Friday, January 06, 2006
"Imagine that you have a mobile device that can store and play back music files, for example a mobile phone with an MP3 player. As you encounter various people, the devices you are carrying connect to each other wirelessly and media agents from the other nearby devices check the status of your media collection. Based on what you have been listening to in the past and which files you already own, new music might spontaneously and autonomously 'jump' from another device to yours (and vice versa). Later, when you listen to your songs, your Push!Music player also plays some newly obtained tunes that you had not heard before."
Huh. I'm old and out of touch with the cool kids of the day, but while this seems like it'd present a bunch of really fun technical problems to solve, the end result is of questionable value.
How do you deal with the issue of transferring a relatively large file (4-6MB for an mp3) over a relatively slow connection (732.2 kbits/sec if we're talking bluetooth), when you don't know how long the sender/receiver will be in range? Cool problems.
How do you make reliable judgements about what songs are likely to interest a user when the target device (an mp3-capable phone) can only store a relatively small number of files at any given time, the ID3 information is not necessarily reliable, and most of the user's listening likely happens on some other device? Cool problems.
I could see solving those problems being a lot of fun, but then in the end I've got (1) random mp3 files pushed onto my phone, eating up storage whether I like them or not, (2) I've got to go through a manual "do you approve this download" process every time some other user walks in range, or (3) I have to set up some sort of "approved uploaders" list in which case I could just ask my friends what they think I should listen to.
But, then, since I don't really get how the design and usability abomination that is MySpace managed to become hot stuff in the younger-than-me music world, maybe I'm just out of it.