Remember Audiogalaxy, the P2P service that lurked in Napster’s shadow back in the day and eventually suffered a demise similar to the robocat-icon’d behemoth? Well, they’ve been back in the picture (as has Napster) in a millennial-approved format for a while now, offering a free cloud-based service that allows you to upload your music collection and access it anywhere, keeping themselves in business by selling mobile application upgrades and plug-ins.
Bringing something different to the table, though, the service just announced a new feature called Mixes that allows users to create intuitive playlists that draw from Audiogalaxy’s larger pool of music. You add the ‘ingredients’ (time, place, key artists) and select from a few variables, like how ‘popular’ the selections should be, and Audiogalaxy scans its vast collection to create a playlist. The more you use the service, the better Mixes is supposed to become at creating playlists that you’ll enjoy.
What is unique about Mixes is that Audiogalaxy, instead of trying to broker deals with the actual rights holders of the majority of the music in its system (a.k.a. Major Labels), has instead partnered with the organizations that are responsible for collecting and paying out royalties to rights holders (SoundExchange, ASCAP, BMI and SESAC). Because Mixes is an online radio-like feature (it just uses its customers’ music as a catalog), it uses a model similar to radio stations to determine what royalties are owed. Mixes also presents the user with the opportunity to purchase any given track that they don’t already own and have in their cloud from Amazon, thus providing the rights holders an additional opportunity to get paid directly.
While no one would be surprised if the lawsuits start lining up to take this new feature down, one would hope that the major labels would see the benefit in allowing users to access a service that intuitively introduces them to new artists they might like, while at the same time ensuring royalties are paid. Reason isn’t their forte, so we’ll just have to wait and see…
• Audiogalaxy: http://www.audiogalaxy.com