A Tipping Point in Music on a Mobile

Esperanza Spalding, Chamber Music Society, via AmazonOne of the reasons for purchasing the Nokia N97 was that I felt that I needed (a) a mobile that would be able to keep up with my mobile-oriented lifestyle, and (b) that I would have a mobile with significant space to contain the music and data files that I should hold onto. Then, earlier this week, something nasty happened that might nearly tip me over.

I purchased Esperanza Spalding’s Chamber Music Society purely intent on listening to it over my N97 and car radio on the way to some client work this week. I loaded it (and a repurchase of The Roots Things Fall Apart) and all of a sudden, the music application wouldn’t refresh my library.

I tried a few recommendations to get it back working, but to date nothing is working. I’m in a sense without a working (local) music player for my locally stored music on my mobile.

So, I fired up Mobbler to Last.FM and my newly resubscribed listening resumed. I didn’t have the music that I just purchased (exactly), but I was sitting and listening to music via Wi-Fi and it was just as pleasurable as if I were listening to the local stuff.

I started to get discouraged, and then it hit me, I’ve been wondering a lot about aspects of my life flipping the switch to using the Internet for more than just reading and video, why wouldn’t I be more comfortable with using it in this fashion? Yes, connectivity is and issue and I’d certainly would like to keep some/most content for use when I’m not in the mood to share my listening moments, but I could certainly get by with the bulk of my music listening without it.

Is this a tipping point for me? And not just with music, but with nearly everything mobile for me. I’ve passed around the ideas of getting rid of email, using a living business card/landing page, and even doing more with documents using the Internet as the canvas and initial hard drive of sorts.

Now I’m proposing that music might be the next item. And if I do tip this way because of this attraction to connectivity, that will certainly change how I use my mobile, how I judge its usefulness and effectiveness (I won’t stand for worse battery life than the excellent bar given by the N8 I recently reviewed).

I took a minute to look back on this instance of my blog a bit, and even see this tipping point aspect happening with telephone functions (to go Skype more often). Really, I’m all but migrating to a nearly IP-all-the-time approach to computing. Yes, there is the cellular vs Wi-Fi aspect here, but frankly, I’m less and less relying on silos and the idea of “files” the longer I persist to want to engage content closer to my terms.

What are my terms? I want access to my created content from any computing device anytime and adapted instantly to the device I’m accessing it through. I’m not willing to give up my personal freedoms to do this. I want access to licensed materials (music , books, etc.) in sharable and private domains online. I’d like to have a transparent relationship with those entities who own that material and know what they are doing with the information from me they are generating.

The tipping point? I’m willing to move into a connected state of using the web for more, but only if in the case of the conventional things not working that I can negotiate what will work best for me. If that could happen, I just might be IP-only (and mobile/PC fades completely away).

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