Spotify Wants to Track Your Location so Friends Don't Use a Family Plan

· · Link

In more location tracking news today, Spotify wants to track yours because non-family members sometimes use Family Plans *gasp!*.

“The changes to the policy allow Spotify to arbitrarily use the location of an individual to ascertain if they continue to reside at the same address when using a family account, and it’s unclear how often Spotify will query users’ devices for this information,” said Christopher Weatherhead, technology lead for UK watchdog group Privacy International, adding that there are “worrying privacy implications.”

Apple Beta Tests Official Apple Music Web Player

· · Link

Apple is starting to get the hang of what being a services company really means. Charlotte and I have wrote about unofficial web players for Apple Music, and now Apple is beta testing an official one.

To use the new Apple Music web version, subscribers can visit the link beta.music.apple.com and sign in with their Apple ID.

At launch, the service includes many core features, like searching and playing songs from the Apple Music catalog, searching and playing songs from your library (if Sync Library is enabled), accessing your playlists and more.

New Shazam Discovery Playlist for Apple Music

· · Link

Today Apple Music launches the Shazam Discovery Top 50 playlist, which is a weekly global ranking of 50 trending artists.

The chart will be updated every Tuesday and is exclusively available to stream on Apple Music. Artists at the top of the first list include Ohana Bam, A$ton Wyld, Tones and I and Regard…The chart ranks songs that are trending in the U.S. and “over 10 countries”; artists from more countries will be featured soon.

Sounds cool but I hope it’s not filled with hip-hop, because that seems to be Apple Music’s focus.

Music App Deezer Adds Queue List Feature

· · Link

Music app Deezer is adding a new feature called Queue List for premium users. People can change devices in the middle of a song without having to restart it or search for it again.

Each user’s queue list is now stored in the cloud, making it effortless to switch between mobile, web, desktop, smart watches, autos, Android TV and Xbox.

Users can also edit and make changes to their queue list with all changes reflected across devices. Even if your queue list is set to Shuffle or Repeat, you can still enjoy your music on this setting after switching devices.

Apple Music Alternative Playlist Renamed 'ALT CTRL'

· · Link

Apple is slowly rebranding Apple Music, and its latest efforts include renaming the Apple Music alternative playlist to ALT CTRL.

The playlist, which features 50 songs, will change every week. Each song is hand selected by a group of curators. The songs featured have less to do with genre, and more to do with overall feel and themes.

“ALT CTRL, formerly known as The A-List: Alternative, is where you’ll find the best of those new left-of-center tunes.” reads the Editors’ notes on the new ALT CTRL page, “Alternative is more an attitude than a sound—music that colors just a bit outside the lines.”

Tool (Finally) Joins Streaming Services

· · Cool Stuff Found

Rock band Tool is making news on several fronts this week. After announcing a new album (their first since 2006), titled Fear Inoculum and out August 30, they also announced their entire back catalog will be available on digital streaming services as of Friday, August 2nd. Until August 1, the only way to get your hands on their four previous albums is CD and vinyl, though I seem to remember having at least Undertow on cassette at one point. Frontman Maynard James Keenan was on Joe Rogan’s podcast where he talked about the new album and the decision to join streaming services. You can watch the full interview below, but know that every possible warning about NSFW content should be applied.

Tool (Finally) Joins Streaming Services

Which One is Better for the Environment: Physical or Digital Music?

· · Link

A study published yesterday found that streaming digital music led to “unintended” environmental and economic impacts. Despite a reduction in the use of plastics in physical music media, storing and transmitting digital music led to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

Researchers discovered that the amount of GHGs generated by the streaming and downloading of music online is actually much larger than the amount that was once generated by the production of plastic used to make vinyl records, cassettes and CDs in earlier decades.

The study seems focused on plastic use in physical media vs. storing and streaming digital music from servers. I’d like to see more data, such as how much electricity is used when billions of people play the average CD vs. a digital song.

 

Musicians Are Happy With Apple Right Now

· · Link

Spotify, Google, Pandora, and Amazon are joining forces to appeal a ruling by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board that would increase payouts to songwriters by 44%. Can’t have the people producing music for your service making more money. But Apple isn’t joining the appeal, which makes musicians happy.

We thank Apple Music for accepting the CRB decision and continuing to be a friend to songwriters,” he said. “While Spotify and Amazon surely hope this will play out in a quiet appellate courtroom, every songwriter and every fan of music should stand up and take notice. We will fight with every available resource to protect the CRB’s decision.