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All posts tagged "music streaming"


Friday, August 12, 2011

Have Music Subscription Service Finally Gone Mainstream?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 01:00 PM

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/glob...article2124186/

"Acquiring new music can be a very addictive and expensive hobby. Downloading an album or the new single from that hot new band from iTunes a few times a month can add up quickly. Which is why new subscription services are garnering so much buzz lately - for $5 to $10 a month these websites offer an easy, affordable (and somewhat legal) way to get all the music you want."

I can hear the people inside the Zune offices at Microsoft screaming "We've been doing this for years!?!" as they sob quietly in their cubicles. For whatever reason - likely because it's Microsoft - the Zune Pass option just never managed to gain wide-spread traction. The price probably had a lot to do with it - $15 is too expensive for many people, especially when the competition comes in closer to the $10 price point.

I've personally never really gravitated toward a service like this because my own collection of music is somewhere in the realm of 14,000 songs. When it comes to needing music to listen to, I've got it covered - however, I've shifted from purchasing full CDs to the more common practice of cherry-picking the tracks I want and the growth of that collection has slowed considerably.

The social aspect of these services may be their most compelling feature; I just signed up for a trial of Rdio, a service I'd heard of but hadn't tried, and I'm really impressed with how I can see what others are listening to and explore music in different ways. Yes, Zune has had similar features for a while now, but I've never found the Web-based version of Zune very intuitive or functional. Part of that is the ongoing struggle I have being a Canadian trying to use Zune services. I grew tired of the cat-and-mouse game with the Zune team making it increasingly more difficult for non-supported countries to access Zune goodness. But let's not get started down that road, or I'll be spitting at my screen in no time.

Do you subscribe to a service like Rdio, Spotify, Rhapsody, Zune Pass, etc.?


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Amazon's Cloud Player, Music Companies, and Copyright: What a Mix!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 06:00 PM

http://nilaypatel.co/post/423908369...idth-killed-the

"If you're reading this you probably don't need much background on Amazon Cloud Player - suffice it to say that Amazon launched a new "freemium" cloud storage service that's tied into their music store. You get 5GB of online storage for free and 20GB if you buy an MP3 album from Amazon, and subsequent MP3 purchases don't count against the cap. There's also a Cloud Player app for Android that can play music files stored on your account - it doesn't matter if they're files you purchased from Amazon or elsewhere, and Amazon has tools that'll upload your DRM-free iTunes purchases to make a switch easy. None of this is particularly earth-shattering - as a loyal Amazon MP3 customer who's almost wholly switched to the subscription-based Rdio, I actually think most of these features are a couple years too late."

Nilay Patel shares some interesting thoughts on what's happened since Amazon launched their Cloud Player service - namely, that the music labels got upset. "How dare you listen to music you bought in any way other than via the hard drive that you downloaded it on"? is their basic message. How quaint. The record companies finally got wise and un-shackled our music from DRM - and I believe digital music sales are better than ever, partially because of that - and now they want to dictate how/when/where we listen to our music? I don't think so.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stream Your Media Around With Skifta

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 03:30 PM

http://lifehacker.com/5733604/skift...v-from-anywhere

"Skifta allows you to play media pretty much anywhere, on any device. You can stream media-whether it's music, photos, or video-from your phone to a TV, from your home PC to your phone, or even from your home PC to your friend's TV using your phone as an intermediary. All you need is a DLNA-compatible device, which includes lots of different things, from a PlayStation 3 to an XBMC box to a simple Windows 7 computer."

It seems like there's a new media streaming app coming out every week, and Skifta seems about the same as every other one I've looked at. They're all based around DLNA compliance - unfortunately, neither one of my big-screen TVs has DLNA functionality...so I'm kind of hooped in that regard. I've opted instead to connect devices to my TVs that allow me to get the media I want. In the case of my 50" plasma on my digital wall, it has an HP Slimline computer connected to it; my 72" DLP has an Xbox 360 and a Boxee Box. My next TV will certainly have DLNA compliance, but I'm not about to go out and buy a new TV for that sole purpose.


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