Archive for the ‘spotify’ Category

A mistake at Facebook broke Spotify, Venmo, TikTok, and other iPhone apps

May 7th, 2020
A casually dressed man speaks in front a stylized padlock symbol.

Enlarge / Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook's F8 summit in 2018. (credit: JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Users of numerous popular iPhone apps such as Spotify, Venmo, Tinder, TikTok, DoorDash, and Pinterest experienced persistent app crashes as a result of a bug in Facebook's SDK this week. The crash reports began coming in around 6:30pm Eastern yesterday, but the issue has since been resolved.

Not long after the problem emerged, it was revealed to have been caused by a server-side change by Facebook. "A new release of Facebook included a change that triggered crashes for some users in some apps using the Facebook iOS SDK. We identified the issue quickly and resolved it. We apologize for any inconvenience," a Facebook spokesperson told The Verge.

The Facebook SDK is included in apps by developers for a number of reasons, from offering single sign-on using users' Facebook accounts to enabling sophisticated metrics for Facebook ads. The apps were attempting to communicate with Facebook's servers and crashing as a result. The crashes happened even if users were not logged into Facebook, did not have any apps made by Facebook installed, or were not using any Facebook-related features in the affected apps.

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Posted in apple, Apple App Store, Facebook, Facebook SDK, iOS, ipad, iphone, spotify, Tech, tiktok, Venmo | Comments (0)

Apple Music reaches new deals with major labels sans “Apple Prime” bundle agreement

March 12th, 2020
A man speaks on a stage in front of a giant Apple Music logo.

Jimmy Iovine announces Apple Music in 2015.

For months, we've seen reports and rumors that Apple is on the brink of introducing its own answer to Amazon Prime: a bundled subscription service that would offer users access to Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple News+ for one flat fee. But a new article providing details about Apple's newly signed deals with major record labels for Apple Music calls that prediction into question—at least for the near term.

According to a report in Financial Times, Apple Music has inked new deals with the record labels Sony Music, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group to continue to offer those labels' artists' work on Apple's streaming service for years to come. That includes huge names like Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Blake Shelton, and Mariah Carey.

That said, the new deals do not "include an economic agreement to bundle Apple Music with the company's television service," according to Financial Times' sources. Late last year, Bloomberg reported that Apple was pursuing a plan to bundle Apple TV+, Apple Music, and Apple News+ in one service. (Apple Arcade and the company's other services were not mentioned.)

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Posted in Apple Arcade, apple music, Apple News, Apple Prime, Apple TV, Gaming & Culture, spotify, Tech | Comments (0)

Apple is considering letting users change default email, browser, music apps in iOS

February 20th, 2020
Closeup photo of a hand holding the iPhone 11

Enlarge / The iPhone 11. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Apple is seriously considering the possibility of allowing users to change the default apps for Web browsing, mail, or music on their iPhones. The company might also allow users to listen to Spotify or other music streaming services besides Apple Music via Siri on the iPhone or on the HomePod smart speaker.

These revelations were outlined in a report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman this morning, who cited multiple people familiar with Apple's internal plans.

While Apple's plans are not final, the changes could go into effect as soon as Apple's iOS 14 release later this year, which means they would likely be introduced during Apple's developer conference this June.

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Posted in apple, gmail, iOS, spotify, Tech | Comments (0) unveils “The Radiohead Library,” an official band depository

January 20th, 2020

On Monday, British rock band Radiohead rolled out arguably the most comprehensive one-stop website for a single band we've ever seen—and for an Internet-savvy band like Radiohead, that's saying something.

The Radiohead Library, which can be found at the sensible URL of, includes nearly every official studio release since the band's debut album Pablo Honey launched in 1993, along with much, much more. Full concerts, TV appearances, CD booklet art, long-lost promotional videos: they're all here.

Whether you visit the site on a smartphone or desktop browser, it's formatted to present each Radiohead era as a series of squares and rectangles. The top of the site includes generic, single-colored squares, which each represent a major studio album. Click any of them to reveal the album, its associated EPs and singles, and a scattershot assortment of official music videos, full concert recordings, and other audio and video samples from that album's era. While you're picking through each era, you may notice squares with T-shirt logos. Turns out, these link to reprints of classic tour shirts and merchandise from almost every Radiohead album, back on sale for the first time in years.

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Posted in apple music, Gaming & Culture, Radiohead, spotify, vimeo, YouTube | Comments (0)

Amazon Music Unlimited is growing faster than Apple Music or Spotify, report says

July 12th, 2019
An Amazon Echo smart speaker.

Enlarge / An Amazon Echo smart speaker. (credit: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Amazon grew its Music Unlimited streaming service by over 70 percent in the past year, according to data by Midia Research published by the Financial Times. The service currently has approximately 32 million subscribers. However, the report didn't clarify whether that includes trial subscriptions as well as paid ones.

Amazon Unlimited Music is still smaller than its biggest competitors. Apple services head Eddie Cue recently revealed that Apple Music has about 60 million subscribers. Spotify has more than 100 million. Google has offered a variety of streaming services via YouTube that it has shuttered, rebranded, and shuffled around, making it difficult to quantify the company's traction with music listeners. In any case, Amazon still has a lot of catching up to do.

Midia Research credits the rapid growth of Amazon Unlimited Music to the proliferation of Amazon Echo smart speakers and other devices with Alexa. While these devices can play music from other services like Spotify, they default to Amazon services in many cases. For example, if you ask Alexa to play David Bowie's "Heroes" on a Sonos One speaker, Amazon's streaming music service will be used. You have to say "Play David Bowie's 'Heroes' on Spotify" to get a different result.

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Posted in alexa, amazon, amazon echo, amazon music, amazon music unlimited, apple music, music, spotify, streaming, Tech | Comments (0)

More people pay for Apple Music than Spotify in the US now

April 5th, 2019
More people pay for Apple Music than Spotify in the US now

Enlarge (credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the battle between Apple and Spotify continues to escalate. "People familiar with the matter" revealed that Apple Music now has more paid US subscribers than Spotify—specifically, more than 28 million versus Spotify's 26 million as of February 2019.

Those sources also claim that Apple Music is expanding more rapidly in the US, at a rate of about 2.6 to 3 percent. Spotify's growth rate is reportedly 1.5 to 2 percent.

It's unlikely that Apple will claim this as a victory, because it, like Spotify, doesn't publicly break out regional subscriber counts. However, if the estimates are accurate, they show that US customers are embracing Apple Music as much as (and possibly more than) its Swedish competitor.

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Posted in apple, apple music, music streaming, spotify, streaming, Tech | Comments (0)

Spotify’s EU antitrust complaint could be a serious threat to Apple

March 14th, 2019
The Apple logo takes corporeal form outside an Apple store.

Enlarge (credit: Andrew / Flickr)

Apple is abusing its control over the iOS App Store to give its own music streaming service an unfair advantage over competitors, Spotify argued in a Wednesday filing with the European Commission.

"Apple has introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience," writes Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek. "After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we’re now requesting that the EC take action to ensure fair competition."

For years, Apple has pressured Spotify to use Apple's In-App Purchase service to collect subscription fees. Spotify has resisted, largely because Apple takes a whopping 30-percent commission. Over time, Spotify says, Apple has tightened up its app store rules to make it more and more difficult for app makers to direct users to payment methods outside the Apple ecosystem.

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Posted in antitrust, App Store, apple, competition policy, European Commission, iOS, Policy, spotify | Comments (0)

Spotify officially releases first version of its Apple Watch app

November 14th, 2018
The Apple Watch Series 4 on a wooden table.

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

After rolling out wearables apps across other platforms over the past few weeks, Spotify just released the first iteration of its Apple Watch app. The watchOS app will be rolling out to Apple Watch users over the next week, and you must have the latest version of the Spotify iOS app on your iPhone to download the app.

Much like Spotify's other wearable device apps, the program for the Apple Watch focuses on controlling playback on your iPhone from the watch. Users can pause, play, skip, and rewind their music, podcasts, and other tracks. They can also tap a heart icon to add new music that they stumble upon to their libraries. Most of these features, aside from adding music to your library, are available in Apple's native Now Playing app that lets users control playback from nearly any audio source on their connected iPhone.

The Apple Watch app also has Spotify Connect support, which lets users manage connections and playback with Bluetooth devices. Directly from the watch, you can choose which devices—like laptops, speakers, headphones, and others—you want to play music.

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Posted in apple music, apple watch, spotify, Streaming music, Tech, watchos, wearables | Comments (0)

Spotify comes to Wear OS with stand-alone app, Spotify Connect support

October 17th, 2018
Spotify standalone Wear OS app on three Fossil smartwatch screens.

Enlarge (credit: Spotify/Fossil)

Wear OS gains a popular new app today that many have been waiting for, as Spotify announced that it's bringing a stand-alone wearable app to Google's smartwatch platform.

Spotify's stand-alone app lets you browse and control music from your wrist. It seems to be a lighter version of Spotify's mobile app, allowing you to browse your tracks and playlists and quickly save songs to your library. You can also control playback from your wrist—it appears similar to Wear OS' native music controls, just built into a dedicated Spotify app.

The Wear OS app also integrates with Spotify Connect, the company's method of connecting and controlling playback on Bluetooth devices. Now from your wrist, you can manage connections between Bluetooth speakers, laptops, and other devices and quickly change the playback source.

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Posted in apple watch, fossil, spotify, Tech, watchos, wear OS, wearables | Comments (0)

Ars Technica’s songs of the summer—and how our staff discovers music

August 21st, 2015

Hello from the 2015 Technicon, the annual Ars Technica staff meet-up where we all put on pants, leave our home offices, and gather in a single city to talk about editorial policy and come up with new nicknames for Jon Brodkin.

One major ritual most of us take part in before boarding planes en route to Technicon is to update our portable music playlists, which means this is as good an opportunity as any to whip up a staff-wide music mix for you, dear readers, to shimmy and shake to while reading our other diatribes about mobile phones, hacking, and fancy cars. We asked staffers to contribute one song each and then cooked up a Spotify playlist and added our perspectives on modern music accumulation.

The results and diatribes are below, along with an unexpected double-dose of one artist (we didn’t confer with each other before making our individual picks). Also, if you can guess which listed staffer was the major digital-music hold-out before reading, you get a cookie.

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Posted in courtney barnett, google music, power pop, spotify, staffsource, The Multiverse | Comments (0)