As it happens every once in a while, Google Music and/or Google Play has struck a deal with the people who own Pink Floyd's back catalog to release an album for free for a temporary time. This album is "Wish You Were Here", largely a Roger Waters album with four distinct songs in 12 different pieces. This album hit number one back when it was released in 1975 on the US Billboard 200, UK Albums Chart, and French albums chart. This album features an extended 9-part song that may or may not be about the absence of Syd Barret from the band and the lives of the band members.
A Facebook Music streaming service has been tipped to be launching later this year by insider sources. It's been suggested that this service will be similar to that of Apple Music or TIDAL, leveraging Facebook's massive following to bring in cash via the music streaming trend every other company under the sun seems to want to cash in on. Google has their Google Play Music. Apple has their Apple Music. Facebook - not a hardware company - may soon have their Facebook Music. It was only a matter of time.
This morning we're having a peek at Apple Music in the wild for the first time. While we've gotten an opportunity to use the service earlier this year at Apple's developer conference WWDC, this is the first we're getting to use the service just like everybody else. Our first question is undoubtedly yours, as well: does it make sense for me to give up the streaming music service I already use to start subscribing to Apple Music instead? Deciding whether or not to use the music service built-in to your device as made by its creator is a decision most high-end smartphone users have to make at some point in their lives - why not now?
Google ads advertisement-supported "free" streaming radio stations to their Google Music service. This push creates more of a Pandora sort of model to their already in-service subscription-based model than it does an Apple battler, but the timing is right on. Just as Apple summons more press with a response to Taylor Swift's request for cash, Google aims to cut in with a release of a whole new way to interject with a service that doesn't cost users anything - any cash, that is to say.
Today, Google has rolled out a fairly significant update to their Play Music app for iOS. The app has been refreshingly redesigned, and will now have a Material Design interface that keeps it more closely aligned with their other recent app updates for both iOS and Android. The overall navigation isn’t changing, but the ‘currently playing’ screen is a lot cleaner and more modern. Fans of the larger screen will also love this update, as it’s the first time Play Music has a proper iPad app.
Recently the folks at Google's Play Music Chrome "Mini Player" extension released an update with a whole bunch of new permissions. While this would normally be a non-news sort of situation, it just so happens that the answer to the question "why does Play Music require all these permissions now?" turned out to be truly interesting. This question was answered by the Google Chrome extension developer team that created the Chrome app in a Reddit thread for Google on the subject at hand.
Google app updates aren't rare, sometimes happening weekly, but today's Play Music refresh is a bit noteworthy in light of recent events. YouTube's new Music Key subscription service already makes a reference to Google's own music streaming service and this app update goes full circle. Now Play Music users will be informed if the tune they're listening to has a corresponding YouTube video and provide a link to said video right then and there.
This morning YouTube Music Key became official for the first time. It'll be released in Beta mode for a monthly fee, appearing at first to come up against Google Play Music's All Access system. Instead, subscribers to Google Music will be included in the subscription cost of YouTube Music Key - all one package. As for those of you that already subscribe to Google Music - we're waiting to hear back from Google on that. For now, gotta catch em all - music style.
Streaming music services like Spotify have caused a big ripple in the industry, influencing everything from legit music downloads to piracy rates. Despite this, Google Music has seen growth among its download sales alongside an uptick in its streaming service's user base. The growth runs counter to the industry's overall faltering, with such sales earlier in 2014 seeing a year-on-year drop of 13-percent. This follows closely on the heels of Taylor Swift having her catalog pulled from Spotify, taking a jab at the nature of streaming music services.
This afternoon we’ve been taking a look and a listen at the next generation in Google Music’s subscription service in Listen Now. This morning Google integrated Songza finesse to their musical library collection, allowing professional songsmiths to create playlists for the masses. To enter in to this process you’ve got just a few questions to answer - and you’re on your way to a fully functional set of suggestions that updates on the regular. This isn't just a one-time shot, it's a living, breathing entity.
This week the folks behind Google Music’s acquisition of Songza have let it be known that Songza has officially joined the party. They’ve been a part of the Google company for a while now, but just this week they’re appearing in the Google Music app for the first time. Just like Rdio did with TastemakerX, Google did with Songza, adding a new layer of interest to their music service. With this boost comes Songza’s "concierge" music feature, the piece of the puzzle that tells you what’s best to listen to at what time of the day.