And now for the good news.
Rhapsody, the streaming music service, has updated its windows phone app to version 3.0.
The update is optimised for Windows Phone 8 and brings:
- Offline playback of downloaded tracks, albums, and playlists
- Support for My Music, including the ability to add or remove tracks, albums, and artistâ€”plus check out other peopleâ€™s libraries.
- Add and remove stations from My Stations
- Add and remove playlists from My Playlists
- See your listening history
- Improvements to audio playback, album art, and search
Find the app, which needs a Rhapsody subscription, in the Windows Phone Store here.
Via The Window Team Blog.
The Spotify app is not at presently available for Windows Phone 8. We don’t know exactly why, but at least we can now confirm that it is on its way.
Anna StrÃ¶m , the Product Marketing Manager for Windows Phone in Sweden, confirmed this on the Swedish Windows Phone Facebook page, saying that they are aware that this was a â€œmust-haveâ€ app for the platform, and that they were doing everything they could to make it arrive as rapidly as possible.
LiveSide.net reports that SkyDrive may be moving to prepare for the debut of the long-awaited Xbox Music service, with the web service now automatically adding album art in the form of a large and small thumbnail images to music folders.
The new feature seems to be available to everyone, and may be a prelude to the long-rumoured ability to steam music stored as a locker in SkyDrive.
Read more about the rumoured Xbox Music service here.
Its been a few months coming, but as promised 7Digital has now delivered a client for their music service to Windows Phone 7.
Their store has over 18 million tracks has a much wider reach than most music services, covering 32 countries, including the UK, Europe, the US and Canada.
If you are an existing customer (likely in Europe) you can stream tracks purchased previously without having to download it to your phone. This is particularly useful to Android users, where the app is popular, coming to Windows Phone 7.
The app features:
- Discover, buy, download and listen to music anywhere
- MP3 shop with over 18 million songs available
- Sync your 7digital music from the cloud to your phone wirelessly
- Available worldwide (fully localised in Europe and North America)
- 30 second previews of all songs (streaming)
- Integrated music player
â€œThe 7digital mobile applications allow our customers to access their music however, whenever and through whichever device platform they choose,â€ says Ben Drury, CEO 7digital. â€œThe new 7digital Windows Phone application adds to our philosophy of being a truly platform agnostic digital music service. With the addition of the Windows Phone app, we enable music fans to purchase music and access their entire music collection on all their devices, anytime, anywhere.â€
The app is free and can be found in Marketplace here.
Todayâ€™s SkyDrive announcement was pretty momentous, confirming much of the rumours of the last few days and adding some major features which had so far not been leaked, such as the ability to upload up to 2 GB files using Explorer.
While reading the very wordy article however I kept looking out for any sign Microsoft would be joining the online music locker business.
Next to photos music is likely the main media type we collect on a day to day basis, and I dare say it is consumed more often than photos, and certainly much more so than video.
Yet in the announcement Microsoft makes repeated reference to the ability to â€œaccess any file, stream videos, or view photo albumsâ€ but at no point does it mention being able to stream music or any integration between music and the cloud.
Of course it is possible Microsoft is saving this information for a later announcement, and it may even be possible that Microsoft is negotiating rights with the major labels allowing us to stream our own music from their cloud.
There is of course no way of knowing either way, but the absence of music streaming does stick out like a sore thumb in what otherwise is shaping up to be a pretty excellent service.
Do our readers agree? Let us know below.
We have all been told the future of cross-platform apps are HTML5, but a few weeks ago GrooveShark discovered IE9 Mobile was just not ready, and while their HTML5-based streaming music website worked fine in other mobile browsers it did not work at all on Windows Phone 7.
Thankfully Microsoft did not leave it at that, and approached the Grooveshark developer to explore work-arounds. He writes:
Yes, you read that correctly. After my previous post discussing how Groovesharkâ€™s new HTML5 site would not work on Windows Phone 7 devices, Ben Riga, Technical Evangelist on the Windows Phone team, contacted me and offered to help. He discussed the issues with Eric Lawrence, Program Manager at Microsoft, who sent me an example of how to use postMessage to create a â€œproxyâ€ for the HTTPS requests the site made. I had previously tried doing this but I was using document.write in the callstack of getting a message and it was throwing an error saying â€œHTTPS security is compromisedâ€. Removing this call and using Ericâ€™s site as a guide, I successfully made a proxy for Groovesharkâ€™s site. Windows Phone 7 users running Mango can now use the site to listen to their favorite tunes on the go!
Great news, although it suggests the whole write once, run everywhere promise of HTML5 is a bit battered, but then when did this ever work as promised?
The Grooveshark Mobile site can be found here.
UPDATE: Cloud Music has been hidden from the marketplace due to an unexpected change in SkyDrive’s API, causing the app to not work. The developer is working on a fix.
Cloud Music is an app designed to make your 25 GB SkyDrive allocation a lot more useful.
It will search your SkyDrive for uploaded music, download or stream it and allow one to create playlists.
Even better is that it supports background playback, and will also scan your SkyDrive folders in the background and notify you of any new music â€“ perfect for a shared SkyDrive folder loaded with mp3s.
The app will also cache the last 20 songs played, which should minimize data use and make the app more responsive. It can also download music instead of streaming it, meaning you can always keep your favourite music on you.
The app is a great collection of great ideas, and the UI looks brilliant, but unfortunately the 1.0.0 version of the app is still very buggy and needs a lot of work, and while it supports mp3s and AAC, it does not support WMAs. It also needs a way to clear the previously uploaded library, and setting up the album tree takes too much work.Â Even worse uploading music to SkyDrive is painfully slow.Â The free Cloud Storage Explorer however really helps with this.
Update (from developer): WMA support currently isn’t possible due to the way SkyDrive handles them. A way to clear the previously uploaded library will be added in the next version.
Overall Cloud Music is a great idea which needs a lot of polishing, but at the moment is not worth the $1.29 the developer is asking.Â Get it working properly however and I will be first in line.
Download the free trial from Marketplace here and see the future for yourself.
There were all kinds of conspiracy theories swirling around the disappearance of the 3rd party Pandora client MetroRadio from Marketplace last week.
It turns out the developer had merely removed the app from Marketplace due to a change in the Pandora API making it non-functional. He has now returned with an updated version which fixes the issue, and also with some other improvements, the most useful being a fix to the login issue and the ability to pin radio rations to the start menu.
The full change log include:
- Auto login added.
- Fixed issue with starting a station while another one is already playing.
- Fixed issue with login.
- Added more search results.
- Added "Now Playing" station.
- Changed the way the app gets its music.
- Faster loading.
- UI improvements.
- Removed the 20 songs limitation.
- Added Pin to start for stations.
The app is free and can be found in Marketplace here.
Mustapha Taleb has posted this video of his 3rd party Pandora client based presumably based on Justin Angelâ€™s Pandora SDK.
Mustapha already has a number of apps in Marketplace, and promises that the Pandora one will be published next week.
Pandora do not yet have a Windows Phone 7 app in Marketplace, and I suspect will not tolerate this version there for too long, so we suggest if the app is approved to grab is ASAP, before it gets unceremoniously kicked out.
WiMP (Wireless Music Player) is a music streaming service only available to Norwegian, Danish and Swedish music lovers which give users unlimited access to around 6 million tracks and albums.
The service costs 99 NOK per month (about $17) and can stream music and also has an offline mode. In Offline mode you can enjoy music â€“ even when you have no network available.
The service was previously on Symbian, Android and the iPad, but, likely following Nokiaâ€™s move, has now also followed to Windows Phone 7.
The app is free and can be downloaded from Marketplace here.
Nokia has updated its Nokia Music app, which allows free access to the music of millions of artists, to include the technology by Echo Nest to personalize automated playlists.
The app will allow the user either to create a station based on 3 artists who’s style they like (from a library of 20,000 artists) or to have the app analyse the music they have on their phone already.
Up to 5 such stations can be created.
The update also ads Gigfinder, whichÂ Â users your location and todayâ€™s date and lists the nearest, soonest gigs happening round you. Where available, you can click through to booking information. You can now also share the gig details with friends using SMS, email or social networks.
Nokia Music works in 38 countries, is completely free to Nokia customers, does not require a log-in or account and can download up to 3 hours of music for off-line listening.
Press Release: Â The Echo Nest, a music intelligence platform powering smarter music apps across the web and devices, announced a landmark deal with Nokia today to pre-install a cutting-edge personalized streaming radio service on Nokia handsets. Nokia MixRadio, powered by The Echo Nest, streams fully-personalized radio that immediately understands a user’s musical taste.
The Nokia Lumia 800 phone, running the Windows Phone 7.5 operating system, will be first to include the groundbreaking Nokia Music app. The free app includes personalized MixRadio, an MP3 store, live concert recommendations, and more.
After a customer unboxes a Nokia Lumia smartphone, MixRadio analyzes the customer’s digital music collection with a lightweight browser app to generate custom streaming radio stations on the phone. MixRadio builds an ever-evolving user taste profile to sculpt programming from Nokia’s catalog of over 15 million songs. Based on the Taste Profile, MixRadio offers personalized stations in a variety of genres and allows users to make customized stations based on any artist or song. Under the hood, all of these features are powered by The Echo Nest’s music intelligence platform.
“We’re obsessed with understanding the entire world of music so we can enrich consumers’ lives with a more meaningful listening experience,” said Jim Lucchese, CEO of The Echo Nest. “Nokia’s MixRadio unites our music intelligence platform with a beautiful device, delivering the most personalized global music service the world has ever seen. We are thrilled to be helping Nokia give millions of music fans this intelligent, personalized digital music experience.”
In addition to MixRadio, the free, pre-installed Nokia Music app includes approximately 100 stations programmed by music experts and influencers. Users can stream any station on-demand, or download about 15 hours of programming onto their phones for offline playback.
Running on the well-reviewed Windows Phone 7.5 operating system, The Echo Nest-powered MixRadio feature, and Nokia’s consummate hardware designs, Nokia Music gives the world’s growing number ofsmartphone users an attractive new option.
Does this news increase the desirability of Nokia Music and the Nokia Lumia 800 for our readers, especially considering it is free even when mobile, unlike Spotify and Pandora? Let us know in the comments below.
Google has largely ignored Windows Phone 7, which is not surprising, given that the two are competitors, but some of Googleâ€™s services remain attractive to our community, including their streaming service which allows users to upload their own collection and stream it free from the cloud.
Snickler on XDA-Developers was not however going to be forces to switch to Android to use it. He has coded up a Windows Phone 7 client for Google Music.
The app features
- Max 1000 songs
- Search for individual song, artist or album
- Background art for each artist
- Seeking through songs
- Ability to play songs in the background
He is taking requests for the beta XAP at XDA-Developers and notes that the app may eventually support streaming from other sources. We can think of a service that starts with Sky and ends in Drive that could also do with a good streaming client.
Read more at XDA-Developers here.
The Rhapsody app for Windows Phone 7 has been updated to Mango. The software now supports background audio playback, and uses multiple live tiles to allow albums to be pinned to the home screen.
The app, which can access over 11 million songs, can also sync playlists automatically from Rhapsody.com.
Rhapsody requires a paid subscription, but a free trial is available now.
The app can be found in Marketplace here.
Thanks Jonathan for the tip.
With all the apps updating to Mango there were really only two I have been waiting for. One, Podcast!, remains a laggard, but Last.FM, the only streaming music app which plays chart music for free outside USA, has now finally also jumped on the Mango bandwagon, meaning the party does not have to stop simply because you have to check your email.
Besides background audio playback one can now also pin oneâ€™s favourite radio stations to the home screen and now also features Windows Live based sharing, which makes sharing to twitter, Facebook, Windows Live and LinkedIn super-simple.
Last.FM can be found in Marketplace here.
Rdio has been in the Windows Phone 7 marketplace for nearly a year, but has only today, with its 3.0 update, become super useful.
The app has been updated to support Windows Phone 7 Mango, and now supports background playback. Uniquely for a streaming music service on Windows Phone 7 (besides Zune of course), the software also supports synching of music to the device for off-line playback.
The service offers more than 10 million songs and has the following features:
- Access 10+ million songs
- Tons of new albums added every week
- Carry your collection in your pocket
- Sync and play music when you’re offline
- Build unlimited playlists
- Search the entire Rdio catalog