Gear Live's love affair with Sonos is no secret - we love the product dearly, and with today's introduction of the Playbar, it's grown even more. With the Sonos Playbar, the company is effectively entering the home theater space, providing a soundbar that's capable of pumping out massive sound through its nine drivers (size mid-range drivers and three tweeters.) Simply connect it to your television through optical TOSlink, and you are ready to go.
The Playbar isn't just a typical soundbar speaker--it's a Sonos product, and that means it ties right in to the Sonos ecosystem. You can use it to play music streamed from your iTunes library, streaming music subscription services like Rdio and Spotify, Pandora, and many more.
It gets better, too. Sonos says you can pair the Soundbar with the Sonos SUB and/or a couple of Play:3 or Play:5 units for a full-on 5.1 surround sound experience. It'll be expensive, but it leaves us salivating. You can pick up the Sonos Playbar next month for $699, and it's available for pre-order right now.
Read More | Sonos
We know how much our readers love Monster headphones, so we are hitting you with a video taking you through the 2013 headphones line-up. We go through each model, including Inspiration with TUMI, Diesel VEKTR, DNA, MVP Carbon, Diamond Tears, Ncredible, and more. The line includes over-ear headphones, on-ears, in-ears, gaming headset, and more. Hit the break for the video. Be sure to subscribe to Gear Live on YouTube for more tech video coverage.
Windows Phone 8 users have been patiently waiting for Spotify to hit the platform, and the day has finally arrived. You can download the beta Spotify app to get your subscription music streaming on while simultaneously kicking Xbox Music to the curb. The wait was due to the Windows Phone 7 Spotify app being built by a third party and paid for by Microsoft, in an attempt to just get Spotify onto its phones, and since Windows Phone 8 is a totally different platform, the app needed to be rewritten from scratch. Not sure why that garish pus-yellow background needed to be included, but we guess beggars can't be choosers.
Read More | Windows Phone Blog
Thanks to Google's Transparency Report, we can see just how many copyright takedown requests it gets, and who issues such requests. The RIAA tops the list with nearly 10 million takedown requests issued. The RIAA issues hundreds of thousands of notices every week in regards to piracy sites, and has topped the most recent monthly requests. This goes to show just how severe the piracy network is, or even perhaps, how futile the RIAA's attempts are at squashing it.
Apple is touting the latest milestone for iTunes, as the service has now sold over 25 billion songs. The 25 billionth track sold was Chase Buch's "Monkey Drums (Goksel Vancin Remix)" by Phillip Lüpke, who Apple will be rewarding with a €10,000 gift card. Not bad. "We are grateful to our users whose passion for music over the past 10 years has made iTunes the number one music retailer in the world." said Apple's Eddy Cue, who went on to mention that iTunes sells over 15,000 songs per minute. Who says no one buys music anymore?
Read More | Apple
Monster announced some new additions to its Diesel VEKTR on-ear headphone line at CES 2013. Being the fashion brand that Diesel is, you can expect a couple of new colors to be added. First, the matte-finish Military Green with gun metal accents. If that's not your thing, there's also the new Chrome VEKTR, with it's eye-catching mirror finish. Both new models will sell for $279.95 when they go on sale later this Spring. If you're looking for something for traditional, a white model just went on sale for $269.95. All of these are in addition to the black Diesel VEKTR that launched last year.
Amazon has just launched a version of its MP3 catalog that is made ready to use for the iPhone or iPod Touch mobile Safari with use of the open standards of HTML5. This is a way for Amazon to avoid the App Store cut of 30% with selling music to iOS users. Customers can view purchases and stream the music via the Amazon Cloud Player app avaible in the App Store.
For the first time ever, iPhone and iPod touch users can discover and buy digital music from Amazon’s 22-million song catalog using the Safari browser. Customers also have access to favorite Amazon features like personalized recommendations, best-seller lists and Amazon customer ratings. Music purchases are automatically saved to customers' Cloud Player libraries and can be downloaded or played instantly from any iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Kindle Fire, Android phone or tablet, Roku, Sonos home entertainment system, any web browser, giving customers the freedom to enjoy more music, from more devices than any other major cloud music service."
Since the launch of the Amazon Cloud Player app for iPhone and iPod touch, a top request from customers has been the ability to buy music from Amazon right from their devices. For the first time ever, iOS users have a way do that – now they can access Amazon’s huge catalog of music, features like personalized recommendations, deals like albums for $5, songs for $0.69, and they can buy their music once and use it everywhere. - Amazon
Read More | Amazon
Sprint is bringing FM radio to select Android and Windows Phone devices this year with the NextRadio tuner app. This move makes Sprint the first US carrier to herald FM radio in such fashion, and shows the amount of faith the carrier puts in a format some might say is already dead.
Sprint also revealed an application bundle for the Sprint Zone on Android dubbed "Entertain Me." The bundle will feature Sprint TV and Movies, Sprint Music Plus, Spotify, Slacker, iHeartRadio, Shazam, and Rumpus.
We've declared our love for Sonos multiple times here on Gear Live, which is why we're excited about the prospect of the company bringing its product line into home theater. An FCC filing reveals that Sonos has indeed submitted documents related to a soundbar with integrated Wi-Fi (like all other Sonos products) that should play nicely with the Sonos SUB that was released earlier this year. Perhaps we'll get a look at this one at CES next week, pretty please?
When Google Music came to Europe, it brought a new feature not available in the US -- Scan and Match. It's similar to iTunes Match, whereas it scans your local music collection and puts them in the cloud so that you don't have to.
After downloading the Music Manager, it will match your songs up with Google's, and begin "uploading" your songs into the cloud at a rate of about 30 seconds per album. After your music is in the cloud, you can listen to it on different devices, even iOS if you use Google's HTML5 web app.
Now US users are able to take advantage of this feature. It's free, and automatic for the most part, so you won't have to go through the cumbersome process of backing up your digital music collection solo.
Read More | Google
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