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First Impressions of Spotify

spotify 300x208 First Impressions of SpotifyAs many of us music lovers may have realized by now, Spotify has entered the US. Spotify is a DRM-based music streaming service. Spotify, instantly gives me a flashback to my days of Napster. It has similar qualities, although the look is different, and they are also taking a different approach. Spotify requires no downloading, and your favorite song is just a click away. Instantly, I notice some pro’s and cons of using Spotify.

After submitting my email, a few days later I got invite. I am glad that I waited, since I almost immediately purchased the Pro version. I usually like to try out the products I am using before I make any purchase, especially when it comes to music applications. Spotify was an easy download, doesn’t seem to affect my computer too much, and has a nice looking icon that sits in my dock. The design looks like a mixture between old school Napster, and iTunes. Overall, I think it looks good. It is very simple to navigate, and I pretty much picked up on the all features within a few minutes. The best part about Spotify is the immense library they have to offer. You can search virtually any song you can think of, and start  playing instantly. Of course this music is streaming, so you do not worry about download times and taking up space on your computer with large libraries of music. Spotify will actually load all of your music stored in local files as an extenuation of your music listening experience. Very cool! Spotify lets you have your own library and if you are feeling sick of your own music, with the click of a button you can have virtually any song that you like. This makes Spotify a very dynamic music program. More →

Google Music comes to iOS via Safari

google music 300x168 Google Music comes to iOS via SafariGoogle Music is still in its beta and not a lot of people are getting it as yet. It’s not even available in other countries. But the guys at Google still want more people experience what they think may be a game changer in entertainment and cloud computing so they have finally released a version that is compatible with Apple’s iOS.

The new version of Google Music can be accessed on devices that carry iOS. But this is not a completely separate app – the access will go through the Safari browser. This is a mixed bag for some people. Others prefer a separate app so they can access Google servers even without the browser, while others want their access to be done through the browser so they won’t have to install any extraneous apps.

The browser interface actually acts similar to an app. Users can slide between the songs and as a nifty feature, the songs you are playing will continue to do so even when the browser is closed. Of course, browsing through the library and searching for songs can be done through the browser as well.

Google Music is not the first to market with a music streaming service – it already has competition from Spotify and other music streaming services and soon from Apple’s own iCloud service. Google Music has to make unique product decisions to distinguish it from its competitors.

Spotify Becomes More Social

Online music service Spotify has just rolled out several social features which the Spotify folks hope would bring their product into the full mainstream of the still growing social music niche. Spotify version 0.4.3 happens to be one of the largest feature upgrade for the online music service since its inception in 2008.

Kicking off its social features are editable Spotify music profile, ability to publish playlists, top artists and top tracks and a relevant move to connect with Facebook. In addition to its new social features, Spotify is also evolving itself to become a full music management platform by adding the “Library” folder which lets you combine your music library with other Spotify members.

Here’s a brief rundown of the new features of Spotify version 0.4.3:

  • published your Spotify profile on Facebook, blogs or personal website
  • share and publish playlists that you select as you create them
  • one-click subscription to playlists within Spotify or Facebook
  • display subscriber numbers and subscribers’ names in the submenu
  • star tracks or albums or group them into folders
  • drag and drop tracks for recommendation

What’s good about the new Spotify is the fact that you can now import any MP3 on your hard drive to your Spotify library via a link within Spotify pointing to its locaiton on your hard drive. You can also import iTunes playlists into Spotify.

Once you’ve setup your account, you can now start browsing, searching, playing and sharing your whole music library.

Overall, a pretty update that is worth checking out. Do you you Spotify? How do you like these new features?

Facebook Begins its Digital World Domination

facebook1 490x275 Facebook Begins its Digital World Domination

There’s a lot of things going on right now at the Facebook camp, coinciding with their f8 Developer’s Conference. But with the several new things that Facebook unveiled today, one thing is certain, Mark Zuckerberg and his gang is out to conquer the social digital world. You still got time, either you opt-in or opt-out now.

Facebook’s plan of dominating the digital world is a three-point attack right now. This is only its initial salvo. I’m pretty sure there are more to come. In the meantime, let’s take at look at these three strategies which were just announced at the f8 gig.

Docs for Facebook

Zuckerberg knows quite well that Google has already dominated the search dominion and it would take a lot of effort to beat Google into this game. So, why not attack something which Google is starting to dominate – the cloud computing space. Enter Docs for Facebook, which interestingly Facebook is launching in cooperation with Microsoft.

Simply put, Docs for Facebook is like Google Docs, only this time it’s main focus is document collaboration and sharing within the Facebook ecosystem and not just anywhere else.  Docs for Facebook is pretty simple right now. You can create documents or upload existing ones and then share it with your Facebook friends, via Facebook and within Facebook.  Can it give Google Docs a run for its money? We’ll know soon enough, once it becomes available to the public.

Facebook’s Take on Social Recommendation with Yelp

Gowalla and Foursqure might have something to be worried about.  Facebook is finally taking the social recommendation, location-aware social networking space for a spin. And it brought along Yelp, Gowalla and Foursquare’s fiercest rivals.

With the Facebook and Yelp partnership, you will be able to see which among your Facebook friends have reviewed a business and read their reviews. You can also find out who among your friends have like a particular business as well as  view feed of what your friends are doing.

Facebook and Pandora Spike Up the Social Music Sphere

There’s not much details yet about how Facebook and Pandora are teaming up. But one thing is for sure, MySpace which has been dominating the social music niche has something to be worried about.  All we know is that when you log in to Facebook and go to Pandora for the first time, the music site can immediately start playings songs from bands you’ve liked across the web. It will also show you friends who also like the same songs as you while you are playing or listening to a music.

There you go, three major strategies that will trigger the start of Facebook’s digital world domination. Are you ready for it?

Apple iTunes Scores 10 Billionth Song Download

Screen shot 2010 02 25 at 6.24.37 AM 490x252 Apple iTunes Scores 10 Billionth Song Download

Apple iTunes has just achieved a remarkable feat a moment ago, thanks to a user who just got the 10 billionth song ever downloaded from the music store. The countdown to the 10 billionth song was started earlier this month, and it was Apple’s way of celebrating such a remarkable experience. Meanwhile, whoever got to download the 10 billionth song from iTunes will win a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card.

So while we await for the announcement of the winner, why don’t we all take a look at some numbers after the iTunes was opened in 2003.  Almost seven years, Apple has suceeded in making the iTunes as a premiere online music store despite its exlusivity to Apple music and mobile devices. It only goes to show that while Apple is making the iTunes popular and so were its products. And for that,  we all should commend the company, no matter how much you may like or dislike iTunes.

Last quarter, iTunes generated some $520 million in revenues. In terms of profitability, total revenues generated so far by iTunes barely surpassed the break-even point. But that’s just beside the point since we all know that Apple created the iTunes to support its main business – selling hardwares. And it did while at the same time achieving a commendable feat in selling digital music.

Anyway, in case you’re interested to know the most downloaded song from iTunes happens to be Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling. Now this is another an interesting achievement for the band but that’s another story.

MySpace Connects with Facebook, on Fan Video Site at Least

Screen shot 2010 01 18 at 9.28.35 PM MySpace Connects with Facebook, on Fan Video Site at Least

Not so long ago, it was rumored that Facebook Connect will be implemented on MySpace. That means, you can now login to your MySpace account via Facebook’s single sign on facility. And that also means that you can easily share your MySpace’s actvities on your Facebook account. Yes, that’s the advantage of using Facebook Connect.

But after that, the news just simply died down. We haven’t heard anything about it until now. It looks like the facility is being quietly rolled out. At least on MySpace Fan Video site. If you check it out right now, a box with “Connect with Facebook” option will be displayed. And clicking that will trigger the usual Facebook Connect process, that  includes you logging in to the MySpace Fan Video site using your Facebook credentials.

It’s a pretty neat and simple integration process, that you wouldn’t think that it has no great impact to both sites. Actually it has. It will open up more opportunities for both MySpace and Facebook. Although we’re not really counting on a future merger. It’s a far-fetched idea.  But this is a good start for the two rivals to start mutually operating in a harmonious manner. Bottomline of it all is that we, social networking users stand to benefit later on.

If you want to try this feature out, just visit MySpace Fan Video site, login with your Facebook profile, select videos from the available music videos of current popular artists and start sharing them with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter as well.

 

Universal Music Group and FreeAllMusic Offer Free Music Downloads

Screen shot 2010 01 12 at 5.59.53 AM 490x126 Universal Music Group and FreeAllMusic Offer Free Music Downloads

Universal Music Group (UMG) has teamed up with ad-sponsored digital music download service FreeAllMusic to provide a facility for music fans to download freely and legally music tracks from UMG’s stable of artists. The deal will give users up to 20 free music downloads per month, five per week starting every New Music Tuesday.

In case you’re not aware, FreeAllMusic is a fairly new music service offering downloadable, high-quality, iPod-compatible MP3s of popular songs that are advertiser-paid, free, legal and DRM-free. The catch? You have to watch a short video commercial before you can download an MP3. You have to do that to let FreeAllMusic continue providing the service. It is after all what’s paying their bills to keep the site running.

The good thing is, after watching the video commercial and downloading the MP3, you can now enjoy it anytime, anywhere minus the ads. Fair enough, right? Ok, before you folks jump for joy, let me just tell you that FreeAllMusic is a for US-only site. So bad luck for all of us non-US citizens of the world. But of course there are other alternatives to this service, if  you know what I’m referring to.

If you’re from the U.S., you need to register at FreeAllMusic.com and then simply select a participating brand, then watch the short video commercial. After which you can start downloading the mp3. You can also share your downloads to friends but they have to download it for themselves. And they should also watch the video commercial. Or post your music download to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter so that others may know about FreeAllMusic.com’s service and be compelled to watch video commercials in exchange for free music.

Source

 

Web-Based Media Player Muziic Lets You Play and Organize YouTube and Vevo Music

Screen shot 2009 12 29 at 7.55.15 AM 490x284 Web Based Media Player Muziic Lets You Play and Organize YouTube and Vevo Music

Say goodbye to pesky and obtrusive ads whenever you want to listen to free songs featured on music videos on YouTube. Likewise, say goodbye to those annoying country-specific restrictions that renders most songs practically un-streamable if you live in Timbuktu. Thanks to new site Muziic you can now enjoy those two benefits brought by the free Internet.

First started as a Windows application, Muziic then lets you organize and manage music collections from songs featured on YouTube videos. Think of it as the Windows iTunes for YouTube, that also lets you rip mp3s to YouTube.

To make its service more relevant, Muziic recently launched a web-based media player. And while they were at it, they brought along music video start-up Vevo which went public recently.

So, what do this bring us, free music loving Internet citizens?  Free songs, as in millions of them with accompanying videos to boot.

And then what else? Muziic also lets you register on the site so that you can create your music playlist. It has a very efficient search engine which offers direct song access similar to iTunes does. For those who couldn’t live without sharing things with their friends to social networks, Muziic also just recently rolled out a Facebook app. How about an iPhone app? Not yet but it’s coming pretty soon, I hope.

An online service as good as this is not without a glitch of course. For one thing, Muziic removes country-restriction to video contents from Vevo. While this may seem ok for now, Vevo is said to be looking at it right now. Hopefully, they won’t do something to spoil Muziic’s party.

Via Wired

tunesBag Puts Music Sharing, Playing in the Cloud Service in Public Beta

tunesbage 489x245 tunesBag Puts Music Sharing, Playing in the Cloud Service in Public Beta

Aside from having tested its features and services already, new music sharing and playing in the cloud service, tunesBag finally goes out of public beta after being in close-by-invitation only mode for quite some time now. Earlier, tunesBag has released a web client, Adobe-AIR desktop client,  iPhone and Facebook apps.

Offering both a free ad-supported version as well as a paid premium subscription, tunesBag lets you upload your music collection to its cloud storage and then play them anytime, anywhere. tunesBag also lets you easily share your playlists and invididuals via email and social networking updates. You can also rate and recommend songs and playlists to anyone. In other words, tunesBag is your standard online music sharing service.

And to avoid copyright issues, tunesBag only allows music sharing in countries where it is legally covered by licensing agreements. tunesBag will determine this through your IP addresse. Likewise, tunesBag may also refer users with restricted access to licensed music to other online sources where they can listen or find information about those music tracks.

Want to take tunesBag for a spin?  Sign up here.

NewArtist.com Connects Budding Musicians with Fans

newartist NewArtist.com Connects Budding Musicians with Fans

New online music site NewArtist.com has a message to tell everyone who refused to cross the boundaries from the traditional music industry to what is now known as the new digital revolution.  And that message goes something like this – 2010 will usher in a new era of how we consumer discover music and musicians. The Internet will become the medium for launching new musicians and connecting them with their prospective fans.

And NewArtist.com wants to be part of that revolution by way of  a social network geared for new musicians and music fans who will help build the career of these promising artists.

A Social Network for New Musicians

Boasting of being the world’s first social network dedicated for rising musicians, NewArtist.com will be the stage for these aspiring artists to upload their original music contents.  It aims to let you discover music, become fans of new musicians, and help them rise to fame through online community voting. It’s like Digg for new music artists.

A Social Network for Listeners

NewArtist.com aims to change the way the music industry operates. That is, instead of letting listeners buy into music, why not let listeners influence the way the music industry is shaped up.  Hence, you can create free online profile quickly, meet new friends and artists, discover music events, share music playlists and practically everything that you’d normally find in a music social network.

Alright, why don’t you just check out the site and see for yourself whether NewArtist.com really has the potential to make it big so much so that it can influence the music industry?