Tidal apps now have the power to control Sonos

Jay-Z’s music streaming service Tidal has added Sonos controls to their mobile app for a simple, streaming dream.

Subscribers to Tidal’s music streaming service with a Sonos speaker are in for a treat. No longer will you have to use 2 separate apps to control your music streaming experience, it’s all in Tidal now.

Now you can connect to your Sonos, control what you’re listening to, skip tracks and more all from your Tidal app. The update follows others for Sonos, including the deep integration for Pandora which can now control even grouping Sonos speakers and can be controlled by Alexa on Sonos.

Here’s all the fun you can have with Sonos on the Tidal app now:

Keep the music going.

Send the music from your headphones to any Sonos speaker with a simple tap right when you walk in the door.

Control rooms and volume.

Use the TIDAL app to play music in a particular room or group of rooms and adjust the volume.

Let your friends DJ.

Friends who don’t have the Sonos app can play their favorite music to your speakers using their TIDAL app.

Play the music, pick a room and enjoy.

Make sure your Sonos and TIDAL apps are up to date and on the same WiFi. Tap the Cast button on the Now Playing screen in your TIDAL app, and select the rooms where you want to listen.

Deezer now supports FLAC with new desktop app

This ain’t a rap – but Deezer’s desktop app – now lets you play FLAC – what do you think about that?

Deezer have officially become the second major music streaming service to offer high quality FLAC streams. They have just launched their desktop app so you can listen out of browser and it streams high-definition lossless audio – audiophiles rejoice!

Deezer’s new desktop app comes to Mac and Windows meaning you can stream music without a browser from Deezer at last (come on now Google Play). For Premium+ users they will be able to stream lossless 16-bit FLAC audio files for enhanced, high-definition quality.

The app has launched in Beta mode but is available for all users to start streaming from. The app will also introduce exclusive video content including interviews and performances from global artists all around the world.

Deezer’s chief content and product officer, Alexander Holland said: “Deezer’s desktop users will now have a new home to play their Flow, discover unknown artists and watch exclusive video content – all within a newly designed, one download app. Furthermore, we are excited to offer hi-fi audio to users who want to further enhance the quality of their overall listening experience.”

Deezer say that Premium+ users will be able to stream their music in high-definition through the app until December 31st when assumably the beta ends. Deezer don’t confirm whether FLAC streams will be entirely discontinued after that date or what will happen but hopefully it’s just the end of their Beta period before integrating Hi-Fi fully.

Deezer say that users in France, Germany, Brazil, Latin America, and the UK will also be receiving exclusive content localised for them.

Download the new Deezer app for free here: dzr.fm/desktoppr

Pandora gives you unparalleled power over Sonos

Pandora are putting the power into your hands with complete Sonos control straight from Pandora music’s mobile apps.

This week Pandora integrated Sonos into their mobile apps so that you can connect and control your listening experience all from one app. Unlike services like Spotify, Pandora is giving almost entire control over your Sonos speakers.

Spotify Connect added Sonos control last year however it was limited to music controls like play, pause, skip and the rest. In addition Spotify required you to be a paying subscriber to access the controls. Pandora are giving the power to all their users and are even adding grouping controls so you can group and un-group speakers directly from the Pandora app.

Sonos recently announced that they were integrating Amazon’s AI assistant Alexa into their speakers so they can be used as smart speakers. Pandora are adding Alexa support on Sonos as well so that you can tell it the music you want to listen to and it will play.

Pandora claim that they are the most popular music service streamed on Sonos speakers. Pandora claimed 250 million hours of music were listened through their platform on Sonos so far this year. That speaker streaming success is showing no signs of stopping either as they note that listening across all smart speakers is rising rapidly with a 300% increase year-on-year.

You may be surprised to hear that Pandora is in fact the most popular streaming service in all of the US. Whilst services like Spotify and Apple Music may have more notoriety Pandora’s unique radio-style streaming as well as easy, free access has drawn in hundreds of millions of listeners.

Pandora on Sonos is available now in American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the US, and the Virgin Islands (US). If you’re a Pandora listener with a Sonos speaker you can find out more about the power you’ve received here.

Amazon’s Echo speakers and Alexa are here for Canadians

Today Amazon brought Prime Music and their AI assistant Alexa to Canada at long last.

Canada has finally gotten Amazon’s renowned AI Alexa and Echo speakers built into their range of 3 Echo speakers. With their integration of Alexa Echo speakers have become powerful assistants capable of answering questions, remembering dates, reading you messages and more.

To celebrate coming to Canada Amazon have added a bunch of unique features for Canada including a Canadian accent to Alexa’s voice. Alexa also gains local knowledge and a massive list of voice-activated apps, called ‘Skills’. Amazon anticipate that Canadian developers will create 10,000 ‘skills’ to be used with Alexa by the end of the year including ones from Air Canada, CBC, the Weather Network, TD Bank, Bank of Montreal and any more.

Amazon Alexa’s senior vice president, Tom Taylor said: “Tens of millions of customers are already using Alexa, and today we’re excited to bring her to Canada with an experience designed from the ground up for our Canadian customers.”

As well as their speakers and voice assistant Amazon have launched their music service that comes included in Prime memberships in Canada. This means anyone with an Amazon Prime subscription can take advantage of millions of stream-able tracks. With Echo speakers you can simply tell Alexa to play your music and your streaming begins!

Spotify’s Latin playlist gets deep, behind the scenes treatment

Spotify’s ¡Viva Latino! playlist is going deeper into the music with extra tracks, exclusive videos, and even more.

Spotify want to take you “inside the music, sharing deeper insight than ever before into the stories and voices of Latin music today”. That’s why they’re enhancing their ¡Viva Latino! playlist with a look beyond the tracks in the playlist and gives more appreciation to the genre and it’s artists.

Starting this week Spotify will now fill their ¡Viva Latino! feed with exclusive, original content, including videos from artists of all genres, behind-the-scenes tracks, and more. This new enhanced playlist offers fans unparalleled access to the movers and shakers making a name for Latin music across the globe.

Head of Global Cultures at Spotify, Rocio Guerrero said: “The recent successes of Latin artists such as Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and J Balvin have shown us that music today knows no geographic boundary or language. Latin Music has truly become a universal language. We want to not only celebrate, but continue to foster that growth by bringing fans one step closer to their favourite Latin artists, while giving emerging artists a platform to reach new ears.”

To really kick off their new content for Latin Music Spotify are going to be launching the video premieres of some of the top Latin artists this week:

  • 11/14: Daddy Yankee ft.  Bad Bunny “Vuelve”
  • 11/15: Bomba Estereo “Química”
  • 11/16: J Balvin “Mi Gente”
  • 11/17: Luis Fonsi’s new single featuring Demi Lovato.
  • 11/18: Carlos Vives “Nuestro Secreto”
  • 11/19: Anitta’s new single “Downtown” featuring J Balvin.

On top of their new content to accompany the ¡Viva Latino! playlist Spotify are launching an original podcast for it. Every two weeks superstars from Latin music will discuss their new tracks that appear on the ¡Viva Latino! playlist. Guests will include Jennifer Lopez, Daddy Yankee, J Balvin, and many more.

But wait, there’s more! After launching a series of successful live shows for their popular RapCaviar playlists Spotify are taking ¡Viva Latino! on the road with another concert series in 2018.

¡Viva Latino! is the third playlist now to get a makeover with a bunch of cool accompanying features. Spotify promise “many more surprises to come”.

Google Home speakers now also work as intercoms

Google Home are expanding what their home speakers can do with their latest update making it a Wi-Fi connected intercom.

Google have updated their Home Speakers so that with 2 or more you can send messages and reminders. Essentially Google have transformed their already massively multi-purpose speaker into an intercom as well now.

But its applications goes far beyond a receptionist’s new toy. Parents can send a message upstairs to their kids without shouting, you can set a reminder to take something out of the oven, or just have a slow, rubbish chat between rooms.

How it works is simple; You give your Home the usual “OK Google…” and just add “broadcast” after and it will take your message or reminder request and either send it to devices connected in the network or save it to remind you later. If setting a reminder it will notify you with a bell when the time is up.

Google announced the feature first on October 4th at their Pixel event. Now Broadcast is rolling out in English to Google Home speakers and phones in the US, UK, Australia and Canada this week. Google said that other expansions will come later.

Kanye West might be launching a rival to Jay-Z’s Tidal and Spotify

Is Kanye West going to start his own streaming service? Is this all just to spite Jay-Z after their spat?

Kanye West can’t get into the news for something that isn’t controversial it seems. New documents show that Kanye’s reps have filed trademarks for something called “Yeezy Sound” suggesting he might be starting a music streaming service – could this relate to his feud with old partner Jay-Z?

The documents relating to “Yeezy Sound” suggest that the copyright will include uses for: “Streaming of music, audio, images, video and other multimedia content.” So yeah it’s going to be a streaming service of some sort, and Kanye West is a musician so… yeah. However, beyond this possible venture people seem more concerned for what this means between Kanye and old buddy Jay-Z.

Yeezy Sound music streaming service jay-z feud spat Tidal kanye west

It might seem presumptuous but not every artist starts a music streaming service, especially artists who’s best friend and business partner already has one that you supported closely. Especially when their friend supposedly also owes them £3.5 million for using their music on their friend’s service.

That’s what is supposedly going on between the Watch the Throne duo, after Kanye released his album ‘The Life of Pablo’ on Tidal under exclusive terms. Kanye now claims that Jay-Z owes Kanye $3.5 million in unpaid advances and bonuses for his album.

So no-one really knows whats going on except that Kanye West might be starting a streaming service in which case, good luck with that.

How Musical.ly are making $800m from teens lip-syncing to music

Musical.ly are looking to sell their app which in the space of 3 years has gone from a platform to share yourself lip syncing to an asset worth hundreds-of-millions.

If you wanted to become a multi-millionaire, almost billionaire what would you do to reach it? Become a major stock investor? Innovate in a world of abundant tech? Become a AAA actor? Well apparently making kids lip-sync to songs will just about do it.

Shanghai based company Musical.ly have built a massively popular platform in recent years. Their app allows users to lip-sync along to their favourite songs and upload it for all to see. They will now be selling to a Chinese media startup, Jinri Toutia, which bought Flipagram a video/photo sharing service at the start of this year.

The deal hasn’t been closed yet so the price is still to be fully determined but various publications are putting it at $800 million whilst the Wall Street Journal reckon it could be as high as $1 billion. With the deal seemingly pretty secure however it’s unlikely that Jinri Toutia will have to hit the billion mark to persuade them, $800 million for a lip-syncing app seems more than enough.

Whilst Musical.ly’s story is impressive having built themselves up in such a short time, solely through a mobile app’s success, selling so soon and 1 year after funding with a valuation of $500 million it may be the peak before the fall for the app.

According to the company their app has 60 million users though how many of them remain active is unknown. Perhaps Jinri Toutia have a big plan for keeping the app relevant or translating those users elsewhere but it seems like whether $800 mil or $1 bil that Musical.ly’s creators are getting a sweet deal here.

How To Get My Music onto QQ Music, Kugou, Kuwo, Xiami and Xiaomi for Free and Make Money

RouteNote has partnered with Kanjian and artists music is distributed to all the leading stores and streaming services in Mainland China (including QQ Music, Kugou, Kuwo, Xiami and Xiaomi).

Simply head to your My Content section, select the release you want to edit and then add Kanjian as a Store Partner and hit save.

This is now available for all RouteNote artists on both the FREE and Premium versions. We feel that Netease Music is a very big player in the music streaming space with an opportunity to reach and engage with millions of fans.

Nintendo Switch is getting a DAW next year with Korg Gadget

Lots of cool games have been released for Nintendo’s new Switch console but I bet you didn’t expect to see a full music making program on there.

At the Japanese m3 event last month a particularly interesting product was shown off, Korg’s Gadget DAW but as you’ve never seen it before. A hands-on display showed Korg’s music making software in a Nintendo Switch console, fully usable with just the Switch gamepad.

Nintendo’s new portable console will get Korg Gadget early next year in Spring. Developers Detune are making it all happen on the Nintendo Switch, programming the compact DAW and all of it’s instruments and gadgets onto the console.

No proper details have been released yet so the extent to which Korg Gadget is being built onto the Switch isn’t clear. It looks like you’ll have access to most of the program’s features with a piano roll for writing your music, a drum roll and more extensive editing capabilities. It will be fascinating to see the extent to which you can create, edit and play within the console – especially if it’s entirely controlled by Nintendo’s controllers.

It’s an interesting move for Nintendo but a great one. The Switch is already hailed for making AAA games portable but the more it opens it’s console up the better it gets as a multimedia console with so much potential. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for more on Korg Gadget for Nintendo Switch soon.