Posts Tagged song

Facebook will soon recognize what song your are listening to or what show your are watching

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Facebook will roll out a new feature in the coming weeks that will allow you to use your phone’s microphone to detect what song you are listening to or what you’re watching on TV. Then of course, you will be able to share it on the network for all your friends to see.

Assuming the feature is turned on, you will see an audio icon when you write a status update. If it detects a matching show, movie, or song, you can add that info to your post if you wish. If it’s a song, your friends will get a 30 second preview, and if it’s a TV show, your friends will know which season and episode you’re watching.

Look for this new feature in the coming weeks.

source: Facebook

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Google’s Music Match function may be cleaning users’ *!?^%$# explicit music

Just before Christmas, Google released an update to their Google Music app to incorporate the heavily requested “scan and match” function. Scan and match is a process for users uploading music to the cloud to help save bandwidth. Instead of actually uploading a music file to the Google cloud servers, the scan and match function will examine the music file being uploaded and if it can match the music, it will just copy over the song from Google’s catalog to the cloud drive. Unfortunately, it looks like Google users may be heading down a path already trodden by Apple users as Google appears to only copy over a “clean” version of songs that include explicit lyrics.

At this time, indications are the scan and match function is forced on users with no option to avoid the cleansing of your library if you are trying to get it to the Google cloud to share with your other devices. This means users who want to keep the explicit versions of their music will need to just listen to it locally or find another method or service to share songs between devices.

Anyone out there using Google Music? Have you run into problems putting your explicit music in the cloud?

source: Droid Life

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[New App] Sing! Karaoke From Smule, The Maker Of Audiorap And Songify, Puts Your Voice To The Test

unnamedOkay, get those pipes warmed up for the show. Sing! Karaoke has just dropped in Google Play and it’s free to try. Don’t worry if your friends and family flee from the room when you get up to sing – you can share your performance later via Facebook, Google+, Twitter, email, and SMS.

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Sing! Karaoke includes all the songs the kids are into these days, but not all of them are available to sing for free. You can earn in-app currency by completing offers, or just pay for a subscription and get all the tunes. Once you choose a song, the app will scroll the lyrics and display pitch lines to help you (maybe) sound less terrible.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

[New App] Sing! Karaoke From Smule, The Maker Of Audiorap And Songify, Puts Your Voice To The Test was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Netflix to add social sharing features in 2013

The folks from Netflix have announced they’ll be offering multiple social features starting in 2013 for their movie and TV services. A bill was recently passed in the senate that removes restrictions on sharing movie and rental history in the US. Netflix has offered social features outside the US for some time, but this will be available stateside soon.

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According to Talking Points Memo once Obama signs the bill and everything gets the green light Netflix will be rolling out updates and new features across all their platforms in early 2013. For those looking to share to Facebook that they’ve just finished the Breaking Bad season — soon you’ll be able to do just that.

The bill that will soon be passed will overturn the current US restrictions that was preventing Netflix and others from sharing movie and TV information socially. The same way in which we share to Facebook, Twitter, and more which Spotify song we’re currently enjoying — and things of that nature.

This will amend the Video Privacy Protection Act and allow services like Netflix to integrate sharing and social features into Facebook. This might not be a big deal to some, but we know how us Americans enjoy sharing anything and everything on Facebook. Netflix expects to integrate these features in early 2013. Get ready to share your favorite seasons and shows to the social world.

[via SlashGear]

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Google’s Music match replacing explicit lyrics – here’s a fix

Last week we reported that Google’s finally added scan and match to their Google Music cloud service. The feature in which if Google already has the song available for Google Music, instead of uploading the entire song they’ll just “scan and match” then add the song to your library for you. Much quicker. Sadly it looks like Google music doesn’t like naughty words or those explicit Ludacris songs we all have.

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Reports surfaced this week that their scan and match was actually wrongly adding songs to users libraries that were completely edited. All the naughty words are gone and the “parental advisory” sticker has been removed by Google themselves. We’re hearing multiple reports and many users are quite upset after their 2Pac songs have all been edited. This same issue was present when Apple and Amazon both launched this service — even though theirs is a paid service — and surely Google will fix it soon just as they both did.

In the meantime, you can still fix this yourself although if you listen to lots of explicit music you might have plenty of tedious work to do. On the online Google Music player, each song has a little arrow for options, editing, or removal, and now there’s a Fix Incorrect Match button. Once you select that it will search again and choose another option from Google’s servers, which should be that version full of f words and other bad language you enjoy. Here’s a quick picture of what you’re looking for:

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Now Google won’t have all your music, and even if one song was matched, that doesn’t mean they all were. The image above came from an entire album and that was the only song matched by good ol Google. It looks like the service still needs a bit of work, but this has just been released last week and surely they’ll fix any issues in due time. If your song doesn’t have the “fix incorrect match” button then it wasn’t matched. For those having issues with naughty music being cut out by Google — give this a try.

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Contest: Win one of fifteen copies of Poweramp courtesy of Poweramp and TalkAndroid

The folks over at Poweramp reached out to us for a little Holiday Giveaway. We have 15 copies of the full version of Poweramp ($3.99 value) to give to our lucky readers. We are going to pick 5 random winners on Christmas, December 26, and December 27. All you have to do is head over to our forum post and reply to it with what your favorite song is right now. You only need to enter once, but you obviously can’t win more than once. Good luck!!!

Note: Make sure to use a real email address for your account because that’s how we will contact you if you win.

Click Here To Enter

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Contest: Win one of fifteen copies of Poweramp courtesy of Poweramp and TalkAndroid

The folks over at Poweramp reached out to us for a little Holiday Giveaway. We have 15 copies of the full version of Poweramp ($3.99 value) to give to our lucky readers. We are going to pick 5 random winners on Christmas, December 26, and December 27. All you have to do is head over to our forum post and reply to it with what your favorite song is right now. You only need to enter once, but you obviously can’t win more than once. Good luck!!!

Note: Make sure to use a real email address for your account because that’s how we will contact you if you win.

Click Here To Enter

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Contest: Win one of fifteen copies of Poweramp courtesy of Poweramp and TalkAndroid

The folks over at Poweramp reached out to us for a little Holiday Giveaway. We have 15 copies of the full version of Poweramp ($3.99 value) to give to our lucky readers. We are going to pick 5 random winners on Christmas, December 26, and December 27. All you have to do is head over to our forum post and reply to it with what your favorite song is right now. You only need to enter once, but you obviously can’t win more than once. Good luck!!!

Note: Make sure to use a real email address for your account because that’s how we will contact you if you win.

Click Here To Enter

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The ManDroid Show: iPhone 5 Jingle Bells Parody!

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Hello my precious friends. Hoping your Christmas festivities are going splendidly. I promised a Christmas ManDroid show, and here it is. Decided to do a parody song about the iPhone 5. Hope you guys enjoy it, and have a very Merry Christmas!

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Contest: Win one of fifteen copies of Poweramp courtesy of Poweramp and TalkAndroid

The folks over at Poweramp reached out to us for a little Holiday Giveaway. We have 15 copies of the full version of Poweramp ($3.99 value) to give to our lucky readers. We are going to pick 5 random winners on Christmas, December 26, and December 27. All you have to do is head over to our forum post and reply to it with what your favorite song is right now. You only need to enter once, but you obviously can’t win more than once. Good luck!!!

Note: Make sure to use a real email address for your account because that’s how we will contact you if you win.

Click Here To Enter

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Google Play Music Brings Music Match Feature To The US

You might be thinking, doesn’t Google Play Music already stream my own music back to me? Yes it does but now it does it in a way that has a few hidden bonuses. Not only does matching the music in your collection with music in Google’s library mean all of your music will be played back at 320 kbps, it also eliminates the need for the long upload process. As a guy who still has tracks ripped at 128 kbps, this makes me very happy.

Google launched Play Music, including the music match feature, last month in Europe. The free service has a 20,000 song max. If that’s not enough music for you, check out our guide to the best music streaming options out there.

Source: Google Play on Google+

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Google Play Music Brings Music Match Feature To The US

You might be thinking, doesn’t Google Play Music already stream my own music back to me? Yes it does but now it does it in a way that has a few hidden bonuses. Not only does matching the music in your collection with music in Google’s library mean all of your music will be played back at 320 kbps, it also eliminates the need for the long upload process. As a guy who still has tracks ripped at 128 kbps, this makes me very happy.

Google launched Play Music, including the music match feature, last month in Europe. The free service has a 20,000 song max. If that’s not enough music for you, check out our guide to the best music streaming options out there.

Source: Google Play on Google+

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Android Community Nightly: December 18th, 2012

Welcome to another edition of the Android Community Nightly. Today was hot with Android news from multiple hardware manufacturers, a few awesome new apps were released, and as usual Samsung had multiple announcements and details put forth to us readers. We’ll start off with the big news, that being NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 details were leaked — and it sounds amazing. More news from today is all below for your enjoyment.

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The only news from Google today was probably one of the most exciting things of the entire day. That was Google Music now offers song matching. This means you won’t have to upload those thousands of albums and wait forever for slow upload times. Google will match the artists and albums and populate them for you if they’ve got em. Good stuff Google! Amazon and Apple does this for your dollars — Google does it free.

As we said, Samsung had a few more announcements and newsy bits as usual. First up they announced the Galaxy Grand – a 5-inch smartphone. Sadly it has a poor 480 x 800 resolution, instead of a 1920 x 1080p HD high-end option like the DROID DNA. So we’ll pass! The folks from Sammy also announced an official 3,000 mAh battery for the Galaxy S III, and they even released an awesome commercial for their Galaxy Camera starring James Franco. Now for some bad news, the Galaxy S II Jelly Bean update has been delayed. Sorry guys. We’ll update when we know more.

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As usual we like to wrap up with a pile of absolutely random bits of Android news for everyone to enjoy. Today we have a few goodies too. First up Apex Launcher was updated with Jelly Bean enhancements, Polaroid is working on their own Android-powered camera, only it will feature changeable lenses. The Transformer Prime received a nice bug fixing update, and in the light of the Instagram news you’ll be happy to hear about a new app called Flock Photo Sharing for Android. Last but not least check out MySMS for tablets, and Twist for those who are always late.

Have a great evening. Happy Holidays!

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Google Play Music Brings Music Match Feature To The US

You might be thinking, doesn’t Google Play Music already stream my own music back to me? Yes it does but now it does it in a way that has a few hidden bonuses. Not only does matching the music in your collection with music in Google’s library mean all of your music will be played back at 320 kbps, it also eliminates the need for the long upload process. As a guy who still has tracks ripped at 128 kbps, this makes me very happy.

Google launched Play Music, including the music match feature, last month in Europe. The free service has a 20,000 song max. If that’s not enough music for you, check out our guide to the best music streaming options out there.

Source: Google Play on Google+

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Google Music cloud matching feature now live in the US

When Google finally delivered Google Music to the United Kingdom, the search giant introduced a new feature that many were excited to see. They introduced the ability to automatically scan and match your music in order to add it to your Google Music account, all without the need to endure ridiculously long upload times or even initiate the process yourself. Well, Google has finally brought it to those of us who dwell in the United States.

This is a huge convenience feature that I wish existed when I uploaded my 4,000 song music collection the day Google Music went live. Since I tend to buy a lot of my music from the Play Store now — and since anything I buy outside the Play Store is few and far between — I haven’t had to deal with uploading much music to my account, but I’ll still get a kick out of this feature for the sheer simplicity of it. The music is made available for streaming in bitrates up to 320kbps so you can ensure you’re getting the best quality.

We’re not sure if Google’s going to have any reservations about how it identifies your music. If they go based on the file’s ID3 tags then there should be no issues with any of your music that’s been properly tagged. DRM-enabled music is a different beast altogether that I can’t personally test (I avoid DRM wherever I can).

If you happen to use the feature to add some music you’ve acquired recently let us know how things go in the comments section below, then proceed to grab some headphones and knock yourself out. You can get started at music.google.com.

[via Google+]

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Featured Android App Review: Dance for YouTube [Entertainment]

I’ve gotta simple and fun app that will most likely cater to the younger crowd. It’s called Dance for YouTube and it was created by Fresvii. If you like music, dancing, and creating avatars, you will want to check it out. In this app, you create your own custom avatar and watch it dance to any song from YouTube or on your device. Your avatar is actually what Fresvii calls a Frenbee, which is a mystical alien creature that is from the planet Alima-75A. Frenbees love music, dancing, and playing games.

Upon opening the app, you have two main choices, My Room and the Dance Floor. There is also a settings option for setting the lighting quality and to restore your avatar to the default. It is in the My Room section that you will create your avatar. It’s pretty full-featured as you can alter face shape, eye shape, eyelash colors, eyeshadow colors, eyebrows, eye colors, nose, lips, lip colors, ears, hair style, skin colors, and cheek colors. You can also choose from different clothes including tops, bottoms, shoes, and full outfits. For accessories, you have your choice of different glasses, earrings, bracelets, and watches.

After you’ve created your avatar, it’s time to hit the dance floor. You have your choice of seven dance floors: Dance for YouTube, Pop Star, Tropical Paradise, Disco Ball 1, Disco Ball 2, City Romance, and Night Life. Then it’s just a matter of picking your song. You can search for any song that’s on YouTube or you can pick any tune or playlist from your device storage. Once you select a song, you see a quick countdown and your avatar will begin to stretch. As soon as the music starts, your Avatar will start dancing to the song. The view is in 3D and you get a number of camera views from closeups to further out. Overall the app works well, but I would like to see more avatar options like being able to choose hair color. Also, it would be nice to be able to create multiple avatars and save them. Otherwise, if you like to listen to music a lot on your devices, Dance For YouTube will give you some added entertainment.

It’s absolutely Free in the Play Store so check out their quick teaser video below and hit one of the download links to get started. As always, let me know what you think.

 

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Click here to view the embedded video.

 

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Play Store Download Link

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Featured Android App Review: Dance for YouTube [Entertainment]

I’ve gotta simple and fun app that will most likely cater to the younger crowd. It’s called Dance for YouTube and it was created by Fresvii. If you like music, dancing, and creating avatars, you will want to check it out. In this app, you create your own custom avatar and watch it dance to any song from YouTube or on your device. Your avatar is actually what Fresvii calls a Frenbee, which is a mystical alien creature that is from the planet Alima-75A. Frenbees love music, dancing, and playing games.

Upon opening the app, you have two main choices, My Room and the Dance Floor. There is also a settings option for setting the lighting quality and to restore your avatar to the default. It is in the My Room section that you will create your avatar. It’s pretty full-featured as you can alter face shape, eye shape, eyelash colors, eyeshadow colors, eyebrows, eye colors, nose, lips, lip colors, ears, hair style, skin colors, and cheek colors. You can also choose from different clothes including tops, bottoms, shoes, and full outfits. For accessories, you have your choice of different glasses, earrings, bracelets, and watches.

After you’ve created your avatar, it’s time to hit the dance floor. You have your choice of seven dance floors: Dance for YouTube, Pop Star, Tropical Paradise, Disco Ball 1, Disco Ball 2, City Romance, and Night Life. Then it’s just a matter of picking your song. You can search for any song that’s on YouTube or you can pick any tune or playlist from your device storage. Once you select a song, you see a quick countdown and your avatar will begin to stretch. As soon as the music starts, your Avatar will start dancing to the song. The view is in 3D and you get a number of camera views from closeups to further out. Overall the app works well, but I would like to see more avatar options like being able to choose hair color. Also, it would be nice to be able to create multiple avatars and save them. Otherwise, if you like to listen to music a lot on your devices, Dance For YouTube will give you some added entertainment.

It’s absolutely Free in the Play Store so check out their quick teaser video below and hit one of the download links to get started. As always, let me know what you think.

 

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Click here to view the embedded video.

 

QR Code generator

Play Store Download Link

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A hitchhiker’s guide to the best free and paid Android music streaming apps

Most people that own a smartphone also use their phone to double as an mp3 player. It might not be the primary use of the phone, but it’s a popular feature nonetheless. If you only listen to just a little bit of music, storing all of your music locally on internal storage or an SD card is usually a quick, simple solution. But if you have a large music collection or perhaps your device lacks storage or an SD card slot, storing it all locally may not be an option. Like with all things Android, though, there’s always an alternative! In this case, most heavy music listeners opt for music streaming. The market for music streaming is pretty crowded, however, so the point of this guide is to walk you through some of the more popular options and choose which streaming service is the right option for you. Hit the break to find out more.

Google Play Music

Play Music is a free application available on Android devices and web browsers. It’s hosted by Google and offers a 20,000 song upload limit, which is more than enough for most people, and allows up to ten device authorizations. Music can be streamed to any of those authorized devices via app or web browser as long as the device has an internet connection. All of your music and devices are linked through your Google account.

Pros: It’s free. Many of these services are paid services, so Google has a serious leg up on the competition by being able to offer the service for free. It’s also going to be one of the most integrated music streaming solutions for your phone, as it’s a Google product. It integrates extremely well with the Play Store and Google+, allowing you to purchase new music and have it instantly in your Play Music cloud, and optionally share a free listen of your new music with your Google+ circles. If you’re looking for something free and only need music streaming, this is your best option. It does also support Last.FM scrobbling, if you’re a Last.FM user.

Cons: The biggest problem with Play Music is getting your library in the cloud. All new purchases made through Google Play are automatically uploaded to the cloud, but any music you own from CDs or other download services are going to have to be uploaded via an Upload Manager. The manager works well, but if you’ve ever uploaded large amounts of files on the internet, you know how extremely painfully slow it is. A large music collection could take days to upload, and it’s probably going to choke your bandwidth while it’s uploading. After the initial upload, it’s not such a big deal, but this could easily prevent some people from even trying the service.

Music discovery isn’t the greatest with Play Music, either. Google is making an effort by making some recommendations based on your Google+ circles, but it still leaves something to be desired.

Overall: If all you want is free music streaming and don’t care about social interaction or music discovery, Play Music is your app. After you get over the initial hurdle of uploading your music, it’s a painless service with a great interface that blends in very well with Android.

 

 

 

Amazon MP3

Amazon MP3 is similar to Google Play Music but with a few tweaks here and there. It’s tied to your Amazon account and only allows you to upload 250 songs for free. For $24.99 per year, that upload limit is increased to 250,000 songs. All of your Amazon MP3 purchases are automatically synced and don’t count towards that song limit. Amazon offers an Android application, an iOS application, and a web page for music streaming anywhere. It offers the same ten device authorization limit that Google does.

Pros: Amazon’s biggest strength is its huge catalog of music and media and its ability to offer that media for much cheaper than other places. If you frequently purchase things from Amazon, including MP3 downloads, Amazon MP3 will fit perfectly into what you already do. The MP3 app doubles as both a web store and music player, and anything you buy from the web store is automatically placed into your music player for easy listening. You can also download the music via the app and put it in another application, which offers a little more freedom than Play Music.

Another feature Amazon offers that Google doesn’t is music matching. Instead of that painful upload process, Amazon’s upload client will attempt to “match” your music with the music in Amazon’s database and automatically make that song available in your cloud player. So if you’ve got a large music collection that Amazon also has, you won’t have to upload any of it. Anything that Amazon can’t match will use the default uploading method.

Cons: The biggest con of Amazon MP3 is that is isn’t free, although $25 per year is hardly going to break the bank. The social aspect of Amazon MP3 is also lacking even more than Google Play, so if music is a social venture for you, you may want to look elsewhere. And if you have a large amount of music that’s unable to be matched, you’ll have to deal with the slow upload process that Google Play suffers. And lastly, Amazon’s music player app doesn’t support Last.FM scrobbling. If you’re not a Last.FM user, no big deal, but otherwise it may keep you with Play Music.

Overall: Amazon MP3 takes what Play Music offers and adds a few features here and there to round out the experience. The difference between these two really comes down to ecosystem preference. If you’re heavily invested in Amazon applications and you’re an Amazon Prime member, Amazon MP3 is probably the right choice for you. Kindle owners are also going to be locked into Amazon MP3. If you’re knee-deep in Google Play media and gift cards, Play Music is probably the better option.

 

 

Pandora

Pandora is a streaming-only internet radio service that lets you pick an artist or genre or keyword and create a “station” that plays similar music. It’s backed by the Music Genome Project which is a pretty complicated way of tagging songs based off of 450 different music characteristics and then scientifically figuring out what music you like and recommending new music based off of those characteristics. It’s complicated, but it works.

Pros: The best part about Pandora is that you don’t need to own any music to listen to something. Since it’s all internet radio based, you just type in what you want to listen to and it starts shuffling music related to it. And the more you listen to it, the more accurate it gets. You can thumbs up or thumbs down any song which gives Pandora a more accurate idea of what you like. This eventually gets your Pandora account extremely personalized so you hopefully never hear a song you dislike again. It also helps you find new music because it can easily figure out what you would like based on what you’ve already told it you do like.

Cons: As far as internet radio goes, Pandora is at the top of the list, but it’s not without it’s drawbacks. It’s ad-supported, and in a recent guide we told you that mobile ads can hurt your battery life. Throw the ads in on top of music streaming, especially on LTE, and it can be a big battery hog if you plan on using it a lot away from a charger. Pandora does offer a paid-version that eliminates ads for $3.99 per month, however.

Depending on how you like to listen to music, Pandora may also be frustrating because you can’t pick exactly what song you want to listen to. It’s all based on stations, so even if you create a station on one particular song, you may only hear that song once over a few hours. Not a deal breaker, but if you like to listen to specific songs when doing something, Pandora may not work for you. Also, as Pandora is direct competition to Last.FM, there’s no scrobbling support.

Overall: Pandora offers a great alternative to building up a music collection (which can be a bit pricey) and boasts one of the best music recommendation engines on the market. If you just need some music as background noise or you really like shuffle playlists, Pandora will work extremely well for you. If nothing else, Pandora makes a great complement to your music collection as a playlist and music discovery tool.

 

 

 

Last.FM

I’ve mentioned the word scrobble a few times in this article, and I’m sure a few of you think that’s just a really weird sounding word. If you’re a Last.FM user, though, you already know that it’s the backbone to the entire music service. Basically, Last.FM tracks everything you’ve ever listened to and calls it scrobbling. What makes that different from other music services is that you can scrobble tracks from other music players, like Play Music,  to Last.FM and still keep up with your listening stats and get recommendations. On top of that, Last.FM offers an internet radio service that bases its recommendations on your entire scrobbling history.

Pros: The scrobbling is the biggest draw to Last.FM. With plug-ins for most major music players on the desktop and an official app for your Android device, you can track your entire music collection wherever you’re listening to it. This helps music discovery and does offer some social features as well. Last.FM users can communicate with each other and make groups based on who listens to similar music or artists. It’s pretty self-contained to just Last.FM users, but that’s a pretty large, booming community, so it wouldn’t be hard to add another social circle to your internet hangouts. The music discovery is fantastic just because it has more information to work with, too. It can figure out your tastes based on everything you listen to, whether that’s through Last.FM’s radio or music stored on your device.

Cons: Last.FM does have a few things that hurt it. Compared to Pandora, there is no free, ad-supported option for mobile. Scrobbling still works, but the free version limits music streaming to the desktop. The subscription runs 3 dollars per month, which isn’t bad, but it does limit your options. Another Last.FM nitpick is audio quality. While other services offer higher bitrates for music, Last.FM is hit or miss. Most songs are okay, but there’s occasionally a discrepancy with bitrates and differing volumes between songs.  It’s not a common problem, but it can be an annoyance for some. It also shares the internet radio flaws that Pandora has, like being unable to specifically listen to songs like you can with owning the music.

Last.FM also doesn’t really offer any social services outside of its own community. So for those of you that don’t want to convince your friends to pick up a Last.FM profile, you won’t be able to integrate it with Facebook.

Overall: For music listening, Last.FM isn’t at the top of the list. Pandora wins out in quality. But in music discovery, Last.FM more than gives Pandora’s Music Genome Project serious competition. Plus, being able to track all of your music you ever listen to is a pretty cool (or pretty creepy) feature.

 

 

 

Spotify

Spotify is similar to internet radio like Pandora, but offers the ability to listen to what you want when you want instead of constant shuffling. It’s essentially access to a large catalog of music that you can listen to anytime, as much as you’d like. If you’re using a netbook with very little hard drive space, for instance, this is a great option because the music doesn’t have to be stored locally. It also shares features that other popular players do, like social integration, great music recommendations, and playlist support.

Pros: All the music you want for free. There are two paid versions that give you ad-free listening and mobile streaming for $5 and $10, respectively. Instead of having to buy albums for $10 – $12, Spotify lets you listen to those same albums as long as you’d like. It’s cheap, and it also means you won’t have to clog your hard drive up with gigabytes of music. You also avoid the slow uploading process of many other music streaming services. Spotify also offers some of the best social media integration, especially with Facebook. Spotify allows you to post the music you listen to on your Facebook wall, as well as see what your friends are listening to. This is great for music discovery because it’s easy to listen to some of the songs that are making rounds in your social circles, and you can hear some of the stuff your like-minded buddies are jamming out to, also. Adding other people’s music and playlists to your personal collection is easy, so you’ll always have something new to listen to. Your music collection syncs across devices, too, so you can take it on the go with your smartphone or tablet. It even supports offline listening to when you know you’ll be away from WiFi.

Cons: Unfortunately, Spotify’s mobile streaming isn’t available without a premium subscription that runs $10 per month. The app lets you stream radio for free, but streaming from your personal Spotify collection won’t work. Fortunately they do offer a trial version of the premium option to get a feel for it, just so you know everything you get for that $10 per month.

There’s also the slight issue of music availability. Spotify’s catalog is huge, make no mistake about it. If you listen to some obscure bands, (or Tool, for instance) you may run into problems trying to find that music to stream. It’s also an issue if you’re trying to stream that music to your phone. You’ll have to keep the files stored locally on your device, which isn’t a huge problem, but it does defeat the purpose of Spotify.

Overall: If you’re the kind of person that wants things easy and you don’t mind the occasional artist or two being missing, Spotify is an excellent service. It offers music that you want, whenever and wherever you want. Its flaws are so minor that they honestly won’t even affect most people. And with a free premium subscription trial, it’s hard to not at least try the service to see if it can replace your rapidly growing digital music collection that’s eating up the rest of your hard drive space.

 

Slacker

Slacker Radio offers the best of radio stations similar Pandora with the on-demand catalog of Spotify. If offers specific genre stations, playlists, and boasts significantly more available music than the nearest radio competitor. But the biggest selling point on Slacker is its customization of your music. It’s incredibly easy to create fine-tuned custom playlists and radio stations, as well as caching your favorite music to your device for listening when you’re away from WiFi or out of cellular coverage.

Pros: The biggest draw of Slacker is the huge music selection and the ability to pick how you want to listen to it. Want to listen to a particular album? You can do that. Want to listen to radio based off of just one artist’s songs? You can do that, too. It even offers ABC News streaming and ESPN radio streaming, so if you’re not in a music mood you can still find something to keep yourself entertained. That’s definitely a feature set that other streaming services can’t match.

Local caching is also extremely helpful. You can store entire radio stations on your device for those long trips when you know you won’t have service. With the premium subscription, you can store specific artists and albums on your device for on-demand listening. Slacker even provides the lyrics for the music you’re listening to. Throw in no-ads on top of that, as well as personalizing ESPN radio for your favorite teams, and you’ve got quite a powerful music player.

Cons: Like with many other music streaming services, some of the best mobile features require the premium subscription which runs $10 per month. The $4 per month subscription won’t let you stream music on-demand, but it will let you cache radio locally on your phone and gets rid of ads. It’s in line with other subscription services, but worth mentioning regardless. There are also issues with lyrics on some songs not showing properly, which is disappointing as that’s a feature that Slacker boasts, and some music just isn’t available on-demand. To be fair, that’s a problem with licensing, and not really a fault of Slacker, but it is an inconvenience.

Overall: If you’re looking for a service that combines Spotify and Pandora, this is what you’re looking for. It lacks the in-depth recommendations of Pandora’s Music Genome Project and the deep social connections that Spotify does, but if you can live without those, it’s hard to go wrong with Slacker.

There are still tons of other music streaming apps available on your Android device besides these applications, and they all do things a little bit differently. Some focus more on music discovery, some focus more on social sharing. Some services offer free storage, others are paid because you don’t need storage. Regardless of what you’re looking for, Android’s got it covered. Happy listening!

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A hitchhiker’s guide to the best free and paid Android music streaming apps

Most people that own a smartphone also use their phone to double as an mp3 player. It might not be the primary use of the phone, but it’s a popular feature nonetheless. If you only listen to just a little bit of music, storing all of your music locally on internal storage or an SD card is usually a quick, simple solution. But if you have a large music collection or perhaps your device lacks storage or an SD card slot, storing it all locally may not be an option. Like with all things Android, though, there’s always an alternative! In this case, most heavy music listeners opt for music streaming. The market for music streaming is pretty crowded, however, so the point of this guide is to walk you through some of the more popular options and choose which streaming service is the right option for you. Hit the break to find out more.

Google Play Music

Play Music is a free application available on Android devices and web browsers. It’s hosted by Google and offers a 20,000 song upload limit, which is more than enough for most people, and allows up to ten device authorizations. Music can be streamed to any of those authorized devices via app or web browser as long as the device has an internet connection. All of your music and devices are linked through your Google account.

Pros: It’s free. Many of these services are paid services, so Google has a serious leg up on the competition by being able to offer the service for free. It’s also going to be one of the most integrated music streaming solutions for your phone, as it’s a Google product. It integrates extremely well with the Play Store and Google+, allowing you to purchase new music and have it instantly in your Play Music cloud, and optionally share a free listen of your new music with your Google+ circles. If you’re looking for something free and only need music streaming, this is your best option. It does also support Last.FM scrobbling, if you’re a Last.FM user.

Cons: The biggest problem with Play Music is getting your library in the cloud. All new purchases made through Google Play are automatically uploaded to the cloud, but any music you own from CDs or other download services are going to have to be uploaded via an Upload Manager. The manager works well, but if you’ve ever uploaded large amounts of files on the internet, you know how extremely painfully slow it is. A large music collection could take days to upload, and it’s probably going to choke your bandwidth while it’s uploading. After the initial upload, it’s not such a big deal, but this could easily prevent some people from even trying the service.

Music discovery isn’t the greatest with Play Music, either. Google is making an effort by making some recommendations based on your Google+ circles, but it still leaves something to be desired.

Overall: If all you want is free music streaming and don’t care about social interaction or music discovery, Play Music is your app. After you get over the initial hurdle of uploading your music, it’s a painless service with a great interface that blends in very well with Android.

 

 

 

Amazon MP3

Amazon MP3 is similar to Google Play Music but with a few tweaks here and there. It’s tied to your Amazon account and only allows you to upload 250 songs for free. For $24.99 per year, that upload limit is increased to 250,000 songs. All of your Amazon MP3 purchases are automatically synced and don’t count towards that song limit. Amazon offers an Android application, an iOS application, and a web page for music streaming anywhere. It offers the same ten device authorization limit that Google does.

Pros: Amazon’s biggest strength is its huge catalog of music and media and its ability to offer that media for much cheaper than other places. If you frequently purchase things from Amazon, including MP3 downloads, Amazon MP3 will fit perfectly into what you already do. The MP3 app doubles as both a web store and music player, and anything you buy from the web store is automatically placed into your music player for easy listening. You can also download the music via the app and put it in another application, which offers a little more freedom than Play Music.

Another feature Amazon offers that Google doesn’t is music matching. Instead of that painful upload process, Amazon’s upload client will attempt to “match” your music with the music in Amazon’s database and automatically make that song available in your cloud player. So if you’ve got a large music collection that Amazon also has, you won’t have to upload any of it. Anything that Amazon can’t match will use the default uploading method.

Cons: The biggest con of Amazon MP3 is that is isn’t free, although $25 per year is hardly going to break the bank. The social aspect of Amazon MP3 is also lacking even more than Google Play, so if music is a social venture for you, you may want to look elsewhere. And if you have a large amount of music that’s unable to be matched, you’ll have to deal with the slow upload process that Google Play suffers. And lastly, Amazon’s music player app doesn’t support Last.FM scrobbling. If you’re not a Last.FM user, no big deal, but otherwise it may keep you with Play Music.

Overall: Amazon MP3 takes what Play Music offers and adds a few features here and there to round out the experience. The difference between these two really comes down to ecosystem preference. If you’re heavily invested in Amazon applications and you’re an Amazon Prime member, Amazon MP3 is probably the right choice for you. Kindle owners are also going to be locked into Amazon MP3. If you’re knee-deep in Google Play media and gift cards, Play Music is probably the better option.

 

 

Pandora

Pandora is a streaming-only internet radio service that lets you pick an artist or genre or keyword and create a “station” that plays similar music. It’s backed by the Music Genome Project which is a pretty complicated way of tagging songs based off of 450 different music characteristics and then scientifically figuring out what music you like and recommending new music based off of those characteristics. It’s complicated, but it works.

Pros: The best part about Pandora is that you don’t need to own any music to listen to something. Since it’s all internet radio based, you just type in what you want to listen to and it starts shuffling music related to it. And the more you listen to it, the more accurate it gets. You can thumbs up or thumbs down any song which gives Pandora a more accurate idea of what you like. This eventually gets your Pandora account extremely personalized so you hopefully never hear a song you dislike again. It also helps you find new music because it can easily figure out what you would like based on what you’ve already told it you do like.

Cons: As far as internet radio goes, Pandora is at the top of the list, but it’s not without it’s drawbacks. It’s ad-supported, and in a recent guide we told you that mobile ads can hurt your battery life. Throw the ads in on top of music streaming, especially on LTE, and it can be a big battery hog if you plan on using it a lot away from a charger. Pandora does offer a paid-version that eliminates ads for $3.99 per month, however.

Depending on how you like to listen to music, Pandora may also be frustrating because you can’t pick exactly what song you want to listen to. It’s all based on stations, so even if you create a station on one particular song, you may only hear that song once over a few hours. Not a deal breaker, but if you like to listen to specific songs when doing something, Pandora may not work for you. Also, as Pandora is direct competition to Last.FM, there’s no scrobbling support.

Overall: Pandora offers a great alternative to building up a music collection (which can be a bit pricey) and boasts one of the best music recommendation engines on the market. If you just need some music as background noise or you really like shuffle playlists, Pandora will work extremely well for you. If nothing else, Pandora makes a great complement to your music collection as a playlist and music discovery tool.

 

 

 

Last.FM

I’ve mentioned the word scrobble a few times in this article, and I’m sure a few of you think that’s just a really weird sounding word. If you’re a Last.FM user, though, you already know that it’s the backbone to the entire music service. Basically, Last.FM tracks everything you’ve ever listened to and calls it scrobbling. What makes that different from other music services is that you can scrobble tracks from other music players, like Play Music,  to Last.FM and still keep up with your listening stats and get recommendations. On top of that, Last.FM offers an internet radio service that bases its recommendations on your entire scrobbling history.

Pros: The scrobbling is the biggest draw to Last.FM. With plug-ins for most major music players on the desktop and an official app for your Android device, you can track your entire music collection wherever you’re listening to it. This helps music discovery and does offer some social features as well. Last.FM users can communicate with each other and make groups based on who listens to similar music or artists. It’s pretty self-contained to just Last.FM users, but that’s a pretty large, booming community, so it wouldn’t be hard to add another social circle to your internet hangouts. The music discovery is fantastic just because it has more information to work with, too. It can figure out your tastes based on everything you listen to, whether that’s through Last.FM’s radio or music stored on your device.

Cons: Last.FM does have a few things that hurt it. Compared to Pandora, there is no free, ad-supported option for mobile. Scrobbling still works, but the free version limits music streaming to the desktop. The subscription runs 3 dollars per month, which isn’t bad, but it does limit your options. Another Last.FM nitpick is audio quality. While other services offer higher bitrates for music, Last.FM is hit or miss. Most songs are okay, but there’s occasionally a discrepancy with bitrates and differing volumes between songs.  It’s not a common problem, but it can be an annoyance for some. It also shares the internet radio flaws that Pandora has, like being unable to specifically listen to songs like you can with owning the music.

Last.FM also doesn’t really offer any social services outside of its own community. So for those of you that don’t want to convince your friends to pick up a Last.FM profile, you won’t be able to integrate it with Facebook.

Overall: For music listening, Last.FM isn’t at the top of the list. Pandora wins out in quality. But in music discovery, Last.FM more than gives Pandora’s Music Genome Project serious competition. Plus, being able to track all of your music you ever listen to is a pretty cool (or pretty creepy) feature.

 

 

 

Spotify

Spotify is similar to internet radio like Pandora, but offers the ability to listen to what you want when you want instead of constant shuffling. It’s essentially access to a large catalog of music that you can listen to anytime, as much as you’d like. If you’re using a netbook with very little hard drive space, for instance, this is a great option because the music doesn’t have to be stored locally. It also shares features that other popular players do, like social integration, great music recommendations, and playlist support.

Pros: All the music you want for free. There are two paid versions that give you ad-free listening and mobile streaming for $5 and $10, respectively. Instead of having to buy albums for $10 – $12, Spotify lets you listen to those same albums as long as you’d like. It’s cheap, and it also means you won’t have to clog your hard drive up with gigabytes of music. You also avoid the slow uploading process of many other music streaming services. Spotify also offers some of the best social media integration, especially with Facebook. Spotify allows you to post the music you listen to on your Facebook wall, as well as see what your friends are listening to. This is great for music discovery because it’s easy to listen to some of the songs that are making rounds in your social circles, and you can hear some of the stuff your like-minded buddies are jamming out to, also. Adding other people’s music and playlists to your personal collection is easy, so you’ll always have something new to listen to. Your music collection syncs across devices, too, so you can take it on the go with your smartphone or tablet. It even supports offline listening to when you know you’ll be away from WiFi.

Cons: Unfortunately, Spotify’s mobile streaming isn’t available without a premium subscription that runs $10 per month. The app lets you stream radio for free, but streaming from your personal Spotify collection won’t work. Fortunately they do offer a trial version of the premium option to get a feel for it, just so you know everything you get for that $10 per month.

There’s also the slight issue of music availability. Spotify’s catalog is huge, make no mistake about it. If you listen to some obscure bands, (or Tool, for instance) you may run into problems trying to find that music to stream. It’s also an issue if you’re trying to stream that music to your phone. You’ll have to keep the files stored locally on your device, which isn’t a huge problem, but it does defeat the purpose of Spotify.

Overall: If you’re the kind of person that wants things easy and you don’t mind the occasional artist or two being missing, Spotify is an excellent service. It offers music that you want, whenever and wherever you want. Its flaws are so minor that they honestly won’t even affect most people. And with a free premium subscription trial, it’s hard to not at least try the service to see if it can replace your rapidly growing digital music collection that’s eating up the rest of your hard drive space.

 

Slacker

Slacker Radio offers the best of radio stations similar Pandora with the on-demand catalog of Spotify. If offers specific genre stations, playlists, and boasts significantly more available music than the nearest radio competitor. But the biggest selling point on Slacker is its customization of your music. It’s incredibly easy to create fine-tuned custom playlists and radio stations, as well as caching your favorite music to your device for listening when you’re away from WiFi or out of cellular coverage.

Pros: The biggest draw of Slacker is the huge music selection and the ability to pick how you want to listen to it. Want to listen to a particular album? You can do that. Want to listen to radio based off of just one artist’s songs? You can do that, too. It even offers ABC News streaming and ESPN radio streaming, so if you’re not in a music mood you can still find something to keep yourself entertained. That’s definitely a feature set that other streaming services can’t match.

Local caching is also extremely helpful. You can store entire radio stations on your device for those long trips when you know you won’t have service. With the premium subscription, you can store specific artists and albums on your device for on-demand listening. Slacker even provides the lyrics for the music you’re listening to. Throw in no-ads on top of that, as well as personalizing ESPN radio for your favorite teams, and you’ve got quite a powerful music player.

Cons: Like with many other music streaming services, some of the best mobile features require the premium subscription which runs $10 per month. The $4 per month subscription won’t let you stream music on-demand, but it will let you cache radio locally on your phone and gets rid of ads. It’s in line with other subscription services, but worth mentioning regardless. There are also issues with lyrics on some songs not showing properly, which is disappointing as that’s a feature that Slacker boasts, and some music just isn’t available on-demand. To be fair, that’s a problem with licensing, and not really a fault of Slacker, but it is an inconvenience.

Overall: If you’re looking for a service that combines Spotify and Pandora, this is what you’re looking for. It lacks the in-depth recommendations of Pandora’s Music Genome Project and the deep social connections that Spotify does, but if you can live without those, it’s hard to go wrong with Slacker.

There are still tons of other music streaming apps available on your Android device besides these applications, and they all do things a little bit differently. Some focus more on music discovery, some focus more on social sharing. Some services offer free storage, others are paid because you don’t need storage. Regardless of what you’re looking for, Android’s got it covered. Happy listening!

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Google Search updated with speed improvements

Google‘s voice search and Google Now is quickly becoming one of my favorite and most used features on Android. Since initially launching Google Now with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Google has continued to improve this app into an awesome all-in-one solution. Today Google Search (Google Now for 4.1+) received another update, although the details remain behind closed doors.

Screen Shot 2012-12-13 at 10.46.51 AM

Just a few days ago Google Search received a major update that brought forth tons of new features, improved results, and better prediction, and today they’ve updated it once again. Google introduced voice actions like “what’s this song” “scan a barcode” “post to Twitter” and more.

Today however users on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and above are noticing another quick update specially listed for Google Now users, although Google never updated the changelog. What this means is we all got a decently sized update but have no details on what actually changed. So far looking through the app we haven’t noticed any new features, but there is one thing that we have noticed — speed.

Google Now appears to be much faster than before. Now this could just be a placebo effect but Google Now launches faster, not to mention results and everything else appears a bit faster too. Most noticeable was the launch times from our homescreen, or just launching Google Now in general. Siri is already way slower than Google Now, and it just got faster. If you’ve noticed anything new after today’s “Google Search” update drop us a comment below.

[via Google Play Store]

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Google Sound Search Widget Now Available In Play Store

soundsearch

Pack your bags Shazam and SoundHound, Google is here to take your place in the Google Play Store! Google’s Sound Search widget used to be only available to select devices running stock Jelly Bean, which is extremely limited when you consider the amount of Android devices that are actually out there. Simply because of the narrow availability the widget couldn’t pick up a whole lot of speed against apps like SoundHound or Shazam, but things have changed now, as Google has released the widget on the Play Store and is available for any device running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or higher.

There are many ways on how Sound Search has an advantage of Shazam and SoundHound, but a huge thing is that Sound Search is able to link you to music in the Play Store. This is possible because it all works through Google’s ecosystem, which Shazam and SoundHound do not have access too. Another cool thing that Sound Search offers is a way to search history that syncs across all of a users device. This way, you can identify a song while you’re in the car or at work, and then purchase and download the song while your at home over a Wi-Fi connection (don’t worry, songs can be downloaded via the mobile data network as well!).

If you’re interested in taking a look, make sure to hit the link below.

Play Store Sound Search Link

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Sound Search for Google Play widget launched

It happens all the time: you hear a song that you instantly like and you want to find out what it’s called and who it’s by so you can add it to your music collection. It’s frustrating when it happens and you can’t figure out the title or artist, but thankfully there are a number of apps that will help you identify songs using your phone’s microphone. Today, Google has stepped into that arena, launching its Sound Search for Google Play widget.

soundsearch1

Google is going to head to head with other song identification services like Shazam with this widget, which was previously called Google Ears. Google has something of a leg up on the competition though, as Sound Search for Google Play is a widget instead of an app. This means you can find the song information you’re looking for on your home screen, without having to boot up an app first.

If you’re running Android 4.2 on your device, you can place the widget on your lock screen, further streamlining the process. Once the song has been identified, you’ll be able to purchase straight from the Google Play Store and download to your handset. Google also syncs your identification information, so you can identify a song on one Android device and purchase it on another one if you want.

soundsearch2

It sounds like a pretty handy widget if you ask us, and it can be had for free from the Google Play Store [download link]. Sure, there are already plenty of apps out there that do the same exact thing, but given the fact that this is a widget, it might be worth a spin. In any case, we’re interested in seeing how this does against similar services, so stay tuned.

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Stand alone Sound Search released by Google for Android 4.0+ Devices

Hurray!! A new app from Google has found its way into the Play Store. The standalone version of the Sound Search for Google Play has recently been made available to Android 4.0 and up sporting devices. You guys remember that nifty little Sound Search widget we all saw when jelly Bean was introduced, don’t you? Simply place the widget on your screen and tap “What’s this song?’ and you are to the races.

It is sort of like shazaam and sound hound, but from Google. It is very Google Play orientated though. It will only tell you artists and songs that are available for purchase through the Google Play Store. I don’t see that as a terrible thing though. If your favorite song is in there and it pulls up, then you can head right to the Play Store to purchase it and add it to your music collection. Beats going to a bunch of different music sites and trying to figure out how to buy the song easily. The widget even keeps a running tab of your searches, just in case you forget the one song form the one day in your friend’s car.

  And if you are sporting Android 4.2, you can even add the widget to your lockscreen. It should go without saying, but we will say it anyways. This is a widget. You need to access your widgets and place it on your home screen to use it. It is not an app that you will find in your app drawer. Be smart, don’t waste time and comments on “I installed it, but it isn’t showing up in my app drawer.” Thank you.

The new Sound Search widget is currently available in the Play Store for that magical price of free. Gotta love Google. Click or scan the QR code below to pick it up.

Application: Sound Search for Google Play
Developer: Google Inc.
Cost: FREE

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Sound Search widget now available on Google Play

Sound Search

Sound Search (affectionately known as Google Ear to the Android faithful) has landed in Google Play, ready for downloading on devices running 4.0 or higher. In case you're unaware of exactly what this is, it's pretty much like Shazam — let it listen to a song that is playing, and it will identify what song it is, and in the case of Sound Search, link you to Google Play Music where you can buy a copy. 

It's nifty, and can be useful at times. I'd not know who Nicki Minaj is without it, so there's that. But what most people will be interested in is how this works with devices that already have Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean, but didn't have access to Google Sound Search before (looking right at you HTC). The good news is that most anyone in the US with ICS or higher can go grab it from Google Play at the link above, slap the widget on their home screen, and have some fun with it.

The bad news is that it is not showing up during an on-device search from the UK or the rest of the world. You can find it via a direct link, but the only device we've found that is compatible with a UK network location is the Motorola RAZR MAXX, a Verizon phone. This mimics a lot of the services and goods that Google offers, and something needs done to get a handle on the situation. Google wants your pound notes and Euros and Won as much as they want my dollars and cents, so hopefully they are doing something about it.

Of course, getting it installed on just about any phone will be easy enough once the files get into the right hands, but that's not the solution. Come on Google, #FIXIT

Source: Official Android blog

read more

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Pandora app update brings streaming to Australia and New Zealand

Those living in New Zealand and Australia now have another option when it comes to streaming radio on an Android device. The new option is Pandora, which despite having been around for a few years now, is now rolling out on an international basis. In fact, it was said that this marks the first international expansion for Pandora.

The updated Android app can be found just where you would expect — in Google Play. Aside from the support for those in New Zealand and Australia, this latest release also included “various” bug fixes and enhancements. Nothing anymore specific on which bugs were fixed or which enhancements were made.

Otherwise, Pandora has arrived for those in New Zealand and Australia just as we would have hoped — for free. The Pandora app can be downloaded and used without having to shell out any money. Users will be able to create personalized stations with nothing more than an artist or song name. The stations are then further customized to your liking using the thumbs up and/or thumbs down.

Also important to note, as opposed to simply rolling out the service, the folks at Pandora are offering hand-picked genre based stations for those in both countries. Some of these stations include Summer Hits, New Wave, Hottest 100s, Indie Rock and Alternative. These stations are also further broken down by decade. With that, if you are in either of these countries, fire up Google Play and check out Pandora.

[via Pandora Blog]

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SoundHound updated with faster song search and lockscreen widgets

The wildly popular song search and recognition app SoundHound has received a nice little update this afternoon that should make many users happy. Today the developers have issued a quick update that promises to make searching and song recognition even faster. They’ve also added a few new features and improved on the layout. Now it’s the fastest and best looking song matching app for Android.

While Google might offer their own song search option, SoundHounds competition like Shazam and the newly announced Rhapsody SongMatch don’t offer lockscreen widgets. SoundHound has added support for Android 4.2 Jelly Bean‘s lockscreen widgets. This will enable those diehard music fans to instantly search and recognize a song without even unlocking their phone.

They’ve improved the search speed and results to continue being the fastest and best option available. Lockscreen widget support for Jelly Bean is here, they improved the layout although the changes appear pretty minimal so far, and as usual mention bug fixes. A few older devices with support issues should also be resolved too. According to the comments.

It’s a small update but the new lockscreen widget feature should make plenty of users quite happy. So readers, what’s your favorite music recognition app? Do you use the stock Android option from Google (Google Ears) Shazam, SongMatch, or stick to SoundHound? Let us know in the comments below. Get the all new SoundHound right now from the Play Store.

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Android Central 118: Google’s been busy

Podcast MP3 URL: 
http://traffic.libsyn.com/androidcentral/acpc118.mp3

Thing 1: Google's been busy

Thing 2: The best Android phone you can get Internationally

Thing 3: Other odds and ends

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Spotify adding new music discovery features, and entire Metallica catalog

Android Central

Today is a big day for music streaming service Spotify and its users. They're introducing a whole bunch of new music discovery features, some of which will eventually go 'cross-platform.'  But, they're also introducing the entire back catalog of one of the most well-known rock bands in history. Spotify users, say hello to Metallica. 

We'll start there, because this is huge news. There have been noticeable holes in Spotify's library since day one, some of which have been filled, but the Metallica shaped hole ever remained. The drought ends today with the addition of 30 years worth of music from the legendary rockers. Every single album, every single song. This one's going to keep us going all through the weekend. 

With that out of the way, the new discovery features being rolled out are pretty interesting. Initially we're looking at desktop only features rolling out in the coming weeks, with a full 'cross-platform' upgrade in 2013. There's two main portions to it, so we'll take you through them one at a time. 

First up is the follow tab. Essentially, this is a way for you to find out what music comes recommended by your 'most trusted musical influences,' be this Facebook friends, musicians or celebrities. This includes the President of the United States. Yes, Barack Obama has apparently signed up to share his playlists with the world. 

The second is the Discover tab. Using 'the best technology and social tools,' Spotify basically wants to provide you with a constant feed of music you might actually like. This is great news if, like me, you're not too keen on seeing Justin Bieber under the recommended albums section all too often. Both sections are in their infancy with an initial list of musicians and celebrities signed up, but this will surely grow with time.

They're also giving a boost to the overall experience of using Spotify, to make it better to use and easier to do simple tasks. Currently, adding a new album to your collection involves creating a new playlist for it, then adding it to that playlist. Finally, the extra step is being removed and hitting the '+' icon will add the album to your collection. 

Mobile push notifications are also being introduced. When new music hits the catalog from artists you follow, Spotify will send you a mobile alert letting you know about it.

Click on past the break for the full press release. 

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SoundCloud App Updates With A Slick New UI, Improved Search, And The Ability To Repost

soundcloudtinySoundCloud may not be the most famous app around, but when it comes to sharing a simple audio clip or a song, it’s hard to beat. Now, the company’s mobile app is getting an overhaul and with it comes a shiny new interface that doesn’t suck. The UI upgrade makes use of the action bar, side navigation panel, notification controls and all the other fancy new features that we’ve grown used to since Ice Cream Sandwich and beyond.

The update also brings improvements to the search features that should help you track down public audio (like our podcast!) more easily.

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SoundCloud App Updates With A Slick New UI, Improved Search, And The Ability To Repost was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Rhapsody enters the song-match game with ‘SongMatch’ app

If you’re already tired of SoundHound, and you feel Shazam is a little too antiquated, then you’re in luck. Rhapsody has entered the song-match app game with their new app called – wait for it – ‘SongMatch’. While the app is free and does not require a Rhapsody subscription for the basic app which gives you tracks, artist info, and track listings, the real upside is if you do have a subscription. If you’re rocking a Rhapsody subscription, you can instantly launch playback of the song or album when a match is found. Rhapsody also creates a special SongMatch playlist in your account based on your prior matches. Anyone out there tired of the other song-match apps willing to give this a try?

Google Play Store Link

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