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15 December 2009

Dear Entrepreneurs, this is something I would pay for...

Dear Entrepreneurs,

This is something I would gladly pay $20 a month for...

A device that, according to my tastes, downloads new music from the Internet whenever it connects.  I would be able to listen to music without restriction while I am disconnected from the network.  I wouldn't own the music, except for roughly 20 tracks a month that I select which would then become mine as MP3s (for FLAC or whatever DRM-less technology makes sense).  I could then load them into iTunes, give them to my brother, or (if I'm feeling sinister) make them available on a P2P network.

The music could come from anywhere: iTunes, Amazon, The Labels, or artists themselves.

The content sources exist.  The recommendation engines exist.  Devices exist. 

I suspect the audience/market exists.  (At least, I hope so.  If not, and nobody is willing to pay for music, we're going to need to find another model.  And it will still necessarily involve a money exchange between producers and cosumers and/or advertisers.)

Is there such a system already?

4 comments:

Brian Bulkowski said...

Zing : http://www.zing.net/

Recommendation system, auto-download-update, DRM only on the rented stuff, not sure about the "auto mp3" feature. You might have to manually look at a "like list".

And, of course, not terribly popular, because most people aren't like you.

Will said...

I have done this! But without the consent of intellectual property holders. With that restriction out of the way, it was mostly trivial.

Cron scheduled to run a Perl script that does the follow:
1. add to known music database by scraping/parsing what you'd call a recommendation engine (in my case punknews.org/relesases.php and http://www.last.fm/home/recs)
2. search for download resources matching the recommendation query (torrents - tpb,what.cd ; nzbs - zbindex.nl; rar/zip -google to mediafire, rapidshare,etc)
3. download (torrents to rtorrent, nzbs to hellanzb, archives to wget/curl) and queue in mpd for confirmation and discrimination!

I found a lot of interesting music the summer I ran this, however it isn't as rewarding as I thought it would be. Not only is there a high signal to noise ratio even within last.fm suggestions and no easily or visible heuristic for discriminating, the most exciting musical finds are not connected to what I've already listened to. I don't think a computer can automate parsing blogs and spending time listening to myspace streams to find the next source of auditory ecstasy.
Also, I ran out of hard drive space rather quickly.

Dan said...

Yes, the Zune (device, with wifi that syncs automatically) and Zune Pass (subscription with recommendation engine, unlimited streaming and unlimited music synced to your device, and 10 DRM-free MP3s per month) do everything you've asked for.

The Jester said...

Yes. The Microsoft Zune HD & Zune pass do almost exactly this.

I must say, their recommendation engine seemed fairly weak, though perhaps it is just my taste in music.