Foursquare: It Keeps Getting Better

I wrote about my love of the Foursquare app a while back and I think I'll "check in" again (sorry that was terrible).  Anyway, I feel like this app gets update all the time and never stops getting better.  I've said before that it is a flagship iPhone app.  It was one of the first and it's still growing strong.  They recently raised a ton of funding, again.  

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Most recent changes I've seen to the app is it asking me about prices of places I've been going to and more questions about the places I am near or checking into.  It knows when I'm in a particular area, and recommends new places to try automatically and you can filter things down on your own if you choose.  

After a recent vacation I got an email asking me to quickly leave a tip on any of the places I visited on my trip.  You can shut this stuff off of course but if you're willing to take a few minutes it can only make the whole system better.  

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But the biggest thing in my mind is the data.  Think of the data you could get about yourself. if you used Foursquare all the time.  A few things come to mind quickly:

  • What restaurant or bar did I go to most last year?
  • How many bars did I go to last year?
  • How many times did I go to yoga last month?
  • What type of food did i get most last year (Italian, American, Chinese etc)? 

With this data Foursquare will continue to evolve and improve.  They were one of the major apps that was there at the birth of the smartphone movement and they've been going strong in it since.  I predict they will keep adding features until they get purchased by a one of the major tech companies like Google, Apple or Microsoft.  The data alone is worth it.  

 

Thom Yorke Pulls Music from Spotify, Calls it Unfair to New Artists

I wrote a small blurb about this last week:  

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Yorke and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich took to Twitter on Sunday to announce that they were removing Yorke's solo album The Eraser, their joint project Atoms for Peace, and the debut album from Godrich's band Ultraísta from Spotify and its ilk.

Services like Spotify and Rdio seem great for the listener but downright awful for the artist.  How can a model like this last long term? 

How the Hell Do Musicians Make Any Money from Streaming Services?

I've been doing some research for an article on streaming services and it just baffles my mind how little musicians are paid by services like Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, and the upcoming iTunes Radio from Apple:

During iTunes Radio’s first year, Apple will pay a label 0.13 cents each time a song is played, as well as 15% of net advertising revenue, proportionate to a given label’s share of the music played on iTunes. In the second year, that bumps up to 0.14 cents per listen, plus 19% of ad revenue.
That compares to the 0.12 cents Pandora pays labels per listen on its free service. Apple is also offering music publishers more than twice as much in royalties than Pandora does.

It amazes me that so many artists agree to get paid so little.  I guess this is the way things are trending and that most artists do it because they have to.

Original article source: WSJ

One of My Favorite Services/Apps: Timehop

What did you do a year ago today?

These days we document everything in our lives.  We take pictures like crazy, we check in, we take video, and so many things in between.  I love this technological world we live in where we can share what is going on in our own lives and see what is going on for others.  I stay in touch with so many of my good friends this way no matter where they live.  

The problem with all this sharing though, is that it gets lost very quickly.  Ever wonder what you might have posted on Facebook or Twitter a year ago to the day?  Or maybe that great restaurant you might have checked into while on vacation two years ago?  Royal pain in the ass right?  Not anymore.

Must have taken when I returned from my Mexico trip last year.

Must have taken when I returned from my Mexico trip last year.

Enter Timehop, a  service I've been loving lately that plugs into most major social networks and tells you exactly what you posted a year ago on that day.  It gives you other little bits of info like what day of the week it was and the temperature that day.  It even goes beyond just one year as long as you posted that long ago.  Pretty cool.  You can check the iPhone app or the website every day and it will give you a nicely organized list of everything you posted or did that day in years past.

I've been amazed at the things I've seen on my Timehop feed.  Some really great memories that might not have come to mind that easily are all there.  Not only that, I can share re-share the post via Twitter, Facebook, email and several other services.  

You can't search through specific dates meaning you only get an update of what you did on that exact day in years past.  Some might dislike this aspect, but I think it is still an awesome service that surprises me every every day I take a look.  Hell just today I checked Timehop and found a simply glorious pic of my friend Chruce from a mustache party that took place four years ago.  And what a pic it is! 

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You can sign up for the service and receive email updates daily at timehop.com, or you can sign up and receive your updates via their iPhone app which was recently released.