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Tag: iTunes (21-30 of 36)

Spotify USA is real, and it's pretty spectacular: An EW review

I was re-(re-re-re-re-)watching The Social Network a couple of days ago and one of the lines jumped out at me. Well, actually, all of the lines jumped out at me—oh, you and your snappy dialogue, Aaron Sorkin—but especially when Justin Timberlake, playing entrepreneurial roller coaster Sean Parker, explains that despite founding Napster, he was dead broke because “there’s not a lot of money in free music.”

While that was undoubtedly true in the days of Napster’s brave Lewis and Clark quest into the copyright wilderness, fending off vicious packs of feral Ulrichs, it looks like we’re edging closer to the point where the way we consume music has changed completely. In essence, iTunes isn’t much more than the online equivalent of a giant Sam Goody’s; but something like Spotify, which has finally made its debut in the United States after massive success overseas, signals many more possibilities.

The program isn’t shockingly new from things we’ve seen before—sites likes Grooveshark and Pandora gave us access to tons of songs for free, as well—but Spotify has an easy, Facebook-compatible system that encourages sharing. Structured around playlists, it allows users to build their own, pass them along to friends, and then trawl through those friends’ collections for songs they like.

In terms of content, Spotify says they have 15 million songs, but, in the words of Aaliyah, that ain’t nothing but a number. Importantly, that figure includes songs and albums that people care about right now, like the new Beyoncé and Lady Gaga.  There’s also variety: Just tooling around this afternoon, I found an extensive array of artists, along a ton of different axes, from Katy Perry to Panda Bear, Ke$ha to Tchaikov$ky, Bird to Birdman. Not everything is available just yet. For example, there a big, soulful hole where Adele’s 21 should be, even if they do have her previous album. READ FULL STORY

Jon Bon Jovi accuses Steve Jobs of being 'personally responsible for killing the music business'

Shot through the heart, and Steve Jobs is to blame.

That is Jon Bon Jovi’s assessment of the current state of the music industry. Bon Jovi (of the iconic rock group “Jon”) had some uncharacteristically harsh words for Apple and its turtlenecked benevolent dictator Steve Jobs in an interview with the London-based Sunday Times Magazine.

Sounding a bit like an older man protective of his lawn — the quote literally starts with “kids today” — Bon Jovi bemoaned the fact that the young’uns no longer have “the experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album, and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it.” READ FULL STORY

Jack Johnson, Bonnie Raitt and Maroon 5 debut new music for launch of Patagonia Music Collective

jack-johnsonImage Credit: Mark Metcalfe/Getty ImagesJack Johnson, Bonnie Raitt, Mason Jennings, Pearl Jam, Maroon 5, and the Zac Brown Band are just some of the eco-conscious musicians teaming up with outdoor clothing company Patagonia Inc. to exclusively release previously unavailable songs.

The Patagonia Music Collective will charge $.99 for each track, with net proceeds going directly to the environmental organizations of the artists’ choice. Starting today, the songs will be available in Patagonia stores and on iTunes, for sale on two separate albums of 11 tracks each.  Subsequently, one new benefit track is to be released each week.

Jack Johnson, who debuted his latest music video, “From the Clouds,” on EW.com last week, will be contributing a live version of his song “To the Sea.” For Johnson, his involvement was a natural outgrowth of his engagement in other eco-friendly charities and his friendship with Patagonia founder—and fellow outdoorsman—Yvon Chouinard. “I first signed up for 1% For the Planet, which Yvon launched in 2001,” Johnson says. “You donate at least 1% of all your earnings for the year to environmental non-profit groups.”

For the Patagonia Music Collective, Johnson intends for proceeds from sales of his song to benefit the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, which he says “supports environmental field trips in which kids can get out of the classroom and get into nature.”

Bonnie Raitt has chosen the non-profit public interest law firm Earth Justice as her recipient. “I’ve been a supporter of Earth Justice for almost a decade, because, as their slogan states, ‘the Earth needs a good lawyer,’” she says. She’s teaming up with Jon Cleary on a live duet of his “So Damn Good.”

Other exclusive tracks include a live version of the Zac Brown Band’s “Cold Hearted,” Mason Jennings’ “Don’t Let the World Go Black,” Maroon 5’s acoustic take on “Wake Up Call,” and, fittingly, a live recording of Pearl Jam’s “Oceans.”

Jack Johnson’s new video ‘From the Clouds’: Watch it here — EXCLUSIVE

Stars' favorite Beatles songs: Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Diddy, Lady Antebellum and many more reveal their picks for iTunes

BEATLESImage Credit: Popperfoto/Getty ImagesEveryone loves the Beatles — even postmillennial pop stars like Justin Bieber and Katy Perry. iTunes recently asked those two and 30 other present-day artists, many of whom were born long after Abbey Road, to name their favorite Beatles tunes and explain why. The results, posted today on iTunes, are a cool window into Beatles fandom among today’s young and famous.

A few notable examples: Perry picked “Happiness is a Warm Gun,” an edgy choice that instantly raised her in my estimation. Bieber chose the slightly more predictable “Let It Be,” saying that it “has taught me to accept the hard times in my life.” Ke$ha is feeling “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (“It’s what pop music should be”). Coldplay collectively digs “Something,” because “just when you thought Lennon and McCartney couldn’t get any better, Harrison comes along and writes the best song of the lot.” Lady Antebellum feel that “Across the Universe” is “probably the most melodic Beatles song.” The Roots’ ?uestlove pays savvy tribute to “Lovely Rita.” The ladies and gentleman of Diddy-Dirty Money love “Yesterday,” though I am not 100% convinced that they didn’t just say that because their own new album includes an unrelated track also called “Yesterday.” Trey Songz raves about “If I Fell” (“The harmonies are craaaazy!!”). Those jokers in the Lonely Island give top honors to “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road,” calling it “a query, repeated 15-fold, that we like to imagine ended in a beautiful, albeit likely uncomfortable, act of love.” Indeed.

The whole list is well worth reading for insight into these stars’ and others’ favorite Beatles songs. Check it out at iTunes and let us know: Whose favorite Beatles song impressed you the most?

(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com:
What’s the world’s favorite Beatles song? iTunes has the answer
EW ranks the 25 best Beatles songs

Eminem, Train top iTunes year-end sales charts

eminem-trainImage Credit: Karin CattEminem‘s Recovery was the best-selling album of 2010 at the iTunes Music Store, while Train‘s “Hey, Soul Sister” was the biggest single, according to year-end charts released by Apple today. Other top-selling albums came from Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, and Lady Antebellum. Katy Perry, B.o.B, and Eminem were among the singles chart’s runners-up.

Click through to the jump for the full list of iTunes’ top 10 best-selling albums and singles. For much more, visit iTunes’ “Rewind 2010″ page. Then let us know what you think. Surprised by any of these results? READ FULL STORY

What's the world's favorite Beatles song? iTunes has the answer

Apple Corps. Ltd. EMI

The Beatles have sold more than 2 million songs and 450,000 albums in just their first week on iTunes. More importantly, though, iTunes sales rankings have finally allowed us to answer the question: What is the world’s favorite Beatles tune? Last September, EW ranked the Fab Four’s top-50 greatest songs, but iTunes’ current list represents a more populist opinion. Guess what’s No. 1 and check out the top-10 after the jump. READ FULL STORY

Katy Perry debuts dark new single 'Circle the Drain,' aimed at a (possibly famous) pill-popping ex-boyfriend

Katy-PerryImage Credit: Janet Mayer/PR PhotosA day after her video for “Teenage Dream” debuted, Katy Perry has unveiled another track from her sophomore album that’s now available on iTunes—but unlike the sugar-coated reverie of “California Gurls” and the passionate foreplay of “Teenage Dream,” “Circle the Drain” is a decidedly more angry tune.

In it, she sings: “You could’ve been the greatest/But you’d rather get wasted” and “Wanna be your lover, not your f—in’ mother.”

Rumors are swirling that the song is an anti-love letter to Perry’s former flame, Gym Class Heroes frontman turned solo star Travie McCoy, whom she dated before meeting her current fiance, Russell Brand. The singer went on to tell Billboard that “Circle the Drain” is her ‘You Oughta Know,’ Alanis Morissette moment.”

What do you think of the single? Is it fair for Perry to call out McCoy in such an, um, public way? And how does the song hold up to “Gurls” and “Teenage Dream”?

Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More news from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Katy Perry hooks up with high school dreamboat in ‘Teenage Dream’: Watch here
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Rihanna ties Gaga, Beyonce, Mariah for no. 1 pop radio hits
James Brown and Funkadelic guitarist Phelps ‘Catfish’ Collins dies at age 66

Pras not supporting Wyclef in Haiti election
Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and more pulled from MTV.com
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Apple's online music practices reportedly spark antitrust investigation

itunesToday’s New York Times reports that the U.S. Justice Department has begun inquiring into the way that Apple sells music online. At issue, it seems, is the ongoing contest between the iTunes Music Store and Amazon.com: The Times‘ anonymous sources say that “investigators had asked in particular about recent allegations that Apple used its dominant market position to persuade music labels to refuse to give the online retailer Amazon.com exclusive access to music about to be released.”

Apple certainly does wield a mighty market share. The Times cites figures showing that 69 percent of all online music sales in the U.S. go through iTunes. Amazon takes second place — with a measly eight percent of the MP3 market. Have Apple’s efforts to stay at No. 1 crossed a legal line? These are early days for the Justice Department’s reported investigation, so it may be some time before we have a definitive answer. A rep for Apple did not respond to the Music Mix’s request for comment.

What do you think of this story? Weigh in via the comments below.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Lala music service to be shut down by Apple May 31

Customers of cloud-streaming music site Lala got an email today informing them that the service, which was purchased by Apple back in December, will be discontinued as of May 31. The email went on to inform subscribers that they would receive a credit to the iTunes store for the amount of their ten-cent Lala streaming-song purchases and/or remaining balance, or refunds upon request. (All downloaded songs will continue to play in their owners’ music libraries.)

It was widely anticipated at the time of Apple’s purchase that they intended to absorb the Lala technology — which houses users’ music libraries in a “cloud” (remote server), rather than on any one device — and there is wide speculation that Apple now intends to launch a cloud-based version of iTunes.

What do you think of this turn of events, Mixers? We’ll bring you more news as it happens, but in the meantime, any happy/irate Lala/Apple users out there? Support groups forming now.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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EW talks to the Georgia grandfather who bought the 10 billionth song on itunes: 'I've never won anything!'

When iTunes officially sold its 10 billionth download yesterday, it wasn’t to a 14-year-old girl pinging Ke$ha tracks from her MacBook Pro to her third-gen iPhone 3G in geometry class.

The lucky recipient of a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card (and a whole lot of press) is 71-year-old Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Georgia—a retired real estate agent, onetime Navy radar operator, and grandfather of nine who just wanted Johnny Cash’s 1958 single “Guess Things Happen That Way” for his new Nano, a birthday gift from his children. And he bought it on a PC: “I do not own a Mac, no,” he chuckles. “I knew somebody was going to ask me that question.”

Sulcer has spent the last day fielding calls from, among others, Apple head Steve Jobs (“I thought it was my son, he’s always a joker. I kept saying, ‘Come on, Kevin, I know it’s you!”)  and Cash’s daughter Rosanne (“she had her husband, who is her guitarist, play the song to me over the phone. That was real nice.”).

He has been a devoted Johnny Cash fan for most of his life, he says: “I went to Georgia Tech on a football scholarship, broke just about every bone in my body. All those boys on the team, we just loved country music… My whole life, I had never understood why people go see movies twice, but I’ve seen [Cash biopic] Walk the Line four times. My kids finally bought me the DVD. And I was pretty sure I had all of his music, but I was just checking iTunes, listening to those little 20 or 30 second clips, and I found this one. It has some good pickin’ in it!”

For a guy with fewer than 1,000 songs in his iTunes library, $10,000 is a lot to of iBucks spend. Will he be sharing the prize? “I’m gonna give my daughter’s husband some of it. I feel very fortunate and lucky. I never won anything. But to be 71 is lucky enough! I got my kids and my grandkids, it’s almost spring and the fish are coming in. I’m in great shape and just enjoying life.”

Hear the song that started it all below, and click here for a full list of iTunes’ all-time top songs:

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