Tag Archives: pandora

Music Services I Use: Rhapsody Vs. Rdio Vs. Spotify Vs. Pandora

So Spotify is allegedly (finally) coming to the US.

I, for one, welcome our new music overlords. Rhapsody pulled a fast one on me yesterday, after years of loyal service with them (dating all the way back to when Windows Media / MTV’s Urge was enveloped). They told me I needed to up my plan. I’m basically giving them an “up yours” and likely switching to Spotify when it’s available. There’s also Grooveshark, but it’s not available in the iTunes app store (which makes it a non-option for me).

How did Rhapsody offend me? They’ve switched their plans, rendering the standing $10 a month option only viable if you have one mobile device. I happen to have two mobile devices (plus Sonos), which would push me into their $15 a month plan – and that’s a bit steep, considering the active alternative: Rdio.

For $10 a month on Rdio, you get unlimited web AND mobile access. While the library on Rdio may not be the same as what’s on Rhapsody, I can’t see Rhapsody giving that much more value for the additional $5 I’d spend with them every month. I was given a trial with Rdio but didn’t renew it. I’m waiting to see what Spotify will have to offer me (in terms of pricing and features) before I spend money with Rdio.

I’m also considering downgrading my Pandora premium account when it’s up for renewal this September — not because I don’t use Pandora prolifically, but because it’s not delivering insane value for the money I’ve spent (and higher quality audio and fewer commercials doesn’t cut it for me). Not to mention: who still uses Flash for Web services?

The good news is: I can easily float between these music subscriptions without fearing I’ve lost much. I can still get access to most (if not all) of the music I love, and not have to worry about buying tracks ala carte or going through the nightmare of managing media in any way. That, and… at least I’m trying to play along with the industry.

Tell me I’m not alone with these music subscription service woes!

Are You a Fan of Amazon Cloud Player?

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Just after Lady Gaga made headlines by releasing her full album for less than a buck on Amazon’s new Cloud Player, a community member began to wonder if this service was something he should be using. He asked the question on our Q&A site, and the answers surprised me. Nearly everyone claimed they do not plan to use the new Cloud Player – unless some big changes are made.

Yes, I plan to use it. I have several GB worth of music stored in the Cloud Player. However, I listen to another service to listen to music. I pay to access music subscriptions through services such as Pandora and Rhapsody. I happen to feel it’s important to support artists by paying for what I listen to.

I prefer to consume my music without having to manage it locally. It’s just easier that way. I’d rather just subscribe to something instead of having to buy an album outright. I like being able to rent it indefinitely. I can listen to pretty much anything that might be available in those libraries at any given time.

The Amazon Cloud Player is good for remote storage. I plan to move all of my MP3s there, but I might hold on until they offer a bit more. I want the ability to tag my stuff and sort it in the way I want. Yes, I can dump it all in there and let it import, but it’s just not for me. Not even iTunes is for me. Heck, I’m not even happy with Google’s newest offering at this point.

What do you think? Are you a fan of services such as this? I gotta admit: if I have to choose, I’m going to go with subscription services… for audio and video. I love being able to listen to a huge variety of things without having to burn a disc.

I will use Amazon Cloud Storage – but it will never be my music home.

Toyota Entune at CES 2011

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Toyota shows off their new Entune in-car multimedia system, which couples Andriod, iPhone, and BlackBerry phones with a touchscreen experience in Prius and other Toyota models shipping in 2011.

Just download the Entune mobile app to applicable phones, and you can access a variety of in-car applications from your phone. You can control the applications by using the touch screen or voice commands. Apps which can be used with Entune include Pandora, OpenTable, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets and more. Grab the hottest sports scores and newest weather forecasts with the touch of a button or bring the power of a decision engine to your car with Bing. Bing’s voice-activated search and organized results will let you travel with ease.

Do Stormtroopers Listen to Music?

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What kind of music do you listen to? Well, that’s what was asked of the stormtrooper, so… here’s the answer, as recorded live – with questions being taken from Twitter.

This is a great question. Like all people, Stormtroopers have eclectic taste. I happen to love my Pandora stream and 8-bit music. It’s difficult to get a signal when you have to deal with another Empire in terms of your data plan. You want to talk about evil Empires… AT&T is the best of the best at that.

Every Stormtrooper has something different that they like to listen to, just as you humans do. We’re really not that different, after all.

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MOG Brings Unlimited Music to Your iPod and iPhone

We’ve waited for what seems like forever, but MOG is finally available! Subscribers will receive unlimited access to the MOG library of more than eight million tunes. These can be streamed or downloaded over 3G or WiFi access points. Access will cost you $9.99 per month. You can try it for free, though, for three days when you download the app. You won’t need to enter your credit card information during the trial period, unless you wish to upgrade to the full subscription service.

The mobile app for the iPod, iPhone and Android devices gives you the same functionality and features as their desktop service does. However, they take it one step further: you can store as many songs or albums as you want to your phone’s memory for offline access! MOG makes it easy to get the music you want to hear onto your devices. When you find something you like you can either stream it by tapping the song title or download it to the phone manually. Next to every song is a tiny downward-pointing arrow. Tap that arrow and MOG will start downloading your song in the background. The only restriction placed on how much you can download is how much your phone can hold!

It’s pretty easy to find your way around inside of the MOG app. The first thing you should check out is the search function. There are normal options such as filtering by song or artist. There’s also an option for playlists, which lets you search through the playlists set up by others in the large community of MOG fanatics. This points back to helping you to discover new music you may not have otherwise ever found.

Last – but absolutely not least – you can use MOG to create a radio station of your own, much like you can with Pandora. Tell MOG what artists you want to hear, and use the sliding scale to tell the app whether to play songs ONLY from that person or group… or to add in things from similar ones.

Are you using MOG yet? What are your thoughts on the service and the app?

What is Your Favorite iPad App?

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Someone asked me the other night what my favorite iPad app is thus far. Given that I have only had the iPad about a week, I haven’t had a chance yet to try out a large variety of apps. However, I do have a few favorites so far…

I am quite impressed with a few of the music apps, including the Pandora app. I’m a music fanatic – even if I can’t carry a tune. I have my channels down the side, along with album art and liner notes when using my Pandora app.

I’ve also used apps such as Shazam, although the interface is rather minimal. You can sing a song to it and the app will attempt to figure out what song it is.

If Shazam cannot find your song, then you can always try SoundHound. This is more full-featured and gives you a lot more options. This app will really help you discover music. I was given a review code for this particular app, but the opinion is mine. It’s an excellent app!

So if you’re wondering what my favorite app is so far… SoundHound is it!

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Steve Wozniak Loves his Google Phone

Apparently, the Woz has jumped ship! He may still have his iPhone, but he told a news show today that he loves his new Google Nexus One! The Apple co-founder calls it his favorite gadget. Does this come as a surprise to anyone? Are you shocked that he would say such a thing… in public?

It doesn’t shock me in the least that Woz would say such a thing. He has openly criticized Apple in the past when he didn’t agree with something they were doing. He griped that the first-gen iPhone should have included 3G support when it shipped. He also claims that the phone should be more open to developers. While he didn’t call the Google phone by name during the recent interview, it’s easy to figure out that’s what he meant. Woz stated: “Well, it’s the latest one. It’s a non-Apple product, but it’s a gadget that just came out yesterday.”. At that time, the Google Nexus One phone was just one day old. I couldn’t find any other important pieces of tech that were released the same day, can you?

This will be a hot topic to read all over the Web in coming days. Keep your eyes peeled for more news on this front, especially right on our own network of sites!

Take a swing by our software center to find the hottest new apps and software available – all at excellent prices!

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Gadgets and Goodies Abound at CES 2010

Traci Toguchi is on-scene at CES 2010, capturing moments for us to use in our community. If you’ve never been to CES, it can be very overwhelming. There are a lot of product launches, press releases and announcements coming at you from every direction. There are parties and after-parties. There are demonstrations, keynotes and sessions to attend. It’s nearly impossible to know if you’re missing something.

Traci is doing a fantastic job for us so far, despite this being her first time at CES. She was able to interview the CTO of Light Blue Optics to talk about their hot new product, the Light Touch. Everywhere you look online, you’re going to find even more news from the conference. There are videos galore to sift through, as well as news items to read.

If you’re following the action, what do you feel is the most important announcement thus far? What gadgets are you most excited about? I’m interested in comparing everyone’s answers to my own thoughts.

Don’t forget to stop by our downloads center to check out today’s new Windows software, and Gaming Apps!

How to Play Internet Radio and Pandora without a Computer

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You can’t hear the music playing in my head, because it’s not easy to share. It is easy to share music on the Internet, via legal downloads, music subscriptions, or even via Internet radio. How do you listen to your music online? What do you use for Internet radio? I’m sure you use a computer. But what if you didn’t have to use a computer?

Using a Livio, you don’t need a computer to be able to listen to your favorite artists online. The Livio Radio, featuring Pandora, goes beyond making more than 11,000 free Internet radio stations easily accessible anywhere you, a power source and a Wi-Fi connection should meet. Pandora is your personal DJ; Enter the name of an artist or song and start listening; Give songs a Thumb Up or Thumb Down and Pandora will instantly change the music selection to better match your tastes.

You will, of course, need an Internet connection. It can connect either wirelessly or via a wired connection. It’s simple to get started and use, and it’s much smaller than a standard laptop. The Livio connects right to your Pandora account. Pandora will create a radio “station” around the type of music that you like, based on a song or artist that you enter. You don’t need a Pandora account in order to use your Livio, so don’t worry!

The speaker is pretty decent – much better than what you’d expect! It has a remote control, and of course the thumbs up and thumbs down buttons. Wouldn’t you like a normal radio or computer to have those?!

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How to Discover New Music

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How do you discover new music? Don’t sit there and tell me you only like one type of music. You can’t just stop at some point in your life and decide you don’t want to listen to anything new. One thing I like about Pandora is that I can give it a specific genre or artist, and they’ll help me discover other artists that may be similar. I got an email from TJ recently who shared with us his top 5 list of ways to discover new music.

  • Find out who your favorite artists consider to be their inspirations. Chances are, you’re going to enjoy listening to them, as well. It’s easy to go online and find a biography of musicians you like. Those will usually include a list of names of the people who inspired them.
  • Listen to a lot of music on the radio, last.fm, or any other service. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a song on the radio that I liked, and wrote it down quickly to find later and purchase for my own collection. I tend to turn the radio to stations I might not normally listen to. That helps me broaden my scope, and allows me to find music I love that I might otherwise never have heard.
  • Get out and listen to local musicians. We musicians love all the followers we can get. Getting out and hearing them is always fun, and they love your support!
  • Join music-related forums. You’ll be exposed to so many different types of music that you may not have even heard of! Read what others are saying. If they’re raving about a new artist or song – check it out for yourself!
  • Trade music with others. I remember when I used to trade CDs with a good friend of mine. Just that summer alone, I was able to discover a ton of new things that I hadn’t heard before. I went from having only about 100 songs in my collection to more than 5000.

This same thing happened to me back in college. I traded CDs with a friend of mine. The name of a particular band was strange, but I gave it a chance. Turns out, I loved their music! By sharing the cassette tape with my friend, it turned me on to a whole new style of music… which turned into sales for the artist.

I want to consume music as I want to consume it. I’d rather “rent” the music, instead of owning it. That’s why I subscribe to Rhapsody’s service. I can pull up and listen to whatever I want, when I want it.

So my question again is “how do you discover new music”?

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