Yahoo, Rhapsody and FoxyTunes
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I have a typically overlong column on latimes.com today about Yahoo’s decision to exit the subscription-music market, but even at some unholy word count it gives short shrift to another announcement out of Yahoo’s music group today: its acquisition of FoxyTunes, a company that makes a really clever browser plug-in tied into a site that aggregates music-related material from several leading Web resources.
The main function of the plug-in is to let you control music playback from your browser, whether the music is being played by software such as iTunes or a website such as Pandora. Among many other things, those controls let you sift through and listen to the tracks stored on your computer without having to leave your browser. The plug-in also provides a link to the content-rich entry on FoxyTunes Planet that corresponds to the song playing at the time. For instance, listening to ‘Antimatter’ by Tricky produces a link to this ‘Antimatter’ page, with links to photos, videos, lyrics and more (free) music.
The acquisition illustrates Yahoo’s evolving approach to music, which emphasizes free content and advertising opportunities. By helping to keep people’s attention on their browsers, FoxyTunes increases the time users might spend on Yahoo’s online properties. And FoxyTunes Planet gives Yahoo another music portal (in addition to music.yahoo.com), which can offer material from additional Yahoo sites and sell more ads. Yahoo’s Ian Rogers calls FoxyTunes ‘deceptively simple,’ and that’s an apt description. Its many capabilities add up to another way for Yahoo to attract a broad range of people into its network of properties and keep them there longer.
Oh and yes -- FoxyTunes lets you insert a signature into blog posts showing what you happened to be listening to at the time. Here’s mine.