Category Archives: Music

Spotify Upgraded its Premium Family Plan



Spotify announced that it has upgraded its Spotify Premium Family Plan. New changes make it easier for families to filter out things that they don’t want their children to listen to.

With our updated plan, Spotify Premium Family subscribers have on-demand access to 450,000 podcast titles and 50 million tracks of ad-free music. What’s more, parents will now be able to control the Explicit Content Filter setting of all other accounts on their plan (these parental controls are a long-requested feature).

Spotify says the update is now available in Ireland, and will rollout in all markets with Premium Family this fall. Those who are already Premium Family Plan users will be notified as soon as the upgraded Family Plan is available in the coming months.

Here are some things families can look forward to:

  • Family Mix: Families will get exclusive access to a personalized playlist packed with songs the whole family enjoys. Family Mix is updated regularly and you can control who is in each session to optimize your family’s favorite shared listening moments.
  • Family Hub: Billing users can now manage their Family’s settings in one place, including adding or removing family members, keeping your home address up to date, and adjusting your parental controls.
  • Six Accounts: Spotify Premium Family still provides six individual Spotify Premium accounts for family members living under one roof, meaning you’ll keep your own saved music and playlists.

The Spotify Premium Family plan costs $14.99 per month. It might be a good investment for families that enjoy listening to music and podcasts together. The parental controls (after the rollout) will make it easier for parents to filter out things that they don’t want their kids to listen to.


IKEA and Sonos Shine a New Light on Sound



IKEA and Sonos have collaborated on SYMFONISK, a range of speakers designed to democratize the home sound system. Combining Sonos’s expertise in sound and technology with IKEA’s knowledge of home furnishing, SYMFONISK seamlessly fits into the home to enhance everyday life and integrates with the Sonos system.

The SYMFONISK range includes the SYMONISK table lamp with WiFi speaker and the SYMFONISK book-shelf with WiFi speaker. Both products are compatible with Sonos’s own product range and can be steered through the Sonos app.

The SYMFONISK table lamp with WiFi speaker blends into the home in a new way, making it easier to furnish sound. It combines light and sound into one product in order to de-clutter the home with less devices and cords.

The SYMFONISK book-shelf speaker is a great connected multi-functional speaker at an affordable price. It has many versatile ways to blend into a home. It can be tucked away or on display. The SYMFONISK book-shelf speaker can be placed vertically or horizontally.

Both the SYMFONISK table lamp and the SYMFONISK book-shelf speaker will come to IKEA in August of 2019. I think the SYMFONISK speakers look nice, and will appeal to people who want to enjoy excellent sound and a speaker that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.


LP Pop Culture Remix



Movies and music have been lynch-pins of popular culture going back to the middle of the 20th century, capturing and delivering on the zeitgeist of a generation. Many films and albums have become iconic, instantly recognisable from a scene, a track or an album cover…which makes them ripe for a send-up.

Steven Lear (aka whythelongplayface) takes on these sacred cows with some fantastic mashups of film characters and album cover art. Star Wars provides rich pickings and his Instagram account is full of album covers with characters from the films inserted into the scenes. Yoda as the baby in Nirvana’s Nevermind. Leia and Han Solo in John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy. massive at-at rather than massive attack. All instantly recognisable.

 

If you click through on the revised album covers in Instagram, Steven shows both his version and the original that inspired it.

  

Star Wars isn’t the only source of material – there are remixes from all across the film and LP canon. If there’s anything you particularly like, T-shirts and posters can be ordered via http://www.whythelongplayface.com/.

All images courtesy of Steven Lear.


iHeartRadio takes a trip south



When it comes to streaming music services, there’s no shortage of ones to choose from. Only a few have become big names – Pandora, Spotify and those run by major companies like Apple, Google and Amazon. Another popular one is iHeartRadio.

Now iHeartRadio is taking a trip south of the border, as the company announces its foray into Mexico. This is a team effort as the company is working with Grupo ACIR,.

“iHeartRadio México is available now in beta and will officially launch November 3 at the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina so get excited! To listen now, music lovers across México can download the iHeartRadio app via Apple App Store or Google Play Store and listen online at iHeartRadio.mx“, the steaming service claims.

To celebrate the launch of iHeartRadio Mexico, Grupo ACIR will award a lucky music fan a once-in-a-lifetime VIP experience at the fifth annual iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina in Miami on November 3, Good luck in the contest.


Genius and Apple Music Team Up to Add Lyrics



As of yesterday, Apple Music became the official streaming platform on the Genius website. This means Apple Music subscribers who visit Genius will be able to play any song in full right from the song page, simply by signing into their Apple Music account.

Genius’s Chief Strategy Officer, Ben Gross, said: “Being able to read lyrics and annotations on Genius while you listen along on Apple Music is a dream Genius experience. We’re proud to make Apple Music our official music player, and we’re doubly excited to bring Genius lyrics to their amazing program.

To me, this seems like an excellent idea. When I listen to music, and can’t figure out what the lyrics are, it makes me want to do a search. That can be time consuming, and might be too difficult to do while listening to music during a walk or commute.

People who subscribe to Apple Music will now have a much easier time finding the lyrics of their favorite songs. Sign into your Apple Music account. Look up a song’s lyrics on Genius, and listen to the song right from the Genius page.

Image by Pixabay


Preorder Bungie’s Music of Destiny on Vinyl



Bungie has something special on the Bungie Store that should attract not only fans of Destiny, but also those who collect vinyl records. You can now preorder The Music of Destiny, Volume I, Collector’s Edition Vinyl Box Set. It is priced at $99.00, and is estimated to ship late 2018.

The Music of Destiny, Volume 1 is a Collector’s Edition Vinyl Box Set of the music of Destiny, including the first official release of Music of the Spheres. Each individually numbered box set includes six LPs, an exclusive booklet of liner notes and Official Destiny Collectible Pin keepsake.

This Limited Edition pre-order opportunity is available through June 15, 2018, at 11:59 PM PST. Orders will be fulfilled and shipped in late 2018. All sales are final. Each purchase comes with a digital download of the music sent via email after placing the order.

Product Description:

  • Includes Music of the Spheres and Destiny Original Soundtrack tracks
  • 6-LP box set features high quality pressings by Gotta Groove Records
  • Each LP is inserted into a custom innersleeve
  • Direct-to-board printed Gatefold Jackets house each of the LP’s in sets of two
  • Each heavyweight box is individually foil stamped with a unique number
  • 180 gram pressing
  • Includes exclusive Booklet and Collectible Traveler Pin

The image that Bungie posted on the page where you can preorder the Collector’s Edition (which is the same image I have posted here), is described as a “render image”. The final design may vary.

In collaboration with the Bungie Foundation, all profits from the sale of the Collector’s Edition Vinyl Box Set will benefit Melodic Caring Project. They are a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that streams live personalized concerts to kids and teens who are battling serious illness in the hospital.


Spotify Removes Artists from Playlists Under New Policy



Spotify has created a Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy that it is using to determine what music will not be promoted on the service. Billboard reported that Spotify has removed the work of two artists from Spotify playlists after the Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy took effect.

Spotify posted a blog post about the new Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy.

…We love that our platform is home to so much diversity because we believe in openness, tolerance, respect, and freedom of expression, and we want to promote those values through music on our platform.

However, we do not tolerate hate content on Spotify – content that expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.

Billboard reported that Spotify users will no longer be able to find R. Kelly’s music on any of the Spotify’s editorial or algorithmic playlists. Users will still be able to find R. Kelly’s music on Spotify, but Spotify is no longer going to promote it in Spotify owned and operated playlists. Billboard also reported that XXXTentacion has also had his music removed from Spotify’s owned and operated playlists.

Spotify clarified why they will remove the work of an artist, who has violated the Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy from Spotify playlists, but still allow the artist’s music to be on Spotify.

In their blog post, Spotify states: “While we don’t believe in censoring content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, we want our editorial decisions – what we choose to program – to reflect our values. So, in some circumstances, when an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children or sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.”