Under the hood improvements don't always get much love, but there is a segment of Android users that will be thrilled to hear about what Google has done for those working with audio. The headlining change is an API for MIDI, which is the primary interface for communicating music-oriented information between devices. The net result of this will be making it far easier for developers to create apps that interact with hardware for making music or other sorts of sounds. Read More
Attention parents! Google has some free music on Google Play today to make your next family road trip a pleasure for your children and torture for you. Play: Music, by The Rainbow Collections, is currently free. This timeless collection of wonderful(ly annoying) children's music contains classics such as 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star', 'Row Your Boat', and 'Old MacDonald'.
As much as I have tried to educate my two boys that eighties rock is far better road trip music material, they still prefer this dreadful stuff. Read More
The new version of Shazam has a feature that will probably appeal to smartwatch people. You can now use your Android Wear watch to identify songs and see lyrics without ever touching your phone. In fact, you only have to touch the watch twice (or zero times) to get it done.
There's a new streaming music service in town, and people seem excited about this one. The UK-based MixRadio has the customary umpteen million tracks available, but it tries to be more personal than services like Pandora. It also seems a little less restrictive in what you can do with the free streaming music.
YouTube updates have been rolling out about every week or two for the last couple of months. Most of the changes haven't been very big, but they're polishing up little aspects of the app in notable ways. The latest version bump doesn't bring significant modifications, either, but it's continuing the trend of small but visible changes. A permanent Cast button has been placed in the action bar and there are updated icons in the privacy selector for uploads. Read More
Google just rolled out an update to Play Music, but not for the app. This time it's the web interface that is getting a fresh coat of paint—an interesting shade of Android app. Yes, the web interface looks almost exactly like the app now.
Today Rdio announced a new subscription plan that serves as a more affordable option for listeners who want to get rid of ads but don't want to pay $9.99 a month. With Rdio Select, folks can do so for just $3.99 instead.
What's the catch? Rdio Select gives you up to twenty-five songs at a time to carry around on your devices. You can keep them for as long as you're subscribed, but you need to remove songs once you're ready to add more. Read More
Have you guys heard about Listen? It's a pretty rad service for T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers that lets users set custom ringback tones, be it music or a custom message for callers to listen to instead of a ring. It's got some other neat features as well, like Drive Mode, which automatically detects when the phone is in a moving vehicle and plays a message letting callers know that you're currently traveling. Read More
Last Wednesday Google updated Play Music to version 5.9. We tore into it as we are wont to do, but we found nothing in the way of user-facing changes (though we did see code that hints at a future way to handle when two or more devices try to use the same Chromecast at once). Google has pushed out two other 5.9 updates since then, and now we have a changelog. Read More
Google semi-regularly offers free albums on the Play Store, and here's one for the ages. No, seriously. We're talking such timeless hits as Nocturnes, Op. 9: No. 1 in B-Flat Minor and Messiah: Hallelujah! These and thirteen other tracks are waiting for those who jump on this opportunity to download the Play Classical album. This deal is probably limited to the US, but you never know.
The free selection has varied greatly over the past several months. Read More