Last month Google introduced its $100 Nest Audio smart speaker and Amazon introduced a whole bunch of new Echo smart speakers. Today it was Apple’s turn.

Two and a half years after the company released the original HomePod speaker with Siri support, the company has unveiled the HomePod mini which is smaller, cheaper, and serves as a smart home hub, among other things.

But while companies seem to be banking on audio as the hot thing in user interaction these days, they’re also putting most of their eggs in the streaming basket. Google is in the process of transitioning users from its Google Play music streaming service to the newer YouTube Music service… and as part of that transition, the company has closed its Google Play MP3 music store.

You can no longer buy DRM-free songs and download them to your device. MP3 stores aren’t dead just yet – Amazon still sells MP3s, as do indie stores like Bandcamp. But is buying music that you can keep a dying art? Or have music lovers who prefer owning their music to streaming just moving to vinyl or… cassette tapes?

HomePod Mini costs $99, comes in white or black, and goes up for pre-order Nov 6th. It ships Nov 16th.

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Apple, HomePod, iPod mini, iPhone, Smart speaker, Ultra-wideband

World news – GB – Lilbits: Google kills its MP3 store, Apple launches a smaller smart speaker – Liliputing

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