Obstacles to launching Apple Music in Korea reportedly removed

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 23, 2016

Although Apple had previously attempted to roll out its subscription-based music-streaming service in Korea, the Cupertino firm ultimately failed to reach a consensus with local music copyright associations. But as of recently, Tim Cook & Co. have apparently managed to cut deals with local right holders and copyright associations.

As a result, the service could launch in South Korea, a 50 million people market, sooner than later, according to a news report today by The Korea Herald. No firm date for the launch was given at post time. Read More

 

iTunes 12.4 bug causing Apple Music playback issues with tracks shorter than 60 seconds

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 23, 2016

There seems to be a bug in iTunes 12.4 which causes playback issues with Apple Music tracks shorter than 60 seconds, MacRumors reported today.

The problem allegedly stems from a buffering bug that apparently causes iTunes to never begin downloading the next song in the queue if it’s shorter than 60 seconds. Basically, iTunes is left waiting for a download to finish that has in fact never started. The bug has been reported to Apple and we expect it to be fixed in a future iTunes update. Read More

 

The new Music app in iOS 10: a big bold confusing mess

By Sébastien Page on Jun 23, 2016

Apple Music is a great service, but the confusing and bloated user interface of the application has been criticized since the app was first released about a year ago. So when rumors started popping up that Apple had been working on simplifying the app, many got really excited, myself included.

Yet, when Apple showed off the new Music app on stage at WWDC a little over a week ago, I didn’t see anything simpler or more streamlined about the app. It’s only when I started using iOS 10 beta and the new Music app that my fears were confirmed.

Now that I’ve been playing with the Music app for a few days, I feel I have enough feedback to share a few quick thoughts with you. Don’t worry, it’s not all bad. Read More

 

WhatsApp is about to get a whole lot better

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 22, 2016

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has some notable improvements in the pipeline, including support for large emoji characters, all-new public groups, the ability to share locally stored tracks and Apple Music songs with friends and family, deeper Facebook integration, profile codes, stickers and multi-account support, to name a few.

But we’re just getting started. Read More

 

Spotify surpasses 100 million users, 30 million paid users

By Cody Lee on Jun 20, 2016

Spotify on Monday told The Telegraph that it now has more than 100 million monthly active users worldwide. But of that 100 million, only roughly 30 million or so are paid subscribers—so the ones that dole out ~$10 a month.

For comparison, SVP Eddy Cue announced during last week’s WWDC keynote that Apple Music now has 15 million paid subscribers. Now that’s just half of Spotify’s count, but still very impressive for a service less than 1 year old. Read More

 

iOS 10 tidbit: apps now must seek permission before accessing your music library

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 15, 2016

Apple has made some changes to how iOS handles apps that wish to access users’ music libraries, with iOS 10 now requiring your explicit permission before any app is allowed to interact with your music.

This new safeguard increases your privacy while ensuring that no app can silently analyze what’s in your music library without you knowing it. Additionally, it makes it more difficult, if not downright impossible, for apps to potentially upload your music library to the cloud in order build a profile of your musical tastes for advertising purposes. Read More

 

Here’s all-new Apple Music redesign from the ground up

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 13, 2016

The beautiful new design language in a revamped Apple Music is now a reality. According to Apple, the first tab within the app is now Library that gives you quick access to your songs as well as your downloaded music. A new Recently Added section makes it easy to pinpoint new songs and albums you’ve added to your library. Read More

 

Amazon to take on Apple and Spotify with new streaming music service

By Cody Lee on Jun 10, 2016

Amazon is preparing to launch a new standalone streaming music subscription service, reports Reuters. The tech giant is currently finalizing licenses with labels for the service, and it’s aiming for a late summer or early fall launch.

Of course, Amazon already offers a limited music service for free to Prime subscribers. But this new service will cost $9.99 per month and offer a much more competitive catalog, putting it squarely up against Apple Music and Spotify. Read More

 

Rearchitected iTunes said to permit Apple to “more easily drop music downloads”

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 8, 2016

After learning last month that Apple could terminate iTunes music downloads for good by 2018, Digital Music News is back with some new tidbits of information. Insiders say Apple is “keeping their options open” regarding the rise of Apple Music subscriptions and the streaming service potentially replacing music downloads altogether. Read More

 

Shazam brings back offline mode

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 8, 2016

Music and media identification service Shazam pushed a new update to its mobile application in the App Store which enables offline mode. The feature used to be present in Shazam from day one before it was temporarily removed in the overhauled app.

With it, you can still Shazam while offline and the app will name any songs you captured in offline mode when you’re back online. Shazam is a free app. The paid $6.99 Shazam Encore app is available to those who want to get rid of ads and use advanced features. Read More

 

New Apple Music ads now airing, featuring DJ Khaled, Naomi Campbell and Ray Liotta

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 6, 2016

Apple last evening posted on the official Beats 1 channel on YouTube a pair of new commercials which strive to explain in layman’s terms the allure of Apple Music’s $9.99 per month subscription tier. Both ads feature Atlanta rapper DJ Khaled and one of them has Khaled cruising through Malibu in a Rolls-Royce Phantom with the international super model Naomi Campbell behind the wheel. Read More

 

Mars is a levitating Bluetooth speaker that’s jam-packed with features

By Anthony Bouchard on Jun 6, 2016

Picking the right Bluetooth speaker for your needs can be hard, especially with all the options out there.

On the more premium shelf of options out there is Mars by Crazybaby, which is a levitating Bluetooth speaker with a long list of features that we think makes it well worth the price.

In this review, we’ll talk about what the Mars is capable of and show off its features. Read More

 

Proton is another take on a system-wide mini music player [jailbreak]

By Anthony Bouchard on Jun 3, 2016

The jailbreak community is one place where we can almost always count on developers to create new ways to interact with music throughout the system-wide iOS experience. New tweaks are released all the time that let you control your music without even being in the Music app itself, and each tries to be better than the last.

A relatively new tweak release, Proton, is available in Cydia and offers some unique functionality of its own. We’ll show you what it’s all about inside this review. Read More

 

Confessions of a big iTunes spender

By Christian Zibreg on May 26, 2016

I have a confession to make…

It’s become painfully obvious to me, glancing at my purchase history, that I’ve reached a point in my computing life where I’m now a big iTunes spender. To my astonishment, in the past year or so I’ve been burning money on apps, media and services at a clip of a hundred bucks each month. That’s actually a conservative estimate. Realistically, my iTunes spending is somewhere in the ballpark of $150-$200 per month.

To look at it another way, that’s $1,200-$2,400 in annualized services revenue for Apple from this particular customer, excluding my hardware purchases. When this much cash is getting sucked out of my pocket by Apple, I can’t help but admit the company must be doing something right when it comes to digital media and services.

I realize $100 per month is a lot of money to burn on digital entertainment. I’m not going to preach on issues of morality here nor will I suggest that everyone should spend that much, or spend anything at all in the iTunes and App Stores.

What I’m getting at is this: despite dropping significant cash on apps, media and services, I’ve never felt buyer’s remorse. Why? Because I’m getting value for my money and, after all, Apple is just a middleman. To put it bluntly, I’d rather spend my hard earned cash to support those who create content for a living than blatantly steal their hard work.

Here’s what a $100 spent in Apple’s content stores buys me, why I don’t think I’m being ripped off and how the sense of satisfaction I get in return makes it all worthwhile for me. Read More

 

Spotify price-matches Apple Music’s $14.99 per month family plan

By Christian Zibreg on May 23, 2016

Spotify may currently be running circles around Apple Music with the more than 30 million paid accounts versus about 13 million paying customers on Apple’s music service, but that doesn’t mean they’re standing still.

In an attempt to make its service more competitive with Apple’s, Spotify said today that families of six can now subscribe for just $14.99 per month, or appropriate local pricing, effectively price-matching Apple Music’s family plan. Read More

 

What to do when iTunes can’t locate your music files

By Anthony Bouchard on May 20, 2016

Have you ever had the problem where an exclamation point appears next to a song in iTunes when you try and play it? This is the last thing you want to deal with when you’re in the mood to listen to your jam, but fortunately, it’s usually a pretty easy thing to fix. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to get around this problem and get iTunes to play your music once again. Read More

 

Recreating Game of Thrones theme song using Chinese instruments in GarageBand

By Christian Zibreg on May 19, 2016

Following a recent GarageBand update which brought out traditional Chinese instruments such as the Pipa and Erhu, along with the Chinese drum kit and percussions like wood blocks and cymbals, one Apple fan took it upon himself to prove that anyone can now create the signature Game of Thrones theme song in GarageBand, using the sounds of China. Read More

 

Clearing your Apple Music search history from iTunes on Mac

By Anthony Bouchard on May 19, 2016

Not long ago, we showed you how you can delete your Apple Music search history on your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad to protect your song-searching privacy, but this capability can also be achieved on your Mac.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can clear your search history from Apple Music on your Mac directly from the iTunes app itself. Read More

 

iTunes tip: see Apple Music songs in your library that are no longer available for streaming

By Christian Zibreg on May 18, 2016

The biggest problem with subscription services like Apple Music, Spotify and others is the unnerving fact that labels make songs available for streaming on a time-limited basis. As a result, some of the tracks you add to Apple Music playlists may no longer be available for streaming, leaving you with no other choice but to purchase them on the iTunes Store.

Starting with iTunes 12.4, there’s a new iCloud status of ‘No Longer Available’ which you can use to create a dynamically updated playlist containing the songs that you added to your Apple Music library that are no longer available for streaming, here’s how. Read More

 

Apple engineers visited a user to figure out why iTunes deleted his music

By Christian Zibreg on May 18, 2016

Following James Pinkstone’s viral blog post about a nasty glitch in iTunes causing the application to inadvertently delete music from some personal libraries, Apple flew two engineers from across the country to visit him at his house in order to try to figure out why Apple Music and iTunes Match would wipe out 122 gigabytes of his personal music collection. In a follow-up post, Pinkstone explained that the engineers, named Tom and Ezra, spent the day at his house in an attempt to research the issue. Read More

 
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