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Tag: Apple (1-6 of 6)

The great irony of Silicon Valley's curated-music craze

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The music industry has always chased trends, and as tech companies have started getting into the game, they’ve not only picked up the habit but taken it to an unimaginably expensive level—one that makes the most coke-fueled excesses of the Fleetwood Mac era look miserly in comparison. And right now, the market is going bananas for curation: After years of investing in algorithms that can figure out that someone who likes the Beatles would probably also be interested in Creedence Clearwater Revival, which has helped the online radio behemoth Pandora claim 250 million users, the tide has turned. “Curation” is now the buzzword du jour.

Yesterday, word got out that Google will be buying the playlist site Songza for a “substantially higher” amount than the $15 million it was previously rumored to have offered, according to a Billboard article. Songza offers users, in its own words, “Music Curated by Music Experts”—that is, playlists broken down not only by genre but by mood or compatibility with different activities, some of them as specific as “Lounging in a Cool Hotel” or “Hanging Out in the Man Cave.” The tech giant has plans to fold Songza and its team of 50 or so curators into the unwieldily named Google Play Music All Access, a subscription-based streaming platform it launched to compete against Spotify that hasn’t offered very serious competition so far.

Apple also recently acquired a curation service: the Beats Music platform, whose place in the $3 billion acquisition has been massively overshadowed by Beats’ much larger and more profitable hardware division. Now that Apple and Google have both bought their own curation services, other companies will most likely be scrambling to get their own. READ FULL STORY

The music streaming wars are starting to heat up

The past decade of music retail have been dominated by two things: the MP3 and Apple. But an ever-expanding field of new digital platforms are changing all of that by offering huge libraries of music available in all-you-can-eat plans — which make the idea of buying MP3s suddenly seem as outdated as buying CDs seemed when the first iPod dropped in 2001. There’s a war brewing over the market for music streaming, as well as the subscription fees these companies are hoping you’ll pay for it. As industry giants like Apple and Amazon have begun joining the battle, things are starting to heat up.

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Apple announces $3B acquisition of Beats Music and Beats Electronics

Guess who’s getting his money right?

After weeks of rumors, Apple has finally come clean with the announcement that it will acquire Beats headphones manufacturer Beats Electronics, as well as “the critically acclaimed subscription streaming music service Beats Music,” for a total of about $3 billion, making this Apple’s largest takeover deal ever. And no, the company didn’t forget about Dre: Both Beats cofounders, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, will join the tech giant as a result of the sale.

“I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple,” said Jimmy Iovine. “The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special.” (You’ll have to read between the lines to find the dollar signs.) READ FULL STORY

SXSW 2014: Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Pitbull, more to play Austin's first iTunes Festival

Apple is looking for its own bite out of SXSW. The company just announced the first-ever iTunes Festival in Austin, Texas, running for five nights during the city’s South by Southwest music, film, and interactive conference.

The first announced performers are Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Pitbull, Keith Urban, and Zedd, who will take the stage March 11-15 at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, where Austin City Limits is also held.

Not heading to Austin? You can stream all five nights of music through the iTunes Store.

While this is the first iTunes Festival in the U.S., a U.K. fest of the same name has been held annually at London’s Roundhouse theater since 2007, this past fall boasting headliners like Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga. More performers and concert details for the Austin incarnation will be announced over the next few weeks.

Apple keeps the iPod Classic around: Do you still use yours?

If you own an iPhone 5, throw it in the garbage right now, because it’s suddenly become irrelevant.

Apple today unveiled two new phone models and announced that it would discontinue the iPhone 5, which existed for approximately one year. However, to the surprise of many, there is one aging gadget that the company is keeping on its shelves (at least for now): the humble ol’ iPod Classic.

Many tech-watchers had written early obituaries for the iPod, that old-school, non-Twittering, MP3-playing device that turned so many people into Apple users in the first place. The thought went that with the new focus on super-speedy iPhones and Spotify and Pandora, as well as the upcoming iTunes Radio, Apple would discontinue the iPod with today’s announcement. Wired went as far as to say that “this is the year the iPod Classic will die.”

Yet it lives! The Apple event has ended, and a trip to the company’s online store still allows you to buy the machine in all its bulky, 160-GB, 40,000-song glory. This is good news for all those diehard fans who still consider the iPod the most efficient, reliable means of portable music consumption.

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Justin Timberlake to headline iTunes festival

Justin Timberlake will be the headliner when the iTunes festival kicks off in September in London.

The superstar is among the acts slated for the annual music series, which will be held each night that month and streamed on Apple devices like the iPad, iPhone and Apple TV.

Fans can see it in person by winning tickets.

Others tapped to appear at the London festival include Thirty Seconds to Mars, Jack Johnson and Jessie J.

The festival, which has included acts such as Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse, Coldplay and Adele, is entering its sixth year.

Read more:
Justin Timberlake smashes expectations, sells 968,000 copies in first week, breaks iTunes record worldwide
Justin Timberlake confirms second ’20/20′ album
Justin Timberlake releases music video for ‘Mirrors’: Watch it here

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