The 28-song digital mixtape is a combination of staff choices and a few of the commander in chief's personal favorites. With songs from Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, and U2 among others, it's a playlist with a message of how the staff wants to look at the election season. After the president's soulful rendition of Al Green, it's likely "Let's Stay Together" was one of his selections.
Despite an uptick in competition (ahem, Spotify) Pandora isn't budging in its quest for online radio domination, as seen in the dozens of products they're embedded in at CES this year. Cars are the theme this year, as they announced 23 automotive partnerships for 2012. Can we expect a Pandora system in every new car sold now? Just about.
Look to BMW, Mini, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Acura, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Ford, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Toyota, and Scion for Pandora embedded in the car, using voice commands or dashboard controls. Car stereo manufacturers like Alpine Electronics, Audiovox, Kenwood, and others throughout the year will roll out in-dash receivers featuring the streaming music provider.
Pandora's also integrating beyond smart TVs, with Sony's new line of WiFi-enabled Blu-ray players. Don't forget there's also the Samsung refrigerator we saw at last year's show, so you'll never have to be without streaming music again.
To save ourselves from listening to our mom's record collection on repeat during this weekend's family gathering, we're taking on DJ duties. Forget flipping discs on a boombox; hook some powerful speakers up to a laptop and sign into these online music services to keep the party moving with new and unexpected tunes.
- Pandora — A classic, Pandora keeps us going through the work day with our curated stations. Due to copyright licensing, listening to songs by the same artist is limited, but the service does allow you to skip over song fails.
- Turntable.fm — We're taken with discovering new music through this new online digital music service. Hop into a crowd-friendly room; the "I <3 the 80s" room is a good choice.
- 8tracks — Mixtapes make a comeback on 8tracks, which lets users listen to mixtapes created by the community. Listen to playlists based on artist or genre and follow users whose mixes you love.
- Spotify — Check out what your friends are listening to and discover new tunes with this free music service. You can pay for upgraded and premium services to get wireless streaming on your iPhone too, which makes it easy to plug and play to whatever iPod dock your parents have lying around.
Click through for three more online music resources.
There were more music sources available in 2011 than we had time to listen to them all. With the amount of streaming music options available on the Internet, there's virtually no way to go without tunes every day. Which of these services and apps were your favorite music option of the year?
Music junkies, take note: today Spotify introduced an integrated HTML5 app platform to round out the online music experience. Since Spotify partnered with Facebook, their user base has grown to over 10 million listeners who subscribe to friends' playlists and cultivate our own streaming music library. Like an iTunes app, any third party can develop and submit an app for Spotify's approval to be included on the platform.
Spotify Apps are available to any user, and the beta version is set to roll out over the next several days. Your list of apps and link to the App Finder will be located on the left sidebar of Spotify. Check out the five apps we can't wait to add to our account, and tell us if you'll add apps to your Spotify experience.
- Last.fm — Discover a playlist's worth new favorite tracks within Spotify via a service we already know well.
- Songkick — We'll never miss our favorite band's local live performance with this app that keeps users abreast of an artist's tour dates and also makes buying tickets to said event a snap.
- Pitchfork — When on the lookout for independent musicians, reference the reviews and editorials of Pitchfork to find great artists flying under the radar.
Follow the break for our two other must-try apps including what no karaoke party can do without.
After six months of Beta trials, Google Music gets official and becomes a fully operational cloud music platform. Available to US users, Google Music automatically syncs an entire music library across any and all devices using cloud storage. Offline listening is also available as long as the user tags the specific tracks for offline use.
Adding to the storage capacity of Google Music is the creation of the music store tab in the Android Market. Every day the store will offer a selection of free songs handpicked by the Google Music team; additional songs can be purchased starting at $1.
Here are six key features to know about the service:
- Google Music is free and available to anyone. Though previously available by invite only, any Web user can now download and use the latest offering in online music storage. Up to 20,000 tracks can be stored within each Google Music account.
- Android users can download the Google Music app to store their music libraries to the cloud, but must upgrade their systems to Android 2.2 to use the service. Apple iOS and Linux users can access Google Music and buy tunes via the Android Market on the web.
- 13 million tracks will be available for purchase through licensing deals with various record labels. Eight million of those songs are available immediately, while the rest roll out over the next several months.
Learn how you can share Google Music with friends after the break.
Search these Pandora stations for your favorite mix: Halloween, Halloween Party, Industrial, Spooky Symphonies, Goth, Children's Halloween, Witch House, Ghostly Grooves. When in doubt remember, "The Monster Mash" always gets the party started this time of year.
Sign in to your account through Echofi, tell it which artist you want to hear, and it will play similar music. There are some reported quirks to the functionality, but with the ability to "love" or "ban" certain songs and take the guesswork out of new music choices, we're in.
Update: Digster is live!
For American users who became quickly addicted to music streaming and sharing service Spotify, more musical options are soon coming your way. Universal Music Group is reportedly launching a music playlist service for all Spotify users — even those with free subscriptions.
Just like you or a friend would create playlists, Digster's team of employees and music aficionados curate mixes under themes like "Roadtrip Singalongs." The artists included on the playlists are not limited to UMG musicians, making Digster a way to discover new music across all genres and record labels.
Already up and running in Europe, Digster may be available in the US as early as today. Spotify users, what are some of the best public playlists you have found?
The latest addition to the online music, Spotify, launched in the US last week and it's had the Internet buzzing. We've been using the service once the invites came through and are, admittedly, hooked on the sleek desktop application.
The cloud-based music streaming service offers free limited access to users on the desktop app. While, $5 per month gains desktop users full access to the Spotify music library, and $10 allows unlimited access, syncing with mobile devices, and off-line listening. We've compiled what we love and don't really dig about the service – do you agree?
- Hear what you want to hear, when you want to hear it. Want to play Blondie at your '80s dance party? Search "Heart of Glass" and listen to the song in full. Sure there are some artists that Spotify doesn't have rights to, but with over 15 million tracks available, the amount of accessible songs is impressive.
- Collaborative playlists make the music world go round. Users can allow friends to add to a playlist by right clicking on the playlist's name in the left menu sidebar and selecting the collaborative playlist option.
- We've all seen the dreaded "Buffering . . ." label on streaming media service, but we've yet to run into this problem with Spotify's speedy service.
Click through for a few qualms about Spotify.