If you enjoy listening to music or podcasts while driving, you may be using Android Auto and Google Maps in conjunction with Google Play Music, Pocket Casts, or Spotify. But those of you who prefer Waze for directions and traffic updates may often find themselves juggling it alongside their audio app throughout the drive. That's neither easy nor safe, but it's about to get better.
Spotify and Waze are partnering up to make each app's main features easily accessible in the other. You can start a Waze navigation and see turn-by-turn directions within Spotify, and you can access your Spotify playlists and control playback within Waze. Read More
While Spotify remains primarily a streaming music service, the apps and web portals have become more and more capable as the company continually tweaks them. That looks to continue as Spotify has acquired Sonalytic, a tech firm dedicated to audio and music recognition systems. The terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed in the short announcement post on Spotify's blog, but the company did say that Sonalytic's expertise would be used for "improving Spotify’s personalized playlists, matching songs with compositions, [and] improve our publishing data system." Read More
Starz, the premium cable channel that offers movies and original series, now works with Spotify, the premium streaming music service. Which is... odd. An updated version of the Starz Android app now includes integrated streaming tracks from Spotify, all of which are either original music or soundtrack selections from those Starz series and movies. Apparently there are "more than 3,500" selections that are at least tangentially related to the Starz catalog. Read More
Scoff all you like, Google purists: there are a lot of people who double-dip Android and iOS/Mac platforms, and we have the analytics to prove it. Those of them who subscribe to Apple's paid Music service (which is built off the bones of ye olde Beats Music) will be happy to hear that the Android version is now out of beta. It was available publicly on the Play Store before, but now it's formally released for everyone. Huzzah. Read More
Do you like to use YouTube to stream music, but wish it had the audio-centric interface and exclusive mixes that SoundCloud does? Maybe you're really a Spotify loyalist, but you're itching for some Taylor Swift in the middle of your playlists. Well, Qus, a relatively newcomer to Android, lets you stream from any combination of these sources, plus Deezer and tracks stored locally.
Not only that, but Qus can help you solve another relatively common problem. We all have, at some point, lent one of our earbuds to a friend to let them hear the track we're listening to. If you were (or are) really enterprising, you have a headphone splitter to make things a little bit easier. Read More
YouTube Music, the app built specifically for the YouTube Red music subscription service, is still somewhat in its infancy. There's plenty of room for improvement, and version 1.16 adds a couple of small but notable changes to better the listening experience. First, the standard Watch page (the one with the actual video on it) now has a "More from..." button, with the ellipses replaced with the relevant artist for each video. It allows users to find more music from that specific artist. Makes sense. To see the button you may need to expand the viewer in portrait mode. Read More
What's up, British people... and Welsh people, and Scots, and Irish people who live in Northern Ireland but not the other parts of Ireland. (Did I miss anyone?) You probably watch the British Broadcasting Company's news or television shows, even if it's only in passing. And some of those shows probably feature some live music. If you like the music on those BBC shows, there's an app where you can watch and/or listen to it. It's called BBC Music. Go figure. Read More
You may have heard: YouTube is getting into music in a big way. The Google-owned service has been a hotbed of music videos and independent artists almost since its inception, and lately pushes like YouTube Music and YouTube Red are formalizing that relationship. The latest progression comes out of left field: YouTube (and by extension, Google/Alphabet) has purchased BandPage, a service that helps artists and groups create website profiles specifically for music.
The acquisition was announced on BandPage's company blog, and the terms of the sale were not disclosed. BandPage uses a WYSIWIG editor for easy website creation, and publishing music or videos on the site allows for easy distribution on YouTube, Spotify, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, and other music and social websites all over the Internet. Read More