For all that we've heard of Apple intentionally keeping Android out of its walled garden, the Apple Music streaming service seems to be a notable exception. Version 3.5 of the app is now rolling out to Android devices on the Play Store with a few interesting additions to its featureset.
Those who listen to music on Spotify may have wanted to look at lyrics at one point or another. For many of them, Genius's "Behind the Lyrics" experience, which only gave some lyrics alongside a big dose of trivia for some songs, hasn't cut the mustard. But after years of demand, the streaming company has relented, confirming that it is testing a full lyrics experience in the U.S.
The Spotify apps for Android and iOS have recently picked up a new feature: The ability to search for music through song lyrics. We don't know precisely when it rolled out, but an informal announcement made by Spotify's Lin Wang implies it landed recently. Separately, Spotify has also announced that it will start publishing new music charts, including a weekly top 50, a US top 10, and a Global top 10, with other market-specific versions planned soon.
If you feel like YouTube Music (YTM) has been adding a new feature every other day, you're not mistaken. With Google Play Music going the way of the dodo soon, YTM has gone into overdrive to match it as much as possible before it's deprecation time. The latest addition is lyrics support on the web client.
Spotify has been working on proper lyrics support for ages. It likely takes this long to implement the seemingly simple feature in part due to licensing issues surrounding songtexts, which already led to a lawsuit against Google. Spotify seems to have finally found a suitable solution, as TechCrunch reports that the company is planning to roll out lyrics synced with music to 26 markets today. The US, Canada, and the UK aren't among these, though.
YouTube Music has been steadily improving and spreading to more countries since its launch. Over the past couple of months, Google has been testing and slowly rolling out two new features in the app: a new player interface with lyrics and an Explore tab for better music discovery. Both of these are now live for most users (if not everyone) in the latest app update.
One of the joys of listening to music is singing along, but if you don't want to make a fool of yourself or if you really want to understand what the artist is saying (or mumbling, humming, growling), you need to have quick access to lyrics. Spotify, one of the world's largest music streaming services, wasstillbehind on this feature until now. The service is now slowly catching up and rolling out proper lyrics support to users.
More than a year after launch, Google is still bringing slow, but tangible improvements to YouTube Music. While the ability to upload your own tracks to the service isn't yet live, we now have confirmation that it's coming. A little less exciting piece of news is that the app is testing a new, improved Now Playing interface.
Songs and lyrics come hand in hand, at least if you don't listen exclusively to instrumentals and electronic music. When you're failing to understand what an artist is saying — be it because they're talking too fast, growling too much, swallowing letters left and right, or speaking a foreign language for you — lyrics help you decipher the mess and understand the song's message. Several music streaming services offer lyrics along with songs, like Spotify (though in its own Behind the lyrics flavor) and Apple Music, and now YouTube Music is getting ready to join the fold.
Google's knowledge graph is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it's great for us users and offers us information at a glance before we ever need to enter a website. On the other hand, publishers are losing a lot of impressions because people don't click through to them anymore. This is particularly evident for lyrics providers; ever since Google started to offer song texts in search, traffic has naturally dropped for them. Now, one of the biggest players, Genius, has accused the search engine of illegally lifting lyrics from their platform and has provided evidence in the form of clever apostrophe use.