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Amazon introduces The Golden Era Vinyl subscription service
by Chandrakant Isi
Vinyl records, the last bastion of analog music in this digital world, has been making a strong comeback. Last year, over 27 million LPs were sold in the US. It is a clear indication that not only the nostalgic folks but also the newer generation has a fascination for vinyl records. To make most of this trend, Amazon, which already lists hundreds of thousand records in its catalog, has announced a new vinyl subscription service.
Dubbed as 'Vinyl of the Month Club: The Golden Era', it offers a single album on vinyl every month. For those not in the know, the golden era of vinyl refers to the 60s and 70s. The service seems like a good idea for young vinyl enthusiasts planning to build their collection. Amazon claims that a monthly record is picked by its experts at Amazon Music. So far, Amazon has revealed that subscribers will get a chance to enjoy the work of legendary artists such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Miles Davis, and Fleetwood Mac.
Upon subscribing to the service, you can find out the current month's album from Amazon's orders page. If you already own that album or it doesn't interest you, simply skip the month's package from the 'Manage Your Subscriptions' page. Amazon also allows subscribers to return a vinyl as long as its packing is intact.
Amazon's Vinyl of the Month Club subscription costs $24.99 per month. The pricing is not bad considering that the cost of popular LPs varies wildly. For instance, Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti currently sells for $34.69 on Amazon.
Amazon's idea seems inspired by the Columbia Record Club from the 50s. Conceived in 1955, it was the first venture to offer music through the mail. The company offered a complimentary record to boost its membership numbers. It was a huge success back then as the company was shipping over seven million vinyl records by 1957.
by Razvan Serea
iTunes is a free application for Windows PCs. It plays all your digital music and video. It syncs content to your iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV. And it's an entertainment superstore that stays open 24/7.
Organize your music into playlists Edit file information Record compact discs Copy files to an iPod or other digital audio player Purchase music and videos on the Internet through the built-in iTunes store Run a visualizer to display graphical effects in time to the music Encode music into a number of different audio formats. Changes in iTunes 12.11.3:
This update includes security improvements and adds support for new devices. Download: iTunes 12.11.3 (32-bit) | 168.0 MB (Freeware)
Download: iTunes 12.11.3 (64-bit) | 191.0 MB
Links: Apple iTunes Website
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Amazon adds artist merchandise shopping to Amazon Music
by João Carrasqueira
Amazon Music is getting a new shopping experience built into the app, the online retail giant announced today. Starting today, users will be able to buy official merchandise from their favorite artists directly on Amazon Music, in an attempt to bridge together the music listening experience and other aspects of the fandom.
The shopping experience is launching with merchandise from major artists such as Lady Gaga and Billie Eilish, and Amazon has also secured some exclusives for its platform. Pop artist Selena Gomez will be launching a new line of apparel to coincide with her upcoming EP REVELACIÓN, and an exclusive collection in celebration of rock band Weezer is also available. Other artists with exclusive merchandise on Amazon Music include Gwen Stefani, Pentatonix, Metallica, and Queen.
Sean McMullan, Director of Artist Product and Services at Amazon Music, commented on the launch saying it will help fans develop a stronger connection with their favorite artists:
In addition to the Amazon Music app, artist merchandise can also be bought on the new Merch Shop on Amazon's website. Most of the items available there also include free shipping for Prime members. The big caveat in all of this is that the experience is only available for users in the United States, so you're out of luck if you live anywhere else.
As an Amazon Associate, Neowin may earn commission from qualifying purchases.
Apple shares Hearing Study insights for World Hearing Day
by Paul Hill
In time for World Hearing Day, which takes place globally on March 3, Apple has shared some of its findings from a study it is carrying out on the long-term auditory health of its users in the United States. Apple said the participation levels in this study are on a scale never seen before thanks to the ease of participation; users can partake in the study using an Apple Watch and iPhone and sharing their health data.
One of the interesting findings revealed that 25% of participants experience environmental sounds higher than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended limit. This noise can come from anywhere including traffic, machinery, and public transport. The WHO has estimated that 700 million people around the world will be affected by profound hearing loss by 2050 - with its Noise app on Apple Watch, the tech firm hopes to save some of its users from hearing loss.
Another source of hearing loss is the way we use headphones to listen to music. One in ten of Apple’s participants listen to sounds through headphones at a level above WHO recommendations. Apple says that to protect hearing, users ought to listen to media at the lowest enjoyable volume rather than at full blast.
The study seems to suggest that a lot of people are neglecting their ears; around 10% of participants have been diagnosed with hearing loss by a professional and over these, three-quarters do not use tools such as hearing aids or cochlear implants even though they can reduce the impact of hearing loss. Furthermore, Apple found that a huge 50% of participants hadn’t had their hearing tested by a professional in the last 10 years and a quarter of all participants reported a ringing in their ears which is a sign of hearing loss.
To take part in the study yourself, head over to the App Store and download the Apple Research app. If you’re not sure how good your hearing is or lack access to testing facilities, the World Health Organization provides an app for Android and iOS called HearWHO where you have to listen out for numbers being read out in static, this can give you an estimate about how good your hearing is.
By Jay Bonggolto
Spotify is letting you sort your 'Liked Songs' by mood or genre
by Jay Bonggolto
Spotify's way of compiling your favorite songs in a single location ("Liked Songs") is a bit jumbled at the moment. It mixes up ballad titles with rap songs, for example, making it less preferrable as a go-to destination on the app if you'd like to listen to some romantic music in a given moment.
Things are about to change, though. Spotify announced today that it is launching a new feature that will allow you to filter your Liked Songs by genre or mood. The new capability will give you the freedom to listen only to titles that match your vibe at the moment without suddenly switching to a different kind of mood.
With the genre and mood filters, you can sort your favorite songs by up to 15 different mood and genre categories. Note, however, that your Liked Songs library needs to have at least 30 titles in it for the filters to show up.
To enable the new filters, you can simply open "Your Library" and then go to your Liked Songs. After that, you can pick a filter that’s displayed across the top of the playlist header so all the titles under that mood or genre will show up. Of course, you can change your selection by tapping the x button beside the filter and then choosing another mood or genre.
These filters will update as you remove or add new songs to the library. Initially, these filters will be available in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa in the next few weeks. The feature will go live on Android and iOS for free and paid subscribers.