The entire country is busy watching America’s rebels take on the Belgium Red Devils at World Cup, but while everyone else is focused on the football pitch, Google is busy readying its plans to take on Beats Music with a music service acquisition of its own.
Songza, a music streaming service that specializes in finding the right music to fit your mood – kind of like Beats’ Sentence feature – announced that is has been scooped up by the folks at Google.
Video might have killed the radio star, but streaming hasn’t killed the record store. Photos: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Stroll into your local record store and you won’t find the dusty-floored wasteland of empty bins you might imagine. Chances are you’ll see something that’s more vibrant, relevant and vital than before.
Like the nerdy know-it-alls at specialty wine stores and comic book shops, today’s typical employee at an indie record store is still a tastemaking wizard — just turned up to 11. Staff picks bear the unerring zeal of the true believer, and staffers are more focused on uncovering stuff that you’ll never find on a Walmart CD shelf.
“Since there’s been a turn to Spotify, Bandcamp and iTunes, we sell way more vinyl,” said Jim Haynes, assistant manager at San Francisco’s Aquarius Records. “We’re at about 75 percent vinyl to 20 percent CD and a smattering of cassettes. People are turning to an even more seemingly obsolete medium.”
Predictions of the end of physical media are as played-out as those reports about the death of rock ‘n’ roll, with everyone and their mother proclaiming that Spotify and other streaming services have killed the local record store. That fear-mongering sounds smart and might even contain a kernel of truth, but the reality is much different.
Given that Google shows a lot of support for iOS with a number of popular apps, it’s quite a surprise that its new All Access music streaming service is only available on Android. That may change in the future, but for now, there is a third-party app that’ll let you use your All Access subscription on your iPhone.
It’s called gMusic, and it’s actually been around for just under 18 months. Until now, the app allowed users to access all the music they had uploaded to Google Music on their iPhone, but the app’s developer just submitted an update that’ll let you enjoy All Access, too.
Laaaaaaaaaaadies and Gentlemen, welcome to Friday Night Fights, a new series of weekly deathmatches between two no-mercy brawlers who will fight to the death — or at least agree to disagree — about which is better: Apple or Google, iOS or Android?
After this week’s topic, someone’s going to be spitting teeth. Our question: What’s the better music-in-the-cloud service? Google Music or iTunes Match?
In one corner, we have the 900 pound gorilla, Cult of Mac; in the opposite corner, wearing the green trunks, we have the plucky upstart, Cult of Android!
Place your bets, gentlemen! This is going be a bloody one.
If you’ve been looking to get some great music at a ridiculous price, now’s the time. Google Music has kicked off their “Music Blowout Sale,” discounting over half a million albums to $4.99 and over ten million tracks for only $.49! Now that’s a deal worth listening to. I’ve already perused over a bunch of discounted tracks and I’ve found a plethora of alternative classics from Radiohead, Beck, and Nirvana.
In order to ensure its service has the best chance of competing with rival cloud-based music services, especially those that may be coming from Cupertino, Amazon has just introduced an iPad-friendly version of Cloud Player and expanded the music storage capabilities of Cloud Drive.
When MobileMe gets rebranded as iCloud on Monday, it’s most anticipated feature is the ability to scan your iTunes library and automatically mirroring it in the cloud without uploading a single audio file. The big question about scan and sync has been whether it will only work with tracks purchased in iTunes, or if it’ll work with tracks ripped from CDs, purchased from Amazon MP3 or — yes — even pirated. Apparently so… because Apple will pay the record industry for every pirated track.
Google Music Beta launched yesterday, beating iTunes into the cloud by at least a couple months, but with one big drawback: it wasn’t supposed to work on iOS devices, but just one day later and Google Music is already up and running on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.