Why Beats/Daisy will be different

I don’t disagree necessarily but this is a pretty arrogant perspective. I would welcome more highly discoverable, great music in my life. I don’t want it programmed in an expected way however and historically our good friends in the music industry haven’t helped the situation.

Why Beats/Daisy will be different: [Other music subscription] companies, these services, all lack curation. They call it curation; there’s no curation. That’s what we did as a record label, we curated. There’s 150 white rappers in America; we served you one. We are heavy on curation, and we believe it’s a combination of human and math. But it’s a give and take. Right now, somebody’s giving you 12 million songs, and you give them your credit card, and they tell you “good luck.” You need to have some kind of help. I’m going to offer you a guide. You don’t have to use it, but it’s going to be there, and it’s going to be a trusted voice, and it’s going to be really good. via AllThingsD

See you in late Q3 if they keep schedule.

Amazon’s AutoRip!


Amazon just announced a very cool new service that will enable cloud access to any of the CD’s you’ve purchased (some limitations) from them.  When I think back through the decade+ purchase history, this is considerable for me.  I can’t believe it took this long to even get this going as they’ve been able to validate purchase for a long time and have had a cloud streamer for a while as well. I’ll have to really check this out out to get a feel for how it really works.

Meanwhile back in 2004 … 

via The Verge


Monster Music Monday


Today is a dreary, rainy day and while waiting for the train I was in the mood for some music. I somehow stepped back into time to find Rocket From the Crypt, but then immediately thought of King Kong another older indie band I was introduced to in 1995.

I’m not really sure why they came to mind so quickly but then I received the image above via Timehop, my daily reminder from the past 1-5 years. A year ago to the day I had Godzilla on my mind thanks to my son discovering the original cartoon on Netflix.

Back to today and King Kong … Impossible to find on Spotify! A quick check on iTunes where I’m paying for Match only to be reminded what a mess that truly is for large collections. And then my old friend Pandora delivered. Artist radio initiated … I can’t control what tracks or albums I listen to (thanks ancient and out of date music industry licensing) but I’m able to get a song every few in the rotation.

itunes home sharing – auto sync?


It’s honestly been a while since I’ve actively explored iTunes or tried to solve syncing media in the house so this feature may have existed for a bit.  Tonight however, I was setting up a new machine and activated home sharing and then clicked into the settings (bottom right in iTunes from within home sharing).


As you can see there’s a handy option to automatically transfer new purchases between machines … While I wouldn’t want to have my full collection floating around on multiple devices based on the size, it is nice to have the option to capture the updates.  I just purchased the new Alexander album on my main machine and I can see each track is syncing over as the initial download completes.  Very cool.

Bridging digital with physical

c60 Redux from IDEO on Vimeo.

This is a very cool concept from IDEO Boston. I love the return of physicality to music as it’s something I definitely miss as well. Seeing the use of RFID has me thinking that it will be possible for an idea like this to happen pretty realistically as well. The current c60 Concept is just that … but with phones and NFC quite a bit could be possible beyond this initial view.

Starting next week, a mainstream (one you want) device will be in market with NFC, the Google Nexus S. As Engadget handily pointed out, there are three types of communication possible with the chip: Send, Receive and Exchange. Exchange is really where things could get interesting.

The table shown in the video is really just a proxy for the computer and represents the place where we share together. Through NFC, an enterprising developer could enable all my music cards through the current media player.

Imagine if the current iPad iTunes layout allowed for more of a tap and share between friends. Hey check this out and you could listen and see the liner notes as we hung out. I know the Apple Remote, GoogleTV, Boxee etc all allow some level of control over Wifi, but there’s no way to easily do this with another person without relinquishing control or first syncing your devices. NFC could provide that simple gestural authorization … because we are close and actually together.

A fair bit has to evolve for the physical to be properly extended here. I would love to see the return of liner notes (not just lame PDFs) but interactive documents we could review while listening and even pass to a friend when listening together. Music is inherently social, yet most of it seems to happen through portable players with headphones now.

This may still be a bit half-baked, but there’s definitely something here …

Pandora for iPhone streams while offline*

Pandora Streaming Without a Connection

Check out that screenshot … Pandora is actively playing while there is no signal on the iPhone!

I was enjoying some streaming music on my way to work today and though I fully expected the stream to drop as we went underground, it kept on playing!  my iPhone has been jailbroken and I use backgroundr to enable background streaming … I doubt that has anything to do with this, but thought I should mention it.

Presumably Pandora pre-caches the next track as it’s playing which enabled the “local” track to play.  It seems as if the album art downloads as the song is active and since there was no connection that was impossible at the time.  Amazingly my stream kept on playing when the connection kicked back as we pulled into Grand Central.

*You obviously can’t start a stream without a connection.

Last.fm Boffin

Last.fm Boffin importing

Last.fm is my usual streaming source when I’m at work and even when I am at home where I have access to my pretty extensive digital music library. I use the desktop application for Mac and Windows which lets you access your library, friends and loved tracks directly for streaming. If you use Last.fm and have not checked it out, I would highly recommend it …

Last.fm released a new beta application called Boffin today which looks at your local collection and then creates a tag cloud of what it finds. It took about 20 minutes to run against my library of about 30K tracks and when i was done I found this:

Last.fm Boffin

Some of the tags are inconsistent which I hope gets cleaned up in future releases, but I love that I can create a “stream” of my library with a couple of tags. Depending on how you arrange your music in iTunes, you might be able to do something similar with a smart playlist, but this was dead simple and is definitely re-presenting my own music to me in a new way. Speaking of iTunes, it would be ideal if you could just point to your iTunes library rather than a folder but perhaps that will come soon as well.

Nokia launches the 5800 XpressMusic along with Comes with Music

(I’ll add a picture here soon)

Today is the official launch for the Comes with Music Service, Nokia’s subscription music service along with the Tube, or Nokia 5800 XpressMusic as it’s officially known. While the Tube was not exactly a secret, it’s still an exciting new launch and represents the first device with S60 5th Edition as well as the new Touch UI.

I’ve yet to see the 5800 (anytime you’d like to share I’m ready) in person, but it looks like a very strong device. The new contacts and media bars add a new level of interactivity to how we’ve come to know S60 and Nokia devices. The media bar slide opens offering deeper access to the web, sharing services and your local content, while the contacts bar shows recent contact history along with activity feeds you’ve added from your friends. I think the contacts bar is a really compelling feature for social media enthusiasts and can’t wait to see that added across the lines.

I’ve known about it for a while and have some mixed feelings about the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic as an NSeries enthusiast … is it enough , but even though it lacks the NSeries label the Nokia 5800 has all the multimedia you know and love. The cam is 3.2mp AF which is solid and the 5800 XpressMusic is as you might expect optimized for music over other features. I know it supports games, though it’s not clear when / if the NGage offer will make it’s way. There’s haptic support which gives you feedback as you touch and type on the screen. This feedback is something that really adds to the engagement of the experience and should make using a touch screen much easier and should add some new elements to gaming as well. There’s no sign of multi-touch yet … have to see if it’s hiding within once people get their hands on the live units.

Comes With Music is a unique take on the music subscription model offering unlimited downloads – for keeps in the first year of ownership. After a year you can still keep the tracks you’ve downloaded, but will need to pay to continue for future downloads – at least as I understand it. For people like me, that’s not too much of an issue as I tend to update my device at least annually. For more normal users it’s still very compelling as it’s the first time the idea of a subscription is actually for keeps. Yes there’s DRM, but assuming (a strong notion here) the DRM is not in your face it should be pretty straight forward.

We should see the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic rollout globally as the Music Offer arrives in each market. While I could not any sense of timing, there will be a US Release for both. Yes both. Now we are talking – or perhaps rocking! I’m getting started with Nokia Music for PC which was updated and released today as well. I’ll have to do a follow-up after using it for a few days …