iTunes music sales dipped sharply since start of 2014 as iPod turned 13 yesterday

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 24, 2014

If you need another proof that Apple made the right move dropping more than three billion bucks on Beats’s audio accessories and music-streaming service, here’s one.

According to people familiar with the matter who spoke to the Wall Street Journal on Friday, the decline of digital music sales on iTunes is accelerating with latest data showing between a thirteen and fourteen percent dip globally since the start of this year.

By comparison, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry estimated that global revenue from music downloads fell just 2.1 percent in 2013. Clearly this development doesn’t bode well for iTunes, but can Apple do anything about it? Read on for the full reveal. Read More

 

iHeartRadio gains iOS 8 Today widget and CarPlay support

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 23, 2014

Thursday, an enhanced version 5.3 of iHeartRadio became available for download in the App Store.

The refreshed application brings out a nice Today widget allowing you to play your recent stations from the Notification Center in iOS 8. You should also appreciate its built-in support for Apple’s in-car entertainment system dubbed CarPlay, so you can now listen to iHeart Radio in CarPlay-enabled vehicles.

The updated app can be grabbed for free in the App Store. Read More

 

QuickMusic provides quick access to music controls with a stylish interface

By Alihassan Mahdi on Oct 22, 2014

We’ve seen quite a number of tweaks on Cydia that provide system-wide access to music controls including Musiex and the popular MiniPlayer tweak. QuickMusic is yet another similar tweak by developer Gabriele Filipponi, but this one features a unique functionality and stylish interface that I’m quite fond of.

With QuickMusic, you can swipe up the Music icon to bring up an awesome looking interface containing the album artwork as well as the music controls including the play/pause button enclosed by a circular progress bar, skip and previous buttons. Read More

 

Google Play Music updated with revamped Listen Now, mood or activity based search and more

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 21, 2014

After refreshing Google Plays Newsstand for iOS yesterday with native display support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the Internet giant Google on Tuesday pushed an update to another app, its Play Music client for the iPhone and iPad.

Taking a page from Betas Music’s book, the new version of Google Play Music, available free in the App Store, enables mood or activity based search for radio stations. Jogging? Good, use the ‘Running’ tag to find music that matches your activity. Holding a party? The related ‘Partying’ should come in handy.

And because this is Google, they even let you search for ‘Feeling Happy’ radio stations. Other new features and enhancements are briefly mentioned right after the break. Read More

 

Apple reportedly negotiating to cut Beats Music prices by half

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 20, 2014

As Swedish music startup Spotify announced Monday giving family members a 50 percent discount on additional accounts, Apple is reportedly pushing Beats Music, acquired as part of its $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics, to cut the price of its monthly subscription by half, according to Peter Kafka of Re/code on Monday.

Beats Music, a free download for the iPhone and iPad, currently requires users to pay a subscription fee of ten bucks per month for unlimited streaming of tens of millions of songs from its catalog. Read More

 

Rdio ushers in iPhone 6 and CarPlay support, interactive alerts and more in major iOS 8 update

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 16, 2014

Following a recent overhaul with new features, free streaming in more than two dozen countries and other perks, Rdio, the popular Internet service, on Thursday pushed a major iOS 8 focused update.

Following in the footsteps of rival Spotify which two weeks ago added support for CarPlay, Apple’s in-car iPhone entertainment system, Rdio has now jumped on the automotive bandwagon, too.

In addition to music playback and navigating your favorites and playlists from the built-in display in CarPlay-enabled cars, Rdio 3.0.4 has a handy new control to adjust streaming quality (should prove indispensable to those concerned about cellular data usage).

Moreover, this update adds support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screen sizes, iOS 8’s Interactive Notifications (you can play music and follow other users directly from an alert) plus other nice-to-haves mentioned after the jump. Read More

 

Tons of rock albums are currently on sale on iTunes

By Sébastien Page on Oct 15, 2014

I don’t know about you but I’m a big rock fan. From my punk rock roots to my alternative music adulthood, I’ve always been more attracted to loud guitars than electronic beats or vinyl disc scratches. While I listen to many different styles of music, rock & roll still is my go-to genre.

If like me you’re a rock fan, or if you just like to listen to a little bit of everything, you’ll sure want to have a look at this sale going on in iTunes right now on some major rock albums, all having been discounted to only $7.99. Read More

 

Jonathan Mann’s new song has lyrics written by an iPhone, using iOS 8’s autocomplete feature

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2014

Jonathan Mann, a musician, songwriter and unabashed Apple fan, has been churning out one song a day for nearly six years straight.

You may remember his iPhone Antenna song, posted to YouTube on the eve of the Antennagate presser.

Apple actually used it to open the event and Steve Jobs even danced to it. The song-a-day man also created a Siri duet not long after the iPhone 4s was released and another one to wish Siri a happy birthday.

He’s back today with an entirely different experiment that somehow manages to sound catchy and listenable, which is remarkable given the meaningless lyrics were actually written by an iPhone using iOS 8’s autocomplete function. Read More

 

Impulse lets you control the music playing on your iPhone while it is locked

By Alihassan Mahdi on Oct 13, 2014

Impulse is a brand new jailbreak tweak dedicated to music lovers as it brings a new functionality many have been waiting for. Developed by Noeliel, Impulse allows users to control a currently playing song even when the device is locked. Yes, with Impulse, you no longer need to unlock your device just to control a song that is playing. Simply perform a gesture on the screen to perform a desired action. Read More

 

Apple says U2 ‘Songs of Innocence’ album has been downloaded 26 million times

By Cody Lee on Oct 9, 2014

The controversial U2 album ‘Songs of Innocence’ has been downloaded nearly 30 million times since Apple announced it would be available to iTunes users for free last month. In a statement to Billboard on Thursday, senior VP Eddy Cue said that the album had racked up 26 million ‘complete downloads’ since its September 9 debut.

Cue adds that over 81 million Apple customers have experienced Songs of Innocence within the last month—a number that includes Beats Music, iTunes, and iTunes Radio streams. “To help put this into perspective,” Cue says, “prior to this, a total of 14 million customers had purchased music from U2 since iTunes opened in 2003.” Read More

 

Apple in talks with record labels to lower Beats Music fees

By Cody Lee on Oct 2, 2014

Apple is working to bring down the fees associated with Beats Music, reports Recode. The site says the company is speaking with major record labels about a new set of rights and features it would like to include in a revamped version of the streaming music service for less than $10 per month.

Discussions are in their early stages, as Apple isn’t launching the overhauled Beats Music service until next year, but some critics wonder just how successful the firm will be in convincing folks in the music industry to agree to a price cut on a product they never wanted to exist in the first place. Read More

 

CCShuffle adds shuffle and repeat buttons to the Lock screen and Control Center

By Alihassan Mahdi on Sep 30, 2014

While Control Center is a convenient place to quickly control a playing song, it still lacks some music controls. CCShuffle is a new jailbreak tweak that brings the much anticipated shuffle and repeat buttons to Control Center.

Developed by Charlie Hewitt, CCShuffle adds a shuffle and repeat button to the right and left of the media controls in Control Center. Originally, the buttons are only available in the stock Music app, but with this tweak, you can also use them from Control Center. Not only this but CCShuffle also adds both the buttons to the Lock screen as well. Read More

 

Apple reportedly looking to shut down Beats Music [updated]

By Cody Lee on Sep 22, 2014

Apple is looking to shut down its Beats Music streaming service, according to a new report from TechCrunch. Citing “several prominent employees” at both companies, the outlet says that many Beats engineers have already been pulled off the product, and moved on to other projects.

If true, such a move would be interesting considering the public praise Apple and its execs—namely Tim Cook and Eddy Cue—have given the service. It also recently added Beats Music to the ‘Apps by Apple’ section in the App Store, and launched a new Beats Music channel on Apple TV. Read More

 

U2’s Bono says Apple has 885 million iTunes accounts, talks new music format

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 22, 2014

Paul David Hewson aka Bono Vox (also known by his stage name Bono), the frontman of the Dublin-based rock band U2, revealed that Apple now has an astounding 885 million iTunes accounts in an interview Monday with Dave Fanning on the Irish radio station 2FM.

Moreover, he shed more light on the rumored new music format designed to revitalize stagnant digital downloads. The 54-year-old rocker also said he complained to Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs five years ago that the iTunes application “looks like a spreadsheet” and more. Read More

 

Apple and U2 working on secret project to tempt fans into buying music again

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 18, 2014

Apple has been working with the popular Irish rock band U2 on a secret project that should result in birth of a brand new music format designed to tempt music lovers again into buying both whole albums and individual tracks, according to TIME Thursday.

As a longtime partner of Apple, the Irish band helped the Cupertino firm push the iPod music player into the mainstream by producing a special edition U2 iPod in 2008.

Apple is also one of the biggest proponents of U2 lead singer Bono’s Product(RED) initiative to fight AIDS. And earlier this month, U2 played at Apple’s iPhone 6 event and is currently giving away its latest album, “Songs of Innocence”, for free on iTunes. Read More

 

Apple creates tool to remove U2’s free album from both your iTunes music library and purchase history

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 15, 2014

After taking some heat over its decision to force the free U2 album, “Songs of Innocence”, onto users’ devices last Tuesday, Apple today published a support document and released a tool which removes the album from users’ iTunes music library, as well as from their iCloud purchase history.

The decision to give away the Irish rock band’s latest album has backfired because having added it to purchase history has automatically downloaded the album for folks with automatic music downloads enabled in Settings. Read More

 

U2’s “free” album download cost Apple $100 million, other projects with U2 on the way

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 12, 2014

As people continue to freak out over Apple’s forced iTunes download of U2’s new album titled “Songs of Innocence,” the New York Times newspaper has learned from sources that the value of the arrangement between the iPhone maker and the aging Irish rock band is in the ballpark of $100 million.

“To release U2’s album free, Apple paid the band and Universal an unspecified fee as a blanket royalty and committed to a marketing campaign for the band worth up to $100 million, according to several people briefed on the deal,” writes NYT.

And according to the band’s manager Guy Oseary, the Cupertino firm has other U2-backed music related projects in the works. Read More

 

UnlimMusic allows you to stream and download songs from SoundCloud

By Alihassan Mahdi on Sep 10, 2014

SoundCloud is a popular audio sharing website where users can record, upload and share their original contents and has become a common platform for musicians to distribute their tracks. Along with streaming songs, you can also download tracks which the artist allows, a feature that is missing from the mobile app.

UnlimMusic is a jailbreak tweak developed by UnlimApps that adds a standalone app to the Home screen where you can search and listen to songs from SoundCloud as well as download permissible tracks. This means that only the songs that are allowed by the respective artists can be downloaded, unlike the SoundCloud iOS app which lacks this feature. Read More

 

Spotify gains support for Ford SYNC AppLink

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 10, 2014

Spotify, the popular Swedish music-streaming startup, on Wednesday refreshed its free iPhone and iPad application with improved music discovery and support for the Ford SYNC AppLink platform.

When browsing albums in Spotify for the iPhone and iPod touch, you can now easily check out more releases from the artist in one tap.

More importantly, owners of Ford vehicles outfitted with the car maker’s proprietary SYNC AppLink platform can now use Spotify in their car. Read More

 

How to grab your free copy of the new U2 album

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 10, 2014

Apple wrapped up yesterday’s presentation by inviting U2 to perform onstage and announce that it will be giving away the band’s latest album, titled “Songs of Innocence”, to iTunes users completely free of charge, no strings attached.

During the exclusivity window which closes October 13, iTunes user 13 or older can grab their free copy of the aging rock band’s album.

Company CEO Tim Cook called the deal “the largest album release of all time” and here’s how you can grab your free copy right now. Read More

 
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