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
T-Mobile announced a big expansion to its Music Freedom deal today with 11 more streaming services. That means you won't use any of your data allotment to listen to these 11 services, some of which you might even have heard of. Really, most of them are pretty obscure. Good on T-Mobile for keeping Music Freedom open, I guess. Read More
It's Black Friday, and deals are popping up everywhere like crazy. The Nexus 9 saw its price slashed by a whopping $200 and the brand-new Nexus 5X is being sold at just $299 on the Google Store and B&H. But while those deals are definitely great and all, nothing beats free.
If you own a Chromecast, free is exactly what you can get. Right now, you can redeem 90 days of Spotify Premium for precisely zero dollars and zero cents. We're not entirely sure in which countries this offer applies, since Google only mentions the US, Puerto Rico, and Malaysia in their support page, but I can definitely confirm that it also works in Portugal, so there's a very good chance you'll be able to redeem it in many of the almost 60 countries where Spotify is available. Read More
Google Play Music. Spotify. Rdio. Tidal. There is no shortage of music streaming services that not only provide an extensive music selection, but also have good if not great Android applications so you can benefit from their catalogue everywhere you go.
The problem with most of these services is their availability. If you live in the USA, you can have your pick among any of them and there's little argument over the value of a $10 combined Google Play Music Unlimited and YouTube Red / Youtube Music subscription. But stray farther and things become less clear. American (Northern, Central, and Southern), European, and Southeast Asian countries are usually among the first supported by many services, but African, Middle Eastern, and plenty of other Asian nations often have limited options and even fewer good ones. Read More
With all of the activity surrounding YouTube Red, including a brand new YouTube Music app, it seems like a good time for a Play Music update. Version 6.1 just landed and aside from a mysterious new "Auto-offline" feature and a bit of cleanup in the Settings screen, it looks like a pretty typical bug fix release. However, the teardown tells a different story. It looks like this version also brings support for the recently announced family plans and Android Wear speaker support. As usual, we've also got a download link at the bottom if you can't wait for the apk to roll out to your account. Read More