SFMusicTech Notes

December 9 2010

I attended SFMusicTech, a conference in San Francisco that “brings together visionaries in the music/technology space, along with the best and brightest developers, entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, journalists, musicians and organizations who work with them at the convergence of culture and commerce. We meet to discuss the evolving music/business/technology ecosystem in a proactive, conducive to dealmaking environment.”

It’s a great conference to stay on top of what’s happening and see the trends in Silicon Valley through the lens of music.

Here’s a braindump of my notes:

Panel: Cutting Edge Legal Issues in Digital Music

· Apple’s clout: just recently forced music companies to support 90 second preview instead of 30 second. Don’t underestimate Apple’s power

· Pandora special cased from legal perspective

· Commerce a huge play for Facebook

· Terms of Service of a website can trump copyright law, other legal matters; beware of TOS!

· How would you change copyright law if you could wave magic wand? Make it 7 years instead of 75.

· Forgiveness model: but use up front with assumption that you are solid

· YouTube getting sued right now

· Look at Grokster as case where forgiveness model would never work

· TorrentFinder DNS shut down by immigration dept since server abroad

· COICA – law to allow feds to kill DNS inside states, probably won’t hit senate this year, maybe next year

Panel: Connected Devices

· Dropbox: great service

· Digital Fingerprinting: will be used to grab metadata while watching a movie or listening to a song

· Is it “one device to rule them all” or multiple devices?

· Android on the TV: Google TV

· Are we back to Mac vs. PC when looking at iOS vs. Android?

· Bluetooth: great example of even when there’s a standard, implementation can take years to sort out

· Finding apps is still an issue (GetJar, AppBrain: alternate stores for Android)

· Content: middle dropping out – its either Universal or indies, but the middle folks getting squeezed

New Product And Technology Demos

· Vocooo – karoke for mp3, very slick iOS implementation

· WinAmp for Android – equivalent to iTunes to iOS, allows management of library from pc to device, plus shoutcast integration

· AudioGalaxy – Redone, uses local exe to sync files, playlists. Works on Mac now

· Ex.fm – Chrome plugin, plus website integration with v2

· StageIt – webcam conferences, can tip musician, people making money with this doing shows

· RJDJ – Augmented sound, Bruce Sterling cred, Did app with Christopher Nolan and Hans Zimmer

· BeatLab – Like a poor man’s sequencer on the web, used audio manipulation in Flash 10

· Musixmatch – Lyrics API

Panel: Developer Platforms

· Twillio – great example of app gallery

· Imeem died, dev moved to Soundcloud

· Still can make huge money on Facebook platform: look at Phrases – 58 million users

· Don’t use APIs that are core to product; only ancillary features and functions

· Shout out to Gowalla as better than Fourquare in terms of aesthetics of API