Cloud music lockers: who fricking cares?

Amazon launches solution looking for a problem


I have seen amazing music services that never launched because of music company collywobbles. No one would call Amazon's Cloud Drive locker, launched yesterday, an amazing music service. Or even a quite good one. To be honest, it barely deserves to be called a "service" – it's really more of an afterthought.

The music locker – or as we once called them, ftp sites – is an ancient idea. Anyone who wants to has been able to use a music locker has been able to do so for several years, but hardly anyone has. Even Amazon seems bored with it: there are no whizzy features (only a playback button) and the company didn't bother to update the © Amazon 2010 at the bottom of the page, but this could be deceptive. It looks like a buzzword in search of a market.

So what's the fuss about?

Deja vu: MyPlay.com in the year 2000

Like almost everything with the word "cloud" in it, it's based on hype, on expectation of future value. Or on more future hype: Apple and Google are developing their own. There's a huge amount of wishful thinking to cloud services – much of it based on agenda-driven DIY sociology of almost comical awfulness. Here's an example, containing meaningful PowerPoint™ headings such as "The Sharing Evolution" and "Collaborative Lifestyles".

(People actually pay to hear stuff that bad. It's amazing).

The wishful thinking is based on the fact that we'll upload everything digital we currently value, and store locally, to a service provider, and pay them to lose it for uskeep it there. This used to be free: ftp space, traditionally, was bundled in with your ISP subscription. The past decade has shown that there's only a tiny market of consumers (as opposed to enterprise IT departments) prepared to pay for such online backup-and-access. In addition, this small group includes many people who have acquired at least some of their media illegally, and they're reluctant to upload it for the inspection of ... who knows? So online-backup-and-access for media is small to non-existent. This really isn't very surprising.

Unless there's a music locker that's offering us some value, somewhere, it's simply yet another backup service – with not many knobs on. And the disadvantages are numerous. If the portable music player had never been invented, we would go to the cloud by default to hear our own music, and we'd have to put up with the caprices of an unreliable network. But even the cheapest Nokia phone is a music playback device – so what's the point again?

Next page: Bootnote

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021