streaming music

T-Mobile is announcing music freedom as part of its Uncarrier 6 announcement today. With 67 percent of music streamers listening to music on their mobile devices, T-Mobile's un-CEO John Legere says that he doesn't want users to limit their streaming due to fears of overages. As such, streaming from all the major music streaming services won't count against your data limit as part of Uncarrier 6.

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Today Xbox Music for Windows 8.1 devices has received a minor update. The Xbox Music services serves as an alternative to more popular music streaming services like Spotify, Rdio, and (soon) Beats Music. Windows 8 users even receive six hours of free streaming a month in fifteen different countries. So, what has changed in the latest update?

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Music lovers in India have another reason to celebrate this festive season. Hungama, one of the biggest digital music services in India, has finally launched their Windows Phone app this week. Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt Ltd. is the largest aggregator, developer, publisher, and distributor of Bollywood and South-Asian entertainment content in the world.

The beautifully designed app is definitely a one-stop jukebox for free music streaming. Along with songs and music videos, the app provides trivia, lyrics, and info for all the latest songs. The service is backed by a huge library of over 2 million songs and music videos spread across bollywood, devotional, ghazals, pop, and rock genres in Hindi and several regional Indian languages, along with popular and latest international music.

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Pandora music has always been one of those apps that served as a metric for mobile platforms: so long as Windows Phone did not have it, it was behind. Luckily, last October Microsoft finally announced that indeed Pandora was coming to Windows Phone 8 in “early 2013” and a few weeks ago we had hints it was near.

Well, that day is today.

Yes, the official Pandora app for Windows Phone 8 can be downloaded from the Store and is now available in the US, Australia and New Zealand. What’s more, Microsoft carried through on their promise of an ad-free experience throughout the year. Indeed users won’t have to pay a dime to experience the premium Pandora experience on their Windows Phone.

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Beem Plus is a Windows Phone music app that allows users to tap into Digitally Imported music sites and stream various EDM radio stations to their Windows Phones. The DI.FM client was updated the other day to version 1.5 to address a handful of bugs, tweak performance and now supports Last.fm scrobbling.  

Scrobbling is basically the system building a profile based on the music you play regularly and makes recommendations based on that profile. With the update, you no longer need to have a specific track name written in your notebook, instead just have it listed in your "Recently Played" table. You can either perform manual scrobbling by tapping the sharing button above the heart (in the station player) or enable auto-scrobbling where, for each opened station, the current track details will be automatically sent to your Last.fm account.

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Beem is a Digitally Imported client that allows you to stream various EDM radio stations to your Windows Phone. In a nutshell, Beem is a music app that allows you to stream and enjoy various electronic dance music stations from your Windows Phone.

Beem takes advantage of the Windows Phone panoramic layout with pages to display the available stations and your favorite channels. Beem currently streams about forty different dance music stations ranging from Chiptunes (videogame music) to Hardstyle (head banging tunes).

Tap and hold an individual station and a pop up menu will appear with options to pin the station to your Start Screen or add the station to the Favorites Page.  The music may not appeal to everyone but some of the stations aren't too shabby.  If you like music options for your Windows Phone, Beem is worth looking into.

Beem is a free app and you can grab it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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Although we've heard this before from companies and things can change rapidly, at least according to one community manager at Grooveshark, that company won't be making a dedicated Windows Phone app despite already having ones for Android, iPhone (jailbroken), Blackberry and even webOS. In an email back and forth between a customer and Jessica, a community manager at the company the info was revealed:

Anonymous : "I was wondering if, in the near future, you would develop an application for users of Windows Phone 7. You are on all other platforms except ours."

Grooveshark response (Jessica - Community Manager) : "Hey E *****, Thanks for Taking the time to write us. Unfortunately, Grooveshark is not planning on Developing for Windows Phone 7. We're very sorry for the inconvenience and confusion. Please let us know if You have Any further Top questions. "

Of course, reps can be wrong for companies (although Grooveshark is very small, so less likely) and they could change their minds at any point. Still, we're none to happy with that response. Even though we have a working HTML5 version of their site now, having a dedicated app would certainly be more preferential. Hopefully they'll change their minds in the future.

via: MonWindowsPhone

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Windows Phone App Review: Cloud Music

Skydrive is a great resource for your Windows Phone for off-device storage and Cloud Music is a handy app to tap into any music files you may have stored in your Skydrive account. We first mentioned Cloud Music some time ago when the developer was looking for beta testers. Well, Cloud Music is now available over in the Windows Phone Marketplace and in giving the music app a try, it's not too shabby.

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8tracks - A Mango app review

As described over at the Windows Phone Marketplace, 8tracks is a handcrafted internet radio for your Windows Phone. The Mango app offers a simple way to discover and share music through an online mix that contains at least eight tracks of music. The eight is actually the infinity symbol ( ∞ ), representing infinite music but "eight" is easier to type.

The 8tracks concept is rather interesting. You sign up for a free membership (here's their website), upload your favorite tunes in mixes (playlist for us old timers), and add them to 8tracks collection for all to enjoy. The Windows Phone app, taps into this collection and brings the mix to your phone.

The 8tracks app lays things out rather nicely with the ability to listen to established music mixes, create your own mix, as well as search the online library by artist or genre.

To see how well 8tracks performs, hit the jump past the break.

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This is pretty cool, the above video shows Manan demoing a newly enabled feature in IE9 using SkyDrive - music streaming. The playback is thanks to IE9 in the latest build of Mango (7712), but it's a start and hopefully we will see further development into cloud streaming with SkyDrive to include media player features. Integrating this feature into Music + Video hub would make sense.

Our George Ponder, last month, covered a response by Mike Torres, a Microsoft's Group Program Manager for SkyDrive, to a reader on the Windows Team Blog:

"With MP3s, the Office hub won't stream your MP3s, no."

What's interesting to note is that he's still right. While OfficeHub seems as though it sports music playback, it's actually opening up your SkyDrive in IE9 for the streaming to begin. What do you guys make of this, and where do you see the development going?

Source: Being Manan, via: LiveSide

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There was hope. There were rumors. There was a chance that with the Windows Phone Mango update we could stream music files from our SkyDrive accounts.

But those hopes were dashed in a comments section over at the windowsteamblog. In a question to Mike Torres, a Microsoft's Group Program Manager for SkyDrive, in the comments section of his post on the new features heading to SkyDrive he was asked,

"If there is an mp3-File on skydrive is it possible to stream it to the phone?"

His response was short, sweet and to the point.

"With MP3s, the Office hub won't stream your MP3s, no."

So it looks as if the hopes of streaming music from the cloud have been dashed for now.  Still, the eternal optimist might point out that while Torres rules out the possibility to stream music to the Office Hub, he didn't rule out streaming music to the Zune Hub....

Or am I reading too much in between the lines?

Source: windowsteamblog via: LiveSide

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Sound stuttering problems for Samsung

There seems to be (and has been for some time) an apparent uproar about the Zune software on the Samsung Focus device over on the Microsoft forums. There appears to be an issue, which many are experiencing with ZunePass content and synchronised playlist.

During the remaining ten seconds of a song it will freeze for a moment or two, play the following second, lock-up once again and continue this loop until the media is finished. Both owners of installed microSD cards, and without have reported this.

Looking into the reports on the forum thread, people seem to be experiencing the stuttering playback issue in completely different circumstances - through the audio jack, via BlueTooth and the built-in speaker. Not only that, but there are more reports that have been posted about the Omnia 7 device that seems to stutter through playback also.

I have attempted to reproduce the problem folk are experiencing on my Omnia 7, but have failed to find anything - I have also been using it as an MP3 device for a month now through commuting and general use, and have never noticed this issue. [Edit: Our own Daniel Rubino has seen this on the Samsung Focus though, numerous times]

Should it be a Microsoft or Samsung fault, we do hope they are looked into as this could seriously impact a user's experience on WP7. Are you experiencing the same problem on your Samsung device?

Thanks Brian for the tip!

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Well if Seeqpod can do it surely Spotify can too. Well that's what Gustav Sodersrom figures since they have been such a big hit in Europe. Spotify is a music streaming program that lets you rock out to your favorite tracks over the web. 

 

 Development and planning will start in February but still no word on when it will be ready.   Being that Gustav is a former head honcho at Yahoo mobile its safe to say he knows what hes doing, but lets hope its a tad bit sexier than Yahoo GO.  I like that these companies are actually realizing that there's a big demand for music on the go. Were always going to keep our favorite Madona tracks on our memory card, but sometimes the party demands something different. After figuring out everyone loves a quick search and a click could come in handy when using our devices to provide the music. via unwiredview

 

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One big gripe about our devices are they don't hold enough music. One big solution: get access to the massive library you've got sitting on your desktop. Companies like LobsterTunes and Orb realized that and got a head start on streaming your entire library to your phone. Didiom plans to hop on that bandwagon with a little more oomph.

To begin, its a free download (in beta) that lets you stream your entire music library to your phone over a cellular network. Didiom is hoping that you'll install their software for you own music and then head on over to their marketplace, where they've got a library of over 1.5 million DRM-free tracks.  They've also added in something they're calling "adaptive bargaining" where you name what you're willing to pay, Priceline-style, and their "sophisticated algorithm" will let you know if they'll sell at that price.

 They just added support for VGA WinMo devices, too.  Seems like a decent enough service, though it would be nice if they had a wider selection of music (not that we don't heart CD Baby) and if it worked outside the US.

Video after the break for those looking for more info. Anybody given Didiom a shot?  

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I love me some Pandora -- it's an online music service that allows you to create virtual 'stations' based on your favorite artist or song, then allows you to refine that station by rating music up and down. They've created a wildly popular client for the iPhone, but Windows Mobile is still waiting. The good news: Pandora is working on a mobile client for their music service for Windows Mobile. The bad news: we could have written that exact sentence over two years ago, as this timeline at wmpoweruser makes clear.

It's not hopeless, though, as the CTO at Pandora, Tom Conrad, responded to the above with a well-written letter:

The good news is that we do have a team working on Windows Mobile versions of Pandora. Given my track record it’s probably best not to comment on the “when” but it’s certainly not a question of “if”.
At least for a small company like Pandora, the incredibly diverse mobile universe creates a real challenge with respect to where to place your limited resources. Without question the iPhone turned out to be a great bet for us. So far, the investment in feature phones has been a more modest success. We’re all optimistic that we’ll be able to find a iPhone-like success on Windows Mobile, but only time will tell.

In the meantime, there's always Last.FM.

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