If you love listening to Pandora when you're on the go, you may have to start paying up. Pandora has announced that it will now be capping mobile users to 40 hours of listening per month. If you reach that cap, the music will stop, and you'll need to pay a fee of $.99 if you'd like to continue listening for the remainder of the month. The reason behind this is the rising costs of the per-track royalty rates that Pandora has to pay.
"Pandora’s per-track royalty rates have increased more than 25% over the last 3 years, including 9% in 2013 alone and are scheduled to increase an additional 16% over the next two years. After a close look at our overall listening, a 40-hour-per-month mobile listening limit allows us to manage these escalating costs with minimal listener disruption."
Pandora says this should only affect about 4% of its users, so it shouldn't be a huge deal. Subscribers to the Pandora One service, which eliminated the ads altogether for $36 per year, are not affected.
Read More | Pandora
A Roomba for your barbecue grill. That's what the Grillbot is, and it sounds like something that many could use. Sure, it's just about the end of winter now, but those summer months are coming, and we'd bet there are plenty of crusty grills out there. the Grillbot promises to do the work for you, using its wire brushes to get everything shining again. The grill cleaning robot features push button operation, three motors with replaceable grill brushes, LCD display, timer, and alarm. You can get the Grillbot in orange, blue, red, or black beginning this June, selling for $69.95, or $99.95 for the premium model. Check out a video of how it all works after the break, if you don't mind ridiculous music.
Read More | Grillbots
The big rumor on the street about the next Xbox is that Microsoft will block used games from working with the console. Reports from sources have hit various news outlets saying that the new Xbox, which should launch later this year, will require mandatory game installs to the hard drive of the console, and will require an activation code in order to get them to play. Once the code is used, that game is activated for that console specifically (or, maybe, that specific Gamertag,) and won't work on other consoles, effectively killing the used game market.
Read More | MCV India
Spotify for iOS has just received a massive overhaul, bringing the UI in line with the look that Android's been sporting for a while. iOS users now get access to features like the swiping method for accessing different areas of the Spotify app (similar to what you can do in the Facebook iOS app.) The "Now Playing" area shows you the artist and track name no matter where you are navigating in the app, right above the play controls. You can swipe here to go to the next or previous track with ease. You also get bug fixes and overall improvements to stability, as well as the Ford SYNC AppLink Spotify feature that we mentioned yesterday. You can grab the update now from the App Store, and peep the full changelog after the break.
Read More | Spotify
We post a lot of great stories every day here at Gear Live, and we realize that it's hard to catch them all, every day. That's why we offer our Gear Live newsletter, bringing you the best of Gear Live directly in your inbox each evening, and you can subscribe here. Oh, and we also announce all of our giveaways in the newsletter before we do here on the site, allowing our subscribers a head start.
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We're excited for the release of the Leap Motion Controller, and although it's missing the promised Q1 release date, Leap has now given us a specific ship date: May 13th for pre-orders, and May 19th for everyone else. It's now a sure thing, as Best Buy says it will be selling the Leap Motion Controller on May 19th for $80. If you're ready to get your gestures on, the 10-week countdown is now on.
Read More | Leap Motion
Three nights ago, Ronda Rousey used her signature armbar to become the first UFC Women's Champion--but did you notice her headphones? The Ronda Rousey headphones were mentioned time and again on Twitter and other social media channels, and if you've paid any attention to Gear Live and our CES coverage, you probably can guess what they were. In fact, if you can, you may just walk away with a pair of your own...and we've made it super-easy, as you can tell.
Here's a hint: They're Monster branded, and Rousey's win was truly INSPIRATIONal. We can't make it easier than that.
That's right! All you need to do is let us know the brand and model of the headphones. If you get it right, you are entered to win one of three pairs that we are giving away! Here's how you enter--simply use the widget below to keep track of your entries! We've got a lot of ways for you to enter, but don't check off any that you don't actually perform. If you do, you'll be eliminated. If you choose to tweet, include the headphone brand and name. If you choose to follow us on YouTube, leave a comment there with the same. Or leave a comment right here on this Gear Live post. Or do all of the above. You get multiple entries. On to the widget:
Ford and Spotify have announced a partnership that sees the popular streaming music service make an appearance in Ford vehicles. Spotify is now compatible with Ford SYNC AppLink, streaming its catalog of over 20 million tracks over the car radio. You'll need to download the new iOS or Android Spotify apps to take advantage of the new hotness. You be able to access your songs, playlists, and custom stations, and can even control things with voice commands. Aside from Spotify, Ford SYNC AppLink allows you to access other service, like Pandora, Amazon Cloud Player, MOG, Slacker, and Rhapsody.
Read More | Ford
We recently reported on the Slacker Radio redesign, and the company is keeping the freshness going, debuting on the Xbox 360 today. You can download the Slacker app for free, and you've gotta be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber in the US or Canada for the privilege. You get the same overhauled color scheme, music guide, and Kinect voice controls. Head over to the Xbox Live Marketplace to grab the 116 MB download.
Read More | Microsoft