For some reason I keep coming with ideas that I don't have time to execute on tonight. So this is going to be the dumping grounds.
1) The RIAA creates a service/social network for DJs where they license (probably DRM'd) stem files so people can mashup artists can get exactly the sample they want. You could do a 99 cent per stem model or bundle all the stems for a track for $5 or something. The license would demand that redistribution was forbidden but non-commercial derivative works were fine. The point? Being a mashup artist/DJ these days is all about being a performance artist anyway. DJs and mashup artists often give away their music anyway so this is a straight win for them. Haven't you ever wanted to sample that one track but just the bassline at that one point in the song? Now you can. And now the RIAA can work on monetizing a huge amount of previously *ignored* content that it owns the rights too. The songs aren't the only valuable property.
2) Dope Wars for Mobile with Augmented Reality style, Location-based trades. C'mon. Next time you're at the MARTA station, go hunting for the Smack stash while you wait for the train. Have leaderboards and turf wars. Try to recruit people into your gang or what have you. Play with your friends. Win.
3) I can't wait until the day that livecoding is cool. When will it happen? Probably when people are making sick music live with code on the regular. We haven't seen that artist yet. And it's tricky to think of how you can make code flexible and expressive enough to be a good instrument. There are three types of sounds you'll use in a sense: samples, synths and effects. Beyond that, you need some level of templating/sequencing and mixing support. You also really want a client/server or development/production thing going on. If you're doing it live, unless you rehearse and preplan stuff you're going to come up with some bad ideas. Have a server going that loops the current measure or something and have the DJ's headphones hooked up to the client where you experiment then select a hunk and "push". Oh God do I wish this software existed...
4) A song of the day site...if you don't already know what I'm talking about from my Facebook posts...well, don't worry about it. But think about this: We don't need the RIAA. We already handle both the Distribution and Promotion angles of the music biz either way. And people like sharing music. 8tracks is an interesting model here. It takes the abstract idea of a mixtape and tries to give that a life of its own and socialize it. We can do that for all our media, music is just the easiest at the outset from what I can tell. In my opinion, the only thing like this that's really taken root is reddit for websites. Let's be more interesting.
5) So privacy and censorship are serious issues on many people's minds lately and with good reason. Things in Egypt are pretty crazy. I don't know anything about distribution or security but using things like PGP and XMPP OTR have made me wonder how we can make them ubiquitous, largely unnoticed, user-friendly and everyday phenomena. I'd say it's just a question of ensuring that stuff is activated on shipping products but then you have to deal with key management. Users don't want to have to put their keys on a new device or fiddle around so their identity is established and stuff interoperates. I don't have a solution for that...and that is the real issue. It occurred to me though that with all the data stored on social services an interesting way to handshake with your friends would be to prompt them to disclose their most recent foursquare check-in or last.fm scrobble and confirm it against the upstream servers. It's interesting in the sense that it should change regularly so no key is valid for a very long time. It's interesting in that you could randomize which service was used (Facebook activity, foursquare, last.fm, tripit, youtube, reddit, etc). It just interests me. The problem is all that data is usually publicly available anyway. I'm also not a security wonk so I'm sure the idea is riddled with dumb even if the data was private. Oh, well. I guess my point was that's easier in some sense than key distribution because no regular person knows or cares what a private key is. But they're all interested in their social data. Hmm.
PS: Yes, privacy and anonymity are two separate and equally important issues. I'm talking about privacy above.