Category Archives: Music

More Americans using smartphones for getting directions, streaming TV

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Just as the internet has changed the way people communicate, work and learn, mobile technology has changed when, where and how consumers access information and entertainment. And smartphone use that goes beyond routine calls and text messages does not appear to be slowing, according to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted in July 2015.

The percentage of smartphone owners who say they have ever used their phone to watch movies or TV through a paid subscription service like Netflix or Hulu Plus has doubled in recent years – increasing from 15% in 2012 to 33% in 2015.

Among the smartphone activities measured, getting location-based information is the most universal task. Nine-in-ten smartphone owners use their phone to get directions, recommendations or other information related to their location, up from 74% in 2013.

The share of smartphone users who report using their device to listen to online radio or a music service, such as Pandora or Spotify, or participate in video calls or chats has also increased by double digits in recent years. (2015 was the first year in which we surveyed about using a mobile device to buy a product online or get sports scores and analysis.)

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Younger adults are especially likely to reach for their phone for something other than calling and texting. Getting location-based information is the one activity measured that is common across all age groups, however.

Listening to music and shopping on the go are especially popular among smartphone owners ages 18 to 29: 87% have listened to an online radio or music service on their phone, compared with 41% of those 50 and over, and 73% have shopped online through their mobile device, versus 44% of older users.

Activities that are less prevalent but not uncommon among smartphone owners include video calling or chatting; getting sports scores or analysis; and watching movies or TV through a paid subscription service. Again, younger adults are especially likely to use their mobile device for all of these activities. For example, 52% of 18- to 29-year-old smartphone owners have ever used their phone to watch movies or TV shows through a paid subscription service, compared with 36% of 30- to 49-year-olds and only 13% of those 50 and older.

These differences speak to a broader pattern of younger Americans’ adoption of and engagement with technology. Younger adults are more likely than older adults to own a smartphone, to be constantly online and to rely on their smartphone for internet access.

To see more and the original story follow this link to Pew Research.

YouTube MP3 Converter Loses Court Battle But The Music Plays On

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I am going to post this article here from TorrentFreak mainly because this is the site I have recommended to convert mp3’s in my article How to Download Free Music on the BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry 10.

One of the world’s largest sites dedicated to converting YouTube videos to downloadable MP3s has lost a court battle with representatives from the music industry. YouTube-MP3, a site that was also threatened by Google in 2012, agreed to cease and desist from its current mode of operation after it was revealed it was not only ripping music from YouTube, but also archiving the MP3s for future download. Despite the loss, the site remains online – legally.

In addition to obtaining music from file-sharing networks, those looking for free tracks often get them from so-called tube-rippers, sites and services that transform YouTube videos into downloadable MP3s.

These tools are available in several formats including desktop packages, apps for mobile devices, and more commonly browser-based tools. In mid-2012 YouTube owners Google, believed to be under pressure from the music industry, started to make life more difficult for web-based YouTube converters and some cases issued threats to sue.

While some sites decided to shut down, many others continued business as usual, including the German site YouTube-MP3, one of the largest YouTube ripping services around with around 30 million visits per month. The site has long insisted that it has a right to provide ripping services but having fought off Google it recently found itself up against fresh adversaries.

Three music companies under the umbrella of industry group BVMI challenged YouTube-MP3′s assertion that it operates legally and sued it in the Hamburg District Court. The companies said that while YouTube-MP3 claimed to be offering only a rip-and-download service, there were serious technical issues behind the scenes that rendered the site in breach of copyright law.

YouTube-MP3 claimed that users of its service could enter the URL of a YouTube video and have the site convert and churn out an MP3 for download. Apparently, however, that wasn’t always the way it worked. Once a video had been converted to MP3, that audio was stored on YouTube-MP3′s servers. If another user subsequently entered the same YouTube URL, no conversion or ripping was carried out. They were simply handed a copy of the previously stored MP3 for download.

In a statement sent to TorrentFreak, BVMI said that this was a clear breach of copyright law.

“Contrary to the common assumption that YouTubeMP3 is a streamripper that allows users to record songs from the Internet (much as cassette recorders were used to record music from the radio back in the day), in fact the online converter often simply made the pieces available for download without a license,” BVMI said.

BVMI said that by the time the case had arrived in court last month the owner of YouTube-MP3 had already signed cease and desist declarations and agreed to refrain from reproducing and distributing copyright content.

“The current case provides deep insights into the workings of so-called ‘recording services’
and exposes a trick that not only hoodwinks the rights owners but also misleads the users of
these services,” said BVMI Managing Director Dr Florian Drücke.

“Under the guise of private copying [YouTube-MP3] deceives people into thinking that
everything is above-board, even though the user – unwittingly – avails himself of an illegal download platform. We have for some time pointed out that the vague definition of ‘private copies’ encourages cat-and-mouse games in matters of streamripping, so a clarification at the political level is needed here.”

With the signing of the declarations the Hamburg District Court considered the case closed but ordered YouTube-MP3 to pay everyone’s costs.

TorrentFreak contacted the site’s owner for a comment but as yet we’ve received no response. Presumably life at YouTube-MP3 will continue, but without storing converted MP3s for subsequent download. The end result, of course, is that users of the site will still get ripped MP3s just as they did before, a point not lost on BVMI.

“One thing is clear: this platform, as well as most other streamripper sites, generate considerable advertising income that is not shared with the artists or their partners. This has nothing to do with fairness, nor does it fit with our current digital age, when many music sites – some of them free – can be used perfectly legally on the Internet,” BVMI conclude.

Source: TorrentFreak

Acoustic Barcodes Use Sounds to Relay Information (Video)

Youtube Video demonstrating acoustic barcodes and showing different ways this technology can be used.

These acoustic barcodes are really pretty cool and there seems to be some useful ways they can be used in everyday life. Though with technology like NFC and QR Codes this might not be the easiest way to transfer information. But the acoustic barcodes don’t require any sort of special technology on the phone side, not even a camera, which could be a big feature.

The idea behind the acoustic barcodes is basically the same as a regular barcode, an app easily converts the different dots and dashes to a data value, similar the squares of a QR code. But with the acoustic barcodes the data that is converted is retrieved from sounds.

Using a phone, pen or any other object really you slide the object across a series of grooves that creates a unique, identifiable snippet of sound that is read by the app and converted. Like Morse code for machines.

The examples given on the above video really show that there are almost unlimited possibilities to using this cool technology, but we probably still won’t see this being used often with all the easier forms of technology that are being built into phones now.

Study Finds YouTube Chosen Over iTunes, Radio and CD’s for Listening to Music

A recent study by Nielsen Music 360 found that teenaged Americans will more readily turn to YouTube to listen to music than they will any other source. This includes iTunes, the radio and CD’s. 48% of respondents indicated that radio is their most prominent music discovery tool, while more teens use Youtube video streaming service to ‘listen‘ to music only 7% said they discover music most through YouTube.

This study is based on the results from 3,000 online consumer surveys Nielsen conducted in the United States.

When listening to music, 64% of respondents said they listen through YouTube the most, while 56% said they listen to music on the radio the most. iTunes was in third place at 53%, while CDs ranked fourth at 50%.

The study revealed that nearly half of teens have radio apps on their smartphones and that digital music has surpassed physical CDs in terms of perception of value. Among respondents with smartphones, 54% said they had music player apps on their devices, while 47% and 26%, respectively, said they had radio apps or music store apps on their phones. The study also revealed that recommendations from friends are the most powerful marketing tool among teens. 54% of respondents said that a positive recommendation from a friend made them more likely to make a purchase.