How to add Apple Music albums to your Home screen

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Add any album to your iPhone's Home Screen.
Add any album to your iPhone's Home Screen.
Photo: Karl Baron/Flickr CC

Do you have an album or a playlist that you listen to over and over? Or maybe you have kids, and all they ever want to listen to is that Abba record you hate, again and again. And AGAIN. Are you sick of firing up Apple music and searching around for that record every time you want to play it? Well search no more! Today we’ll see how you can add any music to your home screen, and play it just by tapping an icon.

Apple now has it own Global Music Publishing division

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Apple Music
Apple wants to build better relations between itself and artists.
Photo: Drake

Apple is launching a new music publishing division, headed up respected industry executive Elena Segal.

The newly created Global Director of Music Publishing role will involve working in both the United States and London. Creating the post was apparently one of the first moves made by Oliver Shusser, who recently took over as head of Apple Music.

Creative Block: Roli’s expressive MIDI keyboard goes portable [Review]

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Roll seaboard block review
That's the Seaboard sat on a 12-inch iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Imagine a piano keyboard that is also a multitouch surface, like the screen on an iPad. Now imagine that this is a tactile silicone surface with bumps and dips so you can feel the keys, just like a piano. Hold that image in your mind — you are currently imagining the Roli Seaboard Block, backpack-sized Bluetooth MIDI keyboard that will change the way you play music.

New YouTube Music streaming service goes live this month

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YouTube Music
YouTube will take on Apple Music (again).
Photo: Google

YouTube Music, a new service that will take on the likes of Spotify and Apple, goes live next week.

Listeners will be able to enjoy the service for free if they don’t mind their music interspersed with advertisements. An upgrade to YouTube Music Premium, priced at $9.99 a month, will remove those ads and allow for background playback and music downloads.

Learn to play a musical instrument with iOS

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learn to play
You don't have to build your own guitar, thank God.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Learning a musical instrument is hard. Really hard. It takes a long time to make anything that sounds like music, and yet still people put in the long hours and the hard work to become great at their chosen instrument.

There’s no way around practicing, but there is. lot you can do to make the practice easier, more effective, and much more fun, and all you need is there on your iPhone or iPad.

DAW Cassette makes your music sound like it was recorded on tape

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daw cassette
You wouldn't leave your iPhone in the sun like this.
Photo: Jure Cuhalev/Flickr CC

There’s little that’s more hipster than an audio cassette. Its sound is far from perfect, it’s impractical, and — most important of all — it is easy to see that you’re using one. But that doesn’t mean that tapes were all bad. Lo-fi cassette decks actually add some rather pleasant audio artifacts to audio.

So what? Well, now you don’t need to lug around a Walkman and a bag of tapes to enjoy the retro sound of audio cassettes, because there’s a) an iOS audio plugin and b) a website that will tape-ify any track you like.

Drafts 5, Vulse, Things, and other awesome apps of the week

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Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

This week has been big on big updates. Drafts, the best text-capture app for iOS, got a brand-new version. Cultured Code’s Things also received a big update (but still doesn’t allow drag-and-drop to task lists). And Dropbox finally did add drag-and-drop, just seven months after iOS 11 added the feature.

Well done!

Vulse app brings gestural and touch effects to guitar

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vulse for iPhone
Like an electronic whammy bar.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Vulse is a neat app for musicians. More specifically, it’s for guitarists. The app has been around for a while, but got a big old update this week that makes it worth a new look. The idea of the app is that you stick your iPhone onto your guitar, just below where you strum the strings, and then use a combination of wild flailing and screen-stroking to apply crazy effects on the fly.

The best Apple Pencil apps that aren’t for drawing

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apple-pencil-jar
Don't leave your Apple Pencil in the jar.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You have a new iPad, and you have a new Apple Pencil. Time to learn how to draw, right? Not necessarily. Just like a regular pen or pencil, there are ton of other things you can do with an Apple Pencil. You can write, of course, but you can also play games, compose musical scores, do coloring in books, edit photos, and even play the Apple Pencil like a musical instrument.

Let’s take a look at the best non-drawing apps for Apple Pencil.

This box turns your iPad into the ultimate guitar pedalboard

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iRig Stomp I/O Pedalboard
Nothing can bad can happen to your iPad down there on a stage floor. Nothing.
Photo: IK Multimedia

Electric guitar players have effects pedals. It’s an addiction, and a law of nature. We keep buying little stomp boxes in pursuit of the perfect sound, and of course we don’t even call it sound. We call it “tone.” But the sensible players don’t try to beat the addiction. They switch to software. Instead of buying and trading expensive hardware boxes, they move to something like iOS effects apps, which let you experiment at a fraction of the cost.

And that’s where IK Multimedia’s new iRig Stomp I/O Pedalboard comes in. It’s a hardware pedalboard that provides guitar players with a familiar front-end to all those amazing iOS effects.