Spotify will now let indie artists upload their own music

Spotify today is taking another step that may make record labels uncomfortable. Fresh off reports that the streaming service is cutting its own licensing deals with independent artists, the company this morning announced it will now allow indie artists to directly upload their music to its service, too. The upload feature is today launching into beta on Spotify for Artists, the online dashboard that arrived publicly last year. This dashboard and its accompanying mobile app allow artists to track metrics surrounding their streams and their fan base demographics. Through the new upload tool, artists will now be able to add their own tracks to the streaming service in just a few clicks. Explains Spotify, artists will upload the music, preview how things will appear, then edit the music’s metadata, if need be. They’ll also be able to choose when those new tracks “go live” on Spotify. (No
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How to Find Classical Music You Actually Like

Classical music has been evolving for centuries, so there are all different kinds of sounds. That means that if you hate one kind, you can still love several other kinds. Hate opera? You still might love the orchestra. Symphonies too overwhelming? Try some shorter, sparer chamber music. In the video above, we give you… Read more...

Pandora takes on Spotify’s Release Radar with its newest playlist, The Drop

Pandora is taking on Spotify with the launch of a new personalized playlist, The Drop, announced this morning. Similar to Spotify’s Release Radar, The Drop will also focus on new releases from artists its listeners care about. New tracks are added to the playlist on the day they’re released, the company says  – that means Fridays, as with Release Radar. Pandora’s playlist will also be longer than Spotify’s 30-track Release Radar as it doesn’t immediately ditch older tracks when new ones arrive. The Drop will instead grow to feature 100 of the latest tracks listed in order, with the newest at the top. The selections on your version of The Drop will be based on your prior listening behavior on Pandora, the company says. And they’ll be algorithmically programmed, not hand-curated. As you listen, if you find something you like, you’ll be able to add it to “My Music”
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Apple Music launches a ‘Top Charts’ playlist series

Apple Music is rolling out a new playlist series that will feature the Top 100 songs on Apple Music globally and for those countries where Apple Music is available. Because they’re playlists, users will be able to add these top charts for their country or the Top 100 Global songs to their library so they can stream them any time, or listen offline. The feature was first reported by Rolling Stone, which was given a preview of the changes by Apple. At launch, there are 116 charts launching in total, including the Top 100 Global and one for each Apple Music market. Many countries will have access to all of these new Top 100 playlist charts, but availability will vary, we understand. What’s also interesting about the top chart playlists is that they’ll be updated daily at 12:00 AM PT based on Apple Music streams, which keeps them fresh. Rolling
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The 2018 Lifehacker Pack for iOS: The Essential iOS Apps

Trying to find the perfect iOS apps can be tough, and we’re willing to bet that your iPhone or iPad is full of pages and pages of apps. There’s just so much out there, it’s hard to come up with a short list of favorites. We understand. Allow us to help you with our freshly updated Lifehacker Pack for iOS.
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Spotify expands its $4.99 per month student bundle with Hulu to include Showtime

Spotify today is announcing a new way for students to access its Premium service, along with Hulu and Showtime, for a discounted price of $4.99 per month for all three. The new deal is an expansion of the existing Hulu and Spotify bundle for students, which launched around a year ago at the same price. Now those existing subscribers as well as new ones will be able to stream from all three services when they sign up. The new bundle consists of Spotify Premium for Students, Hulu with Limited Commercials, and Showtime . Students will need to be attending a Title IV accredited institution in the U.S. to qualify for the discounted pricing. When Spotify teamed up with Hulu back in September 2017, it was the first time it had ever partnered with a streaming video service on a bundle deal. The deal had arrived just as Spotify’s own
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Music helps make memories

I don’t know why, but I like cold, desolate places. I like snow, ice and learning how humans survive in these tundra-like conditions. And that is why I was watching The Last Trapper, a documentary about a Canadian trapper called Norman Winther. It is an okay film — landscapes are hauntingly beautiful, the rest of it is meh. I hate killing of animals. So maybe that is why I won’t move to Alaska or some such place. But I still love the mountains and the snow. The film had a great soundtrack though. One of the songs — By The Rivers Dark by Leonard Cohen. It is not even in the top ten songs of Cohen. Not even in the top twenty. But it was a song that got me back to listening to Cohen. I went to Spotify, looked up the song, created a playlist and before you know it, I was heading down the memory lane.  Continue reading "Music helps make memories"

Resist the Urge to Torrent in Your Dorm Room

Ah, college. The time to explore one’s interests, one’s self-identity, and one’s crazy high-speed internet connection. While you might be tempted to use your college network for nefarious purposes, since you can now BitTorrent anything you want at much faster rates than what you might have had at your parents’ home,… Read more...

Feature Friday: Now Playing

I’ve written about this Android feature before. I am a bit obsessed about it. When you are in a place where music is playing, the Android operating system notifies you what is “now playing.” I have two things I would love to know how to do with this information. 1/ Access it via an API so I can favorite it my preferred streaming service (which is SoundCloud but Spotify and Apple Music would be great too). 2/ See the history someplace on the web so I can search it by time, place, artist, song, etc. This is an example of where taking an app like Shazam or Soundhound and turning it into a feature in the operating system can open up a lot of potential additional functionality.

How Do You Back Up Your Data in the Cloud?

The subject of file backups and online storage came up the other day at a Lifehacker staff meeting, and resident door-holder Nick Douglas chimed in that his solution for backing up his laptop was easy: He never keeps any important files on it. Everything—and he means everything—lives in the cloud.
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Spotify is falling behind on lyrics and voice

Spotify’s lack of full lyrics support and its minimal attention to voice are beginning to become problems for the streaming service. The company has been so focused on the development of its personalization technology and programming its playlists, it has overlooked key features that its competitors – including Apple, Google, and Amazon – today offer and are now capitalizing on. For example, in the updated version of Apple Music rolling out this fall with iOS 12, users won’t just have access to lyrics in the app as before, they will also be able to perform searches by lyrics instead of only by the artist, album, or song title. And Apple Music is actually playing catch up with Amazon on this front. Amazon Music, which has quietly grown to become the third largest music streaming service, allows users to view the lyrics as songs play, and ties that to
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These Are the Playlists Everyone Needs to Make

Certain moods need soundtracks. When you’re sad, or excited, or making out, a certain kind of music can elevate the experience and lend a grandiose, cinematic quality to your life. If you have particular music tastes, playing one of Spotify’s prefab playlists doesn’t scratch that itch. You want a custom playlist,… Read more...

Apple Music user spots ‘Friends Mix,’ a new personalized playlist of friends’ tunes

Apple appears to be working on another personalized playlist for Apple Music subscribers – this time, one that shows you what your friends are listening to on its service, as opposed to a personalized playlist filled with editorial or algorithmic recommendations. The new “Friends Mix” playlist is said to include 25 songs and is updated on Mondays, according to a user who gained access to this new feature. News of the playlist was first spotted by a user on Reddit, then reported by 9to5MacAppleInsider and several others, as a result. Apple has not yet formally announced the addition, and many other Apple Music subscribers are not seeing the playlist at this time. Apple has also not yet responded to a request for comment, so it’s unclear if the playlist is now rolling out or is something in testing. (This post will be updated with more information, as
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How to Really Appreciate Classical Music

Mozart wrote a party song called “Kiss My Ass.” The filthy lyrics (“kiss my ass, quickly, quickly”) weren’t discovered until 1991. This is the stuff you’d learn if the A.V. Club was doing interviews in the 1700s. And it’s another great way to appreciate classical music. Just like pop music, the music is more fun if… Read more...

Sonos

Sonos priced it’s initial public offering last night at $15/share and will start trading today under the ticker SONO. I am very fond of this company and the products it makes. The Gotham Gal and I are surely one of the company’s best customers. I am not an investor in Sonos, nor is USV, and this post is not a recommendation to purchase the stock. It is a love letter to the company. The love affair started twelve years ago, in March of 2006. The marketing folks at Sonos reached out to me and suggested that they sponsor the music picks I used to run on the sidebar on the AVC blog. I said yes and Sonos ads started appearing on the AVC blog that month. I also received a test unit and reviewed the Sonos product here on AVC later that month. A year later, I visited Sonos at
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