Saturday, March 20, 2010

Music Collections in the Cloud

Pretty good article on access to music from the cloud.
Catch Media is building a registration, tracking and clearinghouse system to give consumers legal access to their music anytime and anywhere across a variety of devices. Mark Segall, its business development adviser, says the company will soon announce which music companies will use the technology but suggests that consumers will have to pay a “convenience fee” for streaming their music from the Web, comparable to charges at an A.T.M.
This is interesting. 20+ years ago I had a debate with my friend, Jeff, over whether it would make sense to own music in the future. I thought it wouldn't, that you would just "rent" it. Partly we were driven by differences in perspective--I was more into jazz and classical, so had more repertoire to draw from, so was less interested in listening to the same piece many, many times.

Now, Rhapsody let's you do that, for $13/month. Even for a casual music-listener, that's not too bad a price--it's equivalent to buying 1 CD. Plus, you can share the account within a family, quite easily. The only problem is that you can't get the music to the cloud, notably to your MP3 player. But Rhapsody works over the web, and they have a beta out for Android, so it seems like all that may change. To me, this seems like it has hugely disruptive potential, and could be much more appealing than these other cloud schemes.

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