Google Play Music celebrates Barack Obama’s birthday with curated radio station

google play music white houseIn celebration of Barack Obama’s 54th birthday, Google Play Music is offering a curated radio station of the President’s favorite songs. There’s a decent bit of variety on the station, ranging from Jay-Z to The Temptation, so if you’re interested in getting some insight into Obama’s musical tastes, this is the best way to do it. Read more

Rhapsody gets an interface overhaul

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Rhapsody has announced an overhaul of the interface for their music player that affects both the mini-player and the full screen experience. The update focuses on simplifying the interface to make it easier for users to control the app. Users will find that they can favorite tracks in the mini-player, swipe to change tracks, and colors and styling will update to match albums being played. Read more

Neil Young says streaming services have the ‘worst audio in history’, promptly pulls his song catalogue

Neil_YoungThe classic rocker, Neil Young, voiced his opinion on music streaming services earlier today on his Facebook page, saying that “Streaming sucks. Streaming is the worst audio in history”. He went on to say that his music is in the process of being removed from said streaming services. It’s always great seeing creative artists stand up for their principles, especially when it’s done for the fans. But is everything quite as clear-cut as he would like it to appear in his Facebook post? Read more

SoundCloud’s playback widget and recording functionality get new looks

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Pieces of the SoundCloud app are being converted to Material Design with each update. The latest update refreshes the playback widget and recording functionality. It also includes, as usual, bug fixes and stability improvements. The playback widget now mirrors Google’s guidelines for Android apps with album art, the song and artist, and playback buttons all present in one widget. The playback functionality now more closely resembles the guidelines, too, with Google’s dedicated microphone button appearing rather than SoundCloud’s own.

Hit the break for the changelog and download links.

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Spotify gains control of music at Starbucks thanks to multi-year partnership

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It used to be that when you went to Starbucks, you could pick up a card that gave you a free iTunes download, but it seems that will be coming to and end soon, which is no bad thing if you are an Android user. This is because Starbucks and Spotify have just entered into a multi-year agreement that will see the music subscription service become an integral part of the Starbucks experience. This partnership will see the 7,000 Starbucks locations in the U.S. linked with the approximate 60 million (global) Spotify subscribers, creating a ‘first of its kind ecosystem’.

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MixRadio leaves beta, announces new partnership with HTC

mixradio bannerAfter being purchased by LINE from Microsoft and Nokia, MixRadio has ditched its beta tag and hit Google’s App Store. The music streaming service tries to offer a more personalized approach to your music by learning what you like and playing things it thinks you’ll like. Other apps have tried to do this with mixed success, so it’ll be interesting to see if MixRadio can pull it off.

The app has also announced a partnership with HTC that will curate music news to BlinkFeed on HTC devices. As the service learns what music you like, it will display relevant info and news about artists and genres you like in your news feed. It’s a pretty nifty use of BlinkFeed that hopefully works as well as it sounds. Read more

Zedd, T-Mobile offering 250,000 free downloads of latest single

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Those who follow/like T-Mobile on Twitter and Facebook will have an opportunity to download a remix of Zedd’s “I Want You To Know” for free. Starting tomorrow, T-Mobile plans to allow 250,000 free downloads of the musician’s latest single to promote his True Colors album. The carrier has already done similar promotions with Macklemore and Shakira.

T-Mobile also announced its return as the sponsor of Coachella’s livestream. Beatport, another sponsor of the event, will join T-Mobile’s Music Freedom program as well. This brings the total amount of music streaming services featured on Music Freedom to thirty.

Hit the break for the full press release.

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Listen to full songs from Rhapsody through Twitter

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Almost two years ago Twitter tried to jump into the online music streaming market with their own Twitter Music offering, a platform that never took off and was eventually shut down. Twitter appears to be ready to give it another go with the addition of Rhapsody to their Twitter Audio Card feature. Rhapsody users can now share what they are listening to via Twitter and more importantly, followers can listen to the full song provided by the Rhapsody service as part of the partnership. Read more

Google Now cards officially start showing up with latest Pandora update

PandoraPandora’s latest app update is bringing a pretty useful new feature, especially for those of you that frequently listen to Pandora radio. Now you’ll occasionally start seeing Google Now cards from the app suggesting different radio stations for you to listen to, which has been in the works since Google announced tons of third-party integration in January. Read more