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What you can only do with paid-for music streaming services

on May 26, 2010

I’m a big fan of The Beastie Boys album “Paul’s Boutique.” It’s probably my favorite album. It received many awards and made Rolling Stone, Time, Spin, and VH1’s lists of  top albums of all time. I purchased Paul’s Boutique twice on cassette. Played it so much that I destroyed both tapes and finally purchased it on CD.

Just last week I stumbled upon the site, which is a complete information site on all the samples used and references made on the album (also available on Wikipedia now). Another fan of the album and user on the paid-for music streaming service MOG saw this list and used MOG’s search feature to compile a MOG playlist of each song the Beastie Boys’ sampled on Paul’s Boutique. It’s entitled, “Pulling Apart Paul’s Boutique.” He made his 80 track playlist available to fellow MOG users. I’m listening to it right now.

Technologies, accessible data, and people collide

Every time such data (e.g., all recorded music) is indexed and made easily accessible, someone finds a way to take advantage of it in a unique, exciting, and completely eye opening way.

For the “Pulling Apart Paul’s Boutique” playlist to exist, three elements had to come together:

  1. An individual or individuals were passionate enough to research and reveal the source information of all these tracks.
  2. A music service existed that had an accurate and easily searchable and playable archive of all popular music.
  3. A person on that music service took the time to create the playlist of all that information. (Tip of the hat to MOG user Cody_B for creating the playlist).

This was such a unique experience that simply couldn’t have happened back in the 80s and 90s when I was listening to Paul’s Boutique on cassette. Very few people have the time, money, or interest to engage in such endeavor. After listening to all those source tracks of Paul’s Boutique samples, I started to think, “What are other music listening experiences that are only possible with paid-for music streaming services?” Here are a couple that I could think of:

  • Create a playlist of all the musicians that have covered a specific song, such as Johnny B. Goode.
  • Listen to the albums highly reviewed on services such as Metacritic, or listen to the albums that made the top album lists for Rolling Stone, Spin, Time, or VH1.

The three big paid-for music streaming services are MOG, Rhapsody, and Napster. I’m currently only a subscriber to MOG. I’ve yet to recently try out Rhapsody or Napster. For those of you who use paid-for music streaming services, what types of music listening and learning are you able to experience that you haven’t been able to do before with your own music collection? And have you found that certain streaming music services afford different experiences than others? I do know that Rhapsody allows you to listen on portable devices and MOG will too shortly.

I’m very interested to know what other listening experiences paid-for streaming music can afford. Please share.

Photo credits: Capitol Records/Wikipedia, Fancore

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