Wednesday, July 25, 2012

as night descends upon the city, the streets are cold, the lights go by

[Broadcast] Twilight Snorkle: {Lv19 team LFM, any AT or level welcome} Hello, everypony! I'm conducting research into the nature of the magic of friendship, and data indicates the best way to do that is by beating the stuffing out of somepony. Can you help?

There are some people in various games that just get on folks' nerves. (I am occasionally these people for many, it must be admitted.) But Twilight...She's about five of my "people to nuke from orbit" on City of Heroes for me.

Someone else made it moderately better:

[Broadcast] Commodore Slice: Hi, everysnorkle! I can help you by beating the stuffing out of you. How's that?


And now, more insanity from the Help channel.

[Help] Exploding Geode: one thing i think Pocket D is missing is live music, should be a guest dj each week from the many paragon radio stations
[Help] Silver Flurry: There are. Most of the week, there are guest DJs playing in the D.
[Help] Exploding Geode: but you have to tune in seperately dont u
[Help] Exploding Geode: its not pumped through the game
[Help] Exploding Geode: thats not the same thing, queuing up winamp to run behind coh isnt what i mean, replace the crappy Pocket music with LIVE music

Now, there's more I'm going to quote later on that will really tell you what level of whiny, opinionated, spoiled child Exploding Geode actually is, but for now, think on this: in a superhero game that already has a gathering place for heroes and villains, and has performing DJs with great frequency--he wants the D actually to be a functional center for DJs and dancing.

Why? For NCSoft to do that, they'd have to personally get licensing and fees in line, it would likely drive up the cost of the game for everyone--both in terms of leveling up the servers to host at least Pocket D, if not the entire game, and in terms of how difficult it would then become for people with older machines to connect to the game in the first place. Let alone potentially passing those extra costs to their subscriber base after.

[Help] Exploding Geode: NCSoft is big enough, if xbox live can do it, im sure they can strike a deal
[Help] Silver Flurry: You're assuming they want to.
[Help] Dius Fidius: assuming they can find a profit for it

Which is exactly the point--would streaming live music increase the game experience for their users? Would streaming live music be cost-effective, be a sufficient draw to new users? Would there be far more fees entailed on the part of NCSoft than benefit to them and to the game?

If the answers to any of those questions are "no"--and I suspect many of them are--then it's not going to be something NCSoft will ever be interested in doing.

Plus, as far as I'm aware, XBox Live only made streaming music available for their Gold Box subscribers only, through a deal with Which still means another company is handling the licensing and replay fees for them. What he's asking seems to be for NCSoft to essentially become a radio service in addition to being an MMO.

[Help] Exploding Geode: cant make the lag any worse, ever log on to a red server and wonder wth all the ppl are at?

And this comment--especially right after complaining about how Pocket D sucks because it doesn't have live streaming commercial music on an MMO--is just baffling beyond all reason. Wait, you're saying on the one hand that NCSoft is "big enough" to be able to host this, gratis, just because you want it--and on the other hand, that the villain-side of things is a wasteland? (Which, btw, it isn't--but seriously, those two statements don't go together.

[Help] Aria Fae: Why not just run Pandora in the background if you wanna listen to actual music?

This seems an eminently sensible suggestion. While my computer is still not robust enough to run streaming music from Pandora whilst playing City of Heroes, it can be done--and, let's be fair, if I lowered some of my graphics settings I probably could just fine.

[Help] Exploding Geode: all im saying is they pimp all kinds of things on paragon radio, i even went to a party where Miss Wentworths was giving money to some realhero charity, they just dont want to im guessing, but it would be a cool perk
[Help] Aria Fae: Uh.. I hope you're being sarcastic.

Admittedly, I thought the same thing.

[Help] Exploding Geode: i just turn on netflix and run it off my stereo

What? What does that even MEAN?

[Help] Silver Flurry: No, I think he's just not thinking this through and he's serious.
[Help] Aria Fae:, it's a free online radio. You put in a few songs or artists you like, and it creates radio stations based off of your picks.
[Help] Silver Flurry: You like live music, you have the choice of turning to the Cape or another Paragon station, and listening live, or...not. The D's not going to change.
[Help] Exploding Geode: i am serious i plugged 14.95 a month for years, i just think there is more to the game post 50, and it could be a useful tool to draw more peeps

You know, I didn't catch that line the first time through, when this conversation was unfolding live. So, he's doing all this bitching about how much the music in the D sucks in the first place, and he's not even a current subscriber?!?

[Help] Unlost: Paragon Radio and The Cape and any other such thing is a separate thing that has to handle their own legal stuff.


[Help] Exploding Geode: champs is fun i bought a lifetime subscription, another thing CoH is lacking, but im not complaining, would be nice though

So...he paid for a lifetime subscription to Champions Online, and dropped his subscription to City of Heroes. Not winning people over here, Geode.

But Aria was still trying to tell Geode about Pandora:

[Help] Aria Fae: It's both. You don't have to purchase anything.
[Help] Unlost: go there, make a channel, punch in some music, and let it rip.
[Help] Aria Fae: Just program in a station.
[Help] Aria Fae: It will play music similar to songs or srtists you list.
[Help] Unlost: It plays free. It has ads in it, to pay for the freeness, because they're pretty up front in that regard.
[Help] Aria Fae: Yeah about once every eight to ten songs you'll have a 30 second advert, but it's worth it.
[Help] Exploding Geode: type in deadmau5 and you prolly get 3 blind mice :P

Without ever trying the service, he's determined to keep bitching.

[Help] Unlost: It gets better as you tell it more.
[Help] Unlost: The first couple hours you'll be riding the thumbs down button, but as long as you toss some thumbs up in there too, after a bit it gets really nice.
[Help] Exploding Geode: type in Will I Am and you prolly get some 8 yr old with his Casio keyboard :P

Seriously, guy, try it or don't. Plus, the folks behind Pandora have been at this a long time now, with some serious scientific metrics behind it. They have a fair amount of clout, and they're very tuned in. About the only thing you still can't get a ton of is local indie artists, but the moment they step out of their town, for the most part something shows up on Pandora.

[Help] Unlost: It's not like you have to sit there setting it up. Just 'oh that's good *click, switch back*.. oh that bites *switch, click, switch back..*
[Help] Unlost: if it comes up with bs music you put thuimbs down and it stops it immediately goes to the next.
[Help] Aria Fae: Then you need to be more specific. If you type in a single song or artist for it to choose from, it has a huge selection to play through. But if you type in four or five, it will narrow down to your tastes based off of those selections.
[Help] Exploding Geode: any program called Pandora, is obviously a box i dont want to open, specially' if i dont get what i want

Well, good gods, you dimwit, it must be so tragic for you on a daily basis that the entire world doesn't immediately roll over and give you every little thing your heart desires. We weep for your lack of imagination.

[Help] Aria Fae: So fine tune the station. For example, my 'Rock station' plays music similar to A Perfect Circle, Tool, Alter Bridge, Breaking Benjamin and Thirty Seconds to Mars. I rarely have to skip songs, as it almost always plays something I enjoy.
[Help] Exploding Geode: Introducing the new Pandora Burger at Burger King, when you open the box your food transmorphs into some other cuisine!

Yeah, this is about when I determined he was a lost cause. I have to give Aria Fae props, though, she has far more patience than I have.

[Help] Unlost: [Help] Unfortunately the nature of learning systems.
[Help] Aria Fae: Then perhaps you are too selective and the site is not for you. I have never had any issues with it, personally.
[Help] Aria Fae: If you had been more specific, it would have.
[Help] Caustic Finale: *Shrug* I just popped on Pandora, made a brand new station, and I've liked the past 5 songs they randomed up.

And that's generally how it works. Plus, Pandora's improved a lot just over the past three years. It plays a song, and if you like that song, there are now links to places you can buy the song, or share with your friends. That's pretty cool for what's still, essentially, a new music discovery site.

[Help] Dr. Rob Waltz: the more artists you add makes it less specific, try using specific music pieces you like
[Help] Aria Fae: I have Tool and A Perfect Circle listed in my station, and it often plays The Deftones, even though I never put that into the selection list.
[Help] Ruinica: I usually just put in the name of a single band - then I use the like/dislike to teach it what I like about the band, and other bands with a similar sound that it presents...usually takes a few hours to fine tune, but once done, it's wonderful
[Help] Invisible Spectrum: Pandora is very much a user by user basis.

I will agree that this is true. I've never had a problem with it, but I'm generally very specific about the types of songs I want to hear. You want up and punch in one artist, and leave it there, it's going to flail a bit until you give it more targeted information.

[Help] Caustic Finale: (Been listening to Pandora for the past half hour, for science. I've heard about four songs by the root artist.)
[Help] Assault Battery: Have you tried Grooveshark?

No! I hadn't heard of Grooveshark before this! I must go try.

Now, at this point, Exploding Geode wandered away from the Help channel, and we all--because we are, for the most part, mammals with higher reasoning intact--went about our evenings. Then, a few hours later, Geode returned--and, as entirely expected, immediately began to bitch about the lack of good things in City of Heroes. Aria Fae had finally had enough:

[Help] Aria Fae: Oh for the love of catnip...just shut the damned thing off if you dislike it so much. Honestly, if I had known you were going to whine for half an hour, I wouldn't have suggested it.
[Help] Aria Fae: Other than you, I have never met anyone who disliked Pandora so much. You nitpicky son of a boar.

All I would add to that, is that is a lovely insult which I may have to appropriate.

[Help] Ivy Storms: Pandora is great it just depends on how open you are to new music
[Help] Unlost: It works fine, it does what it says, it works as designed, just because it isn't psychic or more cautious than it needs to be to do what it's made to do doesn't mean it's 'bad'.
[Help] Ivy Storms: it's a radio station not a cd player
[Help] Aria Fae: If I had known you were the pickiest person on the planet, I would have suggested iTunes, so you could hand pick every song and never have to worry about hearing new music.

Here, here.

[Help] Unlost: 'oh this screwdriver is horrible, it doesn't drive nails worth a darn'.
[Help] Aria Fae: I'll do as I please, as will you no doubt.
[Help] Aria Fae: And if someone asks me for a suggestion on music, I will send them to Pandora, because not everyone is as narrowminded as you. Most people actually enjoy different types of music.
[Help] Aria Fae: So take my second bit of advice, shut the site off. Honestly, if you dislike it so much quit wasting your time with it, and ours with your incessant bitching.

That seemed to be the end of it, save for this:

[Help] Anapa: I went to see what this Pandora thing was and it won't let me use it because I'm Canadian. :(

Which is both a valid bitch, and also sad. Does anyone know if there's a Canadian version of Pandora?


Icterus Dagger said...

Miss Emilly,

Regarding Grooveshark (and Pandora, to a lesser degree): Artists generally don't make much or anything through those services. Grooveshark, especially, is pretty poor with a TON of content uploaded in violation of the law. I know They Might Be Giants specifically asks their fans to stay away from both services if possible. If you have a few spare moments, have a look into the issue and make up your own mind, of course :-)


Emilly Orr said...

That would nix getting an account on Grooveshark for me, then. Though I had thought Pandora was operating more or less in that hinterland of legality after the court case with SoundExchange.

I think the main problem is less that artists aren't being paid for their work--I think, by and large, most net radio stations want to do the right thing overall. Unfortunately, it's the fee doubling for net radio operation in the first place, which far exceeds satellite stations and actual radio stations both, that's crippling net radio.

Icterus Dagger said...

Correction: It was Spotify that TMBG specifically mentioned, not Pandora (they haven't said anything specifically about Pandora that I have seen).


Emilly Orr said...

Right, and Spotify does do everything they can to pay the absolute minimum to the artists they play. Though oddly, that's not why I don't have an account with them. A friend of mine started gushing about the service, I looked into it, and the first thing I was hit with was that I must have a Facebook account to log in. Spotify immediately dropped off my radar.