Rdio already has a number of stamps in its passport, Canada, Australia, Brazil and New Zealand amongst them. But, the current focus for the streaming music service is Europe, where it’s already launched in Germany, Denmark, Portugal and Spain. While we still don’t have any solid dates, Scott Bagby, the company’s VP of partnerships and internationalization, told paidContent:UK that a pile of new nations are on deck for the coming months, with hopes of covering the entire continent. With licensing deals already struck in the UK, we’re pretty confident England will be part of this next batch of rollouts, but Rdio has no intentions of confining itself to the western world. Bagby said in the interview, “we already have a guy on the ground in Asia,” so look for the service to go live in a few more locales across the pacific. No time frame was given for the Asian launches but, if the company is serious about establishing a foothold there, it should do so sooner rather than later. As Bagby points out, Rdio is “a couple of years behind others in terms of expansion.”
Spotify has unveiled this week it plans to offer a family subscriptions in the future for its Premium service, according to comments made by Spotify’s Chief content officer, Ken Parks.
The Verge technology website caught up with Ken Parks at SXSW this week after his “Future of Music” panel, and when questioned about the new family packages, explained they are “definitely coming.”.
No information on pricing or worldwide availability was mentioned but the new package would help Spotify compete with Rdio’s family plan offering. As soon as information comes to light we will keep you updated as always.
Currently Rdio offers a family plan for two users at $17.99 per month or a package for three users at $22.99. Additional subscription can then be added as sub-accounts at the standard going rate.
Do you own a Boxee Box and have an account with a little streaming music service called MOG? Well, soon enough you’ll be able to pick and choose from the company’s 11.5 million song strong library right on your TV. That’s 320kbps audio and album art in 1080p that you can peruse using your double-sided Boxee remote and a welcome expansion of the media box’s music repertoire — which currently includes Last.FM and Pandora. You can try MOG for 14-days for free, but after that you’ll have to sign up for either a $4.99-a-month basic account or a $9.99-per-month Primo account if you want to keep enjoying its streaming audio selection.
Six months ago, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek couldn’t tell us when his subscription streaming music service might launch in the United States, and that won’t change today, but apparently there’s not much left keeping $10 unlimited monthly music away. All Things D reports that Spotify has signed Universal Music Group to a US distribution deal, the third of the four largest labels to agree, and anonymous sources say the last remaining holdout, Warner Music, may also soon cave. Mind you, one of Spotify’s most intriguing new features just got shown up by iTunes in the Cloud, but when it comes to extra competition and consumer choice, we won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
Apple tipped its hat early, but now we have the details from the man himself. “iCloud stores your content in the cloud and wirelessly pushes it to all your device. It automatically uploads it, stores it, and pushes it to all your devices.” And by “automatically,” he means it: in addition to every day content, such as purchased music, iBooks, photos and videos, device settings, and app data that will be automatically backed up over WiFi, Documents in the Cloud will effortlessly sync Pages, Numbers, and Keynote data between all of your iOS devices. There will be no advertising (contrary to previous rumors), and calendar, mail, and contact sync is free (for up to five gigs). Also in store is the new Photo Stream cloud feature, which is essentially a gallery in Photos that exists on all of your iOS devices, Apple TV, your OS X and even your Windows PCs, and syncs through the cloud. Take a picture on your iPhone and it appears on your laptop and your iPad, and it’s stored in the cloud for thirty days. And no, your Photo Stream pics do not count towards your 5GB total. iCloud will be released concurrent with iOS 5 this fall.
If that isn’t enough, Apple has announced iTunes Match, a $25 per year service that scans your iTunes library library and populates your iTunes in the Cloud account with any of your previously bought and ripped music — in handy 256Kbps AAC, DRM-free files (as long as the titles already appear in the iTunes store).
Last but not least, MobileMe is no more. If you’re a current member, you can still access everything as usual through June 30, 2012 (according to Apple), but there will be no new enrollments. And if your subscription has auto-renewed recently? Well, we’ve received plenty of tips from readers who have received refunds this morning. So at the very least you have that to look forward too!
It’s not quite official but there’s little doubt that Google will launch its Google Music service at its big I/O event later today. While the Wall Street Journal couldn’t get a Google spokesman to admit it, Peter Kafka over at All Things D got Jamie Rosenberg, Director of Android Product Management, to spill the details a bit early. Google’s service will essentially mimic the music locker functionality of Amazon’s Cloud service, albeit without the ability to sell songs direct to consumers. Ouch. Unfortunately, Google’s plans to launch a more feature-complete service were derailed when discussions with the labels broke down. According to Rosenberg, “A couple of the major labels were less focused on the innovative vision that we put forward, and more interested in an unreasonable and unsustainable set of business terms.” So, rather than putting the service on hold, Google will launch its music service with the ability to store up to 20,000 of your own uploaded songs for free which you can then stream over the web to your desktop or Android phone or tablet — any device that supports Flash (don’t worry iOS users, your time will come). Amazon’s service, by comparison, offers just 5GB of free storage for about 1,200 songs stored at a mediocre bitrate. Google will also best Amazon with a feature that automatically creates playlists. Google expects to roll out the service to its US users within “weeks” with Music Beta invites going out later today to Verizon Xoom owners (others will be able to sign up at music.google.com). Keep it right here because we’ll be bringing you the announcement live.
Okay, so if you had to guess a name for an Apple service that exists in the cloud it’s pretty safe to say you’d pick “iCloud,” right? Good, now that we’re past the obvious, there are some slightly more compelling indicators out there that this may indeed be what Apple is going to call its (presumably) soon-to-launch music streaming service. We received anonymous tips about this name in the past, and now Om Malik is reporting some interesting history, that the domain iCloud.com is owned by a company called Xcerion, which recently re-branded its cloud-based storage service from iCloud to CloudMe. TechCrunch reached out to the company and got a beautifully-worded non-denial talking about how the new name better embraces the company’s cross-platform approach. That it does, but the timing is interesting. Obviously nothing is confirmed, but with Warner and at least one other of the big four record labels signed on, we’d guess the real name for this service should be drifting into view any time now.
It’s the rumor that wouldn’t die, and Reuters is now reporting that Apple is finally set to launch a cloud-based music service — presumably putting its massive North Carolina data center to some real work at long last. Details are still fairly light beyond that, but Reuters says that Apple’s service will actually launch ahead of Google’s similar cloud-based option, which it reports is now “stalled,” citing “several people familiar with both companies plans.” According to Reuters, the service will let folks store their music (and only music, apparently) on Apple’s servers and then access it on any device with an internet connection — and a copy of iTunes, we presume.
Sony's Music Unlimited streaming service coming to NGP, will hit Xperia Play this year and PSP 'in a matter of weeks'
It may sound patently obvious at this point, but there’s still cause to celebrate — Sony’s streaming subscription music service, Music Unlimited, is headed to both the PlayStation Portable and its pair of divergent spiritual successors the Next Generation Portable and Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play. Eurogamer sat down with Sony Network Entertainment VP Shawn Layden, who spread the news readily, confirming that the service would be activated (at least in the UK) on PlayStation Portable “in a matter of weeks.” Meanwhile, Android phones including the infamous PlayStation handset will get Music Unlimited “this year,” and SNE “will make it happen” on the NGP as well, presumably sometime after the company reveals when its beast of a portable game station will actually come out. All in the name of taking your tunes with you wherever you happen to travel — a concept that’s getting rather popular right now.
Those who are familiar with Android Honeycomb might have already come across its music player’s cloud syncing feature, though previous attempts to port said app to phones hadn’t been successful. Whatever it was that kept crashing the app back then, it seems to have fixed itself — after xda-developers member WhiteWidows slapped the leaked app onto his rooted EVO 4G, the phone started to automagically sync his tunes to his Google account. The modder then swapped in an empty SD card, but he was still able to stream music straight from the cloud after checking the “Stream music” option in the app. Pretty neat, eh? That said, we do wonder if Google will be able to handle the exabytes worth of high-quality Justin Bieber and Spice Girl tracks.