Apple Music Classical, a dedicated app for classical music, will be released on March 28th.
Universal Music in Talks With Big Platforms to Overhaul Streaming Model
Universal Music Group is in talks with big streaming platforms to overhaul the industry’s economics and direct more money towards artists, according to people familiar with the matter. The shake-up, which stands to revolutionise the way musicians make money, comes as the world’s largest music company is increasingly concerned about the proliferation of songs on platforms such as Spotify, where 100,000 new tracks are being added each day.
The industry is also contending with growing manipulation of the system, including using bots to inflate listening figures and the uploading of 31-second clips that are just long enough to qualify as a “play”.
iTunes for Windows Being Replaced
Andrew Cunningham, writing at Ars:
Today, as part of a new Windows 11 preview build for Windows Insiders, Microsoft has announced that previews of new Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Devices apps are available in the Microsoft Store for download.
The Apple Music and Apple TV apps handle iTunes’ music and video functionality, just as they do on macOS, and provide access to the Apple Music and Apple TV+ subscription services. The Apple Devices app is what you’ll use to make local device backups, perform emergency software updates, sync local media, and the other things you can do with an iDevice that’s plugged into your PC (in macOS, similar functionality was added to the Finder, rather than being broken out into its own app).
Apple Announces Apple Music Sing
Apple today announced Apple Music Sing, an exciting new feature that allows users to sing along to their favorite songs with adjustable vocals and real-time lyrics. Apple Music Sing offers multiple lyric views to help fans take the lead, perform duets, sing backup, and more — all integrated within Apple Music’s unparalleled lyrics experience. Coupled with an ever-expanding catalog that features tens of millions of the world’s most singable songs, Apple Music Sing makes it fun and easy for anyone to participate, however and wherever they choose.
Apple Music Sing will be available later this month to Apple Music subscribers worldwide, and can be enjoyed on iPhone, iPad, and the new Apple TV 4K.
Apple Music Replay Gets Expanded Highlights
John Voorhees, writing at MacStories:
Many of the statistics you’ll see as part of your latest Replay will be familiar, but there’s a new twist too. For the Replay 2022, Apple has added a Highlights Reel, which is a video of cards animating on and off-screen with highlights of the music you listened to in 2022. As the cards animate on and off your screen, the music that defined your year plays in the background. Replay’s highlights are only available on the web, and the Highlights Reel looks best on an iPhone, but it can be viewed in any web browser.
This is pretty cool and a big step up from what they had before. Being able to share the stats as images is nice, but I wish I could share the full reel, or a better “recap” of the entire year in one compact image. The closest is probably that last image in the reel. (They must not be counting anything listened to in your downloaded library, because there are two albums I played more than the one they have here, but both racked up a lot of plays as advances. Yet another reason I (and a few others) still use Last.fm.)
And, while I know I’m basically alone on this island, the year isn’t over so none of these count yet.
Apple Music to Sponsor Super Bowl Halftime Show
Apple Music will be the sponsor of the next Super Bowl halftime show.
Apple Music’s first Super Bowl halftime show will take place Feb. 12, 2023 in Arizona, with performers TBD. The tech giant says that it will roll out details and sneak peeks of the event on its @AppleMusic social channels ahead of the Super Bowl.
The 1975 on Zane Lowe
The 1975 talked with Zane Lowe about “Happiness” and working with Jack Antonoff:
“I love Jack’s work, and those Lana [Del Rey] records, in particular, like, some of my favorite stuff. So we were talking about that. We became friends talking about production and what I was doing and what he was wanting to do and what I was wanting to do. And then I kind of just thought, ‘Well, this is like a really nice new energy.’ I don’t… because we are so closed, me and George [Daniel], we’ve always been so closed. “Why don’t you like come down to the studio and see what happens?” And then he did. And, then, ever since, we were just great, great friends.”
Joy Oladokun Announces Apple Music Show
Joy Oladokun has announced “Light on Radio,” a new bi-weekly radio series airing on Apple Music’s global live-streaming radio station Apple Music Country.
Apple Music Adds Anniversaries Feature
John Voorhees, writing at MacStories:
Apple Music was quietly updated today with a new feature: Essentials Anniversaries. The new Apple Music section features landmark albums from artists organized by their anniversaries, from five-year anniversaries all the way to 65-year-old albums.
The first featured anniversary is OK Computer by Radiohead, which celebrates its 25th anniversary tomorrow, May 21, 2022. The new Essentials Anniversaries section includes Radiohead’s album, a handful of music videos, and something new: an episode of a Apple Music radio show also called Essentials Anniversaries. The first episode is hosted by DJ Matt Wilkinson, who introduces most tracks, providing context and commentary and interviewing people involved in the production of OK Computer.
The iPod is Officially Discontinued
“Music has always been part of our core at Apple, and bringing it to hundreds of millions of users in the way iPod did impacted more than just the music industry — it also redefined how music is discovered, listened to, and shared,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Today, the spirit of iPod lives on. We’ve integrated an incredible music experience across all of our products, from the iPhone to the Apple Watch to HomePod mini, and across Mac, iPad, and Apple TV. And Apple Music delivers industry-leading sound quality with support for spatial audio — there’s no better way to enjoy, discover, and experience music.”
I remember my very first iPod. 10 GB. Black and white. And I loved it.
The xx Launch New Apple Music Show
The xx will be debuting their new monthly Apple Music radio show on March 10th.
We’ll be taking turns to host each episode and get in to the things that inspire us individually. An hour of music, guests and sneak peeks of what we’re all up to on our own and together.
Nick Heer on Apple Music and Last.fm
Nick Heer nails what I’ve been thinking for a while about what Apple Music should learn from Last.fm:
So: Last.fm. There are a few things I like about it. First, it seems to take into account my entire listening history, though it does give greater weight to recency and frequency. Second, it shows me why it is recommending a particular artist or album. Something as simple as that helps me contextualize a recommendation. Third, its suggestions are a blend of artists I am familiar with in passing and those that I have never heard of.
Most importantly, it feels free of artificial limitations. Apple Music only shows a maximum of eight similar artists on my iPhone, but there are pages of recommendations on Last.fm. Echo and the Bunnymen has twenty-five pages with ten artists each. I can go back and see my entire listening history since I started my account there. Why can I only see the last forty things I listened to on Apple Music?
There are so many things Apple could learn from Last.fm’s recommendation approach, and I wish it would. Right now, its approach is somewhere between inconsequential and unhelpful. It does not have to be this way, and it should not be this way.
Maybe part of my appreciation comes from my nostalgia for the mid-2000s internet era. They are memories of shiny, colourful logos, wet floors everywhere, and new social networks for every conceivable interest. These websites encouraged centralization and many were ultimately destructive to privacy, but there were also gems like Last.fm. It was built around a simple premise: track your music listening history for better recommendations.
Sorry for quoting so generously, but this really gets to the heart of one of the reasons I dove back into Last.fm with such vigor last year. Being able to see what I’ve been listening to, get the stats behind it, visualize that data, and get recommendations based on my entire streaming history is a cherry on top of it helping me with my weekly newsletter. There’s a whole lot I think Apple Music should be doing to make their service better.
Apple Music’s New Mood and Activity Playlists
MacStories has compiled a list of all the new Apple Music playlists added:
What we found was over 250 playlists each designed to fit a mood or activity that use animated cover art with simple line drawings to set them apart from Apple’s other playlist. Although they were announced as Siri playlists during the event on Monday, anyone with an Apple Music subscription can view and play the new playlists in the Music app like any other playlist in the service’s collection.
Billie Eilish Promotes Spatial Audio
Billie Eilish teamed up with Apple Music to promote spatial audio.Read More “Billie Eilish Promotes Spatial Audio”
Apple Music’s Record Label Pages
Zane Lowe talked with Rolling Stone about Apple Music’s new record label pages:
“We want to highlight labels that are really hyper-focused on building great quality. The labels we’re partnering with here are the ones where I want to search for their logo on the back of the record and would buy music unheard because I trust that,” Lowe says. “That to me is really the culture that we’re trying to represent from a label point of view here. In a way, this is an opportunity for us to reestablish the concept of a label as something more than just a bank. To look at the label system again as more than just a distribution model or an investment model, but actually as a place where music, art and culture is fostered in a really deliberate and very thoughtful way.”
Where’s my Drive-Thru Records page, Zane?