Feature Friday: Sync To Mobile

It's getting colder in NYC. Instead of walking home yesterday evening, I ducked into the Union Square subway station. I pulled out my android phone, launched the Rdio app, and looked through my collection for music to listen to. There is no wifi in the Union Square subway station, but that wasn't a problem. Because I have sync'd much of my Rdio collection to my mobile phone. I put on Keep Shelly In Athens and headed home.

The knock against streaming media services is "what happens when you don't have internet access?" It's a good question. But fortunately most of the streaming music services have "sync to mobile" enabled. When you add a song or album to your collection in Rdio (my favorite of the streaming music services), you simply check the "sync to mobile" option and your phone will pull that down onto your phone for offline listening. I have my Rdio app set to only sync to mobile when it is on a wifi connection, but you can set it to sync to mobile anytime it has an internet connection.

Someday we'll have wifi in the Union Square subway station. We've got it on the L train from 6th avenue to 8th avenue now. The list of places you don't have internet is getting smaller by the day. But until the day when we have internet everywhere, sync to mobile is a killer feature for streaming services. And that is why it is the feature of the day today.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Stephen Albright

    Cool feature.  I’m happy that this Friday post also includes a band for the day.

    1. fredwilson

      actually my song of the day is St Vincent covering Nico http://fredwilson.vc/post/1… friday is cover day on tumblr

      1. Steve Poland

        This is my latest favorite cover: http://hypem.com/item/1f5rr…

      2. Donna Brewington White

        BTW, found Shelly on fredwilson.fm and really enjoying.Confession:  When I first started exploring the Indie rooms at turntable.fm, I had fw.fm open in one screen and tt.fm open in the other using the former to build my initial queue.  I love Indie but am pretty ignorant.  Doesn’t keep me from DJing much to the amusement of my husband and kids.  Not doing too bad for a newbie.  Well that’s my off topic contribution for the day.

        1. fredwilson


  2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam


  3. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    I’m curious: why do you like Rdio better than Spotify? Any specific reason? 

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t like to download software on my laptop and desktopi want all my apps to run in a browserideally i’d like that on mobile as well, but we aren’t there yet

      1. monsur

        I always thought the web apps argument was theoretical, until I found myself traveling and staying at a hotel that provided a Chromebook to guests. With Rdio, I was able to have instant music even when I was miles away from home!

      2. monsur

        Also re mobile: I was impressed to see that both the Google and Amazon Cloud players worked in mobile Safari. It sounds like there are still some limitations to the HTML5 audio tag that makes it unsuitable for use in streaming services, as explained here: http://groups.google.com/gr…

      3. RadJaz

        Running all apps through browsers would be great. I still think the best thing to happen to notebooks was the removal of the cd drive. Why bother with hardware if the software is available for access via browsers.

      4. Mike Altschul

        With CMJ in town, I’ve had some great discussions around this all week.  I haven’t talked to any Spotify guys, but the other big music subscription guys are all sold on web apps (evidenced by their products).  Now, maybe I’m in the minority, but I find the question of downloadable app to be the most significant factor in my music sub service decision (I’ve been using a combination of Rdio, MOG, Rhapsody and Spotify at different times for a little over a year now).I’m a big lover of web apps for just about everything.  I give my life to the cloud and I love that recently I only needed to backup 3 programs/settings when I formatted my hard drive to install a fresh copy of OSX Lion.  Ideologically, I’m a proponent of the promise of web apps: no software to download, login from any computer and get the same experience.  But music is the exception.  It’s so important to me that I need the features that come with a dedicated app: offline music (for airplane), incorporation of other (i.e. iTunes) libraries, quick start, use of the play/pause/fwd/back buttons on your keyboard.  And I don’t always want a browser open — in fact, my music app is the only thing that I always have open on my computer.  So these days, it’s Spotify for me (nb: Rhapsody is the only other service to offer a downloadable app, but it’s Windows-only).Speaking of music, back to the task at hand that woke me up this morning: find me some tickets to Gotye @ Brooklyn Bowl tonight.  And if you don’t know Gotye, check out “Somebody That I Used To Know” (warning: you won’t be able to get it out of your head for a week).

    2. ShanaC

      I much prefer spotify.  Easier search interface, and I like the fact that it prepopulates friends.

      1. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

        Spotify’s deep social integration is killer.And w respect to Fred, sometimes native apps do provide a better user experience than the web.

        1. fredwilson

          rdio is social inside the servicespotify relies on FB for its social connectionssince i don’t really use FB, it is useless to mebut i do have most of my friends and family on rdio with meit’s magical

          1. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

            Interesting. Looks like Rdio isn’t available in Europe so can’t really judge the product. Re: FB I don’t use it much either but integration does allow me to find a bunch of great playlists. In fact Spotify is pretty much the reason why I’m still on Facebook. (#networkeffects) PEG

          2. kenberger

            exactly why I too greatly prefer rdio.on rdio, i’m connected to people who i’ve never met, but identify with their music tastes and love that they can ‘DJ’ for me. I DO use FB a lot, but my friends and family there have no correlation to me, musically. reminds me of my college radio DJ days, where some people whose music tastes i loved most i would never want to be caught in public with ;)this is a great example of where SOCIAL makes sense, but FB does not necessarily.

  4. JimHirshfield

    It’s ironic that the most mobile experience I have: riding subways and metro north commuter trains, is the worst connectivity I have all day. It ain’t mobile telecommunications if I’m standing still in the office.

    1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      “Standing still” … so true sometimes they work only like hand-sets of the landline.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Yup. But really I shouldn’t complain when I compare it to life before mobile and the commercial internet. We’ve come a long way!

    2. fredwilson


    3. Mark Essel

      Same here Jim. I’m on my phone the most when out walking and far away from most wifi (cable vision has decent wifi coverage accessible by home subscribers at no additional fee).Apps that sync local are near and dear to my heart: Instapaper, Dropbox, etc

      1. JimHirshfield

        Thanks for reminding me. I need to figure out how to get on the free CableVision wifi in my ‘hood.

    4. b4rk13

      Appreciate your frustration, but maybe take a moment to consider the technology that keeps you connected whilst you’re mobile. Cellular Base Stations have to monitor several current connections and hand them over to an adjacent tower as you move out of range, whilst making it transparent and seamless to you. It may not work as perfectly as expected due to factors like base station coverage and the speed at which you’re moving through the cells – but it’s still amazing tech. “Everything’s amazing – nobody’s happy” – Louis C.K.http://electronics.howstuff

      1. JimHirshfield

        Agreed. It’s incredible tech – no doubt. I guess we just expect more and more all the time as we see tech evolve. The more we’re amazed, the more we expect more amazement.

        1. Andy

          This is a good attitude though, keeps progression moving.

    5. Kashif Pasta

      Yeah 🙁  Here in Vancouver all our trains (even underground and underwater) have 3G connectivity except for like 3 stations, and I totally appreciate having it

  5. RichardF

    Feature Friday – four weeks in a row, your on a roll Freddy boyo.I’ve just started using offline Spotify on my mobile, loving it, also big love for Android now.

    1. fredwilson

      you are the inspiration for it Richardlike Pravin was for MBA Mondays

      1. RichardF

        nice to know I’ve had some small influence on avc.com !

        1. Rohan

          more than small! 🙂

    2. sbmiller5

      What android phone you using these days?

      1. RichardF

        Galaxy S II – replaced my iPhone with it.  

        1. sbmiller5

          Thanks!  Looking for a new one, have had my HTC Incredible for a year and an iPhone 3Gs before that.  Said I’d never buy an iPhone again based on that experience – but looking at Droid’s & the 4Gs.Any other recommendations out there?

          1. seankelly

            Battery life on the Galaxy S II  is so poor I went back to the iPhone 4. Then iOS5 blew any further thoughts about Android…

        2. fredwilson

          Thats what im rocking right now too

          1. RichardF

            it’s a wicked piece of kit I think.  Blisteringly fast and the camera on it is top quality.

          2. kenberger

            I have a demo (as Fred does). LOVE it. Rooting it takes 10 seconds, safely and without touching the data, which I highly recommend doing for the goodies.

          3. RichardF

            I’m going to have give that a try.

  6. Wells Baum

    Rdio for tunes, SoundCloud for tunettes, and iTunes for the tunekeepers.Another way to avoid dead zone music experience is to use all three:)

  7. awaldstein

    Just have to chime in that NY is well ahead of most of the world in providing WiFi.If you’ve ever stopped by Bryant Park on a warm day and seen literally thousands of people working with free WiFi, you see the cultural change that is happening.But yes, more in the subways will be way better.Just returned from Italy and WiFi that works is still a problem, even in hotels.

    1. RichardF

      Southern Europe is poor for wifi as you say Arnold.  Northern Europe, particularly some of the  Baltic States is probably ahead of the US.talking of chiming in, have you checked chime.in out yet Arnold?

      1. awaldstein

        Checking it now Richard, thanks.

      2. Trish Burgess-Curran

        The UK is behind the curve (IMHO) both on 3G coverage and on free WiFi availability.   Having said that, my life greatly improved about 4 months ago when they introduced the new Stansted Express trains (they cover the route between Stansted Airport – on the NE side of London – and London Liverpool St – in the heart of the City).  The service now includes free WiFi.  Incredible how much more connected I feel and how much ‘stuff’ I get done (particularly considering that I work for a bank that does not allow access to any social networks such as Twitter or FB, among many others!). I hope they expand the initiative for all commuters in the UK, the US and around the world!

        1. RichardF

          Starbucks have just introduced completely free wifi in the UK Trish (as opposed to just card holders), that’s an improvement 😉

        2. Farhan Lalji

          Gotta disagree, with the Cloud, o2 and BT wireless offered in Tube stations (Paddington station and Charing Cross doing trials) and the Heathrow Express has had free wifi for a couple of years now.  Starbucks and Prets over London have had wifi for ages.   Mind you that’s pretty London centric, can’t speak for the rest of the UK, but having travelled across Europe, North America and the MENA region, London’s held it’s own when it comes to wifi connectivity.

          1. Trish Burgess-Curran

            Thank you for providing so many great suggestions!  I may be looking at this from a slightly different perspective…  Let me explain.I travel quite a bit to Madrid (Spain) and Starbucks (I am an avid user of their wifi services, always accompanied by a good chai tea latte 🙂 and McDonals, as well as many other brands, provide free wifi in their stores in Madrid as well as they do, I believe, across Europe.  I can get the same offering of free wifi stores in Spain as in the UK but I do not think that you would list Spain as being at the forefront of wifi deployment, although you would need to do it if this is your basis for including the UK in this list.  I am not commenting on Pret-a-manger since they are not present in ‘the Continent’.  Regarding O2 and BT, as far as I know, the service is not free.  In any case, if they are just launching it for free on a few ‘landmark’ subway stations (I was not aware of this), they have a long way to go before they have a significant footprint.  Obviously you have to start somewhere and this is a great start.  Still, not (I believe) enough to put the UK in the forefront of wifi deployment,The fact that they provide free wifi on the Heathrow Express, as they have now on the Stansted Express, seems to hint their focus is business travelers.  Obviously, it also benefits everyday Londoners and commuters but I would hardly call it ‘building an infrastructure for your citizens’.I think that my view is also slightly tainted by the fact that just plain-good-old 3G coverage seems to be quite patchy (again, IMHO).  Do not try to have a Skype call if you are driving on the M-11 or riding the Standsted Express…  You will constantly have dropped calls!  Actually, many more than if you are driving on A-2 into Madrid!  

    2. fredwilson

      i noticed your absence around these parts recentlyglad to know there was a good reason for it!!

      1. awaldstein

        An AVC connection with a great visit with David Semeria in Milan.And of course, 50 year-old Pinot Bianco in Alto-Adige; unpronounceable/unbelievable wines from the Carso on the Friuli/Slovinan border and a personal visit to the wildman, natural winemaker, Fulvio Bressan of Friuli/Tieste.I’m back and hard at work though.

        1. fredwilson

          wow, sounds like a great trip

          1. awaldstein

            Thanks to the magic of blogging and global communities of interest (thank you AVC!) as connectors for making it possible.

          2. Donna Brewington White

            Just like when I come to New York I already have friends there and a party to go to!  BTW, how is that dinner coming along that you and @wmoug:disqus are setting up — I’m at 95% for being there.

        2. ShanaC

          And how was the wine and the countryside?

          1. awaldstein

            Big question….I’ll be writing on it soon.Franciacorta–Italy’s answer to Champagne. Not that impressed.Alto Adige–rocks in every way for whites. Actually the birthplace of Gewurtzaminer. Foothills of the Alps.Friuli—only 2.5% of Italy’s wine. The best whites and some kicking reds. Loads of wacky varietals. Huge diversity in a tiny area. Influenced by bedrock limestone, iron deposits (in the Carso), breezes off the Adriatic and winds from Slovenia. Loved this area.Lots of pics on Tumblr.

          2. ShanaC

            Note to self: Pick up a Alto Adige….

          3. sigmaalgebra

            On the wines, you totally lost me.  I have to assume you were drinking vinifera, but beyond that I am lost!My knowledge of wine is limited:  I started with Schoonmaker’s ‘Dictionary’ and, from the shops along Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown, tried (1) Pinot Noir from Pommard to Chambertin, (2) Chardonnay near Macon, (3) whatever grapes near Chateauneuf du Pape, (4) various Chiantis, and (5) a few Barolos (Nebbiolo grape).For (1), the good ones are ‘deep’ and ‘complex’ in flavor and bouquet and beyond my ability to describe in words; for (2) nearly all of them are dry (low sugar), crisp (high acid), and clean (delicate flavors), (3) is less ‘deep’ than in (1), (4) is not the same as (1) but can be nicely ‘deep’ and ‘complex’ and (5) more so.For Champagne, I would go along with the old it’s like “licking dusty, dry window panes” and for Haut Medoc, like licking dry limestone or some such.I’ve long suspected that in that band of latitude across Europe, from Spain through Georgia, there should be many vinifera wines quite comparable with all but the very best of France but at MUCH lower prices.Where do the wines you found fit into those French/Italian examples? 

        3. Mark Essel

          That’s awesome, hope to learn from your meetup.

    3. Donna Brewington White

      Welcome back, Arnold.  You were missed.  

    4. Andrew

      +1 to this.and +1 to “sync to mobile” being awesomeI live in northern British Columbia. I recently took a ten hour roadtrip that goes through a bunch of communities that barely have cell service, let alone data access.A few hours in, we wanted to listen to an album that no one had on their iPod. We stopped at a restaurant, ordered some food, and used the free wi-fi to get the album via Rdio.It had synced by the time we were done eating.

      1. awaldstein

        How far north in BC?I lived in the mountains above Lumby and Cherryville and traveled over most of northern part of the provence. A long time ago though.Cool story BTW…thanks for sharing.

        1. Andrew

          I’m in Prince George, BC. About a nine hour drive north of Lumby. I think Lumby is probably more “rural” though– at least it would have been a while back.There’s parts of the province here that are still fighting about whether they even want cell service or not.

          1. awaldstein


    5. Rohan

      welcome back 🙂

  8. William Mougayar

    There are so many music services out there, it’s getting confusing for a non-expert like me. ExFm, HypeMachine, Slacker, Last.fm, Rdio, Spotify, etc… What’s a basic segmentation of the market that helps to crystalize the lay of the land?

    1. fredwilson

      premium: spotify, rdio, mog, rhapsody, slackerfree: ex.fm, hypem, soundcloud, turntable, pandorathe premium services require a subscription and are all fairly similar the free services are all UGC to some extent and bring different experiences. ex.fm and hypem are deeply connected to the music blogging sector. soundcloud is the youtube of sounds. turntable is real/live social music. pandora is muzak on the web.

      1. William Mougayar

        Great. Thanks.

        1. Dan Epstein

          Of the premium services, I’ve enjoyed rdio the most.  I prefer it because of its ease of use, its catalog quality, and the sync to mobile feature.  Works really well.Only rdio downside for me was I synced too many albums to mobile (12GB), which ate up all my storage.

      2. kenberger

        A major free one to add to the list: Google Music Beta. I got an invite to it the very night that iCloud came out (no wonder Jobs was so pissed at Google).Syncs your entire music collection across devices. Allows to choose the tunes you want available while offline. Works fantastic. Browser-based on PC/Mac (about which Fred is vehement).And of course Kindle for Android keeps your books cached. Another top subway saver.

        1. ShanaC

          Is anyone beyond me feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by the choices for listening?

          1. Francesca Krihely

            I think it’s awesome. Competition means opportunity and it means we’re going to see better products with better user experience. I’m excited. Online music has been filled with such…filler since Napster, Kazaa and Shakespeare. 2011 saw awesome innovations in music (Turntable, spotify, Rdio, etc.) I personally try everything because you can’t just believe the hype. Each service has different features and functions that make it better for some, and ultimately, the winner will build a product with the most features in the bag (a la facebook). 

          2. ShanaC

            I agree you can’t believe the hype. I just think there is so much hype in this area, and so many choices, it is hard to know what to try, hard to build user networks, and in the end, hard to find music. I feel stymied developing taste rather than helped.

          3. Francesca Krihely

            @ShanaC:disqus can’t reply to you for some reason, but you’re right, since these platforms are social and much of the experience is based on WHO is playing in the playground, it is complicated and frustrating. 

        2. Francesca Krihely

          I’m glad Google is getting into the mix, but you can tell that Larry might be getting a little egregious with his innovation (not that innovation is bad, just that it might not fit with google’s goals).

    2. JimHirshfield

      William – What’s with the blue banner? Is that a Disqus feature for “instigators”?

      1. William Mougayar

        Lol. No… Shana an I are Moderators, so that’s why the Blue is there. At one point we were all green like Fred. Fred- might be a good idea to have a label at the right side of the bar that says Moderator perhaps? cc: @disqus:twitter Or replace instigator by moderator? 

        1. JimHirshfield

          Thank you Occifer.

        2. markslater

          moderators? churn….

          1. fredwilson

            Pls elaborate on that thoughtI want feedback

          2. markslater

            i saw this play out in the first gen of commenting in early 2000’s. moderators distorting the commenting experience. with all the respect in the world to william and shana, it is the perception that they “gate keep” my commenting on AVC that distorts the experience. 

          3. ShanaC

            Mark as a moderator, I honestly don’t care what you say as long as it doesn’t include pr0n or random links to sites that sell fake ipads. Or if you post as a setup with no links, except as setup to see if this site is penetrableAs a person, as odd as this sounds, I agree with you. I don’t really have a deep love of gatekeeping. I do respect it, and in fact fear it a bit. There are times I worry that I am shaped too much by some of the thoughts here, especially in terms of politics, that can leave me unsympathetic to those who think differently (I practice trying not to). I worry that in general gatekeeping forces my identity into specific patterns that aren’t completely true to self. I worry that gatekeeping even prevents important changes from happening and being heard about. I also get that society overall does want to do some gatekeeping, to keep down issues like crime from taking over us. We’re no longer Rousseau’s perfectly happy savages. Thing happen. We hurt each other, even when we shouldn’t.In truth, I think we’re still figuring out how to deal with the idea of the distributed society online. which is why moderation is (and should be) contentious.

          4. fredwilson

            I dont want thatIf that happens i will go back to the way it wasIm just trying to figure out how to manage spam while i am away all day

          5. Duff McKagan

            @ShanaC you need to stop justifying yourself.  Today you say you only care if it contains porn or suspect commercial links.  Yesterday you said you care only if it doesn’t contain words. The more you are trying to explain yourself the more suspicious it seems. It makes it seem less like auto-filtering, and more content-based moderating, which simply will not fly here in the long run.

          6. ShanaC

            I know.What do you think about what I said about moderation overall? I’m curious to know what you think…

          7. fredwilson

            Duff – point made. This is on me. Shana is just trying to help me. If this experiment doesnt work we will go back to the old way. But blame me for screwing up please

          8. Duff McKagan

            @ShanaC:disqus my thoughts on your thoughts on moderation are that they miss the point. moderation is not the point of blog comments.  it you’re going to moderate you should be like the NYTimes and have a very explicit policy and make the comments boring. Otherwise you’re left with the current AVC policy, where you try to ex post facto justify why you moderate and pretend that it’s not you who are actually making a decision to moderate. you’re saying it’s just some auto-system that is to blame. when it’s you and william.

          9. William Mougayar

            “you’re saying it’s just some auto-system that is to blame. when it’s you and william.” Are u implying we are lying?

          10. RichardF

            maybe you should do a post specifically requesting feedback.I don’t think of William and Shana as moderators more spam killers.  If that makes your life easier it can only be a good thing imo.I think the community here at avc pretty much moderates itself.  Having said I think there has been an increase in anonymous comments that are “taking a pop” at other members.  Which to me is a cowardly abuse of allowing anonymous posters free reign.Seems like one or two of the anonymous posters have become a little “braver” recently

          11. markslater

            i think its all fine – and thanks for the response shana but not nescessary to explain yourself. It may be as simple as not using the word MOD. MOD is the authoritarian desppot description from web 1.0

          12. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          13. fredwilson

            Dropping wisdom as usual

          14. kidmercury

            def need moderators. governments are needed as communities grow. moderators are the first step. this sucks for all the same reasons government sucks, though it’s necessary for all the same reasons government is needed. let’s hope the moderators in fredland do a better job than the moderators of the real world.

          15. fredwilson

            Your benevolent dictator will make sure of it

      2. andyswan

        I am an instigator and no blue.  I think it’s more of a “we are the cops” blue.

        1. JimHirshfield

          Ah, I see. Better watch out, there’s a new sherif in town.

    3. sbmiller5

      Here’s a detailed review of many of the services:  http://lifehacker.com/58121…

      1. William Mougayar

        Great link. Thanks!

  9. andyswan

    I’ll chime in as being “not thrilled” about the structures being added to AVC.  Mondays and Fridays are now my least favorite AVC-day, by far.  I come here to participate in a conversation kicked off by a “stream of Fred consciousness”.  Feels relevant, live and real that way.  Just my $.02.   And yes, I know I’ve become lamely predictable in “taking the other side” lately.  

    1. JimHirshfield

      Fair point, but isn’t today’s post relevant to the audience and our times? Something we all can relate to? If Fred hadn’t called this one a “Feature Friday” post, I wouldn’t have thought it was any different than his typical posts.

      1. Trish Burgess-Curran

        Fully agree.  It is just an interesting and relevant comment… 

      2. andyswan

        ya nothing really to do with today’s post….just seemed like a good opportunity to slip  by the boys in blue without getting an “unrelated to topic citation”…. if you know what I mean.

        1. Steadman


        2. William Mougayar

          Gotcha. -2 & a slap on the wrist. Troublemaker 🙂

    2. fredwilson

      i can’t do stream of consciousness every daystructure helps me

      1. andyswan

        I hear ya.  I can’t imagine writing every day without structure.  I’d probably have “Two word Tuesdays.”Carry on, it was just 2 cents.p.s. maybe a “request a topic” link at the top?  I think there are services that do that pretty well.  Could help.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Is that allowed? A title of a day being longer than the actual posts??

    3. RichardF

      “lamely” is not a word I associate with you Andy.

    4. Mark Essel

      I bet you’d stomach Feature Friday better if it covered the latest Swantastic app.Speaking of such things, what is the latest Swantastic app?Some of those MBA Monday posts are gold, pulling off the veil from VC shenanigans.

      1. andyswan

        Theater near you in early 2012

  10. Elia Freedman

    You are right that this is a fading issue and I guess with wifi it solves bandwidth problems. How does that work on a subway? Is it wifi to a 3G connection? Wouldn’t the problem of connection still be an issue though? At least on 3G there are times when I have a connection but there is too much demand to access it.I have an actual reason for asking: do things like Siri really take over our world? Stuff like Siri always need a web connection. Today customers prefer our product offline because they can always get an answer even when they don’t have an Internet connection. Does that permanently go away and web-based access is all that matters, meaning our apps are just pulling stuff off the web?

    1. simonista

      Siri needs a web connection for now, but that is only to make the experience more streamlined on a device where processing power can still be a limiting factor.  I suspect the day will come soon enough when Siri only needs the web to access stuff on the web.Which actually plays into your larger point that if everything is in the cloud, then you STILL need a web connection for everything. But I think that’s exactly what Fred is pointing out here, is that good sync is important — and we’re seeing great strides with sync in products like dropbox, icloud, and rdio.Seems to me that sync and offline caching become more important, not less, as we move into a cloud based world.

  11. LIAD

    Once it’s “synced to mobile”. It’s no longer a streaming service.The streaming element of the service is a Trojan horse to get the record labels to then agree to sync to mobile or offline access – which is where the real value for users is.Spotify premium allows 3,333 songs at a time to be cached for offline play. I am sure the majority of users upgrade for that reason and not the ostensible one of it being ad-free.

    1. fredwilson

      Only about 1/3 of my listens are offline listens

      1. ShanaC

        That still is a significant number if you think about it.  You would stop being annoyed at a lack of music if the time down was something like 5-10% listening.  That means really ubiqutous wifi, and really good browser cacheing, even on a mobile

    2. kirklove

      I’d agree with that Liad. The ads are REALLY annoying though. Completely ruins any mood. I think they are purposefully horrible and designed to forcefully interrupt to get you to upgrade.

  12. Farhan Lalji

    Sync to mobile isn’t just restricted to music.  One of the best features on the FT mobile apps is sync’ing the most recent content so when I move from home to the gym to the office I can update content where I have connection and read full stories when I don’t have a connection.

    1. fredwilson

      Very true

  13. Douglas Crets

    I’m really happy that mobile services are beginning to sprout in subway stations. It actually doesn’t lead to people yapping on their phones during the ride. It’s better for surfing, reading newspapers on devices. When I lived in Hong Kong, you could make a call on the subway, and some people would, but mostly the experience seemed to be casting around the web and taking down text messages, to let your friends know when you were going to be at the destination, or on your way from one work event to another one, getting context for the next activity. 

    1. ShanaC

      Now if only they had power charging in the subways and Lirr….

  14. Tom Labus

    “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”Jobs on Android, Jan 2010 from the new biography.

    1. jason wright

      …and he had Eric Schmidt on the Apple board. 

      1. Tom Labus

        Pretty good poker faces!

  15. Douglas Crets

    Fred Wilson, knowing what I know about you, I think this will make whatever shoes you are wearing fly off your feet and tie themselves: Robot hooked up to an Android mobile device solves Rubik’s cube in like five seconds:  http://blog.nerdery.com/201…No, really.  

    1. fredwilson

      You made my dayThank you

      1. Douglas Crets

        you are welcome.  Just a note.  Comment links in emails do not go to the reciprocal comment. I have lost the thread I was trying to respond to.  Trish said that Spain is not often thought of as a wifi frontier of innovation.  I was going to say that Spain was where Fon started, and that was incredibly innovative.  Wish I could tell Trish this directly! 

    2. JamesHRH


  16. EtotheZ

    Rdio’s Sync to mobile is fantastic – I just wish I could sync to my desktop too. Streaming is always a flaky affair (especially in Canada with our crappy Rogers carrier)

  17. kirklove

    Syncing to offline is awesome. Requires messy, expensive licensing though.

    1. RichardF

      When is the exfm android app coming out Kirk?  I’m loving exfm at the moment.

      1. kirklove

        Alpha build is kind of out, though temporarily frozen while we update the new v3 database to it. I can send you an invite/download link when that’s done.

        1. ShanaC

          Can I test too? It is my favorite app when working..Sent from a phone, forwarned

          1. kirklove

            Absolutely Shana!

        2. RichardF

          thanks v much Kirk, would love it.Getting much sleep 😉 ?

          1. kirklove

            Ha. Some. Mom has it rougher so I can’t complain. The Bean is awesome though.

          2. RichardF

            it’s a life changer,  well worth it though

  18. Dennis Buizert

    I don’t use my phone for listening to music. As I avoid recharging my phone the entire day. But then again, I’m not an important person, so maybe I should start use it for music again. However if that was the case I would use it for music listening. Only using my phone for the “new texting”, twitter, Facebook and the random browsing. Burns the battery down to 20-35% end of the day. So music on top of that would leave me with no phone end of the day. 

  19. whitneymcn

    One of the features I really like from the Android preview of the Exfm app (and I assume that the iPhone app has it, as well), is how it handles losing connectivity: if you’re streaming music and lose your connection (walk into a subway station), the app automatically shifts to playing music from your device’s local library.It happened to me a couple of times before I really processed what the app was doing, which to me is a sign of a well-designed feature.

  20. Francesca Krihely

    I don’t use syncing for music, but I use it for other data like Dropbox and other cloud-based systems. My favorite is Evernote, which could probably save a life one day. Sync to mobile is amazing and build user trust in products and services. When I load evernote on my desktop and see that 2 notes have been uploaded, that shows me how evernote is working to safeguard my data. In the same vien I read a report the other day that 15% of mobile business problems are surrounding data loss & recovery. Mass adoption of sync technology is going to dramatically change that. 

  21. Mat Mullen

    This post just made my 9 hour flight to Costa Rica much more bearable.  Thanks for the reminder about this feature.  Now if I can just remember to turn off data roaming…

  22. Aaron Klein

    There’s a huge difference between cellular connectivity and wi-fi…instant on.With wi-fi, I always have to look at a list of networks, try them one after another, and usually go load a slow mobile browser to agree to terms and conditions.If the mobile carriers are really that stressed about load on their networks, they should create a cross-router standard for instant-on wi-fi. This wouldn’t be about revenue; it would be about cutting the costs they are constantly complaining about.No picking a network, terms are covered in your carrier contract, no running SMTP servers over the connection, etc. If your phone, tablet or laptop’s wi-fi radio is on, and it sees an “instant-on wifi” network, it connects and just works.The current wi-fi technology is so cumbersome that my phone’s wi-fi radio stays off and it’s only a backup choice if I can’t get Verizon signal.

  23. Rohan

    One of the reasons you got to love singapore – 3G on the MRT system underground..

  24. kidmercury

    “Someday we’ll have wifi in the Union Square subway station. “probably, but let’s see who ends up paying for it, and who’s allowed to use it (or what devices are needed)…..

    1. kenberger

      They managed to do it in the Boston T system ~10 years ago, to the surprise of many.I was actually involved in the bidding, when I was a wireless/mobile consultant. It was fascinating.

      1. kidmercury

        Yes…..although with the debt crisis now I wonder if cities can really pay for it

  25. Varsigal

    ugh this makes me sick. great post though

  26. Kashif Pasta

    I love features like this, especially because of capped data– I can get 3G pretty much everywhere including buses, stations, and underground trains here in Metro Vancouver, but with a 1GB/month (most people have 500MB) data plan I wouldn’t want to risk streaming music for 3+hours five days a week!

  27. awaldstein

    @sigmaalgebra:disqus Re: your question about wine.Sorry for the wine geeky comment. I’m just back from a week with a group of wine bloggers and have forgotten how to speak English.The only thing that matters is what tastes good to you!If you can find a taste you like (which you can), then the story behind the glass will become more relevant.It starts with your palate. Nothing else matters.I don’t believe you need to understand in order to appreciate. I believe that once you appreciate it, you search out info. And enjoyment grows with that knowledge.My point about Franciacorta.They call themselves the ‘champagne region of Italy’ because they emulate how Champagne is made, with a second fermentation in the bottle. There are many ways to create bubbles and many more interesting ways to brand the result. There is just little unique about Franciacorta and how they approach making and marketing bubbles in my opinion.If you are ever in NYC, I”ll be glad to take you out and doing some tasting.

    1. William Mougayar

      I would add one thing: Keep practicing, it’s a never ending learning (paraphrasing Arnold). And if you had a bad bottle, then go have another one.

  28. testtest

    looking at kryders law we’ll be able to sync all our media in the not too distant future.

  29. chhhris

    hello #bartender, #instigators, and #regulars. this is my first post so hello AVC @fredwilson:disqus and friends.syncing to mobile democratizes access to music!;-) till recently, i hadn’t had my own computer since sophomore year at @wesleyan_u:disqus  (uh, 7 years ago);-) i never stole any (let alone tens of thousands) of songs via Napstertherefore my digital library is nill.i ride the subway 2x day, i upgraded to @spotify:disqus premium for the sole purpose that i could download up to 3,000 songs at a time onto an iPhone.everyone’s probably long gone and no one will read ever read this post. btw, as i scrolled down all the comments (it is currently 11:50 PM EDT on 21 October 2011) the time stamps were all over the place! i couldn’t tell who was talking to whom when?

    1. fredwilson

      What is the point you are making?

    2. JamesHRH

      Chris – you just never know who is around – like any good bar!Fred’s right though – what’s your point?

    3. Donna Brewington White

      Hello Christopher.24/7 global community hereThere are conversations going on, but it’s not like a chat room. If you don’t follow what’s going on, then just observe for a while — and ask a relevant sincere question now and again.

      1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        “24/7 global community Bar” rather.BTW I heard the last call … have you ordered your “one for the road” 🙂

    4. Cam MacRae

      Go to disqus; edit profile; account; then set “date and time formatting” to “relative”.Crisis over 🙂

      1. Donna Brewington White

        I think he’ll have the same problem.  The conversations here are not in real time like in a chat room — and sometimes not even in the same time frame yet a valid convo just the same. He’s going to have to learn to follow the thread.

        1. Cam MacRae

          You’re probably right – so easy to forget it’s a acquired skill.

    5. ShanaC

      first off, welcome.  Secondly, anything we can help you with?  Considering your experience with your phone versus the computer, which do you think would be the more dominant form in the future?

  30. Einas Ibrahim

    I’m glad to hear we have Wi-Fi in the L Train and can’t wait to have all the stations Wi-Fi ( and phone) ready.I lived in South Korea for a brief period of time working for SK telecom- The largest telecom company in S. Korea – and all the subways were Wi-Fi ready which allowed people to watch TV and play games on their mobile during the subway ride. This was GREAT for the telecom companies because they didn’t have the “unlimited” plan concept. so the more the user downloads data the more money he/she pays.Because here in the US almost everyone is on an unlimited plan, having that additional 1 hour of average use per user per day in the subways is basically a **loss** to the telecom companies.Nonetheless, I know that there is a project going on to enable phones in the subway.I have to admit what I miss the most in the subways is the news.. my BI, Mashable, links in twitter…etc what can I say I’m a news junkie 🙂

  31. chhhris

    now i see the drop down filter to sort by popularity, newest to oldest, etc. got it!

  32. Mike A

    I hope Rdio revisits thier pricing model.  $10/ month just to stream / sync music I already have just doesn’t feel like mass market to me. Feels like a feature / niche product vs. company to me.

  33. AJ S.

    On the video front, we built an application that allows you to pull down video clips to watch later.  Perfect for those longer tech talks or interviews that you want to watch on the train.  One catch though– you can’t download YouTube videos on iOS (Youtube TOS).  http://bit.ly/densoapp

  34. andyswan

    because I have something left to lose?

  35. andyidsinga

    I think some days I come over here just to see Charlie and Andy going at it 🙂

  36. andyswan

    Lol it was a “me and bobby mcgee” reference…..but will do on the pappy

  37. fredwilson

    Funky friday

  38. fredwilson

    Just to be clear, i still read every comment and determine what gets taken downIf this experiment fails i will end it

  39. William Mougayar

    I think some people are over-reacting about this “moderator” label. I’ve only removed 2 legit spam comments which would have been flagged anyways. All it entails is that we have access to an admin panel where we can move comments out if needed. We’re not policeman/woman, nor cops nor working for anyone. The occasional comment directed at a user would have been made in the same way whether I was an instigator, moderator, regular or whatever. It has nothing to do with these labels. It’s just common sense commenting. Maybe the color scheme is confusing people. Really, nothing has changed in how I behave on this forum. The only change now is that I can take an action whereas before I might notify Fred, and only he could take actions. So, really this helps him that way. 

  40. BillSeitz

    Does this make Fred the white-shirt-with-the-pepper-spray? Do we need an OccupyAVc movement? 🙂

  41. fredwilson

    Its helping meTbd on the impact on the community

  42. William Mougayar

    That’s 100% correct. I think anyone of the instigators and several regulars do a fine job at self-regulating the community whether the mod label is there or not. 

  43. Holding Company

    Something is wrong in the world when the Ayn Rand acolyte has to explain a Janis Joplin reference to the hippie!#OccupyARecordBin

  44. andyswan

    Lol Bizarro world.

  45. William Mougayar

    You owe me a drink 🙂 Are you coming to NYC on Nov 9th?

  46. fredwilson

    Bring it!!!