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Sony's Idea of DRM-Free Music

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the about-as-expected dept.

Sony 370

edmicman writes "Leave it to Sony to mess up DRM-free music downloads. What is the point of DRM-free tracks if you still have to go to a retail store to buy them? From the Infoworld article: 'The tracks will be offered in MP3 format, without DRM, from Jan. 15 in the U.S. and from late January in Canada... The move is far from the all-digital service offered by its rivals, though. To obtain the Sony-BMG tracks, would-be listeners will first have to go to a retail store to buy a Platinum MusicPass, a card containing a secret code, for a suggested retail price of $12.99. Once they have scratched off the card's covering to expose the code, they will be able to download one of just 37 albums available through the service, including Britney Spears' "Blackout" and Barry Manilow's "The Greatest Songs of the Seventies."'"

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thepiratebay (5, Funny)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951760)

Has lots of DRM free sony downloads, without any of that hassle of going to a store :)

coming soon to a bittorrent client near you...

Re:thepiratebay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21951816)

Sony are managed by child beaters

Re:thepiratebay (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951856)

Odd as it is, there is a point to your comment though.

Non-paying people get a BETTER product all-round than paying consumers.

Re:thepiratebay (1, Interesting)

badran (973386) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952082)

If you are in the US, you get the pleasure of also buying a ticket for the SUE me for all I got lottery. I am glad that I am not in the US... ;) in some places of the world it is legal to download anything..

Re:thepiratebay (3, Insightful)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952400)

Yes, and these nations are either Cambodia, in Southeast Africa, or in the Middle East. Every other nation is a signature of the Berne Convention, and respects copyright.

Re:thepiratebay (5, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952432)

Even in a number of Berne Convention signatory countries it is de facto legal because police do not prosecute piracy (and, in some cases, actually facilitate it). Sure, most nations on Earth might have been muscled into signing copyright laws, but add up the populations of countries where piracy flourishes, and it seems that the vast majority of the world doesn't recognize this odd concept of "intellectual property".

Re:thepiratebay (4, Insightful)

Kirth (183) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952470)

Absolutely. And you not only get a product without limitations, but a better product too, because you can download something other than Britney Spears.

It's a complete misunderstanding on Sonys part on how basic economics work:

An illegal copy basically is a COMPETING PRODUCT, with no limitations, for a better price.

Re:thepiratebay (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952540)

Odd as it is, there is a point to your comment though.

Non-paying people get a BETTER product all-round than paying consumers.
Yeah right, as if you could get Barry Manilow on P2P...

Um, on the other hand, never mind.

Re:thepiratebay (0, Offtopic)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952570)

Yeah right, as if you could get Barry Manilow on P2P...
Um, on the other hand, never mind.
Moderating myself as redundant or irrelevant as I hadn't scroled down before responding. :-/

(note to self, there are some sick people on those P2P networks)

Re:thepiratebay (4, Interesting)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951872)

bad form to reply to my own post, for those who can't wait to get their hands on the amazing content listed in TFA and that are currently not in a position to get their card from the local store (due to financial, weather or ethical constraints) here you go:

http://torrents.thepiratebay.org/3823582/Barry_Manilow_-_The_Greatest_Songs_Of_The_Seventies.3823582.TPB.torrent [thepiratebay.org]

http://torrents.thepiratebay.org/3958971/Britney_Spears_-_Blackout_(2007)_Dance_%5BBYANOUS%5D.3958971.TPB.torrent [thepiratebay.org]

Seriously though, when Sony decided it was ok to include a rootkit with their music I think they did not realize just how much damage they were doing to their brand.

Re:thepiratebay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21952448)

"Seriously though, when Sony decided it was ok to include a rootkit with their music I think they did not realize just how much damage they were doing to their brand."

What damage? It may be different in the US but in Europe pretty much every non-techie friend I have thinks that the whole Sony rootkit thing is BS as they haven't seen it on the local media channels.

Re:thepiratebay (2, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952532)

Seriously though, when Sony decided it was ok to include a rootkit with their music I think they did not realize just how much damage they were doing to their brand.
The rootkit fiasco may be well-known and unpopular amongst Slashdot readers, but I'm really not convinced that it's had that significant an impact amongst the public in general.

I bet that the majority haven't heard of it, or at least have forgotten most of the details (including Sony's involvement), and that most of the others don't consider it that big a deal, even though they should.

Re:thepiratebay (5, Informative)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952038)

Yeah, but is it any good? Browse music and sort by #seeds (only guarantee of being able to download something) and what do you get?

Amy_Winehouse-Back_To_Black_(Deluxe_Edition)-2CD-2007-UKP
Alicia Keys - As I Am [2007][CD+SkidVid_XviD+Cov]192Kbps
Top 40 singles Uk 06.01.2008 DHZ.Inc Release
Ministry Of Sound The Annual 2008
Kanye West - Graduation (2007) 224kbs
Timbaland-Present_Shock_Value_(Deluxe_Edition)-2CD-2007-SMO
Juno Soundtrack
Alicia Keys - As I Am (2007) Soul And R&B [BYANOUS]
Lupe Fiasco-The Cool (2007) Rap & Hip-Hop [BYANOUS]
The_Killers-Sawdust-2007-404
Daft Punk - Alive 2007 + Encore [Splitted into tracks]
Britney Spears - Blackout [2007][CD+SkidVid_XviD+Cov]192Kbps
Billboard 2007 Year End Top 100 Charts (Pop 100 and Hot 100)
Rihanna - Good Girl Gone Bad [2007][CD+SkidVid+Cov]192Kbps
Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight [2007][CD+SkidVid+Cov]192Kbps
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand (256Kbps)
Foo Fighters-Echoes Silence Patience & Grace[FullCD+Video][320kb
Top 1000 Pop Hits of the 80s (4.32gb)
Leona Lewis - Spirit [2007][CD+SkidVid_XviD+Cov]192Kbps
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Top 40 singles hit 40 Uk best of 2007 DHZ.Inc Release
The Rolling Stone Magazines 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time
Michael Buble - Call Me Irresponsible [2007]
Birdman - 5 * Stunna
Wyclef_Jean-Carnival_Vol_II_Memoirs_Of_An_Immigrant-2007-404
Tiesto-Club_Life_037-Cable-12-14-2007 -Legal-Ups
Bob Marley Discography
Gorillaz-D-Sides-2CD-2007-OURLEADERiSSiTEOP_ORLY
OneRepublic-Dreaming Out Loud[FullCD+Video][320kbps]-FiNsTeRc
Now That's What I Call Music 68

I would have to call that a fairly random selection of commercial rubbish. for more alternative music it's still easier to get it from a shop or on-line. And yes, I did once leave my PC on for a wek trying to download one album.

Re:thepiratebay (3, Funny)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952442)

> yes, I did once leave my PC on for a wek trying to download one album.

Open your firewall then. The albums will download about 10 times quicker.

Re:thepiratebay (1)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952620)

except when there are no seeders, as it often happens on tpb et al.

Re:thepiratebay (1)

blackdew (1161277) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952456)

Torrent is good for popular stuff - it scales very well with 200000 people downloading the same file.
For alternative, less known or just older stuff ed2k and similar networks are much better by having a sane search, and being able to publish stuff without too much work (creating and publishing a torrent versus marking your whole mp3 folder shared)

Re:thepiratebay (1)

Nomen Publicus (1150725) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952072)

Of course, piratebay doesn't host any data, just pointers to data.

Re:thepiratebay (5, Funny)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952120)

I blame Java courses [slashdot.org] for people not understanding the difference.

Re:thepiratebay (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952158)

you are of course completely right :)
Not that that seems to make much difference for dutch law, hosting a torrent here is just as illegal as hosting the data. In fact *pointing* to a torrent is already illegal !

Re:thepiratebay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21952298)

But it's not like they do much about it :)

Re:thepiratebay (1)

PARENA (413947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952350)

Just like many other things. Long live the 'we prefer you wouldn't but if you do, we won't do shit about it' (better known as "gedoogbeleid" or "we're too weak to uphold the law") policy.

Re:thepiratebay (1)

JordanL (886154) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952544)

I think Sony decided they would take the "CD Key" approach to DRM.

failure (5, Insightful)

spatialguy (951355) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951762)

And in a few months time, they'll evaluate and state that the consumers aren't ready yet for DRM-free music.

Failure...with a twist (4, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951986)

Actually this sounds like some suppliers twisted Sony's arm in a failed attempt to keep the 'brick and mortar' style music store alive. I'm certain that the eventual failure of the 'pirate-friendly' mp3s is a pleasant side effect.

Kind of like how release dates for most games are tied to the physical retail releases.

Re:Failure...with a twist (2, Insightful)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952162)

Well, those stores are only in the US and Canada. This is a low tech solution to region locking. You have to be in one of those countries to buy the card. It was probably easier for Sony than checking IP addresses.

Barry Manilow and Britney Spears! (5, Funny)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951766)

With such quality music, how is it possible they're losing market share??!

Re:Barry Manilow and Britney Spears! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21951936)

they're loosing market share

Fixed it for you

Re:Barry Manilow and Britney Spears! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21952254)

At least have the wits to check the dictionary to make sure you're right before "correcting" someone else's spelling.

If you actually do know the difference, I missed your point.

Re:Barry Manilow and Britney Spears! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21952302)

Yes, imagine having to listen to those!

Please, God, make it stop ...

And "having to" sounds about right. Unless I'm misreading this, you scratch off the gunk and find you've got what you've got. It sounds rather like a lottery "scratch-card"--only here there's no winner.

And to think Sony have on their catalogue, just to give one example, John Williams, perhaps the greatest classical guitarist living. Yet I can't choose to buy something from him and download it, I have to have Miss Spears's caterwauling.

Trust Sony to screw up anything it touches. But it'll be the loser here--no one's going to buy these mystery cards.

Re:Barry Manilow and Britney Spears! (1)

jargon82 (996613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952546)

They are not mystery cards. You choose which album you download, but you get access to only one of the available choices... whichever one you decided on. Each card is not tied to a specific album.

Honestly.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21951780)

...who actually buys music downloads from Sony anyway?

Re:Honestly.... (0, Offtopic)

professional_troll (1178701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951830)

Your mother... netcraft confirms it

You have to go to a physical store... (2, Interesting)

drspliff (652992) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951790)

What a load of bollocks, so I go in-store, and instead of purchasing the CD and ripping them myself, I get a lower quality version already ripped.. wait a minute... this is going to be cheaper right?

Some other shops have got it right, like my local Virgin Megastore who let you pick any cd or 7/12", scan the barcode at a listening station and listen to it before I buy the physical cd... if I can't even do this in their stores, then they've got the completely wrong idea and are so disconnected from their own customers that I really feel quite sorry for them.

What is a 7/12" ?? (1)

rbphilip (530254) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952242)

I'm guessing he means a 7.5", a reference I've seen before. But what *is* it?

Re:You have to go to a physical store... (1)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952560)

Sounds like a familiar Sony marketing technique.

"Hey all, we're coming out with this really cool new product that everyone's been waiting for! It doesn't matter that you can get it cheaper and better elsewhere, you are going to buy it from us because we are SONY. And since we're SONY, we obviously have the best product and we're going to assume that you'll have to replace every single previous version of your old products with new versions of OUR product. As a matter of fact, we're probably going to make it mandatory that you use our version of the product by making future versions of our technology incompatible with anything but our version of the product. We are SONY; Resistance is futile."

Here's a better idea (3, Insightful)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951796)

instead of going into the retail store, turning right and picking up the platinum pass, I'm going to turn left and pick up the CD.

Best idea (4, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951836)

I'll stay home and get the torrent with the FLAC files.

That is, if any music Sony put out was even worth downloading.

Re:Best idea (5, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952356)

True, but doing it my way means you get some exercise and fresh air.

Granted, if you drive or use public transport you probably won't get much exercise. And if you live in the city then it'd probably be better for you to stay inside.

Plus I have to spend money.

Shit, your way's much better. I'm going to do that instead from now on.

Re:Best idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21952486)

And me, I'll head over to this used cd store or a similar one, pay $8, wait 2 weeks for the real deal, booklet included -- and then rip it to flac myself.

I've got you all beat. (1) I've got the real deal, (2) I paid a fraction of what it normally costs, (3) it's completely legal, and (4) I didn't pay one cent to the RIAA.

Re:Here's a better idea (2, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951932)

Are you sure you want to do that? This is Sony we're talking about, the music publisher who thought rootkits were a legitimate thing to put on music CDs...

Re:Here's a better idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21952240)

Are you sure you want to do that? This is Sony we're talking about, the music publisher who thought rootkits were a legitimate thing to put on music CDs...
No, that would be Sony BMG, not Sony.

Re:Here's a better idea (1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952564)

oh, but you are so very wrong.

sony never put a rootkit on a CD.

Sony put a rootkit on some shiny polycarbonate disks that just-so-happened to 'resemble' a CD, but by definition, it was not a 'CD'

But what about Zoolander (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21952010)

instead of going into the retail store, turning right and picking up the platinum pass, I'm going to turn left and pick up the CD.


But about Derek Zoolander? He can't turn left.

Britney Spears (5, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951798)

I dunno, I'd pay to hear a Britney cover of "Wait for the Blackout". Particularly now she's a lot fucking crazier now than Dave Vanian ever was.

Congratulations! (2, Funny)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952132)

You are officially the first person on Slashdot to get modded up for expressing a desire to listen to Brittany Spears!

Dear Sony (5, Funny)

AbandonAllHope (211475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951800)

Re:Dear Sony (1)

Yath (6378) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951928)

Cute pic, but the fox is doing it right.

Re:Dear Sony (1)

garutnivore (970623) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952598)

Yath is right. This looks like a fox hunting prey. Foxes hunting in snow-covered areas listen to the sound of rodents foraging under the snow cover. When they locate a prey, they pounce through the snow cover to get their meal. I don't see how the fox is doing anything wrong.

Maybe the poster parody is meant to be self-referential: the poster maker is "still doing it wrong" (he selected a picture that does not illustrate his message) but gets "10 points for effort"?

Subject? (2, Funny)

DirtyHerring (635192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951814)

There is no way, this could possibly fail.

Re:Subject? (1, Funny)

Hennell (1005107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951854)

What if sony were to slap a blu-ray player on it?
---
Contronyms: for people who are chuffed by antonyms
---

Re:Subject? (0, Offtopic)

spatialguy (951355) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951858)

You are absolutely right. The subject should have been "success!" to be modded insightfull.

Hurray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21951864)

Barry Manilow fans of the world, rejoice!

Re:Hurray! (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952144)

Don't knock him, he writes the songs that make the whole world sing.

Re:Hurray! (3, Funny)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952184)

And for an encore:

Oh Sony, you came and you took without giving,
You've taken it all, oh Sony.

Misspent youth with only AM radio.

Great move (5, Insightful)

Bud (1705) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951868)

[...] first have to go to a retail store [...] they will be able to download one of just 37 albums available through the service, including Britney Spears' "Blackout" and Barry Manilow's "The Greatest Songs of the Seventies."'"

Uhh... great artist selection, there. If I have to walk down to the retail store and then choose between Britney and Barry Manilow, I would rather save my hard-earned money.

Within a couple of months Sony will "accidentally" leak the sad numbers of their non-DRM trial to select members of the press, who will then write scathing opinion pieces about how the rampant piracy is so widespread that even removing DRM can't help the music industry.

--Bud

Re:Great move (1)

Dan Schulz (1144089) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952234)

You know, you just might be on to something here. You know they say about propoganda afterall...

Re:Great move (0, Offtopic)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952578)

You know, you just might be on to something here. You know they say about propoganda afterall...

Yes, they say "spell it correctly!"

Imagine if these dorks (3, Insightful)

Brummund (447393) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951874)

tried to design a HD movie distribution system.

Oh, bummer.

Think of it this way (2, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951890)

Britney Spears and Barry Manilow is a rootkit for the human brain.

37 albums (2, Insightful)

scafuz (985517) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951898)

quoting TFA:

In contrast, online retailer Amazon.com offers 2.9 million DRM-free tracks in MP3 format from the catalogs of EMI Group, Warner Music Group, Universal Music and a host of independent record labels. Apple's iTunes Store has around 2 million DRM-free tracks in the AAC format supported by its iPod and many mobile phones. No store visit is necessary to download those tracks, and an album typically sells for $9.99 or less.

i don't think it's a smart move from sony.. but hey....at least there's not spyware in it...

Let me see if I have this right... (3, Insightful)

dkh2 (29130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951914)

So, they want me to go to a brick-and-mortar store and spend $12.99 to buy a secret code that will allow me to download MP3s of one album that I could have purchased at that same store for, um, $12.99. Nevermind the fact that even if the downloads are all ripped at over 256kbps they're nowhere near the over 720kbps I'm going to rip from the actual disk in .flac or .ogg, and once you've downsampled in a lossy format there really is no going back to full quality.

Yeah. Right.

Re:Let me see if I have this right... (0)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952270)

Out of interest, given that most audio CDs only use 10% of their dynamic range, then why are you ripping at a higher fidelity than the source provides?

There's NO quality degradation here (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21952286)

You're saying that Britney Spears in mp3 is worse than Britney Spears in flac? I don't think so.

Oh, and don't even ask what's worse - Britney Spears in mp3 or Britney Spears in wig... That's just rude.

Re:Let me see if I have this right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21952340)

No, they want you to go to a store and spend $12.99 to buy a secret code that will allow you to download MP3s of one album that you could have purchased at another store for $9.99 or online for $7.99.

Re:Let me see if I have this right... (1)

pbrooks100 (778828) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952600)

Don't forget that with these cards, the store's inventory doesn't have to be monitored in the same way; an old Barry Manilow CD doesn't go unsold; the card can be used to download the latest one-hit wonder OR Barry. The cards would certainly cost less to make than the CDs would cost to press, and Sony can track where the sale took place and when. Sony and the retailers make more money this way than from a CD.

DRM free doesn't mean Sony couldn't (or wouldn't) place a unique key in the MP3 header. Your 8 year old daughter places a copy of the downloaded file in a public location and then Sony can track you down and sue your rear-end off.

Ugh...

It because if you then upload... (2, Insightful)

Eastender (910391) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951924)

... you can be tracked and you can be treated as a criminal!

OK, are you listening, Sony? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951938)

a. DRM'd to the eyeballs compact discs are NOT Redbook audio. Please do not TRY and sell us something that isn't. Besides, it's illegal to attempt such activity.

2. I have no interest in media that will not play on my dyne:Bolic jukebox.

iii. I have no interest in "buying" digital content when I can get it from elsewhere at invariably better quality. Have you not heard of Monkeys Audio? FLAC? Shorten? I mean, MP3?? C'mon!

one vee: I have precisely zero interest in Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Barry Manilow, or any of that other recycled and/or digitally enhanced crud you like to call music. Please, find some real talent. My sister sings (unfortunately for you she has zero interest in signing up with any of the Big4 companies), I have video of her performance this last Christmas, she brought the house down. Betcha feel sick now, eh?

Re:OK, are you listening, Sony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21952048)

Is your post some kind of joke?

Re:OK, are you listening, Sony? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952498)

if it were, I'd be posting AC...

In Summary (5, Insightful)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951942)

  • US and Canada only
  • retail Brix-N-Mortar visit required
  • Purchase a "Card with secret code"
  • Card enables download of one album from a selection of 37 (another album means another visit and another card)
  • TFA says "MP3 format" but for all you know it's encoded as mono@32kbps with literally zero info in the ID3 tags
  • For all those hoops you just jumped through, not significantly cheaper than just purchasing the CD
  • does this work on Linux? MacOS? BeOS? AmigaOS? (before you whine about "it's just a download" you've *all* had some site you went to where it simply did not work on "your OS and browser of choice")
Or you could read the short version: MultiNational MegaCorp with a History of fair-use violating DRM enforcement and downright corporate shenanigans (rootkit, anyone?) releases DRM-free program more difficult to operate than the-clock-on-your-vcr and of actual negative value to end-customers.

Consensus seems to be that 6 months from now SonyBMG will issue an "I Told You So" press release claiming they went all out to allow DRM-free downloads and nobody wanted it.

Re:In Summary (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952170)

TFA says "MP3 format" but for all you know it's encoded as mono@32kbps with literally zero info in the ID3 tags

MONO?
Next step: .sid instead of .mp3 format.

Re:In Summary (1)

Rulke (629278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952368)

... more difficult to operate than the-clock-on-your-vcr ...
VCR's have picked up time signals from stations for more than ten years (well, in Europe at least), no need to program them (even if someone is still using them :))

Re:In Summary (3, Insightful)

ddrichardson (869910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952606)

Consensus seems to be that 6 months from now SonyBMG will issue an "I Told You So" press release claiming they went all out to allow DRM-free downloads and nobody wanted it.

There are quite a lot of people saying this and it may well be true but it makes no difference, it's the buying public they are now trying to shoehorn into something they don't want not just a bunch of people trying to justify peer-to-peer but their actual buying customers that they are now alienating.

Take my wife (please) - would never dream of pirating anything and is completely technophobic. Yet when she cannot put the CD she just bought onto her MP3 player, she sees no reason for me not to get it from a torrent site. She has even started saying some things we've said for years, only last night we watched a DVD and when that irritating "you wouldn't steal a handbag or a car so why steal a DVD" unskippable advert comes up she points out the obvious - why is that on a DVD I bought?

Point is, I think that everyone is starting to get pissed off with being treated as a criminal.

Free music from sony (0)

DeeQ (1194763) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951954)

Just generate some SECRETE CODES

Did you mean (1)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951990)

Just generate some SECRETE CODES

Did you mean:

"Just secrete some secret codes"?

Ooh! Yay! (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951980)

Oh. Wait...

Sony's clever plan (3, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21951998)

I see what they're doing. By making people choose between Britney Spears and Barry Manilow they're attempting to prove that popular music is no worse now than it's ever been.

Sony Continues to Amaze (5, Insightful)

MattW (97290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952008)

Just when you thought Sony couldn't demonstrate any more incompetence in the marketplace...

Let's make our product:

* Hard to get
* More expensive than the (legal!) competition
* Packaged in bundles consumers don't want
* Install dangerous malware on our customers' computers (and get sued)

Sony once again proves adept at charting a beeline directly for the scrapheap of history. About what you'd expect from the company that thought up the "Ringle".

Re:Sony Continues to Amaze (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952050)

Sometimes I wonder if the schizophrenia Sony displays is caused in part by owning both a music label and a consumer electronics division. However, this is clearly designed to fail miserably and thus give Sony the opportunity to spin the failure in some ridiculous fashion. So I don't think we can attribute it to the typical Sony schizophrenia.

Re:Sony Continues to Amaze (2, Interesting)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952114)

Sony is, at the end of the day, a Japanese company, and Japanese companies seem notably inflexible when it comes to opening things up. It is entirely consistent with behavior I've seen from other Japanese vendors: they've never met a closed system they didn't like.

I don't see the problem with this... (3, Insightful)

seeker_1us (1203072) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952022)

Other than the fact that Sony is self-sabatoging their DRM-free sales.

Buy a card from a retail store? Fair enough. That seems reasonable.

Limited selection of music... well maybe they just want to test the waters. Although it sounds like the lack of quality (Britney Spears wasn't good even when she WAS good) may mean they are trying to purposefully set the program up for failure.

None of this is unreasonable to the customer, and I'd do it to buy legal, DRM-free music.

Except for the fact that this is Sony, which I have determined NEVER to give any money to again. These are the unrepentant bastards who infected millions of computers with rootkits (their executives should have gone to prison for that, but the corruption of the current government is for another discussion), put self destruct sequences in the Blu-Ray player specs, sell DVD's that won't play in many DVD players, shut down Lik-Sang, made digital music players that ONLY used a proprietary Sony music format, screwed the early adopters of HDTV (Blu-ray players won't work with non-drm'd inputs)...

Sony is a bunch of asshats. Fuckem.

Re:I don't see the problem with this... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952104)

Except for the fact that this is Sony, which I have determined NEVER to give any money to again.

But now they're doing something right. Reward them for good behaviour, punish for bad. We might be able to train them.

Spears (1)

xx01dk (191137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952062)

Why on earth would I want to pay for that? Why on earth would I want to even p2p that? Why on earth does anyone think this is even music, let alone good music? Barry Manilow, otoh...

Scratchcard are fine (3, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952074)

It means kids can buy them rather than having to rely on a credit card. They take up no shelf space so a lot of convenience stores can offer them rather than just record stores.

Re:Scratchcard are fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21952248)

Yeah, that's great for kids, but what about everyone with a credit card that doesn't want to go to a shop. I mean the whole point of downloading music is that it is supposed to be more convenient than buying the physical item, not less. Every other major music label has got this (even if it took them longer than it should have). The management at Sony must really live in a world of their own to think that this is a good idea.

How many Barry Manilow fans have no credit card? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952256)

The thinking is ok, but I'm not sure the people who came up with the idea work in the same building as the people who chose the content.

Look on the bright side though, Britney is now with Barry.

I'm looking forward (2, Insightful)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952090)

to when the "secret code" for some reason doesn't work. Oughta be fun to deal with sony-BMG customer "care".

Folks that can't handle it, like obviously Sony-BMGs management, should really stay clear from an Absinthe bottle.

Propping up existing distribution chain (3, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952122)

Sony is trying to prop up the existing music distribution chain. Instead of going into Wal-Mart to buy a CD, you instead go there to buy a card. Either way, you still had to go to Wal-Mart to get your music. Obviously Wal-Mart will receive some sort of profit off of that sale, in lieu of profit off of an actual CD.

I don't know if this is good or bad. On one hand, it may keep a music section in retailers a bit longer, providing a place to walk in and lay hands on a physical album set. On the other hand, that extra middle-man keeps the cost of music slightly higher. I think this is a fairly responsible thing for Sony to do, because it will help prevent a drastic change which could be detrimental in the short term.

Dan East

Worst of both worlds (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952126)

So you need to have internet access AND you need to go to the store in person? Ridiculous.

Why is this weird? (1)

dr_d_19 (206418) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952136)

I think it's very obvious why the chose this solution.

The retail chains has many of the record companies by the nutsack since a vast amount of records and movies are sold through these chains. Also, I would speculate that those chains would object to Sony-BMG selling the music to the consumer directly.

Hence this "compromise".

Better idea (5, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952206)

I've got a better idea, if it's something you have to go to a store to get. They could put DRM-free lossless versions of the songs on small optical discs (they'd be cheap) that you buy at the counter, no codes or anything. They might even be able to get them to play in current portable music players. They'd be digital, of course. Maybe some other company has tried this before?

Wow... (1)

pigs,3different1s (949056) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952214)

Leave it to Sony to provide exactly what the public does not want.

Smart thinking...cadrs mean kids, gifts, etc. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952236)

This is a smart move. Submitter doesn't know what he's talking about.

The whole list (4, Informative)

De Lemming (227104) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952330)

These are the 37 titles (from http://gift.musicpass.com/ [musicpass.com] ):

The initial slate of Platinum MusicPass titles is as follows:

Platinum MusicPass Albums with Bonus Material (slrp $12.99):

Alejandro Fernandez, Viento A Favor
Alicia Keys, As I Am
Avril Lavigne, The Best Damn Thing
Backstreet Boys, UnBreakable
Barry Manilow, The Greatest Songs of the Seventies
Bob Dylan, Dylan
Boys Like Girls, Boys Like Girls
Brad Paisley, 5th Gear
Britney Spears, Blackout
Brooks & Dunn, Cowboy Town
Bruce Springsteen, Magic
Calle 13, Residente o Visitante
Camila, Todo Cambio
Carrie Underwood, Carnival Ride
Casting Crowns, The Altar and The Door
Celine Dion, Taking Chances
Chris Brown, Exclusive
Daughtry, Daughtry
Elvis Presley, Elvis 30 #1 Hits
Jennifer Lopez, Brave
John Mayer, Continuum
Kenny Chesney, Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates
Martina McBride, Waking Up Laughing
P!nk, I'm Not Dead
Santana, Ultimate Santana
Sara Bareilles, Little Voice
Sean Kingston, Sean Kingston
The Fray, How To Save A Life
Three Days Grace, One-X
Tony Bennett, Duets

Platinum MusicPass Compilations (slrp $12.99)

Various, 70's POP HITS
Various, ROCK OF THE 70's
Various, SENSATIONAL 60's
Various, COUNTRY GOLD: THE 90's
Various, 80's POP HITS
Various, CLASSIC ROCK
Various, Everlasting Love

Expanded MusicPass Titles (slrp $19.99 versions which include the complete album, bonus material, plus choice of one additional album from that same artist's rich catalog of recordings.)

Kenny Chesney, Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates
Celine Dion, Taking Chances

creators' idea of a corepirate nazi free world (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21952336)

a sound plan. no contest really. let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

ma83 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21952344)

is8't a l3monade [goat.cx]

What's the difference? (2, Insightful)

Bootarn (970788) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952372)

You could rather go to a music store and buy a CD, then convert it to MP3 using ripper software. Perfectly legal if it's for personal use (at least here in Sweden). Additionally, you have the choice to onvert the CD to a lossless format such as FLAC. If downloading DRM-free music requires you to go to town to buy some card, you'd rather buy a CD . About the same price, more possibilities. Or you could just ignore it all and just download torrents or whatever.

Hm, MP3 format. (-1, Troll)

DoctorDyna (828525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952502)

As someone else has asked, "Will it work in Linux?" I'd also like to know. If they are indeed in MP3 format, then they aren't going to play be default in Ubuntu without doing the "unsupported" thing and getting the dirty codecs. Which brings my second point, if they are releasing them in MP3 format, doesn't that open them up to some kind of lawsuit from Linux users? Should they have some kind of disclaimer on the front of the package warning Linux users of the need to install a taboo codec?

I wonder what this will cost them? (1)

Inari (19318) | more than 6 years ago | (#21952596)

Advertising, marketing materials, designing the cards, aquiring them, distributing them, selecting the tracks, making them available...

You see an idea so clearly flawed, and the millions they put into it, it just maddening.

And it's a bit of a mandate on how out of touch with the consumers they are.
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