The State of Digital Music: The Rdio Conversations

Nohbdy Don’t mistake a different point of view for naivety. IMO What is shredding our society at the seems is a desire to lump everyone into a large on-size fits all group. Our “Common Culture” can’t handle anything that doesn’t fit into THE “box”. This tendency to try and force feed a common belief or ideal is what is doing us in. We’re all different and that needs to be recognized.

When you hear talk of advertising ruining the minds of young ones and so on: what type of media is it that is mentioned? Bill boards, posters, Television? These are all methods of broadcast advertising. Is there some targeting? Yes, but you can’t really get it narrow enough for truly target advertising. The closest you can get is “well everyone who sees it will be from the same city or some such. Really the only thing I can think of that can use a true narrowcast ideal is internet based subscription services (free or otherwise) as even a open website can’t know who will be viewing their site.

Both ways are fraught with danger and a susceptible to abuse. Both can be blind and lose touch with reality. One can be misconstrued to be representative when its not and people will manipulate that to show what they want it to show, and the other can be even more blind and ignore any evidence not coming from their trusted source.

I don’t feel one is better than the other. Both have advantages and disadvantages. As in most things we need balance and open eyes to tell fact from fiction. 7 hours ago

maudeman At the risk of being lured into a match of wits with Mr. Ape, it is foolish to blame software for what people do. Technology shreds some cultural bonds, and allows others – like this place. Corporations provide goods – some do it well and some don’t – but whatever common culture is, it comes from people, who are strange ridiculous animals. Politicians and big companies have always been what they are today, bigger and noisier perhaps, but totally at our mercies IF we chose to vote for or buy alternatives. Facebook is not ruining the world, and it has got me in touch with some buddies from grade school. 7 hours ago

CAW a.k.a. The Aquatic Ape Nohbdy, I don’t wanna to condescend nor appear to be picking a fight, BUT you’re attitude about this stuff is ridiculously Pollyanna. If it’s being lost on you how much society has already changed on account of advertisers-and-their-ilk (*cough* politicians! *cough*) presuming to have figured everybody out for much-wanted and -needed “narrowcasting,” you’re either not paying very much attention or else simply blithely ignoring the obvious. By not providing ALL of society sufficient amounts of common culture, this stuff is rending our social fabric at the seams. 8 hours ago

Nohbdy (Here I go playing the devil’s advocate again)

I think FB understands that. With the latest changes its quite easy and uncomplicated to set up two (or more) very distinct and different groups of friends. They have also made it quite simple to set sharing defaults. In other word you can set up a Music group and set you music listening to only be shared with them and allow people on your music list to only see that info and nothing else. Once set up it only a matter of picking a list when you friend someone new. Is this approach bad? it seems thought out and considerate to me.

And I’ve not seen a instance of “Spamming” of listening habits. My experience is it makes one post and continually updates it. this isn’t even usually in the main feed it is under Music on the left hand side. 9 hours ago

Johnny B The FB thing depends on the way it’s deployed. My thing is, I’ve got self-selected “music people” in Rdio and self-selected “real-life friends” in Facebook. I don’t want to mix the two.

I don’t want to share my music with my FB friends, because most of them don’t like my music. So why should I spam them with “Johnny is listening to yet another crappy new release again”? Equally, why should I get spammed with the news that my real-life friend Bryan is listening to Toby Keith again? Ugh.

3 thoughts on “The State of Digital Music: The Rdio Conversations”

  1. Great post and comments!

    Right. So… Is Rdio the Future of Music?

    The problem with these sorts of “x is the future of y” discussions, particularly where technology is concerned, is that x always changes the nature of y. Because of this, you can never quite arrive at point y.

    I see Rdio and it’s ilk bumping into a few issues shortly that run along these lines:

    1) The closer these services get to delivering on the promise of offering “almost everything” in the world of music, the more they will underscore what isn’t offered. Put another way, how much music needs to be available to make up for the fact that what you want to hear right now isn’t?

    2) Part of the appeal of these services lies in the social aspect, which presently is built on the enthusiasm of early adopters and music nerds. The tone and quality of the social interaction will change as more users sign on. Will Rdio still be compelling?

    3) Rdio is presently a novel way of trying to monetize music in a time where monetizing music is difficult. It’s an experiment that is occurring concurrently with other experiments at trying to resuscitate the monetization of music. A verdict will be reached. Recent high profile releases by Coldplay, Black Keys, Tom Waits — to name a few — are not present on Rdio. Presumably this is because posting on streaming services is viewed as possibly undermining the success of other channels, both experimental and traditional. Is this the start of a verdict being reached? Will this assessment be shared by others?

    Just a few thoughts.

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