spotify

Spotify is a popular music streaming service, available for free and as a subscription. Those who have enjoyed the free, ad-supported experience will have some new advertisements to enjoy in the form of videos. The service has announced these new video ads, which will task streamers to endure both audible and two types of video-based advertisements.

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Not happy with the Xbox Music platform? Take Beats Music or Spotify for as spin.

Xbox Music. It's more than just the app you love to hate right now on Windows Phone 8.1. It's also a music streaming and subscription service that spans nearly every device you own. It's available on Windows Phone, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Android, iOS, and the web. Xbox Music is the successor to the beloved Zune platform.

Right now I'm still happy with the overall Xbox Music service, even though I think there are a handful of ways Microsoft could greatly improve the service. That said, I acknowledge that the Windows Phone 8.1 app is still pretty bad. Though the Windows 8 app was terrible at one point, but now I'm very happy with it on Windows 8.1. So there's hope.

I've been getting a lot of questions about what are some other solid music streaming and subscription services available as an alternative to Xbox Music. I'm going to look at some of those alternatives to Xbox Music that make the most sense to those with a Windows Phone.

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Back in May, popular music streaming service Spotify finally released its massive 3.0 update, bringing a new UI redesign, Spotify radio and Discover. However, like all big updates this one brought with it some unforeseen stability issues and problems, especially with those running Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers. Spotify 3.1 is now in the Store ready to be downloaded and with it a nice changelog of fixes and improvements.

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Spotify today announced that their serves has suffered breach, providing somebody somewhere unauthorized access to their systems and "internal company data". But in a strange twist, Spotify's internal investigation into the matter turned up evidence of only one user's data having been accessed, and that data did not include anything you might consider sensitive (e.g. password or payment information). While the breach has prompted Spotify to advise Android users to update their app, they aren't recommending any action for iOS or Windows Phone users.

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Sprint today as part of its announcement of the exclusive Harman/Kardon edition of the HTC One M8 also announced a new deal for Spotify subscriptions — if you're on Windows Phone 8 or Windows Phone 8.1.

All new and existing postpaid (ie not pre-paid) Sprint customers will get six free months of Spotify Premium, if you're on a "Framily" plan. And Sprint's extended the deal to those on Android and iOS, of course.

And after the initial six months, you'll get a discount on your Spotify subscription, which varies depending on your level of Framliness.

Here's the deal.

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Odds are most of you haven’t heard of The Echo Nest. It’s a music intelligence platform company that provides various music services to developers and media companies. The Echo Nest started from spin-off research work done at the MIT Media Lab. The company offers music recommendation, playlist generation, acoustic analysis, music identification and data feeds. Developers and companies can tap into the vast data base of Echo Nest.

You might not have ever heard of Echo Nest, but you probably use their services data. Xbox Music, Nokia MixRadio, Spotify and Rdio all have components powered The Echo Nest. One of those companies just bought the Echo Nest.

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Remember Microsoft’s Zune line of multimedia players? I haven’t forgotten, and to this day, the Zune 120 GB Black "Brick" remains as one of my favorite pieces of hardware from the past. To help everyone relax, while bringing back some Microsoft nostalgia, below is a short video list of some of the rocking (and mellow) tunes used in the original commercials.

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Spotify for Windows Phone 8 is to come out of beta today with an update that's currently making its way through the store submission process. According to a tweet published by Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, consumers can expect to see said update hit their smartphones in the near future. The beta was released back in February, earlier this year.

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According to Tom Warren of The Verge, Microsoft’s Xbox Music streaming service will see a web-based interface launching next week. This would provide a substantial boost for the service as it is currently only available on Microsoft based platforms. Bringing Xbox Music to the web would allow access for Linux and Mac OS X users.

The Verge announced that unspecified sources had revealed the plans, and that Xbox Music will be accessible next week at music.xbox.com allowing users to stream content in addition to managing their playlists. We expect to see a preview of the web interface this week at BUILD 2013, before it launches.

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Good news for those waiting on Spotify to make a return to Windows Phone (the previous version currently didn't work on Windows Phone 8) as version 2.0 of the app is now live in the Windows Phone Store bringing WP8 compatibility with it.

The interesting thing about the app is it’s still in beta, meaning this is not a completely polished and presumably bug free version. But hey, you can access your account and stream music and in the end, that’s what it’s all about. Clearly the demand for an official WP8 Spotify app is high for users and it’s great to see such a high profile app return once again to the platform.

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Sonos the popular multi room entertainment system is a great bit of kit but the company has yet to release a official app for Windows Phone. Phonos seeks to fill that gap and allows you to control all the players and music services throughout your home. We previously covered the app and did an interview with the developer a while back if want to read our views on the unofficial solution.

An update to the app to take it version 4 has hit the Windows Phone Store today and brings with it a number of improvements.

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Those of you who have just purchased a new Windows Phone 8 device might have noted that there are some gaps with regards to apps. Previously available apps are not showing in the marketplace and are in need of an update. One such app is the high profile Spotify offering.

The app was a long time coming on Windows Phone 7 and many subscribers rely on it greatly to get their mobile music fix. Even with the advent of Xbox Music and competing services like Rdio, Spotify still offers up a compelling selection, especially for those with specialist music tastes.

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Although on occasion certain apps may get by on the Marketplace, it seems once we get wind of it Microsoft acts swiftly. Such is the case with "spotify" a $0.99 app that reportedly looked like the official Spotify app.

It was unclear at the time of what the developer's motivation was here though it certainly looked suspicious. Now, Microsoft has reacted by removing the trademark-infringing app from the Marketplace. It does not appear that any action has been taken against the developer as his other apps, Stock Today and AllSportz which are legitimate and free are still available.

At least new customers won't be caught off guard by the Doppelganger anymore and hopefully this will a rare happening in our Marketplace.

Thanks, Den, for the heads up!

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