Love or hate Windows 8, you have to give Microsoft credit for its tenacity. Most companies would’ve tucked their tail between their legs and run home crying after the disaster that was Zune, but Microsoft doubled down to bring a better-than-before effort rebranded as Xbox Music to its Live Tile-equipped ecosystem. With unlimited music streaming and the ability to buy individual tracks, Xbox Music looks like a hit on the Surface. (Get it?) But how does the new contender stack up to Spotify?
Note: This article was originally featured in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.
"I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz ranked as Spofity's most popular love song in the U.S.
Valentine's Day is only three days away, leaving you precious little time to come up with a romantic gift for that special someone. Perhaps just as important is your streaming playlist (or mixtape if you're kicking it old school), provided your Valentine Day plans include music in the background. If so, you may want to consult with Spotify's list of the most popular love songs.
It (literally) pays to know all the crafty ways you can save money without sacrificing your power user cred
As much as we love ogling top-of-the-line PC hardware and fantasizing about price-be-damned rigs, we also love, love, love to stretch a dollar. Does that make us cheapskates? You betcha, if that’s what you want to call someone who doesn’t pay a premium when he or she doesn’t have to. Sign us up! In fact, where computing is concerned, knowing all the various angles to save a buck—a buck that can then be put toward new and better gear, mind you—is as much a part of being a power user as knowing how to flash a BIOS or overclock RAM. If you’re currently spending top dollar on your PC activities, it’s time you got schooled in the fine art of penny-pinching. From free software alternatives, to the best deals on all forms of digital entertainment, to hardware-buying tips, to our blueprint for a $600 PC, this year’s Cheapskate’s Guide can save you thousands of dollars and make you a more savvy consumer in the process.
Note: This article appeared in the October 2012 issue of the magazine.
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.
Do you like free tunes? Sure you do. Most major streaming services, however, refuse to give up their mobile music for a song, instead opting to restrict phone-based listening to premium subscribers, with Slacker and Pandora being the two major exceptions. Today, a new competitor is entering the ad-supported mobile arena: Spotify. Later this week, an update to Spotify's iOS app will bring you all the free, unlimited, ad-supported tunes your ears could ever want.
Spotify users who signed up for the service right around the time of the Facebook login requirement have been counting down a musical doomsday clock since then -- the imminent ending of their six months of free, ad-supported songs. Spotify has always maintained that it would have to cut listeners down to 10 hours of gratis music per month after six months of freeloading. Today, the company changed its tune. To celebrate its ninth month anniversary in the U.S., Spotify announced it would let the ad-supported good times continue to roll.
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.
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!
When Spotify arrived in the U.S., there was such fanfare that one part of the rollout plan was largely ignored. That free Spotify playback on the desktop enjoyed by so many users was only set to last for six months, and next week is Spotify’s six-month anniversary in the U.S. market. When that sweetheart licencing arrangement is up, free Spotify accounts are going to be much more locked down.
At first glance, Spotify and Rdio could be mirror images of one another. Both streaming services offer a catalog of on-demand songs from all the major music labels, both feature strong social media integration, and heck, each offers two tiers of premium subscriptions at matching dollar amounts. Dig down beneath the surface, however, and you’ll see that the devil’s in the details. So which Internet music service delivers the most bang for your buck? Let’s dive in and see!