Sunday, December 31, 2006

I aaaaam Iron Man (da na naa na naa na na na naaa naaa naaa)

I came across this personality quiz that tells you which superhero you are most similar to. Here I am...

Your results:
You are Iron Man

Iron Man
The Flash
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
Inventor. Businessman. Genius.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...

What are you?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Virb - Yet Another Music Network

Mashable has a story on Virb...

Coming from the makers of PureVolume, there’s also a strong musical element: a download called Virbtunes works like MOG or, tracking the music you listen to in iTunes and making recommendations. And just like on MySpace, bands also have special pages from which you can grab tracks to populate a player on your own profile.

It's hard to fathom yet another network, but the folks at Unborn Media have done some really nice things with PureVolume (particularly with their design and UI). So, while it may have a hard time convincing anyone to switch (or create yet another profile) - I'm sure it will at least be one of the better looking ones.

Monday, December 25, 2006 Another Personal Feed Aggregator

Check out Mugshot (from the folks at Red Hat). It is very similar in function to what the AIM folks are doing with AIM Buddy Updates (and others like Suprglu). It's got a nice interface, is easy to use, and for us music freaks - it even includes some nice embeddable "now playing" widgets (pulling from Audioscrobbler/ I had some trouble getting the live widget to work, so here's a screenshot of one of the many themes...

Mashapalooza - All Crazy Style

Ah, the beauty of the open web... has benefited as much as anyone in the proliferation of sites that leverage their APIs. Yesterday I talked about, and today I added another one to my sidebar. is simple, but useful for live music fans. It looks at who you listen to (from and which of those artists are playing in your area (from and returns a feed of matches. Yeah, has added events recently too, but it doesn't yet appear to be exposed as a feed. So until that time, AllCrazyStyle seems to fit my bill.

I've then taken that feed an added it to my AOL Alerts - now any change to the feed will send an alert to my both via AIM and SMS.

Sunday, December 24, 2006 - the YouTube/ Mashup

I love this concept (although I'm not much of a music video watcher) - it is a mashup of YouTube and Basically, it builds your own personal music video channel based on artists you like (pulled from your profile). Others have done similar things by bouncing your Now Playing information up against the YouTube library to find videos from that artist - but this is more of a continuous experience. It will string together a continuous playlist of music videos from artists you have listened to before (or your musical "neighbors" have listened to).

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Gaining Momentum - Music 2.0 Wiki

Wow, what started as a combination of Paul Lamere's idea for a wiki, and my ever growing list of companies/services, has obviously hit a sweet spot.

Some great coverage over at The Digital Music Weblog....

I'm going to be on vacation over the holidays, but I'm going to try and spend some time (by the pool) adding to the wiki and building some templates. Please... any/all ideas are welcome.

Pandora Gets Profiled

Pandora is ramping up their community - as they and continue on their paths towards each other's feature sets (or, if you can't wait then check out the Pandora/ Mashup from Real-ity). Specifically, they have now included:

Listener Profiles: Now you can use Pandora to maintain a complete description of your musical preferences, a kind of musical biography, and share it with the world. Just click the "Pandora Community" button above the player, select "View Your Profile," and tell the world a little about yourself and the music you love.

Listener Search: Find other Pandora listeners that share your musical tastes, hometown, school, or place of work. Explore their favorites songs and artists, listen to their stations, and leave them comments. Even bookmark them so you can check what they're into later. Just click the "Pandora Community" button and select "Find other Listeners" to get started.

Artist "Fans": Browse profiles for other folks that are listening to each band we play. Just click the "more about the music" button above the player, search for a favorite artist or song page, and start exploring. Or once you've made a station, find other people listening to similar stations by clicking the little triangle next to your station's name in the player and selecting "Find Other Fans of this Artist".

Station Search: Search a universe of listener-created stations... looking for "Electro Goth"? no problem. "Romantic music"? yep. You name it, someone out there has probably built a station around it. Build a 'station page' for each of your stations to ensure that your own creations show up in the search results. When you find a station you love, leave the stations creator a comment on their station page.

They are actually also, like Finetune, coming at personal broadcasting from the angle of.... "you tell us what you like, we create the station, you embed/syndicate it". I can only think that the Labels are watching this very closely as the definition of "interactivity" of the DMCA gets tested.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Amazon to Sell Unprotected MP3s

Hypebot broke a story about how Amazon has decided (again) to enter the digital music sales arena. What's different? They are going the eMusic route and said to be focused exclusively on unprotected MP3s. For what it's worth, I applaud this approach. As a conspiracy theorist, I'm now wondering whether the rumors that eMusic may be for sale is related to this story. It would be a great way for Amazon to jump start their entrance into this market. And, by focusing on DRM-less MP3s, they can bundle/subsidize virtually any portable device (including iPod) that they want with this....

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Wiki, Wiki, Wiki - Music 2.0

I decided to go ahead and start a "Music 2.0 Directory" over on Wetpaint - since my tagroll of companies is growing so fast. It is a wiki, so everyone please jump in and start adding your companies. I've only really built out the framework right now, but let's see what we can do with it.

If it starts to take off, I'll get a proper domain for it and clean it up a little. Ready, set.... go!

More on Buddy Feed/Updates

I was showing some people the other day how you can leverage some of the new features of AIM 6.0, in conjuction with a bunch of other personal feeds, to do some cool things. So, I figured I'm memorialize it so other could do the same.

Below, I'm showing what the Buddy Updates feature does (see post below). Basically, users enter all of their personal feeds into their Buddy Update Settings. All of the feeds then get aggreatated and spliced. AIM goes out an polls these feeds every 30 minutes or so. If something new has been added, it lights up the "i" icon next to your name as it appears on the buddy list.

When you friends click on that icon, it launches the Buddy Profile window (below) - that displays all of the recent updates.

Now, the coolest part for music lovers is bringing in the combination of my "Just Played" feed and leveraging the AIM Gadgets plug-in bundle. The most useful of which is the "myPlaylist" plug-in - which will screen scrape the Now Playing information out of iTunes and/or Winamp and display it in your Buddy Profile window. So, the AIM plug-in handles what you are listening to in real-time, and the feed provides a historical reference of what I listened to prior (since it doesn't's feed isn't updated until the song is over).

Try it out. Personally, I think it is one of the best features of the new AIM client.

Another option is Sigamp. They have plug-ins for many popular media players - and they basically do something similar to the "myPlaylist" plug-in. They pull now playing info, then feed it into an image that can be easily be put into email signatures, blogs, etc.

A nice touch is that Sigamp links this metadata back to Rhapsody. So if you want to listen to what I'm listening to, just click it. Then leverage Rhapsody's 25 free tracks/month feature to see what you think.

My problem with Sigamp is that they don't have an image that will fit into my sidebar, and they charge a monthly fee for any other/better image design. Personally, I'd rather have a small text ad as an option.

I love having music related information in my email signature. But I opt to burn a feed of my Top Artists (I get mine from Music Now, but you could get them from, MyStrands or a host of others) with FeedBurner, then use their "Headline Animator" to create an animated GIF of that feed. Whenever you get an email from me, you will see a scrolling image of my most listened to artists of late.

AOL Music Now: My Top Artists

I didn't mean for this to be such a novel, but hopefully some of you will find it interesting and useful. Any other ideas? I'd love to hear them.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Buddy Feed + 30 Boxes = Timeline

Not sure who has seen this yet, but if you populate your AIM buddy feed with enough inputs, then dump it into 30 Boxes (, you can get a pretty nice timeline of your day.

For those that haven't used AIM's Buddy Update feature yet, I recommend it. It's basically a feed splicer (mine includes my Just Played, Flickr, Blogger posts, YouTube and Delicious). When you update something, your buddies (that use AIM 6.0) will see an "i" icon light up next your name in the buddy list. By clicking it, they will see all of your updates.

Just check out the "View Timeline" badge towards the bottom of the sidebar.

The other one to try is, although I've had trouble getting that to embed properly on Blogger.

eMusic for Sale?

PaidContent is reporting that they are hearing rumbles that eMusic may be for sale.

That would be big. I don't know particularly who would be the best/most likely suitor for them. It could be any of the current players that wanted to hedge against their DRM-strategies. Maybe a carrier? Maybe even Apple looking to absorb their closet competitor and simultaneously test a (pseudo) subscription model? Microsoft looking to jump start Zune? Techcrunch posted a story about Bill Gates' thoughts on DRM that maybe gives insight into why eMusic may be an interesting target. I have no idea, but it will be interesting to watch.

Here we go... this is the beginning of the great music service provider shakeout.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

(my) Best Albums of 2006 (or close)

As everyone is starting to compile their "Best Albums of 2006" lists, I got motivated to do the same. I remembered that I had started using Wists earlier in the year to track these (think Delicious with thumbnails). So I just went back and added few more for consideration. Below are my finalists (others may be to come). Granted, they were not all techincally released in 2006 - but that is when I first came across them - and after all, I am the center of my own universe. :-)

Feel free to recommend others or let me know what I may have missed. In no particular order:

Monday, December 11, 2006

More on Music 2.0

Paul Lamere over at Sun picked up on my post yesterday on "music 2.0". I'm glad I'm not the only one that has trouble with that label, but he takes a good shot at getting more granular with it:

As a starting point he suggests:

Music 2.0 sites fall into a number of camps:

  • music services - places like iTunes and Rhapsody where you can purchase or subscribe to music
  • Music discovery - places that help you find music - these fall generally into 3 subcategories:
  • Social - wisdom of the crowds sites like, iLike. Goombah and Qloud
  • Content-based - recommendations based on the music content - Pandora, SoundFlavor, MusicIP
  • Expert based - Music recommendations from people - music blogs,
  • Music experience augmentation - sites to make your music listening experience more enjoyable - this includes playlisting sites like MusicMobs, fiql and Webjay - music dashboards like sleevenotez or Snapp Radio
  • Music meta data - add to the data surrounding the music - MusicBrainz, All Music Guide, Gracenote

He also is suggesting a wiki-approach to creating the "ultimate music 2.0 directory". If you are interested in contributing, check out his post and volunteer.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Music 2.0 Companies

Yeah, I don't really know what "Music 2.0" is supposed to mean either, but I've compiled a list of companies that I've come across the are doing something interesting with music online. Some are subscription services with APIs that make syndication easy, others are informational sites, a handful are social networks (some arguably not really music-centric), a few are search engines, and some are recommendation engines.... and at least a couple, I'm guessing, are probably not legal.

Feel free to comment an add to the list. I've highlighted some of my personal favorites, and ones that I use with some regularity. In no particular order....




Soundflavor (formerly Siren Systems):

Musicip (formerly Predixis):












The Hype Machine:











Sonic Breakdown:


I Rate Radio:


Webjay (Yahoo):





Art of the Mix:



Project Opus:



Spot DJ:





Google Music Trends:

Moodlogic (AMG):



The Tripwire:




Musicovery (with LivePlasma):

The Filter:


AOL Music Now:

Playlist Radish (aka Scope Creep):



Project Playlist:



Snapp Radio:

Rate Your Music:

Owl Multimedia:


UPDATE: I've now got a running list on delicious (with the tag "music2.0"). Not sure why I didn't do this in the first place. I've also displayed as a linkroll in the sidebar towards the bottom of the page. Either way, here's the link:

Monday, December 04, 2006


I just started to dig into Musicane, which is basically a platform for independent artists to embed and sell their content directly from their sites (or others via a viral embeddable player widget).

For those of you that know me for a long time, you may remember my brief foray into the label side of the business with Prodigal Sun Records - which I started in 1994 and ran while I was in grad. school. Well, my one an only artist - Biohio - is long gone (although you can still find the guys kicking around in bands like Emmet Swimming, Quitter UK and The Device.), but I used their debut album as my guinea pig. Check it out below...

join musicane

Buying Guide: Online Music Services (PC Magazine)

Nice coverage of Music Now, with it being heralded as a "standout service". The conclusion being:

"Unlike its rivals, Music Now requires no client software. All you need is a browser, and you can play any song or playlist in the entire catalog. You can listen at the office, a friend's house, or a Web café as easily as at home. The music videos are a great addition, and the new XM Radio section really rounds out the service. Unfortunately, you don't get remote access to your locally stored music library, and support for the Firefox browser is weak."

Rick's points are valid, but in the meantime if you are looking for remote access to files - I'd suggest checking out the latest build of Winamp, which integrates Orb's great remote access services.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Cnet is reporting that Taiwanese ODM, HonHai, has received an order for 12 million iPhones from Apple. They further speculate that the phone will be an unlocked GSM phone that would work out-of-the-box with a T-Mobile or Cingular GSM card. Only downside to that approach.... no contract means no hardware subsidy. So be prepared to pay full price for the iPhone (expected in Q107).

Real should buy MusicGremlin

Someone asked me the other day what I thought of MusicGremlin. Fact is, I think they've got a pretty killer little wifi media player grafted on to a fairly standard MusicNet-powered service. The devices does everything that Zune wants to do - but doesn't yet. A little company like MusicGremlin is never going to be able to compete on the same marketing scale as Apple, Microsoft or even Napster. Which is sad because I hate to see good products and services wither on the vine.

So, Real should take the cash from $700million dollar settlement from Microsoft and acquire the little company with the Zune-killer. Wouldn't that be sweet revenge for Real? Use Microsoft's money and MSN's ad placements (part of the settlement) to buy the device that does well the one thing Zune gets most hammered for.... direct-to-device dowloads and device-to-device sharing. They could also totally abandon Windows Media DRM (Plays For Sure) in favor of their own (like they have done with SanDisk).

Real could then subsidize the hardware when users commits to a year or more of Rhapsody-to-Go. I'm sure I'm not saying anything that others haven't said (or may be considering for all I know). But as a consumer, I'd buy it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A VC: Yottamusic - Rhapsody The Way I've Always Wanted It

A VC: Yottamusic - Rhapsody The Way I've Always Wanted It: "A service called Yottamusic launched. Yottamusic is basically a new front end on top of Rhapsody which has opened its web service."

I'm guessing that this can't be monetized beyond the affiliate dollars? Once/if advertising starts getting added, then the wrath of the labels will be felt as they demand their pound of flesh. I would actually think this would make Rhapsody nervous and potentially curb their openness in the future.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Project Playlist

This comes from a Webjay competitor called Project Playlist. Looks to essentially search for hosted MP3s, then lets the user create a playlist out of them, and then embed the player into your site of choice.

Here's a random one:

The site is an absolute mess - there are ads everywhere and you search is less than useful. But...

UPDATE: I got rid of it, it didn't seem to have a way to turn Autoplay off and it was really starting to get annoying.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

MyStrands : M-Chart Generator

Everyone is doing scrobbling and embeddable widgets now, and MyStrands is no exception.

M-Chart by MyStrands

Monday, October 30, 2006

Firefox 2.0 & Performancing Extension

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about Performancing is another tool that looks pretty useful in this regard. It runs as a Firefox extenstion and makes it really easy to post and comment about a page in an easy-to-use WYSIWYG editor that essentially pops open as a drawer from the bottom of your Firefox window.

You can drag and drop images right from the page into your post (see below), which is really nice.

They've got some other analysis tools, but if/once I ever move to Firefox full-time, I'll look more into it. Right now, I'm also running IE7 (which I like) because some of my favorite destinations don't yet work in FFX (due to ActiveX implementations), but hopefully soon I will be able to settle on one browser and stick with it.

powered by performancing firefox

powered by performancing firefox

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Borat Deleted Scenes

Entertainment Weekly asked the question whether the Borat movie is the "funniest movie of all time, or just the most offensive?". I say... "can't it be both?".

Friday, October 20, 2006


This process of building a playlist/station is a bit tedious (search/add, search/add, search/add), but the result is pretty cool. I manually entered about 30 of the tracks - of the 45 required - to build a "playlist", and then let the "I'm Lazy" button fill out the rest. I can only assume that the 45 track minimum is so that they can adhere to DMCA business rules (and hence a lower royalty rate). I'm no lawyer, but I'm not sure if this actually complies to the letter of DMCA anyway since I can skip an unlimited number of times.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

GigaOM » Price Hikes For Yahoo Music

GigaOM » Price Hikes For Yahoo Music: "On November 14, 2006, the cost of a new Yahoo! Music Unlimited subscription will increase from $6.99 to $8.99 per month. Despite this price increase, Yahoo! Music Unlimited will still offer the lowest price of any major subscription music service — now with a catalog of more than 2 million songs!"

Hmmm... Yahoo Music is struggling and Napster is rumored to be up for sale. The winds of change....

Howard Stern reaches out to new Internet audience - Yahoo! News

Howard Stern reaches out to new Internet audience - Yahoo! News: "The new service offers more than 75 channels of CD-quality programming over the Internet -- without the need to buy a Sirius satellite receiver -- for a monthly subscription fee of $12.95, the company said in a press release."

You've got to really love talk radio to pay $13/month for 75 channels of one-to-many programming. For less than that I can get true, personalized, one-to-one music programming of more than 2.5 million tracks....

Saturday, October 07, 2006


I found a couple cool new web apps this week. The first,, is a collaborative competitve analysis tool. It seems like it could be valuable for multiple team members to update news, feature matrices adn messages. I'm starting to play with it now, and it seems promising.

The next, is WriteToMyBlog (which I'm using to write this post). It is basically an advanced WYSIWYG editor that can be used for multiple blogging platforms (including sending a single post to multiple blogs simultaneously). It appears to be a much more robust editor than Blogger has (not sure about the others). Easy inclusion of tables, flash files, custom javascript pop-up controls, code cleaner, spell-checker, and more.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

New Winamp Player Emerges - Computing News - Digital Trends

New Winamp Player Emerges - Computing News - Digital Trends: "AOL has debuted their new Winamp media player, this time with support for pictures, video and other AOL services."

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pop-Up Test

Click here to listen to a good Stereophonics tune.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Chat: The Long Tail - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)

Fireside Chat: The Long Tail - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals): "The Chatters
Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail and Editor of Wired
Dave Goldberg, General Manager of Yahoo Music
Bradley Horowitz, VP of Product Strategy at Yahoo
Tim Quirk, VP of Music Content and Programming at Rhapsody
(Moderated by Matt and Jason from 37signals)

Topic: The Long Tail
The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. In this chat, the participants discuss the impact of the tail, mass amateurization, the role of reviews/recommendations, and how, in the future, everyone will be famous for 15 people."

I haven't read this yet, so I'm posting it here because... 1) It looks like it will be an interesting read, and 2) To remind myself to read it. Let me know if it is any good. :-)

Thursday, August 10, 2006 Shout Out to Extended Family

charliebigtime's blog | "Shannon Shorr will not become a household name if he wins tomorrow but he will return home with over $900k..."

As long as I'm throwing out props to my friends, might as well throw my extended family in here too. It tunrs out that my step-cousin* (figure that one out) is a poker whiz-kid... he was in the World Series of Poker, but was disappointed when he busted out in about 500th place (still out of 9K, not bad at all). The cool thing is that still translated into about a $20K purse. Sounds like somewhat on a whim he entered the $10K Bellagio tourney, and has been on fire... today he is playing at the final table with the opportunity to take in almost $1 million. Not bad for a 21-year old kid... eh?! I can't say that I know him (I probably last saw him when he was a really little kid), but it's still cool to follow nonetheless.

Check him out and read his blog if you are into poker.

He is WAY better at keeping his blog up-to-date then I am. :-)

* My maternal grandfather's stepson's (my step-uncle's) son. Make sense??!

UPDATE: He won! Payday for Shannon was $960,000. I'm in the wrong business.... :-)

PopMatters: Arthur Lee

So a good friend of mine just wrote a killer review/commentary on Arthur Lee on Popmatters. Gotta be honest, I had no idea who he was, but now I'll go give him (and his band "Love") a listen.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Apple signals iPod phone in works; 2007 debut seen | Chicago Tribune

Apple signals iPod phone in works; 2007 debut seen | Chicago Tribune: "Apple Computer Inc., known for its secrecy about new products, gave the strongest signal yet it's working on an iPod phone that analysts said could be released early next year."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

FoxyTunes - Control your music while surfing the Web and more...

FoxyTunes - Control your music while surfing the Web and more...

This is pretty slick. If you are a Firefox user, then I'd recommend it. Some nice cross-polination of client software + local/streaming/podcast content management + web search.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I just stumbled across these guys, and can't say enough good things about what I've heard so far. I'm a big fan. You can check out their first EP on Music Now, hopefully we will have their new album up soon.


Saturday, May 27, 2006 - Pandora: How to Rip and Save Pandoras Music to MP3 Files for Free - Pandora: How to Rip and Save Pandoras Music to MP3 Files for Free: "Pandora: How to Rip and Save Pandoras Music to MP3 Files for Free"

Seems like a major hassle, even though probably consumer friendly enough that it will still cause the record labels to come down on Pandora like a jackhammer.

Friday, May 26, 2006 - The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time

If it wasn't so funny, it would be sad. I have the distinguished history of having worked on, not one, but two of the "worst tech products of all time". Although, I would certainly argue with AOL being #1, in fact they shouldn't even be on the list. Love it or hate it today, at one point or another, an entire generation was weened on the concept of online services.

That being said, I don't have any qualms about my illustrious past with #24. DigiScents managed to bring in this honor only weeks after the Wall Street Journal named it one of the 10 worst of the past 10 years. Not bad. If anyone wants to know how (or if) the "iSmell" worked, just drop me a line... a know ALL about it. ;-)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Better Than We Know Ourselves: Pitchfork Feature

Better Than We Know Ourselves: Pitchfork Feature: "So how about predicting what you'll do next? Since the mid-1990s, online music recommendation or music discovery tools have studied our tastes and told us what to buy. And in the past year, several startups have launched with new, more ambitious software that someday may understand us better than we know ourselves."

Covers the same territory as other articles (, Pandora, MusicIP/Predixis, etc.), but is a good read from Pitchfork.



Join the anti-ipod revolution! I'm not sure how well Sansa's guerilla marketing tactic will work, but I applaude the effort and the wish them the best. Don't get me wrong... I own an iPod. But found that it was like owning a CD player that would only play new CD's purchased from Circuit City (and I often like to shop at Best Buy too). So, now I have a nice portable hard-drive that I use to carry large files and backup data on.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Photos : Urge : urge1.PNG

Photos : MTV Urge : urge1.PNG

Some screenshots of MTV Urge running under Windows Media Player 11....

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Digital Music News - AOL Music Now Web Services

Digital Music News: "AOL Music Now has just opened a developer suite within its service, allowing any web developer or blogger to grab charts and music information for their own environment. "

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

AOL Music Now Review: CNET

The good: AOL Music Now makes it simple to listen to your favorite artists or playlists from any Windows PC, and it learns your tastes over time and creates personalized playlists. The browser-based interface means no software to download for basic operation.

Every debuting online music service brings something new to the party, and AOL Music Now is a strong choice for people who work at multiple Windows 2000 or XP PCs. The service is browser based and can remember your personal playlists, so hearing your favorite tunes is as easy as logging on. It's a neat trick that competitor Rhapsody, which also offers a browser-based option, hasn't yet learned.

Read the entire review

Not bad, not great.

Friday, April 14, 2006

InformationWeek | AOL Music Now | AOL's Music Service Has A Good Groove | March 13, 2006

InformationWeek | AOL Music Now | AOL's Music Service Has A Good Groove | March 13, 2006: "AOL's Music Service Has A Good Groove"

This review is a little older than, and not quite as glowing as, the PC Magazine review below, but still solid for a service that is still in "Preview".

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

(no) Synchronicity II

Damn, I thought I could outsmart this sync bug by putting my miniSD card into my old Audiovox SMT56000 (running Smartphone 2003 instead of Windows Mobile 5.0), syncing all my WMDRM'd content to it, then swaping the memory card back into the SDA. I guess it was stupid of me to think that Windows Media DRM wouldn't prevent that, but hey... I had to give it a shot.

The interesting thing I've now noticed is that if I keep syncing, I seem to be building a collecting of more than 25 tracks. I don't know if the "bug" is just limiting it to 25 protected tracks *per* sync, or what. But at least now I've got a few dozen tracks on there. Someone at work actually suggested that this may not be a "bug", but a way for Microsoft to appease the carriers (for those that have aspirations to sell over-the-air downloads for a couple bucks a pop). It actually rings true to me, and is a frightening thought reminiscent of the Motorola Rokr and it's artificial 100 song sync limit. Scary.

Let's just hope T-Mobile doesn't have aspirations to be a music service provider, and releases the OS update soon... I can't rely on guaranteed Edge data rates that just allow me to stream everywhere I go.

Monday, April 10, 2006

SDA Sync Update - or Lack Thereof

So, I though if I bypassed Windows Mobile 5.0 and tried to sync content directly to my storage card (via a card writer/reader), then perhaps I could get around the 25 track "bug" (see earlier post).

Unfortunately, no luck.... although this time I get a different error. I've got a couple more ideas. Stay tuned.

Streaming Goodness

So, I was complaining yesterday about the sync errors I was getting with my subscription music content and Windows Mobile 5.0. But, who needs to sync?! I'm continually getting good enough Edge data rates, that I'm able to stream any/all of the 2 million tracks directly to my phone. Using a smartphone RSS reader (like Newsbreak), I can subscribe to any/all of my Music Now feeds - I'm partial to my Daily Playlist - click the link and listen in all 128kbps glory. You will get forced to login to the site (which isn't formatted for display on such a small screen - but you it's not all that bad).

This combined with T-Mobile's all-you-can eat data plan has me wondering... do I even need to sync my songs? I guess when traveling somewhere out of data range (e.g. a plane), but in my normal day to day, I'm not convinced I ever need to sync. More to come...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

AOL Music Now review by PC Magazine

AOL Music Now review by PC Magazine

Rick has made a minor misstatement about simultaneous streaming capabilities (multiple PCs can download songs and play them back locally simultaneously - but can not simultaneously stream from the service), but overall a stellar review. He wraps it up very nicely with:

"In the meantime, I'm enjoying Music Now immensely. The ability to access my music from any Web-connected PC is a major benefit, and for about the cost of one CD per month, I can pack my MP3 player to the brim with music. And I don't have to bother with the slow, clunky, and often confusing software that tends to bog down other subscription services. AOL Music Now is so simple to use that virtually anyone can figure it out: As long as you can work a Web browser, accessing the service's mammoth content catalog is a cinch."

T-Mobile SDA Reviews. Smartphones Reviews by CNET.

T-Mobile SDA Reviews. Smartphones Reviews by CNET.

So, I have been saying years that I'm waiting for the killer mobile device that had Edge, Wi-Fi, larger storage capacity, Windows Mobile 5 and support for my subscription media content (from AOL Music Now of course). On paper, the T-Mobile SDA is the holy grail.... and in fact, it's close. But inevitably, Microsoft has screwed the pooch with a frustrating bug (WMP Error Code 80070428) that leaves me in limbo.

For some inexblicable reason, the commercially deployed version of Windows Mobile 5.0 has a bug that only allows 25 WMDRM-protected tracks to be synced. If you check out the error message above, you'll see that Microsoft has basically washed their hands of the problem saying "we sent an update to your carrier". After going through 3 escalations on T-Mobile's support line (inevitabely making it to their India call center - where all the technical knowledge resides), I was told "sorry, we don't have the update - and have no idea when we'll get it or deploy it". Great. Followed up with an email, and this is the workaround I was given:

Thank you for contacting T-Mobile. We understand the frustration when you try to synchronize your SDA, you get Windows Media Player error .We will get it addressed for you today.

Unfortunately, we do not know when the update of Windows Mobile 5.0 will be available. You may find the information on our website whenever it is available. However, you may like to synchronize your files using the following procedure in the mean time:

NOTE: Backing up a file on your computer creates two separate versions of that file. Changes made to one file will not be reflected in the other.

  1. Plug the USB cable into the sync connector port on the bottom of your device.
  2. Plug the other end into a USB port on your computer. You will receive an audio alert when a connection is established.
  3. In ActiveSync on your computer, click Explore to open the Mobile Device folder.

Do one of the following: To copy the file to a location on your device, right-click the file and click Copy. Right-click the folder you want to move it to under Mobile Device and click Paste.

To copy the file to your personal computer, right-click the file and click Copy. Right-click the folder on your personal computer and click Paste.

For additional information on the T-Mobile services and features your SDA supports, please visit Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 1 (800) 937-8997 or reply to this email. In addition, please visit to browse most frequently asked questions.

We appreciate your business.

Rep ID: 43527
Technical Care Specialist
T-Mobile USA

Now, I haven't tried this yet, although it sounds painful. I don't beleive that any of the licenses will sync at the end of my billing period, thus causing me to delete and recopy over my songs? Not sure yet, I'll try it and see what happens.

A couple of other minor issues:

  1. For some reason my WiFi connection has been spotty - although I think the problem is on my router side, and not the phone
  2. Microsoft and/or T-Mobile has decided to hide the Java Midlet Manager application - therefore once I downloaded the Java version of Google Maps (a MUST have - I couldn't find it again. I ended up having to "unhide all files" in the File Manager app, then find and create a shortcut to jmm.exe

Other than what I mentioend above (and potentially $80 wasted on a 2GB miniSD card that now holds a whopping 25 songs), the phone actually is pretty damn sweet. Although, it has taken me a few days to get it working in the way I desired. But, watching an episode of The Office that I recorded on my Media Center PC (via Orb - delivered at 130kbps (over Edge) was actually highly watchable, and indeed very cool.

All in all... the SDA is not quite ready for primetime, but when it is, it will be a big star.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Google Music Store Would Provide New Revenue Stream -

Google Music Store Would Provide New Revenue Stream - "Google is preparing to launch a music downloading service, according to research firm Caris & Company."

The rumors begin again..... unless Google does DRM-less downloads, I'm not sure how this is going to fly. I would be shocked if they supported Windows Media DRM, and we know that Apple doesn't want anyone using Fairplay. An introduction of yet another DRM scheme very well may cause market-wide paralysis at this point.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Squeet - Free Email RSS Reader

Squeet - Free Email RSS Reader

This is nothing particularly groundbreaking (RSS to Email), but it's still pretty cool when used with the "right" feeds. Over in the sidebar I've added a box where you can subscribe to my "All Playlists" feed from Music Now. Whenever I create a new playlist, the email will be sent with links to the detail page.

Sort of a subset of what is doing, although I never quite got that to work as designed. Take a whirl and let me know what you think.

Friday, March 24, 2006

New Playlist/Chart Widget

Check it out over in the sidebar, new and improved Music Now javascript chart/playlist widgets (thanks Ted!). If you know how to dig the list ID # out of the service (, you too can display to the world what you are listening to.... no fuss, no muss.

Just start with this:

And swap out the id number for the list you want to display and then paste it into the HTML of your page. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

JavaScript RSS Box Viewer 1.0RC

JavaScript RSS Box Viewer 1.0RC

This looks like a pretty nice little javascript feed display widget. I like it better than RSS-to-Javascript's formart (or lack thereof) and it seems to handle the Title fields more robustly than the current implementation I have in the sidebar.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Steve Krause : Blog: Pandora and Nature vs. Nurture in Music Recommenders

Steve Krause : Blog: Pandora and Nature vs. Nurture in Music Recommenders: "Both services allow you to specify a favorite artist, based on which you immediately receive an Internet audio stream of similar music. When I tell people that this is possible—that you can have a personalized streaming radio station—most are astonished. So let's start by saying that what these and similar services do is cool. How Pandora and do it is an interesting compare-and-contrast."

Read more by following the link above.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Originally uploaded by jherskowitz.
LOL.... this is what some of the pre-Apple announcement product speculation

looked like. To be honest, it would have been far more exciting that what

they actually did announce. Yes, Apple is using their iPod to morph them

into the new Sony. The funny thing is, they don't seem to be learning

anything from Sony's mistakes....


Originally uploaded by jherskowitz.
The unveiling is later today, but here is another image of what Origmai may

look like. The news on the video I talked about earlier in the week is that

it is an "old" promotional video done by Microsoft.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Origami Video

Whoa... this thing is a lot bigger than I thought it was from yesterdays pictures. Watch a promotional video for Microsoft's Origami Project here. It is a small tablet PC with WiFi/bluetooth/3G(?) connectivity that will, among other things, be able to remote content from a Media Center PC. It looks like a full-blown XP machine to me as opposed to Win CE, although t is hard to tell from the video. Rumor is that it will run about $500.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Microsoft's Origami project - Engadget

Microsoft's Origami project - Engadget

Engadget's got some pictures and speculation on Microsoft's soon-to-be unveiled "Origami Project" (

Potentially an OQO type of ultraportable device? Probably and instant-on Windows Mobile device with WiFi and portable media capability. It is obviously no coincidence that this "technology" announcement is coming a couple of days after Apple's. They must think that what they've got up their sleeve trumps Apple's rumored touch-screen 6G iPod Video.

As I've mentioned before, I think a "WiFipod" is extremely compelling (although I'm biased and would certainly prefer a PlaysForSure device that works with all the subscription music services). Shameless Plug: Check out AOL Music Now! Should be an interesting week....

Digital music fans: Should you rent or buy?

I'm not still not a fan of the term "rent" (you don't "rent" cable TV - or milk for that matter), but I agree there are people that should buy tracks and others that will benefit more for a subscription service. Below is a quiz from The Mercury News that will help identify which approach may be better from you.

KRT Wire | 02/24/2006 | Digital music fans: Should you rent or buy?: "SHOULD YOU BUY OR RENT YOUR MUSIC?

1. The collection of CDs I listen to regularly has:

A) fewer than 100 discs.

B) more than 100 discs.

2. I often want music that I don't have on CD.

A) True.

B) False.

3. The music I listen to is:

A) usually easy to find in stores.

B) not easy to find.

4. My musical tastes:

A) vary from month to month.

B) don't often change.

5. When I buy a song I like, I:

A) don't listen to it any more than the rest of the music I've purchased.

B) listen to it over and over again.

6. I listen to the radio a lot.

A) True.

B) False.

7. I learn about new music:

A) by hearing it in random places and tracking it down.

B) from friends' or trusted sites' recommendations.



Add up the number of A's and B's from the seven questions.

More A's: You may want to consider renting; it gives you the opportunity to explore a huge catalog of music without committing to any one song or artist for too long.

More B's : You probably want to consider buying; either your tastes are too esoteric or you're the type to purchase a few songs and enjoy the heck out of them"

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

iPod is this Generation's BetaMax

Does anyone else see the parallel? Closed ecosystems eventually fail.... VHS vs. Beta. Apple vs. Windows. MiniDisk. The list goes on and on. One day I'll come back to this thought and rant on it more, but in the meantime I just wanted to throw that out there...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Rumor: Apple to Buy Palm? - Gizmodo

Rumor: Apple to Buy Palm? - Gizmodo: "Rumors are running rampant lately and today we hear that Apple may be evaluating a Palm purchase."

Whoa, now that would be interesting.... iTreo anyone? It would make sense given the rumors about Apple wanting to be a MVNO (Mobilve Virtual Netowrk Operator). Definitely something to watch...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Away Message

Set your away message to promote AOL Music Now...

I'm not here right now, but check out AOL Music Now while you wait!

I've got some ideas on how to personalize this, but since I'm not a programmer I'm going to have to hit someone up that acutally knows what they are doing. :-)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A "Perfect" Album Arrives From Britain?

A Perfect Album Arrives From Britain - You haven't heard of the Arctic Monkeys? You will.: "It's enough to make a Yank suspicious of Arctic Monkeys, whose "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" arrives with more buzz than any British debut since Oasis' Definitely Maybe a dozen years ago. But lo and behold, the record isn't just great - it's perfect. "

The albums not hitting the US until Feb. 21st, but you can catch a couple of videos from the link above. Gotta admit it... sounds like it's got some good potential.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

muSick in the Head on SuprGlu

muSick in the Head on SuprGlu

This could be interesting... a personal (outbound) feed aggregator. This combined with may be a cool mash-up. I'll play with it and let you know what I think.