Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Yahoo Launchcast to Shut Down

I have been a Yahoo Launch subscriber for 4 years. Over the years, my station has grown to 1000+ artists and 5000+ songs. It has helped me find new artists (it seems I am a big fan of celtic music) although for some reason, just saying country music is OK leads to it playing more and more country music... sigh. There were also other annoyances - it wouldn't play in Firefox because of weird 1990s era code...

Now it seems it is going to shut down. The service will nominally still be there, but the paid Launchcast Plus with customized stations will go away. Sigh... so now its off to Last.FM or possibly I am going to discover music on another social music site and download it to my new iPod Touch. I am not sure if I really want to listen to streaming music anymore - particularly with Yahoo threatening to shut down without providing me with any way download my 8000+ ratings. This is one of the risks of storing your data in the cloud - the company associated may shut down or just decide to lock you out of your own data, with a heavily one-sided EULA leaving you little hope of getting any access to it.

Whether this had anything to do with the recent SoundExchange decision is unknown but its highly likely Sony and its cohorts have managed to trample on another popular service for the sake of shareholders.

I used four Yahoo services - Flickr, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo 360 and Yahoo Launch. Two of them - Launch and 360 are shutting down. I had given up on Yahoo 360 long ago (seen my public page's URL in the link above? brilliant... sheerly brilliant... and they expected people to use that URL to share that page with their friends) and moved, first to JRoller and then to here.

Flickr is basically useless with a free account (most people that I know who are not serious photographers no longer use it to share photos - they use Picasa instead) and I would be rid of Yahoo mail ASAP if it would let me POP mail. I still use the classic user interface (a webapp should act like a webapp, not do faux AJAX stuff that brings the browser to its knees) and no I am NOT paying you to be rid of you.

I wonder what that says about Yahoo as a company...
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