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Forget about Teen Mom and Jersey Shore: MTV is returning to their roots with their latest app, MTV Artists.

Yes, you did hear correctly — MTV has exchanged their plethora of mediocre reality shows for what made the channel great from the start: music. Its goal? To make music discovery an easy process anytime, anywhere. Find out exactly what it brings to the table after the jump.

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I’m a huge music geek. I run a music blog, have over 10,000 songs in my iTunes library, and am always listening to new music on Rdio. Despite all that, though, I still find the music discovery process to be a really difficult and involving thing. I’m subscribed to email lists, I follow a bunch of bands on Facebook, and I use whatever services I can to keep up with new releases (surprisingly, Wikipedia is amazing for that).

Internet radio is one of those things that could be a great tool for music discovery if it had the right app to go with it, though. And Radium is exactly that right app. It’s been recently updated for iOS 7 and is one of the best audio experiences you can have on the platform. Read on to find out why this is a must-try.

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Creating an alternative to a stock app is risky. Most iPhone owners will never go looking for an app that will replace something that Apple already ships, unless they are looking for additional functionality or something radically different.

Creating an alternative to a stock app that is well entrenched within both Apple’s ecosystem and within the hearts and minds of consumers is borderline insane. While people are used to changing their web browsers, most don’t care to actively search for a replacement to a music app. The bar is set high for Ecoute 2.0: can it survive in a world where Apple ships its stock music app on every iPhone? (more…)

Attention iPhone owners! You know how you can never seem to find a great music streaming service for iOS? Well, Google has released their Google Play Music app on iOS, which features their All Access service with library of 18+ million songs. At long last, I can ditch the gigs of music on my iPhone and tap into this cloud music business I’ve heard so much about.

Okay, so that was probably an unnecessarily snarky opening, but please forgive me if I don’t get excited about yet another streaming music service that’s incredibly late to the party. Especially when the last service to land on iOS ended up being rather lackluster (I’m referring to Xbox Music for those that didn’t wish to click the link). I can only speak for myself, but as a member of the Rdio faithful, Google’s music service has a lot to prove for me to even entertain the notion of jumping ship. Let’s find out if it can do just that. (more…)

While some radio and television networks have firmly cemented themselves in the past, opposing digital distribution of media, the BBC has been quite the opposite, embracing digital distribution with their award-winning iPlayer service. More recently, the BBC has been quietly revolutionising radio in the same way they did with television by making almost every radio show broadcast available through iPlayer, with a select number even distributed as podcasts.

To make BBC radio as accessible as possible, the company have released the BBC iPlayer Radio app, which has recently been updated with podcast support. It’s an app we’ve not looked at so far, but with the golden age of podcasting upon us, it’s high-time we check out the latest app from the Beeb.

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If you’ve ever taken a trip on the London Underground (or any subway service for that matter) then you’ll no doubt notice that each train is littered with small ads, providing both an effective means of marketing whilst giving us commuters something to read when we’ve accidentally left our headphones at home.

Sandwiched between the various online dating sites (apparently everyone in London is lonely) and cosmetic surgery boutiques was an ad for a new online music service called Bloom.fm. The ad, promising features such as 22 million tracks, offline playback and a radio service similar to that of Spotify and Rdio, was enough to pique my interest. After spending a few days with the iPhone app and service, I can honestly say it is making me think twice about continuing my Spotify Premium subscription.

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Spotify have been allowing developers to build upon their platform for some time now, giving developers the ability to build their own music discovery apps and services that go beyond anything Spotify alone could do.

One such service that has been made available recently is Moodsnap, a music discovery app for iOS users with a Spotify Premium subscription. Moodsnap finds music based upon your mood by choosing from a number of pre-selected pictures to best represent how you feel. While it’s an interesting idea, the app is far too buggy and its lack of variety and often confusing images makes it hard to understand why it’s a better alternative to any other music discovery app, including Spotify Radio.

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iOS 7′s bold new design convention gave many developers the chance to completely reinvent their apps, free from the shackles the previous constraints of iOS’ stylings. Vemedio seized this opportunity and have recently released Instacast 4, the latest update to their flagship podcast app, which has been completely redesigned with a new look and feel, as well as looking to the future of iOS by making iOS 7 a requirement.

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Last December I wrote an opinion piece about Microsoft’s (and Google’s) place in the iOS ecosystem. In the article, I stated that Microsoft had finally learned that restricting their popular services for the Windows Phone 8 operating system doesn’t necessarily translate to more sales of hardware devices running said OS. This transition of philosophy was evidenced by the release of Microsoft’s popular services like SkyDrive, Xbox SmartGlass and OneNote on iOS.

Since then, Microsoft has even released Office, though the app is restricted to those subscribing to Office 365. Another popular service that finally made its debut on the iPhone just a few weeks prior is Xbox Music. I won’t deny that I was anxiously waiting to see that Microsoft had in store, as I’ve long admired their music service. Join me after the jump as I determine whether or not my wait was in vain. (more…)

I’m really fond of coffee shops. Maybe I’m a closet hipster or something, but I find they really help me work. Throughout my university years, I lived right in a downtown area and would frequent one of the five or six coffee shops within a block of each other nearly every day. Sometimes I made the trek across town for a coffee/Scotch bar to work at. I love the background noise and I love the city atmosphere they provided, plus there’s some science that says working in new places helps you get work done, as does background chatter. I’m most at peace in a big city.

Since moving back home after school though, I’ve really missed that city atmosphere. I live in a smaller area now, and there are very few good coffee shops — and they’re all inconveniently located. I spend most days working in my home office, which can be a bit of a dreary and quiet existence. So I was thrilled when I discovered Coffitivity, an app that brings the background noise of the coffee shop back into my daily life. Read on to learn more. (more…)

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