mSpot just took the wraps off of its new Radio Spotter Beta app for Android, which will allow users to listen to their own cloud-based music, as well as tunes from streaming radio stations. It works like this: you can match any song you’re playing from your own collection to a radio station to continue playing similar music, or you can select a specific radio station based on genre directly from the application itself. There’s even a new mSpot Music Android application with the built-in Radio Spotter support, so you can take your stations on the go, too. mSpot provides 5GB of space free to new users, but you can sign up for 40GB for $3.99 per month if you have a larger music collection. The company says an iPhone version of the application with Radio Spotter support will launch later this year. Hit the jump for the full release from mSpot. More →
Apple has now reportedly signed three of four major U.S. record labels as it prepares to launch a new cloud-based streaming music service in the near future. According to Bloomberg, Apple has inked a deal with Sony that will allow the label’s massive catalog to be used alongside a forthcoming streaming product Apple will likely unveil next month. The news comes just one day after Apple is said to have finalized a similar deal with EMI. Google recently unveiled its Music Beta by Google service and before that, Amazon launched its Cloud Drive and Cloud Player products. Neither service is accompanied by deals with record labels, however, so their utility is reduced to providing users with a means to upload music they have purchased elsewhere and then stream it to a variety of devices. With the support of major labels, Apple will be able to introduce a paid service with a great deal of added functionality. “Streaming iTunes” has been rumored to be in development for years, and it looks like Apple is finally ready to make it a reality. More →
We received word from a tipster that Amazon, practically confirmed to be entering the tablet market in the near future, isn’t planning just one device, but is planning on releasing at least two before the end of the year. Information is light, but we have been told that the “entry” level tablet, codenamed “Coyote” will be based on the NVIDIA Tegra 2 platform. The big boy? That’s codenamed “Hollywood” and will be based on the NVIDIA T30 “Kal-El” which will bring a screaming quad-core processor with a 500% performance increase over the dual-core Tegra 2. No word on screen sizes at this point, and we’re digging for more information, so stay tuned!
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview earlier this week to “stay tuned” for news on the company’s plans to release its own tablet. Bezos wouldn’t come out and confirm the tablet, but he took particular care in clarifying that such a device would not replace its popular line of dedicated Kindle eBook readers. “We will always be very mindful that we will want a dedicated reading device,” Bezos continued. “In terms of any other product introductions, I shouldn’t answer.” It doesn’t take Nostradamus to see where Amazon is headed with all of its recent product and service launches, of course. An Amazon-controlled Android app store, a new streaming movie and TV show service, Cloud Drive, Cloud Player, the Amazon music store, Kindle… it all adds up to a self-contained ecosystem that will allow Amazon to issue a complete package when it finally does release its first tablet. More →
We can’t say it comes as much of a surprise, but Google has just taken the wraps off of a service many of us have been waiting for years to see… or should we say, hear. Google’s freshly unveiled Music Beta service will give users a cloud-based solution for storing and streaming their digital music collections — and we mean, their entire collections; Google’s service supports the storage of up to 20,000 songs as opposed to the 1,000 tracks supported by Amazon’s Cloud Drive product, which Music Beta will compete with directly. Google’s Music Manager app supports Windows and Mac, and it allows users to upload their tracks directly to Music Beta. The Web-based music manager is a full-featured music player that supports organization, playlist creation and plenty more. The related Android app features all of the same functionality as the Web player, and playlists created on one device will instantly be available on all devices. Recently played music is always cached by the mobile player, and albums can also be downloaded and stored for playback when data connections are unavailable. Music Beta is available initially by invitation only, and it is free — at least, it’s free during the beta period. Google’s updated music app with Music Beta support is available in the Android Market beginning today.
Google is expected to announce its long anticipated entrance into cloud-based music on Tuesday from its Google I/O conference in San Francisco. The New York Times reports that the service will initially be called Music Beta by Google, and it will allow users to store 20,000 songs in a cloud locker for free, which can then be accessed by any PC or Android device. Activity will be synced automatically between devices, so playlists created on one device will be accessible from all others, according to the report. Like Amazon’s recent Cloud Drive and Cloud Player offerings, it is expected that Google will launch its service without the support of major record labels. Also like Amazon’s offering, the service is expected to initially be very limited in functionality. In the beginning, Music Beta will reportedly be accessible by invite only. Motorola XOOM users with Verizon Wireless models will all receive invitations, and others will be able to sign up for invites at music.google.com. There is currently no timeline in terms of when the service might become available to the general public. We’ll be on hand reporting live from I/O later today, so be sure to tune in for all the latest news as it breaks.
Amazon’s Cloud Player, which provides access to music stored on your Amazon Cloud Drive, is now working in Safari on iOS devices including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Amazon hasn’t announced the support just yet, but if you navigate to your Amazon Cloud Player account from an iOS device — and ignore a few warnings about your device not being supported — you’ll be able to access and play all of your tunes. As TechCrunch first spotted, your music will also pause if you receive a phone call or a push notification. Amazon has only recognized full support through computers and on Android smartphones, so there may still be a few bugs to be found. We’re hoping there’s a native iOS app in the works, too, but we won’t hold our breath just yet. More →
Pandora just announced that it has added a few comedy genres to its streaming radio offering. Much like you’d rate a song or artist, you can give each comedy track a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, and Pandora’s “Comedy Genome Project” will recommend different performers based on your tastes. Users can choose a specific comedian, or can select a specific genre such as “political comedy,” “working class comedy,” “PG comedy,” or comedy from the 60, 70s, 80s, 90s, or 2000s. Slacker Radio has had this feature for a while, but if you’re looking for some Lisa Lampanelli to spice up your lunch break, than Pandora should now have you covered as well. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Companies like Apple and Google are doing their best to put together music products that compete directly with Spotify’s Web-based music streaming product. While reports suggest record labels are making the process as difficult as possible for these giants, Spotify just took the fight to their home turf. The company on Wednesday launched a new music download service that attempts to make Spotify “the only music player you’ll ever need.” Spotify users can now purchase and download full playlists comprised of any songs from the company’s 9 million-track catalog for as low as £0.50 per song. And as an extra little slap, Spotify’s new feature allows playlists to be synchronized with the iPod classic, iPod nano or iPod shuffle right from within the Spotify desktop app. Spotify still isn’t available in the U.S., but rumors suggest the company is closer than ever to striking deals with record companies that will allow it to launch its popular service stateside. Hit the break for the full press release and a video that explains the company’s new download service. More →
According to a new report from industry watcher DigiTimes on Tuesday, Amazon has placed orders with manufacturers to build its first tablet PC. The report claims Taiwan-based Quanta Computer has received orders for between 700,000 and 800,000 tablets from Amazon, and the finished devices should begin shipping in the second half of this year. Earlier rumors suggested an Amazon tablet would launch this summer, so the timing of this new report further supports those claims. Amazon has built several successful devices with tablet-like form factors — it’s Kindle eBook reader is the best-selling product of all time on Amazon.com — but this would be the company’s first device to venture beyond eBooks. Amazon’s tablet, which is said to be based on the Android platform, will like showcase several Amazon products and services such as the Amazon Appstore, Amazon’s digital music store and the company’s new Cloud Drive digital music locker service. More →
With Amazon having just launched its Cloud Drive digital locker product and Apple rumored to be on the verge of introducing a cloud-based music service of its own, the last thing Google needs is a new barrier in its negotiations with music labels. Unfortunately, according to a new report on Friday, Google has positioned a new hurdle in its own path by changing the terms of its proposed Google Music service in the middle of talks with labels. As a result, Google’s conversations with major labels have now “gone backwards,” and Google may be thinking about throwing in the towel and launching an Amazon-like locker service where users can upload their own songs and stream them. This would be less than optimal for Google as it would likely pull in far less revenue than a subscription music service or an iTunes-like store, but at least it would give users a way to stream their music on any PC or Android device. More →
Apple’s mysterious new billion-dollar data center in North Carolina has been a recurring topic of interest among tech sites for quite some time now. The massive facility is thought to be a hub that will power Apple’s next generation of cloud-based services, which may or may not include a subscription streaming music service tied to iTunes and a personal digital locker product. With future core Apple services relying on the new facility, the company had to ensure it found a seasoned veteran to run the data center, and it looks like Apple may have found its man: Kevin Timmons. A new rumor suggests that Apple recently poached Timmons from rival Microsoft, where he has held a General Manager position since 2009. Prior to that, Timmons was Yahoo!’s Vice President of Operations for 10 years. Microsoft confirmed that Timmons recently left the company, but it would not address his future plans. More →
A new job listing on Apple’s website reveals that the company is assembling a small team of engineers to build what the company refers to as “the future of cloud services at Apple.” The job listing, which seeks a Cloud Systems Software Engineer, calls for a programmer who will “explore the far reaches of the possible by joining the team building the future of cloud services at Apple!” Apple is rumored to be working on several new cloud-based offerings that may launch in the near future. Among the more recent rumors is rumblings that Apple will revamp its MobileMe service to include a digital locker that would allow users to store music and videos online and then stream the files to PCs and iOS devices. Amazon recently launched a Cloud Drive service that offers similar functionality. More →