19 May

Shawn Blanc – Cloudy With a Chance of Music

I have nothing but good things to say about the quality of Rdio’s service, its price, or its music collection. However, there is something about Rdio that just doesn’t settle for me. And I think it’s the fact that I’m listening to music I don’t own.

A lot of people have been championing for music the trend which began with movies so many years ago: that access is better than ownership. This is Netflix’s bag: rent all the movies you want, whenever you want, for one low monthly fee.

It’s the same idea with Rdio — you are, in a sense, “renting” an album. Though you never have to return it, so long as you keep paying your monthly dues.

However, I have a different attitude towards movies than I do towards music. I will maybe watch my favorite movies once or twice a year, at the most. A great album that I love I will listen to every day for months and months.

Movies are entertaining. Music is personal.

And so I don’t know if the paradigm that access is better than ownership has the same effect on our music library as it does for our DVD collection. The music we listen to, in many ways, is a definition and extension of who we are.

All this to say, that what excites me right now is the idea of access and ownership. I want to own my music, but I want to have it available anywhere and everywhere and on each of the music-playing devices that I own.

via Shawn Blanc – Cloudy With a Chance of Music. Totally agree, that’s exactly why I stopped using Pandora and Rdio for as much as people rave about both services. Ownership and total control over the experience is almost paramount for how I listen to music.

10 May

NYTimes.com – Google’s Digital Music Service Falls Short of Ambition

But the service that the company unveiled on Tuesday, called Music Beta by Google, fell short of those ambitions. There is no store, the streaming function comes with restrictions, and, like Amazon’s Cloud Drive service announced in March, using it requires a long upload process.What came between Google and its ambitions was an obstacle familiar to many digital music start-ups: despite months of negotiations, the company could not obtain licenses from the major record companies.In interviews, Google executives put the blame squarely on the labels. “Generally there were demands on the business side that we think were unreasonable and don’t enable us to have a sustainable, scalable music business,” said Zahavah Levine, director of content partnerships for Google’s Android unit and the lead negotiator with the labels.Music Beta was introduced on Tuesday at Google I/O, a developers’ conference in San Francisco.

via NYTimes.com – Google’s Digital Music Service Falls Short of Ambition. This doesn’t bode well for what we all really want, stream our already owned music collection without having to upload it, wonder if Apple will have any better luck with the record labels.