The best music apps for iOS and Android (part 4)

TuneIn Radio (free/subscription)

If you’d like to listen to radio rather than via the internet, a TuneIn Radio download is the perfect choice. This app gives you access to over 120,000 live radio stations from around the world. It offers a wide variety of local content as well as provides on-demand streams encompassing news, talk shows, music, sports, and current events, not to mention other stellar offerings. For those who are sports fans, luckily, TuneIn’s premium service also provides radio access to live NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB games, along with ad-free listening for $10 per month or $100 per year. however, for those who are not interested in that, there is also free access to the live radio stations.

Audiomack (free/monthly subscription)

Although there are a million streaming services out there, Audiomack concentrates on getting you the hottest new songs, playlists, and mixtapes from various genres like R&B, hip-hop, rap, Afropop, EDM, and reggae.

Once you have signed up, you can either choose several artists to listen to or head straight to the trending list. Songs are organized into various playlists such as mood playlists, and you can choose to follow individual artists. When listening to a song, you can comment on it, save it in playlists, and download it for later. A subscription costs $5 per month and prevents those pesky ads. With only 4 million tracks to choose from, it’s not so wide-ranging as the bigger apps. However, it’s worth downloading if you love the musical genres available here.

Idagio (free/subscription)

In spite of being something of a foundational genre, there remains a lack of real streaming services for classical music. If you are a fan of classical music, Idagio is the go-to app coming with powerful tools that offer the power of its genre. You can filter by composer, soloist, orchestra, work, and more. There is also a Weekly Mix to bring you a personalized mix of either new or popular music. Although there’s a free tier, it’s a little limited. Its Premium+ subscription provides on-demand and ad-free listening, a personal collection of tracks, offline listening, as well as the ability to connect to a variety of Bluetooth speakers and other devices. That will set you back $10 per month, even though it provides lossless FLAC formats.

Four Benefits of Music on Athletic Performance

Athletes always look for ways to improve their performance. Many have the habit of listening to music while in the gym to achieve this. But how does music actually help athletic performance?

Operates on Autopilot

Listening to music can encourage athletes to activate autopilot, thus outside their conscious awareness. A recent study found that having elite athletes activate autopilot is beneficial. When elite golfers were asked to take a putt as quickly as possible, they had a higher success rate, compared to when they took their time.

High pressure situations sometimes cause overthinking, but when an athlete activates autopilot, this does not appear and movements are naturally performed.

Feel Fitter

Research has proven that listening to music while doing physical activities can decrease your rate of perceived effort by 12 percent and improve your endurance by 15 percent.

However, you should also take the tempo of the music into account. Recent research from Liverpool John Moores University shows more nuanced findings. that music with slower tempo decreased the heart rate of the participant as well as the distance covered on a bike, while music with quicker tempo increased the heart rate and mileage of the participants as well as the enjoyment of both the music and exercise.

Controls Emotions

Research has shown that athletes can listen to music to manipulate their emotions before taking part in competition. For example, Athlete Dame Kelly Holmes listened to Alicia Keys ballads before competing for the 2004 Olympic Games, which helped her relax and peak her performance.

Stops Negative Thoughts

Listening to music can help distract athletes from the negative thoughts, which is known to be able to consume the mind and hinder performance. Recent research shows that basketball players prone to performing poorly under pressure converted more free-throw shots as they had listened to upbeat music, since this distracted them from the pressure of performing behinds a crowd.

The best music apps for iOS and Android (part 3)

Shazam (free)

Shazam is more famous for its music-detection skills, but it is also a convenient means of streaming tracks when they are recognized. Shazam works best when being paired with another streaming app. It recognizes songs and television shows in few seconds, and provides purchasing or streaming options from Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and more. It also provides lyrics for your selected song.

Amazon Music (free or subscription)

Amazon may have appeared late in the world of music, but its Amazon Music app is really good. It allows users to access to tons of free songs and contains your entire Cloud Player library, including your uploaded songs and those that you purchased from Amazon itself. However, access to the full 60 million-strong libraries can only be included with an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription, which will require $10 per month or $8 for Amazon Prime members. If you have only one device, you can pay just $4 per month by tying your subscription to a single Fire or Echo device.

Amazon also gives Amazon Prime members free access to a pared-down version of full membership with two million songs. It is a good bonus for an existing Amazon Prime member but does feel slightly rubbish compared to the enormous offerings of Google Play Music, Apple Music, and Spotify.

Bandcamp (individual purchases)

It’s no secret that many artists don’t get a great cut from most streaming services, but that is not the case of Bandcamp. It is regarded as the platform for directly supporting artists, and 80-85 percent of the money that you spend goes directly to the band, singer, or creator you have bought from, which makes this become one of the best ways to support more niche acts easily. You don’t have to pay any subscription fee to download this app, but neither does it use a free model. Instead, you buy albums and tracks from each artist, and you can then stream or download them from Bandcamp.

The best music apps for iOS and Android (part 2)

YouTube Music (free/subscription)

With the eventual absorption of Google Play Music, YouTube Music is preparing for its time in the sun instead of being something of a black sheep. YouTube is one of the largest platforms of music in the world and YouTube Music allows you to access all of it. It is free to use with ads.  You will need to download YouTube Music and get a Premium subscription ($10 per month) if you want ad-free listening, offline downloads, and background listening (with the screen locked). Otherwise, you will get YouTube Music Premium rolled into that subscription if you pay $12 per month for the YouTube Premium subscription (also coming with ad-free videos).

Google Play Music (free/subscription)

Many people may expect Google Play Music to have disappeared by 2020. But it remains here and is currently transforming into the YouTube Music app, which is very good news for music lovers.

Google Play Music still gives you full access to your cloud-based music collection on the go as well as from the Play Music website. The design is clean, lined with custom radio stations, and hand-picked playlists. A subscription costs $10 per month and allows you to access to Google’s massive song database, smart recommendations, personalized radio stations with unlimited skips, and YouTube Premium as well. That subscription will transition into a YouTube Music Premium subscription that is good for background listening, ad-free music, and downloads.

With the free version of Play Music, you can still upload up to 50,000 songs to Google’s cloud without getting any ads while listening to your collection. Although Google’s musical offerings remain a little confused, Play Music is still a great option even if it asks you to transfer over to YouTube Music. However, you can resist change until you’re forced to move.

Epic Skater XL Soundtrack Revealed

Skater XL wanted their songs to reflect that they take pride in giving players unparalleled freedom in expression while skateboarding. Each band was chosen thanks to their sound blending well with the gameplay and street vibe.

The announced list of artists on the soundtrack include:

  • Animal Collective: Animal Collective has been making music for 15 years with 10 studio records and three live records. Their music is the combination between a love of sonic free form electronic horror gospel and hip hop soul pop madness.
  • Modest Mouse: Formed in the mid of 1990s, Modest Mouse are most famous for their platinum-selling album Good News for People Who Love Bad News. They became a hit with the punk-inspired rawness and lo-fi post-rock sound.
  • Band of Horses: Band of Horses is an indie rock band that was created from the 2000s. The band has a woodsy midtempo rock feel and are most famous for the album Everything All the Time.
  • Interpol: Emerged in the early 2000s, this indie rock band has helped to kick-start post-punk.
  • Future Islands: Known for inserting cookie monster vocals into electropop songs during their live performances, Future Islandsgot their start in 2003 while they were attending East Carolina University’s art program.
  • Getter: Getter is one of Tanner Petulla’s projects. Their music features rhythmic baselines.
  • Silversun Pickups: Debuted in 2005 in Los Angeles, Silversun Pickups is an alternative rock band. Their most favorite song is Swoon released in 2009.
  • Built To Spill: Built To Spill was one of the most famous indie rock bands of the 1990s. Their music is a middle ground between postmodern, loose jamming, and Pavement-style pop.
  • Starheadbody: Established by professional skateboarder Evan Smith, Starheadbody is a music collective featuring experimental compositions.
  • Cende: Starting playing together in 2013, this trio became widely known as an indie rock band delivering power pop.
  • Kratos Himself: Kratos Himself is famous for moody soundscapes inspired by his homeland’s forest and countrysides.
  • The Shivas: The Shivas is widely known for their explosive live shows dissolving the barrier between the artists and the audience.
  • Westkust: Westkust is a Swedish indie pop band featuring yearning vocals and swirling melodies.

The best music apps for iOS and Android (part 1)

There’s a lot of music apps available on both Android and iOS. While some of them are free of charge, many of the best require a subscription fee or in-app purchases. Whether you want to simply listen to music, create your own tunes, or learn musical skills, here is a list for the best music apps that can offer everything you may need.

Spotify (free/subscription)

One of the most famous names in the game, Spotify is a major force in the streaming industry, boasting over 80 million subscribers and providing access to more than 40 million tracks from almost any artist you can think of in the world of music. Spotify’s mobile app boasts the same functionality as its desktop version, allowing users to stream single tracks or whole albums with the option to create custom playlists. However, a free account only allows you to use Shuffle Play. If you want to be able to listen offline, play any song, and ditch those ads, you will have to cough up $10 per month. Spotify also offers the option for a Family option that cuts price for multiple accounts and a cut-price Student sub that comes with Hulu access.

Apple Music (subscription)

Unsurprisingly, Apple Music is Apple’s music streaming service, which offers you complete access to any song in the Apple Music library wherever you are. As you’d expect from any Apple’s products, Apple Music is well-designed, and easy for users to swap between the radio, saved songs, and recommendations. As a bonus, it is also available for both iOS and Android; therefore, you don’t need the latest Apple iPhone to enjoy it. Apple Music’s catalog featuring 50 million songs is surely its biggest draw, but there is plenty of other content, such as documentaries about various artists and bands, concerts, and much more. If you are using the app on Android devices, you can stream directly to a Chromecast device, which makes it as flexible as it is powerful.

COVID-19 stops the music for obon

The local summertime tradition of the bon dance in Japan, with its crowds of people eating chow fun and shave ice and talking story while watching dancers move rhythmically to the beat of the taiko drum, will be missing this year because of COVID-19.

With outdoor gatherings limited to 100 people and social distancing rules still in place, Buddhist temples that hold the obon festivals — traditionally a time to remember ancestors who have passed — say there will be no dancing, no large temple gatherings and no walk-up food sales, which can attract hordes of people waiting in line.

The festivals are also fundraisers for the temples and related organizations, such as judo clubs and Scouting programs.

It’s the same at Makawao Hongwanji, where the Rev. Kerry Kiyohara of Makawao Hongwanji Mission said he cut his cable TV subscription to save money, noting he doesn’t watch TV anyway. Electricity use is also down, thankfully, since there have not been many gatherings at the temple.

With obon canceled, Kiyohara said affiliate organizations, such as the Scouts and the Judo Club, will miss out on the opportunity to raise funds this year, though donations can be made to those groups via

But the real hit to the Makawao temple is the loss of its annual garage sale that happens on the Fourth of July weekend along with the annual Makawao Rodeo and parade. Those events have been canceled due to the pandemic.

Kitagawa’s Wailuku temple is also thinking about food sales to coincide with its family services in August.

While there will be no dancing or socializing, temples across Maui will still hold services associated with obon. They are called Hatsubon memorial services and are for families who are marking the first obon since the passing of a loved one. The ceremony has special meaning in the Jodo Shinshu tradition and normally precedes the dancing at temples.

Makawao, Kahului and Wailuku Hongwanji, as well as Kahului, Lahaina and Wailuku Jodo Missions and Paia Mantokuji Soto Zen Mission all plan to have Hatsubon services for families.

Members should check with their temple on times as well as whether services will be livestreamed online or if private in-person services will be available.

Wailuku Hongwanji minister, the Rev. Shinkai Murakami, said he will stagger times at his mission to allow the Hatsubon services to meet social distancing guidelines.

Sony’s gaming and music struggles see sentiment take a nosedive

From Evolution to Revolution

Sentiment towards Sony has taken a nosedive during the first quarter of 2020, with ongoing struggles in its music and gaming behind the decline.

According to data and analyst firm GlobalData, erosion of margins due to lockdowns, production halts and procurement struggles have resulted in a decline in Sony’s sentiments in Q1, ended 31 March.

According to GlobalData’s Filing Analytics Platform, Sony’s earnings transcript sentiment score declined by more than 50% in Q1 2020 compared to the fourth (Q4) quarter of 2019.

Sony‘s sentiments were hit due to net income decline, supply chain disruptions, and store closures, the analyst firm says. In Q1 2020, the company’s revenue fell by more than 25% compared to the previous quarter, while net income plunged by more than 90%.

Margins were affected due to revenue drops in the gaming, music, and electronics product segments. Interestingly, during the quarter, the gaming segment was affected by a decline in Playstation4 (PS4) hardware and game software sales despite COVID-19 lockdowns causing a surge in gaming. The company faced supply chain issues for PS4 components during the quarter. Yet, its inventory was able to meet the short-term demand. According to Sony, the lack of new titles also caused slump in the gaming segment.

The report shows component shortages also affected Sony’s consumer electronics business. Lower inventories forced the company to shut down its factories in mid-March 2020. Currently, the factories have resumed partial operations but are unable to meet the overall demand. The company also expects more losses in the electronics segment during the year, GlobalData says.

The music segment was also drastically affected by lockdown driven impact on recording and licensing activities, CD sales, ticketing, and merchandising revenues, according to the report. Sony has seen a minimal impact of the COVID-19 on the US music segment due to moderately imposed lockdowns. In Germany and Japan, stringent lockdowns caused greater slump in the music segment.

GlobalData’s Company Filing Analytics platform scans filing documents and earning transcripts of companies to find crucial trends/themes and provides meaningful insights. It also provides sentiment analysis across sectors and companies by analyzing analyst and management sentiments; and generates sentiment score by tagging words (or a combination of words) in the documents as positive or negative.

The Top Ten Health Benefits of Music

Although we need more studies to confirm the health benefits of music, some studies suggest that listening to music can have the top ten positive effects on health below.

·        Improves mood. Studies have shown that listening to music can benefit our overall health, help improve mood, and create relaxation and happiness in daily life.

·        Reduces stress. Listening to music, particularly relaxing music (such as low pitch, slow tempo, and no lyrics) is believed to reduce anxiety and stress in normal people and even in those who are undergoing medical procedures (for example, surgery, colonoscopy, dental).

·        Lessens anxiety. In studies of those who were suffering from cancer, listening to music combined with standard care could help to reduce anxiety compared to those who only received standard care.

·        Improves memory. Studies have shown that the repetitive factors of rhythm and melody help our brains form patterns that can enhance memory. In a study of stroke survivors, music helped them experience more verbal memory, better-focused attention, and less confusion.

·        Eases pain. In studies of patients who were recovering from surgery, those having listened to music before, during, or after surgery had more overall satisfaction and less pain compared with those who did not listen to music.

·        Improves exercise. Research also suggests that listening to music can boost mental and physical stimulation, enhance the aerobic exercise, as well as increase overall performance.

·        Provides comfort. Music has also been used to help enhance coping, communication, and express feelings such as loneliness, anger, and fear in patients who are in end-of-life care and who have a serious illness.

·        Improves cognition. Listening to music can help people with Alzheimer’s recall seemingly lost memories and even maintain some mental abilities.

·        Helps kids with an autism spectrum disorder. Studies of kids with autism spectrum disorder who listened to music showed improvement in communication skills, attention skills, and social responses.

·        Soothes premature babies. Live music and lullabies might impact vital signs, improve sucking patterns and feeding behaviors in premature infants, and might increase prolonged periods of quiet–alert states.

MIDEM 2020 canceled, reboots as digital format due to the spread of coronavirus

The 2020 edition of Midem, Cannes-based music industry conference, which was planned to take place from June 2-5, has been canceled due to the concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

Announcing the news on March 30, the Director of Midem, Alexandre Deniot, said that it’s not possible for the event to take place as planned, given the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus and the concerns of the companies for the safety of their people.

Midem’s next edition will take place June 1-4, 2021.

Midem 2020 has been canceled amidst a global lockdown that was imposed by policy makers in an effort to control the spread of Covid-19.

In France, there are more than 40,000 confirmed cases of infection and more than 2,600 dead cases.

Despite the cancelation of the event in Cannes, Midem says that it is going to reboot with a new digital format.

The Midem Digital Edition is scheduled to take place June 2-5, 2020.

The press release announcing the news today said, “Wherever customers are in the world, they will be invited to be part of the Midem Digital Edition.”.

The digital format will contain live-streamed keynote sessions, talks and presentations, and online conversations and speed-meetings between participants as well.

The service’s details will be shared in the coming weeks.

Midem Director Alexandre Deniot said that the situation of the spread of coronavirus is changing daily and the government’s announcements and restrictions are the same.

He added that these are impacting the way we are leading our lives and conducting our business. Given the uncertainty of the coronavirus and companies’ concerns for their people’s safety, it is impossible to hold Midem in June.

Deniot added their team is working very hard to support the industry during this challenging period of time, particularly companies and artists who have been hardest hit and when the unity of global music is more important than ever before.

They are also looking forward to bringing together everyone at Midem 2021 on June 1-4 of next year to celebrate the music industry’s return to healthy growth and the 55th anniversary of Midem.

Finally, on behalf of all the Midem team, he hoped everyone stay strong, stay safe, and stay connected.