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The problem with Listen.com

(And streaming in general)

It's just stupidly inefficient.

If I listen to the same song 5 times, it comes all the way from their servers 5 times (and I pay for the data 5 times - yes I really do)

If my 50 mates listen to the same song 5 times, the same song has now come from their servers 250 times.

And of course, I want to be able to play it offline.

I can probably go for the rental vs owning thing, and I will even put up with their player application, but it MUST be cached at least for me, and there should be an efficient way to cache it at intermediate points too.

It makes me laugh to see Joel say it works really well, and then casually mention he has a rock-solid T1 connection. Well duh!

Aaron Lawrence
Monday, July 29, 2002

Works fine for me on my flat-rate cable modem.

I imagine it would suck on 56k tho.

Matt Christensen
Monday, July 29, 2002

Yup, you're right, streaming media and pointcasting are stupidly innefecient, but in the future we won't care. We will all have flat rate broadband of some sort, and terrabit ethernet (or whatever comes after it) on the back end.

Intermediate rebroadcasters/caches would certainly seem a sensible solution, but from an administration viewpoint they are a nightmare, especially where licensing/royalties are involved. It's much simpler, if less effecient, to just throw massive amounts of bandwidth at the problem.

Of course at the moment none of this is available because (1) I live outside the US and (2) I'm stuck in 56K hell.

James Shields
Monday, July 29, 2002

I'm using Listen.com right now, and it's doing a pretty good job of caching the songs.  It streams them the first time I download them, then it appears to save all the songs in one giant file (radfile.rcf), which is up to about 500 MB for me.  I don't think it saves it indefinitely, because songs that I listened to a week ago aren't still cached, but not touching it over the weekend and then coming back to it, stuff I listen to frequently doesn't stream.

Matt Bridges
Monday, July 29, 2002

I don't believe you.

Email nme your radfile so you can convince me

;)


ps. not really, I don't have the time to hack their encryption scheme.

adam
Monday, July 29, 2002

adam are you crazy?

minime
Tuesday, July 30, 2002

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