Monday, January 28, 2008

Convergence is Creepy

I'm in a Starbucks in Manhattan today, so I had to bite the bullet and pay T-Mobile for my Web access. But what really surprised me was that I just went to look at something in iTunes and I see that iTunes and this Starbucks are in some sort of freaky cahoots because the banner across the top indicates the name of the song playing right this second in this cafe. I mean, I can't hear it over the din of chatter, but I'll surely take their word for it. Do you think that all Starbucks are playing the same music everywhere at the same time?

How do they DO that?

OK, OK. I'm sure it's pretty simple. But it's also kind of stunning. I'm sitting in a cafe, I like the song and iTunes wants to sell it to me. Does Starbucks or T-Mobile get a kickback if I buy? And, also, how long have they been doing this?

Also, how come nobody else's iTunes playlists are available for me to browse? There are about 2,500 people here with laptops; surely someone else has iTunes? I always love looking at what other people have. Did they stop letting you do that at some point?


Anonymous said...

They've been expanding this program for a little while.

The announced this as a partnership based around the iPhone - the currently playing track also pops up in the on-phone iTunes Store app for purchase.

They have equipment in the store that handles it on a per location basis.


Brian said...

I work at a college and you definitely can see people's playlists. I can see them all the time when I am in the dining hall or common area.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered the social networking musical site You can see what your friends are listening to, and get recommendations from strangers with similar tastes.


naw, i dont really care other than it feels sneaky, like looking in someone else's medicine cabinet. And once in a while -- ok, once, in an airport -- i found our podcast on someone else's playlist and it was a very odd thrill.