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Old 04-17-2005, 08:45 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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Future Glimpse: MP3 Database on PDAs

Here you are, the quintescential nerd with a PDA that can do everything, and an MP3 collection to listen to wherever you please, and you didn't even have to spend the big bucks for an iPod. But anyone can play mp3 music on the run these days and you don't even have to be a techie to do it. So how are you going to distinguish yourself as an early adopter?

How about jumping on a product that doesn't exist yet (to the best of my knowledge), but is surely coming.... a database of music with a Palm or PPC application for mobile access. You may have to wait a while, but I'm sure it's coming, and when it does, you can be the envy of the general public once again, just like you were when you did "iPod" before anyone understood it!

Sure, there are currently products out there that let you store information about your collections, even on your PDA. There's even one that lets you scan CD barcodes to enter the information. But what a about a program that's actually useful?

Here's what I see in my glimpse of the future for MP3 databases:
  1. It will contain album art, album and song titles, lyrics and even information about the artist such as discographies. And of course it will have an easy way to purchase those other albums also -- gotta get revenue in this modern day world, right?!
  2. You will not have to type almost anything in. You can download the information automaticlly from online databases, just like when you do CD ripping right now, except more info will be included, and eventually almost no album will be missing.
  3. Optionally, you can input the artist, album, song title info from existing mp3 directories on your desktop, either from the tags or the directory and file names.
  4. A scanner can be used to scan the CD insert with the lyrics if not available online
  5. Each MP3 player will be able to access this database (probably limited to your home collection of MP3s, or even just the MP3s on your device, unless you can access the database via wi-fi). That means you can look at all the info about the songs while you are listening to them, including the lyrics so you can sing along! Eventually, maybe there will even be music videos attached, or background images.
  6. Windows media player-like graphics that "dance" to the music. I kind of liked the older stuff like the dancing disco sheep, but I suppose the modern stuff is okay also. I like the light shows that move on the screen to music, and one of these days PDAs will plug into TVs (like the Dell VGA PPC can do now) and we can watch it on hi-def movie screens at home.
Nothing here is past our capabilities right now. I'm not sure why it's not here yet. But surely it will be. I may not be able to sing that well, but I'd sure love to have my PPC show me graphics and/or lyrics for the music I'm listening to, whether I'm listening to it on my PPC or on my home stereo!

This description didn't even take a lot of creativity. How about showing me up, and describing something really neat that is even better than this? Surely someone out there has even more imagination than me!
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Old 04-17-2005, 11:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobR
It will contain album art, album and song titles, lyrics and even information about the artist such as discographies. And of course it will have an easy way to purchase those other albums also -- gotta get revenue in this modern day world, right?!
It sounds like you're talking about the PDA equivalent of Delicious Monster's product. If you haven't seen or used it, its probably the slickest OSX application I have ever seen, and a bargain for the price. Just check out that screenshot for a look at what it does.... slick slick stuff.

Basically you take any book, dvd, cd and stick it in front of your iSight camera. It scans the barcode, finds the details of the item, and stores it on a "virtual shelf", which you can use to trade, share, organize, sort, and lots of other things. I know I'm not giving it the justice it deserves, but you really should check it out... or find someone with a Mac and see it in action on their end.

Picture that, "lending" someone your mp3 collection via beam or Bluetooth, and "borrowing" theirs, through the same sort of mechanism, or perhaps a middleware server that maintains those transactions. You could trade and "check out" (ala library) songs or playlists from them, and they could do the same for your music.

Go visit their website and read up on all of their features. Now roll some of those back into your requirements for a PDA product, hit Rent-a-Coder and submit a bid, and see who bites. You might be surprised, depending on your level of funding...

Neat stuff.

Last edited by hacker; 04-17-2005 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 04-18-2005, 01:43 AM   #3
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Unfortunately, unless the music companies do it, it won't fly. Copyright is a big concern if you have a database of pictures and even info...unless you write it yourself, most online info are protected by copyright.

The closest you can probably get is to have auto link from your music player and auto-opening and loading of the relevant artist to allmusic.com

But it's really what iTunes should be, and like DVDs, the extras will make you want to buy the songs again even if you already have a copy in mp3, aac, wma, ogg, rm, wav, aiff, CD, Dual Disc, HDCD, MiniDisc, SCD, CD Single, cassette, Vinyl LP, Vinyl Single, 8track...
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