Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Music Problem

The digitization of music is proceeding apace: Progress has moved past the technofiles and into main stream adoption. As a person's music experience is digitized the amount of music they have access to at any one moment dramatically increases. With CDs a person may have had twelve CDs in a carry case, now with a digital player they have hundreds. The dramatic increase in available personal choices creates a new problem; what to play. At this early point we still try to play albums and we start using shuffle to range across artists, genres and whole collections. With an increasing abundance of choice comes the increasing difficulty of choice. Shuffle becomes an increasingly unsatisfactory tool. This presents a problem to be solved: What to play. Shuffle, as a solution, is already failing if not already completely out moded. Individual track, album, artist and genre choices are already eclipsed. The problem "What to Play" remains unsolved.
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The music listening experience will inevitably become more collaborative.

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