Taylor Swift - page 2

2015: The year Apple super-sized its ambitions


Apple year in review 2015
2015 was a great year for Apple -- mostly.
Image: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac's Best of 2015 You could say 2015 was a product-ive year for Apple. The company entered the wearable market with the Apple Watch, released a hugely updated version of the Apple TV streaming box, unveiled the massive iPad Pro (and considerably less massive iPad Mini 4), took on tune-streaming with the Apple Music service, and made its annual update to the iPhone with the 6s and 6s Plus.

We also saw updates to the operating systems that run all those things, as well as a new desktop OS in El Capitan, but it wasn’t all great news. Apple encountered lawsuits, shakeups and investigations by countries and entire federations thereof.

So whether we ultimately decide Cupertino had a good or bad year, at least it was pretty interesting. Relive the ups and downs with this Apple year in review 2015, Cult of Mac-style.

The 10 best albums of 2015


2015 was packed with incredible albums
2015 was packed with incredible albums
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac's Best of 2015 2015 has been a big year for brilliant albums, with everyone from Kendrick Lamar to Adele blasting out savory songs that changed the landscape of music. We saw Jamie XX arise as an incredible solo act, Ben Gibbard got his emo-groove back, and Drake dominated the rap world with brutal rap battles and meme-tastic music videos.

It was tough to narrow down the amazing albums of 2015 to just 10, but here are our favorite albums of the year.

Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour movie will debut exclusively on Apple Music


Photo: Wanelo
Is Taylor Swift's reconciliation with Apple the first time she's gotten back with an ex?
Photo: Wanelo

Taylor Swift has announced that she will debut her new concert movie, The 1989 World Tour Live, on Apple Music — six months after her public spat with Apple over artist royalties.

“I have a little surprise for you,” Swift wrote on Twitter, with a link to the trailer of the upcoming behind-the-scenes concert documentary, which will also presumably include appearances from special tour guests such as Ellie Goulding, Justin Timberlake, Mick Jagger, and others.

Jimmy Iovine: Free music streaming is hurting the industry


Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.34.30
Jimmy Iovine shares a similar philosophy to Steve Jobs about music.
Photo: Vanity Fair

Jimmy Iovine used his appearance at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco to take swipes at Spotify and, in particular, to underline his hatred of free music streaming.

“Free is a real issue,” he said. “This whole thing about freemium, maybe at one time we needed it. But now it’s a shell game … These companies [offering a free music tier] are building an audience on the back of the artist.”

Taylor Swift rips up contract that was ripping off photographers


Photographers assigned to Taylor Swift concerts will be greeted by a friendlier photo contract.
Photographers assigned to Taylor Swift concerts will be greeted by a friendlier photo contract.
Photo: GabboT/Flickr CC

The Bad Blood between singer Taylor Swift and concert photographers is history – unless she writes a song about it.

Swift’s legal team has agreed to revise the photography contact for her 1989 World Tour after a widely reported backlash from photographers and boycotts of some of her shows.

They were reacting to Swift’s open letter to Apple complaining about its initial decision to not pay artists during the trial period of Apple Music. Apple backed down. Photographers, however, called her a hypocrite because of an overreaching photo agreement that gave her unlimited free use of any photos taken at her show, plus the right by members of her team to forcibly remove images from their cameras.

Photographers add Foo Fighters to their Taylor Swift contract battle


The Foo Fighters will perform at RFK Stadium and one news outlit is boycotting over its photo agreement.
The Foo Fighters will perform at RFK Stadium and one news outlit is boycotting over its photo agreement.
Photo: Jo/Flickr CC

Taylor Swift’s bold rant against Apple over royalties continues to echo in the ears of photographers.

A quick recap . . . Swift used her Tumblr page to chide Apple for initially not paying musicians during the trial period of the new Apple Music. Then a music photographer in England called her a hypocrite because the contract her people force editorial photographers to sign before shows says Swift has the right to use those photos for free to promote her brand.

Apple backed down, but the good publicity-bad publicity for Swift has photographers and photo editors taking second looks at the contracts of other musical acts.

Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ wasn’t worth all that Spotify drama


Photographers assigned to Taylor Swift concerts will be greeted by a friendlier photo contract.
Taylor Swift's '1989' album is finally available for streaming, so I was all ears.
Photo: GabboT/Flickr CC

No one has shut up about this album since it came out in October 2014. Taylor Swift’s “1989” sold over a million copies in the first week alone and continues to sell well even today, largely due to the fact that it was previously nowhere to be found on streaming services. That is until Apple Music launched and Swift suddenly had a change of heart.

Still, since everyone I know buzzed about this album and the media certainly buzzed about it given the Spotify melodrama, I had to give it a listen. I didn’t want to buy it because I truly didn’t care that much, but I cared enough to listen if I was already paying for a streaming subscription. Now that I’m officially an Apple Music member, I got to stream “1989” in its entirety while I was cooking my lunch.

Irish newspaper refuses to give Taylor Swift free publicity photos


An Irish newspaper said no thanks to signing Taylor Swift's photo agreement.

One of Ireland’s largest newspapers told readers Tuesday morning not to expect any photos of Taylor Swift performing during her two sold-out concerts in Dublin.

The Irish Times passed on photographing her shows because of a restrictive contract Swift’s people ask shooters to sign. The contract gives the photographer a “one-time-only” use on the photos yet allows Swift unlimited rights to use the images for publicity and promotion.

Such contracts by entertainment figures are nothing new, except Swift famously called out Apple for initially withholding royalties to musicians during the free three-month trial period of the new Apple Music service.

Swift schools Apple, Macbook’s missing feature, and more on The CultCast



This week: the cool features in the new iOS 9 and El Capitan betas; Taylor Swift starts a royalty battle with Apple; the ridiculously low payouts artists get from music streaming; the new Macbook’s big missing feature; and the magic of Apple advertising.

Our thanks to Bushel for supporting this episode, the simple-to-use cloud-based tool that anyone can leverage to manage the Apple devices in their workplace. Get Bushel for free for up to 3 devices when you sign up at Bushel.com/cultofmac.


Show notes after the jump.

Apple means culture: Taylor Swift, hot new patents, and Siri’s response to 9/11


Taylor powers into Apple like no one else.
Taylor powers into Apple like no one else.
Cover: Stephen Smith

Another week flying by here at Cult of Mac headquarters, and we’ve got a ton of great stories to share with you in the latest issue of Cult of Mac Magazine.

Taylor Swift made waves with her calling out the Cupertino company’s plans to not pay artists for music streamed during upcoming Apple Music free trial period, and we’ve got all the details within. Plus, we take a look at Amazon’s new home hub, the Echo, spend some time trawling the patent office for new Apple gear coming our way, and take a quick tour of the latest iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan betas for developers.

All that and more in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine. Be sure to download and subscribe to check it all out on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Spotify extends free trial facing pressure from Apple Music


Spotify is taking what it knows about your music tastes to curate a personalized weekly playlist.
Spotify has increased its free trial for users outside the U.S.
Photo: Spotify

Apple Music’s launch is just days away, and Spotify is already running to catch up to the free trial Apple thinks will convince you to become a paying customer.

In an attempt to match Apple’s controversial three-month free trial period, Spotify announced that it will extend its Premium free trials from 30 days to 60 its days, but only if you’re outside the U.S.

Taylor Swift is bringing ‘1989’ to Apple Music


'1989' is coming to Apple Music
'1989' is coming to Apple Music
Photo: Taylor Swift

After waging a war against Apple Music in the name of indie artists, Taylor Swift has finally decided that she will let fans stream her newest album, 1989, on Apple Music when the service launches last week.

Swift announced her decision to make the album available on Twitter this morning, saying it’s the first time she’s felt right in her gut that now is the time to embrace streaming.

Taylor Swift responds to criticism that she’s as bad as Apple


Taylor Swift takes issue with a certain photographer.
Taylor Swift takes issue with a certain photographer.
Photo: GabboT/Wikimedia Commons CC

Taylor Swift, who made Apple blink this week by criticizing the company for initially denying musicians royalties during the free trial period of its new streaming service, now has her gaze square on the photographer who implied her stance is hypocritical.

Swift, through a spokesperson in England, said music photographer Jason Sheldon misrepresented the contract shooters sign before her concerts, saying it does not force them to sign away the rights to their shots.

Pharrell Williams is on Team Taylor in battle vs Apple Music


Pharrell's got Taylor Swift's back
Pharrell's got Taylor Swift's back
Photo: The Voice

Pharrell Williams has been Apple’s BFF lately, but when it comes to the battle between Apple and Taylor Swift, Skateboard P is on Team Taytay.

The eleven-time Grammy award winning artist spoke at the Cannes Lions Festival today (where Apple just scooped up a big award), and said that what Taylor did was a great thing for music.

Metallica’s Lars Ulrich ‘feels safe’ with Apple Music


Lars Ulrich by Gage Skidmore
This is the face of safety.
Photo: Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has had some issues with music platforms in the past, but when it comes to Apple Music, he’s completely on board.

The outspoken musician spoke at creativity festival Cannes Lions and declared his complete approval of how Apple is handling its upcoming streaming service.

Conspiracy theorists thinks Taylor Swift’s Apple beef was a publicity stunt


Was the bad blood between Taylor Swift and Apple staged?
Photo: Lovethegame/Tumblr

From the suggestion that the Earth is actually hollow to accusations that Jay Z and Beyonce are the world’s most famous Illuminati members, the Internet is nothing if not great for spreading crazy conspiracy theories.

In the wake of the recent Apple/Taylor Swift confrontation over Apple Music, there’s another one to add to the list: That the whole thing was staged to promote Apple’s new streaming music service.

And based on the number of times it’s already being mentioned, a surprising number of people believe it.

Apple Music wanted to rob artists like Taylor Swift robs photographers


Taylor Swift criticized Apple for initially not paying artistst during the trial period for Apple Music.
Taylor Swift criticized Apple for initially not paying artistst during the trial period for Apple Music.
Photo: Wikipedia

Taylor Swift is a shrewd business woman and thought she was speaking for all the little artists when she told Apple to kiss off when it comes to featuring her album 1989 on its new music streaming service.

To not pay artists during Apple Music’s free three-month trial period is exploitive, the singer-songwriter suggested, not to mention “shocking” and “disappointing.”

So forgive music photographer Jason Sheldon if he is unable to Shake It Off and is bothered by the hypocrisy of her stance. Editorial photographers assigned to shoot her shows must sign away rights to their photos, preventing them from being paid while giving Swift unlimited use of the pictures for publicity and promotion.

Taylor Swift explains her bad blood with Apple Music




Taylor Swift may have announced she was shaking off Apple Music last week, but today she published an open letter to Apple explaining in more detail why her hit “1989” album won’t be joining the other 30 million songs available on Apple’s streaming music service when it launches.

“I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service,” Swift writes. “I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.”