The rivalry between Spotify and Beats Music, two key streaming music services, is deepening.
Spotify has hired Fredric Vinna, Beats Music's former head of product, engineering and design, according to a person familiar with the matter. Vinna left Beats Music just recently -- his LinkedIn page still lists his job there as current -- and will be joining Spotify to work on product there as well, according to this person.
Vinna has been described by Beats Music Creative Director Rob Sheridan as one of the few central people in a "scrappy room of enthusiastic creators" when the … Read more
New subscription streaming service Beats Music made its first big purchase Tuesday since the service went live -- a direct-to-customer marketing and ticketing company once run by Beats Music's current chief executive.
Beats Music CEO Ian C. Rogers said in a blog post Tuesday that Beats Music launched with Artist Tools features that included Topspin integration, letting artists to update their profile page with custom images and merchandise offers. The company is acquiring Topspin "to help us achieve this unique vision" of discovering music and engaging with artists.
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Jimmy Iovine … Read more
An intrepid developer has created a free Google Music desktop app for OS X, borrowing the Google Music name and logo in the process. You shouldn't have to Google "trademark law" to understand that Google's legal department may be readying a letter to Sajid Anwar, the developer who maintains the app or Jame Fator, its creator. On Hacker News, some have reasoned that such a blatant use of Google's trademarks has to mean the developers seek Google's attention so that their app or they themselves may get acquired by Google.
Whatever the reason behind … Read more
Apple will be heading to the SXSW next month, marking the first time the company will create an iTunes Festival event in the US.
Starting on March 11 and running through March 15, Apple will host five live iTunes Festival events at SXSW. The company plans to have several popular artists perform, including Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Keith Urban, and others. Apple says that it will make announcements on new additions to the festival in the coming weeks.
Apple has been holding iTunes Festivals in London for some time. So far, over 400 artists have performed at the festivals and Apple … Read more
Fashioning itself in the mold of bygone music video television has been a big part of Vevo's growth, and this year will take the strategy one step further.
The online music video company hit 5.5 billion monthly views in December 2013, according to a viewership report from the company Wednesday. That marks a 46 percent jump from a year earlier, a big acceleration from the roughly 9 percent pace of growth in December 2012.
According to the report, the company's number of videos watched globally through all of 2013 rose to 55 billion, 12.3 billion of … Read more
Do you like to tap your spoon on your coffee mug at breakfast? Drum on the steering wheel on your way to work? Thrum your fingers on your desk? If so, you might want to check out a new Kickstarter project from UK-based computer music researcher Bruno Zamborlin that could just turn your random taps into compositions.
"About two years ago, my colleagues and I had this idea about transforming everyday objects around us into unique musical instruments," Zamborlin says in his Kickstarter introductory video. That led him to create Mogees, an app paired with a special contact microphone that affixes to practically any surface to make an object "playable." The result is that tapping on the glass wall of a bus shelter gives you a sound akin to an Indonesian gamelan. Sliding coins on a table sounds like ringing a bicycle bell. Even tapping on a car becomes a musical endeavor -- somewhere between twanging guitar strings and steel drum. … Read more
I'm on a family vacation this week, enjoying a much-needed respite from the horrors (horrors, I say!) of this year's winter. Although we all packed headphones for use with our phones and tablets, I wanted a speaker so we could jam together to Pharrell Williams' can't-not-dance-to-it "Happy."
I had several portable-speaker options to choose from, but I like to travel as light as humanly possible. So I packed the impossibly compact new Matrix Audio Qube2, which sounds way louder -- and better -- than any speaker of its size has any right to.
Alas, it'… Read more
I admit it: most of the time, I'd much rather listen to recorded music than live music. I've seen my share of great shows: the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden, the Pixies at the Beacon Theater, Ray Charles at the Blue Note, the Philip Glass Group at Lincoln Center, Laurie Anderson at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, to name a few. But most live shows aren't worth the ticket price: they're way too loud, too crowded, too hot, too cold, or too something-or-other. The night I saw Led Zeppelin the sound was awful, and when … Read more
Google Play Music's premium All Access service includes custom radio stations, which can be accessed from the Web, iOS devices, and Android smartphones and tablets. The latest update to the Google Play Music Android app included some new features, like device management and offline listening of custom radio stations.
Offline music is helpful when an Internet connection is unavailable, such as when you're on a plane or in a remote locale. And if you don't keep your Android device loaded up with your own music, downloading some of your custom radio stations is one way to keep … Read more