This rapper recorded his entire album at the Apple Store.

Prince Harvey in his studio, aka the Apple Stpre

Recording a rap album is tough, expensive work. Sure, you can bust out a crappy demo on computer if you can’t afford studio sessions, but when Brooklyn rapper Prince Harvey’s laptop got stolen, he found the next best thing to busting out beats at the library: The Apple Store in SoHo.

 After Prince’s second computer failure left him without a way to record his album, a report from the Daily Beast claims the rapper spent the next four months inside the Apple Store, laying down vocals and creating backing instrumentals.

Everyday for four months, Price rapped, hummed, and spat fire into an iMac on display at the SoHo Apple Store. By befriending a pair of employees, and learning a few tricks to save his work, Prince made the store his home, visiting it every weekday to finish his masterpiece aptly titled PHATASS — an acronym for Prince Harvey At The Apple Store: SoHo.

“It wasn’t my plan to record this at the Apple Store,” Prince Harvey told the Daily Beast. “First, my computer died. Then my external [hard drive] died,” he says. “New York is expensive. I couldn’t just buy another laptop. I just thought, ‘I’m going to die before anyone knows I’m hot.’”

To save his work from getting deleted by the store’s memory wipe every night, Prince discovered he could hide files in the trash and come back to work on them the next day. He also could email them or put them on a thumb drive, but unforeseen obstacles like fire drills caused some of his work to get lost in the process.

“I’m just a creator,” says Prince. “I want to inspire other people to create—show them that you don’t need all these things to be successful.”

His album all about his hard, fastpaced lifestyle in Brooklyn is set to be released on July 26th. Here’s a little sampling of his beats and flow:

Get your jam on anywhere, anytime with Jamstik+

The newest Jamstik smart guitar has a magnetic pickup and Bluetooth technology.

So it’s not quite an ax. It’s more of a hatchet.

But you can do some shredding on the diminutive Jamstik. It’s a portable smart guitar that gets beginners playing recognizable chords within a few minutes and helps the inspired musician instantly articulate those notes blooming in his or her brain. Connect it to most Apple devices and learn with the Jamstik tutorial app or record in Garage Band.

The first version was popular, but Minneapolis-based Zivix wanted to make improvements based on customer feedback. The music technology company raised more than $800,000 on a recent Kickstarter campaign to bring Bluetooth technology and a magnetic pickup to the newest generation, Jamstik+.

Learn music and record it to your favorite Apple device with the Jamstik+ smart guitar.

The Jamstik story fits nicely into a musical chapter on the history of technology, with hardware and software that makes learning and recording music more accessible to a greater number of people, especially those on tight budgets.

Jamstik is small practice guitar with five frets and strings that never need tuning. It weighs under two pounds and has a patented sensing method to determine finger position on the fretboard. It’s powered by a rechargeable lithium battery..

The magnetic pickup on the Jamstik+ greatly reduces the response time to picking customers of the first version experienced.

Users can record and add additional instruments with a host of compatible apps, like Arctic Keys,Sunrizer and Animoog. Zivix’s own jamTutor app gets Jamstik players strumming tunes in no time with lessons, how-to videos and interactive exercises.

Jamstik+ requires iOS 8.12, iPad Mini, iPad 3 or later, iPhone 4S or later, iPod touch fifth generation or later or Mac OSX Yosemite.

The new version will ship by July and is available for preorder at around $300. The original Jamstik can be purchased for about $50 less.

Siri lets you relive your audio misadventures.

Want to see all the songs you've found via Siri or iTunes Radio? Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

iOS 8 includes Shazam — a magical technology that gives your iPhone the power to listen to a song and tell you what it is. In the car, at a movie theater, or even at a crowded bar, you can just ask Siri, “What song is playing?” or hold your home button for a few seconds, and your iPhone will use Shazam tech to tell you exactly what song is in your environment. You can also (surprise) buy the song you just recognized via a little button in the results screen.

But what if you want to buy it later? Or remember what song was playing at the bar last night when that cute girl gave you her number? You can easily do just that with a quick trip to iTunes on your iPhone.

Tap the icon for the iTunes Store and you’ll see the familiar set of featured albums and New Music. Tap on the little menu button in the upper right (it looks like a bulleted list with three lines) and you’ll access your Wish List, Siri, Radio, and Previews screen.

Screengrab: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

To see what you’ve had Siri recognize for you, simply tap on the Siri tab at the top of the page. Your iPhone will list out all the songs you wanted to know more about, along with a handy button to buy the song to the right of the song title. Super useful!

If you’re trying to remember what songs were playing for you on iTunes Radio, simply tap on the Radio tab at the top of the same page and you’ll get a list of all the songs played on any of your iCloud-connected devices via iTunes Radio.

Now you can relive all your audio adventures with a quick tap or two, and even contribute to your music collection with a buy in the iTunes Store. How convenient!

Apple scores BBC DJ Zane Lowe to work on iTunes Radio.

Apple just snagged one of the world's top radio personalities.

After more than a decade at BBC Radio 1, well-known DJ personality Zane Lowe has taken a job with Apple in Cupertino, California.

Although the five-time Radio Academy Award winner hasn’t said what he’ll be doing at Apple, he will reportedly work on iTunes Radio.

Plenty of tailored stations are already available through iTunes Radio, but Lowe’s hiring could signal Apple’s plans to incorporate old-school DJ personalities for artist interviews and commentary.

Lowe made a name for himself over the years by surfacing emerging talent and scoring exclusive, wide-ranging interviews with artists like Kanye West, Eminem, Jay Z, Rick Rubin, and Chris Martin.

As a DJ, he’s played massive festivals like Coachella and Glastonbury. For several years at Radio 1, his team spent a month airing interviews and behind-the-scenes looks at albums considered to be masterpieces, such as Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. He’s also a producer who was just recently nominated for a Grammy for his work on Sam Smith’s debut album, The Lonely Hour.

Annie Mac will replace Lowe after his last show airs on March 5th.

Apple has ambitious plans to reinvent the music industry yet again, according to multiple reports. Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, and Beats executives were just recently seen at the Grammys, and an all-new, Beats-inspired iTunes streaming service is expected to come out later this year.

Spotify update lets you preview, save songs quickly.

Spotify

Music streaming service Spotify has updated its iOS app with a cool new feature that helps you find what you’re looking for. It’s called Touch Preview and works by briefly playing a portion of a song while you tap-and-hold on its icon. Even if you’re already playing another song, that track will pause while you hold and listen, and then resume as you release. Neat, eh?

New gestures make it even better. If you like the track you’ve previewed, swipe right to add it to your collection or swipe left to queue it up for playback.

The new features are available as of today, so look for the update in the App Store.

After 11 years, iTunes “Single Of The Week” is no more.

iPod+iTunes Island Ad

BusinessInsider is reporting that Apple is ending its longstanding “Single Of The Week” promotion after 11 years. As the name implies, Apple, for 11 years on end, promoted a new song every week that iTunes users could download for free.

No free songs have appeared on iTunes in 2015, making people wonder whether Apple has killed off the promotion for good.

“Bob Foss” writing on the official Apple support forum, says an Apple employee confirmed to him that the promotion has been discontinued.

The discussion post in question reads, “I contacted iTunes Support and they told me the decision was made to drop the free Single of the Week. Seems they don’t want people browsing the Store anymore. I told them that the free single each week got me to the Store and I usually bought a few songs. Now, there’s less reason to go. They’ve stopped the free single in other countries too.”

Spotify will soon let you choose your Uber driver’s playlist.

Uber and Spotify are teaming up. Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Update: Uber and Spotify have confirmed a partnership that will let Spotify Premium subscribers become backseat DJs in Uber cars in 10 cities. The service starts Friday in London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney and Toronto.

“The integration couldn’t be easier,” the companies said in a press release. “Simply connect your Spotify account via the Uber app, request a ride, and when you get matched up with a Spotify-enabled Uber, select music that suits your mood. Your tunes will be playing when your Uber arrives, and you can change it up at any time.”

Original report: Anyone who’s suffered through a ride in an Uber car to a soundtrack that harshes their mellow will appreciate this deal: The alterna-taxi service is about to announce a new deal with Spotify that will let you specify your jams on the go, even if your driver doesn’t share your love of Tori Amos or vintage polka.

An upcoming update to the Uber app is set to allow passengers to pick music from their own Spotify playlists to pipe through their Uber lift’s stereo speakers.

The partnership between Spotify and Uber is expected to be announced today. Speaking on condition of anonymity, two sources told TechCrunch that Uber CEO Travis Kalanic and Spotify CEO Daniel Ek will announce the groundbreaking partnership during a conference call with reporters.

From the perspective of actually ordering a lift, nothing’s going to change. Uber passengers will continue to request rides through the app the same way they usually do. The difference will be when you actually climb in the car. Once you’re in your ride, you’ll be the driver … not of the car, but of the jukebox.

We don’t have details of how the actual app integration will work, nor do we know if it will require riders to download a new app. However, a video released nine months ago (seen above) seems to mock up the service.

Better yet, the rollout is in preparation. Uber drivers have already been asked to update the company with details about their vehicles’ stereo capabilities, such as if they have a port for auxiliary audio import.