Monthly Archives: March 2009

about Playdar

Playdar – About:

Playdar is designed to solve one problem: given the name of a track, find me a way to listen to it right now.

It will search your local disk (iTunes library, MP3 folder etc.), it will search your home or office network (kinda like searchable iTunes shared libraries) and it will search other sources. You can write plugins for Playdar to enable it to search additional sources. It’s fast. If a matching song is within reach, it can start playing in less than a second.

This is called Content Resolution. Playdar is a “Content Resolver” – it will take metadata (artist, album, track names) and resolve them to a location of a matching music file. This might be on your disk, or over the network – regardless, sources are always presented as URLs that point to your local machine.

subprime royalty rates

Ari Shohat, in a comment on the TechCrunch article on the sorry state of streaming music:

I call the state of things now “Subprime Royalty Rates”. By that I mean that we have a few ventures/startups that are willing to pay the outrageous fees NOW, for the sake of living on another few months or years, even though common sense tells everyone that the rates are totally unworkable to a business model.

Subprime Royalty rates because just like with all the house buyers who thought they could take on overpriced house rates in the bubble, we have a bubble of royalty prices which a few are perpetuating with venture funds. Eventually this house of cards will fall too, just because they pay them now doesn’t mean that’s how economics will play out.


See also: Cait comment here about Last.fm::

My understanding, and it’s certainly the impression given by Lsast itself, is that CBS is not interfering in the day to day business of Lasat. Ultimately, they were independent for as long as they really could be, and nowthey need to rationalise their business model.

Speaking as a long (and I mean looooong) term subscriber to Last, and to Flickr, and other really brilliant and wonderful things that I love and wish to support with my hard earned wages, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for users who want it all to remain free.

I realise this is not a particularly fsahionable opinion , but you know. Get real, you freeloadaing idiots! (Heh).

mullet head file sharer

Bruce Warilla posted this narsty masterpiece:

mullet head file sharer

I question his premise that filesharing is going down, but I agree that amassing big collections of files isn’t a permanent thing. It’s a pain in the ass to have all these files, you’re better off leaving them out in the cloud and snarfing them as the need arises. Which is, not coincidentally, exactly the value proposition of on-demand subscription streaming services like Rhapsody and Spotify.

streaming startups harshing mellow

The Sorry State Of Music Startups:

streaming music startups don’t want more people using their service, because they lose money from every one of them, and the perceived success from having more users makes it harder for them to plead with the labels to give them better deals.

The big music labels don’t like streaming music because it doesn’t help them offset declining CD sales, and the evidence now suggests that streaming doesn’t lead to music downloads. Everything we’re hearing says that the labels would like to see streaming music startups just go away for now so that they can focus on maximizing paid downloads and extend that ultimate surrender date.

So when you hear about labels renegotiating streaming deals to help out music startups, be skeptical. They’re likely lowering the rates from 1 cent down to something closer to .4 cents per stream. And all that means is that these startups will bleed a little slower. But they’re still going to go out of business, because the venture firms are done investing in them.

One complaint about this TechCrunch piece: it’s easy to be negative and indeed pundits are always negative about internet music, unless they’re writing about Apple. We’re really not that fucked. Just challenged.


Re-reading this my comment sounds off-key, like it might or might not be sarcastic. I really did mean to say that all is not lost.

reasons why you don’t want to be an Esurance customer

My old auto insurance company, Esurance, messed up and forgot to file a notice with my state to say that my policy was paid up, so the state came down on me like a ton of bricks. Naturally I canceled the policy. Now it turns out that Esurance treated the cancellation request as a request to renew, and charged me.

Another data point: the part of their web site that you only see once you buy a policy and try to sign in doesn’t work in Firefox. The page doesn’t even load.

not buying stuff you can’t pay for is good

Streaming Radio: Last.fm Silences Third-Party Mobile Apps:

Hot off an announcement that they’d be charging for radio access outside the US, UK and Germany, Last.fm has said that all non-official mobile clients will be banned. This isn’t going over well.

The spoiled-child POV is that this sux because they’re dix! But really this is nothing but good in the long run. When companies stop pretending to pay the bills, they help the market to become rational. Either they can afford the bill and should pay it or they can’t afford it and shouldn’t incur it. They have realized that they can’t afford it and aren’t going to incur it any more. Credit executive leadership at Last.fm.

As you could imagine, this kind of blows for a lot of people. Windows Mobile users will no longer be able to use Pocket Scrobbler, Symbian folks will have their beautiful baby, Mobbler, ripped from their hands, and BlackBerry owners will soon find FlipSide, a pay app, rendered silent.

To the Pocket Scrobblerers, Mobblerers and FlipSiders I say: there’s no substitute for real freedom. If some vendor is generous or forgetful enough to cover your bills, all you can say is thank you. And if /when the free ride runs out, just say thank you.