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Amazon Cloud Player Streams Your Music Collection to Your Android Phone

We know that Google is planning a streaming music service for Android devices, and rumors of Apple offering a similar product have been circulating for years. Late last night, though, Amazon stole their thunder. With little to no fanfare, Amazon unveiled 'Amazon Cloud Player,' a service that comes bundled with 5GB of free Cloud Drive storage for uploading your music and other files, too. The ac...

Audiofile: Cut Copy Shows Off Synths and Talks Todd Rundgren

One of the reasons that Aussie dance quartet Cut Copy is constantly on our iPods is because the band, with its electro-pop-meets-arena-rock stylings, is one of the most forward-thinking dance acts around. The boys use the futuristic preoccupations that were pervasive in the '70s and '80s -- think classic synths or dreamy vocals that owe a bit to Boy George or OMD -- to make incredible music tha...

Bandcamp Decoded: An Indie Musician's Best (and Most Profitable) Friend

For starving musicians and champagne-sipping mega-stars alike, a strong digital presence is essential. The ways in which artists can present and sell their work online are constantly expanding, changing the face of the music industry in the process. The need for intermediaries between artist and audience, such as record labels and publicists, is a thing of the past. Enter Bandcamp, a service t...

Into Vinyl? The Best Turntables Under $400

Share A reader writes: "I recently helped my parents clean out their house, and, lo and behold, stumbled upon my beloved record collection, which I had assumed was long gone. So, now I need a record player. I'm not planning on becoming a wedding DJ anytime soon, but I want my Emerson, Lake and Palmer to really bump, so help make this reunion work and just tell me what to get!" Dear Reader: Yo...

Home Recording 101: Breaking Down Basics, Synths, Software and Gear

Once upon a time, electronic music was generally the realm of those with access to thousands of dollars of musical equipment, or bedroom producers working in niche and largely unrecognized genres. But over the years, the advent of home computing has brought these worlds together, with the ability to easily emulate a studio's worth of equipment on a laptop or PC. Furthermore, electronic music has ...

Denon AVR-591: Best Budget Home Theater Receiver

Share A reader writes: My trusty Sony receiver finally fizzled out after nearly 15 years, and sadly I'm looking for a home theater version that will incorporate all the digital and high def devices I've accumulated since I bought it: a game console, DVD player, DVR and sometimes my laptop for Netflix. I've obviously been out of the game for a while and don't even know what goes into a good A/V re...

Best Bookshelf Speakers With Big Sound for Few Bucks

Share A reader asks: I just moved in with roommates to my first dorm room and realized we need speakers. (Three dudes listening to headphones in the same room is just creepy.) We don't have a ton of space, so a 5.1 system is out of the question, and a booming subwoofer would probably get us written up anyway. High-quality audio matters to me, though, and all the computer speakers I've seen sound...

MOG Mobile Sets Itself Apart: Hands On

Until recently, if you wanted to listen to music on your smartphone through a premium-paid service, you only had a few options, such as Rhapsody and Rdio. Fortunately, MOG, another music-streaming service, comparable to Rhapsody and Rdio, has just appeared on the scene with apps for both iPhone and Android. Read on to see how MOG sets itself apart....

Rhapsody iPhone App Introduces Reliable (But Confusing) Offline Playback

The newly independent Rhapsody is moving at lightning speed to steal back some market share by slashing prices and marketing the iPhone's offline playback support of the service. The former Real subsidiary has beaten other would-be killer iPhone music apps to the punch, as it's the first on the block (in the U.S., anyway) allowing users to tag songs they want to play -- even when no Internet conn...

DoubleTwist Syncs iTunes With Your Non-iPod Devices

What it is: DoubleTwist is a music manager and media syncing tool for those who don't want to join, or are looking to leave, the cult of Apple. It has gained particular notability ever since T-Mobile agreed to package the application with some of its Android-powered handsets. What we like: Aesthetically, we find DoubleTwist rather pleasing. While others have described it as "rough," we quite enj...

Christina Aguilera? Reznor? 'iamamiwhoami' Baffles the Blogosphere

Share For over two months, music bloggers and journalists have been plagued by an intricate, creepy and riveting mystery: the identity of the mysterious and macabre iamamiwhoami. In December, a 55-second clip of a hyper-saturated, eerie (Scandinavian?) forest appeared on YouTube, making its way through critics' circles because of its catchy, pretty sounding music. No information was given, jus...

Ready for Blast Off: Bangin' Songs From Outer Space

Share Look, we've said it before, but it can't hurt to be clear: We are all nerds. Everyone at Switched, our friends, our parents, and the musicians we love. Because, to us anyway, being a nerd means looking up and imagining something active and wonderful outside of our little cubicle-walled existences. Be it 'Star Wars' or Sun Ra, a healthy imagination, for the most part, is the realm of geek...

Music Is the Future: 22 of the Greatest High-Tech Vids, From Air to TLC

Musicians imagine themselves vanguards, leaders of the path forward. Their music can light the way into the future, bringing revelations that will allow humankind to be elevated to the next level of evolution. Either that, or they just like wearing spacesuits and silver eyeliner. Whichever it may be (and it is often a bit of both), the world of tomorrow is frequently explored in music videos...

Five Indie Musicians to Follow on Twitter, and Five We Wish Tweeted

Like the albums they're producing, there's a burgeoning group of independent musicians whose tweets put the musings of major-label artists to shame. While they might not have as many followers as, say, Bono or Justin Timberlake, you still won't find better material on the microblogging site than the musings of indie musicians. While this crop of alt-music power players do a fine job, there are...

Forget 'Video Phone': Top Songs About Technology

Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, two of the most forward-thinking ladies in pop music today, decided to get together and record a jam (and video) about a favorite gadget of theirs. When "Video Phone" was set to debut, we were thrilled. All of the components were there: B, Gaga, dancing, and devices. The endeavor was sure to succeed. Like the rest of the world, when "Video Phone" appeared, we we...