February 6, 2007

Need some thoughts on music?

by Chris Randall

Here's some: blah, blah, blah.

Now, with the caveat that I happily purchase music from iTunes, and own the top-of-the-current-line iPod, and that their DRM scheme doesn't really bother me, it's worth noting that a finer line I've not seen in some time. This guy could sell sand to a Bedouin, I swear to christ.

As someone that sells music digitally (and software, for that matter) I'm of the firm opinion that is better to do without abusive DRM, and rely on the good graces of people and try to earn their respect, rather than assuming every single customer is a criminal from the word "go." Apple paints a pretty picture over this whole process, and to be fair, the only way they could get the catalog they have (which is by no means comprehensive, I'll add) was to do what they did, but nevertheless, my own personal fiscal success proves to me (and me alone; I don't expect it to prove anything to anyone else) that there are other ways. Mr. Jobs does nicely to put this burden on the consumer at the end of his open letter.

Now, all that said, I'm not one of the BoingBoing faithful (In fact, I would dearly love to spend ten minutes alone in a room with Cory Doctorow, beating him over the head with the ASCAP charter) and I'm not going to run around waving an "Information Must Be Free" banner. I follow the Gibson ethos: the street finds its own uses for things. Ultimately, it's up to the artist how he best wants to present his art to the world, and it's up to the consumer whether he wants to deal with whatever the artist decides to burden said art with. The marketplace has a magical ability to smooth such things out over time.



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Feb.06.2007 @ 8:12 PM
I always find it amusing that everytime I do a cover band backing track (often) for a song, I go to Acqusition and steal it.

I have no problem paying a buck for it on iTunes, but since Logic won't play an AAC file without first converting it to AIF (which it won't do with an iTunes DRM protected track), the only way to get it into Logic is to play it back in iTunes and record it in realtime through my audio interface. Stupid. So I download it for free and import the unprotected mp3.

So... in my admittedly obscure circumstance, DRM actually motivates me NOT to pay for it.


Feb.06.2007 @ 9:25 PM
Aenemone Carbuncler
i dunnno, to me it's "sharing," turning someone on to something they may not hear otherwise. I spend way too much money on CDs, but I would never pay for some inferior download. I download a lot, and if it's worth buying, I buy it. That's how I find out about 90% of the new or unknown to me. It takes away some of the excitement when you get a new cd, but also a lot of the regret. Probably about 70% of the CDs i bought last year, I downloaded first. The other 30% were established artists that i knew it must be a good album. CDs sound bad enough, I won't pay for an MP3/AAC. Also, to me the object is part of the experience, the artwork, notes and all. Sorry, on my discs, I encourage people to share, that's how we find out about music, it was tapes now mp3. An MP3 is NOT a COPY of a CD! it's a sub-creature. Yet, folks trade full DVD movies -even larger file size, that is an exact copy(often)
Sorry, I have about 4000 CDs and don't know where to put them, so if I can make sure it's worth buying first, I will.

Feb.07.2007 @ 12:44 AM
Well said. The current industry will eventually have to adapt to the way things have changed, or face replacement.

Feb.07.2007 @ 1:19 AM
I wonder if back when Jobs was a rebellious young fellow dropping acid, he could've imagined that he'd be a rich old guy in a turtleneck spewing about "a truly interoperable music marketplace?"

But let's face it, both the corporate crap-sellers and the /. "information wants to be free" crowd are usually just rationalizing like mad to hold onto what they think they deserve (ungodly profits and an unlimited supply of free stuff, respectively).


Feb.07.2007 @ 3:54 AM
DRM stops me buying music.

When Jobs says "only 3% of music on ipods is bought from itunes" that's because itunes music is crippled in ways i can't even be bothered to think about worrying about. It is not my full time job to understand their silly systems. I buy vinyl and CDs (in huge quantities), I pay for downloads when there is no DRM, and I download pirate copies of anything I want, if I want it in a hurry, if it is instantly obvious to me that it's DRM crippled.

In some ways it's quite a good way of redistributing wealth and remuneration, since if I fancy listening to an old Pink Floyd tune I own somewhere on vinyl but am too lazy to find, I get it for free, but if I want to listen to some hip new groovesters with their own site selling mp3s, they get my dollar.


Feb.07.2007 @ 4:03 AM
at first glance I was pleased to see that piece,
I thought " how good that Jobs has come out boldly with a stance on this", even thought he attempts (once again) to put the burden of action on the consumer rather than take it himself.

but then I remembered a recent headline
"Record labels rethink digital rights management at Midem"
link [www.iht.com]">link [www.iht.com]
where EMI , Virgin and others talk about rethinking DRM strategy.

So, in the light of that (prior) announcement I wondered in what way is SJ leading the charge here, or is this just him trying to claim credit?

the Majors which he mentions have recently stated they want to move away from DRM, so he suddenly comes out playing a flute and dancing about at the front of the parade. "look, look, it was my idea ... Apple is progressive and pro-active, wheee! "



Feb.07.2007 @ 4:51 AM
I'm of a mind with CR on this one and dont want to whip the dead horse any further, however I'd like to add that in my version of things, Doctorow gets beat with lead pipes, not the ASCAP charter, tho it would be a nice finishing touch to stuff that in his big mouth.

Feb.07.2007 @ 8:58 AM
+1 for Doctorow getting beaten violently.

Feb.07.2007 @ 11:18 AM
The reason that post was made was to pass the buck in advance of an upcoming digital music antitrust lawsuit: link [blogs.zdnet.com]">link [blogs.zdnet.com]

"Apple has engaged in tying and monopolizing behavior, placing unneeded and unjustifiable technological restrictions on its most popular products in an effort to restrict consumer choice and restrain what little remains of its competition in the digital music markets."


Feb.07.2007 @ 12:12 PM
Chris Randall
I have a hard time finding it in my heart to feel even a little bit bad for either Apple or the Big Four, so there's that. I could really give two shits about how these companies come to their agreements, because it doesn't affect me in the slightest. Positron is not (and never will be) a member of the RIAA, and we sell our downloads without DRM. I listen to very little major label music at all, and almost no current major label shit, so I don't really care what they're up to.

See my next post for some more fun...



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