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Will streaming music services ever make money? 2014 may tell

You'd be forgiven if you thought streaming music was the hottest business to be in right now.

At every turn in 2013, tech companies big and small were pouring into online music services. Longtime players like Spotify and Slacker launched new features or shook things up with updates. Giants like Apple and Google shoved their way to the front of the race with new services like iTunes Radio and All Access, ventures they believe will help sell phones and other products. Google can't seem to get enough, and is said to be rolling out another subscription service through YouTubeRead more

10 alternatives to Apple's all-time most popular apps

Last week, Apple announced that its App Store is approaching 50 billion app downloads. In celebration of the milestone, Apple is giving away a $10,000 App Store gift card to the lucky person who initiates the 50 billionth download.

As part of the celebration, Apple listed the top 25 apps -- both free and paid -- for iPhone and iPad. None of the apps listed is particularly surprising (especially to someone who studies the most-popular list every day), but one thing that did strike me is that a lot of the all-time best sellers still sit near the top … Read more

How to enable night mode on Slacker Radio mobile apps

The screen on your smartphone can be uncomfortably bright when viewing it in the dark. Slacker Radio recently updated its Android and iPhone apps to include a night mode feature that makes it easier to see at night or in dimly lit environments. It's a useful feature, especially if you enjoy listening to Slacker Radio in your vehicle at night. By using a dark theme, it helps prevent an overly bright screen from distracting you while you drive.

To enable night mode on Android, just go to Settings and check the box next to Night Mode. On the iPhone, … Read more

Slacker Radio gets a new look, same great content

Editors' note: This review was updated September 27, 2013, to cover the features added in the latest version.

Slacker Radio is a great option for listening to streaming radio with an intuitive interface that makes it easy to find what you want quickly. To use Slacker you must sign up for an account or log in with your Facebook or Google+ credentials.

After logging in, Slacker's interface gives you several options for launching stations. You can search for artists using a field at the top, check out the Music Guide curated by Slacker, or search by genres, stations you'… Read more

Apple's iWatch and the smartwatch trend

Wednesday's CNET Update is watching the wrist:

The buzz is building over the rumored Apple iWatch. Today's tech news roundup looks at the latest report on the team working on Apple's smartwatch and the growth of this new category.

Along with the wrist, Under Armour wants to be the gadget for your chest. Armour 39 is the company's new fitness monitor set to take on the Nike FuelBand, and it is a sensor worn around the chest during a workout. If you want to live-track your progress, you'll need an iPhone app or the special $… Read more

Internet radio, Fuzz style: Where humans upstage the algorithms

Any entrepreneur taking a crack at a digital music startup must either be super determined, completely crazy, or a both. The chances of legal run-ins with the labels are high. And even when you play by the rules, the rights payments are so steep that making a profitable business is all but impossible.

Yet this isn't deterring Jeff Yasuda, a 40-year-old venture capitalist turned entrepreneur who's been doggedly running music startups since 2006. His latest, Fuzz (the same name as his first startup), comes out of stealth mode today after a year of building a team -- one … Read more

Stay motivated with free, fast-paced GetWorkDoneMusic

Background music can serve as a great tool for motivation and inspiration. For those times when you need a higher level of productivity and concentration, chances are you're looking for some faster music. This is where GetWorkDoneMusic.com comes to your rescue.

Ryan Ghods, creator of GetWorkDoneMusic, offered this explanation behind building the Web site:

Music is one of my ultimate, super-productivity life hacks. A great, seamless blend of tracks keeps me going on a single task without getting distracted. Somewhat of a drummer to the work I'm doing, so I don't go and open … Read more

Slacker Radio now streaming lifestyle advice

Popular streaming radio service Slacker Radio today launched a new category of stations that offers a different sort of listening experience to its users: lifestyle. Debuting as part of a partnership between Slacker and ABC Radio, the new stations offer curated talk radio content that includes advice and other stories dealing with the lifestyle interests of both men and women.

For now, Slacker's new lifestyle stations come in two flavors: Men's Life and Women's Life, with much of the content coming from sources like Esquire, Car & Driver, Consumer Reports, Popular Mechanics, Complex Magazine, and GQ. The … Read more

The 404 1,061: Where we're in too deep (podcast)

Stupid Andy helps us round out the week before the three-day holiday, and our favorite way to pay tribute to the soldiers is by getting choked up at YouTube videos of soldiers reuniting with their dogs. The ones with their families are pretty good, too.… Read more

Slacker brings back the slow jams

Streaming radio site Slacker Radio has a brand-new station that might get its more softhearted listeners in the mood for some love-making.

The new DJ-curated "Old School R&B" station takes you back in time with some of the silkiest hits from artists like Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Etta James. But '80s babies (like me), don't fret, because the station also extends into our golden era with more-contemporary, yet still decidedly old-school, crooners like Mint Condition, Boyz II Men, and Maxwell.

Curated and socially programmed stations are available free to all Slacker users, … Read more