After weeks of rumors, it's now official: Apple has announced it is purchasing Beats Electronics for the cost of $3 billion. This makes it the largest purchase in Apple's entire history, and obviously the biggest public decision made by Tim Cook since he stepped in as CEO.
"Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”
“I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple,” said Jimmy Iovine. “The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special."
Beats Electronics is the make of the Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones and music accessories, and also the Beats Music subscription service that competes with other offerings from companies like Rdio, Spotify, Rhapsody, and the like.
Apple has released a bug Logic Pro X update, bringing the music and sound editing app to version 10.0.7. At the forefront is much improved support for 12-core Mac Pro 2013 models (see our Mac Pro (2013) review) which now allows it to use up to 24 processing threads at a time. The step sequencer now should perform as expected when using Low Latency Mode, and import and export bugs have also been addressed. As for other new features, you can now copy automation info and paste it into Logic Pro X with the Marquee tool, and volume, pan, and effect info can be inserted into an automation track at the current playhead position. We've got the full changelog for you after the break.
You can get the update now if you already own Logic Pro X. If not, you can grab the app for $199.99 in the Mac App Store.
It looks like Monster's next headphone collaboration will be with luxury fashion brand Chanel. After images of Swizz Beas and Karl Lagerfeld were posted to Instagram showing the two wearing a pair of unannounced headphones that incorporate the Chanel double C monogram, it came to light that they were a product of collaboration between Chanel and Monster. Makes sense, as Swizz Beats is a Monster ambassador. No word on pricing or availability has been announced yet, nor have any specs on the headphones themselves. That said, we'd venture to guess that anyone looking to pick up a pair of Chanel-branded headphones are likely buying them for the brand and not an amazing sound profile.
Apple is purportedly set to make its biggest acquisition in the history of the company, as The Financial Times is reporting that it is about to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. What would Apple get out of Beats Audio? Well, for starters, there's the Beats Music subscription platform, which allows customers to listen to on-demand music along with curated mood-based playlists. That would be a great complement to iTunes Radio, which doesn't allow users to put songs on repeat, and limits skip functionality. Additionally, Beats is likely most known for its iconic Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line. Apple would become owner of the audio hardware in the case of an acquisition, and could even use the Beats Audio sound profile in future iOS devices (similar to what HTC did in its phones when it was a stakeholder in Beats Audio a couple of years ago.)
Apple and Beats Electronics are both keeping silent for now, but if the deal does go through, it's large enough that an official announcement will be made by both companies.
Gramofon might be named after the 19th century sound system, but it's as modern as it gets. It's a wireless jukebox that streams music from cloud services like Spotify.
It's the latest brainchild of Fon, the crowdsourced W-iFi network. You connect the Gramofon to your speakers and your Wi-Fi network, and it acts as a Wi-Fi booster and gives off a signal that mobile devices can connect to. Those devices can be used to manipulate playlists.
Now, if you are thinking “so how is this any different than plugging speakers into my iPhone?”, well, with the Gramofon you can make music more social, as anyone on your network is able to use it. You and your friends can share music, create and modify playlists and otherwise get your groove on.
At first, Gramofon will stream from Spotify and Rhapsody. However, the company plans to add other services like Rdio, Grooveshark, SoundCloud, Pandora, Google Play, Songza, and more. If you're interested, check it out on Kickstarter. Fon has stated that the first batch of Gramofons are ready to ship in July. You can get yourself one by backing it for $50. Check out video of the project after the jump.
Read More | Gramofon on Kickstarter
We've been huge Sonos fans here at Gear Live for years, but if there's one niggle we've heard complaints about from users more than any other, it's that you have to plug in one Sonos component into your wired network. Normally, this would mean buying the Sonos Bridge in addition to whatever speaker components you'd want to place throughout your home, because it's rare that the place you want to put your Sonos device just happens to be where your networking equipment is. The result? You'd have to pay $50 for the Bridge, upping the price of entry.
Well, now Sonos is set to change how it handles creating its SonosNet wireless mesh network, which is the way that Sonos components communicate with each other. "We've found a way to deliver all the benefits of SonosNet without a product directly connected to your router," the company said in a blog post. The best part? All that will be required is a software update, so existing Sonos owners will be able to ditch the wired requirement as well, once the update goes public.
With the new method, you plug a Sonos component in and then fire up the Sonos app on your smartphone or tablet. Then you simply select your Wi-Fi network, put in your password, and Sonos jumps on and takes care of the rest. As long as you don't have a huge house with Sonos components spread so far apart that the wireless signal can't talk to each other (and that would have to be a pretty big house), you are golden. Sonos is launching a beta program to allow those interested to try it out and find any bugs before pushing it out to the masses.
You can check out the Sonos product line-up now.
Read More | Sonos Beta
Marshawn Lynch, running back for the new Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, has been spotted rocking the brand new Monster 24k headphones. In fact, Lynch was even seen dancing with himself after the Super Bowl XLVIII win in the locker room following the big win. The Monster 24k is backordered and hard to find at the moment, so we thought it was cool that Lynch was rocking a pair in the wild. You can grab yourself a pair of the $280 headphones over on the Monster Web site.
Sure, we've given you a list of our top 10 most popular stories of 2013, but we figured we'd go a bit more broad than that. We also thought it would be interesting to give you a look at the top ten most read stories on this site this year, period, regardless of what year they were posted. We must say, we're just as surprised as you are at what did (and didn't) make the list! For example, you guys seem to really like Apple. Here we go:
- Sleeptracker Watch review: This one focuses on a watch that tracks your sleep data and aims to wake you up when you are in your lightest phase of sleep. The result is that you wake up feeling more rested, and more refreshed.
- Flash on iPhone is just around the corner: This five-year-old article made it's way back after being linked to by John Gruber of Daring Fireball. Since then we've learned that just because it's in testing behind closed doors, doesn't mean that it's going to make it's way to public release. Also, John, why couldn't you have linked to when we broke what was the biggest Apple software leak of the decade?
- Mod your Xbox without a mod chip: This is an all-time favorite of our readers. It dropped out of the top 10 last year, but has reappeared for 2013.
- Apparently that Xbox 360 Red Ring of Doom issue hasn't been fixed
- OS X 10.9 Mavericks Developer Preview 3 now available
- How To Mod Your iPhone on Windows Using iBrickr
- Apple releases iOS 7 beta 2 with iPad support: iOS 7 beta 1 supported the iPhone and iPod touch only. When beta 2 arrived with iPad support, many were excited.
- TiVo out-of-home remote streaming arrives on Roamio Plus, Roamio Pro DVRs: We'd been waiting for this feature for a long, long time, and it is finally here.
- Exclusive details on the next Nike+ FuelBand: We got exclusive details on the new Nike+ FuelBand months before its release.
- iPhone 5s review: Our review of Apple's flagship smartphone for 2013.
We've also compiled a list of the stories that have dropped out of the top ten between 2012 and 2013, which you can check out after the jump, and don't miss the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2013 either!
Enjoy sweet sound in a sleek, portable design with this Jam rechargeable Bluetooth wireless speaker by HMDX Audio, the next item in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Use the wireless speaker just about anywhere--from the kitchen or living room to a dorm room, office, back deck, or den. It can even be taken along to the beach when relaxing in the summer sunshine with friends. The Jam wireless speaker features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that provides up to four hours of wireless play. The speaker also comes with line-in capability, which allows you to connect your non-Bluetooth-enabled devices directly to the speaker. Using the line-in connection, jam to all your favorite tunes for up to 12 hours. Oh, and when you open the packaging, it actually smells like opening a jar of jam. Seriously.
You can pick up the Philips Hue Connected Bulb Starter Pack now from Amazon for $29.95. Also? We're giving one away! Wanna win it? Just use the included widget below!
Read More | HDMX Jam Speaker
Up next in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide: the Pro-Ject Debut III Turntable. Audiophiles know that vinyl offers up a richer, more nuanced sound than those cold digital tracks (or so they say.) They also know you dont have to shell out audiophile levels of money to get a decent turntable. The Pro-Ject Debut III is outfitted with high-grade components and doesn't make your living room look like a DJ booth. Double win.
You can pick up the Pro-Ject Debut III Turntable now from Amazon for $299, a savings of 25%.
Read More | Pro-Ject Debut III Turntable
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