This Is My Jam Appeals to the Music Of Our Heart

The Spotify music platform continues to thrive as the ecosystem for launching purposeful social music applications. I was made aware of a simple, but oh so necessary app by The Echo Nest in my Facebook stream today, the app is called This Is My Jam.

I love the focus of the This Is My Jam app (incubated by The Echo Nest) which  is to share your favorite song with others as they share their favorite song with you. You get to choose one song only for your friends to hear. The song expires in seven days if you don’t change it. That’s it. I will try to share a new favorite song every day if I remember to do so 😉

The company’s greatest challenge to date, according to co-founder Matthew Ogle is, “finding a way to make Jam feel like an effortless enhancement of your existing online music life, and not become yet another social network.

I look forward to learning how the forthcoming This Is My Jam API will be structured for my development and customization hacks 😉

Daniel Ek, CEO at Spotify – Leading disruption to forge the music ecosystem

Daniel Ek’s knowing smile graces the cover of Forbes Magazine, January 16th issue. At 28 years of age he is the most important man in music now. He is CEO and co-founder of Spotify, the Web music ecosystem. Spotify is radically altering how we interact with music in the cloud. It’s a disruption whose time is a necessity. Spotify is the salvation for the music industry against Internet music piracy.

Daniel Ek On The Cover Of Forbes

I couldn’t be happier with Spotify’s achievements on our behalf. I have sung the praises of Spotify ever since their Web music service hit our shores. I am proud to say I became a day one US Spotify premium member on July 14, 2011 🙂

Spotify continues to amaze me as it becomes the intersection of music and technology in the Web. It is a prime example of a well executed Web 3.0 Semantic application. I am especially keen on how Spotify the music platform interacts with the aggregate sum total of music intelligence that is the echo nest. Spotify Radio is the vehicle that leverages the direct  API interaction with the echo nest API of 30 million songs (5 billion data points.) Now that’s what I call a music cloud 😉

Facebook Music Launches with Spotify! Yessssssssssssssssssss

Today, September the 22nd, is a big day for everyone who loves music.

I second that emotion with the music of our heart! Media share away 🙂

The members of R.E.M. end the “band”. Stay tuned for what’s next :)

R.E.M. published their “collective” and individual sentiments about ending R.E.M. as a “band” on their Web site today. I wasn’t surprised to see their announcement when the news appeared in my Facebook stream. I have anticipated a major fundamental change from the members of R.E.M. ever since they released Collapse Into Now. 

Personally as a 30+ year fan, I am grateful for their music and activism accomplishments. I am genuinely excited for Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills individual future growth however they each define that.

R.E.M.’s Collective Statement

“To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.” R.E.M.

As a couple who have been very moved by your art,  we extend our deepest regards to all the members of R.E.M., past and present, for making the music of our heart enriched and full.

You have taught us that:

We offer in return with affection (taking liberties with one of your lyric stanzas…)

It’s the beginning of their next phase, as they grow it

And I feel fine!

Spotify, Why I will be kicking Zune to the curb

File:Spotify logo.pngI didn’t expect for the following sentiment to take place today, but as you will read, I had an “aha moment” with music software. I browsed over to Spotify‘s Web site this morning to learn more about their music cloud service which just reached our shores yesterday after a two-year wait.

I was skeptical about the Spotify offering as my first perspective was oh not another Web music service in a very crowded field of offerings too many to list, discern or mention. I must admit I was quite uplifted by what I discovered and interpreted about Spotify.

I was motivated further to explore Spotify as my car CD player has stopped working and I need to replace it soon. So I have started playing the iPhone in the car as a substitute.

File:Zune logo.svg

I have been a loyal Zune software subscriber since its start in 2006. I have accumulated 5,913 listens to Zune in that time frame. I subscribe to Zune Pass at $14.99 a month, which also gives me 10 free songs a month. But Zune is starting to crumble as a solution and has not shown much innovation of late. Also it is having a problem downloading albums I buy in sequence, skipping songs in their logical order, which is a hassle. Zune is failing to keep up with the times, c’est la vie.

I have been eagerly awaiting Zune to supply a couple of  “promised” features which I doubt are ever coming in spite of Microsoft’s Cloud initiative.

Microsoft Zune is failing to live up to my expectations as a Web music service offering. The most notable Zune technology failure is the lack of social networking capability and integration Microsoft “does not supply”. Sharing has very little fellow Zune subscriber participation.  It is a promise in principle unfulfilled. Microsoft failed to innovate the music software sharing options I expected them to carry out, such as more immediate Web music locker sharing, Facebook integration etc. It doesn’t seem that Microsoft will ever leverage its 1.6% investment stake in Facebook to become the “Facebook Music” solution.

It is very clear that Spotify has secured that leadership role and is declared “Facebook Music”. When Mark Zuckerberg is endorsing your product solution you have “arrived”.  Spotify is destined to conquer the American music subscriber’s market with its ease of use and focused integration with Apple iTunes, Windows Media Player files (that’s how I will reuse my Zune music library and cut the cord with Zune Pass…).

“Spotify is so Good”
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Founder of Facebook

I purchased a Spotify Premium Service subscription today to get a better idea of what Spotify offers a music subscriber. I like what I am experiencing thus far. Spotify has indeed done their homework with their technology edge.

I really like that for $9.99 a month  with Spotify I have 13 million songs readily at my disposal with the  iPhone Spotify cloud app. It was effortless to search and hear music through the Spotify Cloud to my iPhone. I rather like how they smartly randomized Neil Young’s catalog for me as I drove home from work this afternoon. Zune can’t do that….

As the Microsoft Cloud forms I don’t see the Zune solution leveraging the music locker experience effectively or at all for that matter.

I will save $5 a month with Spotify versus Zune Pass and I can have very high quality stream/sync functionality.

Spotify you are my new Web music subscription service. Microsoft’s Zune say hello to the curb. Oh and Microsoft speculation about XBox Music doesn’t move me…..

Owsley “Bear” Stanley 1935-2011

I was upset to learn of Owsley “Bear” Stanley‘s untimely death last night. I had just come home from Brooklyn, logged into Facebook when I picked up the R.I.P. Bear discussion threads taking place with Sam Cutler and Bill Kreutzmann.

It hit me like a thunderbolt…. sigh…

As one of many extended Dead family members my heart goes out to Bear’s family, Sam Cutler, the members of the Grateful Dead and all who knew him in San Francisco, Australia and elsewhere.

My purpose in writing this blog post today is to pay tribute to Owsley “Bear” Stanley. He made significant contributions to our counter-culture as a chemist, genius sound engineer, band manager, and music archivist.

I just read Bob Weir and Phil Lesh‘s thoughts about Bear and wanted to share them with you from

Bob Weir wrote:

I met Owsley at the age of eighteen. I had just left home, having run off with a Rock&Roll band. Bear, as we knew him, was one of my all-time biggest influences. Always, when I think of him, I think of the endless stuff he taught me or somehow made me realize, all stuff that I’ve been able to use to the benefit of countless people who probably don’t know much about him or how deeply he influenced me and the rest of the band. Most important was the approach he taught me and us: Always be open and engaging – always critical and questioning, but not negatively so much as playfully. He taught me to take myself and my interests out of the picture and work with the subject under consideration so that the best deductions or conclusions are made. I guess this means working from the point of view of the higher self, though that term never came up; it was always just assumed…

-Bob Weir

From Phil Lesh:

A Beautiful Mind

I received a text in the middle of last night that Bear Stanley has died in a car accident in Australia. Bear, for me, was a true kindred spirit; when we first met, it was as if I had met a long-lost brother from another lifetime. I am heartbroken and devastated at his passing.

He was a friend, a brother, an inspiration, and our patron at the very beginning of our creative lives. We owe him more than what can be counted or added up- his was a mind that refused to accept limits, and he reinforced in us that striving for the infinite, the refusal to accept the status quo, that has informed so much of our work.

He never gave up his quest for pushing the limits of whatever he was working on. We had just been discussing his concept of point-source sound reinforcement in relation to a new project of mine, and his vision incorporated the latest developments in technology and perceptual research.

My heart goes out to his family, for whom he had such love and pride- his wife Sheilah, his children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren- who have lost their patriarch.

A mind like Bear’s appears very rarely, and it’s been my privilege and honor to have known and loved two such minds- Jerry and Bear. I always laugh when I think about what Jerry once said about Bear: There’s nothing wrong with Bear that several billion fewer brain cells wouldn’t fix.

I am eternally grateful for all of the gifts that Bear brought to the scene and to the music.

Fare you well; I love you more than words can tell.

– Phil

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Coney Island Winter – Garland Jeffreys

I am very excited to share with you the brand new single by an artist I admire greatly, Garland Jeffreys, “Coney Island Winter”.

You can download it from Amazon or iTunes.

I love the photograph. We’ve never been to Coney Island, which is a real travesty. But thanks to you Garland we’re finally there.  We can smell the salt air and feel the sand under our shoes as we walk the boardwalk with you.

I feel the heavy coat of Winter peeling off my back and Spring very close at hand 🙂

Here’s what Garland shared about Coney Island Winter on Facebook today.

FINALLY!  The first song from the brand new album is released today: CONEY ISLAND WINTER!  I dedicate this song to to all my friends and fans who’ve patiently supported me through the long process of making this album.  I’ve taken to heart all your comments and kind words.  I look forward to seeing you on the road!  G

Garland, we look forward to seeing you live soon too!

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