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.

05 Apr

NYTimes.com – Pandora Discloses a Privacy-Related U.S. Inquiry on Apps

The online radio service Pandora has received a subpoena from a federal grand jury investigating whether popular smartphone applications share information about their users with advertisers and other third parties.

The company said on Monday that it believed that it was one of many companies to receive subpoenas in an investigation into the information-sharing practices of publishers that make apps for the iPhone and other Apple devices, as well as smartphones that run on Google’s Android operating system.

Pandora said it shared information with third parties to help it track how users interact with the service and to deliver targeted advertising. But the company, based in Oakland, Calif., said it was “not a specific target” of the grand jury investigation.

via NYTimes.com – Pandora Discloses a Privacy-Related U.S. Inquiry on Apps. Wonder when we’ll start hearing something what this investigation into mobile advertising and I presume privacy is trying to discover.