound using speakers you already have for an additional $35 per Chromecast.
Plugging in the little dongle is hardly a difficult task, but it's still less sightly than having the functionality built-in. Throughout this year, B&O Play, Harman Kardon, Onkyo, Philips, Pioneer, and Raumfeld will all join Sony and LG in producing Google Cast-enabled speakers. As they roll out, Google will introduce the ability to sync playback across multiple speakers and rooms using them as well, just as you already can with Chromecast Audio. Read More
A serious audiophile will scoff at Bluetooth audio. They also scoff at most other things, but maybe there will be less wireless scoffing now that Qualcomm's aptX HD audio codec is a thing. Using aptX HD, a device can output true 24-bit audio over Bluetooth, and there's already a Bluetooth hardware module that supports it. Read More
For years, you couldn't even get The Beatles music in digital format, then Apple struck a deal to sell it all exclusively. That was way back in 2010, but now this music is branching out. The Beatles will be available everywhere in streaming form on December 24th at 12:01AM, including Google Play Music. Read More
Google is continuing to refine what data you can access without ever leaving its browser-based search interface. A few of the more complex options for searching popular culture have now made their way from the desktop to Android, and they've also been given some impressive layout adjustments. According to Google's own search blog, contextual information for music, movies, and television shows will now appear in a dedicated sub-section of Google Search. Some of this was already available, but some of it's definitely new. Read More
Google acquired the streaming music service Songza more than a year ago, and it has operated in parallel with Google Play Music all this time. But no more. Songza is being shuttered on January 31st, so existing users have about two months to migrate over to Play Music. The good news, most of Songza's features are already in Play Music. Read More