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
Spotify finally capitulated and added support for Chromecast streaming recently, but there were a number of caveats. Streaming to the Chromecast Audio required a premium subscription and the first-gen Chromecast wasn't supported. That second issue won't be a problem anymore. Reboot your first-gen Chromecast, and Spotify should work just fine. Read More
A few weeks ago 9to5Google ran a report saying that Google probably intends to announce Spotify support alongside the new Chromecast at today's event. Now more evidence is out there that suggests this may be the case. Read More
New Nexus phones aren't the only thing that Google has in the lineup tomorrow. Sources tell us that the economical Chromecast streaming gadget will be getting its first major revision as well. The new version, codenamed "Earth," will retain the same HDMI dongle design as the original, but come with some exciting new features. We're expecting the price for the second generation Chromecast to remain steady at $35, and it should be available following the announcement tomorrow, September 29th, or shortly thereafter.
Above: the revised Chromecast hardware, from a 9to5Google leak earlier this month.
First of all, the new Chromecast will be available in three colors, Black, Lemonade (yellow), and Coral (pale pink/red). Read More
It's been more than two years since the Chromecast was first announced and released. What started as a cheap gadget with a closed ecosystem has turned into an open platform that allows you to throw media from almost any app, service, and device to a bigger screen near you. Want to cast everything you're doing right now on your phone? Sure. How about those photos you took during the last holiday? Yes. And that funny cat YouTube video, your partner would sure love that? Aha. Some background music with a photo slideshow while you're working in the kitchen? Why not. That's the reason I bought a "dumb" TV and a Chromecast — I couldn't understand why I'd have to pay hundreds of dollars for some low-grade SmartTV system when I had all the possibilities available to me through an independent $35 dongle. Read More
Spotify Running has been available for quite some time now, first on iOS, but also for Android users who signed up for beta updates. These folks got to try things out back in June. Now Spotify has officially announced the feature's availability for regular premium subscribers with Android devices.
This makes Android's launch a full four months after Spotify Running came to Apple's mobile platform. As for whether this was a long wait, well, we've certainly seen longer.
Spotify Running prompts you to select a tempo when you start running. It will try to provide music that matches your adrenaline level and music preferences at the same time. Read More
IFTTT's web service can automate your life. You create recipes that do what you want done using simple if this then that commands. But to get cooking, you need to have on the right channel.
Today IFTTT has announced a new Spotify channel that lets you integrate your music library. Examples of what you can do include automatically posting to your social network accounts whenever you add a song to a playlist and emailing yourself a summary of all the tracks you save over the course of a week.
If your home is particularly smart, you can set your Philips HUE lights to match the album art of your most recently saved track. Read More
Back in May Spotify offered a healthy serving of new functionality to iOS users that, dagnabbit, we Android folks wanted too. At the time, we were told that our taste would come in the near future with no specific timing. Well, premium Spotify subscribers have started to see the features show up in the latest beta updates.
We detailed the changes back when iOS got its hands on them, so I'm going to skim over them now. There's a new "Now" start page that provides music based on the time of day while also adapting to your mood and personal tastes. Read More
Music will generally sound better coming through the Sonos speaker system in your home than your phone or computer, so it's a no brainer that Spotify subscribers want to stream albums this way. Fortunately new features have found their way into the beta version of the Android app that make this a better experience.
A number of these additions help you find new content. Spotify Premium subscribers can now start radio stations from any artist or track and get recommendations based on the time of day. The app will also do its part to help you discover newly released albums, and access to charts lets you see what music is trending in various parts of the world. Read More
Spotify started rolling its v3.0 update to users today, which brings some design tweaks to the player screens as well as a new feature for the mini player. The relationship between the main player screen and the mini player is now clearer, since there is an up arrow and animation to maximize the mini player along with a down arrow on the main player to do the opposite. You can also now swipe left or right on the mini player to skip tracks, rather than go to the main screen to do that.
Left: old (v2.9), right: new (v3.0)
The most obvious change to the main player is that the album cover has been slightly de-emphasized to allow more room for controls. Read More