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
The peeps over at Sonos seem to have learned from their way and, rather than being late to the party, this time it's released the new Sonos 3.8 software ahead of time to ensure compatibility with OS X Mountain Lion. Android 4.0 also gets official support with this update, as does the upcoming Sonos Sub, the new wireless subwoofer add-on that the company will be releasing in June. You can grab the updated software for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC, and the software will then update all your Sonos hardware, ensuring everything is ready for the future.
Read More | Sonos
Just a quick PSA for all you music lovers out there--that new Rdio design we recently talked about? Well, it's now live for everyone. Our favorite streaming music service has rolled out the new clean look for all, and it's pretty fantastic. Check out a video walkthrough below.
Read More | Rdio
Last week at a press event in Austin at SXSW, Rdio gave us a look at its brand new, completely overhauled music experience. We got a look at the new Rdio, and we walked away impressed by the beauty of what the streaming music company is attempting to pull off. There are a lot of changes, and we think that most people will think they're all good.
New Rdio isn't just a visual makeover though. Wilson Miner, head of design for Rdio said, "We want back to ground zero and rethought the whole user experience from the groud up to put the focus 100% on music and people." That people part is a big deal, because social integration is a big part of the new Rdio. When you log in, you've got a constant bar on the right-hand side that shows your online contacts and what they're listening to. There's also another tab that gives recommendations of who to follow (oh, and you should definitely follow the Gear Live Rdio profile!) Wanna share a track or album with a contact? The old way still works, but now you can just drag and drop content onto contacts as well. Very fluid.
When Spotify launched in Europe, social music sharing officially arrived, and many services soon folllowed. However, the company soon realized that releasing an API that allowed third-parties to tap into the spotify catalog would mean new features and new ways for its users to interact and enjoy music, and with that came the release of Spotify Apps.
Spotify has shared info on the success of four of these apps. Truth be told, some of them are a runaway success. Each app is unique in its own way in changing the way we do music.
Soundrop, “let’s you discover, listen to, and share music with friends in ‘rooms’ created by genre or theme,” Spotify says. According to the company, Soundrop users in Feburary listened to 15 million songs or the equivalent of 100 years’ of music.
The second app, Tunewiki, lets you sing along to the lyrics of the song you’re listening too. Though we can’t guarantee this will make you a better singer, it's certainly cool to be able to see the lyrics in real-time while playing a track.
Moodagent, plays music according to how you're feeling, which is fantastic time saver. No longer are you a slave to searching your library for the music you wanna listen too when you're 'Angry' or 'Happy', as you can now have Moodagent handle that for you.
The final app, SpotOn Radio, which was built into the mobile version of the app, hit number six on the Swedish iPhone app store.
The success of Spotify and the widespread use and development of its apps should continue to result in new, refreshing ways to both listen to and share music, with Spotify living on the back end. All Spotify apps are free to use, but require a Spotify account (also free!)
Read More | Spotify
Right now I'm at SXSW, sitting in on the Turntable.fm DJ Battle that's taking place over the next two hours. There are a few DJs on stage playing their best tracks in an attempt to rock the crowd, and as things are unfolding, I can see some real potential for Turntable.fm to bring something to the table that the Spotifys, Rdios, and Rhapsodys of the world just aren't able to deliver at the moment, especially now that Turntable has secured licensing rights from all four of the major record labels here in the U.S.
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