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. But if you choose to stream from the cloud, you're not limited by your phone's storage, so you probably have access to your entire library - not to mention you don't have to bother with syncing your music.
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. Assuming you and a friend have NFC-enabled devices and both subscribe to Spotify, you can share tracks by tapping your devices together. Handy! Other improvements include a better offline mode bar and a bunch of bug fixes.
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. No official word has been posted to Grooveshark's blog yet. Though, it wouldn't be hard to imagine the reason why. Grooveshark has always operated in a bit of a legal gray area.
Over a year ago, Google removed the Grooveshark app from what was then the Android Market due to a violation of the terms of service. Of course, with a service like Grooveshark, being removed from the Play Store was just the first of its worries - the company has definitely seen its fair share of legal issues over the last several months. Still, after its departure from the Store, Grooveshark continued to offer the app free of charge through its website.
Those days have come and gone, and after "working closely with Google," the Grooveshark app has been fully reinstated into the Play Store.
One of the worst phrases a human being can put together is "automatic video editor." The whole thing feels like it's set up for failure. Like "vasectomy in a box" or "snooki's pregnant." Add in "for Android" and, well, let's just say I've been burned before. So it came as an unbelievable shock when I tried out Magisto, which claims to be both of these things, and it was good. I mean, really good. It doesn't offer you any control at all, but it does the job for the regular Joe or Jane in fantastic form.
How It Works
The process is stupid simple.
A bunch of new fun stuff is coming down the pipeline, Google-fans! Your favorite search giant has just pushed several updates to some of its headlining properties, including Play Music, Play Magazines, and Google Goggles. We've got the full rundown for you.
For starters, Google Music has added expandable notifications to its repertoire. It doesn't look like you'll see much more info if you expand it, but Play Music continues to be one of the best examples of how to make notifications robust and useful. Also, good news for Google TV owners: if you purchased a newer GTV box (like the Vizio Co-Star), Play Music will now be supported.
Okay, now that I've got that out of my system, let me introduce you to Spirits. This game features a series of ethereal spirit beings (see where they got the name?) that steadily stream out of the entrance to a level. Your job is to transform some of the aural manifestations into clouds, vines, and all manner of natural tools to lead the remaining wisps to the exit of the level. If it sounds familiar, then you probably owned a Commodore Amiga or played PC games in the early 90s.
This may not be strictly Android-related news, but it's safe to say that what Google does to search results is relevant to our readers' interests, no? Today, Google announced via its Inside Search blog that the company will start including the volume of valid copyright removal notices as a factor in determining how high or low a site ranks in its search results. Translation: pirate sites won't be removed entirely, but they'll start ranking lower than legitimate sites.
Pretty soon, sites like the Pirate Bay won't be the #1 search result anymore.
The net effect of this change will likely be very minimal to the more hardcore pirates.
If you keep up with the wider electronics world, you know that Apple has introduced a proprietary streaming protocol for its computers and mobile devices called AirPlay. If you're one of the surprisingly large number of people who combines Apple and Android hardware, you'll want to check out Android HIFI, the pet project of an XDA Developers member. The app turns your Android device into an AirPlay receiver, allowing you to play music or standard audio from Mac or iOS hardware.
At present the app is pretty basic: you can stream audio (and only audio) from a single source, adjust the delay to accommodate for other devices playing the same thing, and play the audio through your wired or Bluetooth headset.
Back in February of 2011, Eric Schmidt took the stage at MWC to announce Google's latest tablet-oriented app: Movie Studio. It was a rather exciting new addition to Google's first foray into the tablet world. This made it possible for tablet users to not just view content, but to create it as well. This was a big deal. At the time, Apple already had a year-long head start on tablets. Not only would Android need a lot of third-party app support, but first-party apps would be essential to the platform's success.
You may recall the Xoom didn't sell too well.
Part of the problem is that Movie Studio sucked.