Slacker has been around for a few years as both a free and premium Internet radio service, and now the service has released a new redesign. The old black and gold interface is replaced with a newer, hipper, cleaner look on all platforms, including web, Xbox 360 app, and mobile apps. Slacker had to do something to take some attention away from Rdio, Spotify, Pandora, and the like, and we have to say that the new design makes things easier on the eyes, and thusly, easier to use.
Slacker pricing remains intact. You have the free version, Radio Plus for $3.99 per month, and then Slacker Premium for $9.99 per month. Updated Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10 versions are on the way as well.
Windows Phone 8 users have been patiently waiting for Spotify to hit the platform, and the day has finally arrived. You can download the beta Spotify app to get your subscription music streaming on while simultaneously kicking Xbox Music to the curb. The wait was due to the Windows Phone 7 Spotify app being built by a third party and paid for by Microsoft, in an attempt to just get Spotify onto its phones, and since Windows Phone 8 is a totally different platform, the app needed to be rewritten from scratch. Not sure why that garish pus-yellow background needed to be included, but we guess beggars can't be choosers.
Read More | Windows Phone Blog
Thanks to Google's Transparency Report, we can see just how many copyright takedown requests it gets, and who issues such requests. The RIAA tops the list with nearly 10 million takedown requests issued. The RIAA issues hundreds of thousands of notices every week in regards to piracy sites, and has topped the most recent monthly requests. This goes to show just how severe the piracy network is, or even perhaps, how futile the RIAA's attempts are at squashing it.
Apple is touting the latest milestone for iTunes, as the service has now sold over 25 billion songs. The 25 billionth track sold was Chase Buch's "Monkey Drums (Goksel Vancin Remix)" by Phillip Lüpke, who Apple will be rewarding with a €10,000 gift card. Not bad. "We are grateful to our users whose passion for music over the past 10 years has made iTunes the number one music retailer in the world." said Apple's Eddy Cue, who went on to mention that iTunes sells over 15,000 songs per minute. Who says no one buys music anymore?
Read More | Apple
Peter Gabriel is releasing a new music app dubbed "MusicTiles," allowing the creation and sharing of fan-made remixes of popular songs.
The remixing process is handled by a simple tile interface. Each tile represents a song element, such as the individual instruments and vocal tracks, which users can blend together to form new sounds. The effects include a range of manipulation techniques, such as altering the timing of the tracks by fooling around with the arrangement.
Read More | MusicTiles
When Google Music came to Europe, it brought a new feature not available in the US -- Scan and Match. It's similar to iTunes Match, whereas it scans your local music collection and puts them in the cloud so that you don't have to.
After downloading the Music Manager, it will match your songs up with Google's, and begin "uploading" your songs into the cloud at a rate of about 30 seconds per album. After your music is in the cloud, you can listen to it on different devices, even iOS if you use Google's HTML5 web app.
Now US users are able to take advantage of this feature. It's free, and automatic for the most part, so you won't have to go through the cumbersome process of backing up your digital music collection solo.
Read More | Google
They say music is the universal language, and as music lovers ourselves, we think it's one of the best gifts that you can give, and we're putting it in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. Rather than grabbing an iTunes gift card, or worse, a random CD from the bargain bin, we recommend hitting your loves ones up with Rdio gift subscriptions. Why? It allows the user unlimited access to the entire Rdio music streaming catalog. That means on-demand access to millions of tracks from the web, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, and even your Sonos system. Rdio costs $9.99 per month for full access. We love it--check out Gear Live on Rdio!
We are giving away three 3-month subscriptions to Rdio to our readers as well! To enter, all you need to do is:
- Follow Gear Live on Twitter
- Tweet the following message: "Hey @GearLive - hook me up with that free @Rdio subscription! http://gear.lv/SEjTdi" (Click here to tweet this now!)
Good luck to all entrants, and be sure to look through the rest of our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide for more giveaways!
Read More | Rdio
iTunes has been one of the last first-party Apple software holdouts stuck at 32-bit over the past few years. Many wondered when Apple would rewrite iTunes to the point where it would be 64-bit like just about all of Apple's other OS X apps, and that day has arrived with the release of iTunes 11. A quick check of Activity Monitor confirms it--iTunes is now a 64-bit Mac app.
Apple's newly redesigned iTunes has finally been released after a one-month delay, for both Mac and PC. iTunes 11 sports a bevy of new music features, including a streamlined look and feel that focuses on album art when listening to music, a new bite-sized MiniPlayer, a new feature called "Up Next" that lets you manage a play queue. Outside of music, iTunes 11 brings tighter integration with iCloud, allowing you to stream your content library on your Mac or PC from iTunes in the Cloud. The iTunes Store has also been completely revamped, bringing the same look and feel that you'll find in iOS 6.
You can grab iTunes 11 now by running Software Update on your Mac or PC, or by checking the Mac App Store.
We're music fans here at Gear Live (seriously, check out the Gear Live Rdio channel!) so we wanna make sure to include great music gadgets in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. This year, we're kicking it off with the Sonos PLAY:3. If you're unfamiliar with Sonos, it's basically the best way to get music from just about any location (your computer, your iPhone, the web, the cloud, etc.) to play in any room in your house. It's super intuitive, and even years after using Sonos, the technology still blows us away. The Sonos PLAY:3 is a wireless all-in-one music system that lets you jump right into the Sonos experience. If you have an iOS or Android device, you can download the Sonos remote control app, and you can also control the system with a computer using the Sonos Desktop Controller. Here are some other Sonos products that go nicely with the Sonos PLAY:3, which itself you can get for $299 from Sonos, or order from Amazon and get a free Sonos Bridge included with purchase!
You can use a pair of Play:3 or Play:5 units to create wide stereo sound as well!