Rdio is one of Gear Live's favorite things, and the recent revamping of its Stations feature has brought the music streaming service to a whole new level. Rdio users can now create up to ten different stations that focus on an artist, song, or one of 400 different sub-genres of music. Additionally, there's a custom station called You FM that takes cues from your listening history, Facebook likes, track votes, and Twitter follows to create a station that is specifically tailored to what you like. When listening to You FM, you can also choose between five levels of familiarity, allowing you to stick with what you know, or be more adventurous when you want to discover something new. A player redesign rounds out the rest of the update, which applies to the iOS, Android, and Mac apps, as well as the in-browser experience.
If you're an Rdio user (and you should be,) be sure to follow Gear Live's Rdio station.
Read More | Rdio Blog
Have you always wanted to be a DJ, but didn't have the skills? JAKKS Pacific introduces the EZ Pro DJ, a $50 accessory that works with your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad that allows you to mix beats while sounding like a pro. You get the two turntables and fader in a unit that connects to your device over USB. It can pull in tracks from your iOS device, letting you manipulate them to your hearts content, even automatically matching up the beat of both songs. There's also an optional microphone accessory that lets you bring your voice into the mix, and a headphone jack so you can sport the right cans to complete the look.
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Apple has just announced iTunes Radio, the new streaming music service for iOS, iTunes (Mac and PC,) and Apple TV. The service looks to compete with Pandora, and will be built right in to the iOS 7 Music app. Apple will have a bunch of curated stations available at launch, and will also allow users to create their own custom stations as well. You can give a track a star to signify that you like it, share the station with a friend, and ask for more like that song. Led Zepplin is even available, a first for streaming. iTunes Radio will be free with advertising, but iTunes Match subscribers get it completely ad-free.
Hot on the heels of releasing OS X 10.8.4 Mountain Lion, Apple has gone ahead and released additional maintenance updates to iTunes. Update includes bug fixes for improved syncing and eliminated a sign-in bug some users were experiencing.
The syncing fix remedied an issue that some users were experiencing when switching between wireless and wired syncing. The new version is available in the Mac App Store's update section. Direct link for iTunes update for Windows PC and also for OS X.
Read More | iTunes
According to The New York Times, Apple is going full-force in negotiations with record labels in an effort to get its new streaming music service (which many refer to as iRadio) in position to be announced, and possibly launched, at WWDC next week. The report states that Apple has already signed deals with both the Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group for rights to recorded music and publishing. The holdout is Sony Music Entertainment, which seems to want a bigger cut of the profits. Of course, if Apple can convince Sony to sign, then its music service will be stocked with all the popular music users will expect, without any glaring holes.
There are no solid details on Apple's streaming service, and there won't be until it is formally announced by the company itself. That said, rumors point to it being similar in vein to Pandora, rather than a Spotify/Rdio competitor. In other words, it will be a radio service rather than one where you get to pick and choose exactly which track(s) you want to listen to at a given moment. The service would be supported by iAd, with advertisements interspersed into the listening experience, like Pandora.
Fingers crossed for WWDC!
Read More | The New York Times
Rdio has updated its web and Mac apps with the new Now Playing view. Click the list icon at the bottom right, and the entire app becomes a stylized, blurry album cover in the background, with the actual art up front to the left, and the album tracks or playlist over to the right, allowing you to see what's coming up in your queue. We are big fans of Rdio here at Gear Live, and find it to be superior to Spotify in many ways. Rdio charges $4.99 per month for desktop and web browser access, while mobile streaming can be added, costing a total of $9.99 per month. Hit the Read More link to download the Rdio app.
Read More | Rdio Apps
We chat with Play-Fi in this episode, a company focused on helping you enjoy your music in any room, no matter where you are in your home. Play-Fi allows you to use either their speakers, speakers from third-parties with Play-Fi built-in, or their receiver which can be connected to any analog speaker, and you are done. The devices connect to your Wi-Fi network, and you can then stream content from your Windows 8 tablet or PC, as well as your Android devices, directly to any Play-Fi speaker on your network. Get a look at how it all works here in this episode, and get a look at Kelsie dancing as well.
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Apple's iTunes multimedia application has been updated to version 11.0.3, the highlight of which is a redesigned and improved MiniPlayer that now includes rich album artwork and a progress bar. Songs view also brings album artwork into the fold, and now multi-disc albums appear as a single album rather than taking up multiple entries in your library. Here's the rundown list of what's included in the update.
This version of iTunes comes with several new features and improvements, including:
- New MiniPlayer. MiniPlayer now includes a beautiful new view that showcases your album artwork In addition, a progress bar is now built right into MiniPlayer.
- Improved Songs View. You can now enjoy your album artwork while in Songs view.
- Multi-Disc Albums. Albums with multiple discs now appear as a single album.
This update also provides performance improvements when searching and sorting large iTunes libraries.
Read More | Apple
Google Play Music All Access is now live and official. Just head on over to Google Music and you can sign up for the absolutely free 30-day trial. Remember, if you sign up before June 30th, you lock in $7.99 per month pricing. After that, it jumps to $9.99 per month.
This morning Monster announced the Inspiration Hublot, its new premium luxury over-ear headphones. We're sure our readers are familiar with Monster and its popular headphone products, but if you're unfamiliar with Hublot, it's a company that stands as one of the most awe-inspiring watchmakers in the world. The end result of the collaboration between the luxury watchmaker and the premium headphone make is the Inspiration Hublot.
So, what makes the Inspiration Hublot so great? According to Monster, these luxury noise canceling headphones are constructed with precision parts and fine-tooled machining with a black and carbon fiber appearance. Monster is also debuting its new Enigma Audio Engine with Inspiration Hublot, which it says focuses on delivering crystal clear sound and a realistic soundscape, alongside "the world's most advanced digital noise cancellation," which uses two microphones--one for handling constant noise, and the other for intermittent sounds. The headphones also support A2DP for wireless Bluetooth with AAC and APT-X codec support, and direct USB audio. The headphones also include two audio cables--a standard Monster Pro Link, and a ControlTalk Universal, which allows you to control volume, answer and take phone calls, etc.
As for when you can get your hands on them, the Inspiration Hublot headphones will hit Hublot stores across the world this summer, just make sure you start saving, because they'll cost 1,750 Euros--or $2,276.