Saturday, January 29, 2005

Music: Recommendations

So here's an idea.... If an artist uploads their music into the system and they have recommendations, their songs should get into the list of "pushed" songs of others that like the same kind of music.... that's a way to get songs that haven't been listened too, connected to people that might like them.

The logic being... if you as an artist, like certain bands... then your music might appeal to others that listen to those bands...

1 comment:

OmegaStation said...

Ok, so I finally got a chance to go through most of the information presented in your blog. This idea is beautiful. There are bits and peices of this already in place, and the challenge (of course you already know), is to bring them all together.

So, here's my input and thoughts.

When you talk about artists, it seems you are focusing on NEW artists. I think this will work, because they won't be "used" to "the system". But what about Artists who have been around? Or maybe even aren't around anymore. How will they fit into the system?

I really like the "pushing" idea. I'm envisioning a very mobile environment, where everything ebbs and flows and is fluid. I would love this. I'm like you, always looking for something new to listen to.

A few places I wanted to direct you to:

Last.fm - This is a customizable streaming radio site. It lets you pick music from their database and it to your own radio "station" that you or others can listen to. I'm not quite sure how they actually license the music, or how DRM factors in. They have a lot of artists on there. They have a pop-up HTML "player". The site just downloads a .m3u to your audio player. It also has a plugin you can download called Audioscrobbler that sends play data from your media player to your "station", so that it will update stats (Top 10 etc), top albums, play counts, and even add new music to the station, if it is available on their database. The HTML player also has a very simple Rating system. You can "Ban" a song on your station, so that it never plays again. Or you can say you "Love" it, so it appears more often. I think this is worth checking out for you.

AllofMP3.com - This is a Russian pay service for MP3's. They differ from most online music stores in that you pay per meg rather than per song. Also, they have a tiered system. Some songs cost $.10 a meg, some $.30 a meg. It would be interesting to find out just how they got their prices that low. Also, they offer streaming previews (full song)of all of their music, which is nice.

I was thinking that this last site could establish some guidelines for the "subscription". Maybe it should be like a Comcast deal, where the first few months (or by bandwidth, whatever) are a certain fee, and then it goes up. Maybe a tiered pay system would work well. Or make some content "premium". I don't know how the user would take it. Whether the "premium" content would be worth it for the money, or whether it would just piss people off.

Here's my thoughts on some of the questions you posed:

"1) Can the recommendation/ratings be valuable enough for people to pay for them."Look at "Top Downloaded Songs" in iTunes. The song at the top stays that way for a reason. People use iTunes to find new music, and I think they rely heavily on stuff they find on the front page, like "Staff Picks" and the top 10 lists.

"2) Will people pay for the bandwidth they use?"You have to establish a user base first. Otherwise it will be too expensive and turn people off. You could phase it into the subscription cost. See above about the Comcast-esque method.

Lastly, I really liked your dad's idea about the user-side of the system. I thought of something like those headphone devices when I used to mow the lawn, and was frustrated by my headphone cords. That is such a classy idea, and
one that seems completely feasible in the not too distant future.

So, those are my thoughts. Great stuff.

--Toby