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Microsoft Readies a Rival To Spotify

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the never-step-twice-into-the-same-stream dept.

Microsoft 216

Barence writes "Microsoft has confirmed it is preparing to launch a music streaming service. The service will be a direct rival to Spotify, hugely popular in the UK (but unavailable in the US), which allows users to stream music for free in return for listening to around a minute's worth of advertisements every half hour. 'It will be a similar principle to Spotify but we are still examining how the business model will work,' said Peter Bale, executive producer of MSN." The article claims that the new service will boost the popularity of the Zune player, though how this is to happen is not explained. There doesn't seem to be a close tie-in between device and service, as there is between the iPod and the iTunes Store.

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Microsoft feeling the pinch (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28696887)

Just how relevant are they these days?

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (4, Insightful)

bakuun (976228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28696943)

Pretty relevant I'd say, seeing as it's the largest software company in the world.

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28696991)

They still suck.

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697003)

umm.. Chrysler is one of the biggest car companies in the world.

 

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (3, Insightful)

bakuun (976228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697143)

umm.. Chrysler is one of the biggest car companies in the world.

And ExxonMobil is one of the largest companies overall. So what? Chrysler may have financial difficulties - Microsoft certainly hasn't.

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701161)

It's no surprise MS is going for this. Summary states its popular in UK, but it's really popular everywhere in Europe, despite needing invites to get account. Even "pro-piracy" forum users are saying in news comments how spotify has changed their listening habits and they dont pirate music anymore because spofity is just so convenient. I also am in long-distance relationship with my gf currently (was necessary for her school program) and we've always had similar music taste, so now we paste spotify links to each other in facebook or im to listen to something newly discovered good music.

This *IS* what music industry needed and its great they've understood it now. Now just bring the same for movies and games, I'm even happy to pay monthly subscriptions for it. Just make it convenient and easy for me.

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701749)

Since it says Spotify isn't available in the US (really?) I assume it's pretty much just like Last.FM or is it more like Pandora?

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701383)

Chrysler may have financial difficulties - Microsoft certainly hasn't.

Say what now? [go.com]

Don't kid yourself. Almost any corporation has difficulties these days, especially certain software corporations since other corporations using these softwares are beginning to question the necessities. OpenOffice is quickly gaining ground, and in my experience the biggest reason why corporations aren't fully migrating to OpenOffice is that their affiliates are still using MS Office, and you can just imagine peoples faces when they receive a .odt file instead of a .doc file. So it's really not about functionality or innovation. Even if MS Office has a thousand more features the office suits have reached to the extent where almost anything new is more about convenience rather than necessity.

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (2, Informative)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701597)

Their ex-staff might have financial difficulties, but I don't see anything in that link that shows that Microsoft has financial difficulties.

So far they don't look like they're hurting.
http://www.microsoft.com/msft/earnings/FY09/earn_rel_q2_09.mspx [microsoft.com]
http://www.microsoft.com/msft/reports/default.mspx [microsoft.com]

If that's considered "financial difficulty" I wouldn't mind having more of that.

Maybe on July 23 they might declare a loss against all odds...

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701759)

So you don't consider having to fire 5000 employees in order to continue providing positive figures a financial difficulty, I do. No need to continue this.

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (2, Interesting)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701699)

The fact that they slash 5000 jobs is no indication of how well they're doing.

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701189)

But Microsoft has a positive cash flow to go with its status.

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28701437)

Chrysler isn't one of the biggest - not by a long shot. Try Toyota, VW, GM ( yes still ), Ford , Honda , Renault-Nissan, and even Hyundai are bigger than Chrysler. Now if you said Chrysler are one of the crappiest.......

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (3, Interesting)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697053)

And I'll say, if they can get this right, they deserve to be the biggest. Music could be dealt with so much better than it is, in terms of business and technology. If I could listen to a measly 1 minute of commercials for 30 minutes of music that I choose, and didn't have to pay for, and not break the law, I'd do it.

Yeah, I could just download whatever I want off of TPB or whatever, but I don't do it - not only because I don't want to break the law and get sued, but because I still don't personally feel comfortable consuming something which I did not pay the artist for. (Don't jump down my throat, I'm not judging those who choose to do it, but I'm just saying for myself no matter how I justify it, I'd be getting something for free which I shouldn't).

Get some good, targeted ads, make arrangements with the labels, and get this going in a good direction once and for all. Oh, and making the Zune not be an ugly piece of shit would help too.

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (2, Insightful)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701289)

Now they tell you that it will only be one minute of commercials for every 30 minutes of music...
But we all know that this will be followed by the usual anal probing, once they dominate this market.

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701465)

One minute ads per half hour doesn't sound so bad to me either. Given the temperatures and the ensuing fluids consumption, taking a piss twice an hour sounds ok.

But you know how it's gonna end, don't you? 5 nanoseconds after that service hits the market a tool will be introduced that lets you cut that ad, records the rest in perfect quality and queues everything you might want to listen to automatically for the next ten days.

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701725)

And I'll say, if they can get this right, they deserve to be the biggest.

I hope you meant Spotify deserves it. MS is just copying again.

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701237)

Microsoft is trying to do everything, huh? OS, Office software, server systems, hardware, web apps, programming languages, ...

Is seeing Microsoft as a single apparatus correct though or is it more like a bunch of bought up companies/development teams (huge though) that do their own thing? Can we even see Microsoft going in some direction as a whole or is gaining profit and having the same name the only common thing these groups have?

I think it would be really hard to coordinate an evil plan with all these projects ... ;-)

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (1)

bakuun (976228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701257)

They are still more focused on a single area (the computer industry, mainly software) than many other companies. A prime example is my own ISP, virgin media. In addition to being an ISP/telco, virgin also operates airlines, train operations, music stores and radio stations. The fact that Microsoft has quite a diverse range from different types of software to computer peripherals to gaming consoles is not a bad thing.

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (3, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701517)

Most of the Virgin Group are actually completely operationally independent companies under ownership or part ownership of the holding company, withg different executives sitting on the boards.

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701453)

Define "relevant".

When it comes to people looking for the direction technology is going to take, they're not. MS has never led the way. Ever. There were no "firsts". They're good at taking what has been tried and is accepted and shape it into a masses-compatible vehicle, but that's basically all there is.

Since other companies noticed that, hey, they don't need MS to do that, they can do it themselves, MS is losing relevance pretty quickly.

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701637)

Pretty relevant I'd say, seeing as it's the largest software company in the world.

HP and IBM are substantially larger, although they're not exclusively software companies. (revenue in billion $: HP 118, IBM 103, MS 60)

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28697025)

Microsoft got this far by being absolute bastards when they're playing the underdog. To simply write them off is a mistake. If they are becoming irrelevant only vigilance is going to keep it that way!

Re:Microsoft feeling the pinch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28697059)

Really? Because they entered a new market? Yeah, the company with a 90% market share, with competitors that define themselves as being "not microsoft", they are totally irrelevant today!

apple / itunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28696941)

There doesn't seem to be a close tie-in between device and service, as there is between the iPod and the iTunes Store.

Blah blah, if it's not the way Apple did it then it's wrong, blah blah

Re:apple / itunes (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697103)

That's your own interpretation of the sentence. Others, like myself, read it more like They aren't trying to do that stupid shit.

And I presume that the promotion of Zune, might be something like a free (popular/crappy/whocares) song a week if you have your Zune registered ("Free exclusive only for Zune owners"), or maybe a points system, for each X song you purchase for your Zune, you get X points towards a free song, or higher quality versions, etc.

Re:apple / itunes (2, Insightful)

dyefade (735994) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701367)

The Apple reference is justified here - MSN spokesman claims new project will benefit Zune, but the two are not closely tied. Summary then cites an example of where a strong tie between device and service has benefited another company in a comparable situation.

Seems like a desire to attack Apple/Slashdot/both has clouded your reading comprehension.

Re:apple / itunes (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701797)

The only way they will make the Zune less unpopular, is when they give it away. (I really couldn't say 'more popular' - and I still can't keep a straight face)

How do you not see the tie-in? (3, Insightful)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28696947)

Launching their own in house streaming music service allows them to compete with both iTunes and Pandora in the music market, something they care currently getting their ass handed to them in. After all who would pay for music when they can just stream it for free on their Zune HD? It's a smart move on Microsofts part.

Re:How do you not see the tie-in? (2, Insightful)

nizo (81281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697045)

After all who would pay for music when they can just stream it for free on their Zune HD? It's a smart move on Microsofts part.

Except to do this I would have to buy a Zune.

Re:How do you not see the tie-in? (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697195)

And be in range of an open AP.

Re:How do you not see the tie-in? (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701351)

You can't stream to a PMP. It's pointless. If it's a streaming service, it's not going to help Zune sales, as Zune is a storage device for bought music. Spotify, if MS competing with it as the stub says, has no store. You listen at your computer in exchange for listening to some advertisments.

If it's selling music like iTunes then it'll compete with Apple and help boost Zune sales, if it's good. If it's streaming music then it'll compete with Spotify, and nobody will care as spotify is great.

Re:How do you not see the tie-in? (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701459)

They would end up competing with the Slacker G2, then.

I hope MS is big enough to make this a world-wide thing, so that other people can offer world-wide streaming service.

Last.fm is just fine (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 5 years ago | (#28696951)

Last.fm is good enough. There are others. I don't see the value in another service like theirs. Last.fm has no commercials. I wouldn't want to trade a commercial free site for one with commercials.

Re:Last.fm is just fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28697101)

Last.fm is terrible in comparison

Re:Last.fm is just fine (1)

Asclepius99 (1527727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701311)

Even if that site turns out to be better and it's only 2 minutes of commercials per hour? Shouldn't the site come out before we start saying it's not as good as what's out there already?

Re:Last.fm is just fine (1)

luca (6883) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701553)

Maybe it is if you live in the US, UK or Germany.

Spotify and the US (1)

bakuun (976228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28696971)

Hopefully this will lead to Spotify speeding up their work towards a US launch.

You can get spotify outside UK (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28701293)

It is accessible to someone in USA.

What you need to do is use an UK based proxy to register, claim that you are from UK and use a postcode that is valid in UK. (The proxy needs to support using the POST method to get the registration form sent.)

After you have registered, you can log in and use the service from anywhere without further need for proxies. I did this a while ago and it is really worth testing out.

As a related note... Spotify doesn't have an Linux client but the windows client works very well under Wine. (Or well, in theory. I'm having some ALSA relate problems but I'm pretty sure that the cause is my Wine configuration.) It also has a mac client.

Re:You can get spotify outside UK (1)

TheP4st (1164315) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701439)

As a related note... Spotify doesn't have an Linux client

Not entirely correct as there is a unoffical Spotify client for Linux, Despotify. [wikipedia.org]

Re:You can get spotify outside UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28701545)

libspotify exists now, and while the core is closed, there's nothing stopping anyone from writing a good client.
Furthermore, Spotify is very WINE friendly.

Re:You can get spotify outside UK (1)

luca (6883) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701557)

But it only works with premium (i.e. paid) accounts.

Had this for decades... (1, Redundant)

canUbeleiveIT (787307) | more than 5 years ago | (#28696977)

which allows users to stream music for free in return for listening to around a minute's worth of advertisements every half hour.

I've had one of these for decades--it's called a radio.

Re:Had this for decades... (1)

Decker-Mage (782424) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697079)

Never forget (you are welcome to scream along): "What's old is new again." {sigh}

Re:Had this for decades... (2, Insightful)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697095)

Radio stations are roughly 50% ads and 50% the same songs they played two hours ago.

Re:Had this for decades... (2, Insightful)

Colourspace (563895) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697141)

Not if you live in the UK and have access to the BBC radio network.

Re:Had this for decades... (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701235)

Then it's just 50% annoying chat instead of adverts ;) It's the one thing I don't like about radio - there's too much inane chatter from the DJs. Much better to listen to some of the "music only" stations on Sky (and probably on DAB as well - at least for some of them).

Re:Had this for decades... (1)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701183)

Planet Rock (UK www.planetrock.com ) is certainly not 50% adverts and available over this funny thing called 'the internet' & DAB. Pity it is not available on Freeview.

Re:Had this for decades... (2, Insightful)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701403)

Radio stations are roughly 50% ads and 50% the same songs they played two hours ago.

Roughly? I'd say pretty much exactly.

Re:Had this for decades... (5, Informative)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701175)

No, with Spotify you can choose the songs you listen to yourself. It's basically iTunes with a massive library and occasional adverts.

Actually I say occasional adverts. For some reason mine has completely stopped playing any. I have no idea why but I'm not complaining!

Re:Had this for decades... (1)

slart42 (694765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701485)

Actually I say occasional adverts. For some reason mine has completely stopped playing any. I have no idea why but I'm not complaining!

Same here - been using spotify on a daily base for months, and it has yet to play a single advert on me. But possibly they just don't have any advertising deals in germany yet.

Re:Had this for decades... (2, Interesting)

nuq2000 (570348) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701575)

I recently went to Oslo, from the UK, and when i switched on Spotify I received Norwegian adverts!

Re:Had this for decades... (1)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701593)

They don't seem to have many in the UK either. Most of their adverts are for their premium service rather than from third parties.

They'll never break even with the service as it is. Mark my words. What they should do is lower the premium service to £5/month.

Re:Had this for decades... (5, Informative)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701649)

mine stopped playing adverts too - i heard that it's a bug in the linux client

Re:Had this for decades... (1)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701737)

I wouldn't call it a bug... :-)

Hugely popular? (1)

Manip (656104) | more than 5 years ago | (#28696979)

So hugely popular I've never heard of it? Nor have two of my online contacts?

I've used Last.fm before they cut the UK off, and Sky.fm for streaming radio. I'm not sure what "Spotify" is.

Re:Hugely popular? (1)

bakuun (976228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697177)

www.spotify.com, if you're in the UK (or a number of other countries) you can sign up for free. Just try it out - you'll know what it is in a matter of minutes.

Re:Hugely popular? (1)

salmacis2 (643788) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701179)

Yeah, hugely popular. Sign up and give it a go.

Re:Hugely popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28701227)

Neither you nor TWO of your online contacts?
Wow! You must be like, all the statistics-savvy people in the UK!

Re:Hugely popular? (2, Funny)

Godwin O'Hitler (205945) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701387)

Don't bring the UK into this. I'll have you know only 95.3% of Brits aren't statistics savvy.

Re:Hugely popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28701275)

So hugely popular I've never heard of it? Nor have two of my online contacts?

I've used Last.fm before they cut the UK off, and Sky.fm for streaming radio. I'm not sure what "Spotify" is.

Yes, hugely poplar. http://www.google.com/trends?q=spotify%2Clast.fm&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

Re:Hugely popular? (3, Informative)

117 (1013655) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701287)

Last.fm haven't 'cut the UK off', in fact the UK is one of three countries (along with the US and Germany), where Last.fm is still available for free.

Re:Hugely popular? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701355)

If you're in the UK, you're missing out. I'm serious.

Spotify [spotify.co.uk] I've not downloaded music in months.

Re:Hugely popular? (1)

gsslay (807818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701645)

So hugely popular I've never heard of it? Nor have two of my online contacts?

Seriously? Spotify is everywhere just now, and not just among techie circles. You are more out of touch than you think.

scale & quality (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 5 years ago | (#28696985)

In what is becoming an increasingly competitive marketplace, Mr Bale thinks Microsoft can bring "scale and a quality of product" to the music streaming scene.

is this the same microsoft i know?

Re:scale & quality (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701483)

They promise you the sky, stars, bells and whistles, and everyone in the IT security biz already has that odd, irritating gleam in his eyes... what about it is not the MS you know?

zune possibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28697047)

it will probably tie into the zune in that the zune will become a porta-spoty - through the magic of drm and expiring content - you will most likely be able to sync your favorite streams to your zune for X days as part of your regular subscription price - and permanently for the .99.

Isn't this... (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697063)

Isn't this like trying to buy a ticket for the Titanic as it's going down?

Also...where's the outrage that a specific music service is available only in the UK? I live in the US! Information wants to be free! FREEEDOMMMMMMM.

I kid, I kid. Mostly though, I'm sick of seeing those comments from posters who can't access content because they live in a different country. WAAAAH.

This will affect the Zune in the UK ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28697107)

I better tell him the news

Memo to Balmer : re Zune (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28701245)

Before you decide to link any music service to a Zune why don't you make it available outside the USA?

It probably won't be a success as it is so late in the market unless they give one away with every copy of Windows 7?

Microsoft: A good example of a company where the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.

 

Wow !!! (1)

Ractive (679038) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697111)

That's a huge advance, Just Genius,free music just for some advertising who would have thought of that... Oh wait...

WTF man (-1, Offtopic)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697121)

O come the fuck on I'm totally sick of this shit. I'm driving my ass over to there tomorrow and I'm going to have a few words for the management over there.

This shit has got to motherfucking stop. Microsoft! Please, for the children, SPEND more time working on your god damn OS and less time trying to corner every other market.

Mod this shit down. I don't give a fuck about any of you... this is fucking bullshit. You fucking know what I'm talking about. someone needs to stand the hell up and say so and apparently I'm the fucking luser who's seen one two many fucking slashdot articles and has totally fucking snapped... .FUCK.

Re:WTF man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28697167)

Come on dad, you promised you would start taking your pills.

why anything Microsoft (2, Insightful)

markringen (1501853) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697151)

why anything Microsoft fails is because they too strongly believe in DRM. the entire iTunes store for example is now completely DRM free, and all the market leaders right now are so DRM free. rental services have died a horrible death because DVD/CD media has become affordable enough not to pirate them (as in costing more time to download, then the money it costs to buy).. i put into account my minimum wage is at least 6euro's, put that over the time it costs to download 3 to 8 hours it's too expensive after about 2 hours. the same goes for subscription movies, it's a fucking waste of my money as its cheaper time wise to just get the dvd..

Re:why anything Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28697213)

Rental services have died a horrible death?

Tell that to the three red Netflix envelopes I just brought in with the mail.

Re:why anything Microsoft (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701251)

rental services have died a horrible death because DVD/CD media has become affordable enough not to pirate them

I think that depends on the rental service. I've got an account with LoveFilm and can rent as many DVDs as I want each month for ~£15. Even when DVDs are cheap there's no way I'm getting the number of films I can watch for that kind of money!

As for the tie-in, maybe the DRM is where it lies - the service will be free as long as you're using a Windows Vista/7 PC or a Zune!

Re:why anything Microsoft (1)

Godwin O'Hitler (205945) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701429)

Why Microsoft fails in the music market is they have next to no leverage. The only crowbar MS has ever had is their OS monopoly, and that has already jacked up as much weight as it can without bending.

In markets where they have to compete without leverage, they have never been able to dominate. The gaming market (hardware and software) is one example and music looks like going the same way. I wonder if they themselves seriously believe they have a future outside of the Windows lock-in world.

Re:why anything Microsoft (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701511)

i put into account my minimum wage is at least 6euro's, put that over the time it costs to download 3 to 8 hours it's too expensive after about 2 hours. the same goes for subscription movies, it's a fucking waste of my money as its cheaper time wise to just get the dvd..

It's a waste of time to sit there waiting for it to download, sure.

Mine download in the background while I'm doing other things, mostly while I'm asleep. The total time expended on that activity is likely less than 10 minutes to find the torrent and initiate the download. That's 1euro for a film, which is certainly pretty cheap compared to what we pay in the UK.

Bittorrent user Eh? (1)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701555)

You must be pirating music. The MPAA/RIAA (or your local equivalent) will be knocking on your door shortly.

Seriously, some people out there (Music publishers are you listening) would like to make using bittorrent akin to proof that you are illegally downloading music. They can see no legal reason for this type of application.
Then AFAIK, some ISP's throttle Bittorrent use as a sop to the Music/Movie biz for the above reasons.

Better streaming services needed (1)

Goateee (1415809) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701187)

I think good music streaming services is what will get many pirates to pay for their music, be it by a subscription or by listening to Commercials. While there are now some good non-DRM music to buy online, I usually wish to listen to hundreds of new tracks each month. At around 1$/track this would limit my listening in a fashion I would not consider. Streaming music on the other hand could work, since I would listen to any amount of music available. It also has the advantage of the music being available immediately instead of in a very short time.

Currently I use Spotify, and it seem to be the best streaming service available as of yet. It is still however too limited both when it comes to the amount of music available and the functions of the client. Allowing plugins could fix most of the limitations of the client however. I really hope more and better streaming options becomes available.

Is it just me? (5, Insightful)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701197)

Is it me, or lately MS looks like a fireman with a watering can, running around trying to put out fires everywhere?

I mean, Zune (iPod), Bing (Google), this (Spottify)... Lagging behind the competition a little, are we?

Re:Is it just me? (2, Insightful)

shacky003 (1595307) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701521)

You mean like they did with the first PC OS (Behind the original mac OS) that they copied, then improved on to basically take over the world? It seems like the system works for them...

Re:Is it just me? (1)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701561)

You mean like they did with the first PC OS (Behind the original mac OS) that they copied, then improved on to basically take over the world? It seems like the system worked for them...

FTFY. HAND. ;)

Re:Is it just me? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701771)

Having just read a quote from Ballmer on Engadget: "I don't know if they can't make up their mind or what the problem is over there, but the last time I checked, you don't need two client operating systems. It's good to have one." [engadget.com] Maybe someone should tell him it's good to have one streaming music service, one web search, and one video game console as well. ;)

***subspace transmission***⦠(0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28701229)

the Borg cube is on the move again

My solution... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28701265)

My linux box keeps ripping some shoutcast stations 24/7. Everything I dislike is moved to a folder, a shell script adds them to a blacklist and another one deletes these tracks if they are played again (sort of local last.fm).
This way I keep getting new tracks in mp3 format which are more or less ready to copy to my mp3 player - and it is legal where I'm located :)

Why not last fm (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701305)

So why should i use this instead of lastfm which features no adverts per half hour of music

Re:Why not last fm (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701411)

Once you've tried Spotify, you will never ask this question again. It's that good.

Re:Why not last fm (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701481)

Could you elaborate on why you think it's that good? I've used last.fm a bit, and spotify a bit. neither have large collections of the music I like, it seems.

My view of Spotify was their basic "radio" channels suck (I really don't want to listen to rock, or hiphop, or jazz), though the way you can intersect and combine them is neat, (e.g., rock and hiphop only from the 80s). However, finding stuff in different genres means searching by band, finding similar bands etc. This to me isn't much better than using youtube and making playlists on there, what IS so good about Spotify?

Re:Why not last fm (2, Informative)

mythz (857024) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701585)

Well everyone at work uses it, so the best way I use it to discover music is to actually listen to each other's playlists.
To share a playlist just right-click on the playlist click 'Copy HTTP Link' and IM the link to a friend.

Other than that I just basically search for genre, i.e. 'acoustic', order by popularity and let it play.

They also have Artist radio (which I don't use very much), which basically looks like listening to a random set of tracks from similar artists.

I've actually discovered a lot more music I like on Spotify than any other service for a long time.

It's actually that good a service that I'm probably one of the few people paying the monthly £9.99 p/m to listen to music without interruption, as I think the service is actually worth paying for.

Re:Why not last fm (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701691)

Thanks for the feedback.

I have been using the radio channels and artist radio primarily, which i agree aren't great, and that's probably why I wasn't getting a great experience out of it.

Perhaps the UI isn't great, which is why I've not been finding this better functionality, I'll give it another try!

Re:Why not last fm (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701803)

That's pretty much Last.FM except you can't specify playlists unless you pay for it. You can however type in a search for a specific type of music and it will do tag comparisons for similar music and you can essentially do the same thing (with links.)

For instance: http://www.last.fm/listen/globaltags/atmospheric [www.last.fm] <- There you go... a channel dedicated to just atmospheric music.

Re:Why not last fm (2, Informative)

Laukei (1099765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701413)

Last.fm, at least in the UK (I'm not sure about in the US) doesn't allow you to create playlists, or listen to one song over and over an unlimited amount of times. Nor does it allow you to listen, start to finish, to an album.

Spotify does. As previously stated by someone in the comments, it's basically just iTunes with a massive, cloud-stored library of music that plays as soon as you click it (the buffering is completely unnoticeable.)

Laukei

Re:Why not last fm (3, Interesting)

mythz (857024) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701461)

So why should i use this instead of lastfm which features no adverts per half hour of music

Because it's the fastest music player with the smallest footprint available that lets you listen to *any song* you want.
You can search and play a song in milliseconds.

There is no equal, period.

Re:Why not last fm (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701671)

A place I go to uses a mixture of last.fm and Spotify to provide their piped music.. this isn't unusual any more - I've been in several pubs and been surprised to hear the spotify premium advert suddenly play...

This is the future - buying music is going the way of the dodo.

Re:Why not last fm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28701491)

The Spotify application is like no other application ever made - it is impossibly FAST.

It is actually FASTER to search for and play for a song (that you have never listened to before) than it is to play a song from your local library in any other music player.

The App, the service, the streaming is so instant that it seems technically impossible to achieve.

Seriously, no other application even compares - Microsoft will be incapable of delivering anything that comes remotely close to the User Exprience that Spotify has.

Cross Subsidy to undercut the competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28701337)

Now I am not a Competition Lawyer but isn't this yet another case of Microsoft taking their big War Chest of cash from Windows (DoJ and EU convicted monopoly abuser) and Office and using it to undercut the pricing and business models of other companies?

When British Airways set up GO, a low cost spin-off, they had to do a single payment and make sure they were separate so as to stop cross subsidising distorting the market. This is exactly what Microsoft do. The first XBox was a loss for them but thanks to their pockets they could do what SEGA couldn't and take the losses. The Zune is a loss but they can still keep pumping money into it. Cloud is yet another case where they are leveraging both the monopoly position of windows and combining it with the war chest to try and dominate in another area and undercut the competition.

This streaming music thing is exactly the same thing. Apple couldn't have built up the iPod and iTunes unless it made money pretty much from the start, Microsoft can burn for 5 years and undercut the competition thanks to the cash cow in the background.

HOW THE HELL IS THIS LEGAL?

Sounds like a repeat of PlaysForSure / etc (1)

fyrewulff (702920) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701495)

Already persuing a streaming service right after making a big announcement that we'll be able to listen to last.fm from our Xbox 360s?

This is like all their music stores/PlaysForSure that have come before, where they announce one thing, and then drop it because some exec in another department wants to do a similiar project.

Ah, the famous Microsoft innovation (1)

Bertie (87778) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701569)

I know the story's only a rehashed press release, but this service seems to do precisely nothing that Spotify doesn't. So what would I want with it?

My prediction... (2, Interesting)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701733)

...is that will use Silverlight. My initial reaction to this was "My God, it will suck: it won't be cross platform". Then it occurred to me - Silverlight is cross-platform. So not only would this allow MS to target a larger market, it would get SL on to a huge amount of machines. Oh, and it could be an additional 'pull' factor for Windows: You get free streaming, but you can only download (onto a device) if you have a Zune. And you can only use the Zune if you have Windows... or some such strategy like that

Obviously this is only my personal prediction, but I'm personally expecting this to be an offline app with embedded Silverlight stuff. Either that, or a .NET app (but I'm uncertain on that - what's the status of Mono with OS X?)

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