April 3, 2007

EMI Hops On Clue Bus, Yet Gets Off At Wrong Stop...

by Chris Randall

You've no doubt heard this by now. EMI has apparently decided to bend to the will of the market, sort of, and sell DRM-free music on iTunes. They'll be taxing the consumer for the honor of buying something that will play in all media players and not just iTunes, to the tune (pun intended) of an extra thirty cents. Aren't they magnanimous?

Now, just to be on the record about this, I don't care what the majors do with their catalogs. They can make their customers have to reach down the throat of a rabid coyote to try and grab a song wrapped in rusty razor wire, then sue that customer for cruelty to animals for all I give a fuck. The way I look at it, the consumer is usually quite willing to be fucked, as long as he/she is lubed up good and squishy first. No, what I take issue with are these two choice quotes. First, from EMI's CEO, Eric Nicoli:

"Consumers tell us overwhelmingly that they would be prepared to pay a higher price for digital music that they could use on any player. It is key to unlocking and energizing the digital music business."

Really. Actually, Eric (if I might be so informal,) the key to unlocking and energizing the digital music business is coming to the drastic realization that the MEDIUM is NOT the MESSAGE. The digital music business IS the music business, retard. Your business would be energized if you stopped spending so much money on Coldplay and started developing artists again. And that leads us to this choice nugget from our good friend Mr. Jobs:

"Doing the right thing for the customer going forward is to tear down the walls that impede interoperability."

Hey, I've got an idea: make Logic use the same fucking plugin format as everyone else, you fucking turtleneck-wearing burnout.

Okay, rant done. Discuss.



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Apr.03.2007 @ 1:32 AM
professor ned
"Hey, I've got an idea: make Logic use the same fucking plugin format as everyone else, you fucking turtleneck-wearing burnout."

As someone who has never had to code a plugin: is compiling stuff for AU really that more of a pain in the rear than compiling for any other format (VST, TDM, etc?)



Apr.03.2007 @ 1:50 AM
On the plugin thing, if VST was a fully documented, public, standard, I would agree with you, but as it is, no.

As I understand it, before they released the AU "standard", Apple tried to convince Steinberg to publish the VST interface through some standards body, so that Apple could support it.

If I made an OS, I certainly wouldn't use a system wide plugin format that a third party controlled.



Apr.03.2007 @ 2:04 AM
Chris Randall
To Ned: Yes. And once you finally figure it out, they change the API and neglect to tell you, or neglect to note the changes in any documentation, or both.

To Chris: If AU was a fully documented, public standard we wouldn't be having this discussion. In any event, AU is completely arbitrary, completely unnecessary, completely ill-supported, and completely stupid.

I'd say that roughly 70% of our development time is spent creating AudioUnits versions of our products. The other 30% is spent designing and writing the effect in the first place, doing the graphics, and making the Windows and OSX VST versions. All this to support ONE host. (Since only like 5 people use DP, I won't include it in the equation.) To fully describe the depth of my hatred for AU would take pages and pages.



Apr.03.2007 @ 3:16 AM
I would pay $50 a month for an all-you-can-download service.

But $1.30 for a digital file even a "high quality" one, is just too much. I mean, what is the benifit of buying the download? Not having to encode it? Getting it instantly (as opposed to getting it 2-day delivery in the mail)?

I suppose you can buy one song and not the album, but does anyone actually do that? My wife does it when she looks for songs for TV commercials, but I don't know anyone who actually buys just one song off an album for their own listening pleasure. Maybe the teeny boppers download the big hit single? Does the Positron Records site sell many one-off digital tracks?


Apr.03.2007 @ 3:19 AM
I thoughted i remembered on this blog and other blogs that AU wasn't that hard to code if the VST plugin was already written ? So i guess i misread that at some point.

Apr.03.2007 @ 5:48 AM
Yeah hooray for EMI and Steve Jobs. One of these days the digital marketplace will sort itself out.

For the record: I buy single songs. Unfortunately for me, most of the single songs I want are often not available on the iTunes Japan store.

For the record 2: I'm fine with AU. As a customer that is. It works for me. Cept when it doesnt. Like with the 10.4.9 system update which broke my favorite phaser, a delay I use alot and a time stretcher I use sometimes. Oh and other stuff. Maybe I just want something that works.


Apr.03.2007 @ 7:30 AM
Man I love it when Steve talks about interoperability and open standards. It's about as believable as President Bush going on the Daily Show to celebrate Mohandas Gandhi's birthday.

Apr.03.2007 @ 7:44 AM
beauty pill
RE: Jobs/EMI: one possibility that seems like it will NEVER be explored is in the digital downloading future is FULL RESOLUTION downloads. I would love to get 24b/96k version of, say, the new Amon Tobin record (or the Beatles "White Album.") I realize the trend is headed the other way (bit-reduction/compression algorithms), but it's a shame that nobody seems to want to explore the possibility of super-hi fi downloading. Sadly, devotedl, passionate music lovers/audiophiles seem to be the last market that the music industry considers...

RE: CR's AU hatred: Do so few people use DP? I'm a DP user... didn't realize I was a lone wolf! I thought it was pretty common. I have never used Logic, so I'm not sure what the substantive differences are (outside of the softsynths). I love DP, personally. But the way that I work is not that similar to people who make electronic music. The music I make is only slightly tinged with electronic treatments. I'm probably an outsider on this blog. The craziest thing I use is Reaktor. And I've still never ever used Ableton Live, although I'm excited by how it is described.


Apr.03.2007 @ 8:31 AM
"Consumers tell us overwhelmingly that they would be prepared to pay a higher price for digital music that they could use on any player..."

Where was this quote from? I'm surprised that it was printed/ spoken/ etc. in that language. How do they validate the price increase?


Apr.03.2007 @ 9:20 AM
<<Where was this quote from? I'm surprised that it was printed/ spoken/ etc. in that language. How do they validate the price increase?>>

Unfortunately, Matt, it looks like they validate it by saying a consumer is willing to buy a track for there iPod for $0.99. If they'll pay that to hear the track on one source, what sort of premium would they be willing to pay to play said track from multiple sources.

The funny thing is, you pay less for something that requires more work for them. and you pay a premium for them to keep their code out of the mix.


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