Sista inlägget om nätneutralitet i Sverige

Nä, det kommer säkert inte att bli det sista inlägget men just gällande den här omgångens överträdelser från Telia och 3. Hela historien får du om du läser här om 3 och nätneutralitet, Telia och nätneutralitet och Mediebolagen och nätneutralitet.

Här kommer alltså ytterligare en intressant vinkel. Hur ställer sig egentligen tjänsterna som prioriteras till nätneutralitet? Särskilt viktig fråga att ställa till SR, vars VD skrev på upproret mot Telia – samtidigt som företaget har en egen deal gällande att undanta SR från surfpotten. Med vilken operatör? Telia. Man häpnar ju över hyckleriet.

Men även tjänster som Spotify bör rimligen fundera på om de hade blivit den storspelare man bevisligen är om motsvarande prioritering hade funnits i bruk när företaget startades? Jag förstår att det är lockande, att exempelvis iPhoneanvändare som är 3 abonnenter och idag lyssnar på musik genom Spotify skulle få en ökad kostnad om de bytte till Apple Music är såklart något som ger Spotify en fördel. Men om podcasts via Itunes skulle förfördelats gentemot de egna initiativen hade det kanske känts mindre festligt?

Frågor som Emanuel Karlsten förtjänstfullt väcker i sin krönika hos breakit.

Skulle vilja komplettera med att fråga om företagen inte ser risken? Tappar vi nätneutraliteten är det inte svårtippat att operatörerna snart vill ha del av intäkterna hos tjänsteleverantörerna – något vi faktiskt redan sett i USA där Netflix tvingats betala extra avgifter för att rent krasst få leverera genom viss operatörers nät. Gissar att det inte är en framtid som känns särskilt lockande för tjänster som börjar använda mer och mer rörlig video exempelvis.

Kan inte se några argument för att utvecklingen är bra för kunderna och självklart inte heller konkurrensen. Så det kanske löser sig av sig själv, skräpiga marknader tenderar att omvälvas dramatiskt (se taxibranschen i exempelvis USA och hur Uber kunde slå undan benen för den).

Does Apple Music mean the end for Spotify

As a Swede, Spotify is, of course, my primary music source. This is the case for just about everyone you’ll meet here. The reason varies of course, but early availability in Sweden (compared to other music services), great range of Swedish music, and nationalistic pride, are my guesses to what a survey would say. Based on this we tend to overestimate both the size and impact of Spotify, which is why I find it so interesting now that Apple Music is launching.

With a pre-installed app shipped with every iPhone, together with the credit card information of the user, Apple Music will be only one click away for almost every iPhone user. This is the big leverage that Apple has, because the claim that Music will change music as we know it, is nothing more than marketing in my opinion. With this Apple is playing catch-up, not launching a revolutionary service. The harsh truth though is that Spotify is tiny counted in users compared to sold iPhones which means that even if a very small percentage takes the offer of three free months… Apple will be back as a dominant force in the music business shortly.

So what speaks for Spotify? The users they have might not be to keen to switch to a service that is possibly as good, exporting playlists isn’t that fun. There’s also the always present “comfort” of what you already know, people in general are not too fond of change, on the other hand if it’s easy enough to switch that might balance it out. One interesting thing that many observers seem to forget is that this is not the first major player to take a stab at Spotify. Google launched its own streaming music service with much of the same fanfare and talk of revolution a couple of years back. Ships with many Android phones, have a lot of credit cards on file but…I know of very few people in the US or otherwise that use it as their primary service. Apple is more of a brand when it comes to music and has a stronger eco system, so in my opinion they will be a stronger competitor than Google but it’s interesting how comparable their entry on the streaming music market was.

Time will tell, but my feeling is that Spotify will live on (or be bought, Google? Yahoo? Who knows.) for the foreseeable future but will have a much harder time continuing to grow.

If you understand Swedish you can see me talk about this on Aftonbladet Morgon here: http://tv.aftonbladet.se/abtv/articles/81570

Logitech Squeezebox Radio, not nearly as good as it should be

Most of the times I write here it’s about something I like or find extra newsworthy. Today will instead mark my first “this is one lousy piece of equipment”. I tried not to, I had the device for over a year but now that I’ve tried to rely on it more regularly it pushed me over the edge.

Dear Logitech Squeezebox Radio, you’re making me more frustrated every day.

The idea behind the device is simple, small internet radio with built in speaker. Great! And it doesn’t stop there, it also use it’s own server solution for wireless music playback anywhere in you house. Neat, even though Google Play Music support would have improved it. The main feature for me however is Spotify support. You just install an app and you can play your playlists from Spotify (also support Wimp and Napster but not Rdio last I checked). Brilliant for a kitchen radio (my preliminary plan) or a bedside radio (my present set-up).

image

Unfortunately it doesn’t work. The built in WiFi has serious problems holding a connection, even when in the same room as the router. Just for information, I tried with three different routers without any change. Sometimes when I turn it on it just shows no internet connection and other times it just drops it in the middle of listening. In case you thought it might be my internet connection. I’ve tried it in 3 different apartments with 100 mbit, 200 mbit and then back to 100 mbit again. No other streaming services show any similar problems.

Since the UI is a bit tricky I’m using my Android as a remote. Overall a decent looking but too sluggish app. They also hide some functions that I use all the time, like Sleep and Alarm. There’s a lot of room in the main menu so I can’t understand why they are both shuffled away far down in settings. It just doesn’t feel polished, at all. How the same company that makes the Harmony remotes can release this without a need to go into hiding afterwards is beyond me.

The biggest and most annoying problem to me is the sudden stopped playback. It just freezes, jump to next song and it might start playing again. This happens several of times every week (I use it every night and morning). Sometimes it will say that it is because the chosen track is not available in my region. Which of course is utter bs since the same playlist works flawless on both my PC and Android devices. Sometimes it says buffering but nothing happens and jumping out to the main menu and back in again might do the trick. Or it just stops. No message. In one word: UNRELIABLE.

Nowadays you can also update the Squeezebox Radio with Logitech UE firmware. Since this “update” it actually works a liiiittle better. All problems listed above still persist though, albeit more seldom. Now it only stops playing on me a couple of times a week.

If the Squeezebox/UE Smart Radio is anything to go by my recommendation is that you stay way clear of both the Squeezebox and UE brands. I know I will, no matter how solid the idea is the solution is far from “the smart radio” they want it to be. Squeezebox where “the only” option back when owned by SlimDevices, they aren’t any more so go for the competitors instead. Today I often use my bluetooth headset connected to my stereo instead and that’s saying something.

Spotify for Android preview

I rarely do app reviews, there are many other sites that does this all the time with nice comparisons and all. But, I’ll do one today since this soon-to-be update is such a leap forward.

If you’re a Spotify premium user you can get a preview of the coming app for Android, and I really recommend that you do. I’ve been having some serious issues with the “stable” version and app: just shuts down after login, playback stopping suddenly (my iPhone version does the same now and then by the way). Not every time but often enough to be annoying. That’s why I jumped on the opportunity to try the brand new before it being released on Google Play.

I absolutely love it. Except from working properly and being way faster there are a lot of nice details. So here comes a few!

Grouping of offline and online playlists, on my mobile device I’m less keen to stream so nine times out of ten I want the offline playlist – they should of course then be on top. Simple but lovely. Here’s the playlist view.

Nicely grouped playlist view

The menu is collapsible from the left (just like some social network app you’d recognize, hmm…). Works nice and quick, much quicker then the official app from mentioned social network :)
They added some social sections here that works quite well and the app actually made me aware of a new album that I missed.

Collapsible menu

Without knowing for sure, search must be improved. So much smoother and faster than before, with suggestions and a result view that makes perfect sense, at least to me. From there it’s a breeze to add your result to a new playlist. For some reason I can’t seem to find how to add anything to an existing playlist, hopefully they just forgot it in this preview because anything else would be plain weird :)

Where’s my add to…option?

Last but not least, the actual player looks better, never had any issues with the old one but this is more modern and fits into the Android 4.xx interface perfectly. It also has some smart shortcuts directly to artist, album, share and so on that I haven’t noticed before.

Neat shortcuts!

There are some issues, after all it’s not released yet. Besides the missing add to any playlist function I had one major crash requiring me to restart (when subscribing to a playlist while listening, haven’t been able to reproduce), it also seems to forget my settings for shuffle/repeat at almost every launch. There are certainly other things as well but I haven’t found them yet. Still, as I stated above: this is a huge leap forward!

Get your own copy here: http://www.spotify.com/se/download/previews/

By the way, album that shows inmost of the pictures, Linn Öberg – Parades, is so good that it requires a link of its own: http://open.spotify.com/album/5MpFqBFTUAj0Njdg2J1dcD