Melodeo has introduced a new beta service that lets users play a random selection from their iTunes music library on their mobile phone or Internet-connected PC.
Called nuTsie (and yes, that is an anagram of iTunes), users upload their iTunes library to Melodeo’s servers, and then have the ability to play back a randomised selection of their tunes in hi-fi quality.
The nuTsie service doesn’t download any of the music from its servers to the mobile device – it streams it. It also features a ‘radio rules’ shuffle algorithm to ensure artists, record labels and music publishers are paid for every use of a song. It can even play iTunes’ “Fair Play” tracks.
In order to fund the service, which could prove expensive both in terms of data streaming and royalty payments, Melodeo may either charge for the service or insert adverts around the tracks.
Which leads to my problem with the service.
Why would you want to subscribe to a service that is effectively streaming your own music to you, but either charges you for the privilege, or forces you to listen to ads?
Radio ads are irritating enough, but they’re a necessary evil on commercial stations. I don’t want to have to listen to them just to hear my own music on a mobile phone.
Apparently there’s no way for the user to select what music tracks are played – it’s totally random. If that’s true, why not buy an iPod Shuffle and get iTunes to select some random tracks for you? That way you also have control over which tracks are selected. I have a whole range of music in my iTunes collection and I know that simply playing a randomised selection is a complete disaster. At least on iTunes, or on my iPod, I can skip tracks. I’m not sure if that’s possible with nuTsie.
Maybe those will smaller, less eclectic record collections, or those who don’t want to be tied to an iPod and are often away from their home PC, might find the service a useful one, but I’d rather control my own mobile music collection.