Today is the 57th anniversary of the VCR. (Funny side note about that.) So, in honor of the bygone analog days, let's take a look at the future of digital music. There's been a lot of activity in the digital music space over the last week—from freshly launched startups to industry heavyweights trying something new. Here's a quick recap.
Piki Smart Radio
Piki launched it's iOS app last week, which works kind of like Pandora except it uses social data from your friends to generate the algorithm that recommends the songs. As Venture Beat puts it, "A good comparison for Piki would be a mobile version of “Twitter for Music” service Blip.fm—except with more of a focus on passive listening and discovery."
Twitter's Getting Music
On Thursday Twitter announced it had bought music-recommendation site We Are Hunted, causing the blogosphere to hum with rumors that Twitter is introducing a music feature of some sort. The company has been tight-lipped about its plans, but did launch music.twitter.com on Friday, which simply says, "coming soon."
Then this morning The New York Times reported:
Twitter is introducing a music feature that is expected to use the listening habits of users’ friends and contacts to recommend music for them to listen to, giving its more than 200 million users more to send tweets about and another reason to stay logged in. But exactly what form the music service will take is unclear.\n
Napster, Take Two
A new version of the much-loved, much-sued Napster service popped up yesterday, TechCrunch reported. The site, Napster.fm, is open source to avoid being shut down, and the website jokes, "you won't get arrested."
Its creator, Ryan Lester, is a student at Carnegie Mellon who is “taking a few years off to work at SpaceX and do other stuff.” A part of the “other stuff” is clearly Napster.fm. How does it work? Well, after going through the quite FAQ (Lester obviously has a sense of humor), he explains that the service is dependent on “minor inefficiencies in YouTube’s piracy-detection system.” Regardless of where the tracks are coming from, the service actually works.\n
Sirius Radio, Personalized
SiriusXM Satellite Radio launched an interactive service today called MySXM, which lets listeners curate personalized stations, Pandora-style. You have to be a Sirius subscriber, of course.
Personally, I'm still stuck trying to choose between Spotify and Rdio. I'd love to hear from you—what's your favorite way to listen to music on, or off, the web?