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Apple’s subscription music service (part 2)

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Gadgets, Music on January 18th, 2010 by leodirac – Comments Off on Apple’s subscription music service (part 2)

Back in 2007, I predicted that Apple would launch a subscription music service probably around 2010. My logic was based on how long it would take to get enough connected iPods into the world. Having spent a bunch of time with an unconnected mp3 player with a subscription music service I knew this was necessary. […]

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Participatory Culture and the Democratization of Information

Posted in Analysis, Democratization of Information, Geek, Music, Social Computing, Television on December 27th, 2009 by leodirac – 1 Comment

An example of the trend towards information democracy is the democratization of culture. “Participatory Culture” is the modern trend of many individuals contributing to the mass of popular culture rather than culture being broadcast from a small elite of performers. By analogy, Hollywood’s hegemony over movies and television represented a communist politburo where a small group had the power and responsibility to control the cultural experiences of the masses. Today’s information technology is tearing down this monopoly that broadcasters held, and thus democratizing culture through three mechanisms: easier content creation, distribution, and a better editorial process. We’ll look at each…

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Rhapsody Profiles FTW!

Posted in Democratization of Information, Ego, Geek, Music, Social Computing on January 4th, 2009 by leodirac – 2 Comments

Excuse my newbie exuberance, but OMG finally launched profile pages!!! They’ve been up for a while now, which makes me think they’re for real this time. A couple of you might remember that this feature was live for something like a week in early 2007. But it was very slow and didn’t live long. Sniff. I worked hard to make this feature possible when I was working at Real. The fact that I couldn’t get it re-launched was a big motivator for me to move on to greener pastures. I saw making Rhapsody social as an important evolution of…

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Intellectual Property in the Music Industry

Posted in Analysis, Business, Music, Technology on February 13th, 2008 by leodirac – 2 Comments

[I wrote this for my excellent class on Open Innovation. With mere weeks to go until I finish my MBA, I haven’t found much time to write original stuff for this blog, so I’m recycling a bit.] The music recording industry is in trouble. Disruptive changes in music playback technology have seriously reduced demand for their mainstay business, physical CD sales. CD sales comprise 80% of the industry‚Äôs total revenue, but have dropped sharply in recent years. Last year sales dropped by 19%, and the channel is in danger of freefall as retailers start to re-allocate store space currently assigned…

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Apple’s subscription music service

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Business, Music, Tech Industry on December 3rd, 2007 by leodirac – 2 Comments

Many times I’ve been asked about the possibility of Apple offering a subscription music service for iPods and iTunes. Here I’ll lay out why I think this will happen, what the timeline is for it, how that relates to the future of DRM, and what impact it would have on the competitive landscape. First off, I am confident Apple will launch a subscription music service. As every Rhapsody fan and many industry analysts agree, subscription services are the best way to consume music. Just like Hotmail moved email into the sky, and Google Docs are doing the same for office…

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DRM-free music sales

Posted in Business, Geek, Music, Tech Industry on November 22nd, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on DRM-free music sales

I’m glad the music industry is finally allowing legal sales of music online without DRM. Before this, the situation was absolutely screwball. Consumers had three choices for getting music onto the electronic devices: Buy the CD and rip it Illegally download it through a peer-to-peer network or sketchy Russian service Buy the DRM’d track legally The first option sucked because it either involved driving to a brick and mortar store or waiting for somebody else to drive the CD to your house. There’s no instant gratification. Then there’s the hassle of converting the CD to electronic format. The biggest problems…

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Sonos finally adds search!

Posted in Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, Geek, Music, User Experience on October 23rd, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on Sonos finally adds search!

At long last, the world’s best digital music system has fixed a glaring UI hole. With today’s release of v2.5 of their software, Sonos controllers (both hardware remotes and PC/Mac based software) can search for music by artist, composer, album, or track. This feature works within your own local library or within music services such as Rhapsody. Up until now if you wanted to listen to an artist in Rhapsody that you hadn’t previously bookmarked, you would need to guess what top-level genre they were categorized under and then scroll through an enormous list to try to find the artist….

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Posted in Music, Tech Industry, Technology, Transhumanism, User Experience on June 17th, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on

A little while ago I heard an interesting story on NPR about collaborative music software. They described a series of websites that empower geographically separated musicians to create music collaboratively. Using sites like ejamming, Musicians can find additional band members, share tracks and mix your own tracks with those of your partners across the net. They even hint at being able to practice with each other live, although I’ve never tried it. All this reminds me of the story behind the fabulous first album by The Postal Service, Give Up. For those who don’t know the story, this fabulous album…

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Rhapsody Artist-Linker Greasemonkey Script Part 2

Posted in Music, Software Engineering on May 4th, 2007 by leodirac – 3 Comments

I’ve made some updates to the Rhapsody Greasemonkey Script I mentioned earlier. The script scans your web pages for the names of the most popular 1,000 or so artists and marks up the page with links the Rhapsody Online for playback. So anytime you’re reading a web page that’s talking about popular music, the names of the musicians will be hyperlinks that when you click them will let you listen to the artists’ music. The biggest change from the previous version is that instead of running the regex on the HTML of the doc, it just runs on the text…

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Rhapsody Greasemonkey Script: Optimizing Text Manipulation in Javascript with Regular Expressions

Posted in Computer Science, Music, Software Engineering on April 24th, 2007 by leodirac – 2 Comments

After many months of talking and thinking about it, I finally wrote a greasemonkey script to annotate web pages with Rhaplinks. The script scans web pages looking for the names of musicians and when it finds them, links them to so you can listen to music by the named artist. This simple idea is actually tricky to implement properly. Rhapsody has a lot of music and a lot of artists. So many that keeping the entire list in a javascript program is impractical, as is downloading the entire list from the server. So I took the most popular 50-100…

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