Beats redesign is coming to WWDC 2015. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Apple’s big Beats Music relaunch might be revealed next month at WWDC, and Apple is trying to clear a path through Spotify and YouTube by strong-arming labels into killing freemium music services.
The aggressive tactics have triggered the Department of Justice to look into Apple’s business practices for its upcoming music streaming service, according to a report from the Verge, claiming high-ranking music industry execs have already been interviewed.
Use social media to find out more about your favorite artist. Photo: Instagram
As Apple prepares to relaunch Beats Music at WWDC, another tech giant is throwing its name in the music ring: Instagram, which has just launched a new @Music account designed to capitalize on its popularity among music fans.
The newly-opened account will share music-related photos, lyrics, and videos, relating to both established artists and new acts you haven’t heard of.
Get ready to rock with your Apple Watch. Photo: Apple
Apple’s smartwatch doesn’t come with much onboard storage, but that doesn’t mean you’re screwed when it comes to Apple Watch music. You can add your own playlists and listen to your favorite tunes using Bluetooth headphones or AirPlay speakers.
To get the songs you want, you need to create a playlist on your iPhone or iTunes, then beam it over to your Apple Watch. Here’s how to do it.
Things could be going a bit better, for sure. Photo: Activision
You’re in the green room, waiting for your curtain call. You can hear the throngs of rabid fans in the audience, just waiting for you and your group of rock and roll rebels to take the stage.
You and your bandmates head out, winding through backstage. You flirt with a cute blonde production assistant; a bearded roadie hands you your favorite axe. You step out onto a massive stage in front of a crowd of thousands. You totally suck at playing the guitar. The crowd, fickle as ever, turns on you.
No, this isn’t that anxiety dream you’ve been having ever since you were a teenager, this is the new Guitar Hero, a new video game with a familiar name and a very different experience.
Not content with only Apple Watch pre-orders and a slim new MacBook, Apple has quietly classed up the Beats Solo 2 wireless headphone line with some fairly familiar colors: Silver, Gold, and Space Gray.
You know it’s an Apple joint when Space Gray shows up.
Vinyl may be hot among hipsters, but it’s clear that streaming music is the mass market trend. Photo: Jim Merithew/ Cult of Mac
Apple is preparing a complete revamp of Beats Music that will directly integrate the streaming service into all of its products. The timing could not be more perfect, because streaming subscriptions like Spotify have finally overtaken CD sales.
Want to see all the songs you’ve found via Siri or iTunes Radio? Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac
iOS 8 includes Shazam — a magical technology that gives your iPhone the power to listen to a song and tell you what it is. In the car, at a movie theater, or even at a crowded bar, you can just ask Siri, “What song is playing?” or hold your home button for a few seconds, and your iPhone will use Shazam tech to tell you exactly what song is in your environment. You can also (surprise) buy the song you just recognized via a little button in the results screen.
But what if you want to buy it later? Or remember what song was playing at the bar last night when that cute girl gave you her number? You can easily do just that with a quick trip to iTunes on your iPhone.
These things are still important. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
When Prince presented the Grammy for best album this week, he made an impassioned case for a musical format that many seem ready to write off as dead.
“Albums, remember those?” he said. “Albums still matter. Albums, like books and black lives, still matter.”
That’s how you present an award, folks.
Albums are collections of musical pieces that work together to create an auditory gestalt larger than the individual songs themselves. With the massive growth in streaming audio these days, many people might be missing out on this incredible old-school experience.
Here’s the cure: a list of amazing albums you should listen to in their entirety, even if you don’t do vinyl. iTunes might have helped kill CDs, but it’s still a great place to buy albums rather than shortchanging yourself with a bunch of singles. There are dozens of other albums you should explore, depending on your musical tastes, but this list should remind us all how awesome albums are as a concept. You can thank us later.