Wednesday, September 01, 2010

what's the frequency, kenneth?

I don’t keep up with all the dalliances of a videophone company or communications law firm. I don’t have Silicon Daily on my morning reading list. I just hang around in the kitchen and eventually the news hits my brain (or in this case, the car.)

I don’t know if Apple has had its presser yet but word is that the music cloud idea may be on the agenda. For background on what exactly a music cloud is meant to be, pop over here and you can read or listen to the story. My first thought is this: aren’t we really just going back to radio? Actual radio? (“Hey man, I can totally listen to a mix of music on this little radio. Anywhere!) Clearly there are differences between a DJ choosing music for me and me sort of setting up what I want to hear but the last thing I want responsibility for is coming up with my playlist for the day – or hour – ahead of time…or right then. If I understand the basic premise of having all your music off on some server somewhere in the big blue correctly, I’m paying for the music but I don’t own it. I’m simply paying for access to the tunes and then…what? I get in the car with my iPhone and pull-up my ‘music’ app and then what? Pick songs? Open a playlist? What? Do I select a Cloud Cult album (see how I tied that in?) and hit play? I’m not much for being tethered to something for my music. Here’s how my music life works. I buy music, I put it on my iPod in artist playlists, I pick who I want to hear (I’m not much for one song by artist A, one song by artist B, etc.) and either shuffle or play the list straight through. If I want to set up a Pandora station that aligns with a certain artist or type of artist then I do, but I’ve even grown away from that. If I want actual ‘radio’ then I listen to the Current out of Minneapolis and let someone give me whatever music strikes them – the Current music, overall, strikes me. (This sort of reminds me of the e-reader/Kindle panel a few years ago where one panelist pointed out that having a Kindle was convenient: small size, light weight, you can read it anywhere. The comeback to that was that we already have that technology…it’s called a book.) Even if I forego the discussion about bandwidth, quality of sound, connectivity wherever I might be, etc. I’m not initially sold on this idea. What if I’m up in Leyden and want to listen to my music? As if that would be possible…

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