Xbox Music has hit the Xbox 360 consoles of beta users, and now we are hearing that the fill service rollout is set for October 26th, just three weeks from now, and the same day that Windows 8 is released. Reportedly, the rollout will begin with the Xbox 360, Windows 8, and Windows Phone, with iOS and Android Xbox Music apps coming soon after. Smart. The service will have a paid subscription, as well as a free, ad-supported option as well.
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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
Turntable.fm is climbing the charts. According to a story from Betabeat, the Facebook phenom has hit 140,000 active users after just one month. Not a bad showing for a semi-closed beta with a spotty security record.
The popular service effectively combines (free) music-streaming, chat rooms, and voting, all through a Facebook portal. It's similar to Web apps such as Pandora. Turntable.fm allows you to discover new music and create your own custom playlists, only that playlist isn't just for you—you'll share it with other Facebook users in real time.
Add to the exchange a note of gameplay. After you create your DJ avatar, you can create your own room or enter someone else's (if you get overwhelmed there's a randomizer) and interact with other avatars through a chat feature. Each room supports up to five DJs. Take a seat on the stage to share your playlist, created from your own uploads or from the Turntable.fm library.
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
Speaking of EMI, the new music service Spotify launched this week. Other companies they are dealing with include UMG, Sony BMG, WMG, Merlin and the Orchard. Already in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Finland, Norway and Sweden, it will make their way elsewhere by next year. Download and installing is simple for access to millions of tracks, and you can create and share playlists with your buds. The streaming is free since it is financed by advertising.
Read More | Spotify
EMI has decided to offer their music directly to consumers with an online Web portal. Not only will they offer tracks and videos, there may be some freebies and non-EMI artists as well. The label says that it is doing this to collect customer behavior data and may use something akin to Pandora, which recommends tunes based on what music the user already prefers. We find this a fine idea, not only because it might cut costs in the overpriced and ailing CD sales market, but also isn’t it nice that someone may actually be listening?
Read More | Daily Tech
For those who bought a (RED) iPod, there will now be a new music service which will donate half of its profits to fighting AIDS in Africa. Set to launch in September, a subscription will cost $5.00 a month. Similar to a newsletter, members get an e-mail weekly that has an exclusive song from well known artists as well as one from an emerging one. The subscribers will also get a bonus “Crackerjack Surprise,” such as a video and an update about Project Red. All songs are DRM-free so even non-iPodders can take part.
Read More | Join Red
Jukefly is a free streaming music service that you can use to access your music as well as dig new stuff from others’ suggestions. Sign up, create an account, and download its server. Select folders and stream the music. It will be there any time you want to throw a mini-music party. Jukefly supports WMAs, OGGs, MP3s, and DRM iTunes. Expect FLACs in the future. We can see this as a handy way to access your tunes without taking up space on your own computer and finding new music from those who have the same taste.
Read More | Jukefly
QTrax appears to be available with 25 to 30 million copyrighted tracks for file sharing. The free service is funded with advertising revenue that the company shares with music labels and will operate without spyware and pop-up adware. Users can exchange and download tunes, hopefully without the hassle of sites such as Limewire. QTrax then counts the number of times each song is played to compensate both artists and rights owners. USA Today reported yesterday that the coming out party was delayed after it was found that the company hadn’t quite finalized all the details, but we managed to download the beta service this morning without a hitch. We have yet to put it to a test drive, however, but we noticed that 30,000 others were utilizing the service.
Read More | USA Today
For AT&T phone users, the company now offers music from Pandora. Type in a song or artist, and the service creates a station for you in that genre. We have enjoyed the service for a couple of years now, but for the rare bird that is not familiar with it, Pandora works on the basis of its Music Genome Project. All songs have been analyzed by musical qualities such as harmony, rhythm, lyrics, and melody to suit your preferences. If you already have the service online, AT&T will deliver the music through a universal account. If not, you can subscribe for $8.99 a month after a 5 day free trial. They also offer a MEdia Max bundle with browsing and access to video for $19.99.
Read More | Pandora