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Cellphones Music

Will You Stream Or Download Your Mobile Music? 175

Posted by timothy
from the because-streaming-is-perfectlly-reliable dept.
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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Will You Stream Or Download Your Mobile Music?

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  • by natehoy (1608657) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @02:50PM (#29289309) Journal

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

  • by kalpol (714519) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @02:51PM (#29289333) Homepage
    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.
  • by cutecub (136606) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @02:54PM (#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

  • by wiredog (43288) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @02:58PM (#29289457) Journal

    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.

  • by Tackhead (54550) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @02:58PM (#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].

  • by Graff (532189) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @03:01PM (#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.

  • by Xugumad (39311) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @03:07PM (#29289627)

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

  • by swanzilla (1458281) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @03:07PM (#29289633) Homepage
    I, for one, will continue to steal my media. My ISP's idle threats are well worth the calculated risk.
  • by Killer Orca (1373645) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @03:08PM (#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]

  • by camperdave (969942) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @03:42PM (#29290125) Journal
    Now you know what the rest of us feel like whenever anyone suggests hulu.com.
  • by cdrguru (88047) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @03:52PM (#29290309) Homepage

    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?

  • by wcb4 (75520) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @04:03PM (#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.

  • by sukotto (122876) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @04:06PM (#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...

  • by mikeiver1 (1630021) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @04:43PM (#29291037)
    Now lets see. We buy the highly compressed music that we can only play on our phone and can't move around. We can't burn a backup copy, We don't get the original PCM media file for backup. We don't get the sleeve. UH, YAHH, I am so not all over that. I am with this guy, rip and compress my self. I rip all my CDs at 256Kbps and DVDs are stripped of all the jibber jabber languages and the BS warnings about copy and the like and stored as MPEG2 files with no transcoding. They are then stored on a large NAS that is a little over a terabyte in size and easily expandable. Any content can be played from any monitor from the plasma in the bedroom to the TV in the garage at will and any computer on the network. Later I will also add the ability to stream my personal content via a VPN to other locals and enjoy them there. The combo of VPN and on the fly encryption makes the deep packet inspection scheme of the RIAA and the MPAA assholes a non issue. If I am at a friends and we want to watch a movie I will be able to simply log in to my home network via the VPN, select the movie we want to see and play it. The same will apply to the music as well. I buy the content, it's mine you greedy pricks! I will watch it how, when, where, and on what ever I choose and there is not a fu@king thing that you can do to stop me. The days of ripping off both the artist and the consumer are drawing to an end. I have not and will not buy any DCM based devices or content now or ever!
  • by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @04:56PM (#29291263) Homepage

    Radio ceased to be what you describe a long time ago.

  • by Ranzear (1082021) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @04:58PM (#29291301)
    I already have a streaming mobile device.. its called an FM radio. Oftentimes, however, the station's selections suck and I pop in burned CDs instead. Whats to say any G3/G4 based music streaming service wouldn't suffer the same issue without some upstream control.

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