MP3.com, Inc., a Vivendi Universal Company
With the acquisition complete and public figure Michael Robertson moving on to other things; I am sure we are going to see a lot of changes at the online music service provider. Now with some fun articles at Hits Magazine and an engineering department that will have to spend more effort to explain technical details to the executive team, we will never know what will come of it. I really hope things go well, because there are still a lot of great people there that I hope will be able to survive these changes without too much hassle.
I really appreciate mbp for posting the engineering perspective on VCs. It ironed out some loose thoughts and combined them to a more solid perspective. It would be really great to have some of the rich techie types help finance some technological start ups that can push the envelope. Although, companies like Google are definately showing that with some research done ahead of time you can even conquer the wel established.
Quality of Living
I have been spending a lot of time thinking about this. Especially from my time spend in the bay area. If you look at housing and real estate alone it is soo expensive to live up there it is rediculous. You are going to have to take some serious risks to survive or be willing to deal with the hassles of public transportation or sitting in traffic commuting to more reasonable areas to live.
I spend a few days last week with a friend of mine living in Las Vegas. It put a whole new perspective on my life and made me think about getting a better perspective on the pros-n-cons of living in San Diego, California or just about anywhere in the world for that matter. The differences to what kind of real estate you can afford and the different tax laws in different states and countries are tremendous. It can really make a huge difference in how you spend your day and how much money you really would need to have an enjoyable life.
I have been spending some time learning about Cocoa frameworks to get familliar with the Audio and Quicktime APIs. I have also been spending some more time playing with the Darwin Streaming Server. It has been a good experience and since I am doing it in my own time, I do not have to worry about how long I am taking and if I am hitting the unrealistic deadlines as set by management. Which is always good.
There are a couple of other projects that have been on my mind for a while such as upgrading components on a few of my servers and writing some cataloging code for a database of our music collection. If we do not get that up soon enough, it could get pretty seriously out of hand keeping track of things. This might finally be an excuse to integrate some of the MusicBrainz project. To be able to integrate the loads of Vinyl I have it might make sense to record some of it for cataloging and back up purposes. Scanning in the barcodes would probably also be a good idea. It will be great to have this finally in place, it will make music purchasing soo much easier and knowing what ever happened to that one CD and how come I ended up with having two copies of it.
I have been spending some more time learning the insides and out of the new Virus TDM Synth plugin that I finally got working. (Yeah!). It required me to get a particular USB floppy drive for authorization, since my G4 (DA) doesn't come with a floppy drive. It looks like some of the plug-in developers are trying to use other authentication methods such as an OPIE challenge response system linked to your hard drive by Kind of Loud to new hardware USB keys such as the iLok and the iButton. Now I wonder how the labels would have felt if you needed one of these to listen to your music online (ala my.mp3.com)? I mean these keys are useful in crypto cases such as SSL and such. But I am sure you can see it now, someday some one will steal your wallet containing your music card and your eyeballs to be able to hear the latest tunes of their favorite artists that you were evaluating.
It is odd how we went from analog synth to software synths and now we are going back to physical circuitry for authentication purposes. You are going to have to replace all your rack modules with USB keys and hubs.
Anyways, till next time