I bet you are going to get sick of these posts. In fact, I might even find a new place to put these. Maybe split them off from the main blogging part of the site… Hmm… I don’t think anyone comes here to read tech news, and yet, that is what makes me tick.
Moving on!
I touched on being a Windows Insider in my previous post, and being an Insider means giving feedback. In fact, the more feedback you give or upvote, the better. Since there is so much feedback, I am going to use my wide audience (ha ha) to highlight feedback or ideas that I deem important to me. You can choose to upvote them, or choose to tell me how stupid they are. And since I get to talk to you, and you can’t talk back, I get to choose. And I choose music as the first topic. Yay me!
If you aren’t aware, the built-in music player is called Groove. If you aren’t aware, the built-in subscription streaming service is call Groove. Yes, the curse of Microsoft naming conventions strikes again… That is until you use it. Let me tell you, Groove seems to have the worlds biggest catalogue of music – 40 million tracks – if you believe them. It costs the same as Spotify and the quality is slightly better since it uses wma. If you aren’t a music and computer nerd, then this means nothing to you, just smile and nod…
Right, how do we make a music player and music streaming service better? I am glad you asked, because I have a few ideas… First some ideas on the music as a service.
Music is social!
You like to see what your friends are listening to. You like it when your friends recommend new music to you. After all, who knows your music tastes better than those who get subjected to it on long car rides? Exactly. Music is a social experience, and we, as a tribe, like that. Music brings people together all the time. So we should be able to see what our friends are listening to. Spotify puts this on Facebook, but since Facebook is for the oldies, no one really cares… Let me see what you are listening to in the app. Let my friends recommend and share playlists with me. How will this look? Maybe like Xbox Live where you can see what your friends are playing? Use your imagination here!
Music is perfect for machine learning!
Look, the machines here are not going to rise up and kill us by playing smooth jazz 24/7. But the machines can learn what we listen to, how we listen to it and what we are doing (to some degree) when we listen to music. This is big data here folks. This big data could be used to suggest the perfect playlist for your activity or a new artist that you don’t know you love yet. Heck, it could talk to Cortana and you can get notifications when Slipknot schedule a concert in your country (speaking as a New Zealander here – our country is small as). Similar to Spotify’s Discover Weekly, we could be constantly exposed to new music. And we all know Microsoft has the software chops to pull this off and turn it into the best music service out there.
And now, onto the technical sides of the app. The thing that actually plays the music.
Upmix to surround sound!
I have surround sound. I love surround sound. I want to be enveloped in my music. How else would I air guitar so vigorously? Let me upmix the music to 4.0, 5.1 or even 7.2. Its easy – just play the right channel out the right speakers, the left channel out the left speakers and send all the bass to the sub. See, problem solved. Man, I should be hired here… PS: This feedback also adds an equalizer. As people who love music, we love to fine tune it so it sounds just right! Don’t argue, just nod.
Improve the quality!
Yes, I know I said the quality is pretty good, but lets be honest here, everything can be better. Everything! So if I am on wired or wifi, why aren’t I streaming in .flac? I can understand how this will need to be a feature the user can turn on, since some people still have data caps. But just imagine, you are on fibre, you have these amazing USB-C headphones, you get it upmixed to 7.2 and streamed in the highest quality? That’s the dream. Admit it – you just got chills thinking about it!
Bonus Point: Engineered for Groove
Just like how you now get music that is “Mastered for iTunes” (yuk – who likes iTunes!), why not get some music that is mixed and mastered to sound best on Groove and WMA? I know some people who will buy an album on the Store if it was highlighted as “Mixed for Groove”. Or how many audiophiles would jump at the chance to stream music if it was made to be a higher quality and mixed and mastered for the music app? Just a thought. Take it or leave it.
Please take it…
So there you have it folks, some of my humble ideas for improving a single app, a single faucet of the beast known as Windows 10. I really think Windows 10 is the best OS out there, that doesn’t mean its perfect (yet), but I can see the potential.
Love and kisses