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Comment Re: RIAA and MPAA shoot own foot (Score 1) 240

Tell me about it. I just experienced this recently. I purchased tickets to a Kraftwerk event here in Los Angeles. I purchased the tickets almost two months ago, and the event is in September. Despite the huge amount of time between the purchase and the event itself (and this is Kraftwerk, an obscure German band, not something like Taylor Swift), we discovered most tickets have already been purchased by professional scalper companies.

If Kraftwerk really wanted, they would hire a small management company and handle the whole thing themselves. They could sell the tickets directly and make significantly more money from their tour.

But like you say, I'm pretty sure soon enough we'll see companies offer this type of service (TAAS - Tour As A Service) to bands around the world.

Comment Re: RIAA and MPAA shoot own foot (Score 3, Interesting) 240

I saw an interview very recently with one of the popular bands. The band's leader said they used to make no money at all from touring. Touring was done mostly to promote your music (and get in touch with your fan base, sleep with groupies, etc), and money was made primarily from record sales. Now, he says, they make most of their money from ticket sales during tours.

Comment RIAA and MPAA shoot own foot (Score 4, Interesting) 240

Instead of working closely with the smaller companies to create a diverse and competitive market, their predatory (legal) and greedy (bad business) tactics caused the shutdown of many music startups, angering music lovers, and ultimately, they are shooting themselves in the foot because when only have Apple and Amazon to deal with, they will:

1. Negotiate terms that leave the music industry with lower profits

2. Eventually launch their own music labels, mimicking what Netflix did with Movies & TV series, to create further leverage

Comment Physical version of MIT Scratch (Score 1) 54

Just look at this: https://scratch.mit.edu/

You will notice Bloks is basically the physical implementation of MIT's web based Scratch language for kids.
Furthermore, I think the web based version would be a great natural next step for those children, since it will allow them even more freedom and sophistication plus the ability to share their creations with other children.

Say what you will about the evil empire, It's good to see something like this coming out of Google.

Comment Re:Something big: Copy of Spotify (Score 1) 32

I thought the same as you, but when you use Spotify for a while your eyes open. For example I play my favorite play list at the office, from Desktop Spotify, when I go to the car and start spotify, it will pick up where I left off, and it even offers to switch from Amazon's Echo (which is what I use at the office) back to the car.

Also, you get user curated playlists. There's a movie you liked? Someone probably made a playlist around that movie. Prince died? Someone made a "Prince's Best" playlist. You love Japanese Meditative music? Someone made a playlist for that.

Do you like to sing along some of your tracks? or at the very least see the lyrics? Spotify does that, and it's synchronized with the actual singing! (Karaoke style). There's a song without lyrics, but you know the lyrics? They have an editor!

Also: Not ALL tracks are on Pandora or even Spotify. You have your own mp3 files? They can be added to your favorite playlist! This one was important for me because when my Mac still had a CD-Rom drive, I used iTunes to sample many of my CD's into MP3 files (because CD's don't last forever, they scratch, etc, it's good to have a backup).

Finally, and this one was a big one: Offline mode!!! You like a certain playlist or radio? Hit that "Available Offline" button and you're set! Your phone has massive storage, why not use that to cache all of your favorite music for those moments where you are without wifi, and cellular reception is spotty?

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I suggest you try it out before you settle.

Comment Re:Something big: Copy of Spotify (Score 1) 32

I believe they curate the stations, manually. When you listen to a a Pandora station, someone carefully and thoughtfully associated other tracks to the tracks you liked. It's also somewhat enriched by feedback from other listeners.

Still, their client software is miserably lacking in features. All it takes is trying Spotify for a week or two, to realize how much more advanced they are. It's like a Tesla car vs. an old steam car.

Comment Something big: Copy of Spotify (Score 0) 32

Pandora is such a piece of crap compared to newer entrants like Spotify, it will take massive efforts for Pandora just to copy them. Spotify is years ahead with their tech.

I will be surprised and impressed even if all they do is copy Spotify 1:1, but something tells me they aren't going to be able to do that, and will end up getting delisted from their stock exchange.

Comment Still no viable alternative (Score 1) 224

As much as we love to hate Microsoft and their mediocre, poorly tested, insecure products, in the case of Skype there is STILL no viable competitor.

I mean a communications tool that will let you EASILY connect with others, on many platforms, easily overcome firewalls, NAT, and transparently handle changing network conditions with relative grace. Simple to setup, Easy to locate and add people, and a UI that mostly works.

For now, until a competitor becomes as easy to use as Skype, it is here to stay.

Sure, there's Slack, which now has Voice Calling (but no screen sharing, no video, etc).
There's even Facebook Voice/Video and it's decent, but FB is mostly for private people.
Then there's Facetime, which only works on Mac/iDevices (and remember, when Microsoft does that, people cry foul!).

Jitsi is the only close "competitor" out there. And it doesn't come close to Skype's simplicity.

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