As I continue to explore the potential of my G1 googlephone things continue to surprise me, which I like. In particular, I’d been chomping at the bit for some of the first podcatcher apps to come out; I listen to a lot of podcasts. Unfortunately, the apps haven’t hit the sweet spot, though it’s not entirely their own fault. The Android music app doesn’t presently separate MP3s in any way, so files downloaded to the SD storage by a podcatcher automatically show up in the music player. That’s cool if that’s mainly what you use it for…but I had several hundred meg of music favorites on there as well. And well, a random playlist that goes from The Psychedelic Furs to The Police to Cassettes Won’t Listen…to the Democracy Now podcast just doesn’t quite do it for me. As much as I like Amy Goodman, sometimes I don’t want to concentrate on current events, I just want to relax to music. *grin* So until I have the ability to section off podcasts (via genre, or directory on the card, or SOMETHING), mixing music and podcasts on the local storage isn’t working out.
I’m trying another tack, however. I’ve removed the music from the G1, and I’ve got only podcasts on there for now. I can still listen to music, though, thanks to the imeem mobile client. It knows enough about my favorites and preferences to give me a nice personalized stream of music, and the buffer is sufficient to take me through pretty much any deadspot, even though I only use 2G (easier on the battery), and I take MARTA to and from work, which puts me in subway tunnels part of the time. Nice! Of course, I have been using Pandora and last.fm much longer than imeem, so I’m hoping they release Android clients in the future; I expect they may give me even better recommendations. But in the meantime, imeem works great, and allows me to try out podcast listening on the G1 w/o media library confusion. FTW!
It also gives me a hint as to where this all may be leading. I was really surprised that 2G streaming was sufficient for a nice audio music stream. (disclaimer: I’m no audiophile; I have no idea what the fidelity is. Good enough for me, though). That gives a lot of options for connecting people to the
jukebox in the sky: 2G, 3G, wifi, wimax, and whatever’s next; and as connectivity and coverage continues to improve, it’ll only get better.
I used to see that model as unneeded for media, since storage seems to outpace everything; with an 80GB iPod, who needs a tether to the cloud, after all? But if we can figure out a reasonable payment model for a celestial jukebox (and I definitely consider free as an option here), you can use local storage for a massive cache of your absolute favorites, AND always have the latest and greatest stuff available at literally a moment’s notice; no desktop sync required. I like exploring this concept, and I now think there is indeed something to this, especially once you consider adding video, etc.: imagine streaming new episodes of your favorite shows (from Primeval to The Guild, saving what you want to share or rewatch, and releasing the rest back to your online DVR!
And to think, old-school media thought that Tivos and satellite radio were disruptive….*grin*. The creators that internalize these changes soonest have a bright future ahead. For starters, I need an MP3tunes Android client, and soon!