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
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.
Google has just announced Google Play Music All Access at its Google I/O 2013 developer conference, the company's new subscription music service. Aside from givng you access to the millions of songs in Google's new streaming catalog, it will also incorporate tracks that you have stored in your Google Play Music account. The service launches today, and will cost $9.99 per month. Google offers a 30-day trial--sign up for the free trial by June 30th, you'll lock in a $7.99 per month rate, making it 20% cheaper than competing services like Rdio and Spotify.
It is expected that Apple will announce it's own streaming music service, possibly at WWDC 2013 in June, but rumors point to it being more akin to a Pandora Internet radio competitor than a full on streaming service where you can pick and choose individual tracks and albums that you want to listen to.
In the few days since "Get Lucky" was released by Daft Punk, the track has gone on to hit #1 in the UK and France, and is right near #1 in the US as well. Even more interesting, "Get Lucky" now holds the record for the "biggest streaming day for a single track" on Spotify in the US and UK regions.
The upcoming Daft Punk album, Random Access Memories, is set to be released on May 21st. It'll be the first from the group in 8 years, with the exception of the 2007 live album and the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. Get a listen to "Get Lucky" below!
Read More | Hollywood Reporter
The rumored Twitter Music service has become a reality, launching this morning. Twitter #music seems to be a natural step for the service, which sees hundreds of millions of users regularly discussing music on the service, as well as a bunch of popular musicians as well. Twitter #music aims to help you find music you'll like, based on your Twitter activity. You can access #music through a web browser, and there's also a new dedicated #music iOS app that lets you easily view and listen to music that's popular and trending on Twitter, undiscovered artists, music that it knows you like, and a #NowPlaying area that shows what others are listening to.
One important note here is that Twitter #music isn't a streaming music service. Instead, it's a layer that allows you to access your Rdio, Spotify, and iTunes tracks, using Twitter #music as your navigation mechanism. You simply connect your accounts to #music, and you are all set. The iOS app is slick, and we hear the Android version will be on its way soon. You can download Twitter #music for iPhone now.
Read More | Twitter #Music
As we reported months ago, Pandora has finally come to Windows Phone 8. Even better, Windows Phone 8 users get free ad-free listening for the rest of the year, a feature that typically costs $3.99 per month, or $36 per year, known as Pandora One. A few weeks back, Pandora also announced a monthly 40-hour listening cap for free users, so this makes Pandora on Windows Phone 8 the best bang for your buck--provided you want to use a Windows Phone. One other cool feature is that Pandora integrates in with the Windows Phone Kid's Corner feature. When in Kid's Corner, Pandora doesn't show or play any explicit content. You can download it now.
Read More | Windows Phone
Justin Timberlake is returning to music after a 7-year hiatus with the release of his next album, The 20/20 Experience. The new hotness drops on March 19th, but you can get a listen to all the new Timberlake tunes right now, thanks to iTunes. That's right--you can stream the entire album, right now, a week early, for free. If you like it, pre-order it for $10.99, and it'll show up in your iTunes library when it's released next week.
One thing to note, when streaming The 20/20 Experience, you have to listen to it in the order that it is put together. In other words, you don't get to skip or repeat tracks or anything like that. Hit the link and grab a listen.
Read More | The 20/20 Experience
If you love listening to Pandora when you're on the go, you may have to start paying up. Pandora has announced that it will now be capping mobile users to 40 hours of listening per month. If you reach that cap, the music will stop, and you'll need to pay a fee of $.99 if you'd like to continue listening for the remainder of the month. The reason behind this is the rising costs of the per-track royalty rates that Pandora has to pay.
"Pandora’s per-track royalty rates have increased more than 25% over the last 3 years, including 9% in 2013 alone and are scheduled to increase an additional 16% over the next two years. After a close look at our overall listening, a 40-hour-per-month mobile listening limit allows us to manage these escalating costs with minimal listener disruption."
Pandora says this should only affect about 4% of its users, so it shouldn't be a huge deal. Subscribers to the Pandora One service, which eliminated the ads altogether for $36 per year, are not affected.
Read More | Pandora
Spotify for iOS has just received a massive overhaul, bringing the UI in line with the look that Android's been sporting for a while. iOS users now get access to features like the swiping method for accessing different areas of the Spotify app (similar to what you can do in the Facebook iOS app.) The "Now Playing" area shows you the artist and track name no matter where you are navigating in the app, right above the play controls. You can swipe here to go to the next or previous track with ease. You also get bug fixes and overall improvements to stability, as well as the Ford SYNC AppLink Spotify feature that we mentioned yesterday. You can grab the update now from the App Store, and peep the full changelog after the break.
Read More | Spotify