April 04, 2007 |
Your music, anywhere and everywhere. That’s supposed to be what we all want. At home. At school. At work. In the air. Underground. Underwater. You name it, we want it. Or do we? Heck, I don’t know. But in case you do want your music wherever you go – or at least at the multiple PCs you encounter in your daily routine – here’s a product that you might want to check out.
It’s called FluidPlay, and it’s currently in “alpha,” so beware of the bugs. As a disclaimer I’ll state at this moment that I haven’t tested the software out for myself, so I’ve no clue about any bugs FluidPlay may or may not have. There’s software to be downloaded, and sadly, my Mac OS X machine stubbornly refuses to accept any packages with a ‘.exe’ extension. So, quality of the streaming audio? I can’t give you a first hand impression. How FluidPlay’s interface measures up? No can do. Perhaps by the time the beta rolled out of the shop, I’ll be able to give it a spin.
What I do know about FluidPlay might make you want to give it a go yourself, however. That is, if you’re using an operating system slapped together by Microsoft’s coders.
The biggest selling point of FluidPlay seems to be simplicity. Visit the site and you’ll see what I mean. All you see are two fields to input your username and password (registration takes a few seconds), a Now Playing bar to sample what some in FluidPlay’s user base (we presume it’s not large as of yet) are playing. A user’s stream (chosen at your whim) is picked up automatically by your browser relatively quickly, at which time you’re hearing what they’re hearing. You can only listen in to “real-time” playback of the stream. You cannot choose any individual tracks you please.
If you like what you hear [of others’ collections/playlists/mixes] you can even leave comments commending or denouncing users’ musical tastes.
Of what I have seen of FluidPlay – which isn’t all that much, to be real – I think it fulfills its main obligation to the user. It streams tracks with ease, and there are no visuals – no artwork, no graphics – to distract or tarnish its cleanliness. I would surely like to see less and hear more in many places and applications around the Web.
I don’t believe FluidPlay is to be as widely accepted as MyStrands has become. The fact is that FluidPlay’s potential market is quite small. But if the service manages to stay afloat through the alpha and the beta, there’ll surely be a subset of music lovers who wish to keep things as simple as possible, and who will certainly request that FluidPlay bridge that gap for them. If that’s what FluidPlay is looking for, then the project will be a success. If not, then my suggestion is to boot up Windows – yes, you – download FluidPlay’s desktop program, and start streaming, because it may have a very finite existence.