Pundits say music ownership is passe. But if an army of music owners demanding high-fidelity and personal choice suddenly converted to streaming audio as their only music source, could the Cloud deliver? Let’s run the numbers.
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Entries in music in the cloud (6)
Every year there’s a rush in the music marketplace after one trend or another, and in the past year it’s been cloud services and the concept of ‘music as water’ subscription services. While the notion of selling music subscription like cable TV may be appealing at first glance, it is proving hard to monetize on for both the companies that launch such services and the content owners who participate in them. There are several reasons why I have always been very skeptical about the future of all-you-can-eat subscription services and cloud service models:
By David Greenberg. Learn more about this outspoken industry veteran at the end of the post.
To the cloud. Google’s created MUSIC, a here-to-fore hush-hush (though everyone seemed to know about it) service to shunt all your music up to a locker in the cloud. Apple will soon have a Cloud iTunes too. Then you can play your music everywhere and anywhere on just about any device that the gods of I.T. allow it to. Though, right now Google’s only on Android and Apple’ll probably stick to the iPhone.
Here’s the best part: You may be able to share your music with your friends, family, step-children, and even ex-significant others. There will be an App for that. Maybe,
One digital decade has ended and another has begun. Throughout these chaotic times, cloud-based music services have remained at the front of music industry discussions.
Are fans willing to pay a monthly fee to access unlimited music or will ownership carry on?
It has been argued that the era of à la carte music downloads is over – that the iTunes business model has been exhausted. Fans no longer desire to pay for each song or own them. Instead, they want to have access to everything for nothing – or, at least, a small fee.
Tech-companies like Spotify are betting that if they allow enough users to build music collections – for free – eventually, they will take ownership of their libraries and pay to access them through mobile devices. Meanwhile, rival services like Thumbplay Music, Rdio, and MOG offer limited to free trial periods. This raises a few important questions.
I AM THE most ungrateful person I have ever met.
At this moment, I have access to eight million songs. They are at my fingertips. And I’m not happy. It’s not enough. It’s not that I’m disappointed with the number of songs available.
It’s that every time I attempt to search for another artist or navigate within the app, I find shortcomings. They are small things. But they prevent me from enjoying my music experience in the way that I should. Or at least in the way that I think I should.
In 2001, for $399, Steve Jobs gave music fans the ability to store one thousand songs in their pocket. Nine years later, eight million songs won’t suffice. Why?
No matter what the music industry does, we’ll all be unsatisfied customers.
Mozilla, which makes the FireFox browser you might be reading this with, has a way to let regular webpages record audio and video and play them back with only a few lines of simple code rather than the more complicated Flash technology usually required for in-browser recording today.
This might sound like a wonky technical detail, but ultimately, it has big implications for people in general and music fans in particular.
Once web browsers can literally hear what you’re listening to (and see you, assuming you’ve given them permission, of course), they’ll be able to identify music playing in other programs or in the cafe where you’re sitting; record karaoke or more advanced audio projects directly onto the web; let you hear what your favorite artists are recording; and other fun stuff developers have yet to dream up.
For now, we must surrender the fantasy of ranting, finally, with our own actual voices, into the comments sections of columns with which we disagree — if only due to the early stage of this technology. Mozilla released an early, Mac-only, FireFox 3.5-only version of the Add-On on Thursday, which it’s calling Rainbow on Thursday, apparently so-named because it pairs so nicely with the term “cloud computing.”
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(Updated June 17)