The award-winning free and open source media player and entertainment hub XBMC 12 has hit its second beta today, allowing eager Android users to test out the new software. The updated version offers a plethora of enhancements, including audio tweaks, bug fixes and improved support for the Xbox 360 gaming controller.
To get in on the action, users will need to ensure that their device is compatible with Neon processor code, something that most recent handsets support. Unfortunately, there are a slew of issues present in Android 4.2, though they are planned to be addressed in the next build. You can read more information at the source, as well as download the official .apk below.
Download XBMC 12 Beta 2
Google took a big step in expanding the portfolio of music it is able to make available to customers with a new licensing deal covering several European countries. The license deal with Armonia, an alliance of French, Italian and Spanish licensing groups, opens the door to music from 35 countries. Notable artists covered by the new deal include Lady Gaga and Rihanna.
In addition to the European countries covered by the agreement, Google also gained access to the British and American portfolios of Universal Music Publishing and the Latin portfolio of Sony. Sources indicate royalties for publishers and artists are consistent with industry standards. The breadth of the deal is unusual as license deals with others have typically been on a country-by-country basis.
Google has just announced the impending availability of Play Store Music and Movies for Google TV users in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada and Australia. Beginning November 13th, users in these countries will be able to rent or purchase movies, as well as browse hundreds of thousands of songs via Google’s official marketplace.
This news will undoubtedly come as a much welcomed addition to the company’s vast array of content. There’s still no official word on why it took this long for the content to make its way to other countries, though we’re sure it had something to do with pesky licensing agreements. So, what shows, movies or music are you looking forward to?
The popular media player for music, videos and photos has now left its beta stages and is officially on version 1.0 (technically 0.0.1.0). The app supports up to 9 different languages and provides several features such as a great UI, widget functionality, an equalizer, lastFM scrobbling, metadata editing and is graphically optimized for high-resolution devices. Here’s a list of other features that you can expect from the free version and the in-app upgrade version:
RealPlayer Features – available with the free RealPlayer app
- Music, videos and photos all in one place
- Available in nine languages
- Optimized graphics for high-res devices
- lastFM scrobbling
- Voice commands for search
- Control playback when phone is locked
- Sharing on popular social media sites
- Move application to SD card
- Set your favorite song as a ringtone
- Headphones controls
- Auto bookmarking of videos
- Home screen widgets to control media
- Access any file format your device supports
Additional Features – available through an in-app upgrade
- Graphic equalizer with ability to save custom settings
- Metadata discovery using the Gracenote database
- Manual metadata editing
- Cross fading for a seamless music experience
- RealAudio and RealVideo (rmvb) support
- No advertisements
You can check out the video and a link to download the app after the break!
I don’t believe I could name very many people that do not like music. I could name a ton of friends that love music and couldn’t get through the work day without it, myself included. Having a great phone that give you a great musical experience is key. My Sprint Galaxy Nexus does me just fine for pouring sick beats into my ears throughout the workday. Well Motorola has taken the music lovers wants into consideration. At least those living in China.
Motorola Mobility has announced that they have created a music centric android phone. This white, red-trimmed affordable smartphone comes with a 4” touchscreen, Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread, 3 megapixel camera, and a front-facing VGA camera. On the audio side of the features, it comes equipped with all the tools needed to download and jam to your favorite music. Dolby Mobile audio technology, SRS WOW HD, Sina Micro Music app, high quality headphones and a dedicated music button, rounds out all the specs needed to pump your tunes. For the full presser that’ll give you all the details on the MOTOSMART MIX XT550 hit the jump now.
We don’t normally do stories about Microsoft on TalkAndroid, but there’s a rumor going around about a new streaming music service coming from Redmond codenamed “Woodstock” that could run on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. The service will likely stream music through the phone’s browser, but there is no mention of a native app. This is unfortunate since native apps tend to be more streamlined and responsive than browser-based services.
Supposedly, Woodstock will be closer to Spotify with the ability to identify music you already own, a la iTunes Match. This suggests it will not be simply a music locker-type service like Amazon MP3 or Google Music, but it is unclear exactly how it will work.
It’s great to see more competition in the music streaming space, but until we get more details about Woodstock, it’s impossible to judge how it will stand up against the other services out there. In my opinion, services that are seamlessly built into an ecosystem will almost always be the better choice than a third party option simply because of the convenience and level of integration possible. The operative word there is “almost” since I can think of examples where the third party option wins (think Netflix vs. Google Movies).
Look for Woodstock announcements at this year’s E3, which starts June 5.
With the latest technology in both hardware and software, it seems like anyone today can be a superstar in the music industry. With phat beats and sounds being produced on tablets and smartphones, the digital music production era is well under way. Silicon Valley start up, Miselu, is looking to up the game a bit with their new all-in-one web enabled Android-powered keyboard. The device is dubbed “Neiru” and comes with a 25-key, multitouch display that shows off various applications that aspiring musicians can use to gain access to an array of useful apps. Developer Retronyms will be offering a cool collection of music learning and centric apps that will allow you to produce your own fine quality tunes.
And since the device is built with Android, Retronyms is banking on a number of developers and users to concoct their own custom applications for the device too. In addition to having Android on-board running the device, Miselu will use Yamaha’s Audio Engine series NSX-1 sound chip which supposedly renders sounds as good as the instruments they’re attempting to replicate. The device will also house ports for two MIDI’s, an RCA in/out, two USB ports, an HDMI out and an SD card slot. There’s no word yet on pricing and availability but we’re working on it for you, so stay tuned. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. In the meantime, check out the promotional video below along with a quick gallery of renderings of the cool keyboard.
With the recent launch of Google Play to replace the Android Market, it seems clear that Google is planning some major moves, likely to compete with its most obvious competitor, Apple’s iTunes and iBooks. This doesn’t require much explanation as to why, since it would be a vital move for Google to expand its services in order to remain in a contending position. It seems that in addition to offering apps, movies, music and e-books, Google is planning to offer audiobooks, magazines and newspapers as well.
The initial sighting was in the in the Google Play Help Center by Google news site Google Operating System, with empty pages for “Audio Books” and “Magazines and Journals”. Also noted is Google’s registration of several place holder domains such as googleplaymagazines.com, googleplaynewspapers.com, googleplaynewsstand.com and googleplaytv.com among various other iterations of these themes. Looks to me like Google is planning another major update to its services, and I for one will welcome them with open arms when they’re released some time in the future.
Google Music has been around for a few months now, and according to a CNET exclusive, Google told music labels that customer adoption and revenue are below what they expected. Since the service is still pretty new, no one at Google is too worried. They still haven’t marketed Google Music as aggressively as they could, and Google told the record companies that certain issues are still being worked on. But that’s little comfort for some folks in the music industry, sources said.
When Google Music launched in November, there was a potential customer base of over 200 million users of Android devices. That’s a big enough audience to make Google’s answer to iTunes a music powerhouse. Converting just 10% of the user base would equate to 20 million customers. The potential is there, but is Google’s strategy too dated?
For those of you who still refuse to use Google Music as your one stop place for streaming/purchasing/storing of your tunes, I guess Amazon MP3 would be your next best choice. The Amazon MP3 app has just received an needed update that brings a revamped, better looking UI, tablet optimization and a couple other minor adjustments. While I still feel that Google Music is much more appealing, this is definitely a step in the right direction.
The MP3 app and MP3 Store were updated to look more similar to that of the newly updated Amazon Appstore and the kindle application. The new look is now adorned with white text on a grey backdrop with orange highlights as to better match the other Amazon apps. It appears this was an attempt to appeal new Kindle Fire owners, and a way to tidy up shop. Although I am still a Google fan through and through, I must admit it looks seemingly better after the update. To check it out for yourself, hit up the market link below.