The Bass Geek - Words about Music, Circuitry, and New Orleans
The Bass Geek

Amazon Giving You Free MP3 Storage For Previous Purchased CDs

Oh, hi New Year. How ya doin'? More on bass later - I've assembled a decent looping rig and am working on stuff now. Like I said, more later

TechCrunch announced Amazon's AutoRip service today, basically giving you a central storage area for all the songs you ever purchased in any form from Amazon. That means you can now store your music collection in one of three central areas - Apple servers (for a fee with Match), Google (free for their purchases, to a limit for everything else), and Amazon (basically stuff you bought from them).

Meaning that media matters little anymore. Doesn't matter how you bought it, these three will make it convenient for you to get.

Why? Because they want you to buy from them in the future. They want their place to be instinctual for you to visit and to purchase from.

Seems nice, but we've seen people pull right back for this kind of media before (right, Amazon?). So I still plan on syncing my server to Google Play for mobile use that still leaves copies for my own personal satisfaction at home.

I'm more intrigued by seeing exactly what I've purchased from Amazon. And a little creeped that they remember better than I do.


New IMN Podcast and Music Services

The new IMN podcast is up - download it here or listen on the site or WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm.

So now that iTunes Match and Google Music are available, I'm thinking that Google might have have come up with the winning service here - if only because it's free (versus $24.99/year for iTunes match). You might have to spend a little more time and effort to upload the tracks, but the mobile version of the site played just fine on my iPhone browser. And that's key - if it's mobile and browser-based, you'll (theoretically) be able to get it on more devices. The interesting thing to me is that both services don't restrict necessarily by size - they restrict by number of songs (25,000 for iTunes Match vs. 20,000 for Google). There might be some file limit size, but cloud storage is evidently cheap enough that they're not worried about it anymore. Toss in Amazon, and all three will hold on to the music you buy for you (unless you're an ubercollector and have too many songs).

But this all sounds a lot like the debut of Best Buy nationwide to me - remember when CDs were loss-leaders to get you to buy more at Best Buy? Music is still a loss-leader for these companies, and only the products have changed. Apple wants to sell hardware, Google wants to sell you as part of their advertising and analytics ventures (as do streaming services like MOG, Spotify, and more), and Amazon wants to sell . . . everything else they sell on Amazon. The convenience and portability of the music is wonderful, but there's actually been precious little shift in the ecosystem for these larger companies. The content drives the purchasing of other goods, and that leaves music in a surprising familiar neighborhood for all of the recent changes.


What Would Have Happened?

Amazon and Google have cloud-based music lockers, and next week's announcement from Apple surely promises a third option tied to an iTunes account. All of this should sound familiar - it's basically what was doing years ago. The difference is that used a physical disc to verify ownership, while these cloud services demand either uploading or purchase from a music service. That's a significant difference, but how much easier would everything have been if, instead of suing the service out of existence, the major labels had worked with You'd have a third-party service streaming purchased tracks as a value-added proposition to music sales, which is what everybody seems to want now. It only required a ton of money and lawsuits to hash it out back to the starting point?

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That Seems A Little Much, and the New Podcast is Up

googlepriceI just got my hands on my copies of "Google Small Business All-In-One For Dummies," and my first impression is that it's huge. Over 750 pages of huge. But it's a good kind of huge, so I'm fairly proud of it. Not proud enough to charge this much for it, though. If anybody wants the book badly enough RIGHT NOW to pay $99,999.99 for it, send me an email, and I'll cut you a much better deal. Fifty percent off, at least. Also, the new IMN podcast is up - you can download it here or listen at the site or WFYI. It's totally free, so think of it as an added bonus while you read the book.


Shortening The Road

Google's new Android system means Amazon's mp3 store has a direct link to new phones. The iPhone already has that link to iTunes. It's not just physical media that's becoming obsolete - now you don't even need a personal computer if the craving gets to be too much.

Theoretically speaking, of course. For God's sakes, please back up your media purchases on a home computer. One lost phone and you're out for the whole thing.

I'd still love to see the DRM go away on iTunes (Amazon can do it, you can too) and the fidelity of the files to increase (can't fit the whole collection, but it still sounds better), but this sure beats an SD card.