The headphones are gigantic. The advertising is inescapable. And now the maker of either the best or the worst music accessories on the market (depending on who you ask) is in the music streaming game. Beats Music is now on the Play Store, offering a streaming catalog of "over 20 million songs from every genre" for ten bucks a month. Beats will be competing with Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, and oh yeah, Google Music All Access.
One of the worst things about managing music playlists is adding new songs when we hear them. Sure, once we've identified them, we can always track the song down by name, but that can turn into a lot of manual labor. If we've learned anything from the popularity of music subscription services, it's that we want things to be quick, simple, and convenient. Rdio and Shazam agree, and they are doing something about it.
Vizio's pulled the curtains off two new Portable Smart Audio speakers that are powered by Android 4.4. What makes them special are the touchscreens embedded into the front of each device. Instead of having to pair them with a phone using Bluetooth, users will be free to stream music directly from the likes of Spotify and Pandora or enjoy video from Netflix or YouTube. Think of each version as a bulky tablet that doesn't need to rest in your lap, one with speakers that you won't leave you reaching for earbuds.
If you were jealous of iOS users who were able to wake up every morning to the sound of their favorite Pandora stations, then today may just be your lucky day. Today, Pandora announced a new update to its Android app that includes the alarm clock feature which debuted on iOS last month. In addition to waking you up at a set time with the station of your choosing, it also includes a snooze ability and a customizable snooze timer which can be set to 5, 10, 15, or 20 minute intervals.
The internet got all sad and nostalgic in November when AOL announced with little fanfare that Winamp was shutting down. The music player and streaming service had been whipping llamas for 15 years, and it seemed like a depressing and inauspicious end. AOL smartly held off on the shutdown when there appeared to be interest in buying Winamp, and that's just what happened. Winamp is being sold to Belgian online radio purveyor Radionomy.
Conventional wisdom says that mobile devices are for content consumption, but content creation is the realm of laptops and desktops. Sure, you see "created using nothing but an iPad" every once in a while, but if you're looking at something professional, odds are good that its creator used a reliable mouse and keyboard at some point. Then along comes an app like Cross DJ, challenging our notions of what can be done on a touchscreen and ARM hardware.
Spotify made news earlier today by lowering its barrier to entry, allowing users to stream music to their phone or tablets for free. Yet it isn't the only music-streaming service in town, and competitor Rdio has expanded access to 20 additional countries. This brings the total number of supported territories up to 51, which this handy map illustrates.
Google's streaming music subscription service continues to creep across the globe, arriving in new countries suddenly and without warning. It's kind of like the Black Death, except fewer people die (so far). Today Google Play All Access has hit Germany with millions of songs for just a few bucks per month.
German users were greeted by the All Access popup in Play Music yesterday and immediately began shouting from every social media rooftop.
Version 5.3 of the Google Play Music app is flying out to Android devices right now, bringing with it... not a lot, actually. A quick look inside reveals bolded "Listen Now" text in the slide-out menu, a version update to 5.3.1316M, and not much else. But as usual, our hyper-intelligent cloud of futuristic swarming nanobots is pouring over the APK file, and there's plenty to be excited about.
Since its introduction, Google Glass has been in the unfortunate position of having relatively limited functionality. However, with a steady stream of updates and eventually the emergence of the Glassware tab in the MyGlass interface, we've known the elusive wearable was due for some more exciting things. A few weeks after announcing plans to add Play Music to Glass, Google has quietly added it to the list of apps supported on the elusive wearable.