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Making Money Selling Music Without DRM

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the actually-owning-your-stuff dept.

383

phaedo00 writes "Ars Technica's Nate Anderson has an excellent writeup on the rise of eMusic and how they're suceeding despite their unwillingness to hop on the DRM bandwagon. From the article: 'The Holy Grail of online music sales is the ability to offer iPod-compatible tracks. Like the quest for the mythical cup itself, the search for iPod compatibility has been largely fruitless for Apple's competitors, whose DRM schemes are incompatible with the iconic music player. For a music store that wants to succeed, reaching the iPod audience is all but a necessity in the the US market, where Apple products account for 78 percent of the total players sold. Perhaps that's why eMusic CEO David Pakman sounds downright gleeful when he points out that there's only two companies in the world that can sell to them--Apple and eMusic.'"

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383 comments

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Allofmp3.com (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387202)

What, is eMusic cheaper or something?

Re:Allofmp3.com (1)

sk8dork (842313) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387232)

emusic is legaller, or something.

Re:Allofmp3.com (4, Insightful)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387262)

Not cheaper... but they have a good selection of indie artists you will not find on AllofMp3.com. As the other poster noted, they are legal... not quasi-legal like AllOfMp3.com. Also, it appears that AllofMp3 may be on its way out of business... or at least on hiatus while they work things out with the Russian Mob... I mean government.

Re:Allofmp3.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387354)

I saw their site was down for maintenance but its back up now. Any more info on your comment?

Re:Allofmp3.com (2, Informative)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387640)

I remembered reading something a week or two ago about more trouble w/ the RIAA and crackdowns in Russia. Soon after that Allofmp3 had some technical problems and quit adding albums to their collection.

Oh... and I check today and they just added 30 albums... so I jumped to the wrong conclusions. Long live AllOfMp3.com!!

Re:Allofmp3.com (2, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387371)

Actually I think allofmp3.com is back up now. I haven't tried to get anything, but their site isn't down anymore.

Guess they did whatever they had to do.

Re:Allofmp3.com (2, Interesting)

SyncNine (532248) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387845)

It's back up, but my $10.00 re-charge attempted to charge $257.10 on my card as opposed to $10.00. Thankfully I noticed at the Verified by Visa page, but, it makes me wonder if this is their 'exit strategy' of taking 25x more money than they were authorized to, then running away from the mob to a different country.

Either way, if you go to re-charge any time soon, check to make sure you're not being overcharged. I'm not too confident in their business practices after my recent experience.

Re:Allofmp3.com (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387375)

In post Soviet Russia, the mafia is the government! Too bad this isn't a joke.

Re:Allofmp3.com (2, Interesting)

PatboyX (968493) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387531)

I guess I must have got on when eMusic was still pretty young...about four years ago I signed up because TMBG offered all sorts of goodies for 10 bucks a month through eMusic with unlimited downloads in the other sections. Well, I know I got my 10 bucks and then some a month out of it. I still listen to a lot of the stuff I found on there. It was a really easy way to get exposure to some more obscure bands (via more mainstream bands. ie: Ass Ponys via Violent Femmes) I wouldn't have heard otherwise as well as a great place for some classic jazz.

well, it is legal (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387542)

It is not cheaper but it is legal. allofmp3.com is NOT legal, despite what many people say.

allofmp3.com violates the spirit of the law, if not the exact wording. It is like saying that identity theft was legal because when it first started happening, there was no specific law against it.

no be sure to tell me how legal it is and how paying money to the russian mob is better then downloading via P2P.

If you are going to steal music, just fucking steal it and get off your high horse. I personally hove no problem gettign ALL of my music from P2P, and honestly, having spent time in Moscow, see no need to further fund the terrorist organization that is the russian mafia.

Re:well, it is legal (4, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387864)

allofmp3.com is NOT legal, despite what many people say.

"Many people", including the Moscow Southwest regional prosecutor.

Allofmp3.com let off the hook [arstechnica.com]
3/7/2005

Moscow Southwest regional prosecutor's office has apparently decided that a loophole in Russian copyright law (it only covers infringement via physical media, e.g., CDs and DVDs) allows Allofmp3.com to continue operations. In addition, Russia employs the concept of compulsory copyrights, where the copyrights belong to the artist or music label, but copyright owners are required to license it to anyone who making a request.
allofmp3.com violates the spirit of the law, if not the exact wording. It is like saying that identity theft was legal because when it first started happening, there was no specific law against it

Why don't you just say it's "like pedophilia" or "supports terrorism" if you're going to use absurd analogies. As for the "letter" and "spirit" of the law; the mechanism AllofMP3 is using is basically the same as applies to radio stations; they don't have to negotiate with every label for every song, they just pay a lump sum to a collection agency. If AllofMP3 isn't making these payments, they would presumably have been prosecuted.

Re:well, it is legal (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387918)

Why don't you just say it's "like pedophilia" or "supports terrorism"

Ok, I will.

By using allofmp3.com you are directly supporting an organization that is involved in child prostitution (pedophilia) and black market arms deals (terrorism)

There, now are you happy?

The only thing I can do is live my conscious. I personally have no problem with "stealing" music via the P2P system. I blatantly REFUSE to pay another person for "stolen" goods though.

Re:Allofmp3.com (2, Insightful)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387773)

As other people have pointed out, allofmp3.com is quasi legal in Russia because of a loophole, run by the Russian Mafia and they provide 0 dollars and 0 cents to the artists and their labels. It would be exactly the same as if you setup a store like theirs by ripping CD's you had in some other country except that your service would be shut down right away.

You may be able to justify it to yourself that allofmp3 is legal but I'd like to see how you could justify it as being morally or ethically correct. You are basically paying a fence for stolen goods or paying a counterfeiter for counterfeit merchandise.

Selling music online the correct way (4, Interesting)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387203)

It's nice to see a company that selling music in a drm-unencumbered format. It's basically doing things right - instead of locking your customers in (after they've bought a track, they find out lots of players can't play it).

Also, eMusic supports indie artists. Really good to see, because some artists get less then half a cent [boingboing.net] per purchase from other online music stores.

Re:Selling music online the correct way (4, Insightful)

Tx (96709) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387350)

$0.045 is 4.5 cents, not "less than half a cent", it even uses that figure directly later in the article you linked to. Other than that, I agree with you ;).

Re:Selling music online the correct way (1)

harrkev (623093) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387584)

Well, they are almost doing things right...

I am a former customer of theirs. I like the business model, but the search feature was frustrating. I heard a dance/pop version of "Time after Time" on the radio once. I thought that eMusic might have it. You can browse the "dance" category. You can search for the words "Time after Time". You apparently could NOT apply both criteria at the same time.

Well, I also left because finding good music takes time, and I don't have any. I paid $10 per month, and went a couple of months without downloading anything, so I cancelled.

I must admit that I found the band "Madison Park" through their site -- and they are one of my favorites now. I also found a couple of "Echoing Green" singles on there that I love -- and they are my favorite band of all time.

So I would classify myself as an "almost satisfied" customer. If they beef up the search and then agree not to charge you for months that you don't download, then I would sign up again today. They did get my money for several months while Apple, Yahoo, and the rest of the DRM-craptastic music vendors have yet to see a penny of my money.

Far more than two companies that sell to ipods (5, Informative)

DrRobert (179090) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387244)

Mindawn.com, magnatune.com, studiodownloads.net, disclogic.com, digitalsoundboard.net. There are many more. All work on the ipod. All lossess or (compressed if you want that) no drm. Admittedly the selections is small, but I'd rather have a thousand stores with lossess music and no drm than one store with a large selection.

Re:Far more than two companies that sell to ipods (0)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387268)

Audiolunchbox, also.

for techno fans (3, Informative)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387340)

don't forget beatport, bleep, kompakt mp3, detroit digital vinyl, zillions of netlabels, etc. etc.

Re:for techno fans (3, Informative)

radish (98371) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387636)

Yeah, I was just going to mention those. Plus audiojelly.com & playittonight.com. I'm eternally grateful that the dance labels (even what I would consider "majors") understand that their customers are not criminals and just want to listen to the music.

Re:Far more than two companies that sell to ipods (3, Funny)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387557)


All lossess or (compressed if you want that) no drm. Admittedly the selections is small, but I'd rather have a thousand stores with lossess music and no drm than one store with a large selection.

If only slashdot's submission form also used a lossless encoder...

Emusic is cool but there are many great others too (5, Informative)

linuxbaby (124641) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387255)

Credit where it's due, Emusic has been selling 99-cent downloads since 1998. When Steve Jobs announced it in 2003, everyone acted like it was a shocking new revolutionary idea. But some of us couldn't help but think, "Oh, you mean like Emusic?"

I'm an Emusic subscriber and love them, but there are LOTS of legal services out there, these days, selling good ol' MP3s (or even FLAC/OGG) with no DRM

We keep a full list of them at cdbaby.net/dd-partners [cdbaby.net] (in 10 languages!). Though that list is meant mainly for our musician clients, it's a good permalink for a constantly-updating list of digital music sellers, with a short description of each.

Re:Emusic is cool but there are many great others (5, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387292)

But some of us couldn't help but think, "Oh, you mean like Emusic?"

Correction, some of us couldn't help but think, "Oh, you mean like Emusic, only crippled?"

Here's one slashdot story I'd like to see... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387342)

Plagiarizing stories from other tech sites: the rise of slashdot. How slashdot regurgitates stories posted hours - even days - after they appeared on Ars Technica.

Re:Emusic is cool but there are many great others (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387348)

"there's only two companies in the world that can sell to them--Apple and eMusic."

It's rather a startling point . . .

. . . given how many people are doing it; and have been doing it for so long. Even more startling that Ars Technica seems to be uncritically accepting the marketing claim in the article and run with the ball. It's, well . . .doofey.

It's even more doofey that Slashdot, which has run any number of stories about outfits selling/distributing unencumbered mp3s, should perpetuate the claim, but, well, it's Slashdot.

KFG

Re:Emusic is cool but there are many great others (1, Informative)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387372)

and the somewhat-legal allofmp3.com for the major-label stuff.
That's being generous! It may be legal in Russia, but it's almost certainly not legal to download from them in Europe or the US.

The rule is that it is legal to import stuff that you acquired abroad, if the production of that item would have been legal had it been done in the country into which you are importing it. allofmp3.com clearly fails this test.

Re:Emusic is cool but there are many great others (2, Informative)

nanojath (265940) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387414)

All of MP3 may be "somewhat" legal in Russia but it is fully-non legal for Americans (or Canadians, Australians, and anybody else who is lives in a country that's signed on with international copyright laws) to buy music from them, as it says outright in their terms of service. You cannot legally make a digital copy of copyrighted material you don't already own without the permission of the copyright holder. I don't really care, honestly - I think it's a little foolish doing something that leads such an evident information trail at the same time as utilities are going out of their way to point out how contemptuous they are of your data privacy and the music industry has certainly demonstrated how sue-happy they are. Lists of honest business enterprises who are selling copyrighted material with artists' approval should not be thrown in the same list with these quasi-legal (or, to put it another way non legal) technoprofiteers.

But I should still say thank you for pointing to that resource link, that is very cool.

Re:Emusic is cool but there are many great others (0)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387416)

some of us couldn't help but think, "Oh, you mean like Emusic?"
Or in my case "Oh, you mean like Lime Wire, except you have to pay."

Oops.

Re:Emusic is cool but there are many great others (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387456)

allofmp3.com is totally illegal in the US. The US government has said as much and has been pressuring the russian government to shut them down if they cannot restrict their sales structures to Russia only.

Re:Emusic is cool but there are many great others (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387649)

Can you give any sort of a reference as to U.S. Government activity in regards to AllOfMp3? I would like to know who and which branch of government is doing that, because frankly I think there are enough messed-up things in this country deserving of government attention that are a whole hell of a lot higher up on the priority list than whether somebody in Russia is skimming off Vivendi-Universal's revenue stream.

Any politician or government body that thinks that's a national priority has some serious accountability problems.

You forgot finetunes! (1)

Nahooda (906991) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387457)

You forgot a cool online music shop: www.finetunes.de (German/English) provides Ogg and MP3.

-DBS

Re:Emusic is cool but there are many great others (1)

avasol (904335) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387464)

This reminds me a lot of Google too.
First they release - a search engine!
Then, a toolbar for your browser.
Next up, e-mail.
After that, stocks and news.
Then some other crap that Yahoo had 8 years ago.

Honestly, why is Google & Apple always owning or claiming to own the rights to the word "innovate"? For what reason? Anyone?

Re:Emusic is cool but there are many great others (3, Insightful)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387601)

"Honestly, why is Google & Apple always owning or claiming to own the rights to the word "innovate"? For what reason? Anyone?"

Because they are the most brilliant thieves.

"Good artists copy, great artists steal." - Picasso

Re:Emusic is cool but there are many great others (1)

avasol (904335) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387616)

Mod parent up ;-)

Re:Emusic is cool but there are many great others (3, Informative)

mattsucks (541950) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387509)

Not to be a CDBaby fanboy (okay, EXACTLY to be a CDBaby fanboy) but if you're an artist that has listed your CD via CDBaby's digital distribution service, you are listed at eMusic :-)

And now the shameless plug ... I know this because my band Goodwin [cdbaby.com] is also at eMusic [emusic.com] , and according to our accounting reports we're getting some sales.

Re:Emusic is cool but there are many great others (4, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387691)

and the somewhat-legal allofmp3.com for the major-label stuff.

Well, it depends.

Pot is effectively legal in the Netherlands. But that doesn't mean that Americans can import it from there. That something is legal in one country doesn't mean it will be elsewhere.

Similarly, for people here in the US, American copyright law is in effect, and Russian copyright law is irrelevant. And the laws here prohibit downloading from allofmp3, regardless of whether they're legal in Russia or not. As I see it, if you're going to pirate music, you might as well not pay shady Russians when it's entirely possible to do it for free.

And in an effort to prevent people from replying with misinformation, if you disagree and wish to reply, please first consider and address the following issues:
  1. That 17 USC 602(a)(2) [cornell.edu] by its own language is limited to the import prohibition in subsection (a) [cornell.edu] ; the prohibition in subsection (b) [cornell.edu] remains in force.
  2. That copies and phonorecords are defined in 17 USC 101 [cornell.edu] as being material objects, which means that no physical object in Russia can be moved to the US via the Internet, making section 602 [cornell.edu] a red herring.
  3. That the courts have stated that unauthorized downloading of copyrighted works is an infringement of the reproduction right of the copyright holder. See e.g. Napster [uscourts.gov] and Intellectual Reserve [uh.edu] .
  4. That the courts will generally assign liability for the reproduction infringement to the downloader, barring unusual circumstances, like downloads that were in fact caused by a hacker, and not the user of the computer. See e.g. Netcom [cornell.edu] .
  5. That the standard of proof used in a civil copyright case (e.g. one brought by the RIAA) is the preponderance of the evidence standard, which results in the defendant being liable if thinks that there was as little as a 51% chance that he actually did it, even if they entertain reasonable doubts (e.g. the presence of an open WAP, that there are other people able to use the computer).
  6. That 17 USC 1008 [cornell.edu] is inapplicable, because it does not cover downloading. See e.g. Napster [uscourts.gov] and Diamond [findlaw.com] . Also see the important definitions in sections 1001 [cornell.edu] and 101 [cornell.edu] and what the law would require if 1008 were applicable to computers, per sections 1002 [cornell.edu] and 1003 [cornell.edu] .
  7. That just because RIAA has not sued someone yet does not mean that they cannot or will not. See e.g. the suits against Napster (which started in 1999) and the suits against users (which started in 2003). Tactical concerns, such as how to use the limited budget for legal action in the most effective way, or which users are easier to find than others, have more to do with this than legal hurdles or obstacles.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

TheFire8472 (974921) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387766)

Useful :)

Forums (2, Interesting)

Freexe (717562) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387257)

eMusic is a really great site and I use up my 90 track limit in the first few days of every month.

My only problem with it is there is no easy way to request certain artists and albums and get feedback when the albums finally do get added (this is even more true in the UK, not all the tracks are available to download just yet).

Re:Forums (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387395)

I was an eMusic customer for over a year, but I left because a subscription-based service doesn't work for me. I ended up with songs I wouldn't have downloaded otherwise (and never listened to afterwards) just to use up my monthly allotment. Since it's track-based, you may end up paying about the same as if you bought an album with many tracks on iTunes for the "whole album" price. Plus, you're stuck with music in a compressed format with no tangible goodies (liner notes, etc.).

That said, for what you get, it's a great deal. They have a lot of out-of-print music and spoken word recordings (Irish folk music, Asian folk music, Jello Biafra's rants, etc.). Now that they carry the Naxos and Harmonia Mundi lines, you can get great classical recordings as well. If you're a Premium subscriber, you get your monthly allotment of tracks for 22 cents each; even if you're on one of the other subscription plans or buying more tracks a la carte, you still pay no more than 50 cents per track. That's a great price point, *if* they have the tracks you want.

Re:Forums (1)

Freexe (717562) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387604)

I've been using up my 90 track limit so quickly I'm thinking about getting some bonus tracks (mostly to get the bands that will be playing at the festivals).

But saying that, one of the things I like is that I actually listen to all the music I download now, all of it.

Before with soulseek, I would often download so much stuff that I would listen to some of it only once, and never come across it again. I often put my music collection on random, and I lost track of alot of music that I liked.

Now I have a whole month to listen to, rate, read about and fully tag my downloads for that month before I move the good ones onto my mp3 player for while I'm on the move and send the crappy ones to digital heaven/hell.

Re:Forums (1)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387804)

See, only issue with the subscription based service for me is that I end up using my allotment long before the month is over. I'm tempted to upgrade to 90 tracks a month because of my current backlog, but I'm not sure I'd have time to really absorb that much new music in a month.

Re:Forums (0)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387852)

eMusic is a really great site and I use up my 90 track limit in the first few days of every month.

eMusic WAS a really great site, when they actually had unlimited downloads. I don't want to pay a monthly subscription fee to be stuck with nothing to listen to after the first week of the month. Limiting downloads discourages people from trying new and interesting things. eMusic was an amazing place to browse and try out jazz, classical, indie, and world music you'd never have heard anyplace else. But who wants to take a risk when you only have 90 downloads?

eMusic may still be a great place to get music. But in its heyday it was an amazing place to DISCOVER music. That's what made eMusic special, and they killed it when they changed plans.

Don't forget Magnatune (5, Informative)

Laurentiu (830504) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387263)

You bet eMusic is looking forward to the Slashdot effect ;)

But we should also give credit where credit is due and mention that Magnatune (http://magnatune.com/ [magnatune.com] ) has been doing this for years. The buyer chooses what he wants to pay per album - in fact, if you're a cheap bastard, you may download a full album for as little 5$ in the format of your choice: MP3, WAV, OGG, FLAC or AAC.

And I love their motto: "We are not evil." Now, where else did we hear that phrase?

Re:Don't forget Magnatune (2, Informative)

Amouth (879122) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387553)

I love magnatune - they have a great setup and they "are not evil" - the only thing i wish they would change is that if you buy the CD that the cd be one with album art if there is any, All the albums that i have gotten have been the generic case and label..

if anyone knows if there is a way to get them with album art please tell me i havn't found it yet.

Re:Don't forget Magnatune (other classical?) (1)

david.emery (127135) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387581)

Magnatune has some really excellent classical and folk/ethnic recordings (I've bought maybe 8-9 of them...)

Anyone know of other good sources for classical?

I also really like Magnatune's ability to sample the full album before I buy and the ability to occasionally send more than the minimum payment.

          dave

Classical music metadata (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387708)

How do they handle the metadata and MP3 file tags for classical music?

I've never really downloaded any classical music because I've been concerned that the tags wouldn't contain anywhere the information that I normally type in myself from the CD case. A lot of online services just try to match the usual pop-music fields of Artist, Album, Track Name, and that's really not enough information for classical recordings.

At the least, I'd want to make sure that I was going to get the composer, conductor, orchestra, date of recording, names of any soloists, and venue (although usually if you know the date of recording and the orchestra, you can back out the venue if you do some research). So far I haven't been very satisfied with downloaded offerings.

Pretty much the only Sony products I buy anymore are their classical CD offerings, because I think they produce a good product and I haven't found an online source that approaches both the audible quality and metadata quality of physical CDs.

Re:Classical music metadata (1)

david.emery (127135) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387811)

I'm using iTunes/iPod. I manually edit the iTunes information whenever I add an item to the library, and the latest iTunes provides much more useful support for classical, including the ability to select on the iPod by Composer. There's also metadata for Grouping, which appears to be specifically designed to bring together movements of a single work as a 'Grouping'.

By convention, I prefix the title of the album with the Composer's name. For the Artist, I use the primary identity of the grop, along with the most significant names in the groups, e.g. "Academy of Ancient Music, Hogwood (dir)". What I haven't decided yet is how much information to include in the 'song name'. I've ranged from the full "Symphony #9 in D Minor, Presto" to just "Presto". There must be a happy medium in here somewhere, that gives enough info to catch the parent work without flooding the 'Song' entry with all the 'Grouping' information.

Since iTunes' metadata comes from the CDDB database, you're at the mercy of whatever gets put into that database. The quality and uniformity of that data, particularly for classical, is not very good.

Lest anyone accuse me of proposing stuff that doesn't scale, my current iTunes database has 1147 albums in it, and it took me -a long time- to get this stuff consistent. So I'm sensitive/sympathetic to the concern, and wish there were a way to establish better standards for cataloging classical in iTunes/CDDB.

          dave

Re:Don't forget Magnatune (other classical?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387769)

"Anyone know of other good sources for classical?"

Sure, check out these guys [slaytanic.com] .

--

"Slaytanic" is classical? (1)

david.emery (127135) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387839)

You must have an 'interesting' definition of classical music.

        dave

Re:"Slaytanic" is classical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387903)

***ssssSWWHOOOOoooossshh***

                  O
Dave -> /|\
                  |
              _/ \_

Record companies will embrace this eventually (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387269)

DRM is bound to fail. Consumers hate it. Eventually the music labels will see the light. Just like when Jack Bauer said "Right now, right here, you are going to face justice. And if you think for a second that I'm scared to put a bullet in your brain, you don't know me."

But after counting to three, Bauer couldn't pull the trigger. Rescue arrived. Bauer was taken into custody. Logan went free. The time was 6:24 a.m.

This was all according to plan. A few minutes later, the U.S. attorney general was listening to a recording made from a microtransmitter Bauer had planted on Logan to capture the heated exchange he would soon have with his wife. Logan was taken away by federal marshals. Happy ending? Not exactly. In the finale's cruel, closing moments, the triumphant Bauer was abducted by the Chinese authorities he had faked his own death to escape 18 months before -- to evade their revenge for the death of the Chinese Consul. Warning: spoiler!

Detroit Digital Vinyl (2, Informative)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387288)

If anyone is looking for digital downloads of techno and electro music, check out http://www.detroitdigitalvinyl.com/ [detroitdigitalvinyl.com] ... No DRM, 320kbs downloads (with uncompressed .wav files comming in the future), and it was started by Mad Mike of Underground Resistance and Submerge Records so it's got street cred. :)

Message to the Majors (1)

uqbar (102695) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387570)

It's good to see Mad Mike keeping true to his vision. Since the time he first released "Message to the Majors" a lot had changed in the industry - much of it for the worse.

For a lot of us in underground music scenes like techno, rap and punk taking control of the means of production and distribution has been a huge goal - and slowly technology has enabled that vision. DRM schemes run contrary to this spirit and stores like iTunes may be hip, but they aren't nearly as benevolent as their fans believe.

Hopefully we'll see more underground music stores like this. While it pains me to see my neighborhood record store go, if that is the cost of eroding and maybe ending the stranglehold of the majors, so be it.

Re:Detroit Digital Vinyl (1)

radish (98371) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387659)

And of course beatport, audiojelly, playittonight and many others. All the dance labels seem remarkably sensible about this kind of thing, which is great.

Re:Detroit Digital Vinyl (2, Informative)

sunburntkamel (834288) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387798)

all this mention of dance/electronic labels and nobody mentions WARP? BLEEP [bleep.com] is a fantastic store that sells both compressed MP3's and lossless FLAC's. when bleep first came out, their goal was to provide digital versions of previously vinyl-only albums, as well as making WARP's entire backcatalog available. they're still not there yet, but they're doing a whole lot better than most labels, who seem to think that buying records is a privilege to be doled out as they see fit.

For more examples.. (5, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387305)

..of companies that make money selling digital music without DRM, look at just about every company that has sold CDs for the last 20 years. It's not like the model hasn't already proven itself. Even the big media companies know they can profitably sell unDRMed stuff, because that's how they became big media companies. DRM is a "solution" looking for a problem.

Re:For more examples.. (0)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387515)

look at just about every company that has sold CDs for the last 20 years.
There's a big difference between a shiny disc and a file on your hard drive. With the file, you can share it on your favourite P2P network or send by email with a few mouse clicks. With the CD, you have to leave it in the machine for about 15 minutes, then rename all the files to the names of the tracks, then do a few mouse clicks. That means that a CD is at least 2 orders of magnitude more difficult to share than an MP3.

Re:For more examples.. (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387571)

If you have to rename all your files, your computer is broken.

Re:For more examples.. (3, Interesting)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387825)

Am I the only one that remembers Taping?
God, it's just so much WORK to copy a CD, who in their right mind would do that?

No one remember pressing down that little record button to duplicate a cassette tape? No one remember renting or borrowing CD's and recording them to tape?

We've been screwed over. We've been accused of being criminals with absolutely no evidence presented. We now happily purchase crippled similies of products we once could use freely.

I went through my taping phase. Everyone that grew up listening to music knows that trading and sharing music is what generates interest in music in the first place. If I couldn't have had that access to music growing up, I never would have gone through the phase where I started a CD collection that grew over the years to ~1000 discs. I never would have spent upwards of $10g on music.

Know what I spend on music now? Fuck all unless it's an independant non-crippled product. Period.

Yep, Apple et al are really winning this one. Unfortunately, they are actually, but they wouldn't be if people would wake the fuck up and open their eyes to what they're actually spending their money on. The American carrot is simple: Make it so brutally easy for them to give money that they will gladly do so, without even glancing at what it is they are buying. America is selling itself out in the name of 'convenience'.

Quit it already.

Now to go find some non-converts to preach to ;)

Not exactly accurate (3, Interesting)

nanojath (265940) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387307)

It's simply false to say there are only two companies selling digital music online that is compatible with iTunes. Two major companies, perhaps, but there are lots of people legally selling MP3s - from artists who are selling their own product independently to Bitpass' music experiment Mperia. It's unfortunate that as yet these sorts of outlets haven't managed to leverage some combination of blogging, feeds, aggregation and online community to simulate something like a unified entity, so that people would notice they were there. I really wonder what the real impact of these sorts of things are - I'm sure I'm not typical but for several years now I've been getting more music from these truly alternative sources (what's eMusic I'd count as alternative mainstream, still pretty solidly within the label system though clearly a different league - though not always a more enlightened one - than Sony, Universal et al). And I know nobody is counting that shit, speaking of lost sales and suchlike.

ipod compatibility? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387316)

so if i have mp3s of my own, i cannot put them on an ipod?

Re:ipod compatibility? (4, Informative)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387390)

"so if i have mp3s of my own, i cannot put them on an ipod?"

Yes, you can. In fact, I've never bought a single tune from ITMS but my iPod Nano is packed solid with music (haven't had to go to ITMS - I ripped my entire CD collection to mp3 a long time ago, and continue to do so - much cheaper to buy a used CD in many cases and use it as a 'master copy' of sorts).

You simply import the music into the iTunes library, make a playlist from it, and transfer it to the iPod.

/P

Re:ipod compatibility? (2, Informative)

ckd (72611) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387712)

The people who think you can play only ITMS music on your iPod (sometimes misled by the Napster "$10,000" FUD ads) confuse me.

The iPod was announced in October 2001.

The iTunes Music Store opened in April 2003. The 3rd generation iPods were also announced at that time.

If it were really true that you couldn't but non-ITMS music on an iPod, the first and second generation iPods would have been, shall we say, much worse sellers than they were.

Re:ipod compatibility? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387901)

iTunes and the iPod can encode (create) and decode (play) music in the following formats:

Let's get the "iPod Format" or "works with the iPod" or "the format the iPod needs" out of the way. Journalists say this when they mean the M4P AAC format; the one the iTunes Music Store will sell you music in. There is also the M4B AAC format, for protected spoken word files. Naturally, they both work with iTunes or an iPod.

However, the News Stories often implies you need to have that format to work with the iPod or iTunes at all. Since they are DRM'ed versions that only Apple uses, if your original is not AAC with DRM (sometimes also called "FairPlay encoded AAC"), it's implied that the song won't play on the iPod at all. Nothing could be further from the truth, but it's a source of consumer confusion when journalists get it wrong, which is unfortunately common and seemingly getting worse.

In fact, this Slashdot story is an example, where it implies something to the effect that Apple and eMusic are the only two sources of iPod compatible downloadable music. No wonder everyone's confused.

Similarly, AAC with Fairplay is not AAC, exactly. The two are separate things. AAC is not an Apple Format at all, it's an official MPEG format, just like MP3 is.

Now for the rest:
iTunes can open or create and the iPod can play all the following:
MP3 (Fixed Bitrate; from 32 to 320 Kbps)
MP3 VBR (Variable Bit Rate)
AIFF (again not an Apple Format either; an open standard notable only because Microsoft only supports it reluctantly, preferring to convert to the almost identical (the audio information is the same; the file format is different; they are roughly the same file size, etc). Since it's the format your store-bought CDs come in, it's obvious MS players support it, but they convert to WAV if you try to do anything with the file on your computer. AIFF and WAV are identical in sound quality; both are lossless, etc.
WAV (uncompressed WAV only)
M4A AAC This is the MPEG-4 or "regular" AAC; any player made by anyone can support it if they want to
Apple Lossless Encoder: This is an Apple Format. It's essentially the same as FLAC, etc. A lossless format that compresses AIFF or WAV files more or less the same way a zip does. Notable because iTunes and the iPod play them in real time; in other words they uncompress on the fly so you can cram more lossless files in the same hard drive space and still play them as if they were uncompressed.
Audible 2, Audible 3, Audible 4 ( .aa) spoken word format

Sample Rates (all formats):
8 Khz, 11.025 Khz, 16 Khz, 22.050 Khz, 32 Khz, 44.1 Khz [CD's are 44.1 Khz sample rate]: Not likely to be a problem here. Nobody uses different sample rates than these, although there are higher rates that could be supported (eg 48 Khz, 88.2 Khz, etc)

iPod formats are encoded in firmware: Apple can add support for other codecs by a firmware upgrade (and they have done so from time to time).

Notable formats that won't play:
WAV with compression (similar to Apple Lossless or FLAC)
WMA and WMA Protected
ATRAC
RealAudio
Ogg Vorbis

Note: Microsoft waives all WMA royalties for Windows Software Applications but charges them to makers of Mac OS programs or Linux programs; so Apple would have to pay royalties to support it in iTunes for Macintosh but not iTunes for Windows. Adding WMA support to iTunes and the iPod would mean Apple paying millions to Microsoft while Windows-only application developers pay nothing. There are also differences in the licensing payments for hardware, although it's a bit more complicated; to much so to summarize here.

ATRAC is a Sony format that they keep for themselves, mostly. Used on MiniDisk.
RealAudio is a Real, Inc format that they keep for themselves, mostly.

Ogg Vorbis is a format popular with open source users and developers; its broadly similar to AAC and MP3. There is no real reason why Apple can't support this format, and they could with a firmware upgrade on existing iPods and an update of iTunes software. Unlike supporting WMA, it doesn't cost anything to support. This annoys some people; Apple should support it.

Allofmp3.com (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387325)

Ipod is for suckers who have more money than sense. Until they offer DRM-free tracks, Allofmp3.com will continue to grow.

Re:Allofmp3.com (2, Informative)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387453)

You, my friend, seemed to have confused iTunes, a music service, with the iPod, a hardware device. The iPod works perfectly fine with all the lovely quasi-legal mp3s that you annd I purchase at allofmp3.com.

Emusic Linux (2, Informative)

mpcooke3 (306161) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387326)

The emusic linux download really sucked when I last used it.

I ended up ditching it because it was so hard to download albums. Their binary file was linked to some .so file that didn't exist on fedora - and that wasn't the only problem. Even downloading the albums in a zip file would have been better than nothing.

Their support was also less than helpful.

eMusic/J - Opensource Download Manager (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387442)

Don't waste your time with the eMusic provided *nix download manager; there is an excellent opensource alternative written in Java called "eMusic/J" (though it's developed by a third-party):

http://www.kallisti.net.nz/EMusicJ/HomePage/ [kallisti.net.nz]

Re:eMusic/J - Opensource Download Manager (1)

idhindsight (920184) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387486)

Someone please mod this AC up, so more people can see it. eMusicj is a great tool.

Re:Emusic Linux (1)

Math421 (38107) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387677)

The one I have is statically linked, and works fine.

You don't have to use it though, you can download via the browser.

Re:Emusic Linux (2, Informative)

pesc (147035) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387834)

The emusic linux download really sucked when I last used it.

I ended up ditching it because it was so hard to download albums. Their binary file was linked to some .so file that didn't exist on fedora


Yes the download manager sucks, but it is easy to fix this.

Click on "Your account"
Click on "Change Download Manager"
Click on the button that Disables the eMusic download manager
Now you can download any song by right-clicking on the download button and select "Save as..."

Unexpected Success? (4, Insightful)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387329)

I'm getting the impression that a lot of people/business seem to think that selling music without Digital Restrictions Management and other anti-consumer technology is somehow difficult or not expected to be successful. Um, hello? Does nobody remember the Cassette era, when purchased music was freely recordable and many players had two decks in order to facilitate copying? I don't recall any sort of music industry collapse back then. Sure we didn't have the internet back then, but people still traded music. A lot.

*SHOCK* *AWE* You can make money selling music that people can freely copy? ZOMG!!1!

Businesses who think that selling unrestricted music that people can freely copy need only look to the bottled water industry to see that it's possible. In the west we have (effectively) free, clean drinking water, yet people spend billions each year buying it from stores. Sure, anyone can "turn on the tap" of the internet and get their fill of mp3s, but that doesn't mean stores can't make a huge profit selling those exact same mp3s.

Bottled water sells because of psychological tricks and convenience. MP3s can sell the same way.

Re:Unexpected Success? (3, Insightful)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387391)


  Does nobody remember the Cassette era, when purchased music was freely recordable and many players had two decks in order to facilitate copying? I don't recall any sort of music industry collapse back then. Sure we didn't have the internet back then, but people still traded music. A lot.


Few things
- I assume you had to make 10 copies of the cassette for 10 of your
friends - you would have spend a few hours doing it - with digital files you
could email it to 10 of your friends in 10 seconds.

- There was no cost associated with emailing it to 10 of your friends. Back then,
you would have to buy 10 blank cassetes to tape on.

- Assume you had a copy, anyone could look at it & tell that it was a copy,
not a paid for one. You can't with a digital file.

- The only people you could copy was for your friends, here you could post it
for the whole population of the world to download.

Re:Unexpected Success? (1)

pNutz (45478) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387656)

People who never bought music and only wanted copies from me didn't get too many tapes--the same with digital files. A friend buys some music and shares with me and I would buy some and share with him. No one likes a mooch.

DRM restrictions like Fairplay aren't made to stop you from sharing your files with the entire population of the world. "50 copies maximum" would do this. "5 copies maximum" means you cannot share it with your friends or family, put it on too many devices, or make too many backups without buying multiple copies, err, licenses to listen.

Re:Unexpected Success? (3, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387786)

Yes and no.

The largest content torrent that I've seen had about 750 leechers on it.

The *typical* large torrent has bout 120 seeders to 120 leechers. This is usually anime or a 1st run television show that was just shown.

However 99% of content torrents that I've seen has 1 to 2 seeders and 8 to 20 leechers.

It costs money and time to store downloaded material- and there is *always* a chance you will lose it.

There is a *solid* market for a copy (Vongo perhaps?) that sells me a lifetime license to a song/show/movie/book/etc. and stores a copy on their end.
They then charge a *reasonable* re-download fee (say 10% of the minimum wage), a reasonable annual storage fee (say 2 cents per gigabyte- a typical 400 movie library is about 1600 gigabytes- but they only have to keep 1 copy of each for "N" users) and allow me to re-download the song/show/movie/book/etc. a reasonable number of times per year (say once per year) with a small number of floating downloads which allow me to download twice for when things go wrong (an exceptions for cases where I can show them a police report).

But seriously--- most torrents are very small and it takes days (weeks...) to download things. There were a few things on emule (not a torrent) that took literally almost 3 month to download. I think almost anyone would pay some money to get it *now* vs getting it 3 months from now (or 12 days from now).

If the media cartel had not driven prices up so high (-- $20 mil for an actor? Should be more like $500,000-- with similar reductions all along the food chain with movies costing $5 to see as a result). However, they have raised their prices so high that people are finding many other less expensive forms of entertainment.

Re:Unexpected Success? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387909)

The largest content torrent that I've seen had about 750 leechers on it.
The *typical* large torrent has bout 120 seeders to 120 leechers. This is usually anime or a 1st run television show that was just shown.


You obviously aren't looking in the right [mininova.org] places [mininova.org] .

Re:Unexpected Success? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387830)


- I assume you had to make 10 copies of the cassette for 10 of your
friends - you would have spend a few hours doing it - with digital files you
could email it to 10 of your friends in 10 seconds.

- There was no cost associated with emailing it to 10 of your friends. Back then,
you would have to buy 10 blank cassetes to tape on.

- Assume you had a copy, anyone could look at it & tell that it was a copy,
not a paid for one. You can't with a digital file.

- The only people you could copy was for your friends, here you could post it
for the whole population of the world to download.


And the copy is a duplicate of the original. No increased signal to noise ratio, or wow/flutter.

OT: Bottled Water (2, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387445)

Bottled water sells because of psychological tricks and convenience. MP3s can sell the same way.

Actually bottled water sells because a lot of municipalities chlorinate their water, making it taste like shit.

Although it's true that marketing and convenience play a large part too (people buying bottled water even though they have good-tasting tap water, or well water), but it's not always purely marketing.

I drink bottled water only because the tap water in my office tastes like it came from the shallow end of the local Y's swimming pool, and de-chlorinating it (by leaving it in an open-topped container) isn't really practical.

Re:Unexpected Success? (1)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387637)

Bottled water sells because of psychological tricks and convenience.

Actually, I buy 5-gallon jugs of it as drinking water to avoid getting the fluoride [fluoridealert.org] that is put in tap water in the US.

Further, likening the sale and marketing of a human necessity to something as trivial and ethereal as popular music is doomed to be a poor analogy.

Re:Unexpected Success? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387868)

Thank you for exposing this communist plot General Jack D. Ripper. We'll get right on it.

Re:Unexpected Success? (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387696)

Yes, and cassette copies were lossless, too. /sarcasm. A copy of a copy sounded like crap, and that doesn't hold for digital music. Unlimited generations of copies for digital music is a lot different than max two generations for cassettes.

Not siding with the industry here, just playing a bit of devil's advocate.

Good on him! (1, Funny)

zephc (225327) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387351)

Keep chasing that shining, blinking, fruit-shaped prize, Pakman!

P.S. watch out for ghosts.

Re:Good on him! (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387714)

...then swallow that power pill and go home to Ms. Pakman. Wokka, wokka, wokka, wokka.

The REAL Reason for DRM (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387376)

I guess I will state the obvious:
This DRM crap seems to be nothing more than a ploy to make people more money or lock consumers into one product and prevent choice and competition. If mp3's can be sold and distributed in a legal way, why would someone (like Apple, et. al.), develop a DRM scheme that only works for them... Answer sounds simple, to lock you in to their product so that you only biy Apple this Apple that.

Lets face it, any DRM encoded file that someone mistakenly downloaded will be stripped and copied to whatever they want. I don't redistribute the files, I just like being able to put the darn music on whatever player I have. I understand the need of protecting the artists, but this DRM crap is fascist bull.

bleep.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387388)

bleep.com is one of the best digital download providers for electronic genres, if not the best. they have a wide selection of tunes & genres, they also provide a back catalog for every label they have avalible (as far as i can tell anyway). they encode their mp3's from masters given to them from the record labels (at least for the newer stuff, the older back cat. is sometimes a vinyl rip). they encode with the lame encoder at a 320kbps bitrate (at least for the newer stuff, some of the older releases are aps vbr) & theres absulutely no drm what so ever. the prices they provide are very impressive, especially seeing as how the actual vinyl will cost you two to three times as much after shipping costs are done & over with.
anyone into electronic genres should definately support them & at the least take a peek at what they have to offer.

all but (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387430)

reaching the iPod audience is all but a necessity in the the US market

Funny, I thought it WAS actually a necessity. Silly me.

These stores all sell un drm'd music. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387446)

Almost all DJ-centric stores sell high-quality (sometimes uncompressed wavs) songs with no DRM, but at a premium price. They do quite well at it: http://www.beatport.com/ [beatport.com] http://www.djdownload.com/ [djdownload.com] http://www.3beatdigital.com/ [3beatdigital.com] http://www.chemical-records.co.uk/ [chemical-records.co.uk] There are at least a few more.

The tone of the article is a bit biased (5, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387468)

"The Holy Grail of online music sales is the ability to offer iPod-compatible tracks. Like the quest for the mythical cup itself, the search for iPod compatibility has been largely fruitless for Apple's competitors, whose DRM schemes are incompatible with the iconic music player."

This article makes it seems that Apple compatibility is holding back companies from selling music online. An iPod will play MP3s. The problem is that the studios will not allow anyone to sell music online without DRM. FairPlay was Apple's solution to this problem. Apple doesn't want to license it, and that's their choice and right. So these companies don't have many choices, but Apple wasn't the one that created the problem. They found a solution that works for them.

E-music URL (5, Informative)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387628)

Which bizarrely has not yet been posted here.

http://www.emusic.com/ [emusic.com]

Re:E-music URL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15387801)

Thank you. The internet is way past the time when ".com" was a given.

Bleep (1)

slim (1652) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387647)

Other posters have pointed out companies other than eMusic who are selling non-DRM MP3 downloads. Another is Bleep [bleep.com] . Originally it was far-out electronica from the Warp label, but other labels are on board now, including stuff that's definitely not electronica.

'indie' versus pop versus ? (4, Informative)

ghostlibrary (450718) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387648)

The article kept talking about 'indie', but missed the fact that emusic has a huge back catalog of classic rock and earlier. You want Deep Purple or Eric Burdon, they've got it. It's easy to get much of what you hear on classic rock radio. And since so many (too many) stations are switching to 'classic rock', this must mean people want it.

They also have live stuff. Interested in Colin Hay's solo takes on 'Men at Work', or (back to Deep Purple) live Deep Purple? And what they call indie, I'm not so sure-- Tom Waits gets a lot of media coverage and movie deals for an 'indie'. He's there.

They also have a phenomenal jazz and blues section, which is yet another niche not served. Miles Davis or Charlie Parker aren't "indy", after all. And there's folk, and celtic, and world. It's that 'long tail' model. Basically, emusic has a mix of radio stuff, and all the stuff you can't buy on CD at your local Walmart anyway.

I guess I'm tired of anyone not carrying the latest pop being labeled 'indie', particularly given pop's tendency to forget the past. I don't want this to be a commercial for eMusic, just a note that they are offering the kind of stuff that you can hear by dial-hopping on radio, but can't find in most big box stores. That's more than just 'indie'.

eMusic is a joy to use.. (4, Interesting)

Stick_Fig (740331) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387686)

I've been gushing over eMusic for a while, simply because they've just gotten it so right. With their model, they understand, beyond the whole record store mentality, what it means to be a music fan. And you just don't get that with iTunes or (especially) Napster.

There's just something graceful about a service that surprises you with new bands all the time. I've been able to wade my toes into genres that I wouldn't have touched otherwise, like twee-pop. (Heavenly is a great band.)

It's nice to know that these guys are not only successful, but they're successful in all the right ways. I have a feeling that there'll be a point where eMusic gets so successful that the major labels have to start taking notice and talking to them more seriously. Beyond the lack of DRM, they just do so many things right.

Re:eMusic is a joy to use.. (2, Informative)

LMacG (118321) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387847)

I'll dissent . . .

1) At CompUSA, I was given a card that offered me 100 free downloads, over the course of 30 days. When I tried to sign up, that turned into 50 downloads/14 days. To their credit, after questioning them, they did offer me the additional 50 songs if I signed up, which I did. (But the trial was still for only 14 days).

2) My renewal date was listed on my account as April 14th. Being a good procrastinator, I still had a large chunk of that 100 songs on my account on the 14th. I scanned through the listings that day while working, but because of the corporate net-nanny, I couldn't download till I got home. Which I started to do, and then POOF, my "available balance" changed. The renewal (and conversion of my account to paid status, and $9.99 charge to my card) had gone through at 6:04 PM. WTF? I guess it was midnight somewhere, or something.

3) They have two albums by Glen Tilbrook (previously of Squeeze). But they weren't listed together. The name was spelled the same, there was no discernible difference. If you searched on his name, you'd find one of them, but if you found him listed as an influence or a "worked with" for somebody else, you'd find the other one. Made me wonder what else I might not have been finding.

I still believe they have a great idea (although I liked it better a long time ago when you could buy individual tracks without the subscription). Right now I'd say they're a little shaky on the customer service side, and there might be a few bugs in their database. So it was not quite a joyful experience for me.

Robert Fripp and King Crimson (1)

acroyear (5882) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387744)

In spite of the "in bed with Microsoft" complaints back in the early days of BootlegTV (and Fripp's providing "effects" music for the upcoming Vista release), when DGMLive.com finally opened its shop, the music was and is released in non-DRM formats. MP3 albums for $9.95, or FLAC (lossless compression) for $12.95.

emusic is great (1)

Control-Z (321144) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387763)

I was a subscriber to the old emusic years ago, and I still listen to many of the songs I downloaded. And I downloaded LOTS.

The new emusic with the download restrictions isn't as attractive to me because I like to download entire albums, but I see they've added a 90 downloads for $19.95 a month option, that's not too bad. I might subscribe again for a few months.

Merge Records gets it right, too (1)

gestalt_boy (586219) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387831)

For those of us who would prefer to buy vinyl, but find it a hassle to rip from vinyl to our portable music players, I've loved Merge Records plan of giving the consumer mp3s of the album whenever they buy the vinyl version. I'm no businessman, so I dunno if it works as a business model, but it fits my needs completely.

They're so close! How to get 1 million users... (2, Interesting)

chub_mackerel (911522) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387846)

TFM mentions that EMusic used to have a subscription with unlimited downloads, but that since it cost them around 8 cents/download the revenue model didn't scale up for high-volume downloaders. Thus they adopted tiered rates and limited downloads.

They're oh, so close! They just went the wrong direction:

They need an E-Music file-sharing application! It could be just like (the original) Napster, run off their own servers, checking a custom ID3 tag to verify that shared files on the network are all legit E-Music files (this would also enable them to track download stats for various songs).

This would make it profitable to remove the download limit, and let people share songs directly. Just like the original Napster, but all legitimate, non-RIAA stuff. I'D PAY $10/month for that, no question.

THIS IS HOW THEY GET THEIR MILLION SUBSCRIBERS! (Not that they're listening to /. rants.)

As the service now stands, however, I tried a month of E-Music, but cancelled after that. I hate feeling "on the meter" with song downloads. I want to browse, listen, follow my stream of musical interest whereever it leads, and not have to worry about racking up ten bucks' worth of charges in the process.

Why the concern with "exact digital" copies? (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#15387890)

It's always puzzled me why the music and movie publishers are so obsessed about the possibility of "exact digital copies." The commercial success of indifferently remastered "AAD" or "ADD" albums, or mediocre DVD transfers of slightly worn or dirty film, shows that the public puts only a small value on technical state-of-the-art perfection.

I've also thought, quite seriously, that a good way out of the DRM impasse would be to retain all the technical garbage and lockdown of current DRM systems, with one important difference. If the DRM system thinks you might not be licensed to use the content, it should not deny you access at all. Instead, it should merely introduce a small amount of degradation, comparable to the amount introduced by an analog copy made on decent consumer equipment. (And twice as much for a second-generation copy, three times as much for the third generation, and so forth).

The prospect of being locked out of content I've purchased if the software is buggy or the vendor goes out of business or there's no practical mechanism for transferring the license of another machine... or not being able to give a copy to a friend or relative... infuriates me. The prospect that I (or my friend or relative) might have to be content with a level of quality corresponding to, say, a CD-to-cassette copy made on a boombox, is something I think I could live with quite happily.
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