Let a thousand social music sites bloom

When I was in high school and college I couldn’t get enough of music. I had cassettes everywhere and then CDs. My CD collection grew rapidly and storage became a problem.

It feels like I’ve been creating playlists forever. analog and digital playlists.

But I have to tell you – in the time post college and before social music sites appeared (last.fm, hype machine, project playlist et al), I was in a lull. I was still listening to music like crazy but I wasn’t buying anything new. Why? Because discovery was impossible or very hard at best.

But social music sites changed all that for me. My addiction to these sites have only boosted my music spending. Yes p2p darknets have been a challenge to the artists and the labels. And artists need to get paid. Abosolutely. But the economic model and distribution needs to change.

The industry needs to move forward. We need to figure out how to make a thousand social music sites bloom. I want more and better social music sites not less. I want it everywhere. I want to access my friends playlists, music blogs, personal radio, recommendations on my tv, on my computer, on my bug, on my phone, in my car. Everywhere.

Consumers will pay more as the “product” gets better. 

The heavy handed approach of shutting down sites or suing them isn’t the answer.  

Third, even within the tech world itself I’ve seen Twitter “haters” turn into “players” in a matter of months. I won’t name names, but there are several folks out there who had absolutely nothing nice to say about Twitter when they first heard about it and saw it in action. Every single one of those people have now changed their minds and use the service regularly.

New Apple store coming to downtown Boston. This is the first one. The only other nearby Apple store is in Cambridge. This one is a few blocks from my office. Very convenient but too bad it’s in Fenway green :)

Go Yankees. 

(via TUAW.com

iPhone vs Blackberry Battle – part II

Last year when Apple shipped their first gen iPhone, everyone naturally compared it to the Blackberry. I know I did.

It turns out that most blackberry folks I know fell into a few different groups

-some folks ditched their blackberry all together (small group)

-some returned their iphone (small group)

-some kept two phones. they used the blackberry for work and iphone for everything else, browser, wifi, camera, pictures, video etc. (larger group).

It will be interersting to see what happens this summer. Apple is going to ship a 3g version of the iPhone and v2.0 of their software which will support wireless exchange sync, push email and security.

That must be freaking out RIM. If the iPhone v2.0 works well with Exchange I know what I’m going to do and my Blackberry should be worried. From todays NYT article:

R.I.M. employees and outside developers who are writing programs for the new phone, which has the internal code name “Meteor,” say that it will have faster processors, a larger screen and a better browser that more closely resembles the Web experience on a computer.

Both Apple and RIM have a reliance on the carrier in different ways. Apple limited themselves to AT&T in the US market. Yet RIM’s model is much more carrier dependent. From the same Times piece:

Mr. Balsillie said. “It may be a better strategy to fight the carrier. We may be wrong. The carrier may get disintermediated, in which case we fade with them.”

Ultimately I think this battle isn’t going work out for RIM. Yes, they have the lead and a loyal following. Some of their fans do crazy things. And Apple is limited to one carrier in the USA market.

But the winner is will go to the best user experience, a tightly integrated combination of hardware and software, the best apps and developers. Who does that sound like?