While I’m on the iPhone, another posting that caught my eye was David Kirkpatrick’s Fortune column on why Rhapsody and Sonos, not iPod and iTunes, is the future of digital music. I’ve been planning to take a look at this combo myself, so I was very interested in David’s provocative opinion:
We’re entering an era of ubiquitous wireless broadband, where data will be available to us wherever we go. In that kind of world, we will not need iTunes. I doubt most people will want to buy or “own” music at all. It will be far more useful to pick from a giant online library and listen to whatever we want wherever we are.
I didn’t fully realize this until I got a loan of a home music system called Sonos. It’s an elegant way to get music wirelessly from your PC to your stereo, but in its latest iteration it also is well-suited to getting your music directly from the Internet. The best way to get music into Sonos is via Rhapsody. Rhapsody, not iTunes, in my opinion, is the future of music.
I certainly agree with the theory of Kirkpatrick’s post, but as the old usenet .sig read, “The difference between theory and practice is always greater in practice than it is in theory.” Many a technology that is superior in theory fails in the practical rough and tumble of the marketplace. But the Sonos is getting a lot of buzz, and it might just be the driver to get Rhapsody and similar all-you-can-eat streaming music services to take off. All the people I know who have their home music set up this way do rave about it.