Instagram may let you rearrange your profile grid soon

Image Credit: Alessandro Paluzzi

Instagram are reportedly testing the ability to sort your profile grid images into any order you want. Great for pinning content to the top.

According to leaker, mobile developer and reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi, Instagram may let users rearrange their profile grid soon. This change could fundamentally change the way profiles are displayed, which have stayed a constant since the birth of Instagram. The profile grid traditionally shows the most recent photos posted by a user in chronological order, with the newest photos at the top.

The screenshots show an Edit Grid button in the Edit Profile page of a business account. Rearranging content is as simple as dragging and dropping the images into your desired order.

This is set to be a great feature for those that want to pin particularly good or important posts to the top of their feed, much like on Facebook, Twitter or SoundCloud. This could also allow those who upload multiple posts that form one large image in the grid, to keep these images linked, even after posting new content.

As Instagram have been putting a greater focus on videos, we’ve seen the social media platform implement many new features. This new feature in testing is yet to be announced by Instagram, so there’s no guarantee they will go ahead with the change.

While Instagram explore removing chronological profile grids, the image and video sharing service are bringing back the chronological order to the main feed.

Did you know you can get your own music on Instagram and Facebook for free? This allows you to attach music to Stories and Reels, and monetize every time your track is used across the platforms.

Playlisted music by Gaana gets personal with new AutoQueue feature

Image Credit: Gaana

Indian streaming service Gaana has launched AutoQueue, a feature that automatically personalises your playlists, reading listener’s minds.

Gaana, India’s biggest streaming service, has launched a feature named AutoQueue. The new feature uses an algorithm to recommend similar tracks to listeners, personalising listening habits without the user lifting a finger.

Gaana’s algorithm uses machine learning to predict what song the listener would like to hear next, queueing up an endless mix of tracks.

AutoQueue uses factors like BPM and past behaviour to decide whether songs are likely to be heard together. Gaana say that the new feature is already driving 30% more streams from users.

Sandeep Lodha, CEO of Gaana, said: “In the last year and a half, audio streaming has played a major role in people’s lives and consumption is on the up. Gaana has always been known to understand the pulse of the Indian listener and with AutoQueue we are now going one step further to hyper-personalize each user’s app experience, and making it effortless to listen to great music.”

“The feature is born of Gaana’s user research and tech capabilities and gives personalized endless background track to the lives our users live in the foreground. I invite everyone to experience the joy of AutoQueue.”

AutoQueue joins features on other streaming services like Spotify and Deezer that use algorithms to help users discover more music. Deezer’s recommendation system also includes Deezer Flow Moods, a track mix that lets users choose music based on their emotions.  

260 doctors, nurses, scientists and educators sign an open letter criticising claims made on Joe Rogan’s podcast

Hundreds of doctors, scientists and health professionals “call on Spotify” “to moderate misinformation on its platform.”

“An Open Letter to Spotify: A call from the global scientific and medical communities to implement a misinformation policy”, comes after the streaming service posted episode #1757 of The Joe Rogan Experience with Dr. Robert Malone. The Spotify exclusive show once again caused a stir on social media, with Malone making comparisons between the current U.S. public health climate and Nazi Germany. The episode was removed from YouTube after ‘violating’ their community guidelines. As with previous controvesial episodes, Spotify have taken no action against the top podcast on their platform.

The letter reads:

Dr. Malone used the JRE platform to further promote numerous baseless claims, including several falsehoods about COVID-19 vaccines and an unfounded theory that societal leaders have “hypnotized” the public. Many of these statements have already been discredited. Notably, Dr. Malone is one of two recent JRE guests who has compared pandemic policies to the Holocaust. These actions are not only objectionable and offensive, but also medically and culturally dangerous.

An Open Letter to Spotify

Closing out:

This is not only a scientific or medical concern; it is a sociological issue of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing this activity to thrive on its platform. We, the undersigned doctors, nurses, scientists, and educators thus call on Spotify to immediately establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform.

An Open Letter to Spotify

Stream Anghami on smart speakers with the new Amazon Alexa skill

Image Credit: Anghami

Free and Anghami Plus members can stream music and podcasts on Alexa-enabled speakers with the new Anghami skill.

Both Free and Anghami Plus users will be able to request songs, albums, artists, playlists, radio and podcasts on their Alexa smart speakers. Anghami Plus subscribers will enjoy an ad-free experience. The new Anghami skill is available in both English and Arabic-languages.

To get the music streaming service on your smart speaker, find Anghami in the Alexa app, then link and enable your account. Click here to find out how to set a default music and podcast service on Alexa. Once you’re set up, simply say phrases like “Alexa, Play Amr Diab’s songs”, “Alexa, Play Top songs”, “Alexa Play Happy music” or “Alexa, Resume my podcast”.

Amazon Prime users in Saudi Arabia and UAE can still get six months of Anghami Plus for free.

Did you know you can distribute your own music to Anghami for free with RouteNote?

Qobuz introduce DUO subscriptions, giving two users access to hi-res music for around $7.50/month each

Image Credit: Qobuz

Qobuz’s new DUO tier offers two independent Studio Premier or Studio Sublime profiles for one low subscription price.

QOBUZ DUO is one music streaming subscription with two independent profiles for those living at the same address, with individual libraries and personalized recommendations. QOBUZ DUO is available on Studio Premier and Studio Sublime accounts.

With QOBUZ DUO, you get all of the usual Qobuz benefits, such as over 70 million tracks available on demand, ad-free and offline, plus hi-res streaming with audio quality up to 24-bit/192 kHz. Studio Sublime subscriptions grant you additional access to discounts on Hi-Res purchases.

  • Studio Premier
    • Solo – one account: $12.99 per month or $129.99 per year
    • Duo – two accounts: $17.99 per month or $179.88 per year
    • Family – six accounts: $21.90 per month or $215.88 per year
  • Studio Sublime
    • Solo – one accounts: $179.99 per year (roughly $15 per month)
    • Duo – two accounts: $269.89 per year (roughly $22.49 per month)
    • Family – six accounts: $349.99 per year (roughly $29.17 per month)

With DUO accounts, payments are made by the initial manager subscriber, however this essentially reduces the cost of Studio Premier accounts to around $9 each when paid monthly, or $89.94 each when paid yearly (roughly $7.50 per month). This is a great addition to Qobuz, though we’d like to see discounts applied across the Studio Premier tiers, as many other music streaming services have reduced the cost of hi-fi streaming to $9.99 per month in the past year.

Head to to sign up to any tier and claim your free-month trial. Existing members can upgrade their subscription by heading to My account. For existing members looking to join someone else’s DUO account, you’ll need to first cancel your subscription and wait for the paid period to expire.

Spotify also offers a Duo subscription for $12.99 per month, but lacks some of the features Qobuz has such as hi-res streaming.

On RouteNote you can get your own music on Qobuz, with free FLAC uploads.

How music grew in the UK 2021 revealed

Nearly twice as many artists earning “meaningful royalties” from streaming than they were in the CD era.

It’s that time again. A new year has begun and that means it’s time to look back at the year we’ve passed through and how the music industry has changed. Following on from 6 years of growth in a row in the UK music industry, powered by music streams, has the UK continued to see more people listening in a year that begun in lockdown and saw a Summer of some semblance of normality?

The British Phonographic Industry have released their 2021 report, revealing how the last year in music looked. We can now confirm that the UK saw its seventh year of growth last year. Following 2020 – a year in lockdown – which saw streaming consumption leap up 8.2%, 2021 saw continued growth though less significant with a 5.7% rise in music streaming consumption.

Once again, music streaming led the way accounting for 83% of total music consumption in the UK last year. Streaming has been on the rise for many years now, and is largely responsible for the growth of the music industry following a devastating start to the century with the proliferation of music piracy. More than 147 billion song streams were made in the UK in 2021.

Listeners in the UK kept their hearts close to home as 8 of the top 10 most listened to artists in the region were UK artists, including: Adele, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Dave, Elton John, Queen, and Fleetwood Mac. Both Adele and Ed Sheeran enjoyed more than half a billion streams throughout the year in the UK alone with more than a billion streams worldwide.

The BPI found that nearly 2,000 artists – 1,918 – were streaming over 10 million time in the UK throughout 2021. This is a 25% increase on the number of artists achieving that level of streams in 2020. This also means that nearly twice as many artists are earning “meaningful royalties” from their music than they would have been in the era of CD music.

Overall, music consumption in the UK has risen by 2.5% when including physical music sales like vinyl and CDs. This counts for music purchased and streaming consumption but BPI note does not necessarily reflect the growth in revenues. The revenues will be reported on by the BPI in Q1/Q2 2022.

We’re yet to get a full 2021 report for music in the United States. Looking at the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) first half report for the year, the US is on to a very strong year. They surpassed $5.9 billion by halfway through the year, 26% more than the first half of 2020. Streaming accounted for 84% of the US music consumption in the first half of 2021. The RIAA’s full report should be released soon.

Dear Spotify, please let me sort or filter my playlists by release year and genre

Image Credit: Spotify

A feature request from a user to the most popular music streaming service in the world.

As an ex-user of iTunes, one of my favourite features was Smart Playlists. Still available on iTunes/Apple Music today, Smart Playlists allows you to create a playlist based on various parameters that you set. As you add music to iTunes that meets your criteria, your Smart Playlist is automatically updated. This criteria can be almost anything, be it your loved music, genres of music, year of release, right down to the number of plays a song has. For example, you could create a playlist that only features songs from the 1980s, with rock songs that you’ve played more than 10 times. With a few clicks you’ve just created a ‘Best of 1980s rock music’.

Today, I’m an avid Spotify subscriber. When it comes to my music library, I’ll admit I’m more of an all-in-one playlist kind of person. Life’s too short to create multiple playlists for every genre or track’s release year. Currently, you can sort Spotify playlists by Custom order, Title, Artist, Album or Recently Added. Spotify excited me last year when they introduced filters to Liked Songs, letting you only see songs of a certain genre or mood in your Liked Songs playlist, but this was never expanded to include years, nor was it brought to other playlists. A few months later, Spotify teased me further with Made For You mixes. These playlists contain a collection of the music you love and unheard tracks Spotify thinks you’ll love from an artist, genre or decade. We know Spotify has both release date and genre data for its over 70 million tracks. I love these new features Spotify, now just let me filter all of my playlists by genre and decade, or sort them by release date (or both).

For me, Spotify still wins for its spot on music recommendations and larger user base (making sharing music easy), however Smart Playlists are their (maybe second) biggest missing feature.

Use RouteNote to get your own music onto Spotify and many other music streaming services for free today.

Apple may launch an audiobooks subscription service to rival Audible later this year

Image Credit: Apple

A report suggests Apple may soon offer an audiobooks service. With Audible’s ex-SVP working for Apple, here’s why it makes sense.

Since its inception, Apple has been a hardware and software company. In 2018, Apple started heavily focusing on services too, now with subscription services like Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud+, Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+ (plus a bundle for all of them).

Apple Books offers a Books Store and Audiobook Store. From here, users can browse and purchase e-books and audiobooks, however as iTunes introduced Apple Music to offer all music for a subscription, it’s not impossible to imaging Apple take a subscription approach to audiobooks too. While you can buy audiobooks outright with Audible too, they have various subscription models, offering a number of book credits per month to spend on audiobooks to own forever. Alternatively Audible Plus, with a smaller library, offers an unlimited number of audiobooks to listen to while your subscription is active.

The Audiobooks Store in Apple Books on macOS Monterey

A new report from The Economist about how Apple are competing with Netflix, Disney and Amazon on videos streaming, also mentions a possible audiobook service:

In the past couple of years Apple has made smaller media bets including Arcade, a subscription gaming package, News+, a publishing bundle, and Fitness+, which offers video aerobics classes. There is talk of an audiobooks service later this year.

The Economist

While there is only one mention of audiobooks in the article, this backs up Mark Gurman’s suggestion in a Bloomberg newsletter, saying “if Apple wants Apple One and its services business to grow even further, I think it needs to two things: expand the Apple One program and better integrate services.”

No other analysts or leakers have backed up these claims, however in 2020, Apple hired James DeLorenzo, the Head of Sports at Amazon Video and Senior Vice President at Audible (an Amazon subsidary). DeLorenzo now leads the sports division of Apple TV, however his background in Audible could be useful if The Economist’s report is true.

Where is Spotify HiFi? A status update from a Spotify moderator

After being announced last year, Spotify users have been waiting for the arrival of “CD-quality, lossless audio” for almost a year now.

At their Stream On event in February last year, Spotify HiFi promised to bring “CD-quality, lossless audio” to the streaming service. The roll out was due to start “in select markets later this year,” however with this announcement being made in early 2021, Spotify have missed their deadline.

Meanwhile, Apple has announced and introduced lossless audio (and spatial audio) at no extra cost over their regular subscription price. This gives all users the option of streaming and downloading audio at up to 24-bit/192 kHz, which is way above CD-quality’s 16-bit/44.1 kHz. While only a select few with the necessary hardware and ears to pick out such detail will notice the difference in Hi-Res Lossless 24-bit/192 kHz, it’s nice to have the option. After this announcement, Amazon Music, TIDAL and Deezer (in the UK) brought their HiFi options down to the regular subscriptions cost.

Leaks in May and August suggested an imminent arrival, however it seems Spotify may have had to iron out the details before a full launch. While “CD-quality” suggests 16-bit/44.1 kHz, we still don’t know for sure what the maximum quality will be or whether there will be an additional cost for the feature. Due to Apple, Amazon and TIDAL offering 24-bit/192 kHz at no extra cost, Spotify will be brave asking for any more money for such a feature. Providing this could well have caused delay in the first place.

Spotify have still made no official announcements since their initial one in February last year, however a Status Update has been posted by a moderator on an old forum post.

Hey folks,

We know that HiFi quality audio is important to you. We feel the same, and we’re excited to deliver a Spotify HiFi experience to Premium users in the future. But we don’t have timing details to share yet.

We will of course update you here when we can.

Take care.

Spotify moderator

While this doesn’t give us any more details on the when, quality or how much, it shows Spotify have not given up on the idea, plus their phrasing of “to Premium users” could suggest a launch at no extra cost to Premium subscriptions.

Did you know you can get your own music on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, TIDAL, Deezer and many more streaming services, with free FLAC uploads on RouteNote?

Stream non-stop Bowie with the SiriusXM David Bowie channel

Image Credit: SiriusXM

You can stream constant David Bowie with a special channel on SiriusXM, with tracks spun by celebrity DJs – for a limited time only.

Want to immerse yourself in the music of David Bowie? Right now SiriusXM’s David Bowie Channel has the legendary late artist’s entire catalogue playing constantly, filling a limited two week pop-up slot to celebrate what would have been his 75th birthday.

On channel 104 there’s rare recordings, remixes and live tracks playing around well-known Bowie hits. Covers by other artists also feature.

As well as the songs, celebrity DJs appear as guest presenters, sharing their favourite tracks as well as memories of the star. Guests include David Arquette and Beck.

Online radio service SiriusXM, which owns RouteNote partner Pandora, is a streaming app for vehicles and on devices that provides playlists with exclusive extras, podcasts, and sports programmes.

The launch comes just after the announcement that Warner Chappell paid $250 million for the rights to the whole of Bowie’s works. Expect to see many more deals like the David Bowie Channel from now on, with Bowie’s music popping up in other unexpected places.

The David Bowie Channel is available here on channel 104 until January 18th.