Archive for: Music

Apple iCloud Details Trickle Out, Hint At Google’s $100 Million Offer.

  • May 26, 2011 9:18 pm

Ongoing rumors concerning Apple’s iCloud and Google Music continue as a new report from BusinessWeek sheds light on the future of cloud-based music, Google and Amazon’s ongoing troubles in wooing music labels, and how Apple could shift the balance of power away from Google and back into their court.

As we already know, Amazon and Google’s recently launched cloud-based music storage lockers are pretty basic. They allow users to upload a set amount of music and stream it from a host of web-enabled devices. The biggest problems with the self-upload method is that uploading can take quite a long time, especially if we’re talking about 50+ GBs of music. That’s where Apple’s so called “iCloud” service really pulls away from the pack…

Last.fm Bringing Cached Radio Streaming To Mobile Devices.

  • April 18, 2011 1:09 pm

Fans of streaming music have no doubt heard a thing or two about how awesome European-born Spotify is, and the sad state of affairs that have prevented it from launching State side thus far. While Spotify’s U.S. debut is still an on again/off again news item, Last.fm has some big changes that will make you question why you ever waited for Spotify.

In an interview between ElectricPig and Last.fm’s Matthew Hawn, VP of Product, it has been revealed that the music streaming outfit is set to debut cached radio streaming sometime in the not too distant future. Hawn couldn’t give a specific launch date (or month), but did relinquish the infamous “soon” verbiage.

The gist is to bring Android, iOS, and tablets “into sync” with one another. As such, the apps and cached radio streaming feature will likely launch simultaneously instead of the usual staggered affair.

Being the Last.fm junkies (and yes, Spotify holdouts) that we are, hearing news of a “Spotified” cached streaming feature hitting the States combined with the robust music-matching capabilities Last.fm employes is awesome news. With that said, is offline/cahced streaming enough to get you to pony up the recently (February) updated Last.fm mobile app which began charging subscription fees for mobile use?

Sprint Unveils New “Sprint Music Plus” Service.

  • April 12, 2011 8:00 am


HTC’s impending announcement concerning the 1.2GHz dual-core packin’ Sensation may be the only thing currently on your mind, but Sprint would like to offer up some other fodder to chew on. Today, the soon to be nation’s third largest carrier announced via official press release a new ringtone/music download service dubbed “Sprint Music Plus”. The songs/ringtones will start at $0.69 and are able to be lumped into one large purchase thereby simplifying the checkout process. And of course, the charges can be billed directly to your wireless bill.

The new service will be available for Android, BlackBerry and feature phones starting in May. Is another storefront for music/ringtones really needed when making your own ringtones from already purchased tracks is incredibly easy (and free)? We’ll see…

Download The New Android 3.0.336 Music Player Now!

  • April 5, 2011 2:27 pm


You may or may not have seen an article earlier showing off a new Android 3.0.336 music player compliments of TechFrom10. Now you can have that very same version of said app all to yourselves. Besides the prettier face, WiFi streaming and a new Cover Flow-esque recently played tracks list among other things populate the new app.

Download the new Android 3.0.336 music player here. Just make sure you have at least Android 2.2 (Froyo).

Amazon Announces Cloud Drive Music Locker Service And Apps.

  • March 29, 2011 6:33 am

The long awaited “digital lockers” that music junkies and mobile aficionados have been begging for has finally been delivered. But it isn’t Apple who has long been the #1 focus on such a service/feature — it’s Amazon.

Dubbed “Amazon Cloud”, this new streaming service is pretty enticing on paper. Music, video, photos, and documents can all be uploaded to an initial 5GB chunk of online storage space. Purchase a single song from Amazon’s music store and your allotment is bumped up to 20GB. On top of that, tracks purchased from Amazon’s own store do not count towards your overall storage limit. If 20GB isn’t enough, extra storage can be purchased starting at $20/year for an additional 20GB and climbing all the way up to $1,000/year for a full terabyte.

Complimenting the online locker service is the new Cloud Player and Cloud Player for Andorid. The former will work in most common browsers across Mac, PC, Android Tablet, and Android phones. However, if mobile use is truly your main desire, the Android specific version of Cloud Player also includes access to the full Amazon digital music store an a mobile-friendly version of the actual player. Both versions will allow upload and downloading of files, streaming and managing of playlists, and now worries of quality loss — all music is streamed at the same quality it was uploaded. (Audiophiles better have a good connection for FLAC streaming…)

Being the first out of the gate has its pros and cons. For now, Amazon is the sole provider of any type of digital music locker service designed as Amazon Cloud is. At the same time, competitors can now tweak their own offerings to meet or exceed Amazon. Though, such is the way of the technology/business world. Nevertheless, we’re excited.

For now, Amazon Cloud is U.S. only. But fret not. As soon as other countries are given the green light, we’ll be sure to divulge anything and everything we know. Stay tuned…

Bon Jovi Blames Steve Jobs For Killing The Music Business.

  • March 14, 2011 8:59 pm


This evenings topic for most ridiculous news item of the day is brought to us by The Times and an interview they had with John Bonjovi. It seems John here hasn’t learned past classic rockers’ mistakes. That is, he spends a good chunk of his interview lambasting Steve Jobs (and in a more broader sense, the digital music scene) for “killing the music experience/business”. According to John, the days of saving up money to buy an album based on the jacket (that’s cover art for you young-ins) and spending an hour or more listening to a said compilation without distraction is gone — all thanks to Steve Jobs.

Spotify Continues Inching Closer To U.S. Launch As They Woo Universal.

  • February 24, 2011 6:50 am

The U.S. launch of popular European music streaming service, Spotify, continues to inch closer as new reports from Reuters claim a deal with Universal is “close”. A release is said to be only “weeks away”, though we’ve heard such time frames numerous times before only to be let down time and time again.

If Spotify can woo Universal, it will leave Warner Music Group — the last and 4th major music label in the U.S. — as the sole outside. Speaking of which, it is rumored that Spotify could and would launch without WMG’s library of music if needed.

We have to cut Spotify some slack. Launching a music startup in the digital age is a tough gig to pursue. Thus far, Spotify is claimed to have scored $100 million in funding valued at ~$1 billion. While it doesn’t guarantee success here in the States, it’s certainly a much needed boost for the European startup.

The only topic that keeps coming back, however, is just how important is Spotify now that other competitors such as Last.fm, Pandora, iheart radio, Slacker, and others have had time to mature? If Spotify can finally stick to a timely launch schedule, we may just be able to answer that question ourselves very soon.

Spotify Inches Closer To U.S. Launch With New EMI Deal.

  • February 18, 2011 1:32 pm

After last months announcement from Spotify that a deal had been signed with Sony, music streaming aficionados began getting excited. Finally we were beginning to see some progress on an innovative music streaming service that had been promised to us for many months. As we look onwards in 2011, it’s been well over a year since Spotify originally announced plans to tap the U.S. market. Unfortunately thus far, greed on behalf of the major music labels has stalled Spotify’s efforts. But those efforts are finally being rewarded.

Today, Spotify is expected to announce their latest deal towards getting their services up and running in the U.S. — this according to a statement from the WSJ. What this means is that Spotify only has two more major music labels — Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group — to woo before we can all enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Of course, now that the U.S. has had no less than half a dozen reputable streaming services blossom and mature over the last year and half, is Spotify as much of an item as it once was?

Last.fm To Begin Charging For Mobile Access.

  • February 7, 2011 10:09 am

Users of Last.fm in the U.S. UK, and Germany will have some hard choices to make in the near future. Popular music streaming service and Pandora competitor, Last.fm, has announced that the aforementioned countries will now have to pay extra for mobile access and Last.fm usage on desktop/laptop devices. While the move to a pay-to-play scenario has already been enacted in many other places of the world under Last.fm’s reach, the U.S., UK, and Germany remained free of charge.

While we understand that the freemium model doesn’t always work and that Last.fm has to make some changes in order to make money, the added price isn’t justified. Take for example competing (and much better) service, Spotify. This non-U.S. music streaming service also allows playlist creation, downloading of content to local drives, and gives users the ability to choose the play order of songs.

Hopefully Last.fm follows the $3/month charge that is shared in other countries. Because if it is $5+, I can see quite a few defecting to other services that are either cheaper or offer more features for the money.

Users of Windows Phone 7 devices and Xbox Live will still be able to enjoy Last.fm for free, as will web users. None of these portals will see any price addition.