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Spotify launches its own app ecosystem in attempt to become a music platform

Spotify has opened its network up to developers, turning the music service into a music platform.

"We're launching truly integrated apps inside Spotify from the best and brightest," Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek said during a New York press event. "We really believe they'll deliver unique experiences tailored to you and your music tastes."

Third-party developers will be able to build HTML5 apps that access Spotify's music library via a JavaScript API. Spotify is "opening our platform in a way that lets you curate the apps you want and make Spotify yours," Ek said.

All app developers are invited to submit apps to Spotify "but we will approve the apps because we think the core here is the user experience," Ek said.

At this point, there are also no monetization possibilities; all apps will be free.

Click to continue reading Spotify launches its own app ecosystem in attempt to become a music platform


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Listen to music with friends on Facebook with Spotify, MOG, Rhapsody, Slacker, and more

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Internet, Music

Facebook is good for discovering the latest news about your friends and family, but what about music? As part of its f8 developer conference yesterday, the site teamed up with a number of online music entities to bring music discovery to Facebook.

Music companies like Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, and Slacker will be offering their own apps, which will allow you to share what you're listening to with friends on Facebook. Their music choices will also show up on your news feed, and you can listen to the songs right inside Facebook.

"You'll now start seeing new music posts and play buttons all over your newsfeeds. Hit a play button and the music starts. Right there," Spotify said in a blog post. "Spotify fires up to give you a new soundtrack to your social life. Check out your new Music Dashboard and your real-time ticker to discover the music that's trending with your friends."

Click to continue reading Listen to music with friends on Facebook with Spotify, MOG, Rhapsody, Slacker, and more


Rdio and MOG prepping ad-free no-cost option for their music catalogs

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Hot Deals, Internet, Music

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.

Click to continue reading Rdio and MOG prepping ad-free no-cost option for their music catalogs


We’re giving away 50 Spotify invites - win one here!

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Features, Internet, Music

spotify invites

Spotify launched in the US last week to much fanfare, but the problem is that it's currently an invite-only service if you wanna use the free music streaming part of it. If you've been crestfallen while watching your friends get their jam on while you've been left out, there's hope! We've got fifty (that's 5-0) Spotify invites to hand out, and we're hooking our Twitter followers up. Do you wanna win one? Of course! Here's how:

We'll DM the first 50 people who get that tweet out there with a Spotify invite code, so watch your inboxes!


Sonos releases new PLAY:3 entry-level HiFi wireless speaker

If you don't know, we're huge fans of Sonos here at Gear Live. There's nothing else like it if you're a music lover for managing and listening to just about anything you can think of, in any room of your home, wirelessly. Today, Sonos is introducing a new product aimed at lowering the cost of entry into Sonos ownership with the PLAY:3. The PLAY:3 is a small, Hi-Fi streaming unit that sports three integrated speakers (a tweeter and two mid-range) and three digital amps, offering big sound. There's no subwoofer (save that for the PLAY:5, formerly known as the Sonos S5) on board, but the PLAY:3 does rock a passive bass "radiator" to make up for it, and we hear it works well. You can pick up the PLAY:3 for $299 from Sonos directly, or in stores. If you're new to Sonos, you'll also need to pick up a $49 Bridge to create the Sonos wireless network in your home. Once you have that, you can then just add more Sonos zones to any room in your home, and they'll automatically pick up the network and start working. It's good times.

We expect to get a test unit of the PLAY:3 in tomorrow, and we will start testing and let you know our thoughts.

Read More | Sonos

Spotify launching on July 14 in the US, invitation-only

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Corporate News, Music

Spotify US launch

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

Spotify is finally, officially, coming to the US

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Corporate News, Music

Spotify US invite

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

Spotify unleashes music downloads with iPod syncing

iPod Spotify sync

European online music service Spotify on Wednesday announced a new MP3 download service, as well as the ability to sync music on iPods and the Spotify iPhone and Android apps.

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.

Click to continue reading Spotify unleashes music downloads with iPod syncing


The best of April Fool’s Day 2011 from around the web

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Features, Google, Internet

April Fool's Day is upon us, and that means that you can never be too sure if anything you read today is true or bogus. Everyone from Google and Hulu to Funny or Die and Groupon have come up with their own gags, and here's a look at some of the ones circulating this morning. If you see any other notable April Fool's Day jokes, let us know in the comments.

GOOGLE

Chromercise: In a throw-back to Jane Fonda and the Jazzercise era, Google is helping you get your fingers limbered up for some searching with Chromercise. Strap on your most flattering 80s fingerwarmers and Google-fied headbands, and feel the burn.

YouTube: While you might think that YouTube was founded in the last decade, it actually dates back to 1911, when videos of horse and buggy crashes and pre-talkie fruit conversations dominated the airwaves. And of course, pets were still able to play instruments with ease; trumpet cat ftw.

Autocompleter: You thought those auto-completes on Google were done by an algorithm? Nah, it's just Michael, an auto-completer at Google. He started out as a spell checker, but now provides users with suggestions as they type. Michael averages about 34,000 words per minute and goes through a keyboard every eight days.

Comic Sans for Everyone: As we all know, comic sans is everyone's favorite font. As a result, Google will roll it out as its default fonts across all Google products, effective April 4. It's live for a few lucky people in the Google Labs Trusted Tester Beta Preview Sandbox program, so check it out.

Gmail Motion: Typing and using a mouse to write emails? Blech. With Gmail Motion, you can use your Webcam and simple movements to tell Gmail what to write. To open an email, move your hands like your opening an envelope. To reply, point your thumb behind you; use both hands to reply all.

Click to continue reading The best of April Fool’s Day 2011 from around the web


Spotify hits 1 million subscribers

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Internet, Music

spotify 1 millionIn an age when Internet companies are struggling to make subscription-based services a success, music service Spotify has something to celebrate. The company announced this week that it now has one million paying subscribers.

"It's a testament to our fantastic users who continue to support us and spread the Spotify word, either by telling friends or sharing some of the 200 million playlists that you've put together so far," the company wrote in a blog post.

Spotify launched in October 2008 and reached 1 million users by March 2009. The service's features, however, have now prompted at least 1 million users to upgrade to Spotify's premium services.

Click to continue reading Spotify hits 1 million subscribers


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