The next time you walk into a Starbucks, listen carefully. The music you hear may not depart too radically from the usual Starbucks vibe, but it will be noteworthy nonetheless. That sound you hear? It’s the death knell of the compact disc, making way for the on-demand, streaming-centric future of music.

Today, Starbucks is launching its previously announced in-store integration with Spotify. Under the new partnership, over 7,500 Starbucks stores in the U.S. will stream playlists hand-built by Starbucks’s music curation team. For customers, the sonic experience of stepping into a Starbucks will get more interactive.

Here’s how it works: Say you’re standing in line for your morning latte, wondering if the barista spelled your name right. Overhead, you hear a familiar-sounding song, but you can’t quite place it. In fact, the last song they played sounded like something you’d be into as well. Starting today, you can pull out your iPhone and, using the Starbucks app, discover what music has been playing. (The same app also serves as a rapid mobile payment option.)

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It’s easy to get stuck in a music rut. That go-to iTunes playlist or Pandora station will probably do the trick, but with so much great music out there, why settle for the same old favorites?

The infinite catalog of music, new and old, is a both a blessing and a curse. While music fans unfortunately have to accept that they will never be able to listen to every band, album or song, retreating to the comfort of your personal music library is no way to find your next favorite artist.

See also: 8 Ways to Discover Your New Favorite Band Online

Spotify’s latest curation features, Browse and Discover, are a push in the right direction, and Rdio integrates music discovery into its top-notch app with subtle recommendations from listeners in your network placed all over the player.

These streaming services’ social features aren’t the only ways to discover new music, but they tap into what’s key about successful music suggestions today: social curation.

If you are on the lookout for new tunes, try these seven websites and apps that are perfect for social music discovery.

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If the last decade has taught us anything, it’s that ten years can be a very long time in technology. And one needn’t look any further than the music industry to see how technology has shifted and shaped the way we listen to, share and discover bands and artists.

As cool as MiniDisc players were back at the turn of the century, the advent of mp3 players and smartphones breathed new life into the music realm. You can now search, scrobble and randomize a concoction of music from your pocket thanks to the myriad of music-streaming apps out there – Spotify, Rdio, Google Play Music, Deezer, Xbox Music,, Pandora, SoundCloud, TuneIn and more.

Each of these have their own unique selling points, but they’re all well-known and understood. Know what you’re looking for? No problem, do your thing. Don’t know what you’re looking for? No problem, let them do their thing. Streaming. Personalized. On-demand. Unlimited music at your disposal, 24-hours a day.

But what we’re looking to help surface here are the plethora of apps specifically designed to help you discover new music and, perhaps, meet like-minded people along the way. Ones that may have escaped your radar thus far.


Soundwave is a mobile-first app that lets you share what you’re listening to in real-time. Listen to a song on your device’s native music player, or through Spotify and Rdio, and it will be added to your profile, alongside the cover art.

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January 7, 2016 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian – Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today unveiled a Code that will help Canadians make more informed choices about their television service providers and resolve disputes in a fair and effective manner.

During the Let’s Talk TV proceedings, many Canadians said that cable and satellite companies do not always provide adequate information about service packages and pricing. As a result, in March 2015, the CRTC published a draft Code that addressed the issues raised during Let’s Talk TV. The Code was designed to ensure consumers have access to as much information as possible regarding television service providers so they can make informed decisions.

The Code will result in a number of improvements for Canadians. Among them, television service providers will have to:

  • provide consumers with the information they need in a format that is easy to understand, including the list of channels or bundles they subscribe to
  • clearly set out the duration of promotional offers, the regular price once any discounts end, and any obligations placed on a consumer if they accept the offer, such as a minimum commitment period
  • provide customers with a timeframe and information on any potential charges regarding service calls for installations and repairs
  • ensure that prices set out in written agreements are clear and state whether they include taxes or other charges, and
  • give 30 days’ notice to consumers in the event of a change in price of channels, bundles of channels or rental equipment.

In addition, television service providers will have to offer Canadians with disabilities a 30-day trial period, which will enable them to decide whether the service meets their needs. Canadians with disabilities will also be able to request a copy of their agreements in an alternative format, which will have to be provided at no charge upon request.

During consultations, some television service providers resisted these new obligations and wanted adherence to the Code to be voluntary. To ensure that Canadians benefit from its protections, the CRTC has decided that the Code will become mandatory on September 1, 2017. This implementation time frame will give companies enough time to change their computer systems and processes. Once it is fully implemented, 95% of Canadians who subscribe to a television service provider will benefit from the Code.

There is, however, nothing preventing television service providers from adopting the Code before it comes into force. They are strongly encouraged to make the necessary adjustments to their respective processes so that Canadians may benefit from the Code as soon as possible.

The CRTC considered a number of ways to implement the Code and felt that an implementation by way of condition of license to be the best method. Television Service Providers will therefore be required to comply with the Code by way of condition of license. This condition of license will be imposed by their next licence renewal.

Quick Facts

  • Further to Let’s Talk TV: A Conversation with Canadians on the future of their television system, the CRTC introduced significant changes that will foster a more dynamic marketplace.
  • During the Let’s Talk TV proceedings, the Commission heard from individual Canadians, television service providers, consumer and public interest groups, the Canadian Network Operators Consortium, the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunication Services and the Government of Québec, as well as from Canadians in an online forum.
  • The Television Service Provider Code also sets out new rules for the handling of customer requests to change programming options, service calls, service outages and disconnections.
  • The Television Service Provider Code will come into force through strict conditions of licence by September 1, 2017, once the CRTC has renewed the licences of cable and satellite companies, as well as those that provide Internet Protocol television services.
  • An independent ombudsman, the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services, will administer the Code once it is in effect and help Canadians resolve disputes with their service provider.
  • Prior to the Code coming in effect, Canadians should continue to resolve their disputes by contacting their television service provider at first; if they are unsuccessful, they should contact the CRTC.
  • Television service providers include cable, Internet Protocol television and national satellite direct-to-home service providers.


“The new Code of conduct will empower Canadian TV viewers as they navigate a dynamic marketplace. It will ensure that they receive information that is easy to understand and that they are notified of changes to their services. The Code will also will improve customer service and how complaints are handled in the future.

Canadians expect that their television service providers will implement the Code as soon as possible. Providers are strongly encouraged to take the necessary actions now, so that Canadians have the information to choose the provider that best meets their needs. Doing so may also prove to be a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC

The annual Consumer Electronics Show is the biggest consumer tech event of the year, and Samsung typically has the biggest presence among large CE companies at the show. CES 2016 continues Samsung’s trend of big spending and big announcements to kick off the New Year, and the company had a lot to show off during its press conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon.

Samsung used its press conference at CES to as a launch pad for a number of new products we’ll see roll out in the coming months, and the company has even more to show off at its booth on the show floor. In this post, we’ll cover the five coolest things Samsung unveiled at CES 2016.


There are several companies that can be listed among the top TV brands in the world but if you ask us, there’s only one that consistently releases TVs with higher-quality display panels than anyone else — and that’s Samsung. The company’s OLED HDTVs feature picture quality that is simply astounding and colors that are so vivid they jump off the screen.

In 2016, Samsung’s TVs will get even better.

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Today Facebook Music Stories have expanded to support music previews streamed from Deezer, Napster, Rhapsody and KKBOX. This expansion also includes streamed audio previews from NPR. And to make listening even easier, this expansion also includes the ability to listen to a stream from these services in a Music Story while browsing Facebook. Listen & Scroll functionality aims to make it easier for people to discover and listen to more music from leading music services. Music Stories, which currently work on iOS, will also begin rolling out on web.

There are few things people love more than music. People find out about it from artists and friends alike, and they love to share their discoveries. Today we are enabling better music discovery and sharing on Facebook.

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Après avoir récemment annoncé son ouverture dans 130 nouveaux pays dans le monde (Chine exclue), Netflix doit faire face à l’arrivée d’un nouveau service frisant avec les limites de la légalité. Nommé Smartflix, son principe est assez simple selon le journal Le Monde.

Pour les utilisateurs de Netflix, les films et séries disponibles ne sont pas les mêmes en fonction des pays où l’on se connecte, notamment à cause des accords d’exploitation pays par pays signés par les studios et les distributeurs. Le service Smartflix propose de « casser » cette barrière et de créer un « catalogue unifié » afin d’avoir accès à l’ensemble du répertoire du géant du streaming.

Son programme est assez ingénieux : l’utilisateur de Netflix se connecte à son compte afin d’accéder au moteur de recherche et aux différents films et séries disponible. Le logiciel Smartflix connectera alors l’utilisateur en question à un proxy correspondant à un pays où le film peut être visionné.

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The stereotype goes that when directors are figuring out how to frame a shot, they extend their arms, create a rectangle using their thumbs and index fingers, and peer through that box. And because movies and TV shows have traditionally been viewed on one kind of box or another, the process provides a rough gauge of what the scene will look like.

But when shooting 360° video, what does framing even mean? How does a director draw the viewer’s attention to a specific point when there’s so much to look at, with continuous imagery at every direction?

Filmmakers dipping a toe into this kind of video are learning that virtual reality is a completely new beast, one that forces them to rethink the traditional storytelling techniques they’ve come to rely on.

In the process, they are discovering new things about the power of audio.

George Lucas is widely credited with having said that sound is 50% of the moviegoing experience. While audio indeed has played an important role in cinema since the 1920s, with the rise of talkies, it’s proving an especially vital tool in virtual reality. With composition and framing essentially boiling down to making sure the horizon is straight and keeping objects and people that don’t belong in a shot out of it, subtle sound cues like footsteps from behind or a knock at the door can help guide viewers to particular points in a scene.

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In 2015, the streaming music market became a full-contact spectator sport.

Sure, the category has been busy for some time: In 2014, we saw Taylor Swift dump Spotify, Google buy Songza and YouTube launch its own music subscription service. And 2013 gave us iTunes Radio and the awkwardly named Google Play Music All Access.

But 2015 was insane. It started off with, of all things, Jay-Z buying and relaunching his own streaming music service, Tidal. Grooveshark shut down. Apple launched Apple Music. YouTube announced YouTube Music. Spotify put its acquisition of the Echo Nest to good use with addictive new discovery features.

Not to be left in the dust, Pandora bought Next Big Sound. And then it acquired TicketFly. Oh, and then it snapped up the assets of Rdio, the Spotify rival which announced it was shutting down in November.

To close out an eventful year, The Beatles finally made their catalog available on all the major streaming services worldwide.

Well, if you think this year was an interesting time in digital music, don’t put away the popcorn just yet. This time next year, we’ll be rattling off a whole new list of changes to the way we interact with music. So, what’s ahead? Here are our five big predictions for streaming music in 2016.

1. Pandora Will Morph Into Something Completely Different

When Pandora was founded a decade ago, the notion of having personalized radio stations based on an artist or song was mind-blowing. Today, the service is far less novel, having been mimicked widely and challenged by other types of digital music curation, each one using its own blend of machine and human intelligence. And thanks to hefty royalty payments to labels and artists, running an Internet radio service like Pandora is very expensive. In 2016, expect to see the service evolve rapidly.

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The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas just wouldn’t be the CES without its fair share of gadgets and gizmos claiming to make your life easier — or at least more connected.

From hair-growing devices to smart spoons, this year’s biggest consumer technology conference has its share of the weird and wacky.

A smartphone receives real-time information on air quality from an Airmega air purifier from Coway. The WiFi-enabled, smart air purifiers from South Korea range in price from $749.00-$849.00 (U.S.) depending on the size.

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