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Spotify and Apple Music share most of the streaming music market, with a market share of 46% and 18% respectively. In 2018, however, there was an important advance of Amazon Music Unlimited , the service of the e-commerce giant that stands as a more credible alternative to the other two mentioned. Each of them presents characteristics and functionality in some ways unique, integrating more or less effectively with the different platforms. As always in these cases, we analyze everything proceeding in order.

Let’s start with Spotify. It is possible to install the service in the form of a real application both on Windows (2000 or later) and on MacOS (10.5 or later). Starting from 10 June 2016, a version has also been released for GNU / Linux systems on which it is supported (such as Debian, Ubuntu and derivatives, Fedora, etc.). However, nobody forbids using it via browser simply by going to the official portal at this link and logging in with your account. But that is not all.

Spotify is obviously also available on the Android Play Store and on the iOS App Store . It is also available in the form of “universal app” in the Microsoft Store, so it can be installed in this capacity both on smartphones equipped with Windows Phone and on devices (PC, notebook, convertible, 2 in 1 etc …) based on Windows 10 In short, really a broad compatibility.
Let’s move on to Apple Music. The Cupertino company music streaming service is included directly in iTunes , so to use it on the desktop platform you need to install the program in question. On MacOS you will find it by default, while on Windows you need to download from this link , with compatibility guaranteed by Windows 7 and later versions.

There is no version of iTunes specifically created for GNU / Linux systems, just as Apple Music is not a service designed to be used through browsers. Obviously there is the possibility to install the appropriate application both on Android (find it at this link ) and on iOS (find it at this link ). It is not present on the Microsoft Store in the form of “universal app”.

Finally, Amazon Music Unlimited. In this case the e-commerce giant offers the user the maximum choice, a bit as seen with Spotify: it is possible to install the appropriate application both on macOS and on Windows (you can find it at this link ); present in the “universal app” version on the Windows Store; You can use the service via browser simply by connecting to this link and logging in with your account; present the appropriate app both on the Play Store (find it here ) and on the App Store (find it here ).
There is no special version for GNU / Linux systems, on which it is however possible to use the service via browser.

An important aspect to consider regarding these services is undoubtedly the catalog of music tracks offered. From this point of view, it is important to underline how the number of tracks, in itself per se, can be considered relative, as the exclusives often make the difference, a bit like what happens in video streaming platforms.

Having clarified this aspect, Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited officially make available “more than 50 million songs”, as reported on the official portals, while Spotify makes “over 35 million” available. The organization in genres and playlists is obviously different from service to service, but from this point of view it comes down to subjective tastes.

Different discourse regarding the quality of the streaming offered. In this sense, we usually refer to the bit rate , ie the amount of data that is processed in a given period of time. On paper, the higher the bit rate, the higher the quality of the streaming, resulting in higher data consumption. In reality, however, services often use different formats, so making a “numerical” comparison is not always sensible.
In any case, Spotify makes available three different bit rates, which are 128, 256 and 320 Kbps respectively , while the format used is Ogg Vorbis. Apple instead adopts the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format at 256 Kbps, which is the same format as the songs on iTunes. Amazon Music Unlimited instead uses the 256 Kbps mp3 format.

Finally, chapter costs.Also in this case we start from Spotify, which offers three types of subscription: the free one, therefore without costs, which however gives access to the random reproduction of the tracks (there is no possibility of choice) with advertising breaks every “tot” minutes of listening and audio quality limited to 128 Kbps; the premium one – with a cost of 9.99 euros per month – with which you can listen to any song you want, without advertising breaks, at the highest quality (up to 360 Kbps) and with the possibility of downloading the songs so you can also enjoy offline; the family one, identical to the premium one in terms of functionality but that gives the possibility to share it up to 6 members of one’s family, so people who must have the same residence (the cost goes up to 14.99 euros per month, however).

Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited lists are virtually identical . Both are in fact basically available in two season tickets: one individual from 9.99 euros per month, which allows you to use the catalog at will; one for the family, which can be shared with up to 6 members (here too we talk about “family members”) at a cost of 14.99 euros per month, with the same functionality as the individual one in the song catalog.

Important to point out a possibility offered by Amazon. In fact, if you had an Echo speaker, you can subscribe to Music Unlimited at a cost of € 3.99 per month , but you can only use it through these devices.

 

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Microsoft has decided to remove the possibility of being able to stream the music on OneDrive from its Groove Music application.

Microsoft takes another step towards the complete disposal of its old Groove Music music streaming service and all its advanced features. In an official document, the Redmond company reported that starting March 31, 2019, Windows 10 users will no longer be able to play streaming music from OneDrive via the Groove Music app. Of course, this applies to PCs, phones and Xbox One consoles.

This also applies to the Forza Horizon 3 game , which included the ability to play music through Groove Music during the game. The music can continue to be heard through the OneDrive web player. Alternatively, users can download it offline on their PCs to listen to it. This is certainly not pleasant news but it was widely expected. Last May, Microsoft announced its intention to withdraw the Grove Music apps for iOS and Android. Which happened last December without too many traumas.

Deleting the streaming features for Windows 10 was only the most logical step forward in a program to discontinue this service.

Remember that Groove Music no longer offers the possibility of being able to buy music to listen to in streaming. Precisely for this reason, Microsoft has transformed its application into a simple music player natively present within Windows 10.
This new news is just yet another initiative by Microsoft in eliminating the remaining functionality of the old music streaming service still present in the application.

Finally, it is reiterated that even after this feature has been discontinued, the music on OneDrive will not be affected in any way. Only, we will have to find another way to listen to them.

AM Radio Has Gone The Route of Podcasting, Here are Android Apps to Enjoy Audio

The podcasts are a type of highly regarded content and is gradually winning more and more listeners. Their strength, compared to common YouTube videos, is that they consist exclusively of audio transmissions and can be easily heard even by those who are working or are, for example, in the gym. In many ways, this is a sort of evolution of traditional radio transmissions.

Due to their “portable” nature, there are several Android apps to listen to podcasts. In this article we will analyze 5 of the most functional and those most used by users. We will take the opportunity to deepen their functionality and try to understand which of them is best suited to the specific types of users.

Android app to listen to podcasts? Here are the best currently available!
Podcasts and smartphones are a very solid pair. Precisely for this reason there are many third-party software in this sector, some focusing on essentiality, others with advanced features that make them suitable for the most demanding users. Here is the selection of the five software considered most interesting.

Castbox
Let’s start with the Android app to listen to perhaps the most popular podcasts, or Castbox . It is a software with simple, clean and easy to use interface. Once registered, you can listen to podcasts and save customized playlists. Despite the presence of small micro transactions, Castbox is a free app and does not present annoying ads or banners.

Active on over a million podcast channels, for an innumerable amount of audio content, this app allows you to either listen directly to streaming or download the various episodes as audio files on your device. Furthermore, Castbox can help you discover new podcasts by offering suggestions based on subscriptions and listening habits already shown. Not just Android smartphones: the app in question can also be integrated with other platforms such as Chromecast and Amazon Echo .

Google Podcast
Could good old Google not get its hands on an expanding sector like podcasting? Here is Google Podcasts , one of the Android apps for listening to popular and popular podcasts. In addition to a deep integration with the Google Assistant , the app allows you to download episodes of your favorite podcasts for offline listening and more.

The contents are synchronized on all the devices, allowing users to suspend listening on one device and resume listening on another from the point where they had previously stopped. Furthermore, integration with Google Assistant allows users to control playback using their own voice, a necessity for those who want to listen to podcasts when their hands are busy.

Podcast Addict
We continue the list with Podcast Addict. It is an extremely flexible app, capable of managing countless channels, formats and contents such as audiobooks, online radio, YouTube , Twitch and SoundCloud (as well as traditional textual RSS feeds). Podcast Addict has over 8 million active downloads, confirming how an app is absolutely popular in this sector.

The software in question, among other things, allows users to set variable playback speeds and can count on complete support for the different episodes of a podcast. In addition, users can configure downloads and automatic deletion of content after a certain period. Podcast Addict is totally free to use even if there is no lack of advertisements.

Stitcher
If you are a real podcast addict who can’t get enough, then Stitcher could be the app for you. This app allows users to subscribe to podcasts and online radio stations: nothing original except that Stitcher “links” the user’s favorite podcasts, combining them to create a set of alternate transmissions. The result is a very intriguing “personalized radio” effect. Users can also add breaks between episodes to receive the latest news, sports updates and more.

Stitcher is completely free to use. However, it also features a premium version that offers users access to exclusive content produced by the app itself. These are transmissions (strictly in English) that deal with politics, sports and much more.

Podcast Go
If you are looking for a more essential experience and without too many frills, you may find Podcast Go very useful . This application offers a fairly basic experience and offers equally simple features such as the ability to subscribe to shows, download episodes for offline listening and set the playback speed to suit your tastes. In addition, it does not offer particular settings.

The app is presented to the public as free, despite the presence of advertising. If this is considered annoying, you can remove it by paying a one-time $ 2.99, making your account free of any type of banner or similar. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use podcast application, Podcast Go might be the best choice.

Spotify is catching up with broadcast companies in investing big on podcasts

Spotify has a plan and doesn’t just go by the music. Instead, focus on the new podcast season . It is curious that today we are talking about a communication channel already so rooted: just think that “podcasting” was elected word of the year by the American dictionary New Oxford back in 2005. Almost 15 years ago. And there is no doubt that with this term we were referring to the same fever that we are experiencing in these months, that is to a “digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar, made available on the internet with the purpose of allowing the download on audio players personal. ” Today we do everything with the smartphone, at the time there were (also) mp3 players and PC software, but the substance does not change. What has changed is the ecosystem that revolves around it.

This is why Spotify, which currently has 96 million paid subscribers and 207 million active users per month, wants to develop a more effective strategy with the aim of making podcasts a new (serious) income. Last year an analysis by IAB and PwCestimated that the turnover around this liquid formula of ubiquitous radio would reach 659 million dollars by 2020 only in the United States. But order must be made: today podcast listening is fragmented on several fronts, from TuneIn Radio to Apple’s Podcast app, through Spotify, Audible and other applications like Stitcher, Spreaker, Podbean and Overcast. Not to mention the applications set up by the individual radio-TV networks, like our RaiPlayRadio.

In truth, the group of Daniel Ek has already taken the first steps by acquiring two companies, which will remain independent, but will have to bring water to the mother platform. It is Gimlet Media , specialized in the production of original content, and Anchor , a simple-to-use app to make a podcast in just a few taps. The bill is 300 million dollars and both companies tell their respective strategies for the coming months: original content with which to attract the Netflix-style audience , and at the same time open to content from below by enthusiasts and creators. In short, a pincer action to understand which approach will pull more in a mix between professionalism and amateurism.

The preparatory step, however, will be the development of more effective algorithms to allow users to easily discover the podcasts and authors that might interest them. This is exactly what happens with music with Discover Weekly- style playlists , tailored to the user’s previous tastes and ratings. The same will happen soon with podcasts: “The music that we offer through our discovery engine and which we select through machine learning is damn good, and you know what? The group is working on the same thing for podcasts, “explained Courtney Holt, Spotify studio and video manager, at a recent Festival in Brooklyn.

But if I do not know what to listen to and the hunt for the podcast becomes too complex or boring, I will tend to always hear only a few, limiting the attitude of discovery typical of streaming platforms. Ek has also returned to this point; the goal is to focus on the user experience to become the reference platform for anyone who wants to listen to their favorite creators. “We believe there is enormous potential for improving the user experience – explained the CEO – and if we do we will have the opportunity to increase our market share for podcasts”.

This is why Spotify “will double its investments on original and exclusive content”, as the head of finance, Barry McCarthy, assured and confirmed Gimlet co-founder Alex Blumberg. According to Holt, among other things, Gimlet and other possible acquisitions will be at Spotify a bit like Pixar and Marvel are at Disney. Expectations, therefore, are not lacking. The contents, however, will not only come from professionals. The acquisition of Anchor, a very fun application to churn out their podcasts in just a few steps, paves the way for individual creation, an aspect to which Spotify has never looked carefully.

Difficult to understand which content will work the most: whether the shows produced from below or the Spotify Original. The decision, by McCarthy’s own admission, seems to be to focus on both fronts. It remains to understand the business model to apply to those who will sign these contents. That is how much and how they will gain.

Radio Topic: Maine Mendoza MAC Success Makes Company Proud of Her

Much talked about in radio in the south is the success of Maine Mendoza’s MAC event at a department store chain. Representatives from their local branch as well as from their New York are proud of the Phenomenal Star’s unquestionable influence. More and more MAC products not just from her lineup are being sold out but all other items from their shelves. Listeners of a local station called in, tweeted on shared on their socials how they became instant MAC fans and even those who are not really using their products like men and husbands were enticed to buy for their love ones.

The thing about Maine says the rep is that she is not afraid to experiment when it comes to make up and speaking of experiment. MAC official recently talked about the new trend in make up. The metallic eye shadows .

This year the make-up spotlights focus on the eyes creating an impact beauty look, words of Gordon Espinet , Senior Vice President Global make-up artistry Mac Cosmetics.

“This year the shade protagonists of the eye make-up are intense: deep browns, intense burgundies and rich nuances, not necessarily however ringing like red, blue or green”.

“A classic trend that we have proposed a lot on the catwalk, and that I love very much – continues Espinet – is the metallic finish . It is not a” color “but a cool finish that transforms the look making it interesting and magnetic”.

The best metallic eye shadows
We have selected for you the best metal eye shadows of the moment, discover them below by continuing to read this article.

Mac Cosmetics Dazzleshadow Liquid Blinking Brilliant
Metallic foil effect enriched with glitter for the liquid eyeshadow of the Canadian professional cosmetic house.

Mac Cosmetics Dazzleshadow Let’s Roll
Multi-reflection red bronze, ideal for creating metal-eye tricks with a highly glamorous catwalk.

Removing makeup and deep cleansing the face and eyes is a fundamental daily gesture to keep the skin fresh, young and radiant for longer.

Do not clean the skin well, in fact, in the long run it can cause clogging of the pores and the appearance of dryness and impurities.

After a whole day wearing makeup it is necessary to remove make- up with specific products, able to remove any type of makeup, even the most stubborn and waterproof.

How to remove Waterproof or long-lasting make-up?
The secret to removing the most stubborn make-up is to choose formulas based on oily ingredients that can effectively dissolve even water-resistant makeup. For waterproof eye makeup, choose a two-phase make-up remover : it is a mix of two liquids consisting of aqueous and oleic molecules that, once mixed, can dissolve the makeup quickly and with little aggressiveness. For face skin instead, go ahead for natural oils and butters that blend with the complexion to clean it without drying out the skin.

 

To Stay Relevant, Radio Has To Be Friends with Amazon and family of Alexa Devices

Echo Show, Alexa makes the most sense with the screen
Amazon’s new smart speaker has a 10-inch display, so searches are more complete

It is already twenty days that we are testing Echo Show , Amazon’s 10-inch smart speaker with display, which combines the classic features of the voice assistant with images. We take for granted all the things that can be asked of Alexa (we will come back to them later on) and start with the product description.

The shape is apparently that of a tablet, even if the back is not flat but pyramidal, to house two 2-inch neodymium drivers and a passive radiator that return a powerful and defined sound, even if with a slight tendency to bass too pronounced. The equipment is completed by eight microphones to receive and interpret at best the voice commands and, included in the body, the antennas necessary to communicate with smart appliances that use the Zigbee protocol , such as light bulbs, interphones, cameras and thermostats.

But the added value gives it a touch display of good size even if not of excellent resolution (720p).

That is where the vocal requests made to the Echo Show “come to life”.

You can ask Alexa which movies and there are in the cinema and show you the trailers in Italian (you need to install the MyMovies skill). You can view a recipe step by step while you are cooking – and indeed the kitchen seems to be the most suitable environment for this type of product – or ask for the weather forecast for the next few days. You can browse the internet with one of the two pre-installed browsers (Firefox and Silk), see the Vevo music videos or the Amazon Prime Video movies and TV series.

You can track the shipment of a package (Amazon, of course), view an itinerary on the maps or make video calls to anyone who has Echo Spot, Echo Show or the Alexa App (Skype is coming).

In short, there is a whole series of functions more than the already popular classic smart speakers, which, given the price which is certainly not prohibitive for the gagdet ( € 229 ), make us advise the purchase. In short, Alexa has an edge over the screen . It could have even more, if Echo Show was a bit more customizable – being able to install apps, for example – or if the video sector could be used more (let’s think about the lack of Netflix, for example). And, again, if some somewhat cumbersome mechanisms, such as having to explicitly ask which skill to use to perform a certain action, were simplified.

How to make smart speakers portable just like radio in the old times

Five batteries are coming from the British manufacturer i-box to make portable smart speakers like Echo, Echo Dot and Google Home Mini.

Maybe you never thought about it or you wanted to do it but you didn’t know how. In any case, several batteries have been available in Italy for some time now to make smart portable speakers like Amazon Echo Dot (third generation), Echo (second generation), Echo Spot and Google Home Mini . All speakers that need an electrical outlet to work and therefore, at least not to use awkward extensions, can hardly be taken to the garden, on the terrace or in a part of the house where there is no outlet at hand.

In our opinion the most interesting solutions are those of the British manufacturer i-box, which ensure respectable performances for those who want to make his (or his) smart portable speaker. It starts with the i-box Run, which provides about 12 hours of autonomy to the third-generation Echo Dot, while the Release version reaches up to eight hours , but also integrates a 12W stereo speaker, a passive radiator and an audio input for 3.5mm jack in order to improve the audio performance of the Dot (which are certainly not brilliant).

If, on the other hand, you want to make your second generation Echo portable, Want to make your fixed smart speakers portable? Here’s howthe Surge i-box allows you to use it without an electrical outlet for about 8 hours , Want to make your fixed smart speakers portable? Here’s howwhile the i-box Vault ensures the same autonomy for the Echo Spot and in addition adds one speaker and a passive radiator to improve the audio quality. Finally we find the i-box Move , a variant of the Run for the Google Home Mini available shortly which ensures 12 hours of autonomy.

All these batteries can also recharge a smartphone or tablet thanks to the USB input and this is therefore a doubly useful solution. It should be noted, however, that i-box is not the only manufacturer to offer batteries for smart speakers (we also mention brands like Majority, Smatree, Ninety7 and Accevo ), but in our opinion these are the most interesting of the British manufacturer also as a quality ratio -price.