While not exactly rats fleeing a sinking ship, the exodus of Jason Hirschhorn and Ted Cohen from their cushy jobs helming digital media efforts within luddites firms seems directionally relevant. Were they finally beat down by years of pointing their respective companies in the right direction only to have some executive with a year end bonus to protect kill their ideas? Was it the chance to be the whipping boy for a series of clueless companies, rather then just one or the desire to pander to the whims of investors that made them jump? I dont know, but if one more long-time digital media proponent jumps ship I'm ready to call it a trend!
I've written a few post (here, here and here) where I was rather glowing about the the wonders of sites like AllofMP3 and MP3Sugar. I've been pretty glib about both the legal and security concerns around using these sites. A reader, dare I say rabid fan, wrote in to express her concern with my attitude and took me to task for the dearth of cautionary advice around providing sites like those with credit card and other personal information. In my defence, I'd assumed that no one needed me to tell them that putting their credit card information on quasi-legal Russian music sites might not be the most secure transaction they could conduct online, but apparently I was wrong. So here are two suggestions on how one can decrease the likely hood of the Russian mafiya using your credit card for Friday night Vodka binges. Read the rest of this entry »
This may sound strange but I couldnt care less about my Technocrati ranking. Readers (both of you) have made this blog the 528,178th most linked to blog and I'm proud of that. This post by Guy Kawasaki (The OE), about his obsession with his Technocrati ranking made me reflect on my own little obsession with rankings. While, I'm unlikely to ever attain the status of blogging "A-lister" and I know it wont change the world (and yes its geeky as hell), but it would be really sweet to have the largest MP3 Locker online. I admit it, I'm obsessed with my MP3Tunes rank.
Let me state upfront that I'm not stalking, obsessed with or employed by Michael Robertson. Despite his rugged good looks and jockular charm, my repeated posts (here, here, here and here) about businesses that come under his umbrella are purely coincidental. Read the rest of this entry »
The downtime experienced by the site seemed to dovetail Putin's call for stronger copyright protections and many (myself included) read ominous signs in it. However, it appears that it may have been mere coincidence. The site is back up and fully functioning. Sample and ordering have been restored and all is once again right with the world.
What does it take to build a business that gets a whole meme named after it? How do you get to be part of the Web 2.0 goodness that has been exploding all over the media? I dont know, but the web does provide access to lots of people that do. I contacted 10 of them for their answers to these questions and more.
Firing up my email program, along with a bit of courage, I emailed the founders of 10 different companies a series of questions about how they started their businesses and any lessons they'd picked-up along the way. I expected to get a few cruel letters of rejection and disdain from some overworked PR flack distrustful of blogs and unsure of their validity or usefulness. Instead, six founders running some of the Webs most interesting companies (at least the ones I use most often) agreed to chat with me.
Score: Indie Blogger 1, PR Flacks 0! Read the rest of this entry »
Updated: A shining example of the future of online music sales has gone ominously dark. AllofMP3, which has been the center of IFPI and RIAA ire, may have finally succumbed to the forces of complacency and stasis.
Last week, Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, declared in his state of the nation address, that in addition to having more babies and ending official corruption, Russia needed to get tough on piracy. Apparently, the irony of declaring a desire for innovation while promoting a legal statue that limits it was lost of Mr. Putin. утесы рационализаторства, Mr Putin, утесы рационализаторства!!! Alas, a few days after this speech, which included the quote "We must defend copyright inside the country. That is our obligation to our foreign partners" AllofMP3.com went dark.
The site now claims to be "down for maintenance" and the allTunes desktop client that worked with the AllofMP3.com service no longer functions. On the plus side, most of the other Russian MP3 downloading sites are still up and accepting new customers although I wouldnt recommend banking on their long term prospects.
Update: Reports of the death of AllofMP3 seem a bit premature. The site is back up with what seems to be reduced content. More to come.
Everyone has probably experienced the problem of traveling to your country home and having to figure out how to take all your music with you. Do you buy another music server? Do you just hire the bands you want to listen to and let them stay with you? What to do, what to do?
Enter MP3tunes. Michael Robertson announced that his company MP3tunes has turned on a feature that allows you to sync your MP3tunes locker with your Tivo box and play your music. Dont have a locker? No problem they have created a demo account for you to test out the new feature. Michael's minute has details on how to set it up. As a paying member of MP3tunes I can tell you I'd rather have a better way of getting my 40GB worth of songs into my locker then the ability to stream to a device I don't own.