Is an album a more substantial work of art than a single? Or is a well-crafted single all we need? There were always singles, but in the days before the Internet, fans were sometimes "forced" to buy albums to get the music they wanted, even when most of the album's tunes weren't great. The hugely entertaining "The Great Debate: Singles vs. Albums" held last Monday at the New Music Seminar in NYC covered the issue in depth.
Songbird, an iTunes alternative that originally combined music playback and management with Web-based music discovery, will exit stage left permanently at the end of the month.
CEO Eric Wittman revealed in a blog post that Songbird will no longer be maintained as of June 28, and that its parent company, Pioneers of the Inevitable, also would be closing down.
"[T]he company has found ourselves unable to fund further business operations," he said. The open-source desktop version of Songbird, its mobile apps for Android and iOS, and its music discovery service Songbird.me will all go dark. Wittman … Read more
Google's music-streaming service All Access launched last month during I/O. The service, similar to that of Spotify or Slacker, allows Android users to create radio stations or stream entire albums directly on an Android device.
Streaming isn't a new feature in the Google Music app, as you have been able to stream music library stored in the cloud service for a while now. But All Access has increased the amount of streaming, and thus increased data usage.
Google on Thursday updated the Android Music app, which now allows you to choose the audio quality streamed through the … Read more
Like many mixing programs, Program4PC's DJ Music Maker duplicates the classic DJ console, only without the turntables. Like pro consoles, DJ Music Maker has dual control suites, one for each deck, with both offering variable pitch, looping, cueing, and multiple crossfade options, plus effects, sampling, and recording. It has some features that many free tools and other competitors lack, such as independent media players for each deck, automatic beats-per-minute calculation, real-time pitch control, and real-time monitoring with external mixers and sound cards. DJ Music Mixer 5.0 works with Windows XP to 8 and requires DirectX 9 or better. … Read more
Jaksta Music Miner for Mac caters to frequent users of YouTube or other sites with streaming audio who may want to listen to their favorite songs away from the Internet. The application performs well and successfully saves copies of media files streamed online to your hard drive.
Upon installation Jaksta Music Miner for Mac's basic tutorial walks the user through the initial setup. To keep it working in the background the user needs to turn the program "on" by pressing a small button in the program's status bar. When an audio track or a video comes … Read more
Headed to the beach? The campground? The shower? Gotta love a battery-powered Bluetooth speaker for those and other destinations.
But which one? Jawbone's Jambox is arguably the best-known, but at $129.99 (down from $179.99), it feels a little pricey. Thankfully, there are more affordable alternatives.
Like this one: Today only, and while supplies last, Tanga has the Urge Basics Soundbrick portable Bluetooth speaker for $33.99, plus $2.99 for shipping. It's available in your choice of colors: white, blue, red, and pink.
Urge Basics? Nope, I never heard of 'em either. But check this out: … Read more
Apple may be the top dog when it comes to digital music sales, but does it have what it takes to get a late foothold in the world of Internet radio?
To cut through the hype and get a sense of what Apple's newly announced iTunes Radio service really offers that may be noteworthy, we've stacked it up against the gold standard of personalized Internet radio, Pandora.
iTunes Radio Pandora Free option Yes Yes Premium tier $24.99/year $36/year $3.99/month Platforms iOS, Apple TV, Mac OS, Windows iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Mac OS, … Read more
After more than a year of negotiations with the music labels and publishers, Apple Monday unveiled its much-talked about free, streaming radio service -- called iTunes Radio -- at WWDC in San Francisco.
"It is the best music player we have ever done," said Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue, who showed off the product.
Apple's product aims most squarely at Pandora, which has more than 70 million active monthly listeners but is available only in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. iTunes Radio will launch in the U.S. this Fall, but Cue said it will roll out in other countries soon after. … Read more
Tunebash combines many of the most popular features from other music discovery and curation apps to create a fun, easy-to-use music-social experience on your iOS device. Tunebash offers a range of different options from music matching to finding new playlists and sharing them with friends.
The basic interface for Tunebash is well designed, and when you first open it you will be presented with a short, onscreen tutorial that shows you exactly what each button does. Even without this tutorial, the app is easy to use and responsive, connecting you with fellow Tunebash users, either with their own accounts or … Read more
Great-sounding albums are becoming increasingly rare, so when I find noteworthy efforts I'm happy to share the news. The goal is highlighting new stuff -- or at least newly recorded/remastered music, and this time I'm going to make separate digital and analog lists. This one covers digital standouts on CD and SACD; next weekend I'll cover LPs.
The list is based on music that I played at home, so I'm sure I've missed some great albums. Share your finds in the comments section.
Bluesman MacLeod … Read more