Amazon’s Freemium Music Cloud

Amazon Cloud Player Locker UploaderIf nothing else, we now know for sure that server space and bandwidth has gotten cheap. So cheap, in fact, that they can’t give it away fast enough.

Amazon just announced their new music digital locker service, appropriately named Amazon Cloud Drive. If you already use Amazon, you get 5Gb of free storage space. And it’s not just storage space, you can actually upload your own personal music files and stream music to your device or desktop.

Are there other places where you can upload files for free? Sure, Dropbox.com and Google Docs have offered this kind of solution for a while. Services like these allow you ample space to FTP files to yourself or other people. It prettymuch eliminates the need for USB keys, which always seem to get lost or stolen.

Amazon goes one step further by adding a terrific music player and upload app that works on Mac and PC. If you don’t have it already, Amazon automatically downloads and installs Adobe Air, which is free and is useful for apps like TweetDeck. Best of all, it’s incredibly easy and fun, even for people who are fairly low tech.

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Jackson Dies. Fans Flock to…MySpace?

July 3, 2009 · Posted in facebook, myspace, new media, old media, twitter · 3 Comments 

In terms of media, Michael Jackson’s death revealed some interesting insights in social networks. No, it’s not that people on social networks — like Facebook, Twitter , digg, etc — broke the news to their friends. Instant sharing is at the core of social networking.

myspace_music_logo_1The big surprise? MySpace became a serious destination for fan outpouring. Yes, MySpace, the site that some industry experts have declared dead. Yes, MySpace, the social networking pioneer that just laid off 30% of their workforce.

The King of Pop died suddenly on June 25, setting off a firestorm of news and reaction. Post-event analysis reveals that sites like Twitter and Google were hobbled by the surge in traffic. Google thought the surge in traffic was an organized attack on their site.

SIDE QUESTIONS: If Michael Jackson’s sudden death had this effect on the Intertubes, isn’t it time for the government to review the Net’s infrastructure? What would happen in a larger global event? Could the Net handle it? And is it ironic that television (that “old media”) works just fine during major surges? Debate, discuss.

Back to MySpace
As news raged, something weird happened at MySpace. People started to “friend” Michael Jackson’s MySpace Page at an astonishing rate. MediaWeek reported that “the official Michael Jackson MySpace profile was adding 100 new friends per minute.” Um, wow!

As of this writing, Jackson’s MySpace page has 567 thousand friends. That’s a lot of friends for a “dead” network.

And while Facebook is the current kind of social networks, MySpace is still considered the social network place for discovering music. MediaWeek also reported that “MySpace Music was streaming an average of 100,000 songs every ten minutes in the hours after Jackson’s death.”

It’s frustrating thing that they don’t offer a comparison. That is, how many friends was Michael Jackson getting per day before his death? Don’t know. And how many songs were they streaming every ten minutes before his death? Again, don’t know, so it’s hard to give a good comparison.

Post Mortem Suprises
Michael Jackson’s surprise death revealed a lot about the way people use the web and social networks. Based on the follow-up coverage, it’s clear that this Internet-thingy still holds a few surprises for us.

Yes, Facebook continues to be THE social networking juggernaut. But we knew that already.

The biggest surprise for many of the “experts” out there? MySpace isn’t dead.

Free Music I Paid For

October 17, 2008 · Posted in amazon, Apple, itunes, MP3, new media · 1 Comment 

Ever since the dawn of cheap, recordable tapes, you really haven’t HAD to pay for music. If you knew someone with an album, you could buy a cassette tape and make a copy.

With the ‘Net, getting free music became even easier. Every song you could ever want. Free. No strings attached. Awesome!

That is, until the musicians pointed out that the music wasn’t actually “free.” It was kinda “stolen.” But most of us didn’t feel like thieves. Paying $18.99 for a new CD? THAT feels like robbery.

When iTunes added 99-cent downloads, it became easy to “do the right thing.” Affordable. Good for the environment. You actually feel good about buying music.

I won’t say that you should pay for music (you should) because it’s the right thing to do (it is). I won’t mention that you wouldn’t want your work stolen (you wouldn’t). Even though some of these musicians are nauseatingly rich (they are).

I’ll just say this…here are my:

Top 10 Best Songs that I Paid for This Year

  1. My Apocalypse – Metallica – Seriously, the finest headbanging masterpiece in a long time. Every track on this fast, furious album makes up for their last album (awful). It’s that good.
  2. On the Radio – Regina Spektor – I discovered this on Pandora. Offbeat and quirky. Catchy too.
  3. Chicks = Trouble – Motley Crue – The title says it all. Classic Crue.
  4. Woke Up This Morning - A3 – Yeah, that song from the Sopranos. It’s much longer than the version used on the show, but has the same groove.
  5. LDN – Lily Allen – Another song discovered on Pandora. It’s got a great video on YouTube.
  6. Distractions (Live) – Sia – That amazing singer from Zero 7. Her big break was on the last episode of Six Feet Under (clip on YouTube). This song showcases her amazing and unique voice.
  7. Love Song – Sara Bareilles – A good pop tune that I heard on the radio.
  8. End of the World – Great Big Sea – A much, much faster version of the song by REM. With fiddles.
  9. Woodchipper’s Ball - Hugo Montenegro – Unlike anything else on this list. If you don’t like it, don’t be surprised.
  10. Bad Girlfriend – Theory of a Deadman – Heard it on the radio. Didn’t like their other songs, so I didn’t have to buy the whole album. Perfect.

What’s on your list of favorite songs you paid for?

Predicting Digital Music

March 16, 2008 · Posted in fun stuff, MP3, new media, old media, scifi, technology · Comment 

Lots has been written about how hard and/or speculative science fiction influenced the generations of scientists, designers, and engineers.

It’s doubtful that the cover to this 50’s science fiction pulp actually inspired scientists to invent digital music. Yet, it has it’s own speculative sci-fi charm.

Astounding Science Fiction June, 1950

Click to see larger image

Check out the creative musical genius at his super, space age computer. The musical notes swirl through the air, twist, and are broken down into components. The note head, flags, and stems break apart and seem to turn into something that looks a lot like binary code.

At that time, there might have been some awareness of punch cards. This early technology was invented by Herman Hollerith in 1890, which means someone interested in computers would have probably been aware of the visual language.

It’s a totally inconclusive and speculative observation, but fun nonetheless. Sort of like a good science fiction novel.