Archives For Music

Vodafone Music Station - Mobile Music (Paid Service)

Did any of you see this? If you are in India, it is hard to miss it. Vodafone has got TV spots, newspaper ads, billboards, flyers for their new Vodafone Music Station. The idea is users can call in and listen to music on the Vodafone network. They boast of a collection of 40,000 songs (in all languages together).

The TV ad, I think, is a good idea but it really gets to you because it seems to be shown in every ad break on literally every channel and it is no fun to listen to the first line of the same song over and over again. Add to that, when you think of the absolute uselessness of the service, it just makes me wonder if Vodafone could not come up with something better.

Ok, here’s what they offer. If you have a Vodafone connection in India, you activate the service paying Rs. 50/-. Then you can listen to these 40k songs paying Rs. 0.30 per minute. Here’s my calculation:

Average duration of a song: 4 mins.
Cost of 1 min: 30 paise
Cost for full song: 4 x 0.30 = Rs. 1.20
I listen to around 30-40 songs every day, if not more. So even if I limit myself to 20 songs, I would have to pay Rs. 1.20 x 20 = Rs. 24 every day.
i.e. Rs. 24 x 30 = Rs. 720 /month (plus Rs. 50 monthly subscription = Rs. 770)
Rs. 770 x 12 = Rs. 9240 /year.

So average cost of one song is (Rs. (1.20 x 30) x 12) = Rs. 432, considering if I were to listen to it every day for the whole year. The cost of a music CD in India (with ownership) is around Rs. 300 – 500 for English albums. Regional music is far more affordable (Rs. 60 – 250). If you still use cassettes, costs come further down.

And in this age of iPods and portable music players in cell phones, what is Vodafone really trying to do here? I put this point to Vodafone support and they said that this service can be used by people who do not have access to iPods or mobile phones without music player. But can the people who can’t afford an iPod really afford the Vodafone Music Station service?

The way Vodafone is advertising this service, you think this will be next biggest thing after the iPhone. But I just don’t get it and I want to know if Vodafone got any serious users to this service other than those curious testers. But even for that, they have set up an entry barrier of Rs. 50 as monthly subscription.

Duh!

Music Search Engines

December 6, 2007 — 1 Comment

A whole new genre of search engines – for music. And the best part is that you can listen to the music on the site itself (even though the music does not reside on their servers).

Seeqpod, Songza and SkreemR are some examples. Both Seeqpod and Songza have neat interfaces and lets you play the files, which I think is pretty neat. Seeqpod allows you to even save your playlist and embed it in your site, like this one below.


SeeqPod Music beta – Playable Search

The “Seven” concert is about to start in another 2 hours. And I have been testing on how to use my phone and get some posts and pics up during the concert. I will be live blogging at my simplyHim.com. So if you are interested in what happens in a live Christian concert in India, come on over at simplyHim.com

I was looking for a guitar processor and decided to go for a used/refurbished model. My friend recommended Guitar Center (www.guitarcenter.com). I spent close to 12 hours researching what would be my best buy. I called the store finally to confirm availability. It was. But I ran into trouble because they said the shipping address and the billing address needs to be the same. So plans squashed.

Another google search landed me in Daddy’s Junky Music (www.daddys.com). Found my processor. Made the call. Again the same issue. But this time, the store clerk asked me to call Daddy’s corporate office and find out if something was possible. Well l did just that and they said it is quite possible to buy with separate billing and shipping address as long as I am able to validate the genuineness of card and card owner. Voila! I ordered my guitar processor and look forward to it.

Two similar situations. Two different approaches. It is good to know that stores are taking precautions to avoid credit card fraud. But when every other online store has some approval mechanism in place, why should you miss out? Security is a good thing. But it shouldn’t come in the way of the buying process. It should enable it.

Could it be possible that the Guitar Center store clerk did not know that his corporate office may have had a workaround?