Entries Tagged as 'Music'

Ping? No Thanks

Ping Screen shot 2010-09-01 at 9.32.17 PM
Image by swanksalot via Flickr

Amusing. TechCrunch released an article about how Ping isn’t as social as Apple made it out to be. What’s even more funny is that I don’t see this going anywhere just like Genius didn’t go anywhere.

First, let me throw it out there. When I find new music, I don’t know the name of the song, or what it is. I just hear something while browsing a website, Youtube, or even listening to the radio. You know what Apple needs to do? Buy Shazam. Take that technology and load it in instead of relying on my friends. Truthfully, what my friends like in music could have absolutely no relevance in what I like. I like opera, but I can guarantee you that my wife doesn’t really care for it. But would we be in the same circle of friends? Sure. That’s a failure in itself for recommendations.

Second, I decided to give Ping a shot, even though during the Apple announcement, I was already arguing with people about how Apple could make things nice, but they don’t exactly understand the Internet trends. Let me put it into perspective. Myspace is probably one of the ugliest social networks ever. I said it back when it started, and it still is to date. But yet, the young kids that made it popular is what attracted bands and other musicians to it. That’s also why MySpace still lives… due to those relationships. If Apple wants to attack that head-on, they need to allow every single band lay claim to their pages and have followers able to already follow the band without the claim.

For example, I was testing out Ping, thinking, hey… this might not be half bad. Let me add one of my all-time favorite bands: My Chemical Romance. Now I’ve purchased their albums from iTunes before, so I know they exist on there (unlike some of the jrock/jpop/crock/cpop artists), but lo-and-behold, I can’t follow them. No MCR follow means that Ping fails in my book. I mean, the recommendations based on my genres that I selected gave me Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Coldplay. All artists that are tied to Apple. What about Daft Punk? What about Gorillaz? If you’re building social, you have to think social.

Personally, I think that Ping is a great idea, but the execution was absolutely sloppy on Apple’s part. If you’re going to build a social network for musicians, figure out what the strengths of social networks are and build around that. Don’t tie it directly to your iTunes store. The difference between customers and users might be a credit card number, but the difference between a social network and a store is a world apart.

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iTunes Saturday

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iTunes Saturday

Apple iTunes Apple iTunes Apple iTunes

iTunes Saturday

Apple iTunes

iTunes Saturday

Apple iTunes

Marvin Gaye for Valentine’s Day

Courtesy of Amazon MP3 Today and Saturday only (2/13/09, 2/14/09), you can bring the soothing voice of Marvin Gaye into your loved one’s life with a little “Let’s Get It On”.
For Free.
This promotion from Amazon is only good until the clock strikes 12AM Saturday night Pacific time, so get your free song now! Of course, if you happen to want to shop a little further… no one’s stopping you there either. It’s all for love… wait.. that’s someone else’s song.

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Lala is kind of blah blah

lala.gif A friend forwarded me an invite to use lala. Needless to say, I was intrigued but not really all that impressed.
What grabbed me was the fact that they said they would play online pretty much your music from the web. If you want to listen from web unlimited, it’s a dime, and seventy-nine cents more if you want the mp3. At those types of pricing, it’s definitely intriguing.
But on the flip side, there were a couple things that really bugged me about the interface. First, it required me to upload my music library. As far as I could tell. I actually didn’t allow it to do so after the Mac version of the uploader froze up indexing on 6,999 songs and just sat there. Then I figured, well heck… why am I uploading anything? Shouldn’t this be an index of the songs and a direct matching? If so, it shouldn’t be frozen.
In any case, on a Mac… with the 6,999 song freeze I just prompt zapped the app and went my merry way. There are a lot of indie music sites on the web that stream and until I can lock down my music so that no one but myself can touch it, I’m not “sharing” or uploading it anywhere. Now, providing a music collection backup service actually might be worthwhile…. if it’s in the future plans of lala. As for now? The gimmick effect really only got me so far.

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Zune Doomed?

With the latest axe falling on Microsoft’s entertainment division, it’s really not a wonder considering the crappy sales figures during the holidays.
Now let’s be honest. I did think the Zune product was doomed from the start, even though for the anti-DRM friends, this product was on the “cutting edge”. Well, sort of. The real reason perhaps for this was that Microsoft itself with their biggest seller in Windows has somewhat a reputation already. The name just didn’t carry the weight that it should have into the music world where it’s dominated by the youth and the hip. And in the end, the Zune just had nothing on the iPod.
Personally? I think the biggest loss area that could have made the Zune somewhat a popular device was if the Zune brought in guns like AmazonMP3 to run the store itself (I’m even surprised with the song selection and value from Amazon), and to try some different types of things with the Zune such as on-the-go podcasting or something of that nature. I think that if they had driven a niche instead of competing head-to-head with Apple, they would have had a go. Hardware is a difficult market to sell in, and Microsoft so far has never built very great hardware to begin with. So when you drop into an arena where you’re playing against the biggest digital music store with the biggest proprietary system, you probably want to compete on the same type of front instead of doing the whole generic thing (which makes you no different from the other generic players).
Now what would be interesting is if Zune itself took the product line and went into portable media capture (video and audio). That would be a niche that could very well blossom with the right equipment and third party partners and not to mention there are plenty of amateur video crazy people. Just look at the video sites in case you didn’t realize that it was actually worthwhile. Alas, we’ll see what they do with the division. My bet is that the Zune’s days are numbered.

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iTunes Saturday

Apple iTunes Apple iTunes Apple iTunes

iTunes Saturday

Apple iTunes Apple iTunes