~reposted from the audiovroom blog~
Q: Can you describe one of your early, formative experiences as a music fan?
My earliest memories of music as a passion are largely center around listening to my brothers LP’s on my dad’s technics turntable. My brother is four years older than me and that is big difference when you’re 12-13 years old. He had pretty good taste back then. I was a bit of a geek and spent a lot of time home alone after school, and would play his albums over and over on my dad’s stereo at full tilt.
Q: What first sparked your interest in technology?
I have always had an insatiable desire to understanding how things work. I could not tell you where it comes from, but it was not uncommon for me to completely disassemble household electronics in curiosity. It’s a complete miracle I never electrocuted myself. In the end, however, I would say my time at RPI was the single biggest eye-opener as a technologist. The access to knowledge and exposure to research was formative, and it was where I learned critical thinking and empirical problem-solving.
Q: What excites you the most about working on AudioVroom?
We have been working very hard to bring to market the first truly organic music discovery platform. This has always been the core inspiration behind AudioVroom. Digital music is finally coming out of its dark age, where we all listened in relative isolation — an unwanted side effect of the legal issues around “sharing” copyrighted material. Unfortunately, as a result, many people also stopped discovering.
What excites me most is all the new cloud based subscription models; it is possible for us to legally reintroduce consumers to the social and collaborative essence of music, while still respecting rights holders. It has been a long road, but we are at the beginning of an era where creativity can again get recognized, and hopefully flourish on social distribution.
Q: What’s your favorite non-music-related mobile app – and why?
Between TomTom and Yelp, I am never lost and can always find the best cup of coffee in whatever town I am in. Isn’t it funny how basic that is? But it completely true. I am a sucker for a solid cup of joe. I am also a big fan of OkCupid — they are really pushing the envelope with respect to machine learning and location. Their work is inspirational. Basecamp’s mobile site is clean. Google’s mobile gmail site is hands down the holy grail for doing it right. The top of the white board in my office reads “do it just like Google”. It is a bit tongue in cheek, but gmail on the iPhone (HTML5) is really a work of art in my opinion.
Q: Favorite things to do when you’re not working?
Motorcycles. I wrench my own motorbikes and I get as much satisfaction out of fixing an oldDucati as I do riding it. You really need to know them well to keep them happy, but when everything is firing, there are very few things in this world that can thrill like a Ducati on a deserted road at full chatter.
Q: Time to play tastemaker. What artists are you listening to lately?
Bruiser Smith. His ability to mix the old with the new is so refreshing. Youthful energy masterfully layered with classic hits. Check out his web site. You can stream his mixes there. #18 is especially good
, he somehow figure out how to mix Biggie and Miley Cyrus together in his first track, then changes gears and rolls into Darwin Deez’s brilliant ‘radar detector’, then effortlessly backs Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m on Fire’ right up against it. If that was not enough to put you in a good mood, he reminders you with Bill Withers ‘Lovely Day’. And right when you’re about to mellow down he throws Run DMC’s ‘My Adidas’ at us. I am in awe of Bruiser Smith’s work.
For a more mainstream answer, I am currently in a deep romance with Florence + the Machine. Her voice just washed over you and take you away.