Magnifier: Google’s plan to reignite interest in Music Beta

magnifierRemember the buzz leading up to the launch of Google Music? Yeah, we do too. Since then, the infatuation and excitement surrounding a Google cloud-based music streaming solution has been reduced to mere smolders. But it’s been three months since Music Beta was introduced and the site’s become stagnant.

To spur a little interest, Google has launched its new music blog, Magnifier. Magnifier is part music discovery, part music education, and part Google Music marketing. But the most important part of Magnifier is that the music it introduces can be added to Music Beta instantly and for free – something its somewhat-lacking library could benefit from. The site will feature promo tracks from artists it’s featuring as well as a song of the day that can be added to your Music Beta collection at no cost. This, obviously, means you have to create a Music Beta account – a smart move to drive new users to a site that needs to reignite user interest.

Luckily Magnifier doesn’t seem to be some throw-away effort to pump some life into Music Beta. It’s being headed by former Rhapsody VP and Android exec Tim Quirk and has a few features to keep visitors busy. There’s the general posts, as well as the Song of the Day section and something called Antenna, which appears to be a sort of collection of artists-to-keep-your-eye on. There’s also a “Tips + Tricks” section for using Music Beta.

And it’s got Google+ written all over it. There aren’t options to share via any other social networking sites – G+ only. We can only hope this means Google+ and Music Beta will eventually be linked in some manner. 

Home Theater

Mobile masters: Tidal’s better-than-CD MQA tracks come to Android

Audiophile-grade music tracks and streaming music services don't come together very often, and when they do, it's not always easy to find a device that plays them. That's no longer the case as Tidal's MQA tracks now work on Android.
Music

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.
Music

Jam out in hi-fi style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.
Computing

Is AMD's Navi back on track for 2019? Here's everything you need to know

With a reported launch in 2019, AMD is focusing on the mid-range market with its next-generation Navi GPU. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.
Home Theater

Mobile audio gets an upgrade thanks to new Sonarworks apps

Sonarworks is used by audio engineers around the world to get more accurate sound from their headphones. Today, the company launched Android and iOS apps for the same ability on mobile devices.
Music

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.
Computing

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Computing

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.
Apple

Apple may be developing a new iPod Touch to woo younger users

Apple may be developing its first new iPod touch model since 2015 as it aims to capture younger users who are not yet ready for their own smartphone, and expand its overall listening base in the future.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Home Theater

Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable spreads analog joy throughout your home

It can be tough to listen to your favorite analog tunes anywhere besides the room where your turntable is located. With its MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable, Yamaha allows you to stream your tunes throughout your home.
Music

The best new music this week: James Blake, Maggie Rogers, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: James Blake, Maggie Rogers, Deerhunter, Juliana Hatfield, Pedro The Lion, Sharon Van Etten, Steve Gunn, and Toro y Moi.