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Will You Stream Or Download Your Mobile Music?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the because-streaming-is-perfectlly-reliable dept.

Cellphones 175

mikp writes "In a David-and-Goliath style fight, small music companies are battling it out with established behemoths to see who can own the future of mobile music. Spotify, the Europe-based music streaming company, is about to launch its iPhone app and has plans to develop it for other mobile platforms soon. In a preview, Spotify shows how you can cache songs to your iPhone so that you don't always need a connection but the songs don't remain on your iPhone permanently. Nokia, on the other hand, has just announced two more music phones that will feature Comes With Music, an unlimited music-download service that involves a one time fee, which is part of the price of the CWM phone, and lets you download music for free (and you get to keep it) for a year. The question remains, are people more likely to stream or download music on their mobile phones?"

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I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (5, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289309)

I'll continue to buy it on CD and rip it to MP3, thanks. :)

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (5, Funny)

papershark (1181249) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289473)

Hey common guys. surely those companies that charge 20pence to send a 160 character message must be working their hardest to put together a great deal for those kids.

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29289549)

I take offense to that! My father was Earl of Glastonbury, and my mother was a lady from Brighton.

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (2, Insightful)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289627)

Also, I just _love_ having all my music stuck on my phone, possibly in weird/hard to get off formats...

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289735)

>>>must be working their hardest to put together a great deal

Oh absolutely. I just have one question - Will this streaming service come with DJs? They are like surrogate friends who also happen to play cool music. Having nothing but song-after-song gets kinda boring.

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29290229)

Oh absolutely. I just have one question - Will this streaming service come with DJs? They are like surrogate friends who also happen to play cool music. Having nothing but song-after-song gets kinda boring.

There is already such a wireless streaming music service. It is available for free, in several music genres. Some refer to it as "Radio".

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29290501)

Who are you calling 'common'?

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Monty. (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289485)

Monty. Not Alex.

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Monty. (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289789)

D'OH! Guess I killed my television a decade too soon.

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (2, Insightful)

Graff (532189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289525)

I'll continue to buy it on CD and rip it to MP3, thanks.

I agree that keeping it in an easily-readable format is key. I don't mind buying online so long as I can buy it or easily convert it to a DRM-free form that I can be sure of being able to be in control of my purchase in perpetuity. What I won't do is rent my music. Yeah with streaming you get access to more music and more flexibility but the minute the service goes under or you stop paying the fee you lose all the cash you've spent so far. At least if I own my music I'm not out everything when I stop paying the fees.

Maybe some sort of mixed service would be nice. Pay $10 a month or whatever, listen to any music you want, every month you get to permanently keep so many songs. It'd be kind of a rent-to-own situation. I dunno if I'd go for it but it's better than paying to own nothing.

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (2, Insightful)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289645)

Maybe some sort of mixed service would be nice. Pay $10 a month or whatever, listen to any music you want, every month you get to permanently keep so many songs. It'd be kind of a rent-to-own situation. I dunno if I'd go for it but it's better than paying to own nothing.

Hmm, sounds familiar http://www.zune.net/en-us/software/zunepass/default.htm [zune.net]

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290657)

Doesn't mean it wouldn't work. Microsoft trying at nearly anything results in some sort of failure, which is probably what happened with Zune.

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290137)

Pay $10 a month or whatever, listen to any music you want, every month you get to permanently keep so many songs.

Like emusic.com used to be. $14.95/month, all you can download. Regular mp3s.
Of course, their catalog is a bit...eclectic. I think now it's 40 tracks/month.

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (2, Insightful)

wcb4 (75520) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290457)

I have a huge mp3 collection that comes from ripped CDs, saved podcasts, eMusic from back when they wre unlimited downloads, etc. I own this music. I was also a member of Yahoo music unlimited until the day they stopped the service. When I had access to Yahoo, if I wanted to hear my music again, I would just DL them from Yahoo and drop them on my Zen and away I go. Listen for a month without a sync. Sync and get another month. No, I did not own it, I was merely renting it but......

I paid $7/month for YMU. It costs me more than $7/month to keep my server running and backed up and available. That same money allows me to listen to the same things over and over, no new music. Yahoo allowed me listen to new tracks every day. If I liked them, they stayed around for another listen. If I removed them and wanted to hear them again months later, I downloaded them again. Can I listen to them now, no, but I can also not watch DVDs I rented months ago. I can also not watch cable shows that I watched months ago. If I want those songs again now, I can rent them from rhapsody. The problem is not with the rental/subscription model, its being sure that someone is available to continue renting them to me. Yes, that is the advantage of owning, and I am sure that some folks had the same argument back in the 80's with movies. They wanted to own them in case they could not rent them when they needed, but video rentals became ubiquitous. Music rental needs to do the same. The problem with the music rental business is that it came about after napster, and no one was willing to pay to rent music that they were downloading for free even though they still happily rented movies. If music rentals had gained traction before napster came along, it might have been a different story. I wish it had. I'd love to give someone $7/month to be able to listen to what I want, when I want to and not have to worry about the server in my basement.

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (4, Funny)

griffjon (14945) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289541)

But streaming/rental frees you from burdensome "ownership" responsibilities; you are as free as a bird to listen to whatever tracks the service provider lets you while they let you listen! Who wants to be able to keep things, or have unpopular music, anyhow? Ownership is slavery. DRM is freedom. Open access takes a lot of work and thought.

Hold on, let me go grab my Kindle so I can polish my "1984" references.

Hey! Where'd it go???

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (2, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289583)

I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex

You think the choices are between lady and tiger but it's really between lawyer and patent troll!

You kids and your ipods ... (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289733)

... I still carry around my Mangiadischi Penny portable record player! [retrotogo.com]

Re:You kids and your ipods ... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289891)

That thing only plays music? Bah. MY record plays 2-hour long movies. True it's not portable but it's still fun with cool Disney movies like Parent Trap and The "Love" Bug:

http://www.cedmagic.com/selectavision.html [cedmagic.com]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitance_Electronic_Disc [wikipedia.org]

Re:You kids and your ipods ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29290521)

RE your sig. The answer is yes. I have it on my single core P4 laptop with 1GB Ram. Works just fine

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289885)

I agree with you, and oddly enough that's exactly why I might consider using a Spotify app (assuming they release one for S60).

I like to have my 'proper' music collection in nicely ripped MP3s on my computer, but if I just want to check out an album or an artist I'll fire up Spotify. I use my phone in the same way: I keep a decent set of music on a 16GB MicroSD card, but I'd be happy enough to grab the odd track on Spotify while I was on the move.

Basically, Nokia's offering holds no interest as (so it seems) it tries to compete with ripped MP3s whereas Spotify tries to supplement them.

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289939)

I'll continue to buy it on CD and rip it to MP3, thanks. :)

Lossless Flac here.

I stop paying my subscription, I'm left with nothing. It's as simple as that. Because of the internet, I no longer have subscriptions to magazines/newspapers. I already yanked off my cable bill for online programming and trying to get rid of the landline phone/fax via various means. Why would I want to go in reverse and acquire another ongoing cost/subscription?

A subscription sounds great for exploring music. But Pandora is also great for that. It also lets me buy them on the spot. I already have trouble finding 10 great songs every month I need to have, or whatever the amount the subscription cost divided by $1/track is.

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290213)

Yes, I'll also take option C): Not pay exhorbitant data fees for A) or B), and just provide my own damned music -- and keep it indefinately.

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29290389)

Anyone who doesn't is destined to suffer the fate of those who sunk their hard earned dollars into Plays for Sure!

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (2, Insightful)

sukotto (122876) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290489)

I'll keep ripping CDs until I can do all the following with one of these services:
  1. Seamlessly copy between any of my devices and the devices of my family & friends
  2. Play any song in my library at any time
  3. Pause
  4. Rewind as much or as little as I want

What about music that's only available via a service? Too bad. That artist is going to miss out on my money...

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (1)

Sirusjr (1006183) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290805)

And I certainly won't be listening to those mp3s on my phone. I want my MP3 player separate from the phone thanks very much.

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290849)

I actually buy now from Amazon. 256kbps MP3, properly tagged even with the cover in the ID3 tag.

That's pretty much all I need.

Re:I'll take what's behind Door 3, Alex. (1)

DrBuzzo (913503) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290897)

Holy crap! I'm not the only one who does that? Only I don't use MP3 as much as I used to. I prefer to rip my music myself at a high bitrate a good encoder.

Depends on price paid (3, Interesting)

LS1 Brains (1054672) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289315)

It really depends on price.

Free or cheap, and I'm streaming it. My care for what happens after the point I heard it is in direct proportion to what I paid for it.

Anything more than pennies per song, and I expect to purchase it, sans DRM. Just the way I roll, and the only manner which seems ethical to me.

Re:Depends on price paid (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289607)

I'm sort of the same, except it's about data prices. If I can stream for a very low price (with enough throughput that the music doesn't skip), I would prefer that. If the carrier is going to charge more for the throughput than what I think it's worth, I'm happy to load up my own files. As it is I end up streaming most music that I listen to at home and work, Pandora works just fine for that.

Re:Depends on price paid (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289661)

Luckily, unlimited 3G in phone here in scandinavia costs next to nothing (256kb/s at ~5e, up to 4MB/s at 29e monthly, unlimited transfer), so its quite clear that it makes much more sense to use that huge online library and stream than cache limited amount of songs on the small memory card on phone.

Re:Depends on price paid (2, Interesting)

AkiraRoberts (1097025) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289761)

Agreed. I don't really mind streaming, since it can expose me to music I might not otherwise hear (pretty much the sole benefit, as far as I'm concerned), but I can't see the benefit in paying all that much for it. And frankly, I'd rather do my streaming on my home machine, where the data prices come cheap. If I hear something I like, I can always buy/download and copy it over to the mobile.

I realize, however, that my personal preference here is unlikely to count for much, since more money can be sucked from me under paid streaming.

Banging' fantasties (-1, Offtopic)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289321)

You ever just really, really wanna have a menage a trois with Bulk and Skull from Power Rangers?

Neither (2, Informative)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289327)

I'd rather buy music on physical CDs, rip it to my hard drive, and then load and play it on the device(s) of my choosing.

But then I'm old-school that way.

Re:Neither (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289467)

I'd rather buy music on physical CDs

And pay how much for shipping when your local record store doesn't carry a given artist?

Re:Neither (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289535)

Well that depends - if it's a cool indy artist I'm willing to pay more for both the product itself and the shipping. If it's mainstream label music, I generally won't bother unless the CD itself is pretty darned cheap and the shipping is free.

YMMV

Re:Neither (-1, Offtopic)

fulldecent (598482) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289905)

>> USA already has other public options: public schools and USPS Priority Mail over private schools and UPS 3 Day Select.

Oh, that is great news, please call my local school district to inform them! They thought they were only funded by local government, but your sig implies that they are entitled to funding from the federal government.

Re:Neither (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290263)

Please take signature discussion to my journal [slashdot.org] .

ObTopic: I'd be more likely to jot down the artist and title and then download at home. But then I'm on a $5/mo prepaid plan, and if I were to upgrade to a smartphone, I couldn't afford its $60/mo plan.

Re:Neither (1)

baomike (143457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289677)

They still have radio where I live, nice classical station (KWAX),
I let them take care of it.

Re:Neither (1)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290307)

The classical station, CBC, I listen to has created an iPhone application that I use for streaming now. It is actually a reasonably slick little app, you can choose between listening to the live off the air feeds for different regions of Canada, on demand shows, or just stream by genre. It also contains their news feeds for reading while you listen. I found the best part of it last night, a sleep timer so it doesn't stream all night long.

I am not affiliated with CBC I just wound up being pretty impressed with their app.

Re:Neither (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29289863)

That used to be the uncool-and-technically-overkill way to have mobile music.

And now it's old-school.

I feel old.

I stream what I own (3, Insightful)

kalpol (714519) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289333)

I use Ampache to stream my CD collection. The fact that I own it, and can choose what I want to listen to, beats streaming where the right to listen at any given time can be revoked.

Rhapsody on iPhone (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289351)

I've also heard that Real has an iPhone App for streaming from Rhapsody pending approval.

Re:Rhapsody on iPhone (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290109)

And if it approved it will only work over WiFi

both (1)

gmiernicki (1621899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289355)

both... download to my home system... and stream it to wherever i may be.

Its Radio vs. Records all over again. (4, Insightful)

cutecub (136606) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289389)

There are times and places for each. Streaming lets you discover new music with little risk. Downloading lets you listen to specific music any time and any place, without regards to network conditions.

Surely, there is room in this world for both models.

-Sean

Re:Its Radio vs. Records all over again. (2)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289587)

I'll most likely be getting an Android phone this fall and I plan on using the Last.FM client to stream music to it. I used to buy CDs all the time, but I found I only listened to them a few times (if that) and it's just easier with Last.FM to select a tag for the style of music you like and stick with that.

I did rip all my old CDs to FLAC about a year ago... I've listened to a few songs, but overall it's just eating up space on my array (which I really don't care.)

Re:Its Radio vs. Records all over again. (1)

moredots (1613051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289791)

There definitely is. The perfect media player has...
  1. Streaming On Demand Music (Zune/Rhapsody)
  2. Streaming Radio (Last.FM/Pandora)
  3. Subscription and Purchase Licensing Support

In other words, the iPhone needs subscription WMA support and a Zune Marketplace App. ;-)

Re:Its Radio vs. Records all over again. (1)

General Melchett (860357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289951)

Yeah, I'd agree there's plenty of room for both at home, work, or any fixed-connection setting, but for mobile use I'll take downloaded-and-stored over streamed-and-cached any day of the week.

With a cache of a spotify stream, for instance, will it be possible to tell how much music you have cached up in reserve? What happens when the next hour+ leg of your journey is through the countryside with bairly a 2g GSM signal, let alone a 3G signal, and your backup cache runs out?
Sod that. Plus, that's not even considering the total inefficiency of streaming the same content over and over again, why not just download it once?

To answer the article's question: I can't see myself streaming music to my portable player anytime soon. Capacity is high enough to be plenty for a trip of pretty much any length, storage is cheap, and mobile internet access is patchy at best. Whilst on the move, I'll take my locally stored, decent bit-rate, painstakingly tagged audio, cheers.

Stream to find.
Once found, buy, download, store, archive. Then use as you wish. (You could even do it in that order, if you were so inclined)

Re:Its Radio vs. Records all over again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29290071)

How about both models in one service? Zune Pass, Rhapsody, Napster?

Re:Its Radio vs. Records all over again. (1)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290423)

No. One will dominate. Streaming shall reign supreme.

Re:Its Radio vs. Records all over again. (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290519)

Streaming lets you discover new music with little risk.

So true. I've found new music I didn't know I liked off Pandora that I had never heard before and bought it at a later time.

Re:Its Radio vs. Records all over again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29290717)

Network conditions is a big issue. Recently I was on a cross-country trip (with someone else driving), and I had a Verizon 3G card for my laptop. I tried Last.fm streaming, and it didn't work well at all. In eastern Nevada there was only 2G coverage, and the download rate I was getting was only just enough to stream when I had a good signal, but there were lots of mountains, so the signal was not very good and it dropped out all the time. In Utah, there was excellent 3G coverage across the salt flats, and streaming worked perfectly. East of that, it didn't work too well even though I had 3G much of the way. Last.fm would only buffer something like 30 seconds ahead, but the connection would often hang for more than 30 seconds even when the signal was good. A more robust buffering algorithm and a reduced bitrate for low bandwidth connections would probably solve both of these problems (though it would be hard to make it work at all in Nevada).

You can bet the wireless carriers hate streaming, though (read: if everyone does this, they will start charging even more money). An hour of streaming music would be roughly 60mb, but if I was just browsing the web I used probably less than 20mb/hour, and I was able to work around the frequent but brief dropouts, unlike with streaming where if the connection is lost the experience is significantly degraded. I tried to use gmail video chat in an area with good 3G coverage, but every time it completely kicked me off and I had to go back into the Verizon program and reconnect. It is almost as if they are intentionally blocking it because video chat uses too much resources on the network. Text chats worked just fine.

Personally I prefer to download music, then I can listen anywhere without an expensive data plan (the Verizon card was borrowed, so I didn't pay for a plan on that). In addition, I would rather have a cheaper capped data plan on my mobile device than a more expensive plan that pays for the cost of streaming. Flash storage is a lot cheaper than mobile data.

Re:Its Radio vs. Records all over again. (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290881)

There are times and places for each. Streaming lets you discover new music with little risk. Downloading lets you listen to specific music any time and any place, without regards to network conditions.

Surely, there is room in this world for both models.

-Sean

I beleieve there is. I've had a subscription to Rhapsody for over 5 years. I have the same songs on all three of my machines (work, home, and laptop). I can use a web interface to play music on other machines, no install required. I don't have a massive music collection to keep backed up or synced across other machines. I can try out all kinds of music that I'm not sure if I'll like or not, and that helps me make purchasing decisions. There's also the side benefit that I can go hunt down comedy albums and use them to kill time. (as opposed to being really fussy about spending money on the ones that suck.)

I really dig my music subscription. I'm a little surprised that more people that work across multiple machines aren't excited about it.

Re:Its Radio vs. Records all over again. (1)

Tikkun (992269) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290889)

But you have to download something to stream it. Why not just let the end user keep what they've already downloaded?

Stream! (1)

Adam7288 (1630001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289401)

I will stream. The problem I have with listening to my own collection is twofold: 1. I'm limited to the music I have. While this currently is 20,000 songs, most of them suck. Why not stream the entire library of music ever made? 2. I have to decide what song I want to hear next. Yes, I've heard of the "random" button, but point #1 precludes this as a viable option.

Re:Stream! (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290289)

I will stream. The problem I have with listening to my own collection is twofold:

1. I'm limited to the music I have. While this currently is 20,000 songs, most of them suck. Why not stream the entire library of music ever made?

2. I have to decide what song I want to hear next. Yes, I've heard of the "random" button, but point #1 precludes this as a viable option.

Well, my tongue-in-cheek question is this: Why are you buying music that sucks?

But, more seriously - iTunes lets you rate your music and set up playlists, and I'd think most other players can do this as well. When I buy an CD and rip it, the first time I listen to it I rate the songs - it doesn't take a significant amount of time (plus I have an "unrated" playlist that lets me slowly work my way through my pre-existing stuff over time). You can easily limit what you listen to so only songs you like are part of the mix, in which case "random" works quite well.

ComesWithMusic ... Not in the U.S. It Don't (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289405)

Nokia, on the other hand, has just announced two more music phones that will feature Comes With Music, an unlimited music-download service that involves a one time fee, which is part of the price of the CMW phone, and lets you download music for free (and you get to keep it) for a year.

Am I the only person that went to the CWM page and slid the "Please Select Your Location" bar up and down for about 5 minutes? The United States of America does not appear to be on the list. Is this music going to be restricted by what region you live in? Because when I click UK they say they asked the best in the music industry to sign a deal with them and they all said yes ... are they talking UK only? How did they handle royalties and copyright fees? Is that why there's no US?

Re:ComesWithMusic ... Not in the U.S. It Don't (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29289725)

You're not the only one, looks like CNET did too :-)

"Comes with Music not coming to U.S. in 2009"
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13526_3-10323257-27.html

Re:ComesWithMusic ... Not in the U.S. It Don't (4, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289751)

Am I the only person that went to the CWM page and slid the "Please Select Your Location" bar up and down for about 5 minutes?

Dude, there's only 10 items in the list, and they're alphabetized. Did you read each one for 30 seconds to see if it said "United States"? If you click on "Can't Find Your Location" you go to the regular Nokia store where there's another location dropdown with more options, but still no US. It also has a section titled "Available In These Countries", still no US. There's also a box to enter your email to get notified when the store becomes available in another country (the US is listed in that box).

So yeah, there's no US support. They don't bother to explain why.

Re:ComesWithMusic ... Not in the U.S. It Don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29289805)

In your faces, ameritards!

Re:ComesWithMusic ... Not in the U.S. It Don't (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289823)

Dude, there's only 10 items in the list, and they're alphabetized. Did you read each one for 30 seconds to see if it said "United States"?

Did ... did anyone else just stare at this guy's post for 20 minutes only to realize that he agreed with me and is just as confused as I am?

So some of us have more efficient strcmp implementations than others, so what? I code Java so stop picking on me.

Re:ComesWithMusic ... Not in the U.S. It Don't (1)

Phoenixlol (1549649) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290667)

Not quite 20 mins, you must just read REAL slow ;)

Re:ComesWithMusic ... Not in the U.S. It Don't (4, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290125)

Now you know what the rest of us feel like whenever anyone suggests hulu.com.

If it's DRM free, like iTunes (3, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289457)

I'll continue to download. Which doesn't mean I won't also stream. I listen to an iPod, and to XM/Sirius. One doesn't preclude the other.

Re:If it's DRM free, like iTunes (1)

Brandee07 (964634) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290673)

I've got an iPhone, which has that convenient iPod function. I have many, many gigs of music that I downloaded from Napster in it's heyday/ripped off of CDs, purchased by me or by friends/purchased off iTunes.

I also have the Pandora App.

Honestly, Pandora wins most of the time. I use the music in the iPod app when Pandora is unavailable, like when I don't have 3G coverage (metro tunnels), when using other apps (Turn-by-turn navigation), or when I want to pick and choose tracks. So, while Pandora is my first choice, I still do use and enjoy the music I have actually downloaded, not streamed.

So... do we really have to choose?

Mu. Yes and no are both right and wrong. (3, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289469)

an unlimited music-download service that involves a one time fee, which is part of the price of the CMW phone, and lets you download music for free (and you get to keep it) for a year. The question remains, are people more likely to stream or download music on their mobile phones?"

If it's DRMd with a time bomb, then it's not really downloading, is it? It's just streaming, albeit with a large buffer (say, gigabyte-sized) whose contents are deleted after a year, rather a small buffer (e.g. a few megabytes) whose contents are deleted when it is full.

I would prefer to download music, neither of the two solutions offers downloadable content; merely different implementations of ephemeral/disposable content (that is, streaming).

By the time either of these solutions comes to market, you'll be able to just upload existing MP3s to a phone with open firmware, and use the phone's CPU to decode the MP3s for playback. My answer, therefore, is Mu [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Mu. Yes and no are both right and wrong. (1)

jisatsusha (755173) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289987)

and you get to keep it

you didn't even bother reading the part you quoted, did you?

Re:Mu. Yes and no are both right and wrong. (2, Informative)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290493)

you didn't even bother reading the part you quoted, did you?

Yeah - I'm so used to marketspeak that I parsed it as "...and you get to keep it for a year".

Guilty as charged -- but the actual Australia FAQ [comeswithmusic.com] , it's even more restrictive. (Why Australia? Because there are only a few countries there, the US isn't one of them, and unlike the UK, its FAQ "written" in Flash.)

First off, there's that. Geographical lock-in. I presume my music will work if I "download" it in Australia and then go on vacation to the States, but who knows? Given that the FAQs are written in HTML and the FAQ for the UK is written in Flash... who knows what the terms are from one country to the next?

How can I use the music once I've downloaded it?
The music can be used on one registered PC and your Comes With Music handset.

Umm, "registered" PC? Sets my DRM detector on "Danger". We've seen this business model a thousand times before.

What happens to my music once Comes With Music service expires?
You can keep all the tracks your have downloaded and listen to them on your registered PC and Comes With Music handset.
However, you will be required to purchase any new music using the standard a la carte store at $1.70 per track.

So, after my service expires, I'm locked into a vendor who charges almost twice as much as the competitor.

That's an improvement from the Singapore FAQ [comeswithmusic.com] , in which, after the term expires, I can't buy any more music, period. WTF? To get a new song, I throw the phone away, buy a new phone, renew the contract, and hope that the offer's still in effect?

What happens if I lose my Comes With Music device?
Your music is safe. Our customer care line will help you register to a new Comes With Music device and you'll be able to access all the music you had previously downloaded. You can contact Nokia Care on [...]

At least, until the licensing terms change a few years down the road, or when the vendor stops offering new content, which has happened with every other DRM-based download service.

So yes - I misparsed the marketingspeak behind the first offer. But the fine print behind the actual offer is just as bad.

Re:Mu. Yes and no are both right and wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29290281)

By the time either of these solutions comes to market, you'll be able to just upload existing MP3s to a phone with open firmware, and use the phone's CPU to decode the MP3s for playback.

Yes, that will happen in the far-flung year of 2002 or so.

Um, seriously. You do know that's been an option (minus the 'open firmware', don't know why you need that when phones can already play mp3s) for quite some time. Copy music to phone, listen to it on phone.

Re:Mu. Yes and no are both right and wrong. (1)

burnfury (643188) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290449)

That quote is ambiguous. According to the CWM site, you can download all the music you want for a year. You get to keep the music even if you don't keep the service.

Re:Mu. Yes and no are both right and wrong. (1)

downhole (831621) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290817)

By the time either of these solutions comes to market, you'll be able to just upload existing MP3s to a phone with open firmware, and use the phone's CPU to decode the MP3s for playback. My answer, therefore, is Mu.

What do you mean "by the time"? Phones have been able to do that for years. Every major smartphone OS (Windows Mobile, Symbian, Blackberry, Android, iPhone, etc) has a music player and many support hot-swappable microSD cards, and a lot of the lower-end featurephones do too.

F yes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29289493)

an unlimited music-download service that involves a one time fee, which is part of the price of the CMW phone, and lets you download music for free (and you get to keep it) for a year

Umm, Hell yes I will. Thats the legit, non-piratey way to get EVERY SONG you ever wanted for a REALLY low price.

Depends on if the phone can run bit torrent! (1)

oo_HAWK_oo (1619801) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289559)

HA!

download (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29289623)

download, greedy streaming bastards!

I don't know about the rest of you... (3, Insightful)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289633)

I, for one, will continue to steal my media. My ISP's idle threats are well worth the calculated risk.

two types of listeners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29289679)

I wish I had the original writeup, but someone once wrote that people are either "radio or record" music listeners. I like to pick a 'station' that plays a type of music I want to hear, than select all my own songs.

USgovt says downloading is stealing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29289691)

This was last week:
According to the USgovt downloading is *stealing*.
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/08/26/1956201/US-Fed-Gov-Says-All-Music-Downloads-Are-Theft?from=rss

So I will stream it thank you.

Although the technically enlightened will say that streaming is equivalent to downloading. With the only difference being the data lifetime in the buffer.

Isn't Cacheing Downloading? (1)

TobascoKid (82629) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289759)

If you're downloading a cache of songs then your still downloading songs. They might not stick around long, but then a lot of tracks that end up on my phone don't stay there for that long.

Thinking about it, streaming is a form of downloading, so really, downloading wins as everything except CD Ripping is downloading.

Of course, I still prefer ripping CDs to FLAC format (I rarely download, and when I do it's usually from somewhere I can get FLAC format files), but each to their own.

Already do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29289777)

Shoutcast + WiFi. Or 3G, failing WiFi.

That wasn't so difficult was it?

As long as batery life is a concern.. (1)

Nukenbar (215420) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289809)

I'll keep things local, be it downloaded music or ripped physical media. The batter life on my iPhone is already bad enough. I don't need a constant internet connection drain that battery as well.

Re:As long as batery life is a concern.. (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290441)

Hear hear! Using the expensive, slow cell network is just what Verizon/AT&T/scummy_cell_carriers want you to do; be happy with a shitty device, that is the electronic equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife, and use our crap networks where we can charge you up the ass for bits we could give you for free, if we wern't such greedy assholes. From text messaging to streaming media, the cell carriers are just ripping you off left and right. Stop buying into the Swiss Army Phone bullshit. How good is that camera/phone? The camera is shit and the phone is not of the highest quality. Every single multiple purpose device suffers from the shitty quality that comes from trying to shoehorn in features we don't really need, but stupid people want anyway. Camera? Browsing device? Videos & games? How about making a phone that doesn't suck so hard at being just a phone? Or are the ignorant masses not ready for a phone that's just good a phone? Can you hear me now? Good, go fuck yourself, Verizon, Apple & AT&T. Your networks are shit and your walled garden is filled with weeds and useless crapware. Try again.
        Not to belittle the mighty Swiss Army Knives. I love those things, but let's face it; the blades don't lock, the scissors are iffy, the toothpick is great, unless someone else uses it first, and the tweezers, like the rest of the knife, will do in a pinch but on their own are not the greatest. I'd rather bring five good tools with me than a 5-in-one tool in which all the features are crap.

I like my hearing just fine thanks (1, Troll)

hyperion2010 (1587241) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289989)

IF I wanted to listen to music on my phone, which I do not, because I'm not an antisocial fuckwit who wants to be deaf by the time he's 30 and run over by a truck while jogging, then I would put it on an sd card from my harddrive since I hate messing with crappy, small and slow UI on a phone.

Re:I like my hearing just fine thanks (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290779)

> IF I wanted to listen to music on my phone, which I do not, because I'm not
> an antisocial fuckwit who wants to be deaf by the time he's 30...

But think how rich you'll be with your share of the proceeds of the class-action lawsuit against the phone vendors for deafening you!

Stream using Shoutcast (1)

ironicsky (569792) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290005)

I'm an iPhone user. My Music solution was simple

1) Leave all my music on my server(I have a bigger music collection then my phone holds)
2) Create an MP3 stream using an open source streaming server
3) Install a streaming app on my iPhone
4) Control my music selection using the web browser on the phone.
4) Enjoy the tunes!

Of course, my phone is jail broken so I can quite easily bounce between my streaming app and Safari without the music app closing.

There are already many studies on this subject! (1)

matsoo (1524273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290035)

If you want to find the answer to that question, just find any study on media consumtion from the 80's.

Streaming replaces "listening to radio" and "watching MTV". Downloading replaces "buying records".

Re:There are already many studies on this subject! (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290103)

Exactly right.

I'll listen to streaming music for free.

I'll download music I've bought.

What if they change policy? (1)

t0qer (230538) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290039)

A few years ago AOL came out with Music Now. For $10 @ month I could download my fill of DRM'd WMA files. I didn't really mind the DRM that much because I had access to so much music. AOL sold Music Now to Napster. Napster changed what was available. I used to be able to get a lot of Japanese music. Jpop, Enka, etc. OK I could still download music and use it with my DJ application (Virtual Vinyl) Still not a bad deal for $10 @ month. Napster got sold to Best Buy. No more downloads. Streaming only. This service sucks. Point is either of these companies can change their content delivery on a whim, and the consumer would be powerless to do anything about it. Like many others said, I'll just buy a USED CD and rip to MP3 from now on. Thanks for screwing over a legitimately paying customer Best Buy.

Technological breakthrough that I missed? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290047)

I've handled a few cell phones. Some newer, some older. Sound has generally been pretty shitty. Are phones suddenly sporting real speakers capable of decent music playback? They now have stereo? How about SurroundSound? I'd sure like to see one of those!! Why are people bothering to pay for music to be played on those crumby little speakers? Earbuds aren't any better. Few laptops have sound worthy of playing music - for that you need an add on sound card and external speakers.

This looks like much ado about nothing, IMHO Of course, gullible people tend to make much of nothing.

Re:Technological breakthrough that I missed? (2, Informative)

greyhueofdoubt (1159527) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290217)

In my car and in my house, my computer or phone get plugged into real speakers. While the little speakers on the phone might be lacking in fidelity, the codec is just fine and decent-quality mp3's or m4a's sound great played over a system.

When I can wear a quality set of headphones, I use them. They sound great.

And yes, every now and then I want a little music while I'm gardening or working in the garage, and the iphone's speakers are good enough that I can set the phone down and hear the music just fine. It's like the little world-band radio that I used to use but now I get to choose my own music.

And I do stream music, and it sounds surprisingly good.

But then, I've always been the kind of person who listens to the *music* and not the *speakers*.

-b

Re:Technological breakthrough that I missed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29290339)

Go listen to decent a pair of Shures or Ultimate Ears. As long as you're ok with putting stuff in your ears, IEMs will sound better than speaker setups that cost 10x more.
 
    Of course, in all likelyhood, it'll be coming from a mediocre cell phone DAC and amp, but they are certainly listenable.

Re:Technological breakthrough that I missed? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29290395)

You missed the 3.5 mm headphone jack? You should try it, it's great! Plug in a pair of Sennheisers or Kosses, or just straight into your home stereo.

But if you cannot tell the tiny phone speaker from earbuds, I'm not sure if you'd notice any difference anyway...

Which costs less? (3, Interesting)

pla (258480) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290129)

Will You Stream Or Download Your Mobile Music

I will, of course, download it, regardless of what the vendor wants to call it. But if it costs less for them to use the magic word "streaming", then by all means, they can do so.

Why Choose? Do both (1)

JohnnyComeLately (725958) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290205)

I have had several generations of iPods, with the iVideo being the last one, and now just carry an iPhone. I use both streaming and storing.

When I go running, I often go through areas with bad coverage, plus I have a "Running/Workout" Playlist with music of the right tempo, aggression, etc. So I'm using music stored on my iPhone in those cases.

At home and in the car, I use a combination. Sometimes I want to listen to specific tracks and so it's my list (or MP3 downloaded on iTunes and ripped to CD) from a stored format. About half the time, I also stream Pandora. I stream Pandora in the car through my iPhone and then through my music distribution system at home.

When I'm gaming, I turn my Samsung BDP-1960 (on sale for $218 at Walmart now) on and stream Pandora on an aggressive alt/techno channel, while pwning noobs in Halo3 on the 360 (playing on the TV, but lately I don't really have the TV on where I can hear it).

Doesn't everyone already use Pandora? (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290239)

Everyone with a Crackberry or iPhone at my work just listens to Pandora streaming over 3g... Although I would love an hour or so cached, because on my commute I pop in and out of 3g zones (since I live in a rural suburb)... Really I just listen to old fashioned FM in the car when I run out of audiobooks.

What sort of music? (1)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290297)

If they're going to offer the same kind of music that's pounding your ears on all the mainstream radio stations, it's going to be largely useless, no matter the price. If I tune to a mainstream radio using my cell phone and I get the same 10-15 songs over and over again, then why should I buy them online? On a more general idea, this applies to each and every online music store out there: if you don't have a large database of songs that cover underground as well as mainstream tastes, then, well, lots of people would stick to the old way.

Physics lessons again needed by the masses (4, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290309)

OK, so you have a cell phone. It communicates with a cell tower based infrastructure where there are a (relatively) fixed number of maximum connections that can be maintained at one time. A cell phone communicating (voice or data) occupies one of these connection ports while communicating.

The cell phone tower also has a physical connection to a data network with a maximum bandwidth inherent in such connections.

It is my understanding that for data connections today a cell phone does not have a constant connection to the network but switches on and off as needed. Thus, the cell tower can accomodate a lot more data connections than voice connections. But still there is an obvious upper limit.

So there are two basic limitations on the use of cell phone data connections: a maximum connection limit per cell site and the maximum bandwidth available to the cell site. These two limits are important for the future because they are not trivial to change. By far, the maximum bandwidth available for data connections can be (somewhat) trivially increased up to the limit of the radio system. Beyond that, you need to either add channels, change frequencies or change the entire infrastructure. Not trivial.

I do not know how far we are away from reaching these limits, but we have already seen what happens when the voice channel limit is reached. It isn't pretty and is rather disruptive. This limit has been sidestepped (with microcells) and worked around by changing to new frequencies with more channels. But there are still hard limits. And sidestepping or working around the current limits may not be practical to do, especially if it so people can listen to music streamed to their phone.

Streaming music to a cell phone is great for early adopters, because the bandwidth is sitting their idle. Changing the entire cell phone infrastructure to accomodate streaming music should it be adopted by the masses seems, well, incredibly idiotic. Why would we want to do something like that?

Wrong question. (1)

Perp Atuitie (919967) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290323)

How the different delivery plans fare will depend on what music/etc is available from them and the price. Presumably the vendors will make sure ease of use is comparable.

I stream because... (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290387)

I want AT&T to feel the strain I feel every time I look at my monthly bill.

Might as well get my monies worth.

Not iPhone Yet (1)

angryphase (766302) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290759)

That link to youtube is actually for their latest demo of a Google Android application.

What's the difference? (4, Informative)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290761)

They are both downloads. the only difference that with one, it stays longer on the computer. So the question should be: "How long do you (want to) keep your music?". Which of course is dependent on the music itself.

I listen to Shoutcast radios, for which I happen to have made a StreamRipper extension to decide to only keep what I want to keep, before or after I listened to it. With remote control, and Amarok integration. It's working well for me, but feel free to do with it whatever you like: http://navid.radiantempire.com/pub/armSR4amarok&listen.stream.tar.bz2 [radiantempire.com]
The only rule — apart from the GPL license — is, to tell me when you improved it, or found a bug. :)
(There. That is the power of Linux! Have an idea? Let it grow! Let it grow around you. Yeah, that should be the Linux slogan: "Linux: Let your ideas grow!" Or something alike. :)

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