Poll: will you continue using Apple Music past the trial period?

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 29, 2015

Apple Music has been available for a little more than a month now and the service already has dozens, if not hundreds of problems to complain about which have earned it mixed reviews from the press.

Apple Music’s biggest advantage, its tight integration with the rest of the Apple ecosystem, is being erased for some amid a flurry of issues, ranging from disappearing music, issues with DRM, user interface inconsistencies and poor implementation in iTunes, to mention just a few.

You’ve heard the horror stories and have hopefully played long enough with Apple Music in order to make an informed decision as to whether or not you’ll continue using it once the free three-month trial expires. Read More

 

This app lets you transfer your Spotify and Rdio playlists to Apple Music with a single click

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 29, 2015

Our own Jeff Benjamin told you about an Apple Script for exporting your Spotify playlists into Apple Music. Now there’s now an even easier method to migrate your music to Apple Music as someone has built a dedicated app to transfer Spotify and Rdio playlists to Apple Music with a single click.

Created by two guys from California who call themselves Move To Apple, their new app aptly named Move to Apple Music automates the process of migrating all your music and playlists from Spotify or Rdio to Apple Music, in exchange for $4.99. Read More

 

How to hide Apple Music on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2015

Now that you’ve tried Apple Music thanks to Apple’s generous three-month free trial, you may have decided that the service just isn’t cut for you.

Though impossible to get rid of it completely, you can temporarily hide most of Apple Music’s aspects.

Our previous tutorial has taught you how to disconnect from Apple Music’s Connect feature and today’s how-to lays out the steps to hide Apple Music on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac and go back to the old way of enjoying music. Read More

 

T-Mobile adds Apple Music to Music Freedom

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2015

T-Mobile has added Apple Music to the list of supported streaming services for Music Freedom, an initiative which allows subscribers to stream their favorite songs through services like Spotify, Pandora, Rdio and more, over T-Mobile’s cellular network and without burning their 4G LTE data.

Hailed as T-Mobile’s “last Un-Carrier Amped move of the summer,” Simple Choice customers can now enjoy Apple’s streaming music service without worrying about Apple Music cellular data usage counting against their monthly 4G LTE allowance. Read More

 

Apple Music reportedly signed up more than 10 million subscribers in its first month

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2015

A new report Tuesday by Hits Daily Double alleges that Apple’s new streaming-music services has signed up more than ten million customers in its first four weeks. Citing “inside sources at some of the major labels,” the streaming statistics was reportedly shared with content owners by Apple itself.

Apple Music is free during its first three months, after which iTunes will charge customers’ credit card on file $9.99 per month to continue using the service, or $14.99 for a family of six. Read More

 

Interacting with ads on Pandora could earn you one hour of uninterrupted listening

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 27, 2015

If you interact with a rich ad on Pandora for at least fifteen seconds, the Internet radio service will reward you with an hour of uninterrupted listening free of advertising, the company announced in a blog post Monday.

They’re calling it Sponsored Listening and it’s available now to all advertisers, meaning this feature will be available on a per-ad basis. Read More

 

LyricForMusic: display song lyrics for Apple Music tracks

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 22, 2015

Apple Music is great, but with all of the new music discovery it brings, you’re bound to run into situations where you wish you had quick access to song lyrics. That’s where a brand new jailbreak tweak called LyricForMusic comes into play.

LyricForMusic lends you nearly instant access to a song’s lyrics simply by tapping on its album artwork. And this works, not only for the music that you own or for the music that you have saved locally to your device; it also works for music streamed directly from Apple Music’s 30+ million song catalog. Read More

 

MTV’s VMA nominees will be announced tomorrow exclusively on Beats 1

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 20, 2015

Lots of ink was used in the run-up to Apple Music introduction regarding exclusive music deals that Apple has managed to negotiate with its favorite artists. And in addition to album exclusives, Apple’s Beats 1 global radio is hosted by celebrity DJs and has already aired a few exclusive interviews.

And now, the 24/7 live-streaming radio station has partnered with Viacom-owned MTV to exclusively reveal nominees for the upcoming Video Music Awards (VMA), a move which suggests Apple’s desire to position Beats 1 as the de facto source of both new music and industry events. Read More

 

Spotify delivers ‘Discover Weekly’ personalized playlists and deep Nike+ Running integration

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 20, 2015

Following Apple Music introduction, Spotify has doubled down on music discovery and third-party integration, the two areas where it hopes to outsmart competition, with Monday’s announcement of a Discover Weekly feature and deep integration with the Nike+ Running mobile app.

Unlike Apple’s human-curated playlists for various activity types, Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlists are entirely driven by algorithms and personalized to each user’s listening habits, as per Re/code on Monday. Read More

 

iPod nano/shuffle won’t store your offline Apple Music collections due to piracy concerns

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 17, 2015

There will be no transferring your offline Apple Music collections onto the new iPod nano or iPod shuffle because Apple is overly concerned about piracy, as it should be, and so the company’s decided to play it safe instead.

As 9to5Mac discovered Friday, attempting to transfer Apple Music songs marked for offline playback onto your nano or shuffle via iTunes produces a “some of the items in the iTunes library were not copied to the iPod because Apple Music songs cannot be copied to an iPod” message.

Of course, you can still sync your own songs that you imported into iTunes and music purchased on the iTunes Store, just like before, but Apple Music including songs marked for offline playback is off limits to the nano and shuffle. Read More

 

How to restore DRM-laden Apple Music matched songs to DRM-free

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 13, 2015

Apple today released iTunes 12.2.1 which solves a few issue, among them an annoying bug that’s been driving more than a few early adopters of Apple Music crazy.

For context, Apple’s standalone $25 per year iTunes Match subscription is commonly used to legitimately replace matched songs in your library with DRM-free files from iTunes in the high-quality 256Kbps AAC format. Unfortunately, iTunes Match as part of Apple Music membership contains a flaw.

Even though Apple Music checks songs in your own library against its vast catalog, matched tracks get incorrectly labeled as Apple Music and wrapped inside FairPlay, Apple’s proprietary DRM system. As a result, you’re prevented from enjoying your own Matched music on non-Apple devices.

More importantly, Apple Music members who cancel their subscription may end up with DRM-protected matched tracks. Making matter worse, deleting a track in your Mac’s original library for the purpose of re-downloading it as a 256Kbps AAC file will prompt Apple Music to incorrectly replace the original, non-DRM version with a DRM-laden file.

This was never intended behavior: a flaw causes iTunes to incorrectly label songs from Matched to Apple Music. But worry not, iTunes 12.2.1 comes to the rescue: release notes state that the update resolves an issue “where iTunes incorrectly changed some songs from Matched to Apple Music”.

Here’re the steps you must take if your matched songs show up as DRM-protected Apple Music tracks. Read More

 

Apple Music won’t auto-add streamed tracks to your Recently Played playlist

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 13, 2015

It’s no secret Apple Music has some way to go before achieving feature parity between iOS and OS X.

Some crucial aspects of Apple Music on iOS have yet to make their way into iTunes for Mac and Windows PCs, and now Apple’s $9.99 per month service was discovered to have been avoiding adding streamed songs to a Recently Played playlist.

As Kirk McElhearn noted, it’s a huge, unexpected oversight on Apple’s part because you should in fact be permitted to access a full history of what you have listened to, regardless of whether it’s locally stored music or Apple Music files streamed to your computer or mobile device. Read More

 

Apple now creating music videos and other original content in-house for Apple Music and iTunes

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 13, 2015

An Apple job listing seeking a seasoned Los Angeles, California-based Original Content Video Producer was discovered Monday, our best indication yet that the company is now creating original video content for both Apple Music and iTunes.

A proven track record in producing branded video content and content series for social platforms is required and the ideal candidate will work from Apple-owned Culver City campus, which belonged to Beats before the company was acquired last year by Apple for $3 billion.

Pitchfork recently said that Apple has actually been making music videos for select artists in-house. Read More

 

Apple pushes iTunes 12.2.1 update fixing iTunes Match and Beats 1 issues

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 13, 2015

Apple on Monday issued a bug-fix update to iTunes for Mac and Windows. iTunes 12.2.1, available through the Software Update mechanism or standalone via iTunes.com/download, fixes a pair of issues with iTunes Match, Apple’s $25 per year song identification service. In addition, it contains minor bug fixes and improvements for Beats 1, Apple’s free of charge 24/7 global Internet radio broadcasting in more than a hundred countries. Read More

 

How to disable Apple Music Connect

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 10, 2015

After you enable Apple Music on an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 8.4 or later, the Music app gains the following five tabs alongside the bottom: For You, New, Radio, Connect and My Music.

Described by Apple as a place where “musicians give their fans a closer look at their work, their inspirations, and their world,”Apple Music Connect permits music lovers to view and follow an artist’s stream, like and comment on their posts and more.

Apple Music Connect is basically Ping 2.0. The feature is a tad crude in appearance and feels rough around the edges so little wonder that some folks don’t view Connect as valuable enough for it to deserve its own tab.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get rid of the Connect tab? Thankfully, there is.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Connect feature couldn’t be disabled: Apple has made sure to burry and hide it in an obscure place. In this post, I’m going to explain precisely how you can disconnect from Connect in Apple Music on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Mac and replace it with the infinitely more useful Playlists functionality. Read More

 

SoundCloud update adds more functionality to playlists and new ‘related tracks’ feature

By Cody Lee on Jul 10, 2015

SoundCloud updated its iOS client this morning, bringing the app to version 3.10.1. The company says the update “significantly upgrades the listening experience,” bringing about more functionality for playlists, the ability to shuffle your Likes, and a new ‘related tracks’ feature.

With the new playlist capabilities, you can now shuffle and edit your playlist within the mobile app. When SoundCloud redesigned its iPhone app last summer, it removed these and several other features, and it has since been re-adding them through a series of iterative updates. Read More

 

How Apple could reinvigorate the iPod line

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 10, 2015

It’s no secret that iPod sales continue to decline year after year. Many of the people who were once targets for the iPod now opt for iPhones or iPads.

This isn’t exactly a terrible problem for Apple to have. The company has never had qualms about cannibalizing its own products for the sake of the greater good.

But with Apple’s historic, and now renewed, love of music, it just wouldn’t seem right to let the iPod—at least its conceptual existence, and not so much the name—fade out into the sunset.

For that reason, I think that Apple should go back to the drawing board. Even if this year’s rumored across-the-board iPod update is nothing more than just a meager spec bump and minor changes—I think that ultimately, the line is due for a complete overhaul.

How could Apple reinvigorate its flagship music player? By doing the following five things… Read More

 

Facebook reportedly planning its own music-streaming service

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 9, 2015

Apple Music, Spotify, Rdio, Pandora and other popular music-streaming services could be faced with competition from Facebook as the popular social network is reportedly planning a streaming-music product of its own, Music Aally reported Thursday.

Facebook has been testing ad-supported native videos with a small group of media partners, but that was just a prelude to discussions with major labels about “getting into music” with a full-on subscription product. Read More

 

Streaming music service Tidal launches pricey new family plans

By Cody Lee on Jul 8, 2015

In response to Apple Music and other competitors, Tidal on Wednesday announced new family plans for its streaming music service. The new plans will allow up to 5 users to enjoy Tidal’s Premium and HiFi service tiers at a significant discount from standalone rates.

It works like this: a standalone account for Tidal Premium costs $9.99 per month, and a HiFi account costs $19.99 per month. With family plans, users can add up to 4 additional users to their account at 50% off—$4.99/month for Premium, and $9.99/month for HiFi. Read More

 

Spotify nudging iPhone users to buy Premium subscription on the web, not through iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 8, 2015

Presumably feeling the heat from Apple Music, Spotify has cunningly created a smart workaround for the so-called Apple tax, a 30 percent cut the company makes on sales of content subscriptions sold within apps.

Normally, when you upgrade to Spotify Premium in their iPhone and iPad, Apple brings up a standard prompt to confirm your purchase through the iTunes billing system. For those unaware, all in-app subscriptions are subject to the same 70:30 revenue split like apps sold on the App Store and Mac App Store.

But as The Verge said Wednesday, Spotify is employing new tactics seeking to encourage people who would subscribe to their Premium through the iPhone app to instead transfer their account onto the web and save $3 per month in the process. Read More

 
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