Spotify extends free trial facing pressure from Apple Music

Spotify is taking what it knows about your music tastes to curate a personalized weekly playlist.
Spotify has increased its free trial for users outside the U.S.
Photo: Spotify

Apple Music’s launch is just days away, and Spotify is already running to catch up to the free trial Apple thinks will convince you to become a paying customer.

In an attempt to match Apple’s controversial three-month free trial period, Spotify announced that it will extend its Premium free trials from 30 days to 60 its days, but only if you’re outside the U.S.

Get your jam on anywhere, anytime with Jamstik+

The newest Jamstik smart guitar has a magnetic pickup and Bluetooth technology.
The newest Jamstik smart guitar has a magnetic pickup and Bluetooth technology.
Photo: Jamstik

So it’s not quite an ax. It’s more of a hatchet.

But you can do some shredding on the diminutive Jamstik. It’s a portable smart guitar that gets beginners playing recognizable chords within a few minutes and helps the inspired musician instantly articulate those notes blooming in his or her brain. Connect it to most Apple devices and learn with the Jamstik tutorial app or record in Garage Band.

The first version was popular, but Minneapolis-based Zivix wanted to make improvements based on customer feedback. The music technology company raised more than $800,000 on a recent Kickstarter campaign to bring Bluetooth technology and a magnetic pickup to the newest generation, Jamstik+.

Gadget lets you hear music without wrecking your ears

The Aumeo audio device, right, boosts clarity of sound so that your don't risk hearing loss by increased volume.
The Aumeo audio device, right, boosts clarity of sound so that your don't risk hearing loss by increased volume.
Photo: Aumeo

The best Beats headphones can’t help you if your ears are unable to hear certain subtle sounds. You can crank up the volume, but that only puts your hearing in peril.

The creators of Aumeo want to change the way you listen to music with an audio device that profiles your hearing – testing it with a smartphone app to find the frequency suited for each level – and offers sound-rich audio that lets you take your thumb off the volume button.

A person’s hearing is as unique as their fingerprints, but electronic audio devices provide more of a “one-size-fits-all” range of volume, according to Aumeo co-founder Paul Lee.

You’ll be able to download songs for offline listening with Apple Music

Eddy Cue demos Apple Music at WWDC 2015.
Eddy Cue demos Apple Music at WWDC 2015.
Photo: Apple

Apple Music may be a streaming service, but you won’t always need an Internet connection to enjoy it. Apple has confirmed that you’ll also be able to download songs for offline listening, so you can enjoy albums and playlists when you’re on the road without data.

Apple hopes to secure 100 million subscribers with new music streaming service

Apple has big ambitions for its new music streaming service.
Apple has big ambitions for its new music streaming service.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is expected to announce its long-awaited music streaming service during the WWDC keynote later today, and despite tough competition from the likes of Spotify, the company has incredibly ambitious plans to sign up 100 million subscribers.