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.
A Yamaha CD-555 with the CD carousel stopped. Photo: Leo-setä/Flickr
I stood in the doorway, still teary-eyed from goodbyes with my parents. There, before me, sat the first lesson of my freshman year in college.
Peter Otto had a blond mohawk and twirled a shiny butterfly knife. He had already adorned his side of the room with posters of his favorite bands: The Meatmen, Dead Kennedys and Siouxsie and the Banshees.
“I guess I’m your roommate,” I said and he pointed to the lower bunk. I was chubby, an Eagle Scout and a mama’s boy. But I had one cool card I could play — a boombox that played compact discs, a relatively new music format.
But with only two CDs — a synth-pop album by Kenny Loggins and the debut record from Bruce Hornsby & the Range — there would be no cool, not then anyway. Otto wound up being the best roommate I ever had during two college tours. Some of his music made it into my CD collection, which accelerated in the fall of 1985, but I doubt he ever took to Loggins.
Nearly 30 years later, I keep reading stories that eulogize the CD, report plummeting album sales and lay out how the music industry is now taking its product directly to customers through social media, streaming services or direct downloads from a group’s website.
The Millennium Falcon makes a great DJ turntable. Photo: Marco at Picotek
You may may never be able to listen to Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes live in the Star Wars cantina for yourself, but here’s the next best thing: a turntable modeled after Han Solo’s famous parsec-shattering ship, the Millennium Falcon.
App Store is now the world’s top entertainer. Photo: Buster Hein
Hollywood has long been the sparkling gem of entertainment in the U.S., but when it comes to making money, Apple is schooling the entertainment industry on how to bring in the cash with the App Store.
In 2014, iOS app developers earned more than Hollywood did from U.S. box office revenues, reports top Apple analyst Horace Dediu. According to Asymco’s number crunching, apps are now a bigger digital content business than music, TV programs, movie purchases and rentals combined.
Apple paid out approximately $25 billion total to developers, which means that not only is the App industry healthier than Hollywood, but also on an individual level, some developers are out earning Hollywood stars. The median income for developers is also likely higher than the median income for actors. If you’re looking to strike it rich, forget becoming the next Brad Pitt. Be the next Dong Nguyen.