MM Cloud

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Lowlander
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Re: MM Cloud

Post by Lowlander » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:29 pm

Agrajag wrote:Explain how I'm to run this portable version on a tablet at a hotel.
As it doesn't touch the host computer just run it. Programs like Firefox also offer this and allow you to run the program without modifying anything on the host, it just modifies things on your portable drive.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)

Agrajag
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Re: MM Cloud

Post by Agrajag » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:42 pm

Thanks. It's useful, clearly, but still not going to fit the changing needs of many out there. This user included.

Agrajag
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Re: MM Cloud

Post by Agrajag » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:35 am

One other observation about this:

Over the weekend I was talking with some friends when one of the asked me about the old e-mail program many of us knew as Free Agent (and paying customers like me knew as Agent). I was on the beta team for a long, long time with this one.

As the world around Agent continued to change a small number of power users managed to get the ear of the key people behind the product and essentially told them what they wanted to hear. The problem with this was a complete disconnect from any reality in the world. Agent was beginning to lose users and many of us on the beta team were screaming for changes that reflected what was going on in the real world. Everything at that time was moving to a more online-aware scope. For example, being able to handle inline images, HTML, portable contacts, better attachments, etc.

Instead, this tiny but vocal group kept telling Agent that if they listened they'd lose the things Agent excelled at and thus, lose everyone. So instead of seeing the writing on the wall they doubled-down on what they did better than anyone else and that was handling binaries and posts on Usenet. Believe it or not, that's where they still are today. They still believe the world will wake up and realize how amazing Usenet is and flock back to Agent as it's the best Usenet client on the planet (I can't think of a more apropos example of the buggy whip analogy today). So there they are--the very best at what they do and no one cares. Now the company is virtually extinct and their website screams:

Forte - We Make Usenet Fun

http://www.forteinc.com/main/homepage.php

It's like a company refusing to admit the time of the abacus has come and gone.

That's my concern for MediaMonkey--that instead of trying to stay ahead of the curve the product will continue to double-down on what it excels at today while nearly everyone else moves on to cooler things of tomorrow. Time will tell but I've seen this story too many times to have a lot of hope.

Lowlander
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Re: MM Cloud

Post by Lowlander » Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:08 pm

I've all to often see people post that if this or that feature isn't implemented in MediaMonkey that it would soon cease to exist, yet here we are and it's still being developed and used.

Cloud presents several issue which means that plenty of people for the foreseeable future will still need a desktop version. No doubt that some people have moved their music experience into the cloud, but I'm pretty confident that the majority of people still use a desktop client for music.

Cloud has some major issues:
- Availability, it's often limited to certain geographical locations, a desktop client is often available everywhere.
- Uptime, clouds do go down and that might or might not be acceptable.
- Legal Issues, the rights organizations lost the first round so far, but they'll probably be back trying to sue those services that store copyright material online. Any lawsuit by the big guys could be the end of a small company.
- Download Bandwidth, plenty of people around the world have limited download speed. Upload is even worse, but that would be a one time thing. Syncing to portable device could be a nightmare.
- Bandwidth caps, many countries have bandwidth caps and most cell data plans do as well. (I listen to ~70GB of music a month, which around here already requires a higher tier of internet service). Add video in the mix and the bandwidth demands can be very high.
- User Cost, I doubt that these services allow unlimited storage or unlimited downloading. Plenty of MediaMonkey's target market have collections of 100's of GB's or more. With the addition of video it's even more.
- Developers Cost, I don't know how economically viable it is to run a cloud service. The big guys might be running at a loss which makes it hard for new entrants to the market to survive.
- Data Security, I'm not sure if cloud services guarantee your data won't be lost, thus forcing you to keep a local copy anyway.
- Developer Time, as a small company it probably would take significant developer resources, which would be taken from developing the desktop client. Now that would probably cause problems for MediaMonkey.
- DLNA, clouds miss DLNA so it would depend on devices to be able to stream from cloud services (out of MediaMonkey's hands).

Could has some big advantages
- Availability, anywhere you're connected to the internet you have easy access to your music
- Platform independent, not sure, but I presume services like Amazon are platform independent. Web apps are platform independent (HTML, CSS, JS).

So, I think MediaMonkey is safe for now. Furthermore there have only been limited cloud support requests and those are all about support cloud service x or y. I think it's wise that MediaMonkey looks into supporting the different cloud services so users can manage/play music directly from a cloud service in MediaMonkey. If this happens will depend for a part on the ability to connect to those cloud services from third party applications.

I think it's too early to hurry into a cloud MediaMonkey client as this is still a new development that hasn't proven its viability. It sounds promising though, but will all its drawbacks at the moment I don't see desktop media players going anywhere soon. If this does become the next big thing I will probably change my mind.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)

Agrajag
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Re: MM Cloud

Post by Agrajag » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:47 pm

I've seen the same thing too. One big difference here is that I come from a heavily tech dev and marketing background so this is pretty much what I do and get paid to do. Joe Bob who works in the mail room upset that the product doesn't do something he wants can have all the opinions he wants. I'm simply commenting, making the argument and providing examples to comment on.

You said, "but I'm pretty confident that the majority of people still use a desktop client for music."

That's a foggy area now depending on how you want to read it. The vast majority of people use mobile devices for their music today. However, iTunes skews the numbers because it's how the novices get their music to their devices. However, Apple is looking at the cloud too so that's likely to change and quickly.

To your points:

1. I'm not suggesting the client go anywhere. I'm suggesting an additional product with its own revenue stream and a recurring one at that. This idea that I paid $30 for the product years ago has some major bottom line consequences. How do you get me to keep paying? Have a service that has to continue being fed like a cloud service. Then we all get to choose. Me? I'd have the client on my PC and the cloud tool everywhere else.

2. The up/down nature doesn't bug me as, when it happens, I still have the client. When it's down I'm not worse off than today. When it's up it's all gravy.

3. Rights here shouldn't impact MM over time. First they're too small to be a target. Second, it looks like time will force this one in the consumers favor.

4. For people with bandwidth issues it's an issue with the current version to play online. A web version doesn't change that. For those without an issue it's not an issue.

5. Remember, my main goal at first would be a web app that points at local data. MM wouldn't store anything. Later they can partner with someone like Google as Google opens up an API to allow access to our cloud music.

6. The cost is investment. All companies have this. It pays for itself more quickly than what they have now which has a shrinking market as a lot of us pay once and done. This would be ongoing always.

And thanks for the balanced response. Greatly appreciated. My comments are not cynical. I care about the product and thus I post. If I didn't give a damn I wouldn't bother. MM is one of my most recommended products.

Lowlander
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Re: MM Cloud

Post by Lowlander » Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:25 pm

I'd like to see numbers proving that people who play there own music on their desktop don't use desktop software for that. What's the market share of web clients when people play their own music on the desktop around the world?
Agrajag wrote:Remember, my main goal at first would be a web app that points at local data.
I think that's going the wrong way about it. I think connecting to cloud storage is more important to people then a web version of MediaMonkey. I personally also think it would require way too many resources from MediaMonkey thus affecting the desktop client. If it could be done without hindering the desktop client I'd still wonder if it makes economic sense, but wouldn't have a problem with it.
Agrajag wrote:However, iTunes skews the numbers because it's how the novices get their music to their devices.
And most people are when it comes to online services so the trusty old desktop application is preferred. Desktop applications aren't dead, PC's aren't dead, it just coexist with online services. It's too early to tell if anyone is gonna win or that we end up with multiple ways of doing things.

I think your background is skewing the reality. I too like things online, I only work online, but most "normal" people still don't and have a clue what clouds are. The office desktop client is still the king money maker for Microsoft, despite plenty of viable and free online services. The forum is good indication where the web server components allowing you to play your MM music anywhere never received much traction, the ability to connect to cloud storage has been requested only a few times and you're the only one requesting a cloud"ish" web client. And with MediaMonkey being this small it would probably be detrimental to development of the core product with no guarantees any money will ever be made (which could help pay for desktop development).

The idea in itself is not bad, but it isn't as hyped up as you make it seem either. As somebody who has been wanting a way to connect to my library over the internet since I started using MediaMonkey I can't see too many other people have been interested in this over the years.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)

Agrajag
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Re: MM Cloud

Post by Agrajag » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:13 pm

I used to have those numbers as I was involved with a project called Tunebug (tunebug.com) where we had the numbers from Barnes and Noble, Best Buy and other good sources. And that was 18 months ago.

If you've been watching the tech news, many outlets have already called the PC a dead platform. I don't agree but it's certainly not a happy-happy sign. Tablets are dominating everywhere. The percentage of smartphone users that use that as their primary Internet access is climbing heavily (and those people are less likely to have desktops sitting somewhere). PC game sales have fallen off heavily over the last several years and that's with console platforms all in their latter stages of life.

Regarding people not knowing what the cloud is I think that's a flawed argument. A good chunk of my day I spend doing focus groups and analysis of demographics. I talk to people every single day who have NO idea what a browser is, yet they're accessing the web every single day. They just don't know what it is they're doing it with. One guy just last week was totally 100% certain that he was browsing the web with Microsoft. <grin> The funny part was it wasn't IE. He's on a Mac with Safari but had never heard of Safari.

The Office suite is huge because of corporate sales. Individual sales have dropped heavily over the last several years. We have a Microsoft Office guy (from the company, not a user) in a tech advisory group I'm involved with. It's one of the reasons they went to that Office 365 initiative.

Lastly, regarding interest, as above many people have no idea how to put into words what they want until they get it. Look at the iPad. Prior to that no one was talking about panel-like tablets. A tablet was a small laptop with a rotating screen. It's not as if people were knocking down their doors saying, "Give us a tablet Apple" and now the whole world is tablet crazy (including, in part, me). People not asking isn't a sign of potential. It's about reading the trends and being ahead of the curve. Always being behind it and playing catch-up is a sure way to make sure you never grow.

However, being small, I understand the challenge. Like I said, we'll see where all this is in 2016. I'll make a note to check back. <grin> FYI, I do that quite a bit and love that Google put Usenet search into the mix. Did a lot of punditry then along with many others and it's great to be able to say, "Remember when you thought faxing was going to be around forever?"

Dreadlau
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Re: MM Cloud

Post by Dreadlau » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:44 am

As a Mediamonkey user, I'm absolutely not interested in the cloud.
I'm not interested in tablets either.
And I hope that in the future there will still be softwares like Mediamonkey that will target the niche market of people that want absolute control over their media.
Seven Ultimate X64 SP1 / Sansa Clip 2go (with RockBox)

Agrajag
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Re: MM Cloud

Post by Agrajag » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:44 am

Dreadlau, I hear you. One problem here. They already have sold all of us and in some cases it was years ago. As a business consideration one needs to very much think about how to entice new customers to come in and that's where I'm seeing a possible trouble spot. If the rest of the world shifts--and it happens.

Remember that gaming consoles DIED entirely in the early 80's and didn't make a comeback for nearly a decade while PC gaming exploded and now that's turned entirely upside-down again. What's more is that what used to sell in droves no longer sells at all (heavy duty sims, adventure games, etc.) Case in point, Microsoft canceled the most venerable title in games--Flight Simulator--because it simply because too costly to maintain in its current form. It struggled to make $40MM a release and was extremely costly to produce while an average, comparatively inexpensive console game would easily make $40MM. Now they're going back to the drawing board with an entirely new product and who knows where that will go.

I still know people who are upset about Eudora's fate, Word Perfect, 1-2-3, dBase and many others. The tech world is littered with corpses of products that looked like they'd be around forever only to see them miss the shift and fall mortally behind.

I think I've more than stated my case here.

wormywyrm
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Re: MM Cloud

Post by wormywyrm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:32 am

I don't think MM needs to start its own cloud service any more than it should start its own portable MP3 player. But MM needs to embrace cloud one way or another: COMPATIBILITY.

Right now there is very little to no compatibility between media monkey and the popular cloud services: apple, google, amazon.

Just like mediamonkey has an easy way to move our playlists and music to our iPod, we are going to need a way to move our music to our cloud server.

Personally I am very unhappy with my music situation. I have my music on MM, but I rarely use my computer to listen to music. I have an outdated ipod nano that I hate updating because I like the genius feature so I try to transfer my playlists from MM to iTunes before syncing to my ipod and the whole process is a HUGE MESS. Also I have an android phone that has identity issues... I bounce between groveshark, google music, and the default android music program. None of them have my playlists the way I want them, none of them sync automatically to MM the way I wish they could.

This december my verizon contract will be up and I will start thinking about getting a new phone. I am seriously considering the iPhone and moving to iTunes completely instead of mediamonkey. I hate the idea but MM is going nowhere. It is the same as it has always been: great at sorting music and creating playlists automatically. But my # of devices has grown and I need software that can help me manage my devices not just my mp3s.
MM to Grooveshark Playlist Sync w/ MonkeyShark.
http://lysle.net/projects/monkeyshark.php

wormywyrm
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Re: MM Cloud

Post by wormywyrm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:56 am

Oh and just reading through this thread I noticed someone said that we may someday be saying to each other 'Remember Mediamonkey?'

Thats weird because a couple of my friends just said that to each other. I was like 'I still use mediamonkey!' But they laughed at me they are using grooveshark (cloud) for everything now.

The # of Mediamonkey users is probably already falling, the developers would know that better however than us.
MM to Grooveshark Playlist Sync w/ MonkeyShark.
http://lysle.net/projects/monkeyshark.php

Peke
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Re: MM Cloud

Post by Peke » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:08 pm

Here is my small view of Mm future in means of Clouding.

NOTE that 10GB LAN is still not standard, but using 1GB LAN (Wireless excluded due the its faults)

- MediaMonkey DB Server on NAS using for example QNap-s plugin QPG package.
- Most NAS-es uses Linux Kernel as Base drive force, so MM on Linux would be great start in that direction
- Direct SDK in terms of Calls to DB server that is platform independent and allow third party developers create own magic

One thing is for sure that MM devs 24/7 think of MM future.
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wormywyrm
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Re: MM Cloud

Post by wormywyrm » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:28 am

The MM community is pretty awesome, but I think it is unrealistic to expect them to develop 3rd party software to contend with the phone and tablet players out there now and the browser based cloud players.
MM to Grooveshark Playlist Sync w/ MonkeyShark.
http://lysle.net/projects/monkeyshark.php

Jayson Hurst

Re: MM Cloud

Post by Jayson Hurst » Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:03 pm

MM doesn't need to compete with the cloud it just needs to work with it. I use Media Monkey at home and at work, my music repository is upwards of 40 gigs. They are now out of sync of each other. I have moved my music repository over to Amazon cloud, and I wish that MM would create a plugin that would allow me to us it as my repository so that no matter where I am I can use MM to play my music and to update it thus always keeping it in sync. Currently all the cloud players I have seen are seriously lacking in features when compared to MM. Even if MM developers didn't want to add this feature, at least make it so other can.

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Re: MM Cloud

Post by nohitter151 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:40 pm

Jayson Hurst wrote:Even if MM developers didn't want to add this feature, at least make it so other can.
I don't think there's anyone stopping someone from making an addon that could add cloud compatibility. There's already one made by Trixmoto:
http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewto ... lit=locker
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