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Google Music shutdown starts this month, music deleted in December

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Google Play Music has been given the death sentence by Google, and today the company has announced a bit more detail about how its execution will be carried out. The main message from today’s blog post is “back up your music now,” as Google says it will wipe out all Google Music collections in December 2020.

We’ve known for a while that the shutdown would be sometime in 2020, but for most regions, Google has now narrowed it down to “October.” Here’s the full timeline:

  • Late August—Users will no longer be able to upload or download music through Music Manager. Pre-orders and purchases will be shut down.
  • September—Streaming shuts down for users in New Zealand and South Africa.
  • October—Global streaming shutdown. The Google Music app and website will cease to be.
  • December—Music collections get deleted.

At the time of the streaming shutdown, the app will have been showing shutdown messages for about five months. If a user has somehow missed all of those, two months with no streaming at all will hopefully be enough to get them to research what happened to Google Music.

Saving your music collection from deletion is not difficult; just go to music.youtube.com/transfer and click a few buttons to start the YouTube Music transfer process. The process is actually painless, and your Google Music account will continue to work even after the transfer. If you decide you don’t want to use YouTube Music, you’ll still have access to a ton of download options later, without the looming threat of the Google Music deletion.

A copy of your files isn’t hard to get, either. The Google Music Manager is a Windows and Mac application that can upload music or download your entire music collection with a few clicks, but like Google said, it will stop working soon. The other option is Google Takeout, which will wrap your entire music collection in a zip file and send you a download link. The processing for this can take hours. Whichever option you choose, make sure you do something before December because, after that, there will be no way to recover your music.

View more storiesGoogle Play Music has been around since 2011 and let users upload thousands of songs to the Internet, for free, for streaming playback on most other devices. It’s been the primary way to play music on the Google Home smart speakers, and it offered music purchases, monthly streaming radio, and podcasts. Google Music has been neglected for years, though, and like the company often does, Google decided to make a second, competing music streaming service instead of maintaining the first service. That second service is YouTube Music, which is now Google’s favored music app. The merger between the two was originally announced in 2018, and now it’s finally happening.

YouTube Music places an emphasis on music videos, as you can guess from the name, and the app has a more modern design. YouTube Music awkwardly blends together your entire 15-year YouTube activity history with your music collection, tossing any “liked” videos and subscriptions that have been algorithmically been flagged as “music” into your collection, and mixing together your YouTube playlists and Google Music playlists. There is no way to stop this.

YouTube Music seems designed to drive up Google’s subscription numbers and really only seems useful for people who want to pay the monthly streaming license fee. The app does away with music purchases and won’t even let you stream your own music to your Google Home speakers without paying the monthly fee. It’s a big downgrade from Google Music, which offered more functionality to people who purchased music. In 2018, Google told Google Music users “nothing will change” regarding YouTube Music’s uploaded music functionality, but now that the feature is actually here, that’s… not true.

Source: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/08/google-music-shutdown-starts-this-month-music-deleted-in-december/

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Internet

How can I look at others’ WhatsApp status without them knowing it?

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The WhatsApp status feature has become a widely used option today with people posting regular updates on their stories.

After rolling out the feature, WhatsApp had also introduced an option of privacy on the status that you upload — who can and cannot see the update.

For users’ privacy, WhatsApp had rolled out a feature through which you can stop the blue tick, the read sign, in messages from appearing. However, did you know that the same could be done for stories?

Yes, you can spy on others’ stories without them having any knowledge about it.

How to do it

Well, it is a pretty simple trick, the same that is used for messages — WhatsApp> Setting> Privacy> Toggle off the Read receipt.

Now, you can view your contacts’ status without them knowing about it, but on the downside, you will not be able to see who has opened your status.

Source: https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/750650-how-can-i-look-at-others-whatsapp-status-without-them-knowing-it

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Snap to pay video creators $1 million daily

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The fast-growing public listed American social media company – Snap Inc., plans to release new functionality to its Snapchat app in order to enable popular videos that would be termed as Spotlight, and further disclosed it will pay $1 million per day to the creators of high performing videos.

According to Bloomberg, Snap revealed how content creators could earn such income with ease, as the level of entry was kept minimal, on the basis that video submitters to Spotlight do not need to have large followers or popular profiles.

What you should know

An algorithm from the app software will be the judge in realizing what videos Snapchat users will see based on how often Snap users view such videos.

If other snap chat users view the same content repeatedly, for example, that’s an alert it’s trending and this will trigger the algorithm to distribute it more widely.

What this means

The new feature will give Snapchat enough ammunition to fend off its rivals in an ever-changing competitive market for posting trendy videos online, which has been largely controlled by Google’s YouTube, Facebook Inc.’s Instagram, and China-based ByteDance Ltd.’s popularly known TikTok.

Tech Experts anticipate that such a new feature in its trendy app could generate more revenue for the company, as its recent earnings show it has 249 million daily active users in Q3 – such high numbers will attract global brands on advertising and enable more sponsored content.

The investors of the American social media company have earned high returns from its stock in 2020 alone, as its stock has almost tripled this year to a record $45.38million on the bias that an increasing number of young people spend more time on the app.

Source: https://nairametrics.com/2020/11/23/snap-to-pay-video-creators-1-million-daily/

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Google’s latest Chrome update delivers ‘largest performance gain in years’

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Google is wrapping up 2020 with what it claims are major performance enhancements to the company’s Google Chrome browser. “This month’s update represents the largest gain in Chrome performance in years,” Matt Waddell, Chrome’s director of product, wrote in a blog post. Sounds pretty exciting on the surface, no? Waddell says a slew of under-the-hood changes and optimizations have led to boosts to Chrome on several fronts.

The first has to do with tabs. Chrome now will prioritize your active tab over the others in the background, “reducing CPU usage by up to 5x and extending battery life by up to 1.25 hours (based on our internal benchmarks).” Google goes into greater detail on just what it’s doing to keep tabs in check (hint: it involves throttling JavaScript) at the Chromium blog. “We’ve done this without sacrificing the background features that users care about, like playing music and getting notifications.”

But even opening Chrome should feel faster. The browser now launches 25 percent faster — hopefully to where you’ll notice the difference. It loads pages up to 7 percent faster, “and does all of this using less power and RAM than before.”

Google is also adding tab search, which is exactly what it sounds like and could be a godsend for those of us buried under an avalanche of them. “You’ll now be able to see a list of your open tabs — regardless of the window they’re in — then quickly type to find the one you need.” This feature is debuting on Chromebooks first and then expanding to other desktop versions of Chrome.

The address bar is getting a bit more useful with something Google calls Chrome Actions, “a faster way to get things done with just a few keystrokes.”

For example: when you type “edit passwords,” or “delete history,” you can now take action directly from the bar. Our first set of actions — available initially on desktop — focuses on privacy and security, so you can increase your peace of mind in a few clicks.

And last, you might soon notice “cards” when you open a new tab in Chrome.

To help you jump back into activities like planning a meal, researching a holiday gift, or winding down with a video, we’ll soon add cards to your new tab page in Chrome. Clicking on them will take you to recently-visited and related content on the web, and save you time in the process.”

For now, cards will only appear “for some users” beneath the shortcuts area; Google says it’s planning to add entertainment-focused cards in 2021.

All these things together add up to a significant update for the world’s most popular web browser. And they come on the very day that Apple is being lauded for the speed and efficiency of its new M1 Mac computers. Speaking of which, Chrome for macOS also gets a new icon that’s a better fit for the latest Big Sur release. But if the optimizations actually meet Google’s claims, I’m way more excited about the improved efficiency. The update to Chrome 87 is rolling out beginning today.

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