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Vivendi Offering MP3 Song for Sale

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the needs-to-actually-be-a-good-song-too dept.

Music 371

pmorelli writes: "Maybe there's hope for the media dinosaurs yet: According to News.com, Vivendi is teaming up with Maverick Records, MP3.com, RollingStone.com, GetMusic.com and MP4.com to offer a remix of a Meshell Ndegeocello track, 'Earth,' for $0.99 online. No restrictions, just a plain old MP3. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of her stuff, I just may pony up a whole buck to economically encourage this sort of behavior."

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Ick. (0, Funny)

Jonny 290 (260890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576438)

Bout 98 cents too high for one of her tracks, no?

Re:Ick. (1)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576496)

But if you take into account that you only have to pay for it once and spread the cost over all users of the purchased song, the cost is really quite minimal.

Re:Ick. (1)

CBNobi (141146) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576545)

But if you take into account that you only have to pay for it once and spread the cost over all users of the purchased song, the cost is really quite minimal.

When you take into account that the creator only has to make it once, then take out all of the packaging, advertising, etc. needed for a typical album, the cost seems rather high.

Then again, That's still around $12 a CD, which is well below the current average.

Re:Ick. (2, Insightful)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576593)

1. You're assuming that you would buy a 12-song CD. I think this is a mistaken assumption. You would purchase only those songs that you felt were worth the cost of purchase. Therefore instead of paying $13.98 for 3 good songs and 11 bad ones, you'd pay $2.97 for only those 3 good songs. Sure, you don't get the nice packaging, but that is another debate for another day.

2. You don't value music very highly. This is something that one has to determine on their own. If you feel that $.99 is too much to pay for 3.5 minutes of entertainment that can be repeated as many times as you like, then that is your opinion. There are certainly music sharing sites that you can download the media for free and avoid financing the musician at all.

I don't know how to respond except to say that I disagree with you.

Re:Ick. (1)

Jonny 290 (260890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576626)

and *this* is the fucking problem with modern music.

Nobody takes the time to write an *album*.

Process is as such (pseudo-code)

eval gimmick
case "cover song"
add "metal guitars"
case "offensive lyrics"
add "whine"
case "no talent"
add "cleavage"
case "spoiled teen angst"
add "heartfelt lyrics"
case "big tits"
do nothing

Repeat between one and three times. Add ten tracks out of the void filler_song() function, run one iteration through the slick_video library, and compile with the -D_HAVE_HUGE_MARKETING_BUDGET options. You're done!

Seriously, though. I wish some artists would take the time and write one good album every three years a la Tool or others, instead of one shit album every nine months.

Which is the best Mario? (-1)

returnofthe_spork (552824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576442)

[ ] Mario 1
This Mario is the original, kicking off many sidescroller clones, and it arouses warm feelings of nostalgia among many people. Many of us remember this as one of our first great games, if not the first. I personally spent many hours as a young child playing this classic. While the graphics and sound are not comparable to later games in the series, the gameplay and replay value are big hits. Plus, it came with an extra game on the cartridge - Duck Hunt, another surefire classic.

[ ] Mario 2
This is often remembered as the "weird" Mario. Involving different characters with different abilities, strange enemies and often-times "exotic" dream-induced settings, it was a big jump away from Mario 1. The sheer uniqueness of this game gave it many hours worth of replay value.

[ ] Mario 3
This is the "epic" Mario, with a bigger story, bigger levels, and bigger enemies. Featuring fast-paced gameplay, varied levels involving swimming and flying, wonderfully cartoonish graphics and sound and memorable enemies, this is the last of the powerhouse series for the original NES.

Which is your favorite? Choose wisely, Slashdotters!

(My vote goes to Mario 3. I still play it!)

Re:Which is the best Mario? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576637)

while 1 and 2 are classic ill agree with you...3 owns

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Loman (545971) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576443)

FP

i dont know about mp3... (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576452)

i mean mp3 is a good start i guess but IM not going to pay for lossy music

Re:i dont know about mp3... (1)

INMCM (209310) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576509)

It is kinda sad to think they will probably only offer in 128kbps format since that's "perfect" to the ears of corporate music execs (or at least whoever they have telling them it is). Lossy music wouldn't be so bad if the big boys realized that 192kbps is the lowest that they should offer. I honestly can't tell the difference between a 192kbps file and a CD track of the same song (and I have a very nice pair of $150 headphones).

How is it that.... (2, Interesting)

phyxeld (558628) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576554)

Vivendi is teaming up with Maverick Records, MP3.com, RollingStone.com, GetMusic.com and MP4.com to offer a remix of a Meshell Ndegeocello track, 'Earth,' for $0.99 online.

How is it that when two people want to exchange mp3s, they just do it, but when a corporation wants to, they've gotta make it all complicated?

Re:i dont know about mp3... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576558)

I honestly can't tell the difference between a 192kbps file and a CD track of the same song (and I have a very nice pair of $150 headphones).

you and your overpriced headphones can relax. it's encoded at 192k

Re:i dont know about mp3... (1)

Jonny 290 (260890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576639)

I honestly can't tell the difference between a 192kbps file and a CD track of the same song (and I have a very nice pair of $150 headphones).

That's your problem. Get a good receiver, no, your 79 dollar Aiwa system with blinky lights galore doesn't count, and some respectable speakers. You can definitely tell the mp3 artifacts, especially in lower-midrange and extreme high end.

Offering an mp3 of a track is like selling photographs of a Picasso. Yes, technically it looks nearly identical, but once you get closer, you notice that it just doesn't have the appeal that the original does.

Re:i dont know about mp3... (1)

chihowa (366380) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576591)

Sorry to break it to you but CD audio, at 44.1k samples per second, isn't exactly lossless.

Vinyl provided better "sampling rates" and live performances are obviously much better. Have you ever listened to a CD after hearing the same thing live, or even on vinyl.

128k mp3's will eventually satisfy everyone just like CDs did.

Sampling rate of vinyl (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576645)

What is (was?) the sampling rate of vinyl?

Re:Sampling rate of vinyl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576651)

that's a joke, right?

Re:i dont know about mp3... (1)

meat_shield (580453) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576671)

To quote r3mix.net's Myths section
"2. Vinyl records are the best because they are analog while digital sampling ruins the sound. Reality check: Vinyl is a very primitive recording medium. The artifacts, pops, and lack of dynamic range make Vinyl far inferior to CD. CD's sampling rates and 16-bit word length provide *more* information than the human ear can detect. Audio compression proves that you can remove up to 4/5th of the data from a CD and still come up with equal sound quality in a blind test using real world material."

Yeah listen to your record a month later when it's covered in dust and tell me it sounds better than a CD. No doubt live is better tho.

'bout time... (2, Interesting)

davmoo (63521) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576454)

I'm not a big fan either, but I'll gladly fork up a buck to offer support of the idea, in the hopes of encouraging more for the future. I'd like to see a million purchases of this one track for just that reason. Its about time some of the "biggies" got their heads out of their asses.

Re:'bout time... (1)

Jonny 290 (260890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576477)

Geek: I'll just pay a dollar for this song and never listen to it. That will support the concept!

Marketroid: Look at how many people paid a dollar for this shit track! Let's put more drivel on there! We'll make a killing! And we profit even more from this than we do on CD's!

Re:'bout time... (1)

KaizerWill (240074) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576514)

well, the reason that theyre putting out a crappy first track this way is so they dont risk any quality music on a new concept.

logic would dictate that if the craptrack proves the concept to be sound, then they will allow better music to be released in such a way soon.

now, of course, this does assume that they act based on logic, which is a sketchy assumption. but sometimes profit is a great enough motive to instill a little logic in to folks...

Re:'bout time... (1)

Jonny 290 (260890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576543)

I disagree. That would mean that I could make a two minute mp3 of Richard Stallman taking a shit, and since it's 'crappy' (pardon the pun), I'm not risking any art. But, of course, tons of geeks will 'support' the concept by paying a dollar for this mp3. Proving my assumption that you can make a silk purse of a sow's ear.

Re:'bout time... (2, Insightful)

jpmkm (160526) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576478)

I'm sure quite a few people will buy this, even though they're not necessarily interested in the music. Yeah, this will show the big companies that people are willing to pay for their music. But how long will it last? They will always want it for cheaper than it is. I agree that CD prices are way to high, but people have been buying them for years. Then they started downloading songs because it's cheaper(read: free). 99 cents for a song isn't bad, but once that catches on people will want 5 songs for 99 cents. Then they will complain that 4 of the songs suck and they would only pay for one song if they could but they can't so they resort to getting it for free somewhere. It's going to happen. People are cheap.

Re:'bout time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576599)

99 cents for a song isn't bad, but once that catches on people will want 5 songs for 99 cents.

You have it backwards. If and when this catches on, the record companies will start releasing music that is actually popular. It might be priced the same at first, but as the infrastructure is put in place to support high numbers of downloads, the price will go up.

You might even see them charging $0.99 per track, except for the track that is getting all the play time on the radio, which is priced higher.

Of course the big question is: will they be willing to put their music out on the net in mp3 format (or anything that is easily copied)? If they do, then you'll see a direct correlation between the price of a legitimate track and the number of people illegally copying that track.

Hey, quick (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576461)

Someone buy it and post it on Gnutella. $0.99 for ONE song? Give me a break.

Re:Hey, quick (1)

sparrow_hawk (552508) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576507)

I know this is feeding the trolls, but compare $0.99US to:

$15 for a new DRM-supporting CD player.
$150 for a new DRM-supporting DVD player.
$1500 for a new DRM-supporting PC.
Life in prison for ripping a CD.

Pick your poison.

Who? (3, Funny)

JanusFury (452699) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576468)

Forgive my ignorance, but would someone mind enlightening the stupid as to who she is? What genre, how good is her music, etc? I might just buy the song if it's any good.

Re:Who? (2, Interesting)

Jonny 290 (260890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576490)

Remember "Wild Night" by John Mellencamp? She was a guest singer/performer on that. And yes, that is her claim to fame, as far as I can tell. Well, that, and being a scary-looking bald lesbian.

Re:Who? (2)

kubrick (27291) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576508)

Well, that, and being a scary-looking bald lesbian.

Her music sounds a little like Sinead O'Connor's. So, you're pretty accurate with that last quip :)

Re:Who? (2, Informative)

pmorelli (42134) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576492)

mp3.com has a preview stream, if you'd like to listen to it first...

Re:Who? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576511)

Forgive my ignorance, but would someone mind enlightening the stupid as to who she is? What genre, how good is her music, etc? I might just buy the song if it's any good.

It's not, unless you're into listening to a mindless drum machine beat. Is this the RIAA's grand scheme? Offer crappy music for sale as individual tracks and then when nobody downloads it they claim the idea is flawed? And as for this "we only have a small percentage of hit records compared to the failures we have to subsidize" argument... why not just play them on the radio like you already do to advertise them and sell the tracks that people like? Then you don't have to create thousands of CDs that no one will ever buy and claim you've lost money supporting a shitty artist.

Re:Who? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576578)

Forgive my ignorance, but would someone mind enlightening the stupid as to who she is? What genre, how good is her music, etc? I might just buy the song if it's any good.

Why don't you just get the mp3 from one of the file sharing networks? Then, if you like the song, go ahead and buy the mp3... oh, wait a minute...

Who? (3, Insightful)

discstickers (547062) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576472)

I have not heard of this artist and I'm assuming that most people haven't either.

But my question is, if this sells poorly will they point to it as proof that straight mp3 sales don't work?

Re:Who? (1)

dlek (324832) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576499)

If it sells poorly, will they do a search for the song on Gnutella and find a whole bunch of matches for it and point at it and say "look what the masses did with our online efforts made in innocent good faith?"

Probably.

And for an extra 25 cents... (5, Funny)

dlek (324832) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576483)

...you can download an mp3 pronouncing her name.

uh yeah (0)

igottheloot (573080) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576484)

she was my boyfriend last night!

This has got to be a symbolic gesture (5, Insightful)

geoffsmith (161376) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576486)

Anyone with some knowledge of online transactions knows that offering something for $1 is generally not profitable. First, you've got fees from the credit cards, and then you've got the the whole chargeback thing. One song gets charged back, and you've wiped out any profit from at least 100 sales. The only thing they've got on their side is that an mp3 is not a very good target for credit card fraud, and most people will not bother to chargeback $1.

Websurfing done right! StumbleUpon [stumbleupon.com]

Re:This has got to be a symbolic gesture (2, Interesting)

chuckcolby (170019) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576557)

Yes, but you get a good read on marketability. Remember who the first band to release a CD? Neither do I. The studio execs deliberately chose a band that wasn't yet commercially viable in order to get a read on the viability of the medium. I think that's happening here, too... And they're doing it at a "break-even" price, to boot.

Just my .02

Re:This has got to be a symbolic gesture (1)

Kalrand (177637) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576603)

Actually, I think it was a Billy Joel album...

symbol is greed. (2)

twitter (104583) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576562)

A buck for an mp3? That makes the average 20 song CD cost $20. Wow, I get all that digital goodness and? Nothing. Tell me the MP3 (now crushed) quality is as good or better than the usual CD format. Tell me that this is somehow better than mp3.com that used to let artists give their music away for free to promote themselves and sell their CDs with normal audio files and MP3s and a nice little box and cover art. I suppose I could burn my mp3s onto a CD and put it in a box for safe keeping and draw a picture on it and then it would be as nice. Nope.

I feel like a kid who had all his toys stolen by a bully, who was told he was a bad person for protesting, and now I should be happy to get that toy back, all mangled beat and ruined. Yeah.

Re:symbol is greed. (1)

pmorelli (42134) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576570)

And how many CDs have you bought where you like all the songs? Right...

I figure I'd spend about $2-$5 for CD's in my collection, on average. Maybe more in "best-of" compliations.

I'd be happy to have this choice...

--pete

Re:symbol is greed. (2)

parliboy (233658) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576592)

It's better because on a larger scale it lets you pick and choose what you want, instead of paying for every track on an album, even if you think half of them suck. It's not about payng $20 for a 20 song CD. Instead, it's about saying, "I only like 5 songs on this CD" and paying $5 for them. Or do you like every single song on the CDs you buy?

Re:symbol is greed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576679)

yeah, i usually like every song on the cds i buy.

You might have heard her... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576487)

And John Mellencamp do a cover version of "Wild Night" a few years back.

Most important comment in the article (2, Interesting)

Nate Enderle (579319) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576489)

"Sure, there is always a concern of piracy; there's always the concern of people illegally transferring things. But we feel the best way to combat that is by giving people a legitimate alternative, and this is a test to make that alternative available to them," I couldn't have said it better myself. This could be a viable alternative, although the price might be a little high. A 15 track CD at this price is just as expensive as a store bought version, without the extra goodies and higher quality. Still, if I were interested in the music, I would consider spending the buck just to support this practice.

Re:Most important comment in the article (2)

chazzf (188092) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576595)

While it is true that, for a 15 track CD, it could be just as expensive, you won't be buying the whole CD. You will be buying those tracks that you actually want to listen to. As for quality issues, I see people argue for lossless quality, I see the rampant popularity of the MP3 format, and I draw my own conclusion.

~Chazzf

I'll encourage when I hear something I like (2, Insightful)

s4ltyd0g (452701) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576497)

I still wont pay for sh*ty music. There's more to it than just offering it online in mp3 format folks.
Heck most of what the recording industry puts out these days isn't even worth stealing.

every /.er needs to buy this (2)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576498)

then the music industry will deploy this on a larger basis....we can all afford $1...even us po' ass university students...com' on every one...lets /. the shopcart software!!!!

And how much does she get? (1)

muertos (570792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576504)

I can't help but notice there's no mention of how much the artist will see from each sale.

And also, it's not much of a price break, is it?

Re:And how much does she get? (1)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576518)

It's a price break if she's got 3 good songs and 12 crappy songs.

Re:And how much does she get? (1)

muertos (570792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576533)

According to the RIAA, if you wanted to find out, you'd have to buy them all anyway.

This could be a good thing (5, Interesting)

dweezle (200818) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576512)

OK the price is a little high and she's not a big, big name, but you get an unprotected download to do with as you please.
So buy it and show support for the concept, check out the quality and if you're happy with that then send nice feedback
as a customer(lower price, different artist, etc) and give them a chance.

And hey, once you've downloaded it... (2)

Mtgman (195502) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576516)

can you hop on gnutella and drop me an email with your IP? I love her stuff.

Free(as in beer) > All(nonfree beer) People say they'll pay .99 for stuff, but really, how many people will when you can get it for free?

Steven

So when this shown up on Gnutella, guess what... (1)

HydroPhonic (524513) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576662)

This. Is. A. Set-up.

This special remix will eventually appear on Gnutella, and everyone will know where it came from. Some third-party company will analyze traffic and estimate the extent to which this song is shared. Then, they will compare it with how many copies were downloaded.

And they will demonstrate that DRM is the only thing that will protect their $$.

... while kicking our "we want unbridled access to our DL'd material, and we'd buy THAT" rhetoric right in the teeth...

The "Good People" of the world will then believe that such DRM must be implemented (taking entirely for granted that the xxAA's $$ deserve to be saved)and will attempt to do so.

This is just a distraction to nullify any normal-sounding approach coming from us, leaving only radical ideas involving the death of old business models-- which noone wants to hear...

set-up (4, Interesting)

asv108 (141455) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576521)

I really have no clue who the artist is but I can already hear what the RIAA will say. "We tried to sell MP3's on the Internet but nobody bought them because there was no digital rights management." "This is why we need the Hollings bill!"

Re:set-up (1)

Bobzibub (20561) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576644)

Right on the money.

Plz mod up parent!
-b

Misassessment of the threat (1, Insightful)

Jonny 290 (260890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576523)

Record companies are assuming two things:

1: People want to hear mainstream music.
2: People will prefer mp3 format over CD.
3: People are paying money for the "art" on a CD, and thus they're willing to pay for the 'song' in any format.

What their assumptions should be:

1: People think mainstream is pretty much shit.
2: People will pay money for GOOD music.
3: People will rather have a lossless copy of a song on a tangible media format than a file that can be deleted with one bad keystroke.

The problem isn't mp3's. It's horrible bottom-feeding mainstream music that they use as their benchmark for performance and profit.

Re:Misassessment of the threat (4, Insightful)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576677)

3: People will rather have a lossless copy of a song on a tangible media format than a file that can be deleted with one bad keystroke.

Oh please. A CD can be destroyed with one bad scratch. And I can make backup copies of an MP3. In fact the first thing I do when I buy a CD is rip it to MP3, then I put the CD away in a rack and never touch it unless I want to play it in the car. (Yeah, bad quality, whatever.) I keep my MP3s at work synchronized with the ones at home, because I don't want to lug CDs back and forth.

My reluctance to pay for the digital media files offered by the cartels so far is really based on the fact that
1. They're designed to expire
2. They're designed to be nonportable
3. You can only play them so many times before they "run out"
4. They require goofy playback software that runs on Windows only and insists on showing me ads
5. I can't reformat my drive without losing everything I've paid for
6. I can't listen to them at work unless I lug my computer back and forth

These aren't considerations at all with an MP3. I might delete it by mistake but I'm not going to reject the idea just because I think I'm too stupid to be trusted with my own files.

A thirty second sample at 24kbps @ 16Khz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576525)

Theories in practice (1)

TechFaerie (568490) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576530)

Welcome to the grand world of theory business.

The bigshots say "Oh hey. Maybe people will pay for their MP3s" So they call up the IT department, and as "Will you sell MP3's for us?" As the IT department laughs merrily, they put up a song, and set a token price of $0.99

And then they watch. The bigshots want to see sales, even if they're selling a no name song, and the IT department wants to get raises for what they did.

Ergo, it is hoped that the system will work. Don't whine about the format-that's not the issue. Selling music for a reasonable price is.

Go for it! (3, Insightful)

sahrss (565657) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576537)

$1?
Make a statement.
I'm DLing it right now, for $1 I don't even care *what* the song is. I just want to wave my dollar in the face of this company, to show them that I have dollars to spend on DLing songs! :)

Re:Go for it! (1)

sahrss (565657) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576556)

It is a horrible song though. :-P

Re:Go for it! (2, Insightful)

elmegil (12001) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576652)

Sorry, but $1 is NOT a reasonable price for a single song. I refuse to reward the majors for only getting it halfway.

too expensive (1)

InodoroPereyra (514794) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576542)

Great idea, but at 1 buck per song, a whole album would cost plus than 10 dollars, I think it is a little expensive ...

Re:too expensive (1)

chuckcolby (170019) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576584)

True, BUT... The average CD (12-15 songs) contains like 4 or 5 songs TOPS that I really like. The rest of it is stuff I listen to while waiting for the next of the 4 or 5. I see musical Darwinism happening here, where you are licensed to listen to (and forced to pay for) only the bits you like. Sounds good to me, no?

Re:too expensive (1)

Jonny 290 (260890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576684)

How do you know you like those songs, though? Sure, you've heard three songs per album on the radio; are you dumb enough to pay $1 each for something you can record off the radio?

Darwinism is right, but in a different sense. People will cease to put the weird tracks on their albums. Tool's _Sober_ sounded NOTHING like the rest of the album. I liked the rest of it much better than that.

If I had an option to buy just that song 7 years ago, I may have well done so, and missed the eye-opening experience that was the rest of the album. You're setting yourself on a quick trip to musical narrow-mindedness if you only listen to things that you know you already like.

She appears to be a negro (-1)

Mao Zedong (467890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576553)

I'll pass.

Don't buy it if you wouldn't otherwise (4, Insightful)

donutello (88309) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576555)

I've seen a few posts encouraging everyone on here to buy the song even if we don't care for the artist or the actual song.

That will achieve nothing. Depending on the success of this pilot they will determine whether it is worth doing at all. Next, they will probably release a whole CD that way and see how that goes. That will be followed by release of another few - say 10%. Unless every Slashdotter is committing to buying every thing they ever release online, buying this song now is not going to serve any purpose.

At this point they are probably trying to assess the extent of piracy/online fraud they are exposing themselves to as well as trying to figure out the logistics of every step of their operation. That's what pilots are for. I doubt they are going to say "ooh, we sold a million copies of this, let's release everything this way!"

Re:Don't buy it if you wouldn't otherwise (5, Insightful)

gilroy (155262) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576613)

Blockquoth the poster:

That will achieve nothing.

I hate to be contrary, but you're wrong. Imagine 10,000 slashdotters download the song and buy it legitimately. What if some noticeable fraction discover that -- saints preserve us! -- they like her music. So now they might go buy more. And we might have some numerical data to demonstrate that filesharing might, in principle, actually serve to increase sales. At least it's a chance to show how a post-dinosaur world might work.


On the other hand, the record companies are probably doing this so that they can point to how quickly the sales fall off as the MP3 is fileshared and people stop shelling out the $1. Then they can point to the experiment and say, "See? Everyone is a thief. Pass the CBDTPA!"


So don't do that! Don't rip or copy the song; don't hunt it down on Kazaa or what have you. Resist the urge to "stick it to them", at least on this one.

Re:Don't buy it if you wouldn't otherwise (1)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576631)

Sisyphus? Is that you?

sorry, Beavis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576675)

What if some noticeable fraction discover that -- saints preserve us! -- they like her music.

No matter how hard you try, you can't polish a turd.

I'm thinking of a phrase... (2)

gnovos (447128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576560)

...it has the words "little" and "late" and there was something else that sounds like the number 2. Now what was that phrase?

Seriously, does this strike anyone as an excellent way for the RIAA to claim that this kind of system "just doesn't work". Just put out a no-name artists that nobody really likes or cares about, and when that fails to sell 500,000 copies, just throw up you hands in despair and tell congress, "Well, we tried. It just can't be done."

I don't understand selling mp3s (1)

Lerxst (1306) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576566)

I am not an audiophile.

Personally, I would never pay for an mp3'd version of any song. I wouldn't even pay for an ogg'd version of any song. When I buy a cd, I am paying for the quality of the music that comes from the cd. If I were to ever pay for a song online, it would have to be in a lossless format that I could convert to format X without any problems. 10 years down the road, there will not be mp3's. The mp3's you buy online now, will not be convertable to other formats without a reduction in quality (kind of like why you can't go from mp3 to ogg's without the result sounding like shit).

So refresh my memory...why would I buy a "lossfull" (is that a word?) mp3 again? I've got the bandwidth to download whatever I want at home. I don't care if it's 1/5th it's original size. Give me a wav or whatever, and I'll happily pay.

Re:I don't understand selling mp3s (1)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576604)

No matter how you slice it, digital is always going to be a lossy format.

Re:I don't understand selling mp3s (1)

NETHED (258016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576673)

yes and no
you could sample faster than the brain can register, and so it would be impossible to tell just using your God given ears.

but, i completly agree with you, A-D conversion is lossy, unless you can do an infinite amount of sampling/timeframe.

Re:I don't understand selling mp3s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576668)

Some audiophiles argue that CDs (16-bit 44.1kHz) are lossy to a small degree. Search around the web a bit and you'll find some arguments about analog (e.g. vinyl) being able to reproduce nuances that are not quite correct on a CD. However, they are still very close.

Of course, with vinyl, you then get into the problem of media deterioration...

The point is that CDs provide a very nearly perfect reproduction while at the same time extending the lifetime of the media. Quality of playback stays the same throughout its life, unless you scratch the crap out of it. The benefit here outweighs the loss.

Files created using lossy compression algorithms have a similar pro/con argument. The pro is that their files are much smaller than a 16/44 wav file. The con is that they may not sound equal to the original.

The question you have to ask yourself is, at what bitrate / quality can you no longer tell the difference? This depends on your own ear, the format in question (ogg, mp3, whatever), as well as your stereo equipment. So if you find a company selling songs at a quality below your threshold, then don't buy them - simple as that.

Just as a side note: if you are archiving a sound file and it must be in a lossLESS format, check out FLAC [sourceforge.net] .

Re:I don't understand selling mp3s (1)

phyxeld (558628) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576689)

"lossfull" (is that a word?)

The word you're looking for is lossy [google.com] . Btw, my mp3s sound great. (I rip at 192kbps.) Have you heard mp3s beyond the 128kbps, misnamed (and often incomplete) files from the p2p networks? I've tried to challenge several self-proclaimed audiophiles to do a blind listen-test between a CD of their choice and my rip of it... They always come up with some excuse to back out.

I know mp3s are lossy, I just don't think the loss is noticable enough to matter.

Well.. (-1)

xdfgf (460453) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576577)

$.99 seems a bit high for an mp3. Plus their encoding probably is less than acceptable. LAME VBR Level=0 at Stereo is about the only way to encode in mp3. YMMV.

Will the RIAA *think of the children*? (1)

sparrow_hawk (552508) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576579)

Let's assume that any music distribution scheme has to appeal to preteens and teenagers as well as adults. (Not necessarily this particular promotion, although if the artist's other song was *Wild Night* you might get some hits. :-)

The big problem with the $0.99 song is this: kids don't have credit cards. If mommy and daddy paid for the kids' music subscription (to, say, PressPlay), mommy and daddy would want to know what the kids downloaded, which kids wouldn't like for the obvious reasons.

The best solution I can find (if you have a better idea, comment on!) goes something like this: Joe Teen walks into Wal-Mart (or some venue that wouldn't require censored songs), plunks a quarter or two in a kiosk for every song he wants, selects them onscreen from sizable catalog, and out pops a restriction-free (read: rippable) CD.

I know there are online sevices that do similar things; problem being, they all require the aforementioned credit cards. There are a lot of times when I really only want one or two songs off a CD, and no way in heck can I afford to pay $15 for a couple songs -- and no, I don't have a credit card.

Thoughts?

*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576596)

You people bitch that $1 is too much and that a whole CD of music would cost close to $20. So buy the fucking CD. Then you say that $1 will never work because of the overhead required for the transaction.

Well what the hell do you want them to do then? Good Lord. They are finally giving it a shot and all we have is pundits. No wonder they're reluctant.

She's a decent bassist (2)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576598)

She's the one that played "Wild Night" with John Cougar Mellencamp (or whatever HE is called these days) several years ago.

Decent bass player, she is.

In other news, REM releases a record in MP3 format (2, Informative)

ethank (443757) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576607)

http://www.remhq.com/html/remix/remix.html

A full CD of remixes, with album art.

Not my taste in music, but its nice to see Stipey and the bunch practicing what they've preached in interviews with me and others.

In addition, REM did "pre leak" these songs on various peer-to-peer networks to see the rate of propagation.

This is the second time REM's put free tracks online for fans. The first was Peter Buck putting some tracks he did for a play's soundtrack up. In an interview last year he said he wants to do this more frequently with the "leftover" tracks from recording sessions.

This was covered in major media, but not as extensively as a one dollar MP3. Sad.

Ethan

$1 for a lossy encoding of one track (1)

modulus (67148) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576610)

is ridiculous. And it isn't even new; it's just a remix! Hello, silly "record" "industry" people...

RIAA Hitchhiker anyone? (2, Interesting)

caferace (442) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576619)

I'll bet you a buck (ok, 99 cents) that they encode a simple identifier into the MP3. Something of course you and I could get rid of in a heartbeat, but that Joe-User P2P wouldn't plan on.

Marked money, my friends. Something to think of....

To Much!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576620)

If you multiply 99 cents by the amount of songs on a CD, you are paying close to the price of an already way over priced CD for mp3s. I can put about 18 songs on a CD, that is 18 cents less than an 18 dollar CD. The record companies have been price gouging on CD's for years and you want them to do the same for mp3s? This so called fight against piracy has always been about control and maintaining the ability to fix prices. 25 cents is a much more reasonable fare.

Overpriced! (2)

Drakantus (226374) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576621)

$.99 for one track? No linear notes or hard media copy? No option to rip it as .ogg or higher/lower bitrate? Many $12 CD's have 14+ tracks, obviously this breaks down to less than $.99/track. I think I might buy when they offer a download for $.05. Think of it like pay-per-view movie. They go for a couple bucks, vs the "hard copy" DVD going for $19.99. No one would pay for a pay-per-view movie if it cost the same as the DVD of the same movie.

Let's Set OUR terms (2)

donnacha (161610) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576622)


Okay, if the music biz is finally waking up to reality, let's make sure that they set the terms of their initial toe-dipping at a realistic level. Having persuaded them of a general, provisional willingness on our part to pay for content, it's important that they don't develop overly high expectations, Stephen King-style, only to have them torn down by reality, causing them to retreat back into denial.

As I see it, many people (certainly the same number of people who currently buy CDs) will eventually be willing to buy music online if it fulfills the following requirements:

1. Reasonable cost. I always suspected that, for sound marketing reasons, we'd end up paying a dollar per song. It's a fair price and I've no doubt that music companies are about to make more money then their thieving little minds ever dreamt possible; at a $ a pop, there will be a massive increase in the casual purchase of music.

2. (Convenience) Now that we, the consumers, are going to be covering the cost of the physical storage of music we've purchased, the industry needs to fully accept that they are in the business of marketing and selling rights, rather than physical products. Storing downloaded songs on our computers and portable devices, there's a high chance that we will loose them at some point and need to download them again. For that reason, songs we pay for must become part of an online, permanently accessible portfolio that we have permanent, eternal access to.

3. (Convenience #2) No messing around with weird-ass propriety/encrypted formats. Take it as read that if people want to pirate music (and, of course, many will) they're going to find a way no matter what you do. That, however, is no reason to inflict inconvenience and device incompatible formats on your paying customers. Accept reality and move on.

So, there you have it, follow the above, simple ingredients and the music industry enters a new Golden Age as the world's highest paid web hosts.

trojan horse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576624)

i wouldn't be shocked if it were watermarked...

Finally! (1)

YahoKa (577942) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576625)

Finally! Wonder how long it'll last? I just know that I would defenitely pay $5 to download a good album ... perhaps one day artists (music artists, that is) won't need publishers! They can record, set up a web site, and get an marketing company to show them to the world. What a wonderful world it would be...

for not liking this chick that much.... (2)

_ph1ux_ (216706) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576630)

.... we sure are sending the wrong signal by slashdotting her site. shes gunna think shes the missing beattle or something.

But at 192k sampling rate. (5, Insightful)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576632)

The beauty of MP3 for me is that I can elect to sample at 224k or 256k for my car CD/MP3 player or I can sample at 128K for my Rio 600. I can encode with LAME or whatever encoder I like best. I can set the options based on file size, encode speed, or sound quality. It's all my choice.

I don't want the record companies to sell me some compromised, one-size-fits-all MP3 of their favorite song off of the album. I want the ability to rip and encode the CDs I own without legislation or copy protection to hinder me. I want the RIAA to recognize that I am a customer with hundreds of CDs and not their enemy. I want them to sell me a CD at a fair price and not cripple it in an attempt to prevent me from making a copy to play in whatever device I want.

You feel free to give them $.99 to sell you an MP3 of a song you don't know by an artist you've never heard of. I'd rather just keep asking my Congressional representatives to sponsor legislation prohibiting copy prevention and guaranteeing consumers the right to copy and format-translate any music or movie that they buy.

3 years?!???! (1)

Sebby (238625) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576634)

But we feel the best way to combat that is by giving people a legitimate alternative, and this is a test to make that alternative available to them,"

It took them 3 years to finally think this up???

I trade music, but... (1)

Subliminal Fusion (253246) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576646)

I have MP3s that I have purchased and even though I share music (mostly DJ mixes + live sets- stuff that isn't available elsewhere), I won't share the music that I've purchased. It's one thing to give away copies of something that you've recieved for free, and a totally different thing to give away copies of something that you've paid for.

Oh God, the hypocrisy is KILLING me! (5, Insightful)

saarbruck (314638) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576647)

You people!

Over the last year I have read post after post where you all say "If only they'd offer unencrypted music downloads in a standard format for a reasonable price, where I could pick your songs one at a time instead of having to buy the a mostly bad album. I'd do that in a minute!"

Well, ladies and gentlement, Maverick and Vivendi appear, at least, to be offering an olive branch, and is giving us exactly what we've been clamoring for.

A few of you, like me, are going to go download this song and pony up a buck no matter who the hell the singer is, just to add credence to our point of view, but as I look through the responses to this story, what are the most prominent responses I've seen? (I am quoting you here:)

"MP3 is a good start but I won't pay for lossy music."

"I still won't pay for shitty music."

"Great idea, but at 1 buck per song, a whole album would cost plus than 10 dollars, I think it is a little expensive." (NOTE: $10 per album is still half fucking price!)

"Can you hop on gnutella and drop me an email with your IP?"

Jiminy Christmas, people! Here's your chance to make a difference. Put your damn money where your mouths have been for the last year. After this, I can almost see things from the RIAA's point of view. Thanks a lot.

(I apologise for generalising and lumping all Slashdot readers into a collective "you." I'm just really annoyed at some.)

Review? (2)

Pseudonym (62607) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576649)

Could someone who has downloaded the song please post a brief review? What kind of music is it? Similar to the works of what other artists?

I know that US$1 isn't much, but I'm not going to spend that on every artist who chooses to sell this way without at least some idea what I'm buying.

Download it? (2)

Kizzle (555439) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576653)

So I guess I should download the song from kazaa first to see if I like it... Hmm, that would be pointless.

Four words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576663)

Who. the. fuck. cares?

Not a good deal - do the math (2)

Alsee (515537) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576667)

$1 for 1 MP3. A quick glance through my CD collection shows a range of 10-18 tracks per CD.

Do the math, then consider that they aren't giving you a CD. Then consider that they are cutting the retail store out of delivery-chain. I think I saw a post elsewhere that said stores pay about $10 per CD.

It is an interesting experiment with some interesting potential, and it's a step in the right direction, but it isn't worthy of a major celebration.

-

KMFDM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3576669)

I think I like the plan KMFDM are going to use better -- A one off or yearly membership fee, and then you have access to everything they've made/are going to make.

First (2)

WhaDaYaKnow (563683) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576670)

In what may be a first for the recording industry, Maverick Records and Vivendi Universal's online division are asking listeners to pay just under a dollar for an unprotected MP3 version of a new single.

Yeah, you'd almost think they are ahead of their time. Music over the Internet? That's just crazy talk.

Quoth the Record Exec: (4, Insightful)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 12 years ago | (#3576687)

"Sure, there is always a concern of piracy; there's always the concern of people illegally transferring things. But we feel the best way to combat that is by giving people a legitimate alternative, and this is a test to make that alternative available to them," Grady said.


He says it right there. They want to try what we've been bitching for. Let's all drop a buck and support this kind of behavior. (She's not half bad, btw)

My grandma always told me you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. If this is what we want, then we should support it. end of story. Time to vote with your wallet, even if for the purposes of this experiment, you've never heard of the lady.

I'm buying my copy. Are you?
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