So on 26th Feb 2013 Morning we met Dean, Nokia Music Evangelist, and had loads of discussion including the Windows 8 App for Nokia Music Plus. We had a chance to play around with it for few minutes a short video on it. We also met Steve, Chief Architect behind Nokia Music. This meeting took place at the time of MWC 2013 at Barcelona!!
I recorded the video of the complete session and below is summary of all what happened including some of the interesting questions.
PS: There can be minor mistakes here and there, so if you find something ping us in comments!! Video will be out soon!!
Nokia Music is Data Drive Service :
Those who thought that Nokia Music feature just comes from the developers mind then its time to open the eyes. It the music users who are shaping the next Nokia Music feature. Everything rolled out is because somebody gave them a feedback and many more had similar comments.
Nokia Music Gets into more hands. As Nokia Lumia range starts expanding, users even with a low-end device like Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 can have the Nokia Music on their phone. This ultimately is good for Nokia Music Service as the strength of Fan Base increases with the number of devices.
NPS or Net Promote Score : Its kind of feedback which is given by users. This appears when he uses Like it or Love it pop up which appears for a music or album. It will pop up after several actions and not right away.
Right after when user likes it, he can also rate it between 0 to 10. This score is called as NPS Score. Here is a break down of what happens with different kind of rating.
- 0 to 6 : You don’t like it.
- 9 or 10: You really like the service.
- 7 or 8: Your score is taken out of equation which means they don’t exist.
So when music management team sits down for any kind of decision, Net Promote Score is taken into consideration big time. So when a user gives rating, one has to really tell through the rating that what is wrong with Nokia Music and what has to be improved.
Skipping Music: Nokia Music gets lots of data when a user interacts with the music. One such example is Skipping. Nokia Music knows how many people are skipping a song, when they skips. This data can be used to take off a dirty track or playlist almost instantly.
Offline Music Usage :
- In Europe Offline is not much used as predicted while in US offline usage is steep.
- Create Mix is off the line when it comes to US while it has loads of usage in Europe.
How Nokia Music Plus came into existence ?
The MPS result and the comments from user actually lead to Nokia Music Plus. When users commented that they wanted Better Music Quality, More Control on the music like unlimited skipping etc. Nokia thought of going with Nokia Music Plus.
Dean also said they are NOT cannibalising their free service but its only for those users who want more feature and control. So this is completely optional. He also said that Nokia Music Plus was not being even sold to everybody. (We did checked it out and there is not much buzz about it now)
People who love Music keep dabbling with different kind of service which is kind of true. We always keep switching to different music service because either the existing is too restricted switching to different will release that for a while and so on. Ultimate result is none of the Music users are monogamous to one music service. ( Like we don’t stick one restraint every time we want to go out).
Some of the heavy music users heavily engage with Music service and willing to pay high price. However when you check stats to find the count, it’s very low. However there is another hurdle to cross, Stable Streaming
Dolby Pulse : How Nokia Music Plus Audio Quality keeps up with streaming barriers
Nokia uses Dolby Pulse technology to stream audio. Though this makes audio to be only 192KPBS but its perfect for Audio stream. Nokia team even got comments saying that its better than the 256 MP3’s. This technology was picked up because if an audio bit rate streams where users has lots of pauses, it will drive away the music lovers.
Dolby Pulse allows great quality at low bit rates and built-in loudness control also improves your listening experience. Loudness control is important because no service wants a user to always keep controlling volume when music changes.
Lyrics Support :
Another data driven feature where Nokia was surprised that users are ready to pay if the songs get Lyrics. In fact the early feedback from users is that they really love the lyrics. I would agree with that because many a times the song is just not as clear to you because of the language barrier. Lyrics helps there. Nokia Music Plus displays lyrics for almost every song which you have them from their collection.
Multi Device / Screen Access :
Even though Nokia Music helps to sell the device but when people pay for a service they expect it to be available at more places than just on their phone. This also came as a feedback.
So Nokia has come up with a Windows 8 RT and Pro app. The best part of the app is that it’s a native app which can even access your music from your computer. In case you are not using Windows 8 or Windows Phone, Nokia Music also supports HTML 5 which makes it available over stream. However when it goes on web features like offline caching also disappear.
Side Swipe :
Nokia Music app lets you side swipe to pull in more information about the music i.e. biography etc. This came into action because people just love to swipe, even a 10-year-old kid will do that.
Nokia Music+ will become more personal.
Nokia Music Plus needs an account. Well this pretty obvious but once Nokia Music knows who you are, you get more customization and more recommendation which is best suited for your needs. As an example it can use your gender to find more information and bring more accurate recommendation for you.
In future, Nokia Music can bring in more feature based on your usage and make it even more personal. This will result in keeping the premium user still subscribed to the service. This actually might become one of the reason to bring device synchronization if the usage pattern suggest about it.
Nokia Music Developer API:
One of the question was how Nokia Music can actually integrate into other apps. Examples:
- If I am running around my area, I would like to hear which are the popular song.
- When I land on a new place, I would like to know which are places to run around.
- OR find out who runs around this place.
- Music can change depending on how I run i.e. Based on KM, My Hear rate, My Speed etc.
- Music Suggestion when you land on a new place and app can suggest “He I know you like running, How about running at this place in Barcelona for 10Km and listen to this music”.
Few features of Nokia Music API:
- NFC Support : So if you want to launch music or mixes you can do that. Mix Writer is one such great example. You can choose a mix or select three writers and then punch in to a NFC Tag.
- Maps Support to find artists around an area. Then select one of them and launch music by them.
Question & Answers :
Q1) Is there a plan for Nokia Music to get into XBox so it can be used as alternative where Xbox Music is not available ?.
A1) When you see both of the service, they are pretty much complimentary. Xbox Music is in more countries than Nokia Music is which gives Xbox Music an edge. So when Nokia Music enters into a region, a umber of factors has to be looked into e.g. Is it more Lumia Type Market, Device Penetration etc. So at one level they intersect each other.
So it’s really unclear on this scope as of now.
Q2) Nokia Music Download Stops When the screen goes to sleep ? Also when there is a lot of download it doesn’t work as thought.
- Microsoft has rolled in “KEEP WIFI On” when screen times out. So that should fix.
- Windows Phone API limits total simultaneous download count to 25. On top of this, there is no way to add next 25 automatically to the queue. This is something being look into.
Q3 ) Is Nokia Music coming to Symbian / Meego Platform ?
A3) No. Its going to be only Nokia Lumia Exclusive.
Q4 ) If a music is cached offline to Nokia Phone, will it sync with the Native Client on Windows 8 ?
A4 ) At the moment its a no. The reason being that its is technically complex ( more development needed). However if this becomes more demanded, Nokia Music team may look into this and work on that.
Q4 ) Nokia Music Plus has lyrics integration but it only shows up when you play a music. How about letting me view the Lyrics without playing the music.
A4) Good idea!!
Q5 ) Can you allow to change Nokia Music Location.
A5) No. As all music are under contracts things can be complicate for such options.