Spotify plans to put ‘sponsored songs’ in your playlists

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Spotify
Spotify won't be quite as spectacular for those who won't pay.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

In its quest to turn a profit, Spotify is searching for new revenue streams and it may have just found a winner: sponsored songs.

The streaming service began testing its new Sponsored Songs feature, which lets record labels promote tracks by automatically adding them to listeners’ playlists, this week. The feature is supposed to only affect users of Spotify’s free tier, but some paying subscribers report that it’s happening to them too.

First look: From cute to badass, Apple’s new hardware impresses

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The best gesture in iOS 11 isn't just for iPad.
The best gesture in iOS 11 isn't just for iPad.
Photo: Apple

Three of the new hardware products Apple unveiled today at WWDC 2017 won’t be available until then end of 2017, but thanks to a hands-on section Apple hosted to developers, you can already get an idea of what it’ll be like to use the new iPad Pro, iMac Pro and HomePod.

Press members have been busy playing with the new products all afternoon and the early impressions are overwhelmingly positive. Of course, some issues on the iMac Pro and HomePod may still need fixing before launch, but it sounds like fans will love them.

Use AudioShare to slice, dice, zip, and share audio files on iOS

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audioshare
If there was a music app that was like a kind of military tool from a neutral European country, then AudioShare would be it.
Photo: Cult of Mac

There’s no iTunes for iOS. Thank God, some may say — after all, iTunes on the desktop is Apple’s Office, a bloated, do-it-all app that does nothing well, and is impossible to kill. But this also means that there’s no good way to save and wrangle music files on iOS — not from Apple at least. Which is where Kymatica’s AudioShare comes in. AudioShare is really a tool for musicians and other folks who work with sound, but it is so useful, and so easy to use, that everyone should have it on their iPhone and iPad to deal with audio files of all kinds.

Apple is already manufacturing its Siri-powered speaker

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The Amazon Echo may finally have competition from Apple.
The Amazon Echo may finally have competition from Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s grand unveiling of its Siri-powered home speaker could come as soon as next week, according to a new report that claims production on the new device is already underway.

Whispers that Apple is working on a speaker to rival the Amazon Echo and Google Home have been swirling around the rumor mill for months. Even though Apple execs have downplayed the possibility of a Siri speaker in the past, but it looks like it’s about to become a reality. And it will boast some new tech its rivals don’t have.

Apple launches new ‘Switch to iPhone’ ads and website

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Android users can jump to iOS with ease.
Android users can jump to iOS with ease.
Photo: Apple

Apple is turning up the heat on Android with a fresh redesign of its website that teaches smartphone customers how to transition to iPhone.

The new site makes it super-easy for Android users to make the change to iOS by promoting one of Apple’s only Android apps: Move to iOS.

Jimmy Iovine says free music streaming is screwing artists

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apple-music
Apple Music doesn't have a free tier.
Photo: Apple

Jimmy Iovine wants people to pay for music again and he’s got a plan that just might work: make free music streaming suck.

The Apple exec and music industry legend sat down for a new wide-ranging interview, during which Iovine lamanted that artists aren’t getting paid enough for their music anymore. And it’s mostly Spotify and YouTube’s fault.

The Loog is a retrotastic three-string guitar with its own app

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loog guitar pro
The Loog is the perfect beginner guitar, and looks awesome too.
Photo: Loog

This is the Loog Pro, a three-string guitar suitable for kids, and also for awesome adults. The Pro, along with the new Loog Mini, are the sequels to existing Loogs, and bring a whole bunch of neat upgrades. Why are we writing about it here on Cult of Mac? Because it also comes with a free app to help you learn to play.