Goodbye, Lala. Hopefully we will meet again soon.


Back to the whole music/social networking thing.  Before the current incarnation of iTunes was released (that would be version 9), there were rumors that part of the update would include a social networking element that would allow iTunes users to post music to FaceBook, Twitter, etc.  Well, that never happened, and the current version of iTunes is pretty similar to the previous version.

But social networking and music is still a fertile area for development. has been around for a while and features a clunky, Facebook style interface.  The best part of is that it can, if you wish, track everything you listen to on your computer by means of proprietary technology called Scrobbling.  That’s great fun for seeing what tunes you and all your friends are listening to.  There are also discussion forums and lots of news and gadgets to keep you interested.  The one thing that’s really missing from is music.  The social part is there, but the users have to supply their own tunes. does it best, as far as the social aspect is concerned.  Users select music from the Blip database (which is really just a feed into Youtube and Imeem.  But for each selection, other users with similar tastes are suggested.  The genius is with Blip’s ‘props’ system.  You give props to other users/DJs and get props back.  This means there is a currency that you exchange with other users in order to tell them that you like what they play.  You try to accumulate more props and also ‘listeners’ (friends) as you go forward on your musical exploration.  It is a great way to get connected with people who like similar music.

The other thing that Blip does extremely well is interface with existing social networks.  The actual Blip interface itself looks just like Twitter and even uses “@” and “#” in similar ways.  Also, you can tell Blip to broadcast your selections to your Twitter feed or Facebook page, thus allowing you to share music with other, even if they are not in your Blip social network.

The only problem with Blip is that there is not very much music, and a good portion of it is amateur video from Youtube.  Songs are incomplete, of inferior quality or different versions.  And it’s basically impossible to know which version is going to start playing when you blip it.

Along comes  This is the most extensive collection of music I have seen on the internet and it’s delivered to you in a cloud-based interface that is identical to what you are used to looking at with iTunes.  Lala succeeded in a lot of ways.  Firstly, if you could be bothered to take the time, you could upload your whole music collection and listen to it anywhere you could get online with a computer.  You could broadcast your selections easily to Twitter or Facebook.  And there was even a social networking aspect that allowed you to “influence” other users and share selections.  While the architecture of this social networking fature seems pretty slick, users just didn’t seem that interested, which I though was a shame.  The culture at Blip was that you would almost always ‘follow-back’.  At Lala, it seems like no one cares.

Another nice aspect to Lala was that it offered something to sell, thus negating the need to have tons of ads, like we see at Blip.  At Lala, you could pay ten cents for a ‘web’ song meaning that you could listen to it online as many times as you wanted.  Or you could buy a song for $.79 ($7.99 for most albums) and have the mp3 DRM- free to do whatever you want.

So now, Apple has purchased Lala, at a discount rate, and no one seems to know what will happen next.  Of all the music/social/media/networking applications in the cloud, this was the one I liked the best, so I am hopeful that Apple doesn’t just stick it in the trash.

I’m afraid of Twitter

AND, I don’t understand all the functionality.  But that’s not the only reason for my fear.  I have the Facebook-style fear of being hounded by those I don’t know or don’t want to know.  As far as functionality, I’ve had a Twitter account for some time.  I only got it because I wanted to ‘paste my taste’ with  It’s supposed to be a place for rating music, but I gave up on that pretty quick.  What I really wanted was to show off what I had been listening to.  Somehow Twitter picked up info coming off and generated this:

I have no idea how that works, but it does work.

I’m now interested in getting and giving ‘updates’, as I see the way those 140 characters have insinuated themselves into mainstream communication.  And it’s simple and clean, unlike Facebook, which I find complex and annoying.  I think I understand what the ‘@’ is for, but I still don’t understand ‘#’.  I also don’t understand what other things I might be able to do, beyond just making asinine comments and reading other people’s updates.

last.FM improvement

sprucing things up?

A bit of luck: just when I decide I’m sick of seeing Lindsey Bukingham’s forehead in my Last.FM artist quilt (see below left), they fix the album quilt to be more up-to-date and they spruce up the whole user interface. Nice! I’m not about to use it for social networking, but it’s fun to keep track of what I’ve been listening too. Also, it helps generate the below signature:

To migrate or not to migrate…

Back in admin mode before bed. One of the most important aspects of the whole mpomy things is the music litstening group. It’s not all prog, but it is all good. It should be featured much more prominently on page one. Right now it’s just a tiny link off to the side. To give the links utmost prominence, they should reside on wordpress pages, but that’s like trying to reinvent the wheel. For now, they can sit on google pages, but with something more conspicuous on the wordpress homepage.

Tragedy just struck as I was preparing to praise last.FM. I’m sitting with the mac, which is really em’s computer, which only means less prog on iTunes. So I told last.FM to play a selection from my ‘neighbors‘ (other proggers), and VanDerGraf Generator ‘Man-Erg’ came up. Brilliant! Couldn’t have done any better with the progpod. And then I closed the page. Ouch! Still, a pretty impressive musical selection.

The reason that little tale of woe is in this admin post is that I need to use all that music in the listening group to start streaming music at the site. That would take it to another level…