Samsung’s new music streaming service is totally free, comes completely chock full of songs

Technology manufacturer enters online music streaming competition

Hey iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, and Songza — watch out, here comes Milk Music.

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The oddly named new music streaming service comes from technology giant Samsung. At present it’s only available on Galaxy phones in the US, but for those rocking the company’s flagship device, users have free access to over 200 radio stations and some 13 million songs that they can stream right into their ears or over their Bluetooth portable speakers.

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As mentioned in the first line of the story, the play area for music streaming services is already crazy crowded with some really big names. What’s more, these services can be streamed on any smartphone device on the market.

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Despite this competitive advantage, the South Korean-based company is confident their particular product will attract users.

“We feel that while the music space is very competitive there is room for improvement,” said Daren Tsui, vice president of music at Samsung Media Solutions.

Worth noting is the fact that this is not Samsung’s first venture in to music streaming—the company launched a service called Music Hub back in 2012.

Also worth noting – it was recently shut down.

:-/

Check out this Magic Eye music video

Indie rock band uses old school image trickery for new video

Admittedly, it’s been a few years since I cracked open a Magic Eye picture book, but whenever I come across one, it’s funny how that muscle in your brain kicks right back in to gear.

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If you’re as big a fan of them as I was, then you’ll definitely appreciate the following music video from indie rock band Young Rival for their song “Black is our Good”.

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The video works around what’s referred to as a random-dot autostereogram. A stereogram is an image that uses a crossed-eye method to create an illusion of depth perception on a static image when viewed with two eyes (sorry all ye pirates out there!) When one relaxes their eyes (as prompted at the start of the video), they can then see through the static and pick up on the hidden images below.

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The “Black is our Good” video was directed by Jared Raab and programmed by Tomasz Dysinki using a computer and an Xbox Kinect. They explain their approach in a bit more detail on their site:

To make your own autostereogram, one must first create a thing called a “depth map” which is a 2D representation of 3D depth information. We collected real-time depth data of Young Rival performing the song using an X-Box Kinect hooked up to a computer. The computer was running software called RGBD toolkit, designed for capturing the depth information from the Kinect using its built-in infrared system. Once we had our depth information, we unpacked it into image sequences and edited these sequences as if they were regular video.

When it came to completing the video, they used an algorithm to convert each frame into a stereogram image (talk about time consuming).

What do you think of their efforts? Can you see the images? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Mixtape lets you enjoy your music and smoke it too

DJ collaboration takes unique approach to pushing latest album

In the world of marketing, timing is everything. And for Chicago-based DJ collaboration Flosstradamus, their marketing stunt is right on queue.

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The group has just released their latest mixtape, called B⚠NNED 3D, and while there is plenty of high-quality trap-and-bass songs on the album, what makes it particularly noteworthy is the fact that the mixtape itself is a cross between a hard drive and a portable vaporizer.

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That is, the album is a 4GB hard drive that lets listeners store additional songs to it, and it’s also a vaporizer that encourages the user to listen to the music while taking in various “aromatherapy herbs” or marijuana oils, now legal in the great state of Colorado.

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From the group’s website:

B⚠NNED 3D goes in swinging straight haymakers towards your eardrums as tracks from LOUDPVCK, RL Grime B2B Baauer, Mr Carmack, and Riff Raff are mixed in with unreleased Flosstradamus collaborations with Waka Flocka and DJ Snake respectively. The mixtape comes via a signature “Aromatherapy Herbs” approved vaporizer we picked up from Flosstradamus at their sold out IRL show in Chicago. The vaporizer also doubles as a convenient 4 GB hard drive to take file and dab sharing on the go.

Like what they’re doing here and want to see if the music is worth a try? (Fans and critics alike are praising the album). Take a listen for yourself here.

App creates original soundtrack simply by analyzing digital photos

Mhoto is generating heavy buzz due to its ingenuity

Sometimes, when you look at a photo, a song instantly pops in your head. It could be one of you at a club and you remember the song that was playing at the time, or a landscape shot where something that you’ve heard in the past seems apropos for the image on screen.

This sort of thinking was the foundation for the folks at Mhoto, who are in the process of finalizing an app that picks and chooses songs based on patent-pending technology which analyzes a picture’s saturation, brightness, and contrast levels, and uses that information to create music that fits the photo.

The company’s also looking into ways of integrating facial recognition into the mix to make mood-based music, too, which would be pretty funny if you have any friends of the emo-variety.

Users are expected to have control over what musical genres they want the tunes to come from. All music is hosted in Amazon’s cloud, so theoretically speaking Mhoto can work on any device with a data connection.

In terms of the quality of the music, while co-founder Daniel ketter does have a background in music production, the company enlisted the assistance of Dub Killer to help develop the music composition algorithm.

Looking down the road, the app will likely be able to host specialized genres based on a producer’s specific sound. This means that, in theory, users could have customized theme songs from different artists, ranging from Blake Shelton to Timbaland and more (should they choose to partner up with the app, of course).

For now, though, Mhoto is still in development. The app they’ve developed thus far is simply for demonstration purposes only. The group hopes to soon begin licensing the program out to other companies for use however they see fit. To date, Samsung, HTC, and China Mobile have all expressed interest, so we might see an official roll-out of this awesome-sounding program sooner than later.

Whole Foods to start selling vinyl records

Organic food supermarket dips its toes in the music industry

Whole Foods, the organic food supermarket of choice for the modern day hipster, is looking to cash in on the recent vinyl revival, and will begin selling vinyl records at five of their California-based stores, including Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Pasadena, Santa Barbara and Venice.

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