From the rollout of Pandora Modes to Apple Music’s redesign, here are the top technology headlines from this month:
Pandora Personalizes Stations With Pandora Modes
Pandora is taking personalization to the next level by giving listeners access to its algorithm for selecting music with Pandora Modes. Available for both free and premium users, this new feature gives listeners more control over the music they play by offering 6 new listening modes on each station. Each mode offers a unique blend of curated content for a different listening experience for optimal music discovery. Here’s how it works:
When listening to a Pandora station based on a specific artist or song, 6 new Pandora Modes will appear next to the track’s artwork. Pandora Modes include:
- My Station– For the normal Pandora experience listeners have always enjoyed, this mode leverages Pandora’s original algorithm.
- Crowd Faves– For today’s top trending music, this mode ranks content based on the most thumbs-up by other users in that station.
- Deep Cuts– This mode serves some of the lesser-known songs by a particular creator or genre that have been buried in an artist’s discography.
- Discovery– To uncover music you may have missed, this mode surfaces artists that are not normally played on a particular station.
- Newly Released– This mode features the newest songs from an artist or genre.
- Artist Only– This mode only plays music from the artist station it is based on.
While Pandora Modes will help fine-tune your listening experience, the rest of the platform will remain the same. For example, users can apply a thumbs up or down on tracks for even more content customization.
Apple Music Reorganizes Browse Tab For More Discoverability
Content is king and Apple Music has redesigned the ‘Browse’ tab in its music app to reflect this sentiment. Over the next few weeks, Apple Music subscribers will notice a new content-focused layout that streamlines navigation and music discoverability. Previously, Apple Music leveraged a complex layout that had users tap through various navigation options before seeing any real music. The new design places music upfront with various playlists accessible within a single tap. Upon opening the app users will see the same horizontal carousel of featured content at the top of the screen, however, that’s where the similarities between designs end. Now, the Daily Top 100 playlists will appear below the carousel, followed by a new Weekend Warrior section of playlists that curates new content daily. As users continue to scroll down the ‘Browse’ tab, they will see larger tiles for Just Updated playlists where they can find freshly curated content from the human editorial teams at Apple Music followed by a section for ‘hot songs’ and newly released albums. Finally, navigation for genres, moods, top charts, and music videos (that topped the old default Apple Music layout) can be found in the More To Explore section at the bottom of the screen. While there is no change in the content available on Apple Music, the platform’s new update puts music front and center. Keep an eye out as this update continues to roll out to all users very soon.
YouTube Stories Add Augmented Reality Selfie Filters
YouTube is stepping up its Stories game by adding new augmented reality selfie filters similar to those on Snapchat and Instagram. Now users will have the opportunity to use Google’s powerful machine learning capabilities to add animated masks, glasses, and 3D hats to their ephemeral content on YouTube. In order to create the most high-quality filters on the market, Google is leveraging its “unique set of perceptive technologies” to create a 3D image with only a single camera and without a dedicated depth sensor. This advanced technology will be able to compensate for any camera imperfections by reducing noise and extreme lighting to track movement more realistically. This enables YouTube creators to enjoy a similar quality to Apple’s Animoji without the need for the latest iPhone camera technology. Currently, YouTube’s new filters are in limited beta and are only available for creators with over 10,000 subscribers.
For more of technology’s top news, make sure you check back for next month’s roundup!