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Sony Is Launching Its 360-Degree Audio Format This Fall.

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Sony has announced that its new 360 Reality Audio technology will launch in late fall with several partners. The format involves object-based spatial audio that places various elements of a music track around the listener in a virtual spherical environment. The experience is designed to replicate live music, with instruments and vocals coming from different directions.

At launch, there will be around 1,000 songs available in 360 Reality Audio, including tracks from artists like Pharrell Williams, Bob Dylan, and Billy Joel. Sony has also captured live performances from artists such as Charlie XCX and Kodaline and converted them to the new format. Sony will of course be able to leverage music from its own record label, but the company says it’s also working with Universal, Warner, and Live Nation to add more content.Sony has partnered with Amazon Music HD, Deezer, and Tidal

“360 Reality Audio is a proof point that innovation never stops,” Sony Electronics (North America) president and COO Mike Fasulo said in a press release. “The confluence of deep technical roots, tireless artists and forward-thinking hardware and semiconductor partners illustrates the tremendous draw of this radical new way to make music even more moving. Together with valued industry partners, Sony has architected the most powerful, realistic music experience for listeners and a new medium for artists to create.”

As for how you’ll actually get to listen to 360 Reality Audio, Sony has partnered with Amazon Music HD, Deezer, Tidal, and nugs.net. That’s bad news for Spotify or Apple Music users, then, but Sony does call out Amazon’s promising new Echo Studio as a way to play back this music natively. Other speakers will require Sony’s 360 Reality Audio decoder along with “multiple speaker units and signal processing technology,” so it’s unlikely that this’ll work for many existing setups.

However, at launch the only mobile app support will come through “headphones from most manufacturers” when used with the Tidal, Deezer, and nugs.net iOS and Android apps. Certain recent Sony headphones will also be able to produce a “custom immersive musical field” through the Headphones Connect app, although it’s not clear how exactly that’ll work with external content.

This will clearly be something that needs to be experienced in person to judge. Sony does appear to be making its best effort to make this a thing, but the same could have been said of various Sony-backed formats in recent decades. The news that it’ll work on Amazon’s new high-end Echo gives it a pretty good use case right out of the gates, though, and we’re looking forward to hearing more.

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Aftown Music Launches New App Interface.

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Ghana’s premier music streaming platform just marked its third year in the business of bringing seamless audio and visual content to its subscribers through its streaming app available for android and IOS.

In just three years, the Ghanaian based music service has succeeded in being a major part of music consumption culture in Africa, with content from major African artists across the globe; from Angelique Kijo, to Hugh Masekela, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Sarkodie & Stonebwoy; aftown music has become go-to for African inspired content.

After three years of constant improvements they’ve unveiled an upgrade to their app – aftownmusic V 2.0, which is now available on IOS and android. The revamped app comes with offline streaming modes, a new interface, more artistes interactions and 24/7 radio feature amongst other exciting features set to roll out between now and January 2020.

The launch was done during the maiden aftown music concert; and starred the likes of Kelvynboy, Tneeya, Reynolds, A.I, Ko-jo Cue, Kobla Jnr, as well as new music sensations like Yung Pabi, Rojayjay & Phrame.

The well-attended concert marked the climax of the aftown music week celebrations. Go ahead an upgrade your aftownmusic app to enjoy a better music streaming experience.

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iTRASH Technology To Embark On Segregation Educational Tour.

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iTrash technology Limited, operators of Your Trashman partners with Filthbusters Ghana on it's first Waste segregation educational tour to secondary schools and other communities in the Capital Accra.

Your Trashman is Africa’s first Trash – Tech mobile eco-system inclusive technology waste management company, with unique model designed to use the technological advancement of the century to revolutionize the entire waste management industry in Africa and beyond making us the future of waste management.

Filth Busters Ghana herein referred to as FBG, A third sector organization which is operational with focus on the environment and sanitation to create enabling platforms that will help cultivate in the citizenry, especially the youth, the culture and attitude of keeping the environment clean and tidy.

Filth Busters Ghana has over the years carried out several sanitation programs aimed at educating the general public on sanitation related issues, sanitation and environmental education programme in a number of Senior High Schools to create awareness, programs for students among others. Hence the partnership for this project.

The waste segregation tour is set to start in November and end in December 2019 which is the phase one of the project .

The aim of the waste segregation educational tour is to educate the general public on the process of separating waste into different elements, and dividing waste into dry and wet.

If waste is not separated properly, it all gets mixed up in landfills. Waste segregation basically means keeping wet and dry wastes separately so that dry can be recycled and wet waste can be composted.

Your Trashman will Match Make anyone, anywhere with the mobile trash application to get the most convenient waste disposal ever to end the unmanaged garbage problems across Africa’s Cities, as well as empowering ordinary people to become “Trashpreneurs”. This of course will help in creating more sustainable jobs, increasing enterprises and strengthening local economies.

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Motorola Releases Fold-able Smartphone – Razr.

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We all remember the classic Motorola Razr V3 clamshell phone from the early days of the millennium. Now, in the age of foldable screens, Motorola reinvented the device and introduced the all-new Motorola Razr with a 6.2” foldable panel on the inside.

The Razr runs on the mid-range Snapdragon 710, coupled with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage. There are only two cameras on the phone - one on the outside of the flip part and another on the inside, tucked inside a notch (yes, really).

The main shooter is 16 MP f/1.7 with EIS, Dual Pixel AF, and Laser AF. It is coupled with dual-LED flash. The selfie shooter is 5 MP f/2.0 with no flash, but the screen can be used to light up your face in the dark.

The biggest talking point of this device is the foldable panel. It is pOLED with a 21:9 ratio and has the marketing name Cinemavision and a resolution of 2142 x 876 pixels. There is another Quick View screen on the outside of the device with a 2.7” OLED panel and a resolution of 600 x 800 pixels.

The good thing about the secondary display is you it lets you use the phone without unfolding it for almost all important features like calls, taking selfies, turning some basic settings off/on and talking to the Google Assistant.

Motorola equipped the Razr with a 2,510 mAh battery that should top up in no time with the 15W TurboPower charging. The OS is Android Pie and it comes with all the Google services you need.

Offered in one color - Noir Black - the Razr is expected to cost $1,500. Motorola is yet to officially confirm the price and announce an actual launch date.

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SoundCloud Launches Promote Tool For Artistes.

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BERLIN, GERMANY - European online audio distribution platform and music sharing website, SoundCloud, has, On Tuesday (Nov. 12), launched "Promote on SoundCloud" to help users of the platform push their tracks to a wide range of listeners off the platform

The new feature is a self-service tool that enables artists to boost their original songs to the top of listeners’ feeds and mobile homepages. Users can promote tracks directly to fans in real time, distribute releases to their audience across all major music services and get paid for plays both on SoundCloud and other streaming platforms.

The tool sets SoundCloud apart from most other streaming services by giving artists and creators more control over their content and marketing strategies. It also serves as a step further on SoundCloud’s Premier monetisation programme whose core selling point is that it enables artists to monetise their music on the platform and, according to SoundCloud, earn better pay-outs.

The scheme works similar to Facebook advertising. You tell SoundCloud who you want to target your track to and how much you want to spend getting it in front of them. The track will then be boosted up to the top of users’ streams and on their mobile homepages. Promoted tracks on SoundCloud are not new, but this opens the option up to more musicians.

With Promote on SoundCloud, the company’s chief product officer, Gilles BianRosa, said, creators can set their own budget and choose from a variety of advanced targeting options to help drive track plays, reach more diverse listener groups and build real-time, interactive connections with their fans.

Gilles BianRosa

The power of promotion is in the hands of creators whenever they want to elevate new tracks, fuel excitement for upcoming album releases, or build local market buzz in advance of tour dates.

He added that, promote on SoundCloud is an important addition to SoundCloud Premier, which offers creators wide distribution, more earning potential, and now, a way to proactively promote their music on SoundCloud, explaining that, creators get the added benefit of combining Promote on SoundCloud reports with SoundCloud stats to see comprehensive engagement data, a unique capability for creators who choose SoundCloud.

The company has been making moves this year to build up its subscription business – most notably appointing Anthony Gabriele as its SVP of subscriptions and marketing (he was formerly director of subscription marketing at Apple) – and the addition of new tools like these for creators is part of that wider thrust. There have been some interesting moves in this whole area recently to give creators and copyright owners more control over their own on-platform promotion.

Compare what SoundCloud has done to what Spotify launched in beta last month to let artist teams pay to promote releases to both free and paying users. Both companies need to build up revenues and are under growing pressure to let acts and labels have more control over the promotion of their own music on these platforms. While artists and copyright owners will always demand more control and feel the services could let them in closer to the centre of things, but these moves from Spotify and SoundCloud are certainly heading in the right direction.

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