free html hit counter Reading Byrne? Worth the Journey - John Battelle's Search Blog

Reading Byrne? Worth the Journey

By - September 17, 2006

David Byrne

I’ve been a follower of David Byrne’s site for quite some time, but it took a recent weekend jaunt to Vegas with an old pal to jar me into re-reading his stuff. And check this out – his prognostications on the future of music search:

Soon enough a site will open that is like a Google search for music downloads — downloads that are not copy-protected but you still pay for. eMusic tracks have no copy protection, for example, but their catalogue is limited. Eventually a meta search will turn up the tracks you want, wherever they live, on whomever’s site. Consumers don’t care who they buy them from if the interface is easy and intuitive. Soon enough iTunes consumers will find they have reached the 5th authorized player on their tracks and the frustration will set in when they can’t listen to the music they paid for. They’ll start to look elsewhere.

Byrne is riffing on SpiralFrog, an ad-supported model for free (but rather DRM crippled) downloads of music. In general, I find his site refreshing and worth the journey.


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4 thoughts on “Reading Byrne? Worth the Journey

  1. Kasian Franks says:

    A new model for music search (discovery and recommendation included) seems to be emerging from the wide spread ability for anyone to easily upload music. This quote from David Byrne says it all: “Eventually a meta search will turn up the tracks you want, wherever they live, on whomever’s site. Consumers don’t care who they buy them from if the interface is easy and intuitive.” Next steps include algorithms and technical methods to capture, cluster and provide recommendations within this new space of internet inventory as opposed to limited physical inventory. Another great post!

  2. Glenn Fleishman says:

    Byrne doesn’t offer a comments forum, but his note that consumers will find “they have reached the 5th authorized player” is an error, although I like everything he says. Apple authorizes five computers (up from three from their first launch), but allows an unlimited numbers of devices to play that content. So far, that’s just iPods. If you own 100 iPods, you can sync 100 iPods.

    The thing I don’t like about iTunes authorization, in particular, and most authorization schemes like Unbox is that they don’t take into account a couple, a nuclear familiar, an extended family. Licenses are per person and then per computer. You can can’t install multiple licenses per copy of a given piece of software. That’s a problem.

  3. Nick Stratford says:

    This certainly speaks to what I see as the future of a new music space.

  4. Pete says:

    Wired- A site called SeeqPod could be the part of the genesis of what Byrne’s talking about http://blog.wired.com/music/index.blog?entry_id=1559171