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The Sounds of Silence: Ten-Minute Silent Track Hits iTunes Top 100

Don’t you hate it when you plug your iPhone into your car’s USB port, and the first song (alphabetically), in your iTunes library starts to play, whether you like it or not? There is a solution for that, but it’ll cost you $0.99. Or not.

The Sounds of Silence: Ten-Minute Silent Track Hits iTunes Top 100

A new song on the iTunes top 100 charts, called ” A a a a a Very Good Song” is nine minutes and fifty-eight seconds of complete silence. That gives driver’s plenty of time to plug their iPhone in, start the car, put on their seat belt, adjust the mirrors, and find another track to play. (Perhaps from your “Drivin'” playlist?)

The “song” was created by Samir Mezrahi, launched on iTunes last Wednesday, Soon ranking in the iTunes Top 50. As of the time of this writing, it sits at #93 on the iTunes hit parade. The track will run you a cool $0.99, or you can add it to your library for free if you have an Apple Music subscription.

Or, as one Redditor pointed out, you can always make a recording of silence on your own, and name it “Aaaaaaaaaa” or something similar, and add it to your library. (But don’t use it for a ringtone.)

(Via MacRumors)

Ask the iTunes Guy: Consolidating iTunes libraries, deleting songs, correcting an email address for an iTunes account

iTunes is great at storing all your music and other media, but only if you let it. If, like one correspondent, you have a number of hard drives with old iTunes Media folders, you need to do some work to consolidate them. In other news, iTunes has changed the way you delete files from your library, but not from the cloud. And if iTunes displays a “session expired” dialog, here’s how to fix it.

Combining old music folders in one iTunes library

Q: I have multiple iTunes Music folders from different old hard drives that were dying, and they all now reside on an external HD. One of them is in my iTunes Media folder, others are named Music 2, 3, etc. I am struggling to find an efficient way to consolidate all the music into the iTunes Media folder. Currently I have to open two Finder windows highlighting two different Music folders to manually compare contents, select the correct content and then drag it into the correct folder; then delete the artist and album from Music 2, and then repeat this dozens of times. Is there a better way?

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How to listen to Apple Music’s new custom Chill Mix

Apple Music is rolling out a new customized playlist for its subscribers. Here's what it is, and where to find it!

Apple's streaming music service, Apple Music, is no stranger to custom-generated playlists: It launched two alongside iOS 10, My Favorites and My New Music. With iOS 11, Apple looks to be adding a new sound to the mix: Chill.

What is the My Chill Mix playlist?

Like its two predecessors, the Chill Mix will take into account personal music tastes from both your Library and recent listens; it combines that information with recommendations at large from Apple Music's editors to create a playlist designed for your specific level of chill.

As Matt Panzarino of TechCrunch notes:

This is where it gets tricky, because one person could consider Motorhead's "Burner" the ultimate in smooth jamz, while another person might think that John Tesh's Roundball Rock is the pinnacle of repose.

So the Chill playlists will take into account the music and genres you most enjoy and build the chillest set of tracks out of those genres. My mix prominently features Drake, Outkast, Ashanti, Trey Songs, Beyoncé, Jeremih and Kehlani — so we know where I'm at on the spectrum. But it also picks from those artists most chill tracks according to editorial choice and some general music genomic smarts like tempo and categorization.

As a result, everyone's Chill Mix should be slightly different, save for length — as with Favorites and New Music, Apple delivers 25 new songs each week. (For Chill, that delivery date is on Sunday.)

How can I get access to My Chill Mix?

Apple is currently rolling out My Chill Mix to a small group of subscribers on Sundays, with more being added each week. There's no official way to hop on the Chill train unless Apple selects your account, so if you don't have the playlist in your For You section yet, be patient.

In the meantime, you're welcome to groove along to my Chill Mix:


Listen to Serenity's Chill Mix on Apple Music

How can I check to see if I have My Chill Mix?

Your account is currently eligible for My Chill Mix if you're a paid Apple Music subscriber and on iOS 10/macOS Sierra or later.

  1. Open the Music or iTunes app.
  2. Navigate to For You.
  3. If you have My Chill Mix, you'll find it at the top of the screen, in between My Favorites and My New Music Mix.

Other questions?

Any other questions about Chill Mixes? Have a link to yours you want to share? Drop it in the comments.

How to create and share playlists with friends on Spotify for iPhone and iPad

You've just made the best party playlist on Spotify anyone has ever heard. Now it's time to share it with your friends, or even the world!

One of Spotify's best features is its social sharing. It's done right, and people love discovering new music from artists and fans, too. I love making playlists. They're the mix tapes of the new millennium. On Spotify, you can make that mix tape that will win the heart of your crush and you don't even have to hand it over in person. Here's how.

How to create a playlist on Spotify on iPhone and iPad

O.K. your bags are packed and you're about to hit the road for at least six hours of driving. What music do you bring? Make a playlist! Come up with a theme, find the artists, albums, and songs you like, and truly craft the perfect playlist to keep you energized on those long, flat land drives.

  1. Launch the Spotify app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Your Library in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap Playlists.

  4. Tap Create Playlist at the bottom of the page.
  5. Enter a Name for your new playlist.
  6. Tap Create.
  7. Tap your New playlist at the top of the list.

  8. Tap Browse.
  9. Find a song or album you want to add to your playlist.
  10. Tap the More icon next to an album title or song. It looks like three dots.
  11. Tap Add to Playlist.

Repeat steps 9 - 11 until you've built out your perfect playlist.

How to share a playlist on Spotify on iPhone and iPad

You've been trying to figure out how to tell your crush how you feel. You made the perfect playlist. It expresses your feelings perfectly. Now, it's time to see if your crush feels the same way (or, at least likes the same music).

  1. Launch the Spotify app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Your Library in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap Playlists.

  4. Tap the playlist you want to share.
  5. Tap the More icon in the upper right corner. It looks like three dots.
  6. Tap Share at the bottom of the list.
  7. Select the method you want to share the playlist.

You can send it via Message, Messenger, Facebook, or Twitter. You can also use the Share sheet to add it to supported third-party apps, like Slack or Hangouts, or just copy the link and share it any way you want.

How to find a playlist someone shared with your on Spotify on iPhone and iPad

So your buddy shared a playlist with you and asked later that same day, "Did you listen to that playlist I sent you?" Don't worry. You still have time to listen to it if you can make an excuse for why you haven't yet. Just don't say you don't know how to find a playlist.

  1. Launch the Spotify app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Your Library in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap Playlists.

  4. Scroll through your playlists until you find the one created by your buddy. His or her username will be listed right below the name of the playlist.

Now, run to the bathroom and listen to the playlist before you see your buddy again. Awkward moment avoided!

How to make your playlist public on Spotify on iPhone and iPad

You've created the be-all-end-all playlist. It's so good, you think the world could benefit from your musical expertise. You can share your playlist with every Spotify user by making it public.

  1. Launch the Spotify app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Your Library in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap Playlists.

  4. Tap the playlist you want to make public.
  5. Tap the More icon in the upper right corner. It looks like three dots.
  6. Tap Make Public from the list.

Now every Spotify user can listen to the playlist you've created. Who knows, maybe you'll be the next big deejay.

How to stop following a playlist on Spotify on iPhone and iPad

Your sweetheart dumped you and the last thing you want to do is be reminded of the pain by listening to that stupid playlist that meant so much a long time ago. Out of site, out of mind.

  1. Launch the Spotify app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Your Library in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap Playlists.

  4. Tap the playlist you want to unfollow.
  5. Tap the More icon in the upper right corner. It looks like three dots.
  6. Tap Stop Following.

All those lovingly-crafted songs are now a fading memory.

How to delete a playlist on Spotify on iPhone and iPad

You've completely switched gears and no longer like nu metal. You want to remove any existence of it from your life, including any playlists you created for friends or to share with the public. Erase!

  1. Launch the Spotify app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Your Library in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap Playlists.

  4. Tap the playlist you want to delete.
  5. Tap the More icon in the upper right corner. It looks like three dots.

  6. Tap Delete Playlist.
  7. Tap Delete to confirm that you want to delete the playlist.

Now you're embarrassing previous taste in music can't be used against you by your new, cooler friends.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about how to create and share playlists with friends on Spotify? Put them in the comments and we'll help you out.

SoundHound vs. Shazam: Which music identification service should you use?

Which is better: SoundHound or Shazam?

When you're out at a bar or in the car and a song comes on, but you don't know who sings it, where do you turn? This is especially prudent if you happen to love the song and want to have it to listen to all the time.

Shazam gets top billing for music identification services because its developers marketed the hell out of it, and it took off. Have your heard of SoundHound? It's another music identification service that has about half the downloads of Shazam, but it's a diamond in the rough and worth your consideration.

But which one's better? It all depends on what you want it for.

As a pure music identification service

First and foremost, Shazam and SoundHound are there to identify whatever song is playing in your immediate environment. SoundHound is much better at discerning songs, and it does so with the most satisfying flourishes.

When I first downloaded SoundHound years ago, I had a song stuck in my head for days, but I didn't know any words nor did I know the artist. I had heard about Shazam, and, at my wit's end, decided to download it. I "sang" into it with gibberish words to see if it could come up with the song. Every single time it came back with "We didn't get that; try again."

It was driving me nuts, so I researched other services and found SoundHound. I figured I'd give these apps another go, so away I went singing gibberish to SoundHound. Before I could tap done, it came back with a list of three results. Two were same song — a studio version and a live version. I checked them out. YUP. FOUND.

SoundHound is vastly superior to Shazam when it comes to song identification. It's better able to pick songs out in a noisy environment (even in a bowling alley!), and it'll even give you the specific version of a certain song. I was listening to a live track once and SoundHound even came up with the specific concert. Shazam still doesn't handle live versions of songs very well, and it has trouble in noisier environments.

If you're looking for pure music identification prowess, then go with SoundHound. Hands-down.

The social aspect

As with all apps, Shazam has developed a social side, and with its recent Snapchat-like update, it's now more of a social platform than song identifier (and rightly so, because it's barely the latter).

When Shazam identifies a song, it then connects you to multiple related platforms, so you can watch YouTube videos, get lyrics, preview songs in Apple Music, add them to Rdio and Spotify playlists, find Pandora radio stations based on the artist, and more. You can even see what certain celebrities are Shazaming.

Shazam also has other interesting gimmicks, where you can take photos of the Shazam logo in various places to hear certain exclusive songs by artists.

All that being said, SoundHound easily connects to your Spotify account, and it has Apple Music integration to let you find and play songs quickly and easily. It als features an embedded YouTube players so you can watch music videos and listen to songs for free. So really all SoundHound lacks is the gimmicky stuff Shazam has, like the celebrity connections and the Snapchatty interface. And some people love that stuff, so if that's your angle, check out Shazam.

But if you just want to be able to play the tunes your discover in your Spotify or Apple Music playlists, then SoundHound is still winning. Shazam's kind of just the "sellout" version.

Which should you use? SoundHound

From a pure "it just works" perspective, SoundHound is the winner. The app simply does exactly what it's supposed to do, and where Shazam fails, SoundHound strongly prevails. You can hum to SoundHound; you can sing gibberish; you can be in a louder environment, and you'll still get results. Don't get me wrong; it doesn't work every time, but it does work much better than Shazam.

If you like the social side of things: discovering music by photographing the Shazam logo at certain businesses, seeing what celebrities are listening to, and receiving your own curated "mix" (based on artists you choose), then Shazam wins.

As far as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube integration are concerned, these apps are relative equals, though SoundHound's hands-free "Ok Hound", which lets you control the app and add songs to Spotify and Apple Music hands-free notches it forward a bit.

All in all, SoundHound does its job better than Shazam, and if an app's going to take up space on your phone, it might as well be a good one.

Which do you use?

Let us know in the comments below.

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