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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

The 404 1,450: Where we play by ear (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- That story of the marooned woman on a Hawaiian island getting saved thanks to Google Earth is totally fake.

- Chordify makes it easy to cover any song by transcribing sheet music from YouTube and Soundcloud links.

- Funk band games the Spotify system to fund upcoming nationwide tour.

- Virtual screaming babies squirm their way into teenage cellphones in new pregnancy campaign.… Read more

iTunes Radio passes Spotify for 3rd in streaming music

iTunes Radio is only six months old but it's already snagged third place among people in the US who listen to streaming music services, at least based on a recent survey.

Polling more than 2,000 people in the US, Edison Research found that 8 percent listened to iTunes Radio in the past month. That compares with 6 percent overall for Spotify and 9 percent for iHeartRadio, according to a Statista chart chewing over the survey results.

Pandora is still by far the dominant streaming music service in the US with a 31 percent share based on the survey.… Read more

Spotify buys music data company Echo Nest

Streaming music service Spotify on Thursday announced it has purchased the Echo Nest, a music intelligence company that powers Web radio, recommendations, and playlists for a swath of media firms -- including some Spotify competitors.

Finanancial terms weren't disclosed.

It's Spotify's answer to Pandora's Music Genome Project. Pandora, the biggest radio service on the Internet, evolved out of a venture to separate and identify the DNA of the world's catalog of songs,and it has credited its growth to Music Genome Project's ability to coalesce related songs based on that data.

The Echo Nest … 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

Do you have a problem with clutter?

Are people more obsessed with reducing clutter now than they were in times past? A mastering and recording engineer friend recently told me he was selling off all of his CDs and LPs, and from now on Spotify would be his only music source. I was taken aback by that remark; this man has spent his entire working life making the best-sounding music he could, but from now on he'll be streaming tunes. So I asked if he heard something new on Spotify he really liked, would he buy it? He just smiled and said, "Why?" So … Read more

The 404 1,430: Where we flail away with Spotify's Shanon Cook (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Dragnet Seiko wristwatch TV from 1984.

- It doesn't get better: the US has the second slowest 4G on EARTH.

- Google wants to do the end of "The Dark Knight" in real life.

- Follow Spotifier Shanon Cook on Twitter.… 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

Microsoft could be ready to name new CEO

CNET Update won't forget to try Forgotify:

In this episode of Update:

- Learn more about the man who is expected to be named the new CEO of Microsoft.

- See why an Amazon Prime price hike could be good for Netflix.

- Change your Yahoo password after an attempted e-mail attack.

- Give love to neglected Spotify songs with Forgotify.

- Keep your iPhone screen covered with the Moshi SenseCover.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in under three minutes. Watch Bridget Carey every afternoon for a breakdown of the big stories, hot devices, new apps, … Read more