Music


Google offers free YouTube Music for Google Home speakers

USATODAY

Matching Amazon's new free music offer on Echo speakers, Google now offers owners of the Google Home speaker access to free tunes, via YouTube Music. There's a big difference: songs are sponsored on Amazon Echo speakers, while tunes for Google users are free. Additionally, they can be listened on both the Google Home speaker line, and any speaker that has the Google Assistant, Google's Siri/Alexa like helper. That includes the brands Sony, JBL, Harman and others. What you can't get is on-demand song selection, but instead playlists or radio stations created based on your requests.


"Alexa, play some free songs for me"

USATODAY

Amazon officially began offering free ad-supported music for owners of Echo speakers Thursday, even if they don't subscribe to Prime, Amazon's expedited shipping and entertainment offering. Amazon already provides some 2 million songs free, but without ads to Echo owners who also pay $119 yearly to subscribe to Prime.A more full-featured ad-free music offering, Amazon Music Unlimited, is available for $9.99 monthly, or $7.99 monthly for Prime members. Amazon says it has access to around 50 million songs. The new free service has limitations, more akin to online radio station Pandora than Apple Music in that customers can't request a specific on-demand song. Instead, the request will lead to a music station "based" on that song, or a pre-existing Amazon playlist.


Alexa owners can listen to Amazon Music for free -- with ads

Engadget

Rumors started circulating last week that Amazon was exploring a free, ad-supported tier of its streaming music service. Turns out there was something to those rumblings. Today, the commerce giant announced that Alexa device owners in the US will be able to listen to top playlists and stations on Amazon Music at no additional charge, even if they are not Amazon Prime subscribers. Of course, this news also comes on the same day that Amazon's frenemies over at Google launched ad-supported free YouTube Music streaming on Google Home smart devices. Listeners will be able to ask Alexa to play music by creating stations based in a song, artist, era or genre.


Best smart speakers: Which deliver the best combination of digital assistant and audio performance?

PCWorld

Your message has been sent. There was an error emailing this page. You don't need to live in a smart home to benefit from a Wi-Fi-connected smart speaker. Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and other digital assistants can help you in dozens of ways, and you don't have to lift a finger to summon them--just speak their names. If you already know you want a smart speaker, scroll down for our top recommendations.


Alexa, play free music for me? Amazon may challenge Spotify and Pandora, report says

USATODAY

Spotify, Pandora and YouTube are currently the top games in town for listening to online music for free, via ads. Possibly add Amazon to the list. Billboard reports that Amazon looks to launch a similar service, which would be available only if you ask Alexa. The songs could be accessed via the Echo connected speakers, which are made by Amazon. Amazon currently offers some 2 million songs available free to Echo owners who also pay $119 yearly to subscribe to the company's Prime for expedited shipping and online music, movies and TV.


Artificial Intelligence Is Getting Dangerously Good at Emulating Human Behaviors

#artificialintelligence

When artificial intelligence systems start getting creative, they can create great things – and scary ones. Take, for instance, an AI program that let web users compose music along with a virtual Johann Sebastian Bach by entering notes into a program that generates Bach-like harmonies to match them. Run by Google, the app drew great praise for being groundbreaking and fun to play with. It also attracted criticism, and raised concerns about AI's dangers. My study of how emerging technologies affect people's lives has taught me that the problems go beyond the admittedly large concern about whether algorithms can really create music or art in general.


Sonos partners with Ikea for new Symfonisk-brand lamp and bookshelf speakers

USATODAY

Sonos and Ikea are teaming up for a new line of speakers. After previously announcing years ago that they would be working together, the two companies finally announced the first fruits of their partnership on Monday. Symfonisk, which translates to "symphonic" in Swedish, looks to bring Sonos' sound to Ikea's smart home plans. As with traditional Sonos speakers the new products will work with the Sonos app, be able to play music from the likes of Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora, and be able to connect to other Sonos-branded speakers that you may already have in your home. If you have two of the same speakers, i.e. two lamps, you can link them together to create a stereo pair.


Ikea and Sonos partner up to release 'Symfonisk' speaker-infused table lamp and bookshelf

Daily Mail

Sonos and Ikea have teamed up to release a line of connected speakers that include a table lamp and a bookshelf. Both devices connect to the WiFi, can be controlled by an app and let users play music from their favorite service like Spotify or Apple Music. The lamp and bookshelf, part of a line called'Symfonisk,' are priced at $179 and $99, respectively, and are expected to become available for purchase in August. Sonos and Ikea have teamed up to release a line of connected speakers that include a table lamp and a bookshelf. While both devices are priced within the same affordable range typically found in Ikea products, they pack the high quality of any other Sonos speaker.


Artificial intelligence can now emulate human behaviors – soon it will be dangerously good

#artificialintelligence

When artificial intelligence systems start getting creative, they can create great things – and scary ones. Take, for instance, an AI program that let web users compose music along with a virtual Johann Sebastian Bach by entering notes into a program that generates Bach-like harmonies to match them. Run by Google, the app drew great praise for being groundbreaking and fun to play with. It also attracted criticism, and raised concerns about AI's dangers. My study of how emerging technologies affect people's lives has taught me that the problems go beyond the admittedly large concern about whether algorithms can really create music or art in general.


Apple Music finally comes to Amazon Alexa with new skill update

The Independent

Amazon has brought Apple Music to Alexa smart speakers for the first time in the UK. The feature was already available in the US but is slowly rolling out across the world. It means that people are no longer limited to only Amazon Music and Spotify as ways for Alexa to play music. Apple Music will work like those same services, allowing people to ask for a song or radio station and have it play from Apple Music. We'll tell you what's true.