Amazon has released an iOS app for Cloud Player, its cloud-based music service. The new Amazon Cloud Player for iPhone and iPod touch allows users to stream or download music stored in Cloud Player to their device; users can also listen to music already stored on the device and manage and create their own custom playlists. The app provides users with full access to their Cloud Player music library as well as seamless integration with existing playlists that are currently on their device. The app also provides support for listening to music in the background and is compatible with iOS lock screen controls and Bluetooth streaming. The Amazon Cloud Player service provides users with 5GB of free storage to upload their digital music library with unlimited MP3/AAC music file storage available for those who purchase an additional storage plan. Amazon Cloud Player requires iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.
Algoriddim, developer of the popular djay DJ mixing app for iOS devices has released vjay, a new mixing and mashup app for video content on the iPad. Providing direct integration with the iPad media libraries, vjay allows users to mix and scratch both video and audio content from iTunes along with personal video footage to create their own interactive audio visual experience. Users can also record their very own clips into the mix using the iPad camera and add real-time video transitions and audio visual effects, loops and real-time VideoScratch. Users can also take advantage of a three-band equalizer, on-the-fly BPM and tempo detection with AutoSync and a split output mode for pre-cueing using headphones and an appropriate DJ mixing cable.
Resulting mashups can be saved to the iPad video library for sharing with friends or displayed on a TV using a direct connection or wirelessly via AirPlay. iTunes Store integration allows users to easily search for and purchase music videos on the fly directly from within the app. A free bundle of content is also included in the app to help users get started including a music video from Parov Stelar, a dance video from Lil’Buck and Yak Films, a soccer video by football duo F2, a skateboarding video from Stereo Vinyl Cruisers, a snowboarding video by Isenseven, a video of parkour artist group, Parkour Paris and a collection of visual art videos by VJLoops. vjay requires an iPad 2 or third-generation iPad running iOS 5.1 or later and is available from the App Store for an introductory price of $10.
Sony Entertainment Network has released an official iOS app for its Music Unlimited streaming music service. Music Unlimited is a subscription-based cloud music service with a global catalog of over 15 million licensed songs available on such devices as the sony PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, BRAVIA TVs and Android smartphones and tablets. Use of the service requires payment of a monthly subscription fee. A Basic subscription ($4/month) allows users to sync and match their own personal music libraries with the Music Unlimited service and access and stream that music from any supported device along with a basic set of streaming radio channels; a Premium subscription ($10/month) provides users with access to the entire Music Unlimited collection for on-demand streaming with the ability to create playlists, add items to their personal listening libraries and listen to premium content channels.
The new iPhone and iPod touch app provides subscribers with access to their Music Unlimited subscriptions from their iOS devices streamed over either a Wi-Fi or cellular network connection. Premium subscribers can also add songs to their personal libraries for faster access, add to and edit playlists and browse Premium Channels and top songs in favourite genres. The Music Unlimited app requires iOS 4.3 or later and a subscription to the Music Unlimited service and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Rogue Amoeba has released a major update to Airfoil Speakers Touch adding native iPad support and a new optional feature for receiving audio directly from iTunes and other AirPlay audio sources. Originally designed as a companion app for the company’s Airfoil for Mac and Windows, Airfoil Speakers Touch allows users to listen to audio streamed wirelessly from their computer to their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Version 3.0 adds a new “Enhanced Receiving” feature, available as a $3 in-app purchase, that presents Airfoil Speakers Touch as a remote AirPlay audio device, allowing users to stream directly from iTunes and other iOS devices without requiring Airfoil to be running on the computer. The new version also adds support for remotely controlling and displaying track info and artwork from a number of additional sources streamed via Airfoil for Mac. Airfoil Speakers Touch is now a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. Streaming audio from a computer requires Airfoil for Mac or Airfoil for Windows or an AirPlay compatible application such as iTunes with the purchase of the $3 in-app upgrade for Enhanced Receiving.
Waves Audio and Musicsoft Arts have teamed up to release Mashup, a new DJ mixing app designed to provide pro DJ’s with a sophisticated mobile DJ booth on their iPad. Replacing complex and expensive DJ gear, Mashup provides two rotating stereo decks and a mixer capable of playing all standard unprotected audio formats, an advanced scratch engine, resonant filters with a large touch-ribbon UI and hi-end equalizers with larger interface controls. Users can create unlimited playlists on the fly, setup auto-sync and beat matching between decks and record mixes in stereo for further editing, mixing and sharing in other apps. Tracks can be selected from the iOS music library or purchased from an in-app DJ Shop with a collection of tracks from top DJs such as Junior Sanchez and Kris Menace. Users can also pair Mashup running on an iPhone or iPod touch with the iPad version over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for DJing with headphones.
Mashup is designed to provide superior audio processing on the iPad with technology developed by Waves Audio, a leading developer of professional audio signal processing technologies and recipient of the 2011 Technical Grammy award. In addition to the standard audio engine with features such as resonant filters and noise-free scratching, users can also optionally upgrade to Waves’ unique MAXX sound enhancing engine which provides boosted base frequencies and improved volume designed for any listening environment from headphones to large cabinet speakers. Mashup is a universal app requiring an iPhone 4/4S, fourth-generation iPod touch, iPad 2 or third-generation iPad and iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store for $40; the optional MAXX add-on is available via in-app purchase for an additional $5.
Bandwdith Publishing, in conjunction with the George Harrison Estate has released The Guitar Collection: George Harrison, a new iPad app celebrating the famous guitarist and his historical guitar collection. The new app provides a virtual guided tour of George Harrison’s private guitar collection through photographs, detailed descriptions and audio and video footage; 360-degree imaging by photographer Steven Sebring allows provides an immersive experience allowing fans a never before seen view of the classic guitars right down to every scratch, ding and worn thread. The app includes a selection of Harrison’s best known guitars such as the Gretsch G6128 Duo Jet, the Gibson J-160E, the Rickenbacker 360/12, the Fender Stratocaster named ‘Rocky’, the Ramirez Classical, the Fender Rosewood Telecaster, and the Zemaitis Lotus 12-String, with plans to add additional guitars to the app in future updates.
The application also includes personal audio recordings from Harrison himself introducing many of the guitars and playing selections of songs, along with a list of songs from his catalogue organized by the guitars used on each track. A detailed history of each guitar is also provided, including its origin, how it came to be part of Harrison’s collection and modifications Harrison made to create his distinctive sound. The app also includes video footage of Ben Harper, Josh Homme, Mike Campbell, and Dhani Harrison playing and showcasing the guitars as well as a discussion by Conan O’Brien and Dhani on what makes these guitars so exceptional and an interview with guitar great Gary Moore sharing his views on what made George Harrison such a distinctive and influential guitar player. The Guitar Collection: George Harrison is available from the App Store for $10.
Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was honored with a Special Grammy Award over the weekend, and Apple senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue was on hand to accept the award in his stead. Mac Rumors reports that upon accepting the Trustees Award, Cue said, “On behalf of Steve’s wife, Laurene, his children, and everyone at Apple, I’d like to thank you for honoring Steve with the Trustees Grammy Award. Steve was a visionary, a mentor, and a very close friend. I had the incredible honor of working with him for the last fifteen years”.
“Accepting this award means so much to me because music meant so much to him. He told us that music shaped his life…it made him who he was. Everyone that knows Steve knows the profound impact that artists like Bob Dylan and The Beatles had on him”, he continued. “Steve was focused on bringing music to everyone in innovative ways. We talked about it every single day. When he introduced the iPod in 2001, people asked ‘Why is Apple making a music player?’ His answer was simple: ‘We love music, and it’s always good to do something you love.’ His family and I know that this Grammy would have been very special to him, so I thank you for honoring him today.” As noted in the report, the Grammy marks the second time Jobs and Apple have been honored by The Recording Academy, as Apple itself won a Technical Grammy in 2002.
SpaceSampler is a new smart audio convolution app from Periscope Audio Lab that allows users to apply filters to recorded audio and share the resulting files online, essentially doing for audio what apps such as CameraBad and Instagram do for photos. Users can apply filters from an included comprehensive collection of high quality Impulse Response filters captured from real gear and acoustic spaces to add a wide variety of effects to any type of audio source. The app provides a fast convolution algorithm with a simple, intuitive interface allowing users to record their own audio and then quickly and easily apply filters. Users can choose between WAV and MP4 formats for encoding and the resulting files can be shared via e-mail MAPI Audio Copy, Dropbox or SoundCloud. A built-in recording browser is included for easy file management and recordings can also be reloaded to create multi-layered effects. SpaceSampler requires an iPhone 3GS/4/4S or third- or fourth-generation iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store for $1.
Yamaha Music Interactive has released NoteStar, a new advanced digital sheet music application for the iPad. NoteStar provides a hands-free, smooth-flowing transcription of keyboard sheet music synchronized with professionally recorded audio backing tracks that allow users to play along as if they were in the band. Sheet music display is handled automatically and the app provides playback control features including A-B looping, track muting and metronome support. A variety of note size and layout options are available with automatic sheet music resizing to provide customizable views of the sheet music and the app supports both portrait and landscape orientations. Users can also choose to play songs in different key signatures or a half or three-quarter speeds without changing the pitch. The app provides an extensive library of popular songs available for in-app purchase for $4 each; one free song download is included with online registration. NoteStar is available from the App Store as a free download.
Manchester-based electronica label Clear Notice Recordings has released its most recent album in the form of an iPad application. The album, Enter Calico, is a compilation of music and videos from various electronic artists, filmmakers and animators around the world. The application includes full tracks along with streaming videos and artist biographies. Buyers also receive a code that allows them to download a copy of the audio album in a format of their choice and download the videos which are streamed from within the app. Enter Calico represents one of the first albums to be released exclusively as an iPad app; it is available from the App Store for $7. [via Mobile Entertainment]
U.S. sales of music CDs plunged 20 percent in the first three months of the year, according to figures released by Nielsen SoundScan. “89 million CDs were sold from the start of the year through March 18 as compared with 112 million CDs sold during the same period in 2006,” reports AFP. “Purchases of digitized albums online failed to make up the difference—instead they dropped from 119 million during that time period in 2006 to 99 million during the first three months of this year, SoundScan reported. Meanwhile, sales of individual songs in digital format on the Internet rose from 242 million tracks during those months last year to 288 million this year.”
In an unusual example of a major-label band seeking specifically to cultivate the interest of new iPod owners, Capitol Records recording artists SOUND team have debuted “The Fastest Man Alive,” a free downloadable music video from the EP “Work.” Edited by an alumnus from the 2003 remake of the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre, footage from the video was filmed over a two-year period using the classic Super 8 format, and has a distinctly throwback look and sound. According to a representative, the band is among the first major-label artists to have released a free video of this sort for fifth-generation iPod users.
Fox television said it is being more cautious than rival networks like NBC and ABC in making its popular TV shows available from new distribution outlets like the iTunes Music Store.
“It’s been our strategy not to try to go out first with announcements but to go out with our best strategy. We’re taking a more measured approach to what works and would not work,” Fox Entertainment President Peter Liguori said. “In terms of new technologies, it’s so early and in the nascent stages of what we can do with this. We think of this as a quintessential marathon and not a sprint… There are so many different cable outlets, a really fertile Internet, the ability to get information on wireless,” Liguori said. “‘24’ is a great show for all those various options, but again, my job is to protect ‘24,’ not to worry about what at this point is really a pretty meager audience” for video on demand or video iPods.
A new start-up named CoolGorilla has launched a trivia game for the iPod. The Rock and Pop quiz game contains twenty megabytes of audible trivia questions about the Gorrilaz, U2, Metallica, Beyonce, The Beatles, The Whites Stripes, The Killers, Madonna and many, many more. The game is compatible with 3rd, 4th and 5th generation iPods, iPod mini and nano. The game is free to download with CoolGorilla Movies and CoolGorilla Rap, R&B and Hip Hop trivia games coming soon. Instructions on how to install the game on Windows or Mac are available at the website’s FAQs.
Monster Music, a division of Monster Cable Products, has launched the SuperDisc, a new data disc format that features high definition music files ready to drag-and-drop to your iPod.
SuperDiscs include music files encoded directly from the master recordings in AAC (320 kbps), WMA (192 kbps), and Apple Lossless (PCM 48/16). The discs also include Dolby Headphone encoded music files which “give an iPod a surround sound music experience through any pair of headphones.” The SuperDiscs will also come with discs for stereo CD players and DVD players.
“SuperDiscs pioneer the use of advanced technologies that bring a ‘Monstrous’ gain in performance, completely redefining the ultimate entertainment experience,
For the first time since the advent of commercial digital music downloads, a recording has passed the 1,000,000 mark in download sales. The song, former Billboard #1 “Hollaback Girl” from Gwen Stefani’s debut album Love. Angel. Music. Baby., had sales of approximately 995,000 downloads as of Friday, September 30. The recording has averaged 15,000 downloads per week since it’s release on November 25, 2004.
Stefani commented, “It’s always an honor to be recognized for your music, and this is really the coolest. It’s exciting to see people embrace the song and really make it part of their lives. Whether it’s cds, computers, or cellphones…it really is bananas.”
Another track from the album, “Rich Girl,” was featured in commercials for Apple and Pepsi’s free iTunes download promotion earlier in the year. “Hollaback Girl” is available for sale from iTunes, as well as Napster, Rhapsody, Sony Connect and other online music retailers.
Nearly 30 percent of U.S. consumers who own an iPod or other MP3 player have downloaded and listened to podcasts from the web, according to a new survey released this week. The Pew Internet and American Life Project said that means more than 6 million Americans are taking advantage of the new form of personal broadcasting. The survey also found that nearly half of MP3 player owners younger than 29 years old have tried podcasts, compared with 20 percent of those 29 or older.
iLounge has already released two Podcasts of its own, and plans further installments for the near future.
If you’ve attended or hosted an iPod party anywhere in the world - and have pictures to prove it - iLounge would like to hear from you. Send an email telling us your name, the name and location of the venue where the party was held, the (approximate) date, how iPods were used in the party, and what you thought of the experience. Did you meet new people? Expand your musical tastes? Feel bored? Please be prepared to send a picture if requested. Thanks!
Apple’s iTunes Music Store today began selling the U2 digital box set, The Complete U2, as well as the band’s new album, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. The 446-song package includes all of the band’s albums, 40 previously unreleased tracks, and more than 100 rare live cuts, remixes, covers, demos, and B-sides. The Complete U2 also comes with a digital booklet (PDF) that has album artwork, track listings, and band commentary. Unsurprisingly, several of the rare tracks are not available for individual purchase and can only be had with the purchase of the $149.99 box set.
Apple has updated its Web site to let music fans know that The Complete U2, Apple’s first digital box set, will be available on Tuesday, November 23, alongside U2’s new studio album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. The digital box set includes the band’s 15 albums and more than 25 previously unreleased tracks. It also comes with a PDF booklet with band photos, album art and song lyrics. Those who have purchased the iPod U2 Special Edition can you use the included coupon to save $50 on the box set.