Pandora is perhaps my favorite music app. In fact, it is the only one I bother subscribing too, paying the small $3.99 per month fee in exchange for unlimited streaming and no ads. This week the company has announced two important new features. One brings customers unreleased music, while the other makes the program more social.
The new Premieres channel is available to all customers — both free, as well as paid subscribers. Premieres looks to bring customers new music before the albums are released. Each week Pandora plans to add albums a week in advance of their commercial release — beginning this week with former CCR singer John Fogerty and English folk musician Laura Marling.
Customers will be able to stream any, and all, songs from the upcoming music releases an unlimited number of times. The service promises new music available every week.
On iPhone, Android, and pandora.com, customers can now choose to automatically publish their Pandora music activity to Facebook, which will populate the musical identity in Facebook’s newly launched music section. A quick toggle on the user’s phone or press of a button on the web and they are ready to go.
Both features are available right now for web-based and mobile customers. Both enhancements will also work for all customers, regardless if they have a free or paid account.
“So do you guys want to hear about music?” asks Chris Yerga.
At the Google I/O event, Google announced their rumored music service Google Music All Access at the opening Keynote. The new service lets listeners use tracks on demand to create stations of songs as you listen. The service witll cost $9.99 per month. Early users will get a $7.99 introductory price and everyone gets a 30 day free trial.
Yerga talks about Google Play and the relaunch of the Google Play store. He hopes to remove the “Chore” in creating a playlist.
“Music unites us. It’s universal. No matter who you are or where you’re from, the joy of music is a constant. With ubiquitous mobile devices, there’s the potential to bring that music – bring that joy with us – wherever we are” says Yerga. “It felt more like work. When we were kids, figuring out what album to play was an event – a ritual. So why is it feel like managing my queue feels like a chore?”
Google set out to build a music service to help guide us through it. From their locker service 2 years ago to today through Play music. The All Access app will allow you to create “Radio without rules”. You can swipe to see what is coming, you can reorder music on the fly and more. All access blends my catalog with millions of other songs.
In addtion, the Listen now part of All Access brings a minimal effort list to your device. These are songs from artists you enjoy refreshed every time you use it.
All Access on Computer
Google is betting on this being the music you will make a ritual on.
We have been hearing about a Twitter Music service for the past week, but it has been all rumors so far….until today. Music.twitter.com officially launched this morning.
It uses all of the activity on Twitter (such as tweets and general engagement) to identify the most popular tracks and emerging artists and allows you to listen to previews from Apple iTunes. However, if you have an Rdio or Spotify account, then you can log in to those and check out the full tracks.
The service is initially available in the US, UK and Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, but more countries will be added over time.
The app, for now at least, is only for the web and iOS, but Twitter promises that Android will be coming soon. However, there is no word on availability for the Windows Phone fans out there or for Blackberry users.
“Twitter and music go great together. People share and discover new songs and albums every day. Many of the most-followed accounts on Twitter are musicians, and half of all users follow at least one musician. This is why artists turn to Twitter first to connect with their fans — and why we wanted to find a way to surface songs people are tweeting about. We offered music artists an early look at the service. You can see some of their reactions below. We hope you like it, too”
Psy, the South Korean music star who put Seoul’s Gangnam neighborhood on the map with a video that broke all records, is coming back this weekend. In honor of all of his YouTube success and fans, the star will debut his new song on the video sharing service this coming Saturday.
According to the Google service, “the artist who made K-Pop global is back to debut his second single, ‘Gentleman’. This Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Korean Standard Time (2:30 a.m. PST), PSY will kick off a live streamed performance from the Seoul World Cup Stadium and share his new single with the world”.
YouTube’s Sun Lee,Product Marketing Manager, says that “in the meantime, check out this message from our favorite sunglass-rocking pop star himself and make sure to mark your calendars for this Saturday”.
While it has not been largely publicized, Amazon has a deal going on right now for Android customers and music lovers. The online retail giant is offering a trade-off — buy an app and get a free song.
The deal is not exactly temporary either. It began back on February 13, 2013 and will run through December 31, 2013. Customers need not do anything to qualify — simply purchase an app from the Amazon Appstore for Android and then, shortly after making the purchase, you will receive an email from the company that includes a code for $1 credit to Amazon MP3. The code is good until 11:59 PM PST on January 31, 2014, so you have plenty of time to decide on your song.
As many of you likely know, Amazon offers a paid app every single day as its “Free app of the Day”. As it turns out, these also count, meaning you need not even spend anything to land your MP3 credit.
Sourcetone bills itself as a “music health” business. The company classifies music into 21 different areas designed to help improve the listeners mood, activity and overall health. This was setup through research done in collaboration with places like Harvard Medical Center which collected data from test groups of people in an effort to find out how different music made each individual feel.
The result is music that Sourcetone claims can help with things like anxiety and concentration. The company has found an 83 percent success record during beta testing. The mobile app, which will be launching soon, will allow users to choose from a mood and then it will begin streaming music based on that — a Pandora for emotions.
The video claims the Android app, which will be first, would be released February 15th, but it is not out yet. However, you can head over to Sourcetone and enter your email address to receive updates.
Nuvo Tech is known for high-end, professionally installed home audio systems. Now the company is making a move to become more friendly to the masses with a wireless, consumer-based home audio system to compete with devices like Sonos.
The new setup is not weak either — it can simultaneously stream to up to 16 different locations. To do this, the system uses a dual-WiFi system with antennae. There are two different models of players, depending on the wattage you want. The higher-end version also has bluetooth for streaming content from a phone or tablet. The base station plugs directly into your router.
Prices start at $199 and head up, depending on the setup you want. For more information you can watch the video below and also head over to Nuvo Technologies.
At this year’s CES, Pure launched Jongo, the world’s most affordable (and colourful) multi-room music system. Vicky tells Todd all about it.
The Jongo range will shortly include a couple of wireless speakers and a hi-fi adaptor, all with both Bluetooth and wi-fi built-in. Music can be streamed using the Pure Connect app via wi-fi to any speaker in range or else smartphones and tablets can stream music directly to the speakers using Bluetooth. Both Apple iOs and Android devices are supported and it uses the existing wi-fi infrastructure: there’s no need for special transmitters.
The S340B speaker will be available soon and can be pre-ordered on Amazon. Price is listed as $229.
The stereo speaker (T640B) and the hi-fi adaptor (A140B) will be on-sale in the summer with MSRPs of $329 and $119, respectively.
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NASA Johnson Style is an educational parody of Psy’s Gangnam Style, produced by the students of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. It’s brilliant and deserves as much attention as the original. I’m sure this will be all over the web in a few hours, combining great visuals and intelligent parody with the hottest hit of 2012.
Concrete has always been a popular product, but it’s not what you think of for display purposes – marble and solid wood come more readily to mind. Increasingly, designers are turning to this relatively cheap material with some very attractive polished concrete artifacts and recently I saw a lovely kitchen worktop in the material.
Concrete is a good choice for a hifi unit, as the high density and consequent mass makes it less vulnerable to vibration. Of course this is only still an issue if you listen to vinyl records: if you’ve gone all digital, it’s not really a concern. Nevertheless, it’s a pretty impressive piece of furniture and while the aesthetics may not suit everyone, it certainly makes a statement.
The are three basic modules, “O”, “C” and “E” which can be joined to make the desired configuration. The picture above shows and “OEO” config and there are more shots on the website. In a nice touch, the concrete can be coloured to match a particular decor.
Price on application. Promotional video below.
(My German isn’t what it should be so apologies for any mistakes in translation.)