Thought Of The Day (May 28th, 2014) – Streaming Music Within Video Games

I don’t know if this had been done before or not, but with how we have been so connected online nowadays it’s hard for me to imagine that gamers cannot stream Spotify or other online music services directly within their video games.  This might be great money making scheme for online music services, and at the same time gamers may enjoy their music even while they’re gaming.  Of course, the question is how to implement this the right way so gamers can be authorized to access their online music services within the video games.  Furthermore, with too much connectivity might lead to account insecurity, and so it has to be done the right way to protect gamers’ online music accounts from being hacked while they’re trying to access the service within the video games.

Google Plans To Launch Music Downloading Store, Competing Against iTunes Store and Spotify

It’s being reported that Google is going to build a music downloading store.  Google might integrate its music downloading store tightly with Google Plus and other product platforms of theirs.  Customers will be able to listen to a short preview of each track before purchasing the track for real.

Call it an intuition, I think Google’s soon to launch music downloading store might not be special and attractive.  It’s a competitive market!  For an instance, Apple’s iTunes Store has done the same thing for a long time already.  Wikipedia has that iTunes Store has been selling music since April 28, 2003.

If there is only iTunes Store to worry about, then Google’s new music downloading store has little to fear of.  Unfortunately, iTunes  Store’s business model is facing off against a newer and more aggressive music business model which is Spotify’s subscription based music business model.

Spotify, a Swedish music streaming company which has its headquarter in UK, has been letting people streaming large collections of music.  According to Wikipedia, since July of 2011, Spotify has about 15 million songs for customers/users to stream.  The better part is that Spotify charges customers with a low monthly fee for perquisite such as no advertising.  Paying a premium price of $9.99 per month, customers/users get even more perquisites such as play local files and music from Spotify on mobile and desktop, use offline mode on mobile and desktop, enhanced sound quality, exclusive content, and play Spotify through music systems.

Looking through the lens of customers, we can see that subscription based music business model is many times more attractive than iTunes Store’s music business model.  Instead of buying each song for a price, users from Spotify can really listen to whatever their hearts love.  They can stream all day and night for whatever songs they want, including the newest songs that come out recently.  Through subscription based music business model, Spotify allows customers/users to discover newer artists without the fear of spending waste dimes on unknown artists.  After all, they have already paid a low monthly subscription fee!

Google’s new music downloading store will have to face the same challenge as iTunes Store and even more since it’s newer than everyone else!  Unlike other startups, Google does have advantages as it’s a household name and countless users are using Google’s countless services.  To name a few, Google Plus, Google Search, Google Docs, Google Earth and so on.  With a large user base at hand, Google can easily push its new music downloading store to the foreground.  Oh, let not forget Google is also an advertising company, and so it should not be hard for Google to advertise its own new music downloading store effectively.

I’m kind of hoping for Google to lean toward the subscription based music business model.  Unfortunately, Google has picked the iTunes Store music business model.  Speaking for myself, I don’t buy music on iTunes Store even though I’m a user of Mac, iPhone, and iPad.  Instead, I’m a premium member of Spotify.  This pretty much tells me that I’m not going to be likely to purchase any music on Google’s new music downloading store.

In conclusion, it’s exciting to see Google joins the fun of a swell of competitive online music stores such as iTunes Store.  Nonetheless, can Google be able to make its new music downloading store a profitable story?  Perhaps, subscription based music business model of Spotify will grow so fast that it might be hopeless for Google’s new music downloading store to see the light of day.  We never know, but I’m crossing my fingers, voting for Spotify!


Ubuntu One Gives 5GB Of Storage For Free, Premium Plan Allows Users To Stream Music

Ubuntu 11.10 has two ways for users to backup data.  One is through the use of Deja Dup backup tool, but I’m not going to go into this method in this blog post.  The second method is Ubuntu One which allows users to backup files and folders through Internet.  Ubuntu One saves users’ data securely in network of servers known as cloud service, and users can retrieve data securely to Ubuntu computers and mobile devices.

In addition to allowing users to backup data, Ubuntu One can sync files and folders across Ubuntu devices, including mobile devices.  Ubuntu One allows users to stream music to their mobile devices, but they have to pay $3.99 per month or $39.99 per year for this feature.  Streaming music feature will work with Android phones, iPhone, and iPad.  Users can subscribe to 20GB of storage for $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year, and this plan doesn’t support streaming of music.

Of course, Ubuntu One has a free plan which allows users to have 5GB of free storage.  Users can use smartphones and computers to access their files from Ubuntu One.  It’s like having additional hard drive or a partition on a computer.

Backing up specific files and folders to Ubuntu One is pretty easy, because you just drag and drop such folders to Ubuntu One folder.  When drag and drop files and folders to Ubuntu One folder, you basically retain the original copies on your system, and the backup copies reside on Ubuntu One’s servers (i.e., cloud service).

Whenever you delete files and folders from Ubuntu One folder on your system, the duplicate copies of files and folders on Ubuntu One’s servers will also be deleted.  This is how files and folders sync between your Ubuntu system and Ubuntu One’s account.  This is why it can be dangerous to delete files and folders inside Ubuntu One folder, unless you do not care of losing these backup files and folders.

You can be extra careful by just leave the files and folders where they are and make copies so you can paste these files and folders to Ubuntu One folder.  This way you have three copies of the same files and folders — two on system and one on Ubuntu One’s servers.  This way also fills up more space locally!

Anyhow, I’d created a video which briefly goes over Ubuntu One’s features and shows Ubuntu One in action.  You can check out the video right after the break.

In my opinion, users should not use Ubuntu One to backup the whole Ubuntu system, because Ubuntu One is more efficient in backing up regular folders and files of users.  To backup the whole Ubuntu system efficiently, I recommend users to use Deja Dup backup tool which comes by default with Ubuntu 11.10.