Music To Go

It’s a good thing all the excitement in yesterday’s game happened in the second half. I was busy connecting my VoIP phone adapter to my home phone wiring between commercials. The one thing that annoyed me about the VoIP service is the lack of documentation about tying the VoIP service into the phone wiring in the house. After realizing it was a fairly simple project, I grabbed all the parts I needed at Home Depot and did a quick re-routing of the home phone lines in order to make the VoIP experience just like the landline experience. I documented the process of connecting the VoIP phone adapter to my phone lines, making ever phone jack in the house part of the VoIP system, taking breaks for Super Bowl commercials along the way. Of course, if you missed any of the commercials, iFilm has all the Super Bowl ads available online. is getting all the advertising buzz, but I’m personally excited to see Napster finally spending money on explaining their subscription service. I’ve mentioned my opinions about Napster’s subscription service in the past and they finally spent money on making a similar point at this year’s Super Bowl. The “do the math” campaign effectively compares the cost of buying lots of songs from a download service, compared to subscribing to their entire song library on a monthly basis. The counter argument is of course that subscribing to a $15 per month service is merely renting music, where purchasing a 99 cent download represents a form of ownership. In my experience, the so-called ownership becomes more of a hassle than it’s worth. My office has several plastic tubs full of CDs. About half of the CDs have been ripped to my hard drive. The other half get no attention from me. Aside from the indie music I acquired either at live shows or while booking my rock club, all those CDs represent money I spent on music at some point in the past. Assuming I spent about $11 on every CD in my collection, I could pay for years of the Napster To Go service with the same amount of money. When I get sick of a particular artist or album, instead of piling the CD in a plastic tub and buying more music, I can delete the tracks (or pile them in a folder on my hard drive) and download something else.

The music service I’m most curious about right now is Michael Robertson’s MP3tunes. He hasn’t disclosed much about it yet, which either means it’s going to be a really big deal or that some really big deals are still being worked out and there’s nothing to see just yet. Based on Robertson’s ability to create disruptive companies, with fundamentally influencing online music and Lindows Linspire grabbing the attention of Microsoft’s corporate attorneys, he likely has another ace up his sleeve. We’re catching up with him at the Desktop Linux Summit this week – stay tuned for further details.