Official Pandora app coming to Windows Phone 8 today (Original)
At October's Windows Phone 8 launch event, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore stood on stage and eagerly announced a laundry list of popular apps that were confirmed to be coming to the platform in the coming months. To the delight of many, Pandora was on the list -- and to top it all off, the music streaming service would come ad-free for the first year. The question then shifted to when it would actually make it to the Windows Phone Store, and we finally have an answer: today.
The free app will take advantage of a Live Tile in all three possible sizes, the two largest showing which song is currently playing, along with its album cover art. Pandora's arrival also marks another milestone: not only will it be available on Kids Corner, it's also the first app capable of automatically filtering out explicit content when the feature is activated. The service will only be available for Windows Phone 8 devices, but anyone accessing Pandora through alternate apps on Windows Phone 7.x can continue to do so.
Hands-On: Pandora’s All-You-Can-Listen, Ad-Free Windows Phone App (Original)
Microsoft's app ecosystem consistently gets dinged for its slim offerings, so the popular music-streaming app is a big win for the company.…
Ears-On With Spotify Social, The New “Follow” Feature Now Available To Everyone (Original)
Spotify today confirmed to TechCrunch that it has finally completed the rollout of its new social following features that model music discovery after offline behavior — where you find songs through tuned-in friends and influencers. Here’s our hands-on demo and review of Spotify’s move to discovery through actual humans instead of algorithms. Back in November, I wrote that sources told me Spotify planned to launch a Twitter-esque following feature for music discovery. Then at a flashy event in New York featuring performers like Frank Ocean and an after-party with Vampire Weekend, Spotify officially unveiled its “music graph.” But the rollout has been slow, and the redesigned Discover tab and instant previews features aren’t yet available to everyone. But influencer following is, and it’s a big step up for the on-demand music service.
A Cure For Paralyzed EarsDiscovery is Spotify’s biggest problem. Its search box can be paralyzing. When you can listen to all the world’s music, where do you start? Spotify’s answer is “with what your favorite artists and most music-savvy friends are listening to” through the new Follow tab plus revamped profiles and an activity feed. By now you should have received a prompt to update to Spotify version 0.8.8.…
Spotify lifts the five-play cap per track for free listening in the UK (Original)
There's been a Sword of Damocles looming for months over Spotify's free tier: after a reprieve, some listeners past the six-month trial phase have been capped at five plays per track. Spotify must not want to kill the joy of a favorite album, as it's lifting that cap for UK members. Like most of their friends on the platform, Brits now just have to cope with the usual ads and 10-hour monthly cap if they're not keen on paying for a subscription. With only the French apparently left facing the five-play limit -- qu'est-ce que c'est l'obstacle? -- it's clear that Spotify sees value in softening the hard sell for its paid service.