This past weekend I officially opened up Kalidity, my answer to the streaming media on the web and mobile. This has been something I’ve been working on for several years, and is the result of much experimenting, tweaking, and perfecting. When I started this project, there was very few alternatives that I was aware of. Simplify Media was one of them, but they have since been purchased by Google and shutdown. I recently tried Orb, but found it to be terribly clunky and prone to crashes. Using it was just short of a nightmare. I’ve gone through countless other alternatives and just didn’t like what they had to offer. So I did what needed to be done and built my own from scratch the way I felt it should be, and more truthfully, the way that it needed to be.
For me, music isn’t just for entertainment or casual enjoyment. It completely drives my day and powers me through almost every effort I make. No matter what I am doing, I almost always have music in the background. I love to listen to music while I work, drive, or even while I do the dishes. Music isn’t just a small aspect of my life, it’s a huge part of everything I do.
So if there are people out there that love music like me, then why is every media player trying to get in my way? Why don’t they put my newest music at the top of my list if I ask for it? Why do they scramble up my artists when my folders are arranged perfectly? Why is it always such a pain to create ad-hoc playlists based on what I want to listen to at that moment? Why don’t they give me the album art automatically? Why don’t they recommend new music to me? Why is searching my library always a terrible experience?
The problems often extended beyond the media player. No one lives life standing still. We all have mobile devices, laptops, desktops, computers at work, computers at school, and more. Taking music everywhere is a real problem, and you could be stuck copying audio everywhere and syncing up your mobile devices every time you get a new song. Don’t even mention the space limits on mobile devices. Anyone with a serious music library won’t be able to fit much of it on a 8GB or even 16GB iPod. So what happens when you’re out and just want to hear that one song… but you couldn’t fit it on your iPod earlier? What if I don’t want to sync my music to 5 different locations every time I get a new song?
Kalidity is a music connection service that keeps your music available wherever you go. Kalidity is powered in part by its own small application that you install on your home computer. If your computer is online, your media available. There are no space limits. I also wanted to avoid the legal mishaps (not to mention days/weeks of upload time) that come along with copying music off of your computer to a remote server. With Kalidity there is no uploading files. Everything you make available remains on your computer.
Kalidity’s home application works to optimize your media for the web instantly, while supporting a wide variety of common file types. What this means is that there is no more waiting for things to buffer. Audio is converted and streamed on-the-fly with zero waiting time.
Everything in your library is made available in ways that are easy to use. You can access everything through the web interface, or through the mobile website. There’s no applications to download while you’re on-the-go. Simply access everything through whatever browser you have available.
Kalidity aims to get you what you want faster. Listening to music should always be about the music, not stumbling around with the media player trying to find what you’re looking for. Kalidity makes it easy to put what you want in a playlist, and then forget about it. The only reasons to come back to the player are because you’re hearing a great song, or because you decided to skip one. If a song comes on and you’re in the mood to hear more, just click the artist or album name and the interface will search for them instantly.
Discovering new music based on what you listen to is something that I felt was especially important. I often get asked how I discover new bands. The answer used to be cruising Amazon’s site and listening to samples based on what other customers had purchased. Now music discovery is a feature that is built into Kalidity. I simply open up the “Discover” tab and get recommendations based on what I’m listening to. Instantly. If I decide to, I can click anything that looks interesting and listen to samples on Amazon.
The mobile web application was an especially important feature to me. Since purchasing my iPhone, I’ve realized one big flaw in touch devices: using my iPod while driving is hard. By “hard” I mean both difficult and sometimes dangerous. If I had one goal, it was to do what I could to make music listening easier while performing other tasks. Extensive playlist controls and accurate searching make it much easier to setup what you want to listen to, and then put the device away. You can queue up hours of music at a time, which results in a much more hands-free experience than the original iPod application.
So that concludes my short tour of Kalidity (as it is currently). The site is open and you are more than welcome to integrate it into the way you listen to music. I am currently working on making it cross-platform so it will also be available for Mac and Linux. (UPDATE) Kalidity is now available for both Windows and Mac OS. If you have something to say about Kalidity (positive or negative) write me a message and let me know. You can use the community support forums to reach myself and everyone else quickly. I hope you’ll take the time to try Kalidity for yourself. I love using it, and I hope you do as well.