Sony and Prince Estate has just released Prince’s 23 albums from 1995 to 2010 to major streaming services. These are albums by Prince after he left Warner Bros. Previously only early albums by Prince such as “1999”, “Purple Rain” etc are available on streaming platforms. Together with these back catalog albums, there is also a new compilation album “Anthology: 1995-2010”, which is a collection of 37 songs curated from this period.
One of the benefits of subscribing to Spotify Premium plan is the ability to enjoy higher quality music streaming. However you have to manually adjust this streaming quality settings.
Go to “Your Library” tab and tap on the Settings icon on top right. Look for “Streaming Quality” and tap to switch to Extreme which is the highest quality at 320kbit/s. You might also want to adjust the “Download quality” settings on the same page to Extreme.
Please note that the better streaming quality imposes higher Internet bandwidth. Do watch out for your usage if you’re under limited Internet plan.
If you’re an early adopter and signed up for Apple Music on its launch day, this is a reminder that the three month’s free trial is ending on September 30. Apple Music membership by default is set to auto-renew. You’ll be charged the monthly subscription automatically once the free trial ended. If you intend not to continue using the streaming service, check out this post on how to turn off auto-renew for Apple Music subscription on iOS devices or Mac.
Spotify updated its terms and conditions, and many users are not happy. The music streaming service, in order to “tailor improved user experience”, now wants to access to your contacts, pictures, sensor data stored on your phone and permission to view your social media activity.
We are constantly innovating and evolving our service to deliver the best possible experience for our users. This means delivering the perfect recommendations for every moment, and helping you to enjoy, discover and share more music than ever before. The data we access simply helps us to tailor improved experiences to our users, and build new and personalized products for the future.
The privacy and security of our customers’ data is – and will remain – Spotify’s highest priority. We will always ask for individual permission or clearly inform you of the ability to opt out from sharing location, photos, voice and contacts.
According to latest figure, Spotify has about 75 million active users and 20 million subscribers in 58 countries. Enough users that pissing a number of them really doesn’t matter much to the company.
Minecraft creator Markus Persson (@notch) is the first celebrity to cancel his Spotify account in response to the changes in privacy policies. He tweeted to his 2.4 million followers “As a consumer, I’ve always loved your service. You’re the reason I stopped pirating music. Please consider not being evil.”.
Music streaming services are not build the same, down to the audio quality that is delivered to you. Apple Music streams its music at 256kbps using AAC format, Spotify is using Ogg Verbs format at 320kbps for its premium subscribers, and Tidal is touting its CD quality lossless streaming as its major selling point.
On paper, Apple Music seems to be the worst off. But it is widely acknowledged that 256kbps AAC sounds as good and often better than 320kbps Ogg Vorbis or MP3 due to AAC’s better encoding scheme. Tidal appears to be the one with the best sound quality out of the three. But in real world listening, there probably is not much difference between all three streaming services in term of sound quality.
The Verge did an audio blind test comparing Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal.
The results were very, very surprising to me. It was generally random across the board, though Spotify fared slightly worse than Apple Music and Tidal overall. In roughly 29 percent of the tests, subjects couldn’t tell any notable difference at all. Tidal — which wants you to pay more for lossless quality — most definitely didn’t take the crown, and in several cases, subjects actually identified it as the worst-sounding of the three.
It is generally very hard to do an audio blind test. Typically you need high end audio equipments in order to better discern the sound differences. The Verge is using a small sample group and only tested three songs. They are using a under $100 headphone (Sony MDR-7506) paired with iPhone 6 Plus, suggesting they are getting feedback from normal listening setup.
It is debatable if the test is conclusive. But one thing is certain: the difference in sound quality among the streaming services doesn’t matter if you do not have an audiophile quality headphone or speaker.
Apple Music allows you to stream music from a library of over 30 million songs. Songs with explicit lyrics are marked with an “E” or “Explicit”. Due to how iOS implements Restrictions (meant for parental control), by default explicit songs are greyed out and not playable. This applies to music videos too. Here’s a quick fix.
Go to Settings > General. Tap on Restrictions and then tap the Enable Restrictions button to enable restriction.
Scroll down to bottom and look for Music, Podcasts & iTunes U and then turn on the switch for Explicit.
And that’s all. You need to enable restrictions in order to hear restricted songs. Now you’ll be able to listen to all the streaming content available on Apple Music.
Apple Music comes with a three-month free trial when you sign up. The membership by default is on auto-renew and Apple will start charging your credit card after end September. Here’s how to switch off the auto-renew feature so you can manually decide whether you want the service or not. You still get the three-month free trial even if you turn off auto-renew.
Tap on the avatar icon in the upper left corner of the Music app screen. Then tap “View Apple ID”. Sign in to your Apple ID if you’re prompted for a password.
Tap on the “Manage” button below the SUBSCRIPTIONS section. Here you will find info about your Apple Music membership. Turn off the switch “Automatic Renewal” to disable auto-renew.
From iTunes app on OS X Yosemite, click on the menu Account > View Account. Sign in with your Apple ID password if you’re prompted.
iTunes will display a page with your Apple ID account information. Scroll down to the bottom, under Settings section, click on the “Manage” button next to Subscriptions.
This will bring out a page about all your subscriptions. Locate the section “Apple Music Membership” and click the Off button on “Automatic Renewal” to turn off the Auto-Renew feature.
Beats1 internet radio service is one of the main attractions of the new Apple Music. To accompany the launch, Apple has a Tumblr page applemusic.tumblr.com that is dedicated to Beats1. The new Tumblr site includes the schedule listing for the radio station.
In order to experience the new Apple Music and Beats1, you need to update to iOS 8.4 for the new Music app. On the Mac, upgrade to latest OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 and then iTunes to version 12.2. You also need to subscribe to Apple Music membership which has a free three-month trial.
Even though the slogan for Beats1 is “Worldwide. Always On. 24/7.”, you might want to confirm if the radio station is available in your country if you’re outside US. Apple has no official listing of the countries where Beats1 is available.