Microsoft on Sunday introduced the world to Xbox Music, a streaming music service available exclusive to Windows 8 and Windows RT device owners. It's being billed as the first all-in-one music service, and it one-ups streaming services like Spotify by giving Windows 8/RT PC and tablet owners the ability to play specific songs on-demand without having to pay a subscription fee. Microsoft says its music catalog extends to tens of millions of songs (over 30 million), all instantly available to stream and/or to create an unlimited number of playlists.
Historians have a handful of dates to argue over and ultimately choose as to which represents the birth of the compact disc (CD), but for the sake of this article, we'll go with October 1, 1982. It was exactly 30 years ago today that Billy Joel's 52nd Street became the first commercially available CD, which not coincidentally launched at the same time as the first commercial CD player, Sony's CDP-101. Over the years, music players and PCs would benefit from the introduction of the CD into the mainstream market, but is it time to move on?
Good news for Android users who are fans of Spotify. The spunky streaming music service just launched its free unlimited radio feature on the Android platform for users living in the U.S., bringing the service up to par with its iOS counterpart that received the same upgrade about a month ago. Previously the only way Android users were able to listen to free music on the go with Spotify was to sign up for a 48-hour trial.
As it searches for a way to turn its fortunes around, struggling phone maker HTC is reportedly investigating the possibility of launching its own music streaming service. The client would be built into the default music app on all of HTC’s Android devices, and possibly as an add-on for Windows Phone. The company is, as expected, cagey about answering any questions at this point.
If emulation is the sincerest form of flattery, Spotify and Pandra should be blushing. By essentially copying what they do, MySpace might be in the process of reversing its fortunes as the once dominant social networking playground reportedly gets ready to announce a million new users over the past month. That's in stark contrast to losing 10 million users a month, which the site was bleeding as recently as March of last year.
A new report from the Wall Street Journal is shedding some light on recent rumors that Googlers have been testing a mysterious entertainment device in their homes. According to WSJ, we can expect a system that can wireless stream music throughout the home, and will be marketed under the Google name. This would be a completely consumer-oriented device built in-house, a first for Mountain View.
Google Music has allowed users to upload as many as 20,000 songs since it launched last year, but those tracks were stuck in the cloud. Only purchased songs could easily be downloaded to a local PC. Well, today that has changed, and U.S. users of Google Music are now able to pull down their entire cloud-synced music library of uploaded and purchased tracks.
From records and 8-tracks to MP3s and Walkmen, technology changes the way in which we absorb our music. At this point, few people have memories of hauling suitcases full of cassette tapes (or even CDs) around with them on vacation as kids, and in a few more years perhaps even the ever-ubiquitous iPod will be just a memory of the past, removed from it's throne by a software that streams music to you directly in your head.
Until then, we have to make do with the technology that we have - and increasingly music fans are incorporating cloud-based, streaming services into their repetoire. From long-standing services like Rhapsody, to just-released softwares like Spotify, there are a slew of streaming music services to choose from. So, which one will work best for you? Read on for the highlights of twelve of the top options and be sure to let us know what your favorite is in the comments!
Grooveshark is currently being sued by everyone under the sun for its controversial non-licensed music streaming service. As the legal pressures continued to mount in 2011, Grooveshark’s app was pulled from the iOS App Store, and the Android Market. Rather than go back and forth with Google and Apple, Grooveshark has opted to bypass the app stores with an HTML5 web app.
Game soundtracks get no respect. Not to sound like Rodney Dangerfield, but despite years and years of amazing music coming from games, gaming music is often treated by the public the same way your mom treated your 3rd grade art project. A dismissive pat on the head and a "good work, Danny, this is beautiful!"…followed by it being promptly buried under calendars, grocery lists, and "real" art on the refrigerator.
Things have been particularly rough for PC soundtracks where, due to a lack of audio hardware uniformity, music in the pre-CD audio era was a wildcard at best. Hell, even well into the late '90s there was no guarantee a PC even HAD a soundcard. Still, despite the limitations, we're not ashamed to say we not only respect PC game soundtracks, we flat out love them! The good ones at least. Click to see which soundtracks we love the most!