Amazon said late Wednesday that it will allow customers to store an unlimited amount of music on its Cloud Drive and Cloud Player, provided customers purchase a storage plan.
Amazon also announced a Cloud Player web app for the Apple iPad.
Amazon launched its Cloud Player in March, a companion to the Amazon Cloud Drive. At the time, the service came with up to 5GB of free, online music storage, expandable to 20 GB with the purchase of an MP3 album at the Amazon Music Store.
Additional storage plans start at $20 per year for 20 Gbytes of storage.
To encourage users to subscribe to those premium plans, Amazon is effectively eliminating MP3 files against that tally, allowing users to store 20 Gbytes of photos (or documents, or other content), rather than divvy it up. Amazon also said that users can store all of their MP3 or AAC files that they purchased through Amazon for free, and they won't count against the quota, either. Those files cover new files that a user might purchase as well as older files that a user bought before the new promotion.
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
Slacker finally launched their Slacker Premium Radio service yesterday, a new tier of the popular streaming audio service that gives music lovers on-demand access to the individual songs, albums, top charts, station playlists, and single-artist radio stations in the Slacker library.
Slacker Premium Radio lets listeners search, play, and replay specific songs and entire albums from the 8 million songs in Slacker's library. In addition, users have the ability to create playlists and cache songs and albums for offline playback. Slacker Premium Radio also features all-new artist pages that contain artist biographies, all songs by the artist, discographies, and related artists.
This morning, as part of Google I/O, Google announced their new music streaming service. They're calling it Google Music Beta, and it's currently an invitation-only affair. It's only available in the US for the time being. If you wanna get in on this one, you can request an invite through the portal that Google set up. No word on how long it will take to receive the invite once you put in your request, but hey, it's better than nothing.
Read More | Google Music Beta invites
Today Pandora is expanding from Simon & Garfunkel to Seinfeld and George Carlin. The Internet radio service is adding 10,000 comedy clips from over 700 comedians to its existing music library.
A host of big names have already taken the stage, including: Bill Cosby, Bob Newhart, Cheech & Chong, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers, Richard Pryor, Mitch Hedberg.
"Adding comedians to the mix has been one of the top requests from our listeners," Pandora founder Tim Westergren wrote in a blog post. "We've taken the same approach to comedy as we have to music: carefully and deliberately analyzing comedic 'bits' across a very large number of attributes to capture the style, delivery and content of each performance."
With Spotify's download service, users can purchase tracks in bundles. Ten tracks will set you back £7.99, 15 tracks will cost £9.99, 40 tracks will be £25, and 100 tracks will be £50.
"Spotify's new MP3 download service makes it possible to own your playlists in one easy step," the company said in a statement. "By introducing a range of MP3 bundles, we've been able to offer you some of the most competitive prices available—from as little as 50p per song."
Spotify features include the ability to: search, browse, and play millions of tracks; stream over Wi-Fi or 2.5/3G; access offline playlists; on-the-fly sync; a what's new tab; wireless sync of your local files to your phone; and the ability to tag favorites into a special list.
One of the most frequent requests, however, was the abilty to sync that music to Apple's iPod, something Spotify said is now a reality. Just connect an iPod to your computer via USB and it will appear in the "devices" section of the Spotify sidebar. You can then sync MP3s in your Spotify playlists to the iPod.
When the TiVo Premiere launched, the company made it known that with the new Flash architecture, that it would be much easier to add new apps to the TiVo interface since it was more modular. Well, it took them long enough, but the first real new app feature has arrived in Pandora. You can now log in to your Pandora account and start streaming your favorite channels right from your TiVo. It may take a connection or two to the TiVo service before the feature shows up, but TiVo is saying it’s available now.
Read More | TiVo Blog
RealNetworks has just announced that it will be spinning off its Rhapsody music service into a separate, independently-operated company that will be based in downtown Seattle. This move follows the departure of founder Rob Glaser as CEO of the company, and about 150 RealNetworks employees will make the transition over to the new Rhapsody. Rhapsody, a joint venture between RealNetworks and Viacom MTV Networks, will no longer see it’s majority stake held by Real, which currently has a 51 percent share. RealNetworks says this is a move that is focused on streamlining company operations. Interesting, to say the least, since as far as we’re concerned, Rhapsody is the most interesting and mainstream product that RealNetworks has to offer.
Read More | RealNetworks
Sonos is looking to market to the iPhone and iPod touch crowd with their new ZonePlayer S5 wireless music system. If you’re familiar with Sonos, you know that the price of entry has always been a bit high historically. The ZonePlayer S5 brings that price down to about $400. You plug it in to a router, and you are good to go with the ability to play your entire music library, as well as music from services like Rhapsody, Napster, Last.fm, and others, by using your iPhone as the remote control.
The price rises if you don’t have an Ethernet port handy for the S5, as you would then also need to buy a ZoneBridge, which allows you to connect the ZonePlayer S5 (as well as any other ZonePlayers you have) to your network wirelessly. We definitely think this is a positive step in the right direction for Sonos. By adding an all-on-one ZonePlayer/speaker to their line-up at this much lower price point, they’ve made it enticing to check them out to see what all the fuss is about. We’d pick up a ZonePlayer S5 over a Bose Sounddock any day of the week.
Read More | Sonos ZonePlayer S5 Demo
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