Allan Isfan is a co-founder of FaveQuest, a young start-up. This blog covers start-up topics.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


music music music .... live life

So here I am again ... late night, quiet house except for pandora keeping me company again .... can't sleep .... the hamster in my brain can't stop. If you didn't know me very well, you'd think I'm a propeller head with pale skin, no friends and living in my mother's basement. Fortunately, you know better ... right?

One of my passions is music .... I listen to music all day ... in the morning, in the car, when I run or work out, when I work, when I eat ... you get the picture. Thanks to the band "Funding Bad Habits" that practices and records in my basement, I've also had the chance to get more serious about playing the guitar, even getting the chance to play live a couple of times ... thanks Dan, Jay, Mark and Rolly for letting me join in for a couple of songs!... what a rush that was!!

Music can be so powerful and enhance so many different experiences. In the morning, we listen to Hot 89.9 upstairs (my wife's choice) and The Bear 106.9 downstairs. I especially like Brad and Stuntman ... funny guys. When I run, I like to listen to Eminem, Kid Rock, Beastie Boys and other stuff like that. Imagine finishing a marathon with the Rocky anthem perfectly timed to get you through that finish line? For a romantic night, some Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban or Il Divo is in order. When driving with the family, Sheryl Crowe is the top favourite. The kids actually believe playing "Soak Up the Sun" will clear the rain clouds! Maybe Sunday morning with the paper calls for some classical stuff like Aida or Barber of Seville (you bugs bunny fans would recognize this).

"Hey ... Allan ... we don't really care what music you like ... get to the point!!"

Hang in there .... just setting up the segway.

To get at the right stuff requires jumping around and zillion different methods. I use a 20G IPOD and have filled about 5G with my own CDs but haven't bought or downloaded stuff off the net much (no illegal downloading for me) . I jump around different stations constantly to get some variety and to adjust to the tastes of those around me. When I'm at my computer, I used to listen to Yahoo Launchcast quite a bit and have now migrated mostly to pandora ( .... awesome service with The Music Genome Project behind it (check it out). Oh ... and I also listen to CDs once in a while .... CDs are so done!

So I'm finally getting to the point. Here is what I want and where I predict things are going.

The New Age of Radio .... and I am Sirius ... not

The new service will blend the best parts of radio ( radio personalities, news, weather, local events, contests), but only play music I like, provide access to music I own when I want it and let me purchase songs on the fly spontaneously. If it could email me lyrics and chords to all the songs ... that would great!

The new "Radio" service will know exactly who I am and send me what I want no matter where I am or what device I'm using and I want it to be practically free. I'll tell it verbally what I want "please play Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Green Day, Coldplay and stuff like that oh ... and include weather and upcoming events in Ottawa and sprinkle in some comedy". Or I could tell it "play my Pink Floyd" channel or "play comedy" or "bbc news".

So I get to listen to Brad, Stuntman, Cubby and the rest of the nuts at The Bear but I get to listen to the type of music I'm in the mood for and hear local stuff that is relevant to me. Actually, at this point, I'd be happy to solve "Dad, can you go back to the beginning of that song .... sorry dear ... its radio ... but Daddy's working on it".

So who's gonna pay? Advertisers and spontaneous purchases.

Imagine listening to your existing radio and hearing an ad for winter tires ... "Casino Acura is having a winter tire sale ... don't wait till the snow". Zippidy do da!. Contrast this to the new directed add of the new radio station ...."Hi Allan ... your MDX is due for an oil change ... your winter tires need replacement and we're having a sale ... hit the "yes" button if you would like to schedule an appointment". Ok ... maybe a little eerie ... but you get the point ... When it comes to music, I would buy a pile more if I could just hit the buy button and have the system automatically save the song to my radio and my digital locker

There is no doubt that in mind this is where things are going. Its more of a question of when and which pieces of the puzzle are going to come first. I would love to hear what you think and don't worry too much about the technology .... it will come.

It would be such a thrill for us to play a part in this evolution ... the journey would no doubt be exciting. I've tried to position myself to build a start-up and solving even a small piece of this puzzle is not such a huge challenge. Naturally, I have some very specific ideas .... but I can't put all the cards on the table yet and lead the witness. Just a hint though ... you'll want one



Anonymous hshah said...

What you are alluding to is the fundamental paradigm shift in broadcasting; pull vs push. Once push technology is pre-empted by pull - you can let your imagination run wild and customize the (audio/video) broadcasting world to your taste. Once this takes hold, marketing/advertiser will figure out a way to make money for these techonologies too. I would not be surprised if GooGAPP takes the lead with Google ruling the backend (infrastructure/servers) and Apple ruling the front end (consumer electronics).


9:17 AM

Anonymous Ralph said...

Are you sure you want this to be a public forum. You may get some great ideas you want to save.

7:33 PM

Blogger Estèphe said...


We're are cousin or dubbling brothers ???

Personnaly i'am a music lover and i also got this need to get the music i like wherever i am, whenever i want.

Concerning the Business there is my vision from my side and i was thinking it's a world things. We have to separe 3 big type of Players... The one which own the content (major, producer, financial group) ... the one which broadcast (IT company as Orange / Internet Services Providers as AOL / Mobile Services providers as Orange, Vodaphone, etc ... and finally the one which let you listen it ( soft solution as Winamp, Windows Media Player, Itunes,... / hard solution as Ipod, Archos, Mp3 key, your fridge or anythingelse ;-)

We have a good example of what a ISP can offer now in france with which purpose to 29,9€ by month an ADSL + line + free phone nearly everywhere + TV more than 200 chanels, i can play on my tv any movies, pictures, sound from any computer and better than that i can record any chanels on any computer... it's using à wifi mimo... with a "freephone" you can call freely from any "others freebox"... easy to imagine when the download of Cellular and Wifi will be increased...

Where to be... Where to find is place in that business... Hard to think to become à leader if you don't own actually one of the firm which own one of the firm which own the right (catalogue) or the one which "transform & transport the data"...

Impossible is nothing...
Not a leader... just a player...

A good new player could be something as myspace... you let all artists to go an a same internet place... myspace is already huge but also young for an internet player... Others Radio system... but as far as i know, the business model of independant broadcaster is not rentable (too much time energy spend for a really short benefice when it happends ;)

To end this post...
I oriente myself towards artists which is one of the base of the system to offers services as create virtual community, flash website or e-shop, i have a personnal watch towards studio / event manager / place to show (restaurant, bar, ...) to sell this kind of service and try to create a close network...
My objectifs is to be able to offer a package of services about 1500 € which offer a Website in flash which let you broadcast sound, video, live cam, custumisable) to this "target"...

Many way to make it famous... but first working on it...

9:31 PM

Blogger ROKPIG said...

Really cool idea...I love only concern is to get that voice activated software working better than it is wouldn't want to say Korn and get porn instead...the wifey and kids may get a little shocked!!!

10:49 PM


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