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Inside Music (Dec 20th, 2019)

Each Friday I highlight a few notable albums and songs being released. As the year winds down, however, there are fewer releases to feature. I'll be back with fresher ones starting in 2020.

Notable releases

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker soundtrack
  • Gucci Mane - East Atlanta Santa 3
  • Katelyn Tarver - A Little More Free EP

Also, be sure to watch out for a special Inside Music newsletter before the end of the year which rounds up all the best albums of the year lists from around the internet.

1. MusicBot is a newly released Siri Shortcut which will perform a host of tasks for Apple Music. Created by Federico Viticci, Viticci aims for MusicBot to be an all-in-one Apple Music utility that speeds up common interactions with the music app. MusicBot is able to create smart playlists, uncover forgotten music in your library, and control AirPlay 2 speakers.  — MAC STORIES

2. Song recommendation: DRAMA - "Nine One One"

From Sam Valenti IV: Founder of Ghostly International:

"DRAMA is a very special duo out of Chicago who has worked tirelessly the past three years to develop a devoted base. "Nine One One" captures what makes them great, both melancholy and blissful in equal measure."

"Nine One One" appears on DRAMA's new album "Dance Without Me" which is out February 14. The band will also be heading out on an extensive tour starting at the end of January through the beginning of May, hitting up cities across Europe and the U.S.

3. The music side of Nielsen, an analytics and tracking company, has been bought by Valence Media, which is Billboard's parent company. Nielsen has powered Billboard's charts since 1991, while the Dutch media conglomerate Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgeverijen (VNU) owned both from 1999 through 2001, before eventually adopting the Nielsen name. Nielsen has been considering a sale of its business in some fashion for nearly a year, following an internal strategic review. —  WALL STREET JOURNAL

4. Radiohead just uploaded their entire catalog of music to YouTube to listen to for free. The news comes just before Billboard will start incorporating official YouTube tracks into its Billboard 200 chart in January. It is believed this move may have influenced the band's decision. It is possible we will see more artists follow suit if they haven't done so already. — CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND

5. If you're curious what Bytedance's music streaming app, Resso, is really like, there's a new hands-on that walks you through getting started on the app.few outlets have now spent some time with the app and the consensus seems to be that it's very TikTok-y. While the music app from TikTok's parent company is likely nearly a wider release, it's still only available in a couple of select Asian regions for testing. — MUSIC ALLY

6. Harvy is a new music app designed to help you get the most out of your running time. The app will try to match your running course with music suited to its elevation and difficulty. The idea is that the right music (tempo-wise) at the right time can help improve motivation and running times. Spotify announced a similar feature back in 2015 and other apps have done similar things, but Harvy looks to be a little different in selecting music ahead of time, based on the route, rather than doing it completely in real-time. — PRODUCT HUNT

7. Lifehacker has updated its guide on how to choose the right noise-canceling headphones. If you've been considering a new pair, but still have some questions or concerns about a pricey set of headphones, or earbuds, the post is a good place to start. A pair of headphones that limit the surrounding noise is a good investment for most people, but finding the right pair for your needs can still be a challenge. — LIFEHACKER

8. Just Away is a new product kit for cleaning your earwax-covered AirPods. The cleaning kit includes a few tools for removing dust, earwax, and other grime. At $25 though, the specialized AirPods kit to keep them clean seems a bit steep. Especially because the kit will only last for three months if you use it once a week. If that's too much, Apple has a support page for how it recommends you clean your dirty AirPods. — GEAR PATROL

9. KORG, the notable keyboard and synth manufacturer, is starting a new instrument division in Berlin. It hasn't been disclosed how the new division will differ exactly from its main operation, but it's worth keeping an eye on for future innovations. The new location is hiring for mechanical, electrical, and software engineers and will be led by former KORG Chief Engineer Tatsuya Takahashi, along with COO Maximilian Rest. — CDM

10. Vince Staples has released a new song, "Hell Bound" and an accompanying lyric video. The song appeared on Staple's website, which has become focused around The Vince Staples Show. Beyond the new track and show episodes, the website hosts official music videos, interviews, concerts, and more. "Hell Bound" is the third new track from Staples in 2019 which includes "Sheet Music" and "So What." — ROLLING STONE

Tyler Hayes is a writer and early adopter in both music and technology. He's based in California and has contributed to Fast Company, BuzzFeed, and Billboard, among others. You can reach out at @TylerH.

Edited by Sheena Vasani, staff writer at She also curates Inside Dev and Inside Deals. You can follow her on Twitter.

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