Electronica | Windows Central

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Windows Central Podcast 37: Windows 10 Mobile is still dead

Redefining the PC

Why Microsoft's Surface phone could be MUCH more than a mere 'phone'

Surface Pwn 5

Surface Pro 5, Project NEON details leaked on LinkedIn?

XP-YESSSSSSS

Dell's already awesome XPS 15 gets even better in 2017

Surface table meets Windows 10

Yes, we did put Windows 10 on the original Surface table ... and it rocks

Cream o' the crop

Before buying a Microsoft laptop, check out our pick for the absolute best

Simple and secure, just the way I like it

We think Windows 10 Cloud is a great idea, here's why

uber micro

Halo Wars 2 has something for everyone. Here's our full review.

Oldie but goldie

We reviewed Microsoft's decade-old Surface table

Creators Update comin' at ya

These are the coolest new features in the next big Xbox One update (video)

Buyer's guide

The Razer Blade 14 is the best laptop Razer has to offer

Windows 10 app gems

10 terrific Windows 10 apps you should be using

Tower of power

Here's what we think of Dell's XPS Tower Special Edition

Quite a deal

Grab the complete C# coding bootcamp for $41!

Your go-to laptop guide

Introducing our ultimate laptop buyer's guide

Listen here

Attn Android and iPhone users: What you need to know about Windows phone

Old is new?

The original Surface Pro still holds its own in the 2-in-1 world

Xbox Greenlight?

No, internet, Microsoft isn't opening Xbox to all UWP games

Falling in love

HP Envy 34 review: An ultrawide curved all-in-one after my heart

2015 machine in 2017?

Surface 3 still holds its own in 2017

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Electronica

After taking last week off to review Microsoft’s Xbox One console, I’m back with a look at a just-released indie game for Windows Phone 7 and 8. BigBot Audio Drop comes from Wisconsin-based indie developer BigBot Systems. Not only is it their first game, it’s also exclusive to Windows Phone.

BigBot Audio Drop blends traditional falling block gameplay with thumping electronic music and slick visuals. The gameplay and design are closely modeled after Lumines, an early PSP hit that later came to XBLA and other platforms. But Lumines never came to Windows Phone, so Audio Drop fills a nice gap in our favorite smartphone’s software lineup. It also comes in both paid and free versions, so it won’t break the bank.

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We announced a few weeks ago that the popular electronic music streaming site Digitally Imported (www.di.fm) was beta testing their official app for Windows Phone. Tonight, we figured we show you the current status of the beta and how it all works.

Digitally Imported is a free music streaming site, though users can opt for a paid “Premium” experience like on Pandora. That feature enables 256kbps streaming with no ads and that membership level is reflected in the app.

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Back in early April we reported on the new streaming music app Beem by Windows Phone Development MVP Den Delimarsky. The app taps into Digitally Imported (www.di.fm), the popular electronic dance music site which features everything from Techno to Trance to Chillout to Progressive making it quite the value. What's more, both the service and app are completely free and the app doesn't even have any ads. Did we mention it's pretty gorgeous too?

Version 1.1 just hit the Marketplace with a bunch of welcomed new features, some of which are extremely impressive:

  • A bug fix that now allows you to re-pin a tile even if it disappears (apparently an OS bug, but there is now a workaround).
  • UI tweaks.
  • Ability to search for played songs in the Zune Marketplace.
  • Ability to record the stream and store it locally for playback (consider this a DVR implementation for DI.FM).
  • Ability to set short recorded music as a ringtone.
  • There is now a "Now Playing” option that allows users to easily jump to the currently playing station.
  • Added the ability to clear the music player (in case you don’t want to see the last played content even though it is paused).

The ability to look the song up in Zune was something we asked for--after all, we want to make use of that Zune Pass--so it's great to see it here. The new feature works flawlessly allowing us to search for the song/artist that's currently playing and then download to our phone directly (something that's very awesome over AT&T's LTE).

But the ability to locally record whatever is playing is the most impressive. The music is saved within the app for later offline playback and is really quite useful. Not only does it record but it shows you how much space in KB it's taking up in real-time. Very cool stuff.

Finally, the rest of the changes are just icing on the cake. The new Tile layout of the stations is quite eye-catching and the app is a must-have for us as we're big fans of downtempo for our background tunes. If Beem sounds like something up your alley then you can grab it right here in the Windows Phone Marketplace (or check out Den's page on the update). The app is on our must-have list for a reason!

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