app

Cannon.fm creates radio streams out of local artists' music

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 11:55am

Cannon.fmNew iPhone app Cannon.fm aims to create customizable Internet radio stations entirely built out of the music from local, independent artists. The app is currently in beta, so it only offers music from Columbus, Ohio. But it does include more than a dozen different genres.

Users can customize the playlist with ratings and can skip forwards and backwards through the stream. The app also offers concert listings, biographies, lyrics and more.

TechCrunch writes (here) the app "has so much potential" to "spread the goodness of a scene beyond the confines of its geography... not every band from a city can succeed at the non-local level but just because they go no further doesn’t mean all their songs suck. They can still be a great rock and roll band even if they don’t sign big contracts and that’s why I think Cannon.fm is as much an archive as a discovery tool. There is additional value in that for a lot of cities."

KCRW launches music discovery "Music Mine" app on Spotify

Monday, June 18, 2012 - 11:15am

The acclaimed L.A.-area noncommercial KCRW (often lauded for its ahead-of-the-curve embrace of digital technology) has ported its Music Mine iPad app to Spotify's app platform.

We reported in December (here) that on-demand music subscription service Spotify now allows partners to build applications that use Spotify's music resources through the partner's (e.g. Pitchfork, Rolling Stone magazine, Billboard) interface. In September, RAIN reported (here) the station released its free Music Mine app for the iPad, "to give listeners a way to sample and discover new music handpicked by its staff."

Evolver.fm now reports the launch of the KCRW Music Mine on Spotify. "KCRW Music Mine is as simple as they come, but it’s effective, if you like KCRW’s taste in music, and the included artists change daily to correspond with KCRW’s on-air playlists, which keeps the whole thing current," notes Eliot Van Buskirk.

Read more in Evolver.fm here

New Samsung streaming music service includes customizable and curated radio stations

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 11:10am

Samsung Music HubSamsung today unveiled its new music streaming service, Music Hub, in several European markets. The service was first announced together with Samsung's new flagship Android Galaxy S III smartphone and aims to be a "holistic" service (with access via mobile, web browsers, TVs and even refriderators).

The main attraction, as it were, is on-demand music access and cloud-based storage of local tunes. Users can "match" their local music with cloud versions for free (like iTunes Match). But a paid version (about $16 per month) opens access to an on-demand library of 19 million tracks from 7Digital.

In addition to the on-demand offerings, Music Hub's paid service includes streaming radio stations. Users can reportedly create customizable stations based on artists or tracks, or listen to genre-based streams "hand-crafted by the Music Hub team." The service is likely to land in the U.S. along with the Galaxy S III soon. 

Engadget has more coverage here, as does Mashable here. Find Music Hub's homepage here.

Sony's streaming music service arrives for iPhones, radio channels and all

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 9:00am

Sony's Music Unlimited iPhone appSony has just released a new iPhone app for its Music Unlimited subscription streaming music service. Sony already has apps available for Android devices, as well as a variety of Sony gadgets.

The Music Unlimited service is similar to Spotify or Rhapsody, in that for $10 per month users can stream a large catalog of music on-demand. But Music Unlimited also offers a cheaper $4 per month plan for access to a variety of customizable streaming radio channels, based on genres and artists. The radio streams are ad-free and users get unlimited skips.

You can find more RAIN coverage on Sony's Music Unlimited service here and here. The Verge has more on the new iPhone app here.

New app employs custom tech to identify songs within long mixes, lets users build radio-like streams

Monday, May 21, 2012 - 9:00am

Thefuture.fm's iPhone appThefuture.fm, the recently revamped web radio service that features mixes from "the world's best DJs," has launched an iPhone app. The app offers access to mixes and music from more than 5,000 DJs. Users can search for DJs, as well as artists and songs included in mixes, and specify by genre (like Dubstep, Progressive House, Jungle, Neo-soul and Disco).

And make no mistake, we're talking serious mixes here -- some hours long with many different songs blended together. Thefuture.fm nicely displays what particular song is playing at the moment within a mix, along with a link to buy the track. The service employs technology built in-house called Mixscan to identify the songs within mixes (crucial both for royalty purposes and to help users find music they like within long mixes).

The app also offers a feature called "My Radio," in which users can assemble mixes to play back-to-back and essentially create their own radio stream.

Thefuture.fm's iPhone appThefuture.fm's iPhone app is still a little rough in places. For example, in our testing the "My Radio" section required a manual refresh before we could see and listen to our chosen mixes. Some other functionality was at times noticeably slow, like searching. But the core functionality -- playing music -- worked flawlessly. And there's some excellent music to be found from Thefuture.fm.

Indeed, the best aspect of Thefuture.fm's app is how quickly and easily it moves users from the initial screen to listening to great music.

Thefuture.fm relaunched in late April. It was previously called Dubset (RAIN coverage here).

The service's CEO and co-founder David Stein tells GigaOM their iPhone app "is just a first step for his company’s goal to distribute and monetize music mixed by famous DJs." Thefuture.fm will launch freemium features and monetization options in July. It's also apparently "talking to various other music services about licensing its Mixscan technology, and the site is on the verge of closing a Series A round of financing. To date, it has raised $1.3 million," reports GigaOM.

You can find more coverage from GigaOM here and Thefuture.fm's iPhone app here. -- MS

Update to ESPN Radio iPhone app brings healthy dose of new features, iPad-only version

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 12:20pm

ESPN Radio iPhone appAs announced at RAIN Summit West 2012, ESPN Radio today updated its iOS mobile apps with new features, including the ability to rewind up to an hour of live programming on some ESPN stations.

The app also offers the ability to create custom sports radio stations, of a sort. Users can enter in up to 5 keywords (like "Chicago Cubs" or "Patrick Kane"), and the app will automatically offer up related shows, podcasts and other content.

Other updates include improved sound quality, faster connections and notifications about ESPN Radio programs. Users can also now cache stations for offline listening, as well as shows, podcasts and other on-demand content.

The update includes a new iPad-only version of the app. The new ESPN Radio app is free, but after 14 days listening to live streams and the custom "My Stations" feature costs $5 to use.

In our experience, it took quite a while to just sign up for an account on ESPN Radio -- a necessary step before getting to any content. After several errors and a reboot of our device, we finally were able to listen to some radio. From there things were smooth sailing. The app is jam-packed with content and various ways to quickly find audio that interests you, whether you're looking for local info or content about specific teams or players.

You can find the app from the iTunes Store here. All Things Digital has more coverage here.

ESPN Radio SVP/Production & Business Divisions Traug Keller revealed details of this app update at RAIN Summit West 2012 in April (RAIN coverage here).

ESPN says their Android mobile app will be updated in June and an app for Windows Phone will arrive in summer. The company also says their app has been downloaded 740,000 times since launching more than two years ago.

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