spotify

Not happy with the Xbox Music platform? Take Beats Music or Spotify for as spin.

Xbox Music. It's more than just the app you love to hate right now on Windows Phone 8.1. It's also a music streaming and subscription service that spans nearly every device you own. It's available on Windows Phone, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Android, iOS, and the web. Xbox Music is the successor to the beloved Zune platform.

Right now I'm still happy with the overall Xbox Music service, even though I think there are a handful of ways Microsoft could greatly improve the service. That said, I acknowledge that the Windows Phone 8.1 app is still pretty bad. Though the Windows 8 app was terrible at one point, but now I'm very happy with it on Windows 8.1. So there's hope.

I've been getting a lot of questions about what are some other solid music streaming and subscription services available as an alternative to Xbox Music. I'm going to look at some of those alternatives to Xbox Music that make the most sense to those with a Windows Phone.

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Back in May, popular music streaming service Spotify finally released its massive 3.0 update, bringing a new UI redesign, Spotify radio and Discover. However, like all big updates this one brought with it some unforeseen stability issues and problems, especially with those running Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers. Spotify 3.1 is now in the Store ready to be downloaded and with it a nice changelog of fixes and improvements.

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Spotify today announced that their serves has suffered breach, providing somebody somewhere unauthorized access to their systems and "internal company data". But in a strange twist, Spotify's internal investigation into the matter turned up evidence of only one user's data having been accessed, and that data did not include anything you might consider sensitive (e.g. password or payment information). While the breach has prompted Spotify to advise Android users to update their app, they aren't recommending any action for iOS or Windows Phone users.

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Sprint today as part of its announcement of the exclusive Harman/Kardon edition of the HTC One M8 also announced a new deal for Spotify subscriptions — if you're on Windows Phone 8 or Windows Phone 8.1.

All new and existing postpaid (ie not pre-paid) Sprint customers will get six free months of Spotify Premium, if you're on a "Framily" plan. And Sprint's extended the deal to those on Android and iOS, of course.

And after the initial six months, you'll get a discount on your Spotify subscription, which varies depending on your level of Framliness.

Here's the deal.

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Odds are most of you haven’t heard of The Echo Nest. It’s a music intelligence platform company that provides various music services to developers and media companies. The Echo Nest started from spin-off research work done at the MIT Media Lab. The company offers music recommendation, playlist generation, acoustic analysis, music identification and data feeds. Developers and companies can tap into the vast data base of Echo Nest.

You might not have ever heard of Echo Nest, but you probably use their services data. Xbox Music, Nokia MixRadio, Spotify and Rdio all have components powered The Echo Nest. One of those companies just bought the Echo Nest.

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Remember Microsoft’s Zune line of multimedia players? I haven’t forgotten, and to this day, the Zune 120 GB Black "Brick" remains as one of my favorite pieces of hardware from the past. To help everyone relax, while bringing back some Microsoft nostalgia, below is a short video list of some of the rocking (and mellow) tunes used in the original commercials.

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Spotify for Windows Phone 8 is to come out of beta today with an update that's currently making its way through the store submission process. According to a tweet published by Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, consumers can expect to see said update hit their smartphones in the near future. The beta was released back in February, earlier this year.

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According to Tom Warren of The Verge, Microsoft’s Xbox Music streaming service will see a web-based interface launching next week. This would provide a substantial boost for the service as it is currently only available on Microsoft based platforms. Bringing Xbox Music to the web would allow access for Linux and Mac OS X users.

The Verge announced that unspecified sources had revealed the plans, and that Xbox Music will be accessible next week at music.xbox.com allowing users to stream content in addition to managing their playlists. We expect to see a preview of the web interface this week at BUILD 2013, before it launches.

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Good news for those waiting on Spotify to make a return to Windows Phone (the previous version currently didn't work on Windows Phone 8) as version 2.0 of the app is now live in the Windows Phone Store bringing WP8 compatibility with it.

The interesting thing about the app is it’s still in beta, meaning this is not a completely polished and presumably bug free version. But hey, you can access your account and stream music and in the end, that’s what it’s all about. Clearly the demand for an official WP8 Spotify app is high for users and it’s great to see such a high profile app return once again to the platform.

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Sonos the popular multi room entertainment system is a great bit of kit but the company has yet to release a official app for Windows Phone. Phonos seeks to fill that gap and allows you to control all the players and music services throughout your home. We previously covered the app and did an interview with the developer a while back if want to read our views on the unofficial solution.

An update to the app to take it version 4 has hit the Windows Phone Store today and brings with it a number of improvements.

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Those of you who have just purchased a new Windows Phone 8 device might have noted that there are some gaps with regards to apps. Previously available apps are not showing in the marketplace and are in need of an update. One such app is the high profile Spotify offering.

The app was a long time coming on Windows Phone 7 and many subscribers rely on it greatly to get their mobile music fix. Even with the advent of Xbox Music and competing services like Rdio, Spotify still offers up a compelling selection, especially for those with specialist music tastes.

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Although on occasion certain apps may get by on the Marketplace, it seems once we get wind of it Microsoft acts swiftly. Such is the case with "spotify" a $0.99 app that reportedly looked like the official Spotify app.

It was unclear at the time of what the developer's motivation was here though it certainly looked suspicious. Now, Microsoft has reacted by removing the trademark-infringing app from the Marketplace. It does not appear that any action has been taken against the developer as his other apps, Stock Today and AllSportz which are legitimate and free are still available.

At least new customers won't be caught off guard by the Doppelganger anymore and hopefully this will a rare happening in our Marketplace.

Thanks, Den, for the heads up!

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Beware fake Spotify app in Marketplace

On December 20, a fake Spotify app surfaced in the Marketplace.  It is published by a user called khanamish and is selling for $.99, as opposed the official Spotify, which can be downloaded for free.  Other signs to look for to differentiate between the two are that the real Spotify is listed with a capital "S" in the title and uses the Spotify logo, whereas the fake one's icon actually has the word "Spotify" as its icon.  The fake also only has two reviews, one of which flat out calls it a scam.  We're not exactly ready to do that ourselves, but we will question the developer's motives and tell you to steer clear of it.  At the very least, why pay when you can the official app at no cost?

Khanamish has two other apps in the Marketplace, Stock Today and AllSportz.  Both have the same look as the Spotify rip-off, but both are free, so maybe they are legit.  We're not looking to make trouble for any devs, but khanamish's Spotify app is dubious and warrants being called out.  If anyone out there has used this or any other app by this developer, we'd certainly like to get your feedback.

Thanks to Den for alerting us to this!

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The official Spotify app, which was unveiled yesterday at the New York City Windows Phone event along with four new handsets, is now available for download from the Marketplace. The music streaming service, which launched in the U.S. earlier this year, is subscription based but opens up a huge catalogue of tracks for members to listen to.

Some feature highlights:

  • Search, browse & play millions of tracks.
  • Explore & play your friends' playlists, top artists and tracks.
  • Stream over WiFi or 2.5/3G - all your existing playlists are available.
  • Offline playlists - play your music without an internet connection.
  • On-the-fly sync - every track you add to a playlist appears on mobile and computer.
  • What's New view.
  • Receive music from friends via the inbox.
  • Starred tracks - tag all your favourites into a special list.

The app will allow downloading of playlists and music for offline playback in case you don't have an active internet connection, or require to save some data should you be tied to a tight plan. Also, playlists can be pinned to the home screen for easy access, something which can't be offered on other platforms.

You can download Spotify from the Marketplace for free, but as mentioned above, the service requires a subscription.

Thanks Greg and everyone else for the tip!

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BusinessInsider got in touch with Spotify executive, Gerrit Meier, at the Windows Phone press event in New York today. While Spotify has been loaded on handsets at the event and we should expect to see the music streaming app on the Marketplace soon, why has it taken so long for the team to develop it? Meier told BusinessInsider that while Spotify's team might still be relatively small and resources finite, they decided to wait for the opportune moment with Microsoft to launch the app.

Microsoft has been providing support, resources and promotion, with slapping the app across all devices at the event in NYC, in Microsoft's showroom. The team waited for the service to launch in the U.S. and then Mango to take advantage of pinnable tiles (for playlists etc.) and background streaming and the launch of four new handsets in the U.S. turned out to be the time for the announcement.

We should expect to see Spotify on the Marketplace soon. Check out the hands-on coverage.

Source: BusinessInsider

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We already know that Spotify is on its way to Windows Phone (and it's already launched in the U.S.), but the above video gives us an insight into what we can expect to see when the app is available for download. Spotify for Windows Phone will enable users who have an active subscription to perform tasks that can be carried out on the desktop and on other platforms. Search, playlist support, browse friends' playlists and more will all be included as well as (what looks to be) pinnable tiles for playlists.

Source: Engadget

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Now we have background streaming at hand, let us return to the whole "Where is Spotify?" question still on many minds who pay for the subscription. We know it's well under way as the service was announced by Microsoft to be coming in Mango earlier this year. For those who simply can't wait for the official app, in the video above, we can see a demo of what appears to be a third-party Spotify app (Sharpotify 7) for Windows Phone with expected features.

The code is stated to be Alpha so it's still early days but we like what we see thus far - playlist support and support, being two vital features of the service.

Via: PhoneTitan

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