Zane Lowe discusses future of radio DJs in age of streaming


Things are looking good for Beats One and leading DJ Zane Lowe, one of the world's top radio personalities.
Things are looking good for Beats One and leading DJ Zane Lowe, one of the world's top radio personalities.
Photo: Apple

Beats 1 Radio host Zane Lowe says he’s excited that Apple Music’s competitors are starting to rip off his live streaming radio show.

Lowe, who left the BBC’s Radio 1 to lead Beats 1 Radio, said in a recent interview that he still questions how his radio show fits in with the music scene. In the age of social media where artists can interact directly with fans, radio hosts don’t seem like a necessity, but Spotify and YouTube Music are planning to launch radio shows of their own and Lowe is ready to welcome them to the league.

Get deeper into the mix with this accessible DJ app [Deals]


Get your hands on the deeper details of DJ-ing with this accessible yet powerful platform.
Get your hands on the deeper details of DJ-ing with this accessible yet powerful platform.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

These days, anyone with a Spotify account can call themselves a DJ. But making a room move is about more than pressing play. If you want to get you hands deeper in the mix, this adaptable, accessible DJ platform is worth checking out.

Apple Music adds new Friends Mix playlist


Staying up to date is easier than ever.
Photo: Apple

You don’t want to be that guy who’s never heard the track all your friends are raving about. But if you use Apple Music, you don’t have to be.

The new “Friends Mix” playlist makes it easy to enjoy the songs your friends can’t get enough of. It’s updated every week, and you can enjoy it now across all devices.

FretBud is the simplest, most useful guitar-scales app ever


Fretbud is super-simple, and that’s what makes it so useful.
FretBud is super-simple, and that’s what makes it so useful.
Photo: FretBud

If you’re learning to play the guitar, then you will constantly be looking up two things: Scales and chords. After you get a bit further into it, you’ll add arpeggios to that list. And you will keep referencing them for years, becasue there are a zillion way to play each chord, scale, or arpeggio on the guitar. And here’s the problem. Reference materials for these three essentials are a pain to use. Either you spend more time clicking around an app than you do practicing, or you have to keep a ton of PDFs around, and try to keep those organized. Now, though, a super simple (maybe too-simple) app finally ge ts it right. It’s called Fretbud, and I love it.

Spotify picks up 8 million subscribers by copying Apple Music


Spotify app now playing screen
The family plan is a winner!
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

When Apple Music made its debut, one of the biggest reasons to switch from rival streaming services was for its $15 family plan. But it wasn’t long before Spotify copied it — and it’s been paying off in a big way.

The bargain family plan helped Spotify attract another 8 million paying subscribers during the second quarter of 2018, taking its total number to 83 million worldwide.

HomePod update will bring phone calls, voicemail, multiple timers


Apple is working to make HomePod even smarter.
Photo: Apple

HomePod is expected to get even smarter this fall when Apple rolls out a big software update.

A new report claims the $349 device will be able to handle phone calls, retrieve your voicemail, and run multiple timers. It could also give you the ability to search for songs by using their lyrics, and to translate languages.

Spotify now lets artists submit unreleased music for playlist consideration


Spotify discover weekly, daily mix, playlists, and sharing features
Daily mixes, hundreds of playlists, discovery weekly, and social features make Spotify the best streaming music app.
Screenshots: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Music artists are getting an all-new way to promote unreleased music thanks to a new feature Spotify is rolling out his week.

Getting a song onto one of Spotify’s curated playlists can give a big boost to an artist or band’s visibility on the platform. So starting today, members with a Spotify for Artists account can submit unreleased music directly to Spotify’s editorial team for playlist consideration.

Instagram gets more conversational with Question Stickers


Instagram is beefing up Stories with loads of new features.
Photo: Pixabay

Striking up a conversation on Instagram just became as easy as slapping a sticker on your Story.

Instagram revealed today that it has added a new feature called Question Stickers that gives users a new way to ask and receive questions from followers so you can get more acquainted with each other.

WhoSampled is like Shazam for samples and cover versions


WhoSampled digs into the DNA of your music.
WhoSampled digs into the DNA of your music.
Photo: WhoSampled

WhoSampled is an iOS (and Android) app that tells you whose samples were used in the music you’re currently listening to. Just like Shazam, you hold it up to a playing tune, and WhoSampled identifies the track. But then it also gives you a breakdown of all the other songs that were sampled to make that track, and can even list cover versions.