Tag Archives: music-subscription

Google Music Service Coming to Android

According to an executive at Google, their much-anticipated music service will be launching later this year. It’s also purportedly going to be a big part of the next version of Android. This move by Google follows shortly after Apples announcement that it too will be launching a new streaming music service of its own linked to iTunes in the near future.

There is sadly not much more information to be found. I ran a check on about thirty other blogs. All of them say pretty much what you found in my first paragraph. The good news here is that info should start trickling in soon. The new music service is slated to hit during the 4th quarter. The first half of this year is already a thing of the past – yes, seriously. Time has flown by that fast.

Android has built a user-base that is growing rapidly. There are around 160,000 new Android devices being activated on a daily basis. Even though those numbers are nowhere near that of the new iPhone 4, it still shows that Google is steadily gaining ground. I fully believe (as do others) that a Google music service could give a similar Streaming iTunes application a run for its money.

What are your thoughts? Do you believe that you will become a dedicated listener to a music service from Google? Does having this capability baked into Android “Gingerbread” make you think about purchasing a device for that reason alone?

How to Discover New Music

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How do you discover new music? Don’t sit there and tell me you only like one type of music. You can’t just stop at some point in your life and decide you don’t want to listen to anything new. One thing I like about Pandora is that I can give it a specific genre or artist, and they’ll help me discover other artists that may be similar. I got an email from TJ recently who shared with us his top 5 list of ways to discover new music.

  • Find out who your favorite artists consider to be their inspirations. Chances are, you’re going to enjoy listening to them, as well. It’s easy to go online and find a biography of musicians you like. Those will usually include a list of names of the people who inspired them.
  • Listen to a lot of music on the radio, last.fm, or any other service. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a song on the radio that I liked, and wrote it down quickly to find later and purchase for my own collection. I tend to turn the radio to stations I might not normally listen to. That helps me broaden my scope, and allows me to find music I love that I might otherwise never have heard.
  • Get out and listen to local musicians. We musicians love all the followers we can get. Getting out and hearing them is always fun, and they love your support!
  • Join music-related forums. You’ll be exposed to so many different types of music that you may not have even heard of! Read what others are saying. If they’re raving about a new artist or song – check it out for yourself!
  • Trade music with others. I remember when I used to trade CDs with a good friend of mine. Just that summer alone, I was able to discover a ton of new things that I hadn’t heard before. I went from having only about 100 songs in my collection to more than 5000.

This same thing happened to me back in college. I traded CDs with a friend of mine. The name of a particular band was strange, but I gave it a chance. Turns out, I loved their music! By sharing the cassette tape with my friend, it turned me on to a whole new style of music… which turned into sales for the artist.

I want to consume music as I want to consume it. I’d rather “rent” the music, instead of owning it. That’s why I subscribe to Rhapsody’s service. I can pull up and listen to whatever I want, when I want it.

So my question again is “how do you discover new music”?

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Rhapsody vs iTunes: Which is Better, and Why?

There’s a new bot response from Pixie in chat, responding directly to the ‘what is music’ question:

Chris downloads all his music through Rhapsody. As his friend, you can get a free 14-day trial (unlimited access) right now – it’s a personal jukebox that runs within your Web browser. Mac and PC compatible! Better than iTunes.

Why do I think Rhapsody subscription is better than iTunes? It’s not for a love of Real (the company, or its software). It’s a matter of choice to me.

  1. I consume music in such a way that ala carte purchases would put me in the poor house. iTunes does not have a music / media subscription option, and likely never will.
  2. When someone in the chat room asks me to listen to a band I’ve never heard of, it’s usually in my Rhapsody account – so pressing Play is all I need to do.
  3. I have so many CDs sitting inside a storage closet somewhere in the house. What’s the point of grabbing them if I can easily get to the same music (with the same quality) online? I could rip them, sure – but then I’d have to keep track of data across several computers or a central server, when it’s just as easy (read: convenient) to click a button.
  4. I do happen to have Sonos, though I’m not getting full use out of it because our house is already overflowing with entertainment options. Regardless, Sonos is Rhapsody-compatible.
  5. If I’m in the car, I usually tune into XM. If I’m at home, I’m usually sitting in front of a computer. If I’m away from either of those two locations, I’m likely too busy to consume anything.
  6. I hate DRM, but at least I don’t feel like I’m downloading and storing crippled files with a Rhapsody subscription. To me, a Rhapsody subscription is akin to a radio station that I can construct, in real-time. Precision.
  7. I don’t really use my iPhone as a portable media player – not even for podcasts. If I’m really interested, I just open the YouTube applet on the iPhone and do a quick search – done deal.
  8. I don’t own the music anyway, so what’s the point in purchasing it vs. renting it? I hardly listen to the CDs I already own… all that ala carte money down the drain, if you ask me.
  9. 14-day free trial vs. indefinite 30 second clips. You shouldn’t even need the trial, other than to find out if they carry your favorite artists (and yes, Rhapsody has RSS feeds for just about everything).
  10. I don’t need to load a desktop client to play music – I just install the plugin for Firefox, IE, or Safari. Works fine on my Mac, too. I have a browser open all the time, anyway. I don’t want to download an album before I can listen to it. Understand, when I endorse Rhapsody, I’d strongly recommend NOT INSTALLING THEIR DESKTOP SOFTWARE – it is absolutely unnecessary, even with a Rhapsody subscription.

Okay, now can anybody give me a list of reasons why iTunes ala carte model is better than a Rhapsody subscription?

Real Urge for Music

I’m an URGE subscriber, so I didn’t bother to activate a Zune music subscription when I first got the device. URGE is pulling out of the Windows Media Player, apparently – and we have to contend with RealPainfulExperienceNetworks again…

This is AdamR from the chat room. After watching your video about music subscription services, I was wondering what you thought of MTV bailing on URGE and Microsoft and switching to Rhapsody / RealNetworks. Also, how will this effect URGE inside of Windows Media Player 11 and how will it affect your subscription since you said you couldn’t live without music subscription, and weren’t really pleased or comfortable with Rhapsody or Real.

The reason I ask is because I live inside of Windows Media Player for my music and have been considering an URGE subscription. However, I don’t want to lock into something if I’m not going to be forced to use Rhapsody / Real (which I absolutely refuse to taint my computer with) sometime down the road.

I personally see this as a huge opportunity for Microsoft if they would just play their cards right. They need to ditch the Zune software, put PlayForSure support into the Zune, and integrate what used to be URGE into their collection of Live services and push that forward.

I don’t like the Real / Rhapsody Player on Windows – but I’m thrilled to report, however, that a Rhapsody / Real music subscription works just fine in Firefox on OS X (a few browser UI quirks, but the music is playing fine). To me, that’s all that matters – being able to pay a single fee every month to access all my favorite classic and new artists… screw this ala carte shit.

And DRM? Par for the course, unfortunately…

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

iTunes vs Urge vs Rhapsody

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Berger360 wants to know more about music subscription services. He currently uses iTunes, and wonders why I feel that my music subscription service is better, and why I won’t use iTunes.

My tastes and lifestyle give me a lot of opinions on the various music subscription services and software out there. I listen to a wide variety of music, and my preference changes daily… or even hourly. My mood, what I’m working on, whether I’m in my car… all play a role in the music mood I may be in.

I don’t use iTunes for one simple reason. I want music on demand! I don’t want to have to download software onto my computer to manage my music, then synch it to my iPod. I want to use my iPod to just say “hey! I’m in the mood for the Doors! BAM!”. I don’t want to buy the entire album. If I did, I would go out and purchase the actual CD.

The music subscription service I use is called Urge. Now at the time I recorded this, I made a comment about not ever using Rhapsody’s service. However, I found out after recording that Urge and Rhapsody have now apparently merged into one service. I haven’t checked it out yet, so I can’t comment as to whether or not it will give me the same experience. What I love about my Urge subscription is that for only about $15.00 a month, I have access to literally millions of songs. Not albums… songs. I can access this huge library, and choose to listen to whatever it is I’m in the mood for at any given moment. This is SO Much easier to manage. No way I’ll ever use iTunes unless and until Apple switches it to a music subscription service such as this.

Which service do you use? I know you use one of them! Leave me a comment, and let me know what your preference is… and why.

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Cancel Napster

Hey, Napster? Thanks for making it an absolute pain in the ass to cancel our account – yet another reason to abandon your service. I had to call a phone number to tell you that I wanted to quit. Why?

  • MTV’s new URGE service is far less problematic. Far less.
  • I really like the Clix, and URGE works better with it.
  • Napster’s software continues to suck.
  • You made me call a number to cancel service. I hate that. Really.
  • URGE is the future, Napster is still living in the past.

Windows Media Player 1l… is still far from impressive. Don’t swallow the hype when you see it, please? WMP11 is better than WMP10 – but “less crappy” is not an honorable benchmark. They continue to ignore user interface inconsistencies and feedback from Windows Media’s most ardent supporters – including MVPs, who were seemingly marginalized during 11’s development process.