Wake up to Pandora and smell the free Spotify

Pandora gets alarm clock function

( iOS, Android)

Earlier this year, Pandora added the Sleep Timer function to its mobile app so that Pandora listeners can fall asleep to their favorite stations. Now users can wake up to their beloved tunes with the new Pandora Alarm Clock. Music lovers no longer have to settle for the stock alarm clock's limited sound selections (thanks to iOS, quacking ducks now enrage me to no end). This long-awaited and much-welcome feature comes with the standard alarm clock features, such as timer and snooze, and Alarm Clock even ties in with the Sleep Timer. … Read more

Rdio now streaming tracks to 51 countries

Online subscription music service Rdio expanded its global footprint to 20 new territories, including the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Hungary, the company announced on Wednesday.

All told, the company's streaming service is now available in 51 countries. Rdio said this expansion makes them the "second largest music subscription service in the world in terms of countries serviced."

Rdio's announcement was a not-so-subtle attempt to steal some of the spotlight from Spotify, which unveiled free mobile apps on Wednesday. Previously, Spotify allowed desktop or browser-based streaming for free, but only premium members who paid $10 a month … Read more

The Audiophiliac's under $100 holiday gift guide

Music and audio bling make terrific presents, so here's a nice assortment of goodies. While audiophile gear can be quite expensive, picking out a selection of terrific gift ideas that won't break the bank is still doable. Prices start at $10 and go up to $100. I'll trot out another list of $100+ gift ideas in a few days.

Spotify expands to 20 new markets

Spotify said on Wednesday that it has expanded to 20 new markets around the world.

The music service had expanded to 35 markets from 17 this year. But with additional 20 announced today, that brings its total presence to 55 markets.

The announcement comes as Spotify announced that its mobile app would be available for free, potentially expanding its listener base.

The new markets will get the free mobile app from day one, CEO Daniel Ek said.

Here are all of the markets Spotify currently serves:

Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Denmark, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, … Read more

Review: Google Play Music stores up to 20,000 songs online to be played on demand

Google Play Music taps into Google's extensive music library and uploads and stores your own music collection in the cloud. The only downside is that you can't purchase songs and subscriptions directly from the app.

After installation, Google Play Music will ask you to sign in to your Google account, but if you're using any other official Google apps you will be signed in, automatically. The product comes free of charge, but in order to have access to Google's full library of songs, a $10-per-month subscription is required. While testing, the app proved to be silky … Read more

Apple brings on sales exec for iTunes Radio

Apple has brought on a new sales executive to help it generate more cash off its streaming-music service iTunes Radio.

Apple has hired Michael Pallad to oversee part of the company's iTunes Radio ad sales, CNET has heard from industry sources. AdAge was first to report on the hiring on Tuesday. Pallad previously served as the executive vice president of sales at major radio company Cumulus Media.

iTunes Radio launched in September. The service is Apple's foray into music streaming and represents stiff competition to services like Pandora, Spotify, and others. Apple has been sprinkling in ads into … Read more

Vevo on Chromecast, one dongle closer to world domination (Q&A)

Vevo, an MTV for the Internet age, is just getting started.

It now reels in 5 billion video views a month -- imagine the entire US population sitting down to stream Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball." Fifteen times over.

Vevo is in 13 countries, and it's on multiple platforms like Android and Samsung smart TVs -- and it just added one more.

On Tuesday, Vevo joined a short list of online entertainment ventures on Chromecast.

Since Google introduced its $35 HDMI dongle (read CNET's review) to easily fling Internet content onto televisions, Chromecast's life has been … Read more

Wake up to your favorite music with Pandora's new alarm clock

Waking up to the loud beeping of an alarm clock is no way to start a day, particularly if you regularly hit the snooze button and repeat the process once or twice before rolling out of bed. Pandora offers a better way. The free Pandora Radio app for iOS just received an update that introduces a new design for iOS 7 along with a long-awaited alarm clock feature.

To set the alarm, tap on the menu button in the upper-right corner when viewing the Now Playing screen. At the bottom of the menu you'll see a new line for … Read more

How to enable SD card support for offline Google Play Music

Yesterday's update of Google Play Music for Android (v5.3.1316M) added external SD card support for offline music. Users who have an Android device with an SD card slot will now be able free up their device's internal storage by saving offline music files onto an external card.

The feature is only available on KitKat for now, with "experimental support on some older devices." If you have one of those devices, such as the Galaxy S4, here's how to change the offline storage location to your external card:

Go to Google Play Music's … Read more

Xbox Music taps into Gracenote to tag your tunes

Xbox Music users now can identify their music and listen to it across different PCs and mobile devices courtesy of Gracenote.

Buying a $10-per-month Xbox Music Pass entitles you to tap into the new service, which can identify albums and songs you already own and unlock your music online. All of your music can be unlocked, including songs bought through Amazon or Apple as well as those ripped from your CDs.

Gracenote, which is owned by Sony, also lets you edit the metadata for your Xbox Music collection and add missing album art. Finally, you can stream your tunes to … Read more