First U2, and now this? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
You’ll soon have Beats Music on your iOS device whether you want it or not.
Apple is planning to bake the streaming music service into iOS in early 2015, according to The Financial Times. The integration could happen “as early as March,” which would line up with the possibility of a media event to announce the rumored iPad Pro.
Forget Spotify, Pandora and Beats Music. I’ve tried them all, and for my money, Rdio is the best streaming music subscription service out there. It has the best app design and, for my tastes, the best music selection. But you have to pay.
An update, though, is trying to make Rdio much more palatable to free users, as well as help all users find new music faster. It’s making the service free to everyone, emphasizing ad-supported stations for free users (with up to 15 times as many tracks as competing services), and new, smart social services for paid users.
iTunes Radio quickly became known as an underdog after its release last fall, with Apple facing an uphill battle against established services like Spotify and Pandora. In today’s video, we take an in-depth look at iTunes Radio, its features, its future — and why it deserves your attention.
Word cloud from Apple’s press release on Beats acquisition. Larger words are more frequent.
I’m a streaming music junkie. I’ve subscribed to Rdio, Spotify and Slacker to rein in my tendency to hoard (and then not back up) music. Putting a tenner on monthly subscriptions for an all-you-can-listen auditory buffet model appealed to me more than an album-binging approach, too.
Still, the Apple and Beats acquisition rumors (now fact) struck me as tone deaf – what does Beats bring that the other services don’t? So I decided to take the Beats app on my iPhone for good long spin.
Joining the likes of iTunes Radio, Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio, Beats Music — the music subscription service spearheaded by Jimmy Iovine — launches today, 21 January.
Combining human curation from “the best music experts” to algorithm-based automated recommendations, Beats Music will offer access to over 20 million songs via unlimited, ad-free streaming for $9.99 a month on all the usual platforms — including iOS and Mac.
Apple may be signing its first licensing deal with Universal Music Group (UMG) as soon as next week, according to several sources with knowledge of the matter, says The Verge. UMG and Apple are in the final stages of negotiations, and Warner Music is close behind, say those sources. All Apple needs now to complete the licensing for what the media has dubbed iRadio is an agreement with Sony Music Entertainment and other music publishers.
Apple is widely expected to launch a streaming music service later this year, perhaps this summer, with features similar to Pandora, assuming it can get all the licensing squared away for such a service.
I used to love Pandora. For a time you could use it in Canada and I paid for a subscription right away. Sadly, Pandora doesn’t work up here. Now for the rest of you lucky sots you can enter to win a Pandora One subscription for life.
Oh, man, finally. Years after showing Europe how a streaming music service ought to be done, and just a couple of weeks after Apple made it clear that their own iTunes-In-The-Cloud service wouldn’t do streaming at all, Spotify has officially confirmed that it will be coming to the United States within a matter of weeks.