• Spotify pushing labels to lower costs, open up free service to phones - Streaming…

    Feb 25 2013, 21:43 di Milkshake8

    Spotify, the Popular Music subscription service, is due to meet in the coming weeks with its major counterparts in the record industry to renew their licensing agreements. The Verge has learned that managers at Spotify are expected to ask for substantial price breaks from the music labels as well as the rights to extend its free pricing tier to mobile devices.

    The Stockholm-based Spotify has already started negotiations with Warner Music and will begin talks with Sony and Universal in the coming weeks, according to several music industry sources. (A Spotify spokesperson declined to comment on this story.) These negotiations with music’s "big three" labels will likely go a long way to determining whether Spotify reaches profitability, a crucial threshold as it increasingly competes with Apple and other cash-rich players in the digital music market.

    Fans and casual observers might think Spotify has already won the streaming music war because of its large and growing audience. But while Spotify has amassed a following of 5 million paying subscribers and 20 million total users worldwide, its business model is still unproven.

    About 70 percent of Spotify’s revenues pays music-licensing fees while another 20 percent covers customer acquisition, these sources said. That leaves 10 percent to pay all of the company’s other costs, including its much praised technology platform. Insiders have told The Verge that this cost structure zeroes out Spotify’s profits.

    Any attempts to plead poverty by Spotify are likely to be met with skepticism by the recording industry. For years, music acts have reported receiving far skimpier royalty checks from Spotify than from other music services, such as itunes. Some acts, including Coldplay, Adele, and Taylor Swift, have refused to distribute their songs through Spotify and other subscription services (It's important to note that many of these holdouts are now on the service). Meanwhile, Spotify raised $100 million last year in its latest funding round. If artists bail on Spotify, it doesn’t matter what cuts labels might be willing to accept. Everyone loses.

    Record company executives have heard for a decade that they need to cut prices. The Industry doesn’t appear to be willing to give much ground. Internet radio service Pandora is lobbying Congress to lower its statutory rates for Playing Songs. The record companies are spending big to thwart the attempt.

    The record companies have plenty of Digital Music alternatives to Spotify. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Sony are all companies with very deep pockets who sell music at razor-thin margins or even at a loss. To these companies, music is just one of the ways that they sex up their other businesses.

    Simple rate renegotiation isn’t the only thing on the table. According to sources, Spotify is also trying to convince the labels to extend its ad-supported free tier for mobile devices, offering "more of a taste" than the current 30 day trial. Restricting mobile to paying or pro subscribers limits both the total number of Spotify customers and their overall usage. But it’s a risky bet. Without access to Mobile Music as an incentive, will users continue to convert from ad-supported to paid subscriptions? Or is it users’ inability to see the value of Spotify on mobile that makes them less likely to buy in?

    Spotify is still in a good negotiating position. Apple remains the leader in Online Music distribution but overall, sales of Music Downloads have slowed to a trickle. Downloads just aren't making up for The Decline in CD sales. We keep hearing that Apple is going to launch a subscription radio service similar to Pandora, but music industry sources say Apple and the labels are still far apart on licensing. As for Google and the others, their music offerings have yet to ignite much interest.

    The broad trends all favor subscription streaming on a wide range of devices, and Spotify is the only subscription service that has generated real scale. The Labels are big fans of the subscription model, which gives them predictable income across their entire catalog. The Major Labels have a vested interest in making sure subscription-based music continues to grow and thrive.

    Also in Spotify’s favor: in some markets, the company is close to converting 20 percent of its users of the free service to a paid plan, sources said. If Spotify can parlay its current pole position into more favorable rates, it may be able to retain its lead even as giants like Amazon and Apple come nipping at its heels.

    While it’s unclear exactly how far the two sides are willing to bend, It’s inconceivable that The Labels or Spotify would walk away without a deal.

    "Everybody in The Industry wants to see Spotify succeed," one industry insider told The Verge. "Nobody in the industry can afford to see them go down the tubes."

    Tim Carmody and Ben Popper contributed to this report.
    By Greg Sandoval
  • won't sing for Android anymore, Grooveshark app Dood's Music Streamer keeps…

    Dic 18 2012, 3:28 di Milkshake8 is dead

    The founders of left the company a long time ago. CBS, the current owners, try to Milk the worlds most popular Music Service to the last penny. As a result, Radio Streaming is now only available in less than 5% of the countries On The Planet. Germans, Americans, and British can listen for free on the website, or For Money in the desktop client. In Canada, AustraliA, New Zealand, Ireland, and Brazil you can listen with a paid subscription. The Rest Of The World is not allowed to listen to, not even if you pay.

    There were ways around these Ridiculous geographic restrictions, but no more. Alternative apps CoboltFM and KLastFM are really dead now., pulled the plug on free streaming for almost everyone, and most of the planet can't stream at all.

    Grooveshark rocks on

    Are you a refugee looking for alternatives? Then Grooveshark is for you. It's a global jukebox with More Music than anyone else, and with the right apps it's available worldwide. For Free.

    My favourite Grooveshark app is Dood's Music Streamer. You can search music, Play It, Download it, and it can turn your play queue into custom radio stations. It scrobbles everything you play to too.

    Dood's Music Streamer plays custom radio stations based on your play queue. It's not as good as the custom Radio stations, because grooveshark only looks at your current play queue whereas uses your entire scrobble history to build your personal radio station. But with being dead and buried, Grooveshark radio in Dood's Music Streamer is better than nothing.

    There are other Android Grooveshark apps, but they don't turn your PLAYLISTS into Radio Stations.

    Dood's Music Streamer
  • Will Turn Down The Volume On Global Radio Services In January, Take Others…

    Dic 15 2012, 20:40 di Milkshake8, an early mover in the streaming music business, is scaling back some of its operations, and putting others behind a paywall, in a bid to cut costs and make more money out of its existing business, the company has announced.

    Come January 15, the streaming radio company, bought by CBS for $280 million in 2007, is going to be putting its Desktop radio service in the UK, U.S. and Germany behind a subscription paywall, as it is already in Canada, AustraliA, New Zealand, Ireland and Brazil. The subscription service currently costs £3 per month in the UK and also lets users stream on’s mobile app. The mobile apps, meanwhile, today got a refresh: a new iOS app called “Scrobbler for iOS”, which brings to the iPhone’s scrobbling functionality — matching up your listening behavior with your itunes music collection to suggest music interesting to you.

    The ad-supported, web-based streaming service, it notes, will continue to Remain Free. At the same time, it will be closing operations in all other countries where it currently offers a Radio Service. The changes were first spotted by TNW.

    The moves are possibly signs of Bigger Issues at the company. Behind The Scenes, we have heard that has been in something of a management and organizational flux, as the once-bright upstart has been upstaged in the Streaming Music world by companies like spotify. Now it seems like CBS is just trying to Figure Out what to do with it.

    Overpaid for years ago and now no longer want to invest in it,” one source told us. “They need to stop moving it around and focus on making it big again.”

    From an internal memo that I’ve seen, CBS effectively dissolved its separately-run Interactive Music Group (which included Metrolyrics, and some ad sales people) back in August. David Goodman, who had been at the head of it, now has a different role within CBS.

    In August, CBS Interactive reorganized its business into four units to improve “Synergy” for better advertising and content sharing: CBS Brands (which contains CBS online properties like; Consumer Web Brands (including and now and other music properties); b2b (including techrepublic and ZDNet); and China. All report to Jim Lanzone, the president of CBSi, via general managers overseeing each division.

    And in a sign of the integration and the “moving around” that our source referred to, next week, we have heard,’s staff in London will be leaving their digs in shoreditch, where they have been for the last 10 Years, to move to CBSi’s offices in the area of Southwark.

    Although CBS also has an extensive radio operation, it doesn’t seem that has never really integrated with this division all that well. doesn’t talk in its announcement today; rather it says the main reason for the changes has to do with and Restrictions for the service, and looking to monetize better where it can. “We are always looking at ways to , when it can be done so economically,” the company writes in a statement on the site. “And open streaming to a wider audience In The Future.”

    Indeed, if the biggest music streaming service of all, Spotify, is still losing money on its streaming service (although the loss is narrowing, it seems) because of licensing fees coupled with Marketing and operational costs, then The Signs are Not Great for others in the field.

    It’s a Far Cry from the Hip streaming service that first emerged back in 2002. Its founders have moved on to catch other fish.

    It will be interesting to see what kind of an effect today’s changes have on’s business: it’s not clear how many users it had Around The World, even though it would have been paying licensing fees to service them.

    At the same time, notes that ad-supported, web browser-based listening is the most popular way to listen to the site in the U.S., UK and Germany. It’s likely that this move may just push more people in those markets to that web service rather than compel them to pay to use the desktop Client.

    To sweeten the deal for paid radio services using the desktop client, is planning to release a new version of its desktop client. Currently in beta, it “remains the best way to scrobble” and use other features, says notes that in other countries — it also offers services in Spain, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Turkey and ChinaRadio Streaming will no longer be an option as of January 15, “even to subscribers,” because of licensing restrictions. “Scrobbling remains free and your listening data, Charts and recommendations will not be affected by this change,” it writes. Other services that will remain for paying subscribers include ad-free browsing on the site, access to demos, “and other features we’re working hard to add.”

    However, although this isn’t a Final Nail In The Coffin for, it’s hard to see how many people will want to stay customers for data alone. And sure enough, is offering these international users the chance to cancel their subscriptions altogether. “We understand if you wish to cancel your subscription,” the site says. “If you have paid for a subscription longer than 30 days up-front, you can request a refund.”
  • liblyrics is unusable now...

    Set 6 2009, 17:01 di mtapoja

    I hate licenses. Lyrics fetched by liblyrics started slowly to fade away when changed their API due to license reasons (Letter to API Developers). After that they merged with Wikia, and looks like the API is now finally, totally dead. So, liblyrics does not work at all, because it relied on solely. I'll be looking for some other wiki in future, but in the mean time, no lyrics, sorry.

    I can't believe this is what the artists really want, or is it? Isn't it in their interests that people could learn, and sing along their lyrics?

    Let's see, what the future brings. I hope less licences....
  • Many free downloads (WAV and MP3) by Elysium (Kris Andersen) and more

    Mag 4 2009, 11:41 di trolllover

    Free legal downloads from acts such as Elysium Kayya, Holm & Andersen, Rymdfunk, Sheyba, Kailash, Wombatmusic, Funktribe, Kris Andersen and Undercover. Have fun listening!

    (Thanks to Basilisk @ for the link)
  • alternative

    Apr 13 2009, 18:49 di trolllover

    I've found a new love and it's name is! You sign up (free) and then you can build your own on-demand playlists from their HUGE library of music. Save them, share them, and let Groveshark fill the lists with new music that they somehow (probably using magic) guess that you will like. That suggestion feature is called Autoplay (like the shit in windows that let Sony autoinstall rootkits and DRM into your computer without asking first (or ever for that matter)).

    NOt much of a community going on over there, but maybe that'll be added later. For now it's all about the music! Give it a try, I am glad I did. Never did try that spotifything, no invites to be had, and too expensive to pay for every month, and I didn't like their lack of a linux client. Grooveshark happens inside your web2.0 browser (fajafox baby!)

    / See you over there!
  • liblyrics 0.2.1 released!

    Gen 17 2009, 22:11 di mtapoja

    Yes, a bug found it's way in 0.2.0 and now after rehearsing some Debian packaging I think it is fixed. Still gives some warning when making packages.... I'll fix more later.

    So here is release 0.2.1. Build for Ubuntu 8.10, but you can take the sources too, of course, and use it where you want to.

    I also enabled mailing list to Liblyrics, so you are invited to join liblyrics-devel. It probably will be very low traffic, so it won't block your connection or waste too much of your time :)

  • liblyrics support patch for Vagalume

    Gen 8 2009, 23:47 di mtapoja


    ...and welcome to patch your Vagalume - the player to be the first player in the world to have a lyrics support :)

    Take either of the available patches (NOT both) from here and apply them to your Vagalume source tree. Then build it, and install both liblyrics library and liblyrics-ui command line application (version 0.2.0) from here too. That's it. If you later decide not to use liblyrics packages, just remove them. Your Vagalume works without them as it did before, the patch does not depend on liblyrics packages (of course you loose lyrics fetching, but nothing more).

    The released patches use liblyrics-ui, not liblyrics API directly. This is why having liblyrics packages installed is optional.

    Word of warning: these patches are experimental and are not accepted as part of Vagalume - at least not yet. Please try them and tell me how it went.

    And when your patching and installing is done, here's a tag to play with new, liblyrics powered Vagalume: . All songs in that tag should have lyrics available :)
  • liblyrics 0.2.0 released!

    Gen 4 2009, 22:37 di mtapoja

    Finally first usable version 0.2.0 is released. To try this you need Ubuntu 8.10 (might work on others too, I have not tested) and both liblyrics and liblyrics-ui packages. Get them from here.

    Let's see next if I can make a real application use it :)
  • liblyrics progress: liblyrics-ui debianized

    Gen 3 2009, 23:41 di mtapoja

    My pet project liblyrics finally made some progress. I got the test UI debianized and now it can be build and made a .deb in Ubuntu 8.10.

    I will do some more adjusting to both liblyrics (the library) and liblyrics-ui (the command line UI), and then move to do the first patch to Vagalume. I will probably do the first changes totally "under the hood" just to support lyrics fetching and nothing to Vagalume UI at first. However I will probably at some point update my proof-of-concept Vagalume (that I used daily ;) to use liblyrics just because this library already works better than my first hack with Vagalume.

    I also plan to build both the library and the UI for Maemo soon too.

    When working with liblyrics I have now listened music such as Si loin de vous by Nâdiya, Devotion, Naughty Boy by Killer and Cloud Connected by In Flames, to mention a few. And lot's more.