So the other day I downloaded and installed at work and home AIM 6.0. Having tried out their Triton beta this summer, I knew they were on the right path with a few things (such as all IM conversations in one window) and absolutely on the wrong path with others (inability to use any buddy icons other than ones bought from AOL). One thing I didn't try was their streaming radio stations because since it was AOL I didn't trust them any further than I could throw them.
Out of morbid curiosity the other day though I bumped my machine up to 6.0 and started playing with it. That's when I noticed the satellite radio features at the bottom (provided by XM) so I started playing around with it. I noticed the veritable smorgasbord of choices all of which were dedicated to a particular music, and each one had dozens of sub-categories that were even further devoted to those specifics. Without even listening to tune one I fell in love with seeing such diversification in practice. This is what happens when you focus on a particular goal or product: It lets you make the most out of something by not dividing your focus by trying to appeal to everyone.
This is what I think will hurt the next-gen consoles because only the Wii seems focused on games whereas the PS3 and Xbox 360 have been pitched from the word "go" as all encompassing media solutions. Hey guys, I just want to play video games, not bask in the glory that is Sony/Microsoft.
Getting back to the music, I instantly went to the Jazz/Blues section and for the last two days I've been listening to a non-stop flow of outstanding live performances from Chicago and other blues artists. Since I hate listening to anything other than talk while in the car then subscribing to the service is a waste of money for me. But streaming this at home and the office for free has been absolutely killer this week and I get how much people dig it. A few commercials here and there but otherwise there is plenty of great music to revel in without having to avoid all the useless DJs.
Excellent work, XM, excellent work.