Google Music

Internet radio distribution news: Google Music and iTunes Radio

Monday, October 7, 2013 - 10:15am

Crossing ecosystem boundaries can be as difficult as traveling across national borders.

Google Music (both the download store and the All Access streaming-music app) is soon venturing into hostile fanboy territory by distributing its service to Apple mobile users. Engadget reports that Google will produce an iOS app later this month. It will be interesting to track uptake. One clear loyalty point in Apple’s ecosystem is the iTunes network of buying, streaming, and listening. But ubiquity is a good strategy as users cross boundaries more than media brands want them to. People who like Android phones, for example, but prefer Apple’s iPad for a tablet experience, want to carry their music with them across devices.

Will Apple reciprocate with an app in the Android storeSorry, that wasn’t a serious question.

But Apple is venturing geographically, if you believe sightings of a job listing for an iTunes Radio music programmer in Canada. The listing (which has disappeared after first sighting) calls for a cross-genre music expert with knowledge of the local music scene. No matter when it happens, Apple’s global expansion of iTunes Radio is only a matter of time.

iHeart and Google make pre-iTunes Radio updates

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 11:10am

Whether by coincidence, or as deliberate attempts to steal a bit of the spotlight on “Apple event day” (arguably a national holiday for the technorati), iHeartRadio and Google introduced updates to their Internet radio products.

iHeartRadio, Clear Channel's broad aggregation platform that offers live terrestrial streams, house-curated stations such as the popular All Beatles & Stones Radio, and user-generated artist stations, put a spotlight on talk radio with additional enhancements for the iHeartRadio Talk function on iOS and Android mobile apps (see more on iHeartRadio's Talk feature in RAIN coverage here). The new directory is live on the web interface and the updated iOS app which dropped into Apple’s store yesterday (Android update coming Thursday).

The new Talk section breaks out a list of talk-radio genres stocked with a range of listening options. Major-network participation from ABC News is apparent in several categories. Welcome exposure is given to specialty programs that many users might not be aware of, or would have difficulty tracking down, such as Paul Shaffer’s Day in Rock. Podcasts are sprinkled about. The iOS app experience is impaired by lack of a persistent search box (which usefully exists on the web site), and is aggravated by pre-roll video ads, which are persistent.

Meanwhile, the unfortunately-named Google Play Music All Access updated its Android app with genre stations -- a default feature of most interactive streamers. Adding them now underlines Google’s failure to launch with a genre directory when the service started in May, and emphasizes a certain slapdashery in the Internet radio space (we’re looking at you, too, Xbox Music).

All signs point to a more deliberate and imperialistic rollout of iTunes Radio, possibly as early as this afternoon. The Apple event (1pmEDT / 10amPDT) will certainly deliver information about it and its release date.

These update maneuvers from iHeart and Google do not diminish Apple’s publicity clout, but they perhaps do insert themselves into the internet radio mindspace which is on full alert this week, and re-engage the interest of users at a dangerous time when everyone will want to get a taste of Apple’s new music experience.

Build a Wi-Fi radio, whip your music collection into shape and other stuff to do this weekend

Friday, November 18, 2011 - 12:00pm

RAIN's DIY web radio ideasThe weekend is here, perhaps the last before holiday-related craziness sets in. Why not take advantage of the lull before the storm to tackle some web radio and online music DIY projects?

For example, if you're thinking about uploading your music to Google Music, Lifehacker has some tips to consider before getting started (here). The first step is to whip your music collection into shape, which may be a weekend project in and of itself! (At least, it was for your humble correspondent.)

If your digital music collection needs a complete overhaul -- like re-ripping all your CDs -- Computer Audiophile can help. They have a whole guide on how to rip CDs the right way right here.

While your music is (slowly, oh so slowly) uploading to Google Music, try your hand at building your own tabletop Wi-Fi radio. HowToGeek.com has a video guide right here. If that sounds a bit too daunting, you could "reanimate a classy vintage corpse" -- that is, an old radio -- by stuffing a modern Wi-Fi web radio inside it. Gizmodo has more on that project here.

To wire up your whole home with networked music and Internet radio, RAIN recommends building your own VortexBox (find guides here). But if that's a bit too pricey (or confusing), just use Apple's AirPlay instead! Lifehacker has tips on how to use the wireless system with non-Apple devices here.

Finally, to ease out of the weekend and prep for your Monday morning commute, why not install an iPad into your car dashboard to stream web radio apps? No sweat, right? StangNet.com has a video guide for installing an iPad in a Ford Mustang here.

Did we miss a cool DIY web radio project? Planning on tackling any of these ideas this weekend? Let us and fellow RAIN readers know in the comments!

Google Music remains free for up to 20,000 song uploads

Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 11:00am

Google MusicGoogle yesterday unveiled an online music store to rival iTunes, while also opening its cloud music service to all U.S. users.

Google Music's cloud service -- first announced in May (RAIN coverage here) -- will remain free. It allows users to upload up to 20,000 songs and then stream them from Google Music's website or via Google's Music Android app.

Google also announced yesterday that 200 million Android devices have been activated worldwide.

Songs in Google's new music store range from 69 cents to $1.29. They are added instantly to the user's Google Music cloud library. The store includes 13 million tracks from EMI, Sony Music, Universal and 23 independent labels (Warner Music Group is notably missing).

Additionally, artists can use Google's Artist Hub to upload and sell their music through Google's store. The artist sets the price and Google takes a 30% share of each sale.

Earlier this week Apple launched its own cloud music service, iTunes Match (RAIN coverage here). Amazon also offers a cloud music service (more here).

You can find more coverage from the Washington Post here, CNet here and Google's blog here.

Google hires Rhapsody Label Relations exec David Krinsky

Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 11:00am

David KrinskyRhapsody's General Manager of Label Relations and Business Development David Krinsky (pictured) has been hired by Google, reports Digital Music News.

It is not yet known what Krinsky will be doing at Google, but DMN writes "we're putting our bets on Google Music [the company's cloud music service, RAIN coverage here]...The presence of Krinsky suggests some sort of conversation [with the major record labels about licensing], though we'll have to see."

You can find DMN's full analysis here.

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