Future home: the future of music

Social networking music services and streaming gadgets

The future of... | gaming | television | music | reading |

The music industry has all but lost the battle for digital rights management of music sold through services like Apple's iTunes, with Amazon being the first to do away with it altogether. Legal cases by organisations like the RIAA drag on for years while only entrenching the idea that the music industry is the bad guy.

Finally, after a long period of resistance, the music industry and the internet have started working together with services like Spotify and the US’s Pandora offering free or almost-free streaming of massive catalogues of songs available on demand.

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What’s next for music, then? To stand a chance against online piracy, music services will have to continue to offer features that illegal file-sharing sites can’t, whether that comes in the form of iTunes' genius service, or, thinking ahead, Mflow’s social networking element, which allows users to follow favourite artists, forward recommended tracks to friends and earn discounts the more music that they share. Social networking simply isn't an option on pirate networks where anonymity is paramount.

We’ll also see more music gadgets that take advantage of streaming and digital radio, while taking design cues from computers and smartphones, like the Pure Sensia with its touchscreen interface.


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