Archive | February 2012

Robert Glasper – Black Radio

One of the most anticipated albums of early 2012 drops this Tuesday. Glasper’s star is high and rising, having just landed an article in today’s New York Times. I like what I’ve heard so far and can’t wait to play the whole album on Rdio.

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Jukebox Apps: Crowdsourcing Music Selection

In lieu of today’s Evolver.fm article, I decided to make a slide differentiating the major “jukebox” apps currently deployed. I don’t love Roqbot because it’s the costliest option, but their model makes some sense if they can distinguish themselves as a meaningful brand. Anthm and Spartify can be replicated within Rdio and Spotify, so they bring the least value to the table. Playmysong is nice as a completely free option on all ends, but assumes that venues and users own substantive music collections. Finally, the automation aspect of Crowdjuke is appealing, along with its Facebook utilization, but the app still requires Rdio Premium. It will be interesting to see this marketplace develop, although I’m skeptical of potential profitability.

Find A Way

Kenny Lattimore’s latest is a winner!

Music Technology: Streaming and Content Applications

In the wake of yesterday’s amazing SF MusicTech conference, I’m posting my cursory analysis of the music tech ecosystem. More details from the conference to come, as well as some updates to the following graphs

Music Tech Analysis

Social Music: Monstro and AudioVroom

Ever wondered which songs are trending live on Twitter? Look no further, there is a lovely new* app named Monstro that will assuage your curiosity. Monstro authenticates through your Twitter account, allowing you to view the music those you follow have recently shared, the music you yourself shared, and the most trending songs in the entire Twitterverse.

Selecting an individual song brings you to a more in-depth page in which you can preview the song, download or stream it from various services, share the song on social networks, and even see more detailed profiles of which people have shared that song. Very cool, eh?

Monstro is definitely on the right track by providing this real time music analytics tool. It will be a valuable resource for music fans to discover hot tracks, as well as for content producers to assess their popularity. One suggestion I have is that Monstro could upgrade their utilization of on-demand playback. Instead of sending listeners outside the Monstro interface to the Spotify or Rdio application, they should try to embed a Spotify and/or Rdio player within the site. It may not be technologically possible, because they may need to collect embed codes for each song. I’m not an expert on this aspect. But if they could, Monstro would become a truly comprehensive service.

Audiovroom is a relatively new** streaming music service along the lines of Pandora and SpotOn (an app for Spotify that creates listening stations based on music data provided by Echo Nest), but it kicks up the sociability another notch. In addition to allowing you to build a station based on any artist, Audiovroom follows Monstro in showing what music is currently “hot.”

But the real value-added for Audiovroom comes from its “My Friends” tab. Using Facebook authentication, Audiovroom displays all of your Facebook friends and enables you to play a station based on the musical preferences of those friends. Pretty swell. I was disappointed that AV does not have the same support for Twitter, conversely nor does Monstro provide the same trending analytics for Facebook.

In terms of accuracy, AV’s intelligent recommendation lags behind Pandora, at least in my opinion, and the tracks load slowly (I think I read on Evolver.fm that it’s because they are not pre-cached), but overall this product delivers a great social listening experience. Despite its uniqueness, it may be difficult for Audiovroom to gain any traction amongst the numerous better-known streaming services out there.

* I could not find any news or company information on Monstro anywhere, so all I have to go on is that Monstro first tweeted on December 22, 2011.

** Developed in 2009 or 2010 at a music hack event, AV released the latest HTML5 web version in October 2011.