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(Oh God another randomly inspired post. Brace yourself.)

For the 21st time: This is not a satanic symbol, it's just GNU's!!

So, recently we got to see Google launching this “beauty” here, Music Beta. Which led me to wonder: Is it really all that nice? In reality, no, it isn’t. It just stores your music online and makes it available offline if you’re accessing it from another place (for instance, from a phone with Android, or from a public computer somewhere). Pretty much like a music back-up system, nothing new or innovative. Though this post is not supposed to be about this, it’ll give us quite the example on the whole-to-be-announced point!

Now, if we take a look at Last.fm, what it does is get your musics and associate it on an online profile while recommending you more and more musics. Eventually, you find people with the same musical interests and develop new friendships. Considering the velocity of our communication means now, this was quite the –mini– social revolution when it was launched! Add to it that you can listen to some music samples (or a whole song) while there and you get pretty much the perfect music-based social network. It doesn’t play your songs, but you already have programs for that.

Ideally, though, it should replace these programs. Now, imagine an application that, while plays your songs, also acts, through another window, as a place for you to check on your contacts, chat with them on yet another window and compare your music tastes around the globe! Though not only with people who use the same program as you, but on other networks as well! Or a video player that, while storing a playlist of your watched/favorited videos, shares things just like the other program (or not, it’s optional since you’d probably watch it in full screen)! Both (or one if you want an all-around player) with integration to most social networks, like Facebook and Twitter.

Plus, they’d be both completely free of charge –I know it sounds crazy, bear with me for a moment-!

No foobar2k, you're not quite it. I mean, you are, but not exactly that. Sadly.

Sadly, actual plans for this are years from now (or months if some thieving programmer is reading this I shall charge for this you capitalist swine!), but not many. With the constant growth of some companies and realization that one can only go so far before actually merging other programs together (since we, as avid (or not) computer users, tend to multi-task a lot), it’s only a matter of time before programs like those start to pop left and right. I mean, just look at the new Live Messenger, it gives you an option to chat with your friends while showing updates from your various social online connections, usually Facebook.

Then again, we’re faced with another dilemma: Languages.

What would be the correct path for a software (or website) to be available for almost everyone, if they’re, pretty much every time, launched in English? One thing is to copy a sentence from, say, this post, and translate it in here. But with a software or website, it really isn’t that easy. Imagine having to translate every link from a specific site? Yeah.

And then the solution came, just recently. Granted, happened before, but it wasn’t talked about that much as this! Thanks to Twitter, which made possible for users to sign up and translate it for their language! I signed up and, surprisingly enough, it’s easy and fun! Not getting into details here, obviously. I mean, contracts, even if digital, are something to be aware of.

But turn this use of, shall we say, “good faith” from twitter users to a “social”-software of sorts and we’re on the right tracks!

Ah Twitter, such a nice social system.

Yet again, we’re faced with another problem: Money.

Some people say that, if we get to such a point of information sharing, music, videos and such should be completely free of charge as well, but I disagree. For one, it’d literally fuck up economy as a whole and, secondly, industry overprice (like the one clearly showed with the sale of Modern Warfare 2) will eventually end. Shouldn’t be too hard for online products to sell cheaper (since, you know, it costs lower than shipping it, packing etc.) and the prices tend to drop more with time. I mean, look at e-books! For those complaining about the hardships of online purchase (which is, currently, the only natural course of evolution), just take a look at iTunes or Steam, things tend to go from good to better from here on.

I was going to talk about the “mobility” issue, but really, it’s no longer a problem of sorts. Mainly because everything nowadays tend to be integrated (language-wise), meaning it wouldn’t be a problem for an application to go from your regular desktop computer to a Mac, and then to an Android-based phone/tablet, passing through any system with a Linux distribution (though these tend to be a tad harder).

Of course, this is just a bunch of small ideas, but thinking things thoroughly, in a few years all of these thoughts could easily happen!
Besides, it’s not impossible or something, actually, it’s far from it!

(I own none of the images/links/programs above)

Signing off and straight to bed,

Arthur Müller.

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