12 thoughts on “Smash.”

  1. I still have no issue with legal music. But what the hell do they think restricting it to a few select players will do?

    Make legal music reasonably available to everyone, and they’ll likely not have a problem with purchasing it (or access to it).

  2. Not that it’s any better from the proprietary standpoint, but I’ve been using iTunes Canada lately. Already picked myself up a couple hours worth of (legal) music. Having an iPod helps, but we’ve also burnt a few CDs for the car and such and had no problems. And really: like I’ll even be listening to that music in six months anyways.

  3. If I want to buy music, I’ll buy it no problem, and I should add the caveat that regular Napster services are available for pretty much any player out there (except the ipod of course).

    But why on earth would I want to buy just 15 songs (or 1 album + 5 songs) a month when I can sample unlimited songs for the same fee?

    As far as I know, neither Napster nor iTunes offers any sort of refund if I purchase an album and it sucks. I was drawn to N2Go because it meant I could sample all of the quality tunes I wanted for the low, low price of $15/mo, and purchase something if I really wanted it.

  4. Legal music is not the same as proprietary formats. I have no issue with legal music, but I do have issue with proprietary formats. If buy a CD, then rip all the tracks to mp3, I have myself a dozen or so legal mp3s that are unhindered by DRM.

    It’s also worth noting that the mp3 standard itself is a proprietary format. Anyone wishing to build a player that uses it must pay a licensing fee to the Fraunhofer Institute, the company that invented the mp3 format. There are competing formats (Ogg Vorbis, for instance) that are free and provide better compression / sound than mp3s. Some portable players already include Ogg support, and hopefully more will follow.

  5. I knew about the “renting music” thing – and I was ok with that. After all, how much of a lifespan does music actually have anyway? If the CDs in my living room are any indication, less than two years. So I can rent all the music I want for a small monthly fee, buy things that are important to me, and discard my rental privileges at any time. I still think it sounds like a pretty good idea.

    And of course everything is in a proprietary format – I’m ok with patents etc., but again, look at Video (specifically the VCR – hopefully DVDs will make more of a push to worldwide access instead of regions). Any tape, any machine. See the movie in the theater (music = go to a concert), rent it from the video store (napster to go), or purchase it outright (napster or itunes). Or do all three, which many people do. Why can’t we do that with music? People seriously need to get off the ownership bandwagon on this issue, and take a good hard look at what will WORK.

  6. That’s the thing: you don’t actually own the music outright with Napster. Or iTunes Music Service for that matter. With Napster, you have to keep paying if you want to play the music. Ownership means you pay once, and you can play unlimited times. iTunes Music service is a bit different: it lets you play the music as many times as you want, but you can only make a limited amount of copies, and it plays on only certain players. Ownership of something means once you pay for it, you can do whatever you want with it.

    The problem of whether or not something works is a solvable problem. The reason it doesn’t work on your player is *not* a technological decision (if it were a technological decision, we would be going with open standards so that all music can play on all systems), but a business decision. Apple only allows you to play music purchased from iTunes Music Service on Apple-approved players, which so happen to be iTunes on computers and the iPod portable players. Apple makes really great products, but they’re still evil in that they are trying (and very much succeeding) in locking people in to buying Apple products so that they can play the music they bought. In short, they want to control culture. We’re moving towards a situation where law is no longer enforced by elected politicians and their appointed officials but by companies through software developed behind closed doors. The reason we’re “on the ownership bandwagon” is because we want people, to be accountable for the decisions made about the culture we create and consume, not machines.

  7. From what I understand, music purchased through Napster can be burnt to CD and shared as you’d share any other music you own. It’s only the “rented” music that expires once you stop paying for your subscription.

    And I think we’re saying the same thing in different ways. Corporations with sticks up their collective arses are making bad decisions by insisting on using proprietary software solutions to limit the sharing of music. If I want to rent music for my own personal use, that’s fine. If I want to purchase it, then share it with friends, that should be fine too. And I should be able to do it across any digital music medium. I know that they *can* make the technology work across platforms, it’s the choice not to that I think is the big mistake.

    And the bandwagon that I’m talking about is ownership only for every user, no sharing, limited rentals – which clearly is not working. I may not want to own every piece of music that I’d like to listen to, just like I never buy DVDs. Renting most stuff is OK with me. I just want to have the choice.

  8. As of yet, I believe there is only one (maybe two?) online legal music stores that offers regular mp3’s without the stupid copy protection that you can only use with specific players or can only copy once or… whatever. Napster, itunes, virgin, etc, all have their own proprietary mp3 formats. I believe there’s one company in Russia that is offering legal purchases that don’t have the obnoxious copy protection built in.

    It’s not the legality that I have a problem with, it’s HOW the legal music is presented. Currently, it’s not to a point where I’m happy with. Until they come up with a way to protect the music without crippling it, I’m not interested.

    I don’t mind supporting the artists — as evidenced by my occasional purchase of CD’s that I could just download. It’s supporting the artists at the expense of usability that pisses me off. I’m not going to pay for something I can’t get any use out of.

    I have no interest in buying an mp3 that I won’t be able to listen to in a year. I *do* listen to my music for years. Heck, I haven’t downloaded a new mp3 in … probably about a year. (I’m all about downloading tv shows these days — mmm, Family Guy & That 70s Show…) I’ve ripped a couple of CD’s, but that’s it. My collection grows, it doesn’t change all together.

    Besides, most of my favorite music is around 30 years old. It’s not like they’re making new 70s rock. 🙂

    Essentially: I currently dislike, and will not support, the current copy protected music available. My mp3’s will be as the music gods intended them: copy protection free. 🙂

    If this changes in the future, I’m all for it. But I ain’t holding my breath.

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