The State of Digital Music: The Rdio Conversations

I’m huge fan of WordPress both professionally and recreationally. It’s an amazing example of how successful open source can be. And I actually do make a living designing and developing sites on WordPress. Compared to a fully connected open source social network WordPress is probably very small and simple. I believe the next wave of web development could be everyone wanting their own social pod with the ease that they can currently have their own website today.

And for my own hobby and interests I can see my self tricking out my Diaspora pod in the same way I customize my blog with incredible ease today. If everyone’s island is eventually connected Facebook’s reach and importance is mitigated.

Also, one last point about having one’s own social pod. For a moment when they released Google+ I actually thought it was the beginning of the end for Facebook. If Facebook went the way of Myspace (and sometimes I expect it to do so) I still want my data. And I don’t just want a zip download, I want it to still be living/live data. If I were to use a pod to send and receive all my social signals I’m free to move around other networks. And if a big one fails I still retain what’s important to me from it. Diaspora seems like it’s a long way away from actually receiving the signals in a meaningful way but I know that’s what the goal is.

Net Neutrality is serious stuff. You’re absolutely right if we lose that fight all this other social friction talk will seem trivial by comparison. 4 weeks ago

tod nelson @Rhett C–ok, NOW I’m scared. Thanks for your link to savetheinternet.com. Signed, participated, donated. 4 weeks ago

Rhett C Oh and on a related topic. Does anyone else vie for net neutrality? That issue is much more worrying to me when compared to social sites and data collection.

If you really want to lose your sense of the untamed Internet, just wait until the ISPs start doing the content filtering based on profit motives. http://www.savetheinternet.com/ sign-up, participate, consider a donation 4 weeks ago

Rhett C Which part of Spotify forces Facebook, though? My login dialogs provide me with options to use either.

From last.fm’s (presumably a wholly owned subsidary of CBS) privacy policy Certain third parties may have access to your data (which may include personal information, but not your email contact information) via our API and webservices or arrangements with our business partners. These people may use this information for their own purposes, which may be either commercial or non-commercial in nature and may include targeted advertising or direct

From Facebook’s policy We only provide data to our advertising partners or customers after we have removed your name or any other personally identifying information from it, or have combined it with other people’s data in a way that it is no longer associated with you. Similarly, when we receive data about you from our advertising partners or customers, we keep the data for 180 days. After that, we combine the data with other people’s data in a way that it is no longer associated with you.

I think the policies speak for themselves. Note there is probably more third party Facebook policy terms, like those relating to law enforcment. for one thing.

There are configurable insta-site systems and then there are systems that need to be able to scale to support millions and millions of users. But like you said, it’s not a technical issue, it’s a social one. An aggregated patchwork quilt of services is not the same experience as having all of the users on the same service. So that would work well for some, like those that have Facebook accounts to indulge their friends and family, but I don’t see it as a viable replacement.

Without some sort of centralized data storage, how would we support the tracking of likes and comments? I think I’ve used social bookmarking since 2003. It’s a nice aggregator of the pages I want to share. I have convinced only a handful of my friends to check out the content I share and even fewer to create accounts of their own. Most users (on Facebook) want more features. Similarly, how many of us use Google Reader? I’ll be happy to follow you if you do.

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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