Every major music streaming app is always on the lookout to revamp its platform and make it more attractive and user-friendly. Apple Music, Gaana, Spotify, YouTube Music, Wynk and Amazon Prime Music has recently undergone a facelift. From customised playlists to video streaming options, from offline music listening to getting synchronised lyrics, delve into the latest features on your favourite music streaming app.
Apple Music- For You
Apple Music has launched a new feature called “For You” that came with the new iOS 12.3 update. This feature allows users to find music suggestions based on preferences, genres, artists and moods. The suggestion is updated throughout the day and is matched by a theme based on listening habits. The themes include “Teen Pop”, “Rise and Smile”, “It’s only Tuesday?” etc.
“For You” comes with personal “Mixes” that Apple Music curates with lists like “Favourites”, “Friends”, “Chill”, and “New Music.” Also, it offers sections that are based on personal playlists and “Based on [Playlist Name]” that one might be interested in depending on the songs designated in the playlist.
Amazon Prime Music – Lyrics Synchronisation
Amazon Prime Music has recently introduced a feature that gives synchronised lyrics for various songs. The lyrics are currently available in Hindi and English only. It can be utilised through mobile apps, web player and desktop application.
The company also rolled out Alexa support on Amazon Prime Music because of which listeners can now ask Alexa to play music by mood, activity, era, genre, artists or create a playlist just by asking Alexa without needing to tap the Alexa icon. The app is available on any iOS and Android smartphones.
JioSaavn- Share Stories on Facebook and Instagram
JioSaavn, the largest audio streaming platform for South Asian music and artists, announced the rollout of a new “Share” option and integration on Instagram and Facebook. Users of JioSaavn can now share their music to both Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories, creating another mainstream channel for the amplification and discovery of Indian and South Asian music.
To experience the update, users can find a song, album, playlist or podcast on JioSaavn and click on the share option to share to Instagram stories and Facebook Stories. One can add their choice of stickers or GIFs in the Stories camera and then the share as their own personal story.
Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories each have more than 500 million daily actives worldwide as of January 2019.
Gaana- Gaana Videos and Artist Dashboard
Gaana, the music streaming app owned by Times Internet recently introduced ‘Gaana Videos’ and ‘Artist Dashboard’ to the app. This feature is designed to attract both users and talent all in one platform. This newly incorporated feature is an addition to previously included features such as discoverability of music, better voice search and availability of lyrics, to improve user experience.
‘Gaana Videos’ offers an array of videos that can be watched online. The streaming habits of the users’ curate videos in the search section of the app. As for the ‘Artist Dashboard’, it is a self-service dashboard for artists to access insights and analytics around how their fans are consuming their music on Gaana.
The facelift is part of Gaana’s plan to offer music lovers an immersive experience.
Spotify- Spotify Lite Beta and Storyline
Spotify, the Swedish music streaming app has introduced a lighter version of its app called, Spotify Lite Beta in India. This variant is a 10 MB-sized as opposed to the regular Spotify of 100 MB. The beta version was launched in India after running successful tests in Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, and Brazil. It comes with a similar look and feels to the main app.
Spotify has also introduced their own version of “stories” called ‘Storyline,’ for artists. This feature is very similar to social media counterparts like Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and WhatsApp. However, on Spotify, users will be able to add background music or other creative measures for as long as they want, unlike the 24-hour validity bracket that lasts in other apps. Each ‘Storyline’ frame scrolls automatically after six seconds which can include lyrics, images or texts. This feature is available on iOS and Android apps while the desktop version is not available as of now.
Unfortunately, ‘Storyline’ feature is yet to enter the Indian market.
YouTube Music- Offline music listening
YouTube Music app for Android now supports importing locally-stored tracks instead of streaming online. A similar feature was already available in Google Play.
The most recent version of the app features a Library tab that lets users organise their collection of tracks into multiple categories including Downloads, Playlists, Liked songs, Artists, and Albums. Most importantly, the ‘Artists’ section here gets a new Device Files tab as well as a YouTube Music tab. This feature provides a list of subscribed artists, while Device Files allow playback of audio files stored in the phone memory.
Accessing Device Files for the first time requires permission to enable the app to access and play music files. Adding local tracks to playlists or queues with songs from YouTube Music is a limitation. The playback controls the like and unlike buttons neither can the device files be cast despite the cast button popping-up.
Wynk- Wynk Tube
Wynk Music, the music streaming app owned by Indian telecom giant Airtel now comes with an extended feature of Wynk Tube. Users can stream both video and audio content simultaneously on the same interface. Features like One touch play enables users to switch between modes of music listening and/or watching.
This 5 Mb sized app that comes with a collection of over 40 lakh songs and related videos. Airtel users get a special feature of Zero subscription hence, Airtel users can stream and download unlimited songs. A feature like Auto Pull brings all MP3 music files stored on the smartphone and combines as a part of one playlist. The playlists like ‘Welcome’ and ‘Weekly’ are refreshed based on users’ history.
Similar to most streaming apps, Wynk Tube enables a highly-personalized experience. With features like deep voice-enabled search that helps users discover their favourite music by just speaking the name of the song. Users can import songs from their personal music player too. This app is currently available for Android devices only.
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