The trouble with music data and social networks

In the rVibe service, there is a strong data and data-mining component, around the music, the people who are buying/using music and the intersection of people and music.  Clearly, data around who is using/buying what/how/from whom has pretty major implications for a variety of things (marketing, recommendations, metrics, viral patterning, technology, privacy, customer experience, etc) and rVibe…

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CDBaby – Oh Baby!

We’ve been working with Spencer over at CDBaby for well over a year now on our contract to license their content.  And…. it’s done – signed, complete!  We’re now licensed to sell CDBaby content.  Well – 75% of it anyway, since we’re a peer-to-peer service. Everyone over at CDBaby has been really fantastic – we’re…

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Favorite investor question

We’ve gone through a number of investor presentations now, filled out lots of forms and gotten lots of questions. I am not a spectacular fundraiser, but have now been around the block a least a little bit (albeit a rather small block). And as I have talked to Angel investors and institutional investors, I always…

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The "majors" (record labels)

People decry the major record labels (Universal, Sony/BMG, Warner and EMI – in that order of size) as evil, killers of freedom, backward, idiotic, and stifling. They bemoan the by-gone days of a label nurturing an artist through their career into an artist of meaning.  They classify them as controlling (ie: requiring DRM), or underhanded…

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Totus Tuus

Here in the US, Henryk Gorecki gets a bit short-changed as a composer of self-reflective trance-like symphony and choral pieces.  On the one hand, it’s well deserved – Symphony No. 3 and Totus Tuus both easily fall into that category. However, it’s not fully deserved, he has written a lot of other music that definitely does…

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Zune + (lack of) social networks

Everyone is talking about Microsoft’s Zune. Speculation abounds on how well it will or won’t do, if it will eclipse the iPod or fizzle completely. Analysis supporting success and failure focus mostly on the Zune’s own eco-system of player+store, the wireless addition (limited as it is) for social music sharing and the strict DRM components.…

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Social Networks/ing & Music Sites

We feel pretty strongly that social networks are the key to a successful music service (if you’re not selling MP3 players that is). The store front model just doesn’t cut it for content discovery and the social networks in which we live (both real and virtual) play a key role on our consumer activity. So,…

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Funding – Reaching BF Again

Ben Franklin Technology Partners has supported us from the beginning when we presented in 2004 and the accepted us into their portfolio.  Last year they invested $50,000 in us. We have another opportunity now for an additional round with them. Since they are a government backed VC, they have a strict application process that governs…

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Offshore vs. onshore

In consumer software, we’ve found that it’s critical the User Interface (UI) aligns with your core demographic’s expectations. And to build a UI that does that successfully, we’ve also found you need to have a solid cultural reference and operation from a set of assumptions that align with your population. There are strong implications for function,…

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Angel

In my current playlist (among other things) is Sarah McLachlan’s Angel from Surfacing. On Angel she hits it perfectly.  The rich mix of piano and cello sets a nice spartan atmosphere for her breathy-then-full-again voice to glide over. While a bit on the repetitive side, that’s part of the grace of it. You can become…

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