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Bach Launches Updated MP3 Format

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the more-than-just-hinderance-a-novel-idea dept.

Music 279

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that Bach Technology has rolled out an updated MP3 file format in a bid to combat music piracy. Dubbed "MusicDNA," the new format offers embedded "updatable premium content" like lyrics, videos, news updates, and album artwork. "Using the new technology, music labels and bands will be able to send updates to the music files – with tour dates, interviews or updates to social networking pages – while illegally-downloaded files remain static. ... No major labels have signed up to use MusicDNA so far, but British record company Beggars Group and US label Tommy Boy are both on board. However, the files are likely to be more expensive than MP3 files – according to the BBC – and will have to compete with Apple's iTunes LP, which already provides additional content such as bonus tracks, lyrics and video interviews."

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279 comments

Sounds like features I need from an audio file (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894756)

with tour dates, interviews or updates to social networking pages – while illegally-downloaded files remain static.

So if I want to buy music legitly, in addition to paying for the track I will now also get spammed with ads?

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (5, Funny)

BabyDuckHat (1503839) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894820)

They're not ads. They're valuable opportunities from trusted online partners. Now, where did I put that shiv?

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30895384)

I hate to think what the record companies are going to include with this new format, lets face it they cannot even manage to tag mp3's properly most of the time.

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30894858)

In other words, if I download a file illegally, I'm guaranteed to be left alone and my files won't be changed around without my consent or prior knowledge?

Hm.

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (4, Insightful)

alop (67204) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894880)

Sounds like a misguided effort. What I really want, is high-quality audio in smaller file sizes. It seems like they're creating a solution without a problem, or for the wrong problem.

I understand the point of incentivizing legitimate downloads, but the incentive here is something I (or just about anyone) can get with a quick google search.

If they really want to incentivize legit downloads, give me exclusive content or, life-like audio... Heck, I'd take the music equivalent of "Director's Commentary" over their proposal.

You are not the customer (2, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895108)

Both you, and the grandparent post miss the point. You are not the customer.

File sizes do not matter. Spam does not matter. You are not the customer.

You only have one choice, to realize that you are not the customer, or ignore the problem.

Why would you buy something when you're not the customer? Would you buy a McDonalds Hamburger, if what you got was a Spamburger instead? On the other hand, you might prefer spam to McDonalds Hamburger. I know I would!

Except I'm Kosher. ;)

And I figure this is cracked in 3 ... 2 .. 1.

Re:You are not the customer (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895298)

You are not the customer.

Welcome to the Corporate World Order.

We are no longer consumers. We are consumables. Corporations don't exist to sell us things to fill our needs. We exist to feed their machine.

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (4, Insightful)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895184)

Doesn't matter what we, the end users, want. The customer is big record labels. They want a format to "combat piracy while adding value and opportunities for marketing synergy in strategic channels."

The folks who designed the format know perfectly well it will never go anywhere. So what! They're getting paid.

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895200)

Sounds like a misguided effort. What I really want, is high-quality audio in smaller file sizes. It seems like they're creating a solution without a problem, or for the wrong problem.

Smaller file sizes would be a much better option then all these extra's hidden away in the file. I won't be surprised to see programs popping up to help strip all this extra information away since MP3 players seem to be getting smaller not larger. My old player was 80gigs, but when I needed to buy a new one last month I was hard pressed to find one larger then 32gigs, with many being around the 16gig size. And larger files means less music that can be taken with you so people will just try to strip this extra junk with them, since most mp3 players don't even have internet connection to take advantage of the updated information, only a computer or smartphone is able to.

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895344)

My old player was 80gigs, but when I needed to buy a new one last month I was hard pressed to find one larger then 32gigs, with many being around the 16gig size.

The shrinking size has nothing to do with the size of media files and everything to do with flash memory having larger profit margins than hard drives.

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (2, Interesting)

sageres (561626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895360)

There is ogg vorbis for that
  • Vorbis files can compress to a smaller file size and still sound fine; Vorbis' better compression will cut down on bandwidth costs and keep you from being a victim of your own popularity.
  • Vorbis' standardized, easily-edited comment header provides a space for you to scribble all sorts of notes about yourself to distribute with the music; this helps fans find you, your site, and where to buy your stuff.
  • If you decide to sell your music in MP3 format, you are responsible for paying Fraunhofer a percentage of each sale because you are using their patents. Vorbis is patent and license-free, so you will never need to pay anyone in order to sell, give away, or stream your own music.

--------- http://www.vorbis.com/faq/ [vorbis.com]

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (3, Interesting)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894914)

I hope it's an open standard so someone can write a utility to strip all the crap from the "new and improved" mp3 files.

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (2, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894996)

Opt-in, not mandatory.

So if you want to buy music legitly, you have the option of having the bonus features, similar to those on a DVD or Blu Ray. Its just incentive to buy over pirating.

Which is the best way to go about it, and we all know it. That way they can have their cake and we get to eat ours.

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (1)

unformed (225214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895050)

If I want to receive information from a given band, I can put my email address into their newsletter.

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895090)

Perhaps you misread the first line of my post?

Or perhaps you misunderstood it?

Or perhaps you missed everything altogether...

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (1)

Aeros (668253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895260)

I dont think he did. The bands newsletter is opt-in also. I seriously think this will be a dud. I seriously couldn't care less about this feature.

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30895288)

The problem for me is, how do they ensure that "illegally-downloaded files remain static"? There must be some type of DRM involved, and therefore I, and many others, won't buy it. I bought my first mp3s once Amazon started selling them unencrypted; I'd buy ones with optional lyrics etc, but only if I can be sure that I can always put it on whatever device I want.

The music companies still shoot themselves in the foot at every opportunity. For example this summer I was in France & heard a couple of songs I liked on the radio. I got home to the US, went to Amazon.com, found that they didn't have the album I wanted. So I went to Amazon.fr, installed the French mp3 downloader, and when I tried to check out I wasn't able to buy the songs because I was outside Europe! (And yes, I know that's the experience of most of the world with iTunes.) It's pretty ridiculous that a decade after Napster they're still putting up stupid barriers.

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895000)

So if I want to buy music legitly, in addition to paying for the track I will now also get spammed with ads?

But wait, there's more!

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (4, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895350)

From TFA:

Dubbed MusicDNA, the files contain embedded additional content including lyrics, videos, news updates and album artwork.

Ok, so lyrics and album art totally makes sense, but... can't you already do that with ID3 tags? But videos? Why would I want to store a video in my MP3 file instead of as its own video file? And the news updates, as you said, sound like spam.

To include some context to your quote:

MusicDNA was developed by Norwegian firm Bach Technology, the company that also created the MP3 file, in an attempt to combat illegal file-sharing. Using the new technology, music labels and bands will be able to send updates to the music files – with tour dates, interviews or updates to social networking pages – while illegally-downloaded files remain static.

Ok, so to me this makes it sound like, if I want to avoid getting spammed, I should listen to "illegally-downloaded files". This also implies that these files have some sort of phone-home DRM when the music is played, which is a potential privacy violation.

You know, when I'm listening to music, I often do think, "The only way this could be better is if it had DRM and reported my listening habits back to record labels, and if I was getting spammed right now. If only someone would develop the technology!"

Re:Sounds like features I need from an audio file (1)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895654)

They can do everything the description says with id3v2 tags. Perhaps just an extension to the id3v2 tag standard that would allow embedded javascript or html would be enough for all interaction they would need.

Extra content (4, Insightful)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894808)

Given that one of the main reasons for buying music over simply downloading it is art work, lyrics, and extra content, this might not be a bad idea. IF you can truly restrict access. Otherwise you're just giving more reason to pirate the format.

Re:Extra content (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895226)

I buy mp3s from amazon; they already include the album art embedded in them. My zune picks it up just fine.

Re:Extra content (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895256)

With the spam factor that other posters have already mentioned, this only means the right time to pirate it is once artwork and lyrics have been added. At that point, any further "content" is likely unwanted.

This said, if the copyright owners play it smart, they might be able to delay the inevitable rise of pirate editions by a few months. Release an album with the bare minimum of content, then keep adding bonus tracks and more artwork for some time. That gives a reason for either buying it or waiting. People with "must-have-now-syndrome" might buy in that situation.

Re:Extra content (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895394)

Given that one of the main reasons for buying music over simply downloading it is art work, lyrics, and extra content

That's just industry nonsense.

The main reason for buying music over simply downloading it is six-figure fines if the RIAA goes after you.

Re:Extra content (1)

Wuhao (471511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895520)

The counterpoint to that would be that in exchange for excessive restrictions on my bought-and-paid-for music, I am now also getting excessive restrictions on my bought-and-paid-for music, liner notes and artwork.

Most of what they're saying not only has no place in the file, but is easily found for free on the Internet. I can typically find all the tour dates, lyrics, band photos and interviews I want between the band's website and the first few hits on Google. MusicDNA seeks to aggregate all of this information for me, which might be of some small convenience, but at the cost of tremendously reduced portability.

Not only will I be giving up my ability to put it on whatever device I please, but I also have to worry about space on my phone -- if I put a MusicDNA-based album on, will it be 10 times bigger because it's crammed with a bunch of ridiculous interviews that I'll either never care about, or -- in very rare cases -- watch once?

I realize that competing with free means all sorts of ideas have to be considered, but as a legitimate customer who has a bunch of DRMed songs he can't listen to anymore, I can say that the only acceptable format to me is one which is unencrypted and well-documented. No amount of bloat is going to change that for me.

Except... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895616)

Except that all this can be freely had with many of the media players out there.

I don't know if iTunes player does this (don't use, but I suspect it does), but both Rhythmbox and Amarok can get all this information automatically through plugins.

What? Why? (4, Insightful)

DigitalGodBoy (142596) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894814)

This was dead before they wrote the first line of the spec. The MP3 genie is out of the bottle and there's no amount of wishful thinking that can be done by the record companies to stuff it back in.

Useless (1)

No-Cool-Nickname (1287972) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894816)

This is right up there with the bonus content downloads with a Blu-Ray.

Re:Useless (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895014)

However, bonus content with movies makes a lot more sense than with music. I do enjoy the extra content, but theres not much of such you can have with music. Maybe a cappella, no lyrics or remix versions of the songs, but those would most likely just be pirated just as as the main music files too.

Re:Useless (4, Insightful)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895176)

Maybe a cappella, no lyrics or remix versions of the songs, but those would most likely just be pirated just as as the main music files too.

Maybe versions of the song before the vocal track was processed with AutoTune. When people get to hear the real "talent", the record companies won't have to worry about music piracy ever again (or sales for that matter).

No thanks, Bach (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894824)

Just when the patent on MP3 is set to expire they "update" it with DRM? WTF? This will ensure that the old, soon-to-be free file format will stay around.

I hope Ogg doesn't think since MP3 has this cruft they have to too. Of course, MP3 may be playing catch up with Microsoft; WMA files have had DRM for a long time. The DRM was in fact (and still is) a security risk.

I'll stick with OGG and even better, SHN and FLAC.

Re:No thanks, Bach (3, Interesting)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894950)

Don't worry. "Updating" MP3 like this will not extend the coverage period of the patents on the original MP3. The patents on MP3 will still expire on schedule, though I can't say I actually care enough to look up when that may be.

Re:No thanks, Bach (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895390)

That's true, but they'll do their damndest to make the new format the new default.

Wrong Audience? (2, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894826)

Maybe I'm really bad at marketing, but this seems like it's targeting the wrong audience. Those who download illegal music probably do not care about going to concerts or reading up on interviews - they only want the music. This will at best be another marketing tool for the most hardcore audience, at worst a total waste of time and money.

Re:Wrong Audience? (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894974)

I don't know if anybody cares about interviews; but research tends to demonstrate that pirates are, as a body, more enthusiastic about(and bigger consumers of) music than non-pirates.

Now, if anybody actually thinks that this magic new format will be able to distinguish between the evil and the good when it comes to updating with exciting new stuff, I have some very exciting prospects in the field of bridge-related real estate to share with them.

Re:Wrong Audience? (4, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895262)

I get all the free RIAA downloads I need from the radio! Just like I used to tape the radio, now I sample it. The only internet downloads I need now are indie music, and they WANT me to download their stuff.

If the RIAA didn't have radio they'd be tickled pink to have you smple their wares from the internet, too. Their true enemy isn't "piracy", it's legitimate competetion from the independant artists, who have discovered that the majors are no longer needed for anything except getting your work on the radio.

If you're in St Louis, KSHE plays seven albums every Sunday night, uncut and uninterrupted and have been doing so for decades. I had Ted Nugent's Stranglehold album on cassette a full week before it went on sale, thanks to KSHE. [kuro5hin.org]

This new format does solve one interesting problem -- how to extend the patent on MP3, which is set to expire soon. Too bad copyrights aren't as short a length as patents, and a good thing patents don't last as long as copyrights. If they did, technological progress would be as slow as artistic progress is today. Like science and technology, art draws on what has come before.

Re:Wrong Audience? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30894986)

No, you are correct.

This is a perfect example of a techies invention looking for a solution.

Sometimes things like this takes off and other times it doesn't. I think this is a dead end as far as an into-piracy technology. OTOH, I see this being used by the recording industry to increase profits - in the meantime, the RIAA continuing with its anti-piracy legal system shenanigans.

Re:Wrong Audience? (2, Informative)

odin84gk (1162545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895018)

Not really. I don't pirate, but then again I don't go to concerts. (I really don't care that much about music).

However, my friend who downloads a bunch of music goes to concerts and buys CD's. (He loves music, but can't afford to buy everything that he wants).

So, in my mind, it is an appropriate audience.

Re:Wrong Audience? (4, Insightful)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895030)

Actually, pirates are the music industry's more valuable customers [torrentfreak.com]. It turns out that people who download the most music actually go to the most concerts and buy the most music also. It's still a terrible idea though, since it's basically mp3's with built in ads. I'm not sure where they will find people willing to pay extra for that.

Re:Wrong Audience? (1)

tacokill (531275) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895180)

since it's basically mp3's with built in ads

Right. That, and the fact that this isn't an MP3 and it's an entirely different format. But yes, aside from that fact, you are correct it's just like an MP3.

Re:Wrong Audience? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895328)

What you say is true, but torentfreak isn't a good citation, as it has an obvious bias. How about the Guardian? [guardian.co.uk]

Study finds pirates 10 times more likely to buy music
According to research, those who download 'free' music are also the industry's largest audience for digital sales

Everybody knows that music sales have continued to fall in recent years, and that filesharing is usually blamed. We are made to imagine legions of internet criminals, their fingers on track-pads, downloading songs via BitTorrent and never paying for anything. One of the only bits of good news amid this doom and gloom is the steady rise in digital music sales. Millions of internet do-gooders, their fingers on track-pads, who pay for songs they like - purchasing them from Amazon or iTunes Music Store. And yet according to Professor Anne-Britt Gran's new research, these two groups may be the same.

Wisely, the study did not rely on music pirates' honesty. Researchers asked music buyers to prove that they had proof of purchase.

The paper's conclusions emerge just as Sweden's Pirate Bay trial comes to a close. Pirate Bay's four defendants, who helped operate the notorious BitTorrent tracker, were sentenced to a year in jail and fined 30m SEK (£2,500,000) in damages.

Re:Wrong Audience? (1)

Aeros (668253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895324)

it sounds like it. Will it still play in regular mp3 players or will new hardware be required? This will increase the file size with no doubt. If they offered something like sheet music of the song I could see that being beneficial to some people.

Compression? (1)

gearloos (816828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894834)

So much for the nice, small portability of MP3. Even a 128k (which already sound horrible) will be huge now.

Just what I want embedded in my mp3s... (2, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894854)

Yes! Embed video interviews that are 10 times as big as the mp3 itself, because that's exactly what I want to squeeze onto my music player's limited space.

Re:Just what I want embedded in my mp3s... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895374)

MP3 players have not had what would be described as 'limited space' for a very long time. Most people have MP3 players that can hold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of music, and those are the small ones.

Oh, yeah, I predict rapid widespread adoption . . (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894872)

Of FLAC, OGG and (probably to a huge extent) LAME. After all, Lame Ain't an MP3 Encoder, right?

AC Launches Massive Deuce (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30894874)

An anonymous submitter writes to tell us that he caused quite a splash today when he centered his little brown ring over the big white ring and dropped a massive pile of brown velvet today. More details to come.

Comical (5, Insightful)

rbrander (73222) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894882)

...a "successor to MP3", which removes the most popular feature of MP3, the ability to control your own purchased copy of the property. Yeah, that'll bring back the customers you chased away with the last 3 attempts at controlled digital content.

It can be "updated"...who wants to bet that one kind of "update" is like the Amazon "update" of their sale of Orwell's '1984'...total deletion.

Do not pass "Go", do not collect millions of customers...go directly to the ash-heap of computer history.

Re:Comical (1)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895242)

Exactly what I was thinking.

Users who give a damn about their fair use rights will stay well away from anything that even HINTS at the ability to make it UN-content.

What I'm eagerly awaiting is a complete sea-change in musicians/artists where they start realizing that the former barriers to entry no longer exist and go direct to self-publishing. /now that we're agreed that we are living in the future, where is my flying car?

Oh.. okay, no problem. (5, Insightful)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894888)

I'll just keep ripping cds to .flac and distributing them so others can convert them to whatever audio format they prefer. Seems like a reasonable compromise.

What CDs? (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895096)

I'll just keep ripping cds to .flac and distributing them so others can convert them to whatever audio format they prefer. Seems like a reasonable compromise.

Do the record labels even make Compact Discs anymore? I thought they all switched to non-conforming discs compatible with some CD players.

Great. (1)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894908)

Now I'll have music DNA smeared all over my HDD? Like having DNA smeared all over my keyboard wasn't enough, thanks Corporate Overlords!

Just another avenue to spread viruses (5, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894946)

Using the new technology, music labels and bands will be able to send updates to the music files – with tour dates, interviews or updates to social networking pages

They forgot to mention that this would also provide an exploit for malware writers to use to get into people's machines.

Re:Just another avenue to spread viruses (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895042)

No more exploitable than downloading a file from anywhere ever would be. Less exploitable than those who download music for free off of torrents and P2P apps.

Re:Just another avenue to spread viruses (2, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895190)

Umm, are you serious?

They can update the file with new information at their whim if you opt-in.

That's a HUGE potential exploit. Outside access to modify files? How long until someone figures out a way to use this to gain write access to root?

Re:Just another avenue to spread viruses (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895392)

Outside access to modify A file, if you choose to.

In order for the file to be modified it has to come from the authenticated source - probably the band, which means it'll have to come from a server owned by the band - or the band will entrust it to a music company.

In order for someone to exploit this not only do they have to spoof their way into making the MP3 file - but they have to magically make it so that they can access root by the limitted permissions within the one file they can edit.

How many people have gotten infected by an RSS Feed? Not any that I know of, and thats exactly what this new deployed system is, a glorified RSS feed that merely archives itself onto the MP3 file you own.

On the other side of the fence:
How many people have gotten back door rootkits by installing pirated versions of Photoshop? A lot. More than I could count on my fingers and toes using binary.

Re:Just another avenue to spread viruses (1)

Xeleema (453073) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895676)

Go ahead, Monkeedude, keep arguing that this is going to be some sort of Secure(tm), Well-Thought-Out(tm) implementation.

It's not like local software clients or network protocols have ever been exploited

Keep that chin up! One day we'll all wish the bad people away!

How many people have gotten back door rootkits by installing pirated versions of Photoshop? A lot.

Hm...and noticed it? I'd wager a slightly smaller fraction that the one's that caught a rootkit when they bought a legitimate audio disc from Sony....

Re:Just another avenue to spread viruses (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895366)

No more exploitable than downloading a file from anywhere ever would be. Less exploitable than those who download music for free off of torrents and P2P apps.

The difference being that when I download a new file, I know there is a potential that it will be malware rather than what I am looking for and can take steps to minimize the risk. With this new format, I have a file on my system that can be "updated" at any time by someone remotely, what makes you think it will only be "updatable" by authorized people?

Re:Just another avenue to spread viruses (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895514)

The difference being that when I download a new file, I know there is a potential that it will be malware rather than what I am looking for and can take steps to minimize the risk. With this new format, I have a file on my system that can be "updated" at any time

When you want it to be - you by no means HAVE to receive ANY updates AT ALL.

And if its "updatable" by unauthorized people, then it would be prone to "Creed Sucks!" and all the other opinionated Crap flying around the internet. There is obviously some system in place to make sure that it is actually the band's newsletter or RSS feed or Twitter Feed getting put through to the file.

And exactly how will this succeed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30894948)

I don't see any reason for this to become mainstream.

Lyrics: I'm not sure if you can add those to an mp3 file but you can add them in iTunes.
Videos: Why not just use a video file?
Album artwork: iTunes has it.

What's so great about this?

Re:And exactly how will this succeed? (1)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895632)

I don't think this is supposed to be 'great' for consumers. FTFA: “I think the music industry has got a great opportunity to open up completely new revenue streams”

Oh Great! (3, Insightful)

pm_rat_poison (1295589) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894956)

More expensive DRM-laden adware music! This is JUST what we need to change our minds about NOT CARING about music enterprises! Making the lives of the pirates easier compared to those who pay for the content is such a great idea! It's worked before, hasn't it?

Out of touch? (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894966)

FTA:

Only last week it was reported that the first file-sharing trial in the UK had ended in acquittal. Alan Ellis, the founder of large-scale pirate music website Oink's Pink Palace, was cleared of defrauding thousands of pounds from record labels and musicians on the grounds that Oink did not host any music itself, but simply indexed the files users had available on their computers. “All I do is really like Google, to really provide a connection between people,” he told police officers.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is now preparing to launch civil proceedings against Ellis, claiming that the verdict was a “terrible disappointment” which shows that “the law is so out of touch with where life is these days”.

If the law is "out of touch with where life is these days," how can we possibly describe the distance of "out of touch" that truly reflects the recording industry?

  • "The recording industry is practically prehistoric compared with where life is these days."
  • "The recording industry is like a coprolite from the Mesozaic era compared with where life is these days."
  • "The recording industry should be called Homo Moronus compared with where life is these days."
  • "The recording industry is _____________________ compared with where life is these days."

What say you?

new MP3 format (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895012)

use a regular mp3 and put a unique identifier to the music in the id3 tag.
Do you think I can patent my update to mp3 ?

Combatting Piracy (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895022)

The best way to combat piracy is to stop spending money on tighter controls that are cracked a week after being released into the wild; stop spending money on formats that users don't want; just generally stop spending money on things that don't work and don't have value and instead spend money on good song writers and good performers and make good music. People are willing to pay for quality.

And, more specifically, the best way to combat piracy is to realize you're not going to succeed and instead find a new business model that works. You'll notice that the bands who are highly profitable have figured something very important out - CD sales are not the road to riches - concert tours are where you make truck loads of money. The _experience_ of music is something people are willing to spend a LOT of money on. Listening to music just entices them to spend $200 a ticket to see the live performance on stage. Once more music people figure this out - once more music people figure out that the old way of becoming rich in the industry is dead - the better off everyone will be.

Re:Combatting Piracy (1)

Croakus (663556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895110)

Listening to music just entices them to spend $200 a ticket to see the live performance on stage.

Holy shit! Do the bands you go see shoot gold confetti out over the audience or something?

I can't think of a single person I know who has $200 to spend on a concert ticket.

Re:Combatting Piracy (3, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895196)

http://www.geg.ca/en/show/pressrelease/1348 [www.geg.ca]

One example. $250 for the best tickets for U2. Those prices are not unusual any more. Celine Dion did about two dozen shows in Montreal where the best tickets were similarly priced. $100+ for "average" artists is entirely normal. When was the last time you went to a concert? They've become _EXTREMELY_ expensive in the last couple years as bands have realized you can pirate a song but you cannot pirate the experience of going to a live show. That is where the money is to be made.

Re:Combatting Piracy (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895148)

You left out drop the price.
Really folks when a song is less than 99 cents it isn't worth my time to pirate it. If I like it I will buy it.

Re:Combatting Piracy (2, Insightful)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895210)

instead spend money on good song writers and good performers and make good music.

But that's difficult to find. It is easier to spend money on crappy engineers.

Re:Combatting Piracy (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895650)

I agree with your opening statement, but ...

And, more specifically, the best way to combat piracy is to realize you're not going to succeed and instead find a new business model that works. You'll notice that the bands who are highly profitable have figured something very important out - CD sales are not the road to riches - concert tours are where you make truck loads of money. The _experience_ of music is something people are willing to spend a LOT of money on. Listening to music just entices them to spend $200 a ticket to see the live performance on stage. Once more music people figure this out - once more music people figure out that the old way of becoming rich in the industry is dead - the better off everyone will be.

This will last until people can record binocular video and binaural surround audio of their surroundings using body mounted nano- cameras and microphones that aren't easily detectable (or until "personal experience capture for digital life archiving" is protected by law so 'life recording equipment' doesn't have to be hidden), and social crowdsourcing sites allow people to combine a montage of different perspectives from everyone in attendance so equipped into a nicely edited concert video. The latter hitting torrent sites will spell the end of "live concerts" as the scarcity-du-jour guaranteed to make truck loads of money. I guess "business model technology hopscotch" is a good short term strategy, but ultimately I'd like to just see business models develop that are based on an equitable and fair exchange rather than depend on artificial scarcity. Give people a good reason to pay and give them value when they do. This may not always translate into 'truckloads of money', but it might be a way to enable more people overall to make a good sustainable living creating music, art or whatever.

Re:Combatting Piracy (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895686)

Listening to music just entices them to spend $200 a ticket to see the live performance on stage.

Lining the pockets of ticketmaster, an entity possibly more evil than the RIAA labels. In 1976 a ticket to see ELO, Journey, and Golden Earring together at Kiel auditorium in St Louis (all three bands, one after the other) cost $5 -- and those were the expensive seats. The cheap seats cost $3. That was the going price. Googling shows the price of bread four years later at fifty cents; I pay a dollar now at County Market. Here's a chart. [depaul.edu]

Why has the price of bread merely doubled while the price of a concert ticket has soared to four hundred times what it was then?

I'll stick to local bands, thanks; I may be a nerd but I'm not Bill Gates and I can't afford $200 to see the Rolling Stones, especially when I paid three dollars to see Blind Faith and Yes. And the local guys are not only as talented (well, some of them aren't) but I can drink a beer while listening and I only pay a $3 to $5 cover charge.

The only thing I know of that has shot up in price like that is medical care and illegal drugs. These people don't need guns to steal.

Tried and true methods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30895092)

At least its not too difficult to utilize the internal mic and record a track as a good-old-mp3 file.

At least they got the direction right (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895118)

It won't be sucessfull (who wants that stuff?), and even if it were, it wouldn't reduce piracy (what is stopping people to pirate the new content, every time it changes?). But it is at least a step on the right direction. The way to fight piracy is offering added value at the legitm copies, not subtracted value, and they got that right.

Re:At least they got the direction right (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895362)

The way to fight piracy is offering added value at the legit copies, not subtracted value, and they got that right.

Except they didn't, because the DRM subtracts more value than the extra content adds.

Um, bonus? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895134)

> "Using the new technology, music labels and bands will be able to send updates to the music files - with tour dates, interviews or updates to social networking pages - while illegally-downloaded files remain static. ..."

So, if I'm reading this correctly, if I buy a legitimate copy of the file I get spammed mercilessly, but if I download the file illegally I don't?

Cool!

Re:Um, bonus? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895454)

Actually, given the quality of music of late, I wonder if I could just download tracks of static. At least that way, I'm not breaking the law, and I know the tracks will remain static.

Until someone copyrights white and pink noise, then I'm screwed.

They forgot the most important embedded content (1)

wizkid (13692) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895156)

They didn't mention the most used implanted data. Rootkits and virus's...... This won't keep the Russians happy.

Eh... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895220)

......I could be wrong here but the kind of people so interested in the extras noted in TFA they want them included with their digital purchase are likely the kind of people who abhor piracy anyway, or at least wouldn't pirate the music of their favourite artists. Also, it is worth nothing that the extras they mentioned are all things that could be found elsewhere online. I don't really see how collecting that information into one place and adding to the storage space required for a music collection would help stop piracy.

MP3 with embedded lyrics? Irrelevant. (2, Interesting)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895248)

If you happen to be one of those lucky persons who happen to have adopted a media player such as Amarok [kde.org] as their media player of choice then you can simply open Amarok's script manager and install the LyricWiki plugin [wikia.com]. That enables your media player of choice to just dish out any particular words to a song you wish to access. The beauty of this plugin/site combo is that you can get any lyrics you wish for any obscure artist and perfectly independent of any corporation, media player and even format in which your songs are stored. And album artwork? You already get that by default in Amarok.

So where exactly is there a need for an encumbered, defective, unsupported and obscure format to be able to do exactly what countless people are already doing at this very moment?

uh huh (2, Interesting)

koan (80826) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895258)

Sounds like a perfect vector for malware, and (glances at watch) it's hacked....next!!!

Easiest solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30895278)

Put an URL in a ID3 tag that links to a website that requires you to log in with your account you used to purchase the mp3.

Reduced Price? (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895296)

I hope it's cheaper to buy the ad/interview/cover art/lyrics free file since it'll be smaller. I have no interest in downloading a 20MB .mp3.

Sending data to files? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895308)

The article was particularly thin on the mechanism for this push technology. It sounds a lot like you'll need to install their rootkit^Wmaintenance program which will spend endless resources on your machine and network indexing your files and listening out for the mothership to apply updates. This could add up to a lot of data traveling about. I've got a modest collection of about 8500 tracks - all ripped from CDs I've purchased. Now, of course they're not in MP3 format - I got fooled once ripping to a lossy format and did my "archival" rips with FLAC. Still, with hundreds of artists all trying to stream advertisements^Wcontent to my server, that could get annoying. Of course, that doesn't even address the security issues, or the presence of (as I like to call them) "rented/borrowed" content saved along side my "owned" library.

Bach mp3? no-way (4, Informative)

McNihil (612243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895334)

It wasn't Bach it was The German company Fraunhofer-Gesellshaft that did mp3 in the first place. Extremely shoddy article.

Nice thinking (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895354)

So the idea is to discourage piracy trying to sell people additional content that, by the very act of pirating music, they have indicated they can happily live without?

Marketing people aren't just idiots, they're idiot-savants. If a planet-killer asteroid was entering the atmosphere at this very moment, they'd be scheduling a meeting for later in the week to discuss how to put a banner ad on it.

Just what I've always wanted! (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895412)

Another 10,000 files on my computer regularly sending autoupdate requests and using my internet connection at random times without my knowledge!
I HATE autoupdate functions that run an applet in the background (java, acrobat reader, etc). Is it really too much to ask to only do a version check when I run the program, or put it in the task scheduler to run an applet occasionally rather than keep another process alive at all times?

The irony .... and, shove it. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895414)

the irony is that the company is named after the father of western classical (and therefore rather, contemporary) music, father Bach. but they, in lieu of his generousity, openness and productivity that ushered in a global era of music, are trying to make music closed. shameful. despicable.

and as we all very well know, your format is as good as its acceptance. if the 'internet and digital community' does not accept your format, and players and sites support it and propagate it, you can only shove a format up your ass.

and thats what going to happen.

Sounds like a good reason to pirate music (2, Interesting)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895474)

I buy my MP3s from Amazon now. They're high quality, cheap, lack DRM and it has what I want in the meta data, the title, album, track no. and album art. There are a lot of unnecessary fields already, like lyrics that I find no one uses and for good reason, it's an MP3 and no one cares.

It's bad enough Amarok has decided to put a big freaking wiki window in the middle of the player making me uninstall it, I certainly don't want blogs, videos, tour dates and, rest assured, security risks in my music.

Anyone that has seen the joy of WMA and WMV files polluting porno on P2P networks knows this is a bad thing We don't need a platform independent version of shitty media files.

Without a doubt if this format took off I would quit paying for music until it dies.

who cares (1)

micromuncher (171881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895476)

Really, who cares. mp3 is pervasive. Companies have been bslapped for not supporting plain ol' mp3s. (Sony AAC only devices... die quick deaths.)

Bach Technlologies? Who are they? (3, Insightful)

sageres (561626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895636)

Ok the article states:

"MusicDNA was developed by Norwegian firm Bach Technology, the company that also created the MP3 file, in an attempt to combat illegal file-sharing."

(emphasis mine) Ok well I am sorry but I do not understand. According to ematch.eu:

Founded in March 2007, BACH is a new and fast growing music technology company. BACH has achieved a strategic partnership with Fraunhofer IDMT, an internationally proven and trusted institution in the music industry. In December 2009 BACH finalized it's first major investment round. Shareholders include Karlheinz Brandenburg (one of the inventor of the MP3 algorithm), 247 Inc. (the company of Shigeo Maruyama, the former Sony Music and Sony Computing CEO) and the German VC b-mt.

So, how is the company responcible for mp3 format, because Karlheinz Brandenburg was responsible for one of the mp3 algorithms? And, he is just a shareholder. By far, he was not the only one who brought it about, and his implementation was one of several that made it into market. But as you can see -- the major shareholders are the music industry, specifically 247 Inc, the arm of Sony who are interested in it. In short Bach Technologies are overstating their credentials. They did not create MP3 and this was done for no other reason then an attempt to bring more DRM into the fold of the market.

I'll pass, thanks (1)

holiggan (522846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895720)

I've been using MP3 since the dawn of the format (for some reason, I've never quite hook up with OGGs), and I don't intend to change it to anything else soon. I also use FLAC, for the lossless backups of my CD collection.

I couldn't care less about "value added" content. Heck, I don't even want lyrics on my music files! If I want "value added", I'll just go and watch the artists live. Now that's "value added".

Meanwhile, I'm sticking with MP3s and FLACs, and I can't think of a reason to switch to another format.

Seriously, I can't.

The REAL (secret) marketing plan. (3, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30895790)

You guys are missing the real, secret marketing plan. Those files will be available P2P. The "album art" will not be the tiny little CD cover, but a goatse. Fans of music that would like a goatse will get a different yet equally offensive picture. The "social networking" will not "friend" you to the band, but to alqada or some other james bond-ian villian. Instead of the web integration making the band your new homepage, it will make 4chan your new home page (assuming it isn't already, of course). You get the idea, basically it'll be trash.

And those "bad" files will be widely distributed P2P by the music middlemen themselves, to poison the well. I can see the whiny public service infomercial now... "remember when you could download music safely? Well those days are over, now a simple music file and totally screw up your computer and ipod. But on the good side, you can pay a mere $2 per track for one of our guaranteed SAFE music files at our new web store."

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