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Spotify Finally Removes Its 10,000-song Library Limit.

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Spotify has finally removed its 10,000-song cap on library sizes, allowing users to add as much music as they’d like to their personal libraries without any limits at all, fixing a problem that has plagued music-lovers on the service for years.

While Spotify has more than 50 million songs available to customers to stream at any time, until today, there was a hard limit of 10,000 songs that users could save to their own “Your Music” collections on Spotify for easy access.

Users have been requesting that Spotify remove the limit for years, but the company had previously shown resistance to the idea, commenting in 2017, “At the moment we don’t have plans to extend the Your Music limit. The reason is because less than 1% of users reach it.”

The new system only applies to the ability to save songs to your Spotify library. Individual playlists are still limited to 10,000 items, and users can only download up to 10,000 songs on each of their five different devices for offline listening.

Spotify’s announcement notes that it may take a bit of time for the newly removed limit to roll out to customers, so if you’re still seeing the old “Epic collection” error, you might just need to wait a bit longer.

Music

Audiomack Partners With ACRCloud On Content-filtering System

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In November 2018, YouTube said it had spent $100m developing its Content ID system for detecting copyrighted music in uploads and giving rightsholders options to remove, leave or monetise those videos.

That level of investment is beyond many music startups, but there are partnerships to be done. The latest example is with US streaming service Audiomack, which is working with ACRCloud’s copyright protection technology.

The tech uses audio fingerprinting to scan all newly uploaded music to Audiomack, with the press release claiming that it currently gets “thousands” of user-generated uploads to its platform every day.

Audiomack has traditionally focused on direct artist uploads, but in August 2019 it signed its first major-label licensing deal, with Warner Music Group. At that point, its service had eight million monthly users.

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Music

SoundCloud Integrate Insights On The Mobile App And Desktop Version

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SoundCloud now offers Insights for creators, allowing smaller musicians to know who’s listening to their music, what music they’re listening to and where they’re from — data they may not otherwise have. The feature is rolling out today and over the next few weeks on the SoundCloud app, according to the SoundCloud blog.

As a creator, Insights allows you to see your top listener, top city, top country and top 50 tracks. A $144 annual Pro Unlimited subscription gives you access to your top 50 listeners, cities, countries and tracks, plus other audience analytics tools. Previously, audience data was available only in the SoundCloud creator app, Pulse app and web. The Insights feature means audience data is now all available in one main app. So if, for example, you have been using the Pulse app to view your stats, you no longer need to navigate away from the main app to access this data.

A gif showing SoundCloud's new Insights feature.

Insights can be accessed from your Profile, Library or More menu by tapping the Insights bar graph icon. Scroll to see an overview, or data on specific tracks or your audience. SoundCloud plans to replace the Stats feature on desktop with Insights in the coming months.

– engadget.com

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Business

Canon Takes On Sony’s A7 Series With The Full-frame EOS R6 Camera

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Canon has unveiled the 20.1-megapixel EOS R6, the little brother to the gobsmacking 8K EOS R5 camera it unveiled at the same event today. At $2,499, the R6 is everything we hoped the EOS R would be (and more) and a much better rival to the Sony A7 III, Nikon Z6 and Panasonic S1. Canon is finally playing to its strengths (the RF mount and Dual Pixel autofocus) and like the $3,899 EOS R5, it has few weaknesses on paper.

To make things clearer, Canon is now lining up the names of its full-frame mirrorless cameras with its DSLRs, with the R5 flagship corresponding to the 5D-series DSLR flagships, and the R6 model matching its more budget-oriented 6D-series DSLRs.

The R6 appears to have a similar sensor to its Canon’s flagship 1DX Mark III DSLR, so image quality should be on par. It should offer equally good low-light capabilities, with an ISO range from 100-102,400, expandable to ISO 204,800.

It has a nice large grip and fully articulating 1.62 million dot rear display that should make it an outstanding vlogger camera. It has mode-selection dial where the LCD display sits on the R5 and, thankfully, a joystick is used in place of EOS R’s not-well-liked touchbar. It looks very similar to the R5, but weighs quite a bit less at 680 grams compared to 735 grams.

Thankfully, the R6 has in-body stabilization (IBIS) that works for both photos and video. Canon has promised up to 8 stops of stabilization, provided you’re using a compatible RF lens with it — easily beating Sony’s A7 III, the Nikon Z7 and Panasonic S1. It has a decent 3.69 million dot OLED EVF, dual UHS II card slots and the same LP-E6NH battery found on the EOS R. Canon has yet to say how many shots per charge you’ll get, but if it’s not enough, it’s offering the BG-R10 camera grip as an option.

The R6 matches the R5’s shooting prowess with burst speeds of up to 12 fps with the mechanical shutter and 20 fps using the electronic shutter. That’s supplemented by Canon’s excellent Dual Pixel autofocus (AF) system with 100 percent coverage and 1,053 AF areas, that works in all photo and video resolutions. It has face and eye detection, along with “head detection” autofocus brought over from the 1DX Mark III — helping the camera keep a subject in focus even if they turn away. Like the R5, the R6 has Canon’s all new animal detection mode.

Canon EOS R6 full-frame mirrorless camera

Video is an area where the EOS R6 goes beyond what Sony can do. Like the 1DX Mark III, it can shoot 4K at 60 fps and 1080p at 120 fps. It can handle 10-bit video using Canon’s C-Log mode both internally and externally, though unlike the R5 or 1DX III, it has no RAW capability. Still, C-Log and 10-bit video will allow videographers to shoot HDR video and have plenty of options when color-correcting the footage in post.

Better yet, 4K video only cropped a little, using 93 percent of the width of the sensor, unlike the EOS R with a huge 1.7X crop. At the same time, video is demosaic-ed and then downsampled from a 5,130 x 2,886 size, which should result in very crisp video. On top of C-Log, Canon has introduced “HDR PQ” capture, letting you view footage that can be viewed directly on HDR TVs, with little color grading needed.

Canon EOS R6 full-frame mirrorless camera

All that should make the EOS R5 much better for video than Sony’s A7 III (albeit it at a higher price), and on par with the similarly priced Panasonic S1. However, Canon’s Dual Pixel system should outperform the contrast detect AF found on Panasonic’s cameras.

On top of the cameras, Canon unveiled a raft of new lenses for the R5 and R6. The two weirdest and most interesting models are the RF 600 f/11 and RF 800 f/11 models, priced at $699 and $899, respectively. While that f/11 number seems crazy slow, the lenses are incredibly light at 930 grams and 1,260 grams, respectively, and the prices are very cheap for lenses that long, too. Canon also revealed the $599 RF 85mm f/2 IS STM prime model, a $2,699 RF 100-500mm f/4-7.1L zoom and RF 1.4X and 2X extenders.

As for pricing, the EOS R6 will cost $2,499 without a lens, $2,899 with the RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1L IS lens or $3,599 with the RF 24-105mm F/4L IS USM lens. It’s expended to ship at the end of August, 2020.

– www.engadget.com

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Business

Uber Reportedly Purchases Postmates For $2.65 Billion

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Uber has acquired online food delivery service Postmates for $2.65 billion in stock, according to the NY Times and Bloomberg. The deal is expected to help Uber better compete against food delivery giant DoorDash and will be a consolation prize after it failed to acquire GrubHub. The deal, first reported late in June, could be particularly valuable to Uber in Los Angeles and the southwest US where Postmates is strong. Neither company has confirmed the reports, but are expected to do so later today.

Uber Eats and Postmates will be led by Uber Eats chief Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, Bloomberg’s sources said. However, Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann will reportedly remain to run Postmates as a separate service.

Postmates pioneered food delivery in 2011, but is a distant fourth in the US market to DoorDash, GrubHub and Uber’s own Eats services. Together, however, Uber Eats and Postmates will be second in the market after DoorDash, which still holds a large lead.

Both Uber and Postmates are cash-negative operations, with Uber alone having lost $2.9 billion in Q1 2020 because of the COVID-19 crisis. Food delivery companies, which rely on non-full-time “gig workers,” are hard to tell apart from a consumer perspective other than pricing. As such, bigger fish are swallowing smaller ones in order to control costs and pricing — to the potential detriment of restaurants, users and, particularly, workers.

“As a part-time courier who works for both [Postmates and Uber Eats] this is bad news,” wrote journalist and gig worker Wilfred Chan on Twitter. “While both are staunch anti-worker companies, fewer and bigger players means even less worker leverage against platform capitalists. With dwindling options, we’ll be exploited even more harshly.”

– www.engadget.com

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