Sony’s Music Unlimited iOS client enables offline mode and 320kbps streaming

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 11, 2013

Sony back in May promised to update the iOS client supporting its Music Unlimited service with the much-needed offline playback and support for high-quality 320kbps AAC streaming. The refreshed software was originally meant to surface in the App Store shortly, but it got lost in the approval limbo. Sony finally today put out a press release announcing availability of Music Unlimited version 1.3.1 with offline playback, high-quality streaming and more… Read More


USA Network iOS app released, lets you watch TV shows the day after they air

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 3, 2013

Following a long period of initial hesitance, major US television networks and content providers have finally relented and are now falling over each other to release software that lets Apple device owners stream television shows, with or without cable subscription. The latest entrant: NBC Universal-owned USA Network, commonly referred to as USA.

Their new USA Anywhere Plus app gives you access to TV shows the day after they air on television, including back episodes for some shows… Read More


Rich iTunes iRadio playlist customization in the works, patent suggests

By Ed Sutherland on Jun 27, 2013

When Apple announced plans to offer iTunes Radio, observers quickly compared the service to Spotify, and other streaming music offerings.

However, a new patent application reveals the iPhone maker wants to go far beyond a simple ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ to customize a user’s playlist.

Apple’s vision of a playlist connects a user’s musical preferences already part of iTunes, while offering the ability to tweak a song list on the fly. The application, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Thursday, also outlines playlist customization based on such ephemeral factors as how a certain song makes you feel… Read More


Apple sending out iTunes Radio terms to indie record labels

By Cody Lee on Jun 27, 2013

In dramatic fashion, Apple’s iTunes Radio negotiations with the top 3 record labels came down to the wire. After a number of setbacks, the company was determined to unveil its new streaming music service at WWDC. And it reportedly spent the days leading up to its keynote closing deals.

But now that the [beta] launch has come and gone, Apple is looking to expand its streaming library. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, the company has been talking to various indie music labels, letting them know how the royalty pay scale work on the new service… Read More


Rdio upgrades family plans to allow up to 5 people

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 25, 2013

The popular Internet-based radio service, Rdio, today announced it has refreshed its subscription plans for families to allow up to five people on a single plan. Previously, only three people on a family plan were allowed to use the service. The online radio service has also amended its pricing to reflect these changes, offering a $17 saving for a family of five compared to individual plans… Read More


Sony adds 320kbps streams and offline mode to Music Unlimited app

By Cody Lee on Jun 25, 2013

Sony’s Music Unlimited is still relatively new to iOS. The app, which requires a subscription to the like-named service, just launched on the iPhone last year, giving similar streaming offerings like Spotify and Rdio at least a two year head start on the platform.

But it’s doing its best to catch up to the rest of the pack. Sony announced today that it has submitted a significant update to the App Store for its iOS app that includes a number of new features including offline listening, 320kbps streaming audio, and more… Read More


Rdio responds to iTunes Radio with new Song Stations feature

By Cody Lee on Jun 19, 2013

Apple sent shutters through the music streaming industry last week when it confirmed rumors that it had been working on a new radio service. The still-in-beta service allows users to create custom radio stations based on their favorite songs, genres, artists or albums—similar to Pandora.

iTunes Radio won’t be available to everyone until the fall, but early positive feedback has some music services scrambling to respond. And today, Rdio issued its response in the form of an app update that includes Song Stations, a feature that allows you to create custom radio stations… Read More


What happened to all of the curse words in iTunes Radio?

By Cody Lee on Jun 12, 2013

As expected, Apple introduced a new streaming music service on Monday during its WWDC keynote. It’s built into the Music app in iOS 7, and it plays full songs, at random, based on a genre, album or artist of your choosing. It’s a lot like Pandora.

But it’s better than Pandora. I can’t explain it, but I’ve been using it non stop the past two days and it almost always feels like the DJ is playing my song. Maybe it’s magic. Or maybe it’s my 5+ years of iTunes purchase history. Either way, it rocks.

My only complaint about the service is that, for some reason, there doesn’t seem to be any music with explicit lyrics. Even with rap songs, all I get are edited versions. So I have to ask, Apple, what happened to all of the curse words in iTunes Radio? Read More


WSJ confirms Apple will introduce new music service tomorrow

By Cody Lee on Jun 9, 2013

In what has become almost a customary, pre-keynote tradition, The Wall Street Journal has just posted a story claiming that it has confirmed the long-standing rumors that Apple will be introducing a new streaming music service tomorrow.

According to the report, Apple is poised to unveil the new service during its keynote address tomorrow morning in what it calls its most ambitious collaboration with the music industry since the launch of the iTunes Music Store a decade ago… Read More


Sony reportedly joins iRadio for WWDC unveiling

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 7, 2013

The New York Times on Monday reported that Apple was rushing to close iRadio deals so it could announce the service during the WWDC 2013 keynote next Monday. The iPhone maker had previously signed the necessary music licensing agreements with the Warner Music Group in June and with Universal Music Group last weekend.

Notably absent from iRadio lineup: Sony Music Entertainment. CNET asserted that rough licensing negotiations between Apple and Sony Music have been stalling iRadio talks as a song skipping feature reportedly posed a major stumbling block for the record label. Fortunately, per a new report Friday, having resolved their differences the two parties have now found the middle ground… Read More


iRadio tidbits: audio ads, iTunes Match syncing, no search/song skipping

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 5, 2013

As you may have heard, Apple is now rushing to close music licensing deals for iRadio. And with Warner Music apparently finally on board, the company should formally take the wraps off its Pandora-killer at the WWDC keynote next Monday.

Bloomberg yesterday explained Apple’s ad team is prepping to sell in-app iAds to major brands, which apparently can’t wait to advertise on iRadio. And now a new report by a major advertising trade publication claims Apple is also keen on monetizing the free service by injecting traditional audio ads… Read More


Bloomberg: Apple’s iAd team gearing up for new iRadio service

By Cody Lee on Jun 3, 2013

This weekend was chock-full of iRadio news, with multiple reports claiming that Apple reached a deal with the Warner Music Group on Sunday in an effort to wrap up negotiations involving its Pandora-like music service in time for WWDC next week.

And that trend continues today with a new scoop from Bloomberg regarding the service. The outlet is reporting this afternoon that Apple is revamping how it sells mobile ads to better cater to businesses that apparently can’t wait to advertise on iRadio… Read More


Apple reportedly reaches iRadio deal with Warner Music

By Cody Lee on Jun 3, 2013

Citing sources “familiar with the negotiations,” a new report is out claiming that Apple has finally reached a deal with Warner Music over iRadio licensing terms. Warner was one of the three remaining label holdouts on Apple’s upcoming Pandora-like music service.

Rumors about the service have been flying about for months. It was expected to launch earlier this year, but Tim Cook and company have been having trouble reaching deals with the top four record labels. And now they are reportedly aiming for a WWDC launch… Read More


Rdio 2.2 is out with new ‘Find People’ feature, improved UI and more

By Cody Lee on May 22, 2013

Hot on the heels of this morning’s update from Pandora comes a new version of the Rdio app for iOS. The update brings the music client to version 2.2, and includes a number of new features and improvements.

Perhaps the biggest change in today’s release is the addition of “Find People,” a new tool that will make it easier for users to find friends and discover artists to follow. And the UI improvements are also blatant… Read More


Pandora updated with new Facebook sharing options, improved music details and more

By Cody Lee on May 22, 2013

Good news Pandora users, an update for the popular iOS client landed in the App Store this morning, bringing it to version 4.3. The update includes a handful of new features, as well as the usual bug fixes and improvements.

As far as new features go, the highlight of today’s release is the improved Facebook integration. Users now have the ability to publish their favorite tracks and stations to the social network, helping others discover new music… Read More


Song skipping feature reportedly stalling iRadio talks

By Cody Lee on May 18, 2013

Industry chatter regarding ‘iRadio’ is really starting to pick up. Yesterday, a report surfaced claiming that Apple is struggling to reach deals with record labels because such a service has never been tried before. And today, we have even more details on the talks.

Citing sources with knowledge of the negotiations, CNET is reporting that the labels are actually very keen on Apple’s music service, but there’s a single issue keeping them from signing on the dotted line. Apparently, they can’t agree on song skipping terms… Read More


Tough negotiations could see iRadio miss WWDC launch

By Cody Lee on May 17, 2013

It feels like the summer of 2011 all over again. Both Apple and Google were rumored to be working on a music service, and Google has beaten Apple to the punch by announcing theirs well in advance. Back then it was cloud storage. This time it’s streaming.

Earlier this week, Google unveiled its new ‘All Access’ streaming music service. And according to a new report, unless Apple can reach a deal with the remaining hold-out record labels, it’s going to again have a several month head start on Apple’s release… Read More


Google takes on Spotify and iTunes with $9.99 music streaming service

By Christian Zibreg on May 15, 2013

The Internet giant kicked off its annual Google I/O developer conference with a three-hour long (!) keynote at San Francisco’s Moscone West, the same venue Apple reserved for its own five-day event next month. During the keynote, Google executives announced a much-rumored streaming music service that’s bound to give headache to the likes of Spotify, Rdio and Pandora.

Dubbed somewhat confusingly Google Play Music All Access, Google’s Android executive Chris Yerga noted on stage that “music unites us” and is “universal”. And with computing and mobile devices intertwined into our lives “there’s potential to bring that joy together.” Go past the fold for full details… Read More


Disney’s Watch ABC live streaming app launches

By Christian Zibreg on May 14, 2013

After major networks such as Time Warner and CBS (and even Blockbuster) in recent weeks enabled live streaming in their respective iOS apps, Disney-owned television network ABC has followed suit. I recently called the development a potentially disruptive move on Disney’s part and Cody likened it yesterday to a mini-revolution of sorts. Call it what you will, but it’s here. Disney basically took its existing ABC Player iOS software and re-branded it under the more suggestive Watch ABC moniker.

The big news is a new Live button that gives you access to ABC’s live television programming in select local markets. You can also stream full episodes of the previously aired shows. Not that live TV functionality requires a subscription with an eligible TV provider. Unfortunately, the Watch ABC app doesn’t have DVR functionality. Additional tidbits right below… Read More


ABC to start live streaming content via iOS apps this week

By Cody Lee on May 13, 2013

This is kind of interesting. ABC, a TV network under the Walt Disney umbrella, is set to revolutionize its iPhone and iPad apps this week. It’s going to be adding a new ‘Live’ viewing option to the software, which will [obviously] play live programming.

The live stream will work anywhere in a local market—as long as it’s supported— the same way an old-fashioned antenna would. And according to The New York Times, this is the first time that a major broadcaster has turned on this kind of technology… Read More

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