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Google Play Music relaunches, smarter about you and your soundtrack

Google Play Music relaunched today, announcing an update that makes machine learning a bigger part of its listening experience. That means the platform will combine listeners’ individual music tastes with contextual information such as time of day and location to offer improved song recommendations. It all happens behind the scenes, based on Google’s understanding of the user. Another step closer to the “Me Button.” Continue Reading

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Amazon planning two music streaming services (with one at half-price)

Amazon has been showing interest in launching a standalone streaming music service for months, but according to the latest reports, the tech giant won’t be happy with just one. Amazon appears to be considering two services: one that would match the industry standard of unlimited on-demand access for $10 a month; the other would be half the price and would only work on the company’s Echo home speaker hardware. Continue Reading

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More talk of YouTube racketeering, this time by producer and scholar Jonathan Taplin

Continued heat is being applied to Google, YouTube, and — on a deeper level — to the Safe Harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Jonathan Taplin is a music and film producer, inventor, entrepreneur, media executive, and scholar. He put an OpEd in the New York Times in which he said that Google’s YouTube resembles a protection racket. He also wants AM/FM to start paying artist/label royalties, and exemption he terms “the original sin.” Continue Reading