Apple Employees Help Transcribe Music for iOS 13’s New Real-Time Lyrics Feature

In an interview with WIRED, Apple Music head Oliver Schusser has revealed that Apple has a team of employees listening to songs and transcribing the lyrics to ensure they are accurate for iOS 13's new real-time lyrics feature:
In probably the most bizarre example of Apple spending to get the experience right, Schusser says that Apple has "a team of people listening to music and transcribing the lyrics" to ensure they're accurate enough for Apple Music's new time synced lyrics feature; "we don't get them from the usual sites."
With iOS 13's real-time lyrics feature, each verse appears in time with the music so you can follow along as you listen. To jump to a certain verse, just scroll and tap any line. The feature is not available for all songs.

The interview contains a few other notable tidbits from Beats 1 radio host Zane Lowe, including the possibility of the Apple Music Festival returning in the future and "some big new names" who will accompany Ebro Darden, Julie Adenuga, Matt Wilkinson, and himself as Beats 1 hosts in the future.

Full Interview: More radio, more live: where Apple Music's headed in 2020


This article, "Apple Employees Help Transcribe Music for iOS 13's New Real-Time Lyrics Feature" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Beats 1 Radio Anchor Ebro Darden Appointed to Leadership Position on Apple Music Team

Beats 1 radio host Ebro Darden has been appointed as Apple Music's global editorial head of hip-hop and R&B, according to Billboard.

Ebro Darden and Ariana Grande

In this newly designated full-time role, which he starts today, the report claims Darden will "manage a team of hip-hop and R&B editors in developing editorial strategies for artists, albums and song releases" in the United States and abroad.

Darden said his new position is a global one aimed at figuring out ways to serve the communities where hip-hop and R&B music is made:
If we're doing our job, we'll be able to get down at the community level and connect with people to not only help artists service their communities but help those communities thrive. This is a global position as well. So, as we build this out, I'll be doing the same thing I want to do in America in the U.K., Africa, India, Japan, Brazil and other countries. I'll be wherever R&B and hip-hop are being consumed and working to create communication amongst communities around the world through Apple Music — making sure that black music is getting recognized and developing the next superstars.
Apple Music's global director of editorial, Rachel Newman:
We're excited that Ebro is joining us in a full-time capacity. Having dedicated his life and career to hip-hop, R&B and pop music, he has so much to offer. One of Ebro's most defining characteristics is that he has great ears for where R&B and hip-hop are transcending and evolving to beyond even the borders of the U.S. He'll obviously take a leadership position for us not just in hip-hop and R&B but also in the communities where the music is made, which is also exciting and something unique to Ebro.
Darden will remain based in New York City and he will continue to host his popular show "Ebro in the Morning" on the local HOT 97 radio station on weekday mornings. He will also continue to showcase the latest hip-hop music and news on his Beats 1 show on weekday afternoons, according to the report.

Darden was one of the three original Beats 1 radio anchors alongside Zane Lowe, based in Los Angeles, and Julie Adenuga, based in London.


This article, "Beats 1 Radio Anchor Ebro Darden Appointed to Leadership Position on Apple Music Team" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Nicki Minaj Says Spotify Retaliated Against Her After She Debuted Her Latest Album on Apple’s Beats 1 Radio

Earlier this month, hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj debuted her latest album "Queen" on her new Beats 1 radio show "Queen Radio," just minutes before its wider release. And, by the sounds of it, that didn't make Spotify very happy.


In a series of tweets on Sunday, highlighted by Digital Music News, Minaj said Spotify retaliated by electing not to promote the album on its platform during its first few days of availability, as it had promised. Meanwhile, she said Drake, who has had a Beats 1 show since 2015, is highly promoted on Spotify.


Minaj said she "can't wait" for the next episode of Queen Radio this Tuesday, presumably to speak further about Spotify's alleged retaliation.

A few years ago, The New York Times reported that Spotify instituted a policy where music that has benefitted from promotional deals on other platforms may not be prominently featured or included in as many playlists on its service.
Executives at two major record labels said that in recent weeks Spotify, which has resisted exclusives, had told them that it had instituted a policy that music that had benefited from such deals on other services would not receive the same level of promotion once it arrived on Spotify; such music may not be as prominently featured or included in as many playlists, said these executives, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss private negotiations.
Bloomberg also reported that Apple Music exclusives may be "buried" in Spotify search results, which Spotify said was "unequivocally false."

Several artists have debuted albums exclusively on Apple Music, at least for a brief period, including Drake, Frank Ocean, Dreezy, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Chance the Rapper, and it would appear that Spotify isn't pleased, as streaming platforms, record labels, and artists fight over rights in an evolving industry.

Spotify has yet to comment on the matter.


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Beats 1’s Zane Lowe Says Streaming Music Goes Beyond Apple: ‘There is No League With One Team’

In a new interview today with The Los Angeles Times, Beats 1 host Zane Lowe discussed a few topics related to Apple Music's daily streaming radio show, including the company's rivals. Without directly referencing Spotify, Lowe explained the need for competition among streaming music platforms.

“This is a controversial statement: I don't ever want us to be the only streaming service on the block,” Lowe says. “There is no league with one team. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don't. But you're still in the game. Not to sound too holistic but I'm glad I'm in the game.”
Still, when Spotify was brought up during the interview -- comparing Apple Music's 40 million paid subscribers to Spotify's 83 million paid subscribers -- Lowe said he doesn't look to Spotify when thinking about Beats 1. "We're the only voice in streaming," he mentioned, referring to the streaming radio show. "That's not cockiness. It's fact."

Beats 1 is a 24/7 streaming radio channel comprised of a collection of radio shows hosted by different DJs throughout the day, including Julie Adenuga, Ebro Darden, and Lowe. Guest and celebrity hosts also include Elton John, Charli XCX, Pharrell, and St. Vincent. Shows range from artist interviews, listing current popular tracks on Apple Music, and more.

In response to Beats 1's success on Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube are now believed to be looking into beefing up their radio-style programming as well.
Other services, however, are starting to mirror the Beats 1 mode of radio-style programming. In June, Spotify announced the hiring of Dawn Ostroff as its new chief content officer. Formerly of Conde Nast Entertainment and the CW network, she’ll oversee production of shows, radio stations, podcasts and episodic programming. YouTube Music’s Lyor Cohen has also indicated a desire to move into Beats 1-style programming.
Despite the apparent influence of Beats 1 in the market, The Los Angeles Times questioned Lowe directly regarding specific listener counts for the service's shows. Lowe dodged answering and stated that Beats 1 streams in "more than 100 countries," and doubled down on the service's ability to sell listeners new artists and ultimately convert them into paid Apple Music subscribers (anyone can listen to Beats 1 in the Apple Music app, but paid Apple Music subscribers get access to on-demand stations and shows).
Last year, head of content Larry Jackson said, “Beats 1 is the biggest radio station in the world.” Is it? Lowe sidesteps because to him the question is premature. He recalls advice given to him by Jimmy Iovine[...]

“Jimmy said to me at the beginning: be the thing that moves the needle.” For Lowe, that meant getting cozy with artists. Before when Lowe encouraged fans to buy artists' records, whether or not they did wouldn't affect his livelihood. “This directly affects my business. By that very nature we are in business together.”
In regards to Jimmy Iovine, the former Apple Music head this month transitioned to a "consulting role" for the company's streaming music service. According to people familiar with the matter, this means that Iovine has stepped back from daily involvement with Apple Music so that he can spend more time with his family, while also support Apple Music and Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue "as needed." The transition from Beats' "edgy culture" to Apple's focus on "appealing to the masses" reportedly proved to be a challenge for Iovine.

Beats 1 launched alongside Apple Music on June 30, 2015, kicking off with a day full of tracks that preceded an interview Lowe hosted with Eminem, the debut of St. Vincent's "Mixtape Delivery Service", and more. A few months after launch, Beats 1 eventually began saving replays of recent shows so subscribers could revisit an episode they missed at any time.

During the two-year anniversary of Beats 1 in 2017, Lowe said that he's "never been more excited about where Beats 1 is at this moment, and this is just the beginning."


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Apple Confirms HomePod’s Supported Audio Sources in Tech Specs

Apple today updated its HomePod tech specs page with a new Audio Sources section that lists all of the ways in which the speaker can stream audio, setting the record straight on some conflicting information.


Apple Music: HomePod users can ask Siri to play any of over 45 million songs available on Apple Music. A subscription is required.

iTunes Music: HomePod users can ask Siri to play any songs, albums, or audiobooks purchased from the iTunes Store.

iCloud Music Library: HomePod users can ask Siri to play any songs uploaded to a user's iCloud Music Library, including songs imported from other sources such as CDs, with an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription.

Beats 1: HomePod users can ask Siri to play Apple's official radio station.

Podcasts: HomePod users can ask Siri to play any podcast episodes from the iTunes podcast directory.

AirPlay: HomePod users can use AirPlay to play other audio from an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Mac. AirPlay 2, coming later this year, is only required to stream audio from these sources to multiple HomePods.

Earlier this week, iMore's Serenity Caldwell put together a useful breakdown with more detailed information about how the HomePod works with Apple Music, iTunes Match, iCloud Music Library, AirPlay, and more.

HomePod orders began last week ahead of the speaker's official launch on February 9 in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Related Roundup: HomePod

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Beats 1 Charity Auction Offers Behind the Scenes Studio Tour With Zane Lowe

Apple's Beats 1 Radio division is teaming up with auction site Charitybuzz to raise money for MusiCares through an auction that offers a behind-the-scenes tour of the Beats 1 studio in Los Angeles with Beats 1 DJ Zane Lowe.

Described as a one-day internship, the auction provides one winner with a full day at Beats 1, as well as access to a few members of the Beats 1 team. In addition to spending time in studio with Zane Lowe, the auction winner will also get to attend a mentoring lunch with Beats 1 Global Operations Manager and LA Chapter Grammy Governer Julie Pilat.


Several other benefits are included as well, like a free pair of Studio3 headphones and the chance to play a song on the Beats 1 radio. A full list of benefits:
- One (1) day at Apple Music's live station, Beats 1, which broadcasts to over 100 countries

- Time in studio with Zane Lowe during his flagship show, which broadcasts Mondays to Thursdays from 9-11am LA time.

- Music Business Mentoring lunch with Beats 1's Global Operations Manager & LA Chapter GRAMMY(R) Governor Julie Pilat.

- Attend a Music Meeting and discuss the Beats 1 List with the head of Beats 1's Music Team. You'll get to discover the most exciting new music in the world.

- Choose a song and play it, live on the radio, during Beats 1 Request.

- Hear your voice on Beats 1! Record a voiceover demo with their Production team.

- Go home and listen to Beats 1 with a pair of Beats Studio3 Headphones (colors may vary).
The person who wins the auction must visit Beats 1 in LA before December 20, 2018. The auction is valid for one person and the winning bidder must personally utilize the award. Transportation and accommodations are not included in the purchase price.


Proceeds from the auction, which has an estimated value of $5,000, will go to MusiCares, a foundation run by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. MusiCares provides resources for musicians in times of need, helping them out in financial, medical, and personal emergencies.

Apple has worked with Charitybuzz many times in the past, auctioning off lunches with iTunes chief Eddy Cue and Apple CEO Tim Cook to raise money for charities that include the RFK Center, Autism Movement Therapy, and the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation.


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