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AOL Making Media Player, Music Store

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the everybody's-doin'-it dept.

America Online 174

An anonymous reader writes "BetaNews is reporting that AOL Music is ramping up its efforts to release a new Media Player independent of the AOL client software, with a long-term goal of building its own music store. The company plans to bring AMP outside its "walled garden.""

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174 comments

Ahh... So they bought it for the name (5, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11045980)

AOL's Media Player = AMP, and they want to win, right? So there you go, Winamp!

Don't get your hopes up just yet, the article is quick to mention that:

"Surprisingly, AMP is not based on AOL's Winamp platform, only utilizing Winamp's "Unagi" playback engine. Instead, AMP is built atop the company's Communicator XUL user interface framework. Communicator was first unveiled in beta form two years ago and eventually evolved into Fanfare."

However, AOL did say "its new Media Player is not a competing product and has different audience, as Winamp users are not likely AOL users."

Is this the knockout punch for Winamp? What did Netcraft say?

Re:Ahh... So they bought it for the name (2, Interesting)

Eraser_ (101354) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046022)

What I want to know is, will this application be a small XUL program? or will we have to download the whole XUL kit.

IE, can we just plug this into Mozilla and have it in the sidebar, or download a few hundred K worth of stuff? Or is every download a couple megs because of the XUL frameworks being included?

Sounds like Visual Basic hell might start up again. If it is truly written in XUL, couldn't they easily port it to any platformw here XUL runs?

Re:Ahh... So they bought it for the name (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046083)

Hmm, keep in mind that they just decided to launch FireFox as "Netscape"... maybe they have something interesting planned.

Re:Ahh... So they bought it for the name (2, Informative)

edwdig (47888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046214)

Using XUL won't really help make a media player more portable. The hard parts of porting a media player are the sound output and the video display. XUL only helps with the front end. You'd still need to write ALSA and X11 video overlay code to get it to run on Linux.

Re:Ahh... So they bought it for the name (5, Insightful)

Cuthalion (65550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046432)

I used to work for AOL on this product from 2002-2003*. I personally worked on 4 completely different implementations which all got scrapped for one reason or another (usual reason: internal politics). I laughed out loud when I saw 14 months of pain being condensed into a single sentence in this article.

The AOL Media Player is targeted at their mainstream user base. Winamp is targeted at the technically savvy people. The Winamp user base typically is extremely sensitive to advertising and corporatism. Not trying to win over the winamp users to the AOL Media Player is a very good decision.

* worst job ever

No, no, no... (2, Funny)

abb3w (696381) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046539)


The obvious name for what AOL ultimately intends to go up against iTunes would be "meTu-nes".

Re:Ahh... So they bought it for the name (2, Insightful)

slapout (93640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046608)

only utilizing Winamp's "Unagi" playback engine"

So it is based on Winamp. Winamp's engine will be playing back the sound. It'll just have a different interface. Just think of it as a very different winamp skin. :-)

AOL (2, Informative)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11045981)

ITunes . . .

ME TOO!

-Peter

Re:AOL (1)

Cyclone_TBW (812384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046296)

Do we really need another media player? Next I will hear about AOL developing there own(read: Proprietary) media format. All I need is some .aol files to go with my: mp3, wav, ogg, mov, wma, etc....

Good old AOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11045983)

I love the way they buy things like Netscape and Wimamp and then basically ignore them. This seems like a strange mix of Winamp, XUL and AOL native stuff.

Re:Good old AOL (2, Insightful)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046039)

We know one store is just as good as another if the songs are digital. The question is....

1.) Can they be cheaper than Apple at 99 cents with a product as good as iTunes.

2.) Can they be cheaper than Walmart at 88 cents period.

Re:Good old AOL (1)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046671)

"1.) Can they be cheaper than Apple at 99 cents with a product as good as iTunes.

2.) Can they be cheaper than Walmart at 88 cents period."


they dont have to be. they just need a little button on AOL that says "Buy Britney Spears - 1 click!"

aol sells a lifestyle just the same as apple.

apple = rich technophobic newbies
aol = poor technophobic newbies

or something :)

Errr... (5, Funny)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11045985)

Why not cut out the middle man and just mail you CDs with music on them?

Re:Errr... (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046024)

Assuming that they over-charge you for the music on there, even if you don't want the CD or even use AOL, this would go along with AOL's billing strategies very well indeed.

There's no market for that! (3, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046078)

> Why not cut out the middle man and just mail you CDs with music on them?

Because every CD in the known universe has already had a free AOL account burned into it.

Besides, who the hell's crazy enough to employ a business model based on distributing lossless copies of non-DRM-hobbled music files on 650-megabyte removable media? :)

Re:Errr... (1)

harrkev (623093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046266)

Because the CDs would probably consist of nothing but zydeco and klezmer music -- with a special interlude by the amateur bagpipe band!

In Korea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11045986)

only old people listens to music.

Ask me if I care? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11045989)

No.

I don't.

It's nice to see AOL... (5, Funny)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11045996)

On the forefront of new technology and not just jumping on someone else's bandwagon.

Re:It's nice to see AOL... (0, Offtopic)

Metryq (716104) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046472)

"Your grandma already uses Linux on the desktop, ever hear of Google?"

Right, only there seems to be some confusion over "Red Hat."

Interesting... (5, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11045998)

Not surprising, but interesting as AOL already has several arrangements with Apple to allow AOL Music, AOL accounts, etc., interoperate with the iTunes Music Store:

Apple and America Online Announce Online Music Alliance [apple.com]

AOL Members Now Have Instant Access to Apple's iTunes Music Store [apple.com]

iTunes Music Store AOL account signin [apple.com]

Re:Interesting... (1)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046055)

Just goes to prove that AWOL management clearly has no clue what is going on at their company. Start shorting the stock, if there's any left to short.

To bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11045999)

..they will only sell extremely annoying music.

Winamp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11046000)

So is this going to be their replacement for WinAmp now that most of original developers have left.

R.I.P WinAmp

Re:Winamp? (3, Informative)

calibanDNS (32250) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046040)

RTFA


Surprisingly, AMP is not based on AOL's Winamp platform, only utilizing Winamp's "Unagi" playback engine. Instead, AMP is built atop the company's Communicator XUL user interface framework. Communicator was first unveiled in beta form two years ago and eventually evolved into Fanfare.

Despite the overlap, AMP is not meant to replace Winamp - even with the recent departure of the player's development team. AOL says its new Media Player is not a competing product and has different audience, as Winamp users are not likely AOL users.


This looks more like AOL's initial pust to eventually get themselves into the music store business, not to replace an existing MP3 player.

Re:Winamp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11046042)

Yes I now the article said it wasn't suppose to be a replacement for Winamp, but that's never stopped AOL from saying one thing and doing another.

got rid of WinAmp programmers? (1, Redundant)

jkitchel (615599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046007)


If I remember correctly, doesn't AOL own WinAmp?Could this be why they recently let go of most of the WinAmp progammers? So that they could take what they already have and turn it into their own with some extras thrown in?

Re:got rid of WinAmp programmers? (1)

calibanDNS (32250) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046070)

From the article:

Surprisingly, AMP is not based on AOL's Winamp platform, only utilizing Winamp's "Unagi" playback engine...Building AMP from scratch was not an easy task, and AOL has yet to set a final release date. A source close to the company says AMP has been in development for three years, citing "rewrite after rewrite.

Looks like this has been in development for a while, and the article states that it is targeted at a different audience than WinAMP.

Re:got rid of WinAmp programmers? (1)

DarkMantle (784415) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046188)

With any luck, they'll open source Winamp so it can stay around.

Who am I kidding, that won't happen. :S

Winamp (3, Insightful)

Folmer (827037) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046008)

Even though they write:
AOL says its new Media Player is not a competing product and has different audience, as Winamp users are not likely AOL users.
I really cant see why they shouldnt use winamp instead, and bless the aol users with a good player..
( I havent had any first hand experience with aol software, but the horror stories dont make me want to try it out...)

Re:Winamp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11046101)

Because for this to happen, AOL first needs to fire all of the programmers who will then start an open source group and build the best media player on the market, then AOL can take the hard work of the open source group, change the colors, and release a re-branded version of it.

Re:Winamp (2, Funny)

afd8856 (700296) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046341)

Now you lost your change. You should have made a business plan from it.

1. Buy products
2. Fire programmers
3. Open source it
4. Programmers build the best product on the market
5. ???
6. Profit!

Re:Winamp (1)

archen (447353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046526)

Especially when you consider that winamp can now look like whatever you want it to, and it has a fully extendable plugin arcetecture. Whatever pathetic player AOL comes up with, you'll be able to pretty much duplicate the interface with a winamp skin, and could have duplicated the functionality through a plugin. I'm willing to bet winamp will be faster too.

Classic case of left hand doesn't know what right hand is doing. Or the execs have their head up their ass. Probably both.

Re:Winamp (1)

Cuthalion (65550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046643)

In order to make Winamp what AOL wants (essentially a front end to pimp their online music store) they would have to turn it into something that ALL of their existing user base would hate.

Several of the 'rewrite after rewrite' actually were little more than branches of the latest Winamp - which was Winamp3 which is one reason why they got tossed and rewritten.

They need help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11046012)

Whoever is making these decisions needs to be _fired_. Now.

Won't make much money... (3, Insightful)

eeg3 (785382) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046033)

iTunes already has most of the market share, and AOL certainly isn't a very popular name among many computer users. People that use AOL will probably be semi-interested, but with AOL's trouble... that might not be very many people. Non-AOL users will likely choose iTunes over it, without much thought.

With a little luck, they might just break even.

Re:Won't make much money... (1)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046128)

You mean break AOL's software AMP like we used to do in the good ol' days of AOL2.0 - 3.0?

Re:Won't make much money... (1)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046245)

Oh my god... Thanks to you, I just had a flash-back of "the good old days" and terrorizing people on AOL with the app AOHell. Talk about old school...

Obligatory Reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11046041)

You've Got DRM!

Just what I need... (2, Funny)

phaln (579585) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046056)

...promises of 1048 free hours of Yanni in my mailbox, encased in a tin, sent to me every other week.

Not WinAmp ! Its about Warner Brothers! (1, Insightful)

HighOrbit (631451) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046061)

AOL-Time-Warner owns a huge part of the music recording industry. The software is just a means to an end: To make money selling music.

Re:Not WinAmp ! Its about Warner Brothers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11046403)

Woah. You mean they're making a music store in order to sell music? What's the world coming to?

WMG != Warner (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046625)

Time Warner sold off Warner Music Group. Vivendi Universal sold off everything but Universal Music Group. This leaves Sony as the only major label that is also a major movie studio.

Every Company Trying To Do Everything? (1)

Tiberius_Fel (770739) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046062)

Is it my imagination, or are there many many companies these days trying to be the one resource for everything in their field? I suppose technology companies do this especially, but to my mind there are a lot of places that are trying to be everything to everyone.

I suppose you can liken it to what many car companies are doing. They sell vehicles across all types and price ranges, even if it's not something they are good at. They do not leave even a tiny gap in their product offerings so that it's physically possible to buy their product even if it is inferior to a competitor's product for approximately the same price.

Re:Every Company Trying To Do Everything? (1)

acidrain69 (632468) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046442)

Don't forget restaurants. You can go to a seafood restaraunt and get steak, and vice versa.

But I'd like to point out, the way the tech industry does it is different than a restauant. The restaurant is actually branching into other food genre's, whereas some of the tech industries just liscense and partner with other companies and brand it as their own.

ISP's are very competitive in the US, and there is a huge push to add values and services to screw^H^H^H^H^H provide the customer more value, and thus rape^H^H^H^H extract more money from them. For example, the crappy "broadband speeds over dialup" service, where they cache everything and recompress the images for faster transfer, also adding antivirus and spyware applications, and also ANTI-spyware applications.

Winamp (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046073)

Winamp is the best audio player on the face of the earth. It has a large community tons of skins and effects. AOL are utter FOOLS. FOOLS!

They are going to throw that all away? For what?

AMP (2, Interesting)

Ctrl+Alt+De1337 (837964) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046075)

My parents have been on AOL since v3.0 and are finally upgrading to cable (I can't stand returning from my college T1 line to dial-up). The media player came around before AOL bought Winamp, so that explains why it's separate. I just am curious about AOL's overall strategy with it breaking up into 4 separate companies, phasing out broadband, discontinuing Winamp, making its own browser (to compete with its own Netscape I guess), and now trying to push a standalone media player when the market for them is already saturated with free programs. The only real advantage to AMP was that it could do the standard formats (wmv, mp3, avi, etc) and RealPlayer media as well.

I wish (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046093)


First, didn't they do something like buy nullsoft or at least winamp and kill it recently?

I wish, really, really wish they or someone would create a robust plugin enabled medial player for OS X. It would be nice to use one player instead of 3 just to listen to music from time to time.

Re:I wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11046170)

Try VLC [videolan.org]. I've been using it since I got my iBook over a year ago and haven't looked back since. I use iTunes for music and VLC for pratically everything else.

Re:I wish (1)

Zardus (464755) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046206)

Slashdot recently had a story [slashdot.org] on Audion, which sounds like it might fit your needs. Its freely available from Panic here [panic.com].

As a disclaimer, I don't use OSX, so I dunno how good this is, but it seems to be more robust than iTunes with some nice features.

Re:I wish (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046593)

Slashdot recently had a story on Audion, which sounds like it might fit your needs.

Trust me, I've looked at everything that remotely returns a result from google about media players and OS X. I've downloaded and played with Audion. I don't remember what I didn't like about, and I went to run it to jog my memory, and I've deleted it.

Thanks, but Audion doesn't cut it either.

Re:I wish (1)

KillaKen187 (794540) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046642)

IMHO, Another good one is Mplayer for OSX. Here is what mplayer is (from this [mplayerhq.hu] website):

"MPlayer is a movie player for Linux (runs on many other Unices, and non-x86 CPUs, see the documentation). It plays most MPEG, VOB, AVI, Ogg/OGM, VIVO, ASF/WMA/WMV, QT/MOV/MP4, FLI, RM, NuppelVideo, YUV4MPEG, FILM, RoQ, PVA files, supported by many native, XAnim, and Win32 DLL codecs. You can watch VideoCD, SVCD, DVD, 3ivx, DivX 3/4/5 and even WMV movies, too (without the avifile library)."

I have personally used it on my Powerbood and it runs great. Sounds good? You can download it from here [sourceforge.net]

Sounds about right... (1, Redundant)

BRSQUIRRL (69271) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046094)

So, in the finest tradition of AOL...

"ME TOO!!!1!"

Seriously, does anyone remember the days when AOL was actually a unique, innovative company as opposed to a punchline?

Re:Sounds about right... (1)

Texodore (56174) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046138)

I remember first getting on the Internet 10 years ago in 1994 and AOL was a punchline then. They were innovative?

Re:Sounds about right... (2, Insightful)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046184)

Companies are only as good as its best engineers, and yet top managers think engineers are dime a dozen like an accountant, so the bean counters do what they can do reduce costs and get subpar loosers who only program because its a job, not a passion and get subpar crud as result.

Why is there a work position such as 'manager' that has no real format training/dicipline like engineering and yet command 2-3x the salary? In our real worl, the engineers should get the 80k, and the manager should be on 60k.

Re:Sounds about right... (1)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046330)

Seriously, does anyone remember the days when AOL was actually a unique, innovative company as opposed to a punchline?


No.

Re:Sounds about right... (1)

DeepHurtn! (773713) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046390)

Seriously, does anyone remember the days when AOL was actually a unique, innovative company as opposed to a punchline?

No. I got on the net in 94, and it was a joke then, too. The Endless September had already begun.

And before then, wasn't it just another Compuserve or Prodigy?

Re:Sounds about right... (1)

Drathos (1092) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046515)

Um...

<scratches head>

No, I'd have to say they've always been a punchline..

Walled garden? (2, Insightful)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046119)

Are these the same walls that prevent the AOL marketing department from getting their filthy little hands on winamp?

Look what happened the last time someone slipped over the wall... *cough*Winamp 3*cough*.

Re:Walled garden? (3, Insightful)

Cuthalion (65550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046547)

Winamp3 wasn't marketing driven at all. The problems with it are mostly the fault of an overambitious and poorly directed engineering team. Not that I think AOL would have directed them in a positive direction, but they definitely took a very hands-off approach to winamp.

The value of Nullsoft to them is in the multimedia A/X controls and server components which AOL has integrated into their client, and which they use for the playback core in the AOL Media Player.

Top Selling Track (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11046152)

The top selling track on this service will be titled "ME TOO!!!!1111!! LOLLOL!!!!!!!!1111"

Go AOL! (2, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046155)

I'm sure the AOL MusicStore (TM) will change our lives for the better, as AOL's Internet (TM) did. They will surely give iTunes a run for their money with their groundbreaking TopSpeed (TM) [aol.com] technology and their superior Internet. I sure hope they include my favorite Super Buddy (TM) [aolepk.com] technology and their priceless CD offers in their store, though.

I, for one, do want a better Internet with cool technologies like automatic Email virus protection, *free* web popup blocking, full parental controls, and *free* SuperBuddy(TM) icons and am sure all of you do too! Yay AOL!

There is a very obvious reason that this is doomed (2, Insightful)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046178)

Time Warner owns AOL. The other members of the big five would be dumb as hell to support this by opening their catalogs up to it. If anything, it would be an incentive to help the iTMS defeat AOL because every song that the AOL Music Store sells for them would also go into helping a competitor, Time Warner.

Can you say... (1)

abb3w (696381) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046505)

The other members of the big five would be dumb as hell to support this by opening their catalogs up to it.

"conspiracy in restraint of trade?" I thought you could.

Of course, there's the question of whether the Bush administration Justice Department can, but that's likely blatant enough to get even their attention. Folk will probably open catalogs to AOL's music store, perhpas a little reluctantly, and probably not for any less than they charge iTunes.

Here's a quick rundown... (1)

gimpimp (218741) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046183)

AOL EXEC1: oh fuck, look the horse has bolted!!!
AOL EXEC2: someone, anyone, shut the stable door!!

HAPPY CUSTOMERS: too late, guys. next!

Demographic? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11046185)

I'm interested in precisely who is AOL's targeted demographic for this product.

The way I see it, the average totally incompetent user will just use MS Media Player given it's preinstalled, and probably does all they want (and anything it doesn't do probably won't occur to them anyway).

Then you have the more competent, slightly smarter (not that smart, still using Windows remember *cough*) user, who while looking for alternative is likely to dismiss AOL's offering simply because it's, well, made by AOL, who don't have a particularly cool aura about them. Even when their aren't good alternates around, I'd imagine even these users are more likely to stick with Media Player than migrate to AOL's You're-A-Fucking-Retard-Let-Me-Hold-Your-Hand-Whil e-People-Laugh-At-Us-Player, or they might go for WinAmp, which despite being deprecated is still popular (yes, it's owned by AOL, but I think it's still tagged NULLSOFT, which sounds better AOL/NULLSOFT? That's a rhetorical question).

The only remaining demographic is incompetent users, who choose AOL as their ISP, two problems: 1) This market is declining, especially given the fact they seem only to care about dial up users, who themselves are in rapid decline, 2) These users are the sort who use the interet at most about an hour or less a day, and are probably over 50. In short, they are the least likely people to be interested in purchasing music online.

In summary: AOL Sucks! and most people who might potentially install their product are beginning to realise they suck. Anyone left, who might install it as a tie in to this particular ISP's crap-ware, is probably not going to use it, and even less likely to purchase music from it (which is the whole point from AOL's perspective).

Re:Demographic? (1)

WebBORG (682429) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046421)

Wait, they are phasing out broadband, and opening a music store?! So let me get this strait, they plan to sell music downloads to dialup users? Who in their right mind would spend 5 hours downloading an album.

Re:Demographic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11046611)

"The way I see it, the average totally incompetent user will just use MS Media Player given it's preinstalled, and probably does all they want..."

Yeah, those incompetent users and their straightforward, easy-to-use programs with their slick GUIs. Freaking morons. Why can't everyone be an activist like me. After all, if any cause is worthy of activism it's software. Genocide in the Sudan, U.N. officials being bribed, a welfare state that enshrines self-esteem above truth... BAH! Go Linux!!!

Yay, competition (1)

kryogen1x (838672) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046197)

Hopefully this will cause a drop in prices. Hmm, but on second thought, most AOL products aren't that good, so it won't be able to compete. Doh!

Demographic? (-1, Redundant)

oexeo (816786) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046226)

I accidentally posted this as AC already, please mod down AC, and Mod this accordingly (if you don't believe it's my writing, please compare grammar to my previous postings):

I'm interested in precisely who is AOL's targeted demographic for this product.

The way I see it, the average totally incompetent user will just use MS Media Player given it's preinstalled, and probably does all they want (and anything it doesn't do probably won't occur to them anyway).

Then you have the more competent, slightly smarter (not that smart, still using Windows remember *cough*) user, who while looking for alternative is likely to dismiss AOL's offering simply because it's, well, made by AOL, who don't have a particularly cool aura about them. Even when their aren't good alternates around, I'd imagine even these users are more likely to stick with Media Player than migrate to AOL's You're-A-Fucking-Retard-Let-Me-Hold-Your-Hand-Whil e-People-Laugh-At-Us-Player, or they might go for WinAmp, which despite being deprecated is still popular (yes, it's owned by AOL, but I think it's still tagged NULLSOFT, which sounds better AOL/NULLSOFT? That's a rhetorical question).

The only remaining demographic is incompetent users, who choose AOL as their ISP, two problems: 1) This market is declining, especially given the fact they seem only to care about dial up users, who themselves are in rapid decline, 2) These users are the sort who use the interet at most about an hour or less a day, and are probably over 50. In short, they are the least likely people to be interested in purchasing music online.

In summary: AOL Sucks! and most people who might potentially install their product are beginning to realise they suck. Anyone left, who might install it as a tie in to this particular ISP's crap-ware, is probably not going to use it, and even less likely to purchase music from it (which is the whole point from AOL's perspective).

Re:Demographic? (2, Funny)

rwjazz39 (307888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046677)

I'm interested in precisely who is AOL's targeted demographic for this product.
Aging Koreans... and Natalie Portman?

Not a bad idea (1)

aengblom (123492) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046276)

As most of AOL's most recent ideas, I'm sure the majority of Slashdotters will pretty much call this idea dead in the water, but it seems to me as one of AOL's better ideas in awhile. (Not hard)

It's amazing it didn't happen earlier. I mean hell, Microsoft has an online music store--and Microsoft has proven it's pretty poor at recognizing good content (Slate excluded... MSNBC is basically an NBC venture content-wise).

AOL actually sort of gets what the masses want for content and they want to be a content company. And there content divisions are performing the best internally. After all they merged (essentially bought at this now) with Time Warner--where content is King.

Remember, AOL still has a large, captive audience of users with a decent amount of money and usually like popular culture. Plus, they have a direct route to install software onto the PC's of milions of their users.

That's a pretty big foot in the door. Add in the music library of Time Warner and you may have a serious competitor.

Re:Not a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11046594)

Too bad they just fired all the content folks at radio@aol (ex-spinner, ex-thedj) and hired no experience yes persons to replace them.

"What? Time Warner wants Josh Grobin played three times an hour on every station? Yes sir, right away, sir!"

If AOL was smart... (1)

GarfBond (565331) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046282)

They'd leverage their huge media empire and undercut their competitors. After all, Sony is the only other competitor that has their own media empire, and they're not really doing much with it (other than pushing their stupid ATRAC3 format). I imagine AOL would get a nice foothold in the industry if they managed to sell all Warner Music songs at, say, 80c each instead of the standard 99c. This might end up triggering a price war between everyone.

Though, now that I'm looking, I can't find any actual listing of Warner Music Group being affiliated with Time Warner at all. I assume it'd be a subcompany of Warner Bros., but it doesn't appear to be so, at least going by the timewarner.com site.

2007: The history of AMP (1)

ilyanep (823855) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046295)

AMP 1.0 : Very interesting, but still already existant in some competitors such as iTunes

AMP 2.0: AMP is sent out massively on DVD's at major department stores and in mail. Still no new features

AMP 3.0: AMP only allows you to buy AOL-TW approved songs, only 3% of the total songs at the time. The ownership of AMP cites "virus concerns".

AMP 4.0: AMP includes a new AIM plug-in so the cops can IM you their subpoena.

AMP 5.0: AMP is bought out by an outside corporation.

AMP 6.0: AMP acquires iTunes. People revert back to Kazaa.

AMP 7.0: AOL-TW announces the discontinuation of AMP.

does anyone else see a problem with... (1)

deathazre (761949) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046415)

their choice of names?

* media-sound/amp
Latest version available: 0.7.6
Latest version installed: [ Not Installed ]
Size of downloaded files: 97 kB
Homepage:
Description: AMP - the Audio Mpeg Player
License: as-is

And, IIRC Nullsoft got nailed with a lawsuit from these guys for having 'amp' in their product name, which is the whole reason they got bought up by AOL in the first place.

Which Business si driving which? (2, Interesting)

razmaspaz (568034) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046445)

Will AOL release this to the general public or to just AOL customers. My hunch says it will be for everyone, but with some special deals for AOL customers. What can AOL bring to the table that nobody else can? I don't think anything. A name? Would anyone use the AOL service because they knew the AOL name? iTunes is certainly better known. Will this drive AOL business? Would anyone buy AOL to get the better deals they offer? Doubtful... So what is the Competitive advantage AOL can bring to the mix? This is a dumb move with no way for AOL to differentiate or leverage any competitive advantage. They should fold up shop now, before they waste any more money on printing press releases!

Re:Which Business is driving which? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11046531)

I personally have to look at the other angle of this; AOL does have access to a pretty strong multimedia group with Time Warner, and they can probably get a deal together to sell the songs for significantly less than iTunes currently.

Then Apple's behemoth will get the companies to cut their royalties and will reduce *their* price to five cents less than AOL per song, and then AOL will go ":`(".

Struggling AOL going for broke (1)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046517)

So AOL recently announced they were going to cut their broadband services. They also just laid off a whole slew of people. And now they're going to try their hand at a music store and a media player? I see a desperate, desperate company with no focus right now...

Its about time (1)

Momoru (837801) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046530)

It's about time someone came out with a media player and a music store to support it. Its brilliant original ideas like this that keep AOL rolling in new subscribers.

Why ... WHY? (1)

MP3Chuck (652277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046558)

Why not develop Winamp further? Extend it so that it works with their music store ... God knows they could write a plugin to do that. And with the massive user base that Winamp has, they'd kill two (or three) birds with one stone. I probably wouldn't use said store ... but I dunno, working with Winamp just makes so much more sense to me.

- They could push Winamp to their users ... a wider userbase for Winamp could only make it more profitable.
- They could push the AOL Music Store to Winamp users, so they'd immediately have a vast potential customer base.
- They'd continue and extend development of a very mature platform that they already own.

C'mon, AOL...

Just in, latest news from Reuters (1)

Gadzinka (256729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046573)

Reuters just reported important business news from new and emerging market.

Mr and Mrs Jones from Waukesha Wisconsin just confirmed that they won't be launching their Media Player and Online Music Service. Asked about the reasons of this difficult decisions Mr Jones told that he can't promise he won't start his own Online Music Service in the future but it is just impossible at the moment. Mrs Jones wasn't immediately available for the comment.

Robert

This News just in... (1, Funny)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046581)



NullSoft founder and WinAMP creator Justin Frankel was rushed to the hospital today and treated for unspecified abdominal injuries incurred during a prolonged fit of laughter.

Stay tuned for more on this story as it becomes available.

AMPzilla ?? (1)

jbond23 (525878) | more than 9 years ago | (#11046628)

I read this "Instead, AMP is built atop the company's Communicator XUL user interface framework." And thought AmpZilla
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