Tag Archives: streaming audio

BBC-backed Radioplayer comes to the Windows Phone Store

While the BBC is not known for their love of Windows Phone, it seems they are working to bring more of their apps to the OS.

The Official UK Radioplayer app, which features all BBC services, and hundreds more great British radio stations, has recently slipped into the Windows Phone store.

The app features live streams of radio, and also allows users to browse BBC’s catch-up programmes and podcasts collection, including hundreds of shows from the BBC iPlayer.

UK Radioplayer Ltd is a not-for-profit company backed by the BBC, and are also partnered with Absolute Radio (who run Absolute Radio 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and Classic Rock), Global Radio (owners of stations like Heart, Capital, Gold, LBC, XFM, Chill, Choice and Classic FM), and the people from Smooth Radio and Real Radio.

imageOther stations in Radioplayer include talkSPORT, Kiss, Kisstory, Magic, Kerrang, Planet Rock, Jazz FM, Fun Kids, Ministry of Sound, Free radio, Gaydio, Radio Caroline, Radio Jackie, and TeamRock. The app even includes community and student stations. Individual stations can be pinned to the start screen.

The free app, which appears to be restricted to UK residents,  can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.

Via Noknok.tv

Rhapsody for Windows Phone hits 3.0, finally brings offline playback

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 artist—plus check out other people’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.

Spotify hard at work on a Windows Phone 8 version of the app

Spotify-WP8

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 Ström ,  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 “must-have” app for the platform, and that they were doing everything they could to make it arrive as rapidly as possible.

Via WIngadget.se

Something’s brewing: SkyDrive now automatically adding album art to uploaded music

skydrivemusic

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.

7Digital app now in Marketplace, allows cloud streaming of purchased music

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4 of 4Its 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

“The 7digital mobile applications allow our customers to access their music however, whenever and through whichever device platform they choose,” says Ben Drury, CEO 7digital.image “The 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.”

The app is free and can be found in Marketplace here.

Via TNW.com

SkyDrive announcement oddly omits any mention of music streaming

imageToday’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 “access any file, stream videos, or view photo albums” 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.

GrooveShark’s HTML5 site now works on Windows Phone

Grooveshark_Logo_VerticalWe 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 Grooveshark’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 “proxy” 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 “HTTPS security is compromised”. Removing this call and using Eric’s site as a guide, I successfully made a proxy for Grooveshark’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.

Via WPCentral.com

Cloud Music SkyDrive streaming music player–good idea, needs some work

3 of 8UPDATE: 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 – 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.  Even worse uploading music to SkyDrive is painfully slow.  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.  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.

Via MobilityDigest.com

Pandora-playing MetroRadio back in Marketplace

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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.

Via WPCentral.com

First Pandora SDK app in development

Mustapha Taleb has posted this video of his 3rd party Pandora client based presumably based on Justin Angel’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 Scandinavian music streaming service comes to Windows Phone 7

wimpapp

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 – even when you have no network available.

The service was previously on Symbian, Android and the iPad, but, likely following Nokia’s move, has now also followed to Windows Phone 7.

The app is free and can be downloaded from Marketplace here.

Via WPCentral.com

Nokia Music update adds personalized Mix stations, Gigfinder

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, which  users your location and today’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.

Via Nokia Conversations

Echo Nest brings automatically customized playlists to Nokia Music on the Nokia Lumia 800

Press Release:  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.

Comment:

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.

Via Engadget.com