Thursday, March 26, 2009 to die, replaced by what it could've been

It looks like is finally shutting down. They're going to redirect most of their site to

Wow, the irony.

Back in 2001, got sued into oblivion for trying to start up, an ad-revenue-supported streaming service that had a brilliant, built-in scheme protecting against the one thing that makes the music industry scared of streaming audio: people "downloading" and sharing permanent copies they wouldn't otherwise have bought already.

Then Universal/Vivendi, the company that won the suit, bought them out. But rather than exploiting the cash cow themselves or setting up an iTunes-like store, either of which would've netted them $billions by now, they milked what they could from its back-end technology, and let its public-facing site languish before selling it to CNET, who continued to run it into the ground. And now it finally shuts down, declaring its successor to be (now owned by CBS, which also bought CNET) being an ad-revenue-supported streaming service & successful revenue stream catalyst for the music companies who allow their music to be transmitted, a service not at all unlike what was and could have been.

Imagine if they had gone down this road in 2000-2001, rather than sending an army of lawyers to destroy, destroy, destroy, even after being embarrassed by the success of iTunes. It's utter failure on the part of Universal and the other Big Four, who continue to assault potential revenue stream catalysts, be they Internet radio stations, YouTubers, music discovery bloggers, P2P networkers, or independent startups in music marketing & distribution. And yet slowly, inevitably, they inch toward embracing the conclusions that pragmatists like founder Michael Robertson saw all along.

William "Boogie Knight" / "Kid Delight" Stroman, R.I.P.

I didn’t intend to post anything hip-hop related in this blog, but I was doing some research on The Boogie Boys (known for their 1985 hit “A Fly Girl”) and stumbled across a number of touching posts by people who knew the group’s central figure, William Darrell Stroman, a.k.a. “Boogie Knight” / “Kid Delight” on wax, then “Delight” / “9×Delight” / “Boogie Knight Kid Delight”. Stroman was murdered on October 9, 2001.

Everyone who wrote about him had such good things to say about him. If you have a minute, spend some time reading at these sites and get to know him.
  • July 2001 interview with William Stroman.
  • October 2001 announcement of Stroman's passing, posted by DJ Yoda (Crash Crew/Zulu Nation).
  • 2004 Boogie Boys / William Stroman mini-bio by DJ Yoda in a message board thread.
  • 2005 remembrance / memorial post by a friend/Army buddy of Stroman. The comments on that post contained further remembrances by more friends, ex-girlfriends, and others who loved him, so I used to recommend that people who knew him post there, so the comments would all be in one place and more easily found in searches. But as of late 2013, all of the comments on that blog have disappeared, and the comments on that particular post weren't saved by, so please feel free to just post here. It may take me a while to make sure your comment is not spam, but I certainly won't delete anything.
  • 2007 Boogie Boys bio
To hear Boogie Knight in action, check out this trio of Boogie Boys 12″ singles ( pw: 3BoogieBoys12s ), containing:
  • Rappin Ain’t No Thing – which has an ultra-old-school (1981) party vibe
  • A Fly Girl – their big hit
  • You Ain’t Fresh