Apple snaps up music analytics firm Asaii

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apple-music
Asaii's platform could help improve Apple Music.
Photo: Apple

Apple has acquired a music analytics startup called Asaii, according to a new report.

It is believed the acquisition, which could help Apple deliver better recommendations to Apple Music subscribers, cost less than $100 million. Asaii claims its platform can pick out the hottest artists “10 weeks to a year” before they even hit the charts.

Sirius XM plans to buy Pandora for $3.5 billion

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Pandora is finally catching up.
Pandora is about to become part of Sirius XM.
Photo: Pandora

Two of the biggest companies in the music business are teaming up to try to better take on Spotify and Apple Music.

Sirius XM revealed today that it plans to acquire the music streaming service Pandora in a $3.5 billion all-stock deal. The merger is far from a done deal though and according to a report, Pandora will have the opportunity to find a better deal from another company.

How to use the amazing new iOS 12 Voice Memos app

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iOS 12 Voice Memos redesign is way more than just a lick of paint.
Voice Memos' iOS 12 redesign is way more than just a lick of paint.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Even if you never make a voice memo, you might be interested in Apple’s updated Voice Memos app. Powerful new features in iOS 12 make it much more than just a way to record voice snippets.

In fact, in iOS 12, Voice Memos morphs into a full-fledged audio recorder and audio editing app. As such, it’s useful for people recording interviews, and for musicians working on ideas. Let’s take a look around.

Zane Lowe discusses future of radio DJs in age of streaming

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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]

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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

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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

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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

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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

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HomePod
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.