by Jennie White
Boston has a music scene, there’s no question about it. Between The Dropkick Murphys, Passion Pit and all the up-and-coming talent at Berkeley School of Music, our music scene is killing it. Think about the ways you listen to music, whether it is a Boston-based band or not. You are probably discovering it on Last FM, downloading it on Limewire, and listening to it on your iPod. Music Hack Day was a weekend-long conference held right here in our town where hackers from all around the world came to make discovering and listening to music better.
The best part of the conference was “The Future of Music” panel featuring tons of big wigs from a bevy of high-profile music companies. Brian Whitman, Echo Nest; Jason Herskowitz, Limewire; John Drake, Rockband; Lucas Gonze, Yahoo! Media Player and Richard Jones, Last FM, got together to debate where music was going in the future. Brian Zisk, the founder of Future Music Coalition moderated the panel.
“I was at Rockband… when it was still awesome.”- John Drake, Rockband Publicist
Their message was unanimous: The future of music will be social. People want to know what their friends are listening to and they want to promote artists they believe in. The two problems standing in the way of sharing are twofold: licensing issues and the inability to share across different platforms. Say a Napster user wants to share a Dropkick track with a Last FM user; there is not an easy way to do that. The panel predicted more programs and websites that would make it easier to share music across different platforms.
Music discovery will also be different. John Drake from Rockband considers the iPhone application Shazam “a work of art.” With apps like Shazam, television soundtracks and Apple’s Genius users are identifying with more music, and they are downloading it faster then ever. Jason Herskowitz from Limewire predicted a program that will update your music device without ever having to sync it to a computer. When an artist releases a track, it will automatically download to your library, there will not be any searching, syncing or downloading.
Where this panel was concerned, fans are no longer going to be spoon-fed what the record companies want them to listen to. Radio is a thing of the past and so are albums. Your music experience will be what you make of it.