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Beats Music review

Beats Music provides high-quality streaming and relevant music news in an eye-catching music player. Combining social networking and customizable music options, Beats adds another dimension to your typical mobile streaming service.

Pros

Attractive, basic interface: Beats Music uses classic swiping motion to navigate between tabs and offers an appealing design through its bold color scheme. The search results screen layout filters by song, album, artist, or playlist to provide an orderly list.

High-quality playback: Beats Music plays audio in two formats: standard and high quality. Both formats had excellent sound and streamed music with no delay.

Unique features: While many … Read more

Apple considering a Spotify rival and iTunes Android app

Apple is in negotiations with senior executives at record labels about launching an on-demand streaming music service that would compete with Spotify and Beats music, according to a report by Billboard. Citing three unnamed sources, the publication said the "exploratory talks" are right now in very early stages.

The report also said Apple is mulling creating an iTunes Store app for Android, bringing the property to enemy turf. Apple did not return a request for comment. We'll update this post if we hear back.

The considerations come at a trying time for iTunes. According to Nielsen, downloads … Read more

Beats Music turns 7 out of 10 free-trial users to paying ones?

Streaming-music service Beats Music signed up 1,000 people a day as paying subscribers before any free trials, and is keeping more than 70 percent of AT&T free-trial users as paying customers once those introductory terms end, according to a Bloomberg report.

The report cited unnamed people familiar with the matter, reporting figures that were provided to investors in February. Beats Music launched publicly on January 21 with AT&T offering "Family" customers a 90-day free trial and individual AT&T wireless customers a 30-day free trial. Before January, Beats Music was in a … Read more

The 404 1,445: Where we beat up on Bluetooth (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- The PonoPlayer ain't no ordinary MP3 player.

- A cheaper Pono alternative: FiiO's nifty $200 portable high-resolution music player is a knockout.

- Buy FLAC tracks from HDtracks.com.

- Poll: What's the worst audio format?.

- Follow Steve on Twitter.… Read more

Beats Music opens up, making its API public

Streaming-music service Beats Music is opening up some of its programming to outsiders, with the goal of proliferating the new $120-a-year subscription player in the broader online universe.

"If you're willing to pay $100 a year for music, which in my experience for all the world's music is a tremendous bargain, you should have access to music anywhere you might want it, in your car, house, anywhere," Beats Music Chief Executive Ian C. Rogers told CNET in an interview.

Beats Music on Friday made public its API. An API, or application programming interface, is a tool … Read more

Spotify hires Beats Music former head of product

The rivalry between Spotify and Beats Music, two key streaming music services, is deepening.

Spotify has hired Fredric Vinna, Beats Music's former head of product, engineering and design, according to a person familiar with the matter. Vinna left Beats Music just recently -- his LinkedIn page still lists his job there as current -- and will be joining Spotify to work on product there as well, according to this person.

Vinna has been described by Beats Music Creative Director Rob Sheridan as one of the few central people in a "scrappy room of enthusiastic creators" when the … Read more

Beats Music buys entertainment e-marketer Topspin

New subscription streaming service Beats Music made its first big purchase Tuesday since the service went live -- a direct-to-customer marketing and ticketing company once run by Beats Music's current chief executive.

Beats Music CEO Ian C. Rogers said in a blog post Tuesday that Beats Music launched with Artist Tools features that included Topspin integration, letting artists to update their profile page with custom images and merchandise offers. The company is acquiring Topspin "to help us achieve this unique vision" of discovering music and engaging with artists.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Jimmy Iovine … Read more

Plantronics BackBeat Fit: Stereo Bluetooth headphones for fitness buffs (hands-on)

The latest headphones from Plantronics are flexible and sweat-proof, making them perfect for gym rats and runners. The BackBeat Fit can connect with up to eight devices through Bluetooth, and also double as a wireless headset thanks to a built-in microphone.

CNET's full coverage of Mobile World Congress

A play and pause button, along with volume controls, sit on the left earpiece, while the power and phone buttons are located on the right side. Additional controls, such as the ability to skip songs or go back, can be accessed with a long press or double tap of the play … Read more

What headphone buyers need to know, Part 2

There are many types of headphones, and if you understand the pros and cons of each before you go shopping, you'll make a more informed buying decision. Closed- and open-back headphones sound very different and serve different needs. To learn more about how they differ I spoke with two engineers, Sennheiser's Axel Grell and AKG's Philipp Schuster, and thanks go out to them. Today I'll look at open- and closed-back headphones; I covered on- and over-the-ear headphones in yesterday's blog item.… Read more

Spotify vs. Beats: The super cool battles the Super Bowl

Beats Music and Spotify have very different ideas of what marketing means: It's all, or basically nothing. Respectively.

If you've never heard of either, you're easily forgiven. Beats Music and Spotify are both streaming music services that, unlike Internet radio Pandora, offer the ability to listen to a specific track on demand, and both can be accessed anywhere without commercials for about $10 a month. But Spotify barely ever advertises in the US, relying instead on word of mouth, and Beats Music has yet to hit the two-week mark of being up and running (well, most of the time.) … Read more