Musique Non-Stop, Techno-Pop

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The new Apple Music Store / iTunes bun­dle is pretty freak­ing cool. If you for­get the instant music pur­chases and dig­i­tal rights man­age­ment, you still have some good stuff left over. Being able to share your music col­lec­tion via an on-demand stream is the best thing EV-AR. I can have ONE com­puter with a copy of all the music, then lis­ten to playlists or indi­vid­ual songs on any com­puter in the house. It is nice because I do not need to syn­chro­nize multi­gi­ga­bytes of music or even put any thought into what needs to be copied where. It is all streamed. It is also cool because it skirts copy­right and own­er­ship rules–you do not need to worry about a friend get­ting an “ille­gal” copy of a file acci­den­tally because nobody ever sees the files, only the music streams. I can bring my entire music col­lec­tion to work “safely and legally.”

Now, on to the more con­tro­ver­sial stuff. The Apple Music Store is pretty darn awe­some. I was expect­ing it to have a mea­ger selec­tion, but it seems to have a huge amount of music–even good music! I remem­ber hear­ing a stat some­where about 200,000 albums avail­able! You just browse through the avail­able music (or search or see rec­om­men­da­tions or what­ever), look at the cover art, lis­ten to 30 sec­ond snip­pets, and click to buy. It is $0.99 per track, no sub­scrip­tion required. I am not sure how I feel about the pric­ing plan yet, but the mech­a­nism for brows­ing and pur­chas­ing seems easy. They have all the main­stream crap you would expect, but they also have a num­ber of gems in there that sur­prised me: a cou­ple of William S. Burroughs bet­ter albums, Rasputina, just about all of Tom Waits, Spinal Tap, a good amount of the more-mainstream Industrial, a crapload of sound­tracks, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan–although I have to dock them points for hav­ing Garrison Keillor. I would expect the cat­a­log to grow even more pretty soon.

As for the dig­i­tal rights man­age­ment, we will see how annoy­ing that will be. While every­thing ripped defaults to MP3, every­thing you down­load is in the new AC3 for­mat with pro­tec­tion. iTunes lets you burn every­thing you down­load to an audio CD, so I would assume you could then take it back up to MP3. A sin­gle album should not be as annoy­ing as an 8-hour audio­book, so I think my Audible.com prac­tice will come into play here. Plus, I bet you can still do the Audio Hijack Pro thing and just steal it from the dig­i­tal out before it reaches the speak­ers, except the tim­ing of doing this for mul­ti­ple tracks might get tedious.

This stream­ing on demand thing just kicks some major ass. Some of the menu options look like I might even be able to poke a hole through the fire­wall and stream from places that Rendezvous can't see, as long as I know the IP address or host name. I won­der if this will catch on as a new kind of radio sta­tion?

Posted in: Dear Diary Music

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