Ford and Amazon have announced that Amazon MP3 for Android has been updated with Ford SYNC support, which means that you can use your Android device with Ford's admittedly awesome infotainment system to access all your tracks stored in your Amazon Cloud Player. As is typical with SYNC, you can even control playback with voice commands. Amazon MP3 2.8 for Android also includes the typical bug fixes, and the store has been redesigned to show more search results.
Read More | Amazon
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.
Gear Live's love affair with Sonos is no secret - we love the product dearly, and with today's introduction of the Playbar, it's grown even more. With the Sonos Playbar, the company is effectively entering the home theater space, providing a soundbar that's capable of pumping out massive sound through its nine drivers (size mid-range drivers and three tweeters.) Simply connect it to your television through optical TOSlink, and you are ready to go.
The Playbar isn't just a typical soundbar speaker--it's a Sonos product, and that means it ties right in to the Sonos ecosystem. You can use it to play music streamed from your iTunes library, streaming music subscription services like Rdio and Spotify, Pandora, and many more.
It gets better, too. Sonos says you can pair the Soundbar with the Sonos SUB and/or a couple of Play:3 or Play:5 units for a full-on 5.1 surround sound experience. It'll be expensive, but it leaves us salivating. You can pick up the Sonos Playbar next month for $699, and it's available for pre-order right now.
Read More | Sonos
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
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
Microsoft is touting a bunch of the new apps that will be coming to Windows Phone 8, and one it's really excited about is Pandora. You're in for a little bit of a wait for the app, as it won't appear for Windows Phone 8 users until early 2013, but when it does, it will offer ad-free listening for the first year. That's basically free 12-month subscription to Pandora One from Microsoft for users of its new smartphones. Pretty nice.
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.
Read More | The Verge
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is working on a streaming music service that would give iTunes, Spotify- or Pandora-like functionality. However, the details are scarce at the moment. Here's a Tweet from Dennis K. Berman:
Read More | WSJ
Rdio released a small updated for the Rdio for Mac app today, bringing with it Mountain Lion compatibility. In short, the OS X media keys will now perform as expected with Rdio when running the newly-released OS X 10.8. The changelog:
- Media key support for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
- Layout bug fixes
If you haven't tried it, Rdio is our pick for the best streaming subscription music platform available in the US. In fact, you can follow the Gear Live Rdio channel for our song picks and recommendations.
Read More | Rdio
We gave you an early look at the New Rdio redesign back in March during SXSW 2012, and then it was released to the masses just last month. Well, we've gotta hand it to the Rdio team, as they continue to improve the design for the enjoyment of the users. Today, Rdio has refined its design again, bringing more white space and a flatter profile to the forefront. The company says that this makes it lighter, brighter, and easier on the eye. What else? Speed improvements. We've been playing with it for a bit over on the Gear Live Rdio channel, and we invite you to do the same. It's good stuff.
Read More | Rdio