I was talking to Joel a little bit earlier about peercasting and podcasting because of an article he had read in wired. Podcasting is cool stuff. Anyways, we got talking about mp3.com and how they have features similar to what we've been brainstorming for the system. It helps to highlight that those sites are doing 70% of what is planned for the system. The thing that sets the system apart is the business model. No more 99 cent downloads... your money is not spent to limit what you can do with the music, it goes directly to supporting the aritsts (plus administration costs to keep the servers running). It's kind of a "cut out the middle man" model of music distribution. Let's not spend all that money on media giants, let's give it to the artists so they will keep making awesome music.
So yeah, the system will compete for usability with other online sites like itunes, or mp3.com, but it will compete with the music labels as a way for artists to get their music distributed. 2 different classes of competition. I'm hoping that we'll be best of breed in both classes. Best solution for artists in terms of contracts and music rights, best solution for users trying to get good music because we're not hinderd by the business model of days past.