NEW YORK –
Apple Music is about to cross a huge milestone, offering its eye-and-ear-popping 100 millionth song on the streaming service.
The music giant tells The Associated Press that internal data indicates Apple Music will reach the heady mark on Monday. Every day, 20,000 singers and songwriters release music on the service.
“It’s a huge, huge number,” Rachel Newman, Apple’s global head of editorial and content, told the AP. “It really is possible to create music and record it and release it more than ever before in the history of music, which we think is pretty incredible.”
Apple Music says the milestone cements it as the world’s largest catalog of music, more than YouTube Music’s 80 million songs, Spotify’s 82 million tracks and podcasts, and Amazon Music’s 90 million songs.
While the actual song that brings Apple Music across the threshold won’t be known, there’s a good chance it will not originate from the U.S. or even be in English as the service sees more and more music arrive from all over the world.
When iTunes was launched, the service had music in 200 languages and dialects, with half of the content in English. Now, 40% of Apple Music’s offerings are in English and the number of languages and dialects are up to 350. The platform’s top charts — once the domain of the U.S., U.K, Canada and Australia — are now populated by tunes from Japan, Colombia, Ghana, Nigeria and South Korea.
The milestone has been fast approaching as the globe gets more digitalized. The number of Apple Music songs has doubled in the last four years, from 50 million in 2018, with the pandemic believed to have accelerated the timetable as people in isolation looked for creative outlets.
The 100 millionth song could perhaps come from an artist as yet unknown, Apple Music added.
Apple Inc. started iTunes in 2003 with 200,000 songs feeding its iPods and launched Apple Music seven years ago — now feeding iPhones — with subscribers in 167 countries and regions.
It also says its customers are not just listening to whatever’s new; they’re exploring back catalogues of artists. In 2015, when Apple Music launched, the top 1,000 songs made up 20% of the plays. Now they make up 10%. The average song’s release date is from March 7, 2017, a number pulled down by listeners going back in time.
The music streamer is celebrating the milestone by launching on Monday a new editorial series called Apple Music Today. The streamer’s editorial team tells the story behind one new or old song — now with 100 million to choose from each time.
“We believe that it’s both an opportunity for us to help all of our subscribers connect to music that they may have forgotten about or not know about,” Newman said. “And, also importantly, finding a new platform for storytelling. We believe that’s one of the things that we’re doing to preserve the artistry in music.”
Quebec judge authorizes class-action lawsuit against ‘addictive’ Fortnite video game
A Superior Court judge has authorized a lawsuit brought by Quebec parents who allege their children became addicted to the popular online video game Fortnite.
Justice Sylvain Lussier issued the ruling on Wednesday after hearing arguments in July regarding the class-action request from three parents who described how their children had symptoms of severe dependence after playing the game.
“The court concludes that there is a serious issue to be argued, supported by sufficient and specific allegations as to the existence of risks or even dangers arising from the use of Fortnite,” the judge ruled, noting that the action “does not appear frivolous or manifestly ill-founded.”
The firm that brought the suit, Montreal-based Calex Legal, has drawn parallels to a landmark civil suit mounted against the tobacco industry in Quebec, which alleged an intent to create something addictive without proper warning.
“Our motion was heavily inspired by the tobacco motion just in terms of what we were alleging,” lawyer Alessandra Esposito Chartrand said in an interview. The manufacturer’s legal responsibility is “basically the same,” she added.
The parents alleged the game was deliberately made highly addictive and has had a lasting effect on their children, but the court did not go that far.
“The court finds that there is no evidence for these allegations of the deliberate creation of an addictive game,” the judge noted. “This does not exclude the possibility that the game is in fact addictive and that its designer and distributor are presumed to know it.”
One of the parents, identified by initials in the filings, said their son had played 6,923 games and got angry when his parents tried to limit his game time, including by putting a lock on the computer. Another child played more than 7,700 times in two years playing a minimum of three hours a day. All reported behavioural issues.
The judge authorized the lawsuit for any players residing in Quebec since Sept. 1, 2017, who have become addicted after playing Fortnite Battle Royale, made by U.S.-based Epic Games Inc., exhibiting a host of repercussions on activities including family, social, educational or professional.
There is no dollar figure attached to the lawsuit, with any potential compensation to be determined by the court.
A second category in the class action will look at in-game purchases, with the court declaring purchasers under the age of 18 could be eligible for restitution and a refund of their money.
As of Wednesday, Esposito Chartrand said 200 people have come forward.
Epic Games did not respond to a message seeking comment on Thursday. The defendants have 30 days to seek permission to appeal.
The company’s lawyers had argued before the court that the evidence provided was insufficient and that video game dependence is not a recognized condition in Quebec, adding that the American Psychiatric Association says there is insufficient evidence to classify it as a unique mental disorder.
The judge said those issues would be argued on the merits, but noted the World Health Organization in 2018 declared video game addiction, or “gaming disorder,” a disease.
“The fact that American psychiatrists have requested more research or that this diagnosis has not yet been officially recognized in Quebec does not make the claims in question ‘frivolous’ or ‘unfounded,”’ Lussier wrote.
“The harmful effect of tobacco was not recognized or admitted overnight,” he added.
Hades 2 By Supergiant Games Announced At The Game Awards
Supergiant’s next game, Hades 2, a sequel to the hit Hades game, was revealed at The Game Awards. Hades 2 will be set in the same universe with what looks like some new faces from the Greek pantheon and similar roguelike gameplay. The game is currently in development.
Unlike the first Hades game, Hades 2 features a female protagonist, Melinoë, who is Zagreus’ sister and is called the Princess of the Underworld. The trailer opens with her training with a masked mentor, and it’s revealed that their joint objective is to kill Chronos.
New character Moros (Doom Incarnate) comments that this is an opportunity for the protagonist to “make a better future for us all.” Other new faces like Nemesis and Apollo make short appearances in the trailer. A few of the characters also refer to the protagonist as a witch–giving more hints as to what her arsenal of weapons may look like.
Chronos is the god of time, and appears to be the primary antagonist. Hades’ voice narrates, “He is no mere Titan. He is time itself, and time cannot be stopped.” Melinoë ends the teaser by saying, “Wait for me, father. We’ll be there soon.”
Hades 2 is available to wishlist on Steam and the Epic Store. It’s so far only confirmed for PC but is planned for consoles as well. Supergiant says it will share more information about availability on other platforms at a later date. According to the Steam page, Supergiant game plans to develop Hades 2 in a similar way to Hades and incorporate player feedback. That means Hades 2 should enter Early Access at some point in the future.
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The Game Awards
iQOO 11 Flagship Smartphone Debuts Internationally, Delivering Next-Level Mobile Gaming Experience – Canada NewsWire
SHENZHEN, China, Dec. 8, 2022 /CNW/ — iQOO, an independent sub-brand of vivo, announced the international debut of its iQOO 11 flagship smartphone, part of the brand’s trailblazing iQOO 11 lineup built for powerful performance. iQOO 11 delivers a next-level gaming experience powered by a top-of-the-line dual-chip system, cutting-edge display technology, and full-sensory game control for immersive mobile gaming.
“The iQOO 11 flagship smartphone is made with explorers in mind—those who seek to enjoy life to the fullest and who dare to push the boundaries in everything they do. iQOO 11 is tailored to our consumers’ lifestyles by offering powerful, all-around performance,” said Allan Feng, Global SVP at iQOO. “Gaming prowess is an integral part of the iQOO brand, and this lineup is perfectly crafted to deliver the ultimate immersive mobile gaming experience, truly showcasing our pursuit of technological innovation.”
This year, iQOO continues to celebrate the world’s passion for high-end performance and speed as a premium partner of BMW M Motorsport.
iQOO 11 is powered by a new performance trio consisting of Snapdragon® 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, LPDDR5X and UFS 4.0. iQOO 11 is one of the first smartphones to launch equipped with Qualcomm’s latest top-performance chip—Snapdragon® 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform. With the Snapdragon® 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, peak CPU and GPU performance is improved while keeping battery consumption at a minimum, providing the perfect balance between performance and battery life during and after prolonged gaming. In addition, the LPDDR5X and UFS 4.0 give iQOO 11 the latest in high-performance memory and storage, bringing users smooth and fast app startup and caching.
iQOO 11 is also equipped with Extended RAM 3.0, which adds up to 8 GB of extended virtual memory to ensure stronger, smoother performance overall, supporting as many as 43 apps running in the background.[i]
However, powerful performance requires an equally powerful battery and accompanying cooling capabilities. iQOO 11 boasts a large 5000 mAh battery and 120W FlashCharge, so it can be conveniently charged to 100% in 25 minutes.[ii]
The device is built with a Vapor Chamber Liquid Cooling System featuring a 4,013 mm2 stamped stainless steel vapor chamber with three graphite layers to ensure an optimal temperature. Furthermore, iQOO 11 features a unique aircraft-grade aluminum frame, structurally designed to maintain the top section of the device up to 2°C cooler, specifically during intense gaming scenarios. Lastly, the device is capable of detecting and diagnosing instances of abnormal heating, ensuring a safer experience for all.
“Monster Inside” Gaming Experience
iQOO 11 offers a superb gaming experience powered by advanced display technology, a V2 Chip, and full-sensory game control that ensures enhanced precision and immersive gameplay.
iQOO 11 boasts a 6.78-inch 2K E6 AMOLED display which ensures vivid, lifelike images, even under bright light, serving the ultimate visual experience. With the V2 Chip, iQOO 11 can maintain smooth visual effects with crystal-clear details by using motion prediction and compensation to reduce screen smearing and lagging. The V2 Chip supports high-frame-rate games. With the latest Game Frame Interpolation technology, iQOO 11 can boost the frame rate to 90/120 fps through frame interpolation, even when the game does not support these frame rates, delivering a smoother and more immersive gaming experience.
On top of that, iQOO 11 supports In-Display Dual Monster Touch. With this feature, the left and right sides of the screen can be operated separately, and users can play with four fingers instead of two for faster, more convenient in-game control. The Dual X-Axis Linear Motor enriches the haptic experience, delivering lifelike damage feedback and better movement indication in games. The motors on the left and right sides can precisely indicate where the actions in the game are happening, such as a car passing nearby, and vibrate accordingly to better immerse the player in the scenario.
iQOO 11 has a Dual Stereo Speaker placed vertically along the device to ensure a more balanced stereo effect, providing better feedback and adapting to specific scenes for either music, videos, or games. Using a Sound Field Expansion Algorithm, the device boosts the sound field by 50% to 120 degrees, helping users hear all the nuances of sound in games and videos.
Exquisite Design to Suit Your Style
The new iQOO 11 comes in two color schemes, the Legend edition and the Alpha edition. The design of the iQOO flagship series in general is inspired by BMW M Motorsport. To deliver a unique sensory experience with each design, iQOO focuses on exploring a myriad of materials as well as implementing innovative production processes.
The back panel of the Legend edition is bedecked with the iconic iQOO triple-color stripe, an amalgamation of brand colors from iQOO’s premium partnership with BMW M Motorsport. Each color has its own meaning: red represents the passion and excitement for racing, black symbolizes the pursuit of technological innovation, and blue represents the fun of exploring the unknown. Taken together, the three colors tell the story of how “Fascination Meets Innovation”. The recognizable racing stripe sits on top of an eye-catching Clous de Paris pattern, enhancing the elegant aesthetic of the device.
The material composition of the iQOO 11 Legend edition combines fiberglass and vegan leather to form a strong and durable back panel that ensures a comfortable grip. Furthermore, the device has a stain-resistant coating applied on top of the silicone leather to give it a high-quality finish that is soft to the touch.
The iQOO 11 Alpha edition blends advanced technology into the material and is built with AG glass, ideal for those looking for a classic, premium aesthetic.
Enhanced Photography Capabilities
iQOO 11 comes equipped with a robust camera module, empowering users to explore their creativity and capture photos and videos in various scenarios. iQOO 11 features a versatile rear camera system consisting of a 50 MP GN5 Ultra-Sensing Camera, a 13 MP Telephoto & Portrait Camera, and an 8 MP Ultra Wide-Angle Camera, offering a wide range of advanced features. The new V2 Chip and the Snapdragon® 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform work together to support all-around camera performance upgrades, delivering unparalleled night photography and videography capabilities for pure, noise-free photos and videos. With Pure Night View and 4K Super Night Video, which adopts the upgraded Raw Video NR 3.0 algorithm, iQOO 11 can create professional-level content even in extremely dark scenes.
For optimal motion photography, iQOO 11 has a Zero-Shutter-Lag Motion Snapshot feature that tackles the issue of shutter lag, the time difference between when the shutter is triggered and when the photo is taken, providing a near-instant capture response and enabling users to capture what they see easily. To capture motion at night, iQOO 11 also offers a Night Camera Panning feature, which relies on the device’s stabilization capabilities to minimize motion blur and significantly improve photo clarity in low-light sports shots.
In addition, the overall package is enriched with a variety of software additions, such as Studio-Quality Superb Portrait, which leverages AI Skin Retouching and AI HD algorithms, to produce professional-looking, natural portrait effects, and offers users master-level photo retouching features.
iQOO 11 will be launched in Indonesia and Malaysia on December 8, 2022, and will be available for purchase following the announcement. The device will be launched in Thailand and available for purchase on December 15, 2022. iQOO 11 will be launched in India on January 10, 2023, and will be available for purchase starting from January 13, 2023.
iQOO, a sub-brand of the vivo group, differentiates itself in performance and Esports experience. iQOO leverages the research, quality assurance and after-sales service expertise of the vivo group, and follows the brand ethos of I Quest On and On to push boundaries, innovate boldly and share the excitement of exploring future technology. With products offering Esports-standard capabilities, iQOO aims to become the top choice of consumers who are passionate about performance and gaming.
For more information, please visit www.iQOO.com.
[i] This data is based on iQOO laboratory tests performed using an iQOO 11 256GB model with 16GB RAM.
[ii] Charging data is obtained from our laboratory test environment. Test environment: ambient temperature and phone temperature of 25℃±1℃. Test conditions: 1% of battery capacity, all phone services and features turned off except for voice calls, screen off, and an official standard charger and cable used. Actual data may vary depending on the test environment, charging situation, original phone temperature, long-term battery wear, and other factors.
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