At the end of Apple’s We Wish We Could Say More event, U2 hit the stage to play their new song “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)” for the crowd. At the end of the performance, though, it was announced that U2 had a new album called Songs of Innocence. After a bit of banter that saw Bono telling Tim Cook that he thought it would be cool if Apple distributed the album to all iTunes subscribers, Tim Cook said it was a deal. The end result? Anyone with an Apple iTunes account gets a copy of Songs of Innocence completely free. Even better, you don’t even have to redeem the offer. If you have an iTunes account, you’ll find that the album has already been placed in your account under Purchases.
The offer is available in 119 countries for iTunes and Beats Music users until October 13th, when the album will be sold for a fee, and show up in other stores as well.
Justin Timberlake is returning to music after a 7-year hiatus with the release of his next album, The 20/20 Experience. The new hotness drops on March 19th, but you can get a listen to all the new Timberlake tunes right now, thanks to iTunes. That's right--you can stream the entire album, right now, a week early, for free. If you like it, pre-order it for $10.99, and it'll show up in your iTunes library when it's released next week.
One thing to note, when streaming The 20/20 Experience, you have to listen to it in the order that it is put together. In other words, you don't get to skip or repeat tracks or anything like that. Hit the link and grab a listen.
Read More | The 20/20 Experience
The Internet radio market got another shot of disruption today as Spotify announced its new Spotify Radio, a music-streaming app that will function just like a normal radio station, with the added ability to skip songs you don't like.
During this week's LeWeb tech conference in Paris, which was live-streamed online, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek took to the stage to announce the launch of the new app. Outlining the merits of Spotify Radio, Ek said, "It's kind of like Pandora, but with unlimited skipping and unlimited stations... We think people will love playing around it and we'd love to see what developers will do on top of that."
To get started, users simply click the new "Start Artist Radio" at the top of an artist page and the app will automatically create a radio station and continue to insert new music based on its "intelligent recommendation engine."
Rdio said late Wednesday night that the service plans to provide free access to its music catalog without advertising, leading to speculation that social sharing might be the next business model.
MOG reportedly plans to announce a similar strategy on Thursday, and other music services are expected to follow suit. When Spotify launched in the U.S., it too pursued a free model, and more than 1.4 million people have signed up, according to reports. It's all leading up to an expected launch of Facebook Music next week, where social advertising could pay for the "free" services.
"Continuing on its first-to-market strategy, Rdio will soon be launching free access to its music catalogue without advertising," a spokesman said in an email on Wednesday night.
The offering will be available in the very near future and available to any consumer, with no need for a credit card, Rdio's spokesman added.
We know a lot of you were expecting OS X Lion tomorrow, and while we aren't saying it's o ut of the question, we do know one long-awaited product that'll definitely be launching tomorrow, and that's Spotify. It took them a hell of a long time to get everything signed, sealed, and ready to deliver, but the Spotify folks are ready to roll:
We were really adamant about bringing the service to the US, which means a really great, free experience. We wanted to be really careful about the way we did this, and the rights holders felt the same way. It took some time, but we're absolutely thrilled that all four major labels and a ton of indies are behind us, and we'll be bringing that Spotify experience to the US tomorrow.
The free service will be invite-only at first, so you'll wanna head over to the signup page now to get your email address in the hat. From there, there will also be two paid tiers--a $4.99 per month service that does away with the ads, and a $9.99 per month service that allows you to use Spotify on a mobile device like the iPhone or an Android smartphone, with the ability to cache tracks for offline access. The European version of Spotify boasts 15 million tracks, but there's no word as of yet on how many tracks they'll be launching with in the US. We'll know tomorrow!
Read More | Spotify US signup
Looks like Spotify has finally gotten those US record labels in check, as it has put up a page on its site inviting US users to submit their email addresses in order to gain early access! Spotify is the super-popular music streaming service that has taken Europe by storm, offering free access to millions of tracks on-demand from your computer or smartphone. The company has been trying to launch in the US for quite some time, but has seen numerous hurdles and delays. It looks like that's all been turned around now though, and you'll soon be able to ditch your Rhapsody, MOG, and Rdio subscriptions for another service that pretty much does the same thing.
Read More | Spotify US
I have been using Lala for about a week and the service turns out to be one of the best ways to get all of your music from wherever you are. The concept is quite simple, allow access to songs you already purchased and also bring a music store to the cloud for 10 cents a song. You can further purchase songs for download at around 90 cents per song. The best part of the service is you can listen to a full album prior to purchasing it online. That’s right, full quality MP3s for free, as long as you are listening to them on Lala.
The library is over 5 miillion songs and is updated every Tuesday when new content comes out. Lala also allows you to import your entire purchased collection of music from iTunes or any other music folder you may have on your current Mac or PC with a downloadable importing utility. There is no monthly fee and all you need to do is sign up and you’re in. You can then invite people to join and network, sort of like Facebook or Myspace, but it keeps track of what you and your friends listen to and gives suggestions based off what they listen to. The whole thing seems too good to be true, but it certainly doesn’t disappoint. This is one site that could provide itself as the next big thing in music as long as the RIAA continues to think it okay.
Read More | Lala