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Tag: Google+ (1-4 of 4)

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

Songza-logo.jpg

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huge libraries of music available in all-you-can-eat plans — which make the idea of buying MP3s suddenly seem as outdated as buying CDs seemed when the first iPod dropped in 2001.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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Google Glass announces Play All Access integration, other music add-ons

Though it’s still several months away from actually hitting the consumer market, Google announced that the Google Glass headset computer — which at the moment is only in the hands of testers Google calls “Explorers” — will get both music-geared software (Google Play All Access, plus Sound Search) and hardware (a pair of stereo earbuds, the first accessory for Glass) in the coming weeks.

Accordingly, subscribers to Google’s music streaming service will be able to call up artist discographies and craft new playlists via voice controls. Sound Search operates like Shazam and will identify songs in the environment. The earbuds were engineered at Google Labs (and to this listener, in a testing session, sounded pretty fantastic).

“From a consumer perspective, music is such a key part of people’s lives, from commuting to partying to being in the moment to just kicking back and chilling out. We know that our consumers and our explorers love music,” says Ed Sanders, the Director of Marketing for Google Glass. “The same way that people want their music in their pocket on whatever device they’re using at the moment, we recognize they want to have the music experience on Glass. I think it’ll be a key part of the experience and something we’re intrigued to see where it goes.”

Sanders and the rest of the Glass team says they hope that the featured add-ons offer a jumping off point for more music-related integration for the technology. “There’s a professor at Cornell using it to teach people to conduct, Young Guru is using it to sample songs and build tracks, and Nicky Romero used it at Tomorrow World to do a hands-free set,” Sanders said. “Different people have different things they love, and Glass will be an interesting platform to build more of what they love into their daily lives. Music is just one component.”

Check out video of hip-hop producer and Jay Z touring DJ Young Guru playing around with Google Glass below: READ FULL STORY

Alicia Keys previews 'Girl On Fire' on Google+ -- Watch It Here

Image Credit: Michelangelo Di Battista

It’s not every day that you get to see Alicia Keys banter with Miguel over video chat, but that’s exactly what happened in Keys’ Google+ Hangout.

The R&B queen brought a few fans into her New York City studio yesterday for a live preview of her new album, Girl On Fire. She was joined by several others, including collaborators Miguel, Maxwell, and Emeli Sandé, via webcam. The two-hour session, which is now available in full on YouTube, features Keys taking questions and sharing details about the record as they listen to it song by song. READ FULL STORY

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