The State of Digital Music: The Rdio Conversations

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_Shock 3 months ago

Turd Ferguson @JP – Sorry…I need you to include your e-mail address in the reco…lol. 3 months ago

GrEtcHen Hey, not being stingy or rude — I used mine up last year when we were all trying Spotify (from Sweeeeeden). 😉 3 months ago

Turd Ferguson Lacy and Jason -send me reco with your e-mails and I will give each of you my last two Google+ and Spotify invites. 3 months ago

Matt Marine @lacey & @jp, I’ll shoot you one if you want it. You get 4 when you join. 3 months ago

Lacey Underall I’m still waiting on a Spotify invite. I’m sure it’ll come right after my turntable.fm invite, along with my google + invite, and probably my gmail beta and facebook invites from 2005. 3 months ago

Jason Paul Looks like I’m the only one here who hasn’t gotten a Spotify invite. My wife’s gonna subscribe to Spotify though so maybe I’ll have something to say about it soon. I think everyone who’s commented here is at the vanguard of this subscription music tidal wave. We’re all already paid subscribers to a music service which is actually a pretty big leap already from the majority.

I’d just like to inject my personal view point on distributed music, which is what guides my reasoning for the original blog post.

We do not own distributed music. The rights holders do. In the old days this wasn’t as apparent because we had to own a physical artifact to experience the music. Thankfully we can still own that distributed artifact in many cases. But it’s a useless (and highly meaningful) piece of art now, often released in limited editions. Those physical releases are going to actually retain and appreciate in value. Back to the present…iTunes sells audio files. It’s nothing if you think about it. But they are selling you the false illusion that you actually own the music. Perhaps it’s not so bad if you can always access the music you bought no matter the device (iCloud). But then I ask…how is that different than Rdio and Spotify?

Rdio, Spotify, MOG, Rhapsody all represent a recognition that it is redundant to own music files for listening purposes. As much as I dislike Sean Parker, he’s right that this paradigm shift has the potential to end piracy, itself a redundancy.

So to conclude, I don’t think it is an either or case between Rdio or Spotify (or MOG etc.). Each services is going to have an appeal to a different kind of user. I hope they both succeed and I suspect Rdio’s fortunes will grow in tandem with Spotify’s. For myself, there’s not much compatibility to my Facebook/Twitter friend’s music tastes with mine, so on Rdio I’d rather sync up with people I don’t know who have more musical compatibility (and are frankly more adventurous).

At the very end of the day, as trite as it sounds, maybe artists can actually get paid for people listening to their music. 3 months ago

GrEtcHen Ok, I was just digging through all the add ons. It looks like Spotify takes an approach like Last.fm — let third parties develop solutions for all their holes. It seems like there are answers for many of the deficiencies everyone has noted below. But you have to search around and find it.

Edit: for example, here’s one that’ll tell you when Spotify adds new music — by your favorite artists OR new releases in general — to its catalog. Didn’t someone wish for that for Rdio? http://www.freshspotify.com/

I suspect Rdio was hoping to do the same by providing an API. And that’s why we haven’t seen much improved in the UI area? Just a thought.

Not sure how I feel about this yet. Pros are you can build just the sort of music experience you want Con is you have to cobble it together from sources not part of Spotify. That can take time (which can be fun or frustrating, depending) If you’ve used some of the Last.fm bolt ons, you know sometimes those disappear when the guy who provides it disappears. Or he’s not there to update it to work with the latest version. 3 months ago

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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