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Labels Agree On Free Music Downloads To Cell Phones

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the free-as-in-bundled dept.

Music 104

An anonymous reader writes "CNet's Crave reports on a potentially revolutionary digital music service set to launch worldwide later this year. It's offering free, unlimited over-the-air downloads to cell phones, with music from all four major record labels, with no subscription. And the selections that users download get automatically downloaded to their PC or Mac. Rather obviously, the tracks are DRMed, but unlike the similar Nokia service unveiled last year to much disappointment, this MusicStation Max service will have exclusive handsets from LG and no additional fees to customers. This is a little similar to an idea talked about last year, but with all four majors on-board it seems to have greater potential."

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They still don't get it! (4, Informative)

siyavash (677724) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401442)

"...Rather obviously, the tracks are DRMed..."

They still don't get it! Do I say more?

Re:They still don't get it! (1, Redundant)

siyavash (677724) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401472)

Do I "need to" say more?

darn it, I'll preview next time! :)

Re:They still don't get it! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22401676)

this is like CmdrTaco agreeing not to molest little boys.

Re:They still don't get it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22401836)

Wow, great self reply. You answered the intended question and the question as written. You did, in fact, say more and apparently you _did_ need to say more. Good show!

Re:They still don't get it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22401476)

Do I say more?

No?

Re:They still don't get it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22401610)

All my +1 Informative are belong to you!

Not Free (2, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401866)

It's not free. It's built into the price of the handset/subscription.

Re:They still don't get it! (2, Insightful)

ichief (1038054) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401894)

Although I am completely against DRM when it comes to music I've purchased to own, I forsee that DRM is quickly becoming a method to apply cheaper and wider access to music, albeit with restrictions. DRM has been really beneficial to allow subscription music users to take their music on the go; with an ad-supported platform or a service or device lockdown (as suggested with the above scheme), other service providers and device manufacturers can provide you low cost or free access to music, but the files would be limited in playback when under a particular service contract or using a particular device. This is why DRM on the iTunes store is really more of a device-lockdown; customers purchase the music, but it must be used with Apple products. I guess in this case, obtaining access to music using this method would lock you down to LG phones.

Re:They still don't get it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22402950)

How can you "forsee" something that is already happening?

Re:They still don't get it! (3, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#22403700)

"a method to apply cheaper and wider access to music, albeit with restrictions."

In a free market competition drives cheaper prices. Intellectual monopoly products have no competition apart from the yarrr mateys. Prevent copying (or any form of competition) and you get more expensive, not cheaper, music.

So, no, DRM is never beneficial.

Compulsory Licensing (1)

oncehour (744756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411544)

Well, I think what you're really arguing for isn't so much the removal of intellectual monopoly but for mandatory licensing fees. In my opinion something like this would actually be great. If you could print your own version of the Da Vinci Code, or Britney Spears, or whatever media for a certain compulsory fee to the content creator they'd be rewarded for their work and there could be distribution competition. If Google wants to create a completely free set of music that's totally Ad Supported with the compulsory fees soaked up by them then they'd be able to do so. Google Books would be a viable business model if monetized properly. Currently you have to get permission from every single vendor which really just makes this sort of thing inane and creates too high of a barrier of entry. Too bad this post is probably coming a few hours too late for anyone to really read it. I hate Slashdot for that sometimes.

Re:They still don't get it! (2, Interesting)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22404376)

You may have a point, there. DRM on expensive items doesn't work, when the alternative is a free unauthorized download. However, if legal downloads become dirt-cheap, but locked to a device with DRM, the situation might change. DRM will always be crackable, sure, but if you can easily buy music directly on a mobile device at a reasonable price, it could well appear worth the cost to avoid the hassle of getting on a computer, finding what you want, downloading the stuff, and loading it onto your device after potentially having to convert to another format as well. If the pricing is low enough, the user might not even mind having to pay again to download the media onto a different device.

This certainly goes against how we're used to consuming media right now, but if the industry's plans are to provide their services like described above, it would at least explain their stubborn insistence on DRM. Instead of selling a product once at a higher price, they would sell it many times at a lower price. If they're smart, that is. If they're not, they won't bring the pricing low enough and their downward spiral will continue.

Call me a dinosaur... (0, Offtopic)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401450)

...but I still don't get why a telephone should have any functions other than MAKE PHONE CALLS and STORE PHONE NUMBERS.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22401504)

You took the words right out of my mouth. Unfortunately, we dinosaurs live in an age of creeping crapification of just about everything.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

Neil Hodges (960909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401578)

And tiny fonts on the phones.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (4, Funny)

DJCouchyCouch (622482) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401618)

Quick, get off his lawn before he eats us! Run!!!!

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (5, Funny)

toppavak (943659) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401632)

Exactly! It still boggles my mind that computers do anything other than do math! Whats all this graphics and gaming crap they put on computers these days- just grab a pen and paper or go outside! *humph* "applications" on a computer... what a waste.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402288)

We got computers that do more then math becuase people wanted to do more then math with computers. But that doesn't mean we get rid of calculators becuase calculators are far cheaper and smaller then computers with an interface far more suited to doing math. Unfortunately that same can't be said about cell phones.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22402586)

We got computers that do more then math becuase people wanted to do more then math with computers. But that doesn't mean we get rid of calculators becuase calculators are far cheaper and smaller then computers with an interface far more suited to doing math. Unfortunately that same can't be said about cell phones.
bullshit [vodafone.com.au]

Cheap? check!
small? check!
does very little more than make calls and store numbers? check!

they dont make LOTS of phones like that, because there isnt much demand for them, but the do make them

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22401646)

...but I still don't get why people use telephones at all. isn't it easier to just GO TO SOMEONES HOUSE and TALK TO THEM?

see, that's exactly what you sound like to the rest of us

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (2, Insightful)

MishgoDog (909105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401650)

Each to their own man.
You only want a phone to make phone calls to your Turok friends, good for you!
I want to send emails and surf the net dinasaur hunting, good for me!
Pre-teens who want to turn their phones into an artfully crafted public-transport-torture device, unfortunately good for them!
And people who want to use their phones as music players rather than carry round two devices... is it really that bad?

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

penix1 (722987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402378)

Ummmm...YES it is that bad when it becomes increasingly difficult to find a simple phone that doesn't have all the bells, whistles, tampon remover, etc. Just recently they posted a story on how they are planning on using GPS in phones to tell traffic congestion. Great! Now phones are talking all by themselves without my express permission.

More importantly than the features that I don't need or want is the hidden strings attached to the service contract for those unwanted services.

This is along the same lines as being charged for cable channels you don't need or want or are actively filtering just so you can get the ones you do want. How hard is it to just give people only what they want without all the strings?

Oh, and get off my lawn too!

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (2, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402714)

I think you're being deliberately obtuse.

First, phones have those features because the vast majority of people find them desirable. Not everyone wants them, of course, but way more than half. Each different phone has a full set of engineering, manufacturing, marketing and packaging costs, which are substantial and have to be spread across a lot of phones to make them affordable. Thus it's cheaper to make, package, and market 100,000 phones than it is to make 1,000 simple phones plus another 99,000 complex phones. It's basic economies-of-scale.

Next, very few phone features turn into service charges, and none of them are particularly easy to access. (Verizon is the most guilty party there, as they deliberately cripple phones preventing you from uploading and downloading media without using their pay-per-use network.) And sure, I can see the providers charging for Assisted-GPS service -- so don't use it. But I've never heard of a cell phone provider charging you simply because your phone CAN do something -- they charge when you USE their services.

As far as using the GPS in phones to measure traffic congestion? It's an interesting theory, but I doubt seriously that it'll go any further than an NPR story. Besides, your phone is constantly talking all by itself. Every few minutes it makes contact with the tower. Your cell provider already knows which tower your phone is near whenever it's powered on, so if you're that paranoid you should consider turning the thing off unless you're on a call.

Seriously, how inconvenient is it to have the camera? Does it turn on in your pocket, and make embarrassing shutter noises? Or does the calendar chirp at you when you're trying to make a phone call?

There are still a lot of phone options out there, including some pretty simple phones with large, easy-to-read screens for you old people who have kids on your lawns. I know because my mom wanted one, and she's old, and the kids are on her damn lawn, too. And you know what? Even she figured out how to personalize her phone, with a different ring tone and a new background picture and everything.

P.S. If you think cell phones are bad, it is nothing like cable pricing. Cable is very different in that each and every channel they deliver to a subscriber has a price tag that they pay on your behalf (and extract from you), and the bundling of "super-basic" channels with their "premium" channels equals truckloads of extra money for everyone but us. So if you want Sci-fi in HD, well, you can only get it with the "Premium-overly-complex plan" with hyperbundling including unwatchable crap stations like the Faux News channel and the Oprah channel. Mistakenly applying that pricing logic to your cell phones would indeed give you the nightmare of charges that you seem to be imagining.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (2, Interesting)

Frank Battaglia (787673) | more than 6 years ago | (#22403154)

I'd just like to point out that at&t / Cingular do indeed charge you based upon your phone's capabilities, not simply data usage. Case in point there is MediaNet Unlimited (unlimited data for crippled phones that only have a built in browser), BlackBerry (unlimited data for BlackBerries), DataConnect (unlimited data for laptops), and PDA Personal (unlimited data for PDAs or phones with QWERTY keyboards); all of these (except DataConnect) also have two-tiered pricing depending on whether your device can tether to a laptop. This was all very confusing to me when I signed up for a plan with my own unbranded phone. I just wanted unlimited data; I could not figure out why in hell there were 8 different prices for the same amount of bandwidth. It's all designed to go with the device you buy. In other words, if you buy phone with features X, Y, Z, they only offer data plan A. If you buy a phone with features X, Q, T, they only offer data plan B.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

Frank Battaglia (787673) | more than 6 years ago | (#22403208)

Oh yes, let's not forget the iPhone plan which charges you for unlimited data whether you want it or not simply because your phone is capable of browsing the web.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (2, Insightful)

keirre23hu (638913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22404566)

You make good points, but I'll also disagree with you on one area. Having a camera can be a detriment, because there are work environments where one is allowed to have a cell phone, but not one with a camera. Thus the phone with a camera gets left in a locker, at home, in a car, or in some other place where it cannot be used in a pinch, and the camera without the unneeded camera is on your person and available. A small point, but still it is relevant to quite a few people.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405114)

It took me about 30 seconds to find a phone [phonehouse.be] that you can use just to place calls. No contract, no nothing, just the phone. It is indeed the minority now and I would now have at least bluetooth.

The fact that the majority is available with all extra options does not mean that the others do not exist.

Also adding the extra is sometimes cheaper then making two different moddels. Some more features will mean a LOT extra different models. Cheaper for the manufacturor means also cheaper for the buyer.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

penix1 (722987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414264)

Belgium?!?! All the way to Belgium for a phone? And the price is in Euros which are in short supply in West Virginia where I live...

In either event, I never said "impossible" I said "increasingly difficult" which it is. You can't walk into a store and get a plain Jane phone that doesn't do text, internet, GPS, etc. Go and try it. Try to look for a phone that is ONLY a phone.

So you get off my lawn too...

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (4, Funny)

yiantsbro (550957) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401660)

Tsk. Tsk. You and your fancy "number storing" telephone.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1, Offtopic)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401746)

Then buy one that does what you want and leave the cool stuff to the rest of us.

This comment pops up in EVERY damned discussion of advanced phones and it's ALWAYS moderated insightful by mods with more points than sense. It is NOT insightful. It is nothing more than a statement of personal taste by someone with luddite tendecies.

Phones already exist for luddites. This discussion is not about those phones. If you want to discuss those phones go and find somewhere else to discuss them, or submit an article of your own to the Firehose.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22403754)

I use a Nokia 1112 or somesuch, with a b/w screen, no camera, no nothing. Calls and SMS's. That's it. Works like a charm.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (2, Funny)

Trintech (1137007) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401798)

Dinosaur? I think you more likely have a case of functional fixedness [wikipedia.org] rather than a case of old age. Dinosaurs didn't use cell phones and they enjoyed having a peaceful, uninterrupted dinner.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22402320)

Dinosaurs didn't use cell phones and they enjoyed having a peaceful, uninterrupted dinner.
They were also just as likely to be dinner as to have a peaceful, uninterrupted one.

Don't you see? Cell phones stop cannibalism!

Because it's not a telephone. (4, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401820)

The majority of people want to have four digital devices with them at all times: a phone, a PDA, a camera, and a music player. They also do not want to carry separate devices to do these things. So, they get bundled. A cell phone is a PDA/C, a personal digital assistant/communicator. The PDA/C allows the user to organize contact information, schedules, etc. The audio capabilities keeps the user entertained while travelling. The video capabilities allows the user to capture spontaneous moments, or take video notes (pictures of signs, etc). Oh, and it also allows the user to communicate. That means sending text, pictures, and of course, two way audio. Cell phones are starting to have internet browsers on them. In the future, look for them to have docking stations with full sized keyboards and monitors, as the cell phone and the notebook merge.

Re:Because it's not a telephone. (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402192)

Well, that sure is convenient. Which is easier to carry in your pocket: a swiss army knife, or a tool kit? On the other hand, which of them would you rather use to do any serious repair? A dedicated device tends to do its one task much better than an all-purpose device. Audio? Cells tend to have little storage. Gaming? The ergonomics are all wrong. Photo cameras? Even compared to a low-end camera, cells are a joke.

Re:Because it's not a telephone. (1)

crenshawsgc (1228894) | more than 6 years ago | (#22403108)

What you said is all true, But I cant wear my cargo pants to work with my camera, mp3 player, and PVR (Personal voice recorder) without some serious inconvenience. My phone can do all of those things and more, passibly well. So it's worth the tradeoff. I find myself taking a lot more pictures since my phone came bundled with a camera and I've got it on me all the time. Don't you think?

Re:Because it's not a telephone. (1)

Vitani (1219376) | more than 6 years ago | (#22404106)

This is why choice was invented!

Personally I have quite a "fancy" mobile phone. It can make video calls, play mp3s, record audio/video, take pictures, and much more! But I didn't get it because it could do those things, I got it because the interface was nice, simple, and easy to use.

If I'm out and about and want to take a photo, I get out my camera which I always carry with me, it's infinately better than the phone's camera. If I want to play music, I get my iPod out (which I always carry with me) and listen to it from there. If I want to play games I pull out my DS (which, you guessed it, I always carry with me) and play away. Why do I do this? Two reasons really:

  1. The quality available to me on my sepreate devices is far above that provided by my phone.
  2. If the battery dies on my iPod, I can still make a phone call, send a text, take a photo, or play games.

Yes it means I have to carry a shoulder bag around with me everywhere, but in that bag I have other useful items including medicines, first aid stuff (very useful when out & about with kids), a note book, water and snacks.

BUT I'm NOT saying that this suits everyone. It suits me, but it doesn't suit others. I don't try and force my lifestyle onto others, but I can explain why I do what I do, and hopefully others respect and understand that.

Re:Because it's not a telephone. (2, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22404328)

"Yes it means I have to carry a shoulder bag around with me everywhere"

Technology has turned you female.

Only instead of lipstick, tampons, tissues and chocolate, it's shiny devices, protective cases, game cartridges, memory cards... Have fun with that.

Music on the phone is just as good as from an iPod. You can also now get phones that take memory cards, in a discrete little slot, that bring them up to the capacity of an iPod touch.
Games are not anything like a DS. But then it's not a huge number of people that feel the need to have games with them *all* the time. I have tetris on my phone, it keeps me amused on public transport.

Face it, not many people want to carry all those things everywhere and, like me, they just wouldn't bother with a camera or a music player seperately.

Re:Because it's not a telephone. (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22403642)

Audio? Cells tend to have little storage. Gaming? The ergonomics are all wrong. Photo cameras? Even compared to a low-end camera, cells are a joke.

My cellphone has a 2 Gb storage (external). Maybe not enough for a cross-Atlantic trip, but plenty for an hour in the gym. Then again, the battery wouldn't last on a cross-Atlantic trip on the cell. The just announced Nokia N96 will have 16 Gb of internal memory + whatever the size of the mSD card you can find (and afford).

The mobile games are fine. Different games for different platforms. Shoot 'em ups might not work on a cellphone, but things like sudoku, drop zone/tetris or luxor works fine.

As to pictures. I'm not looking for a professional picture. Unless we're talking about the old phones, the newer phones have good enough camera (all my pictures have been taken by phonecamera).

And that's the point. For 90% of the time, the cellphone is good enough (only time I use an iPod these days are on those cross-Atlantic trips).

Re:Because it's not a telephone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22402220)

The majority of people want to have four digital devices with them at all times: a phone, a PDA, a camera, and a music player.
Is there a cite to this study? The majority of people that I know want a phone to be a phone, and nothing more. Instead they have these cameras/music/videos/etc capabilities stuffed down their throat. Is it even possible to buy a cell phone anymore that doesn't have a craptastic and useless camera attached to it?

Re:Because it's not a telephone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22402698)

Is there a cite to this study? The majority of people that I know want a phone to be a phone, and nothing more
you must only know shut-ins and geeks. stand in a mobile phone store for 5 minutes and listen to the questions joe/jane average ask the salesman. people want this shit, which is why phone manufactures put it on the phones in the first place

Re:Because it's not a telephone. (2, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#22403776)

So, they get bundled. A cell phone is a PDA/C, a personal digital assistant/communicator.

Heck, I'd love one of those things. But it seems, every time I've gotten excited and tried them, it's turned out that I could have drawn pictures better than the ones the crap optics of the cellphone gives me, the PDA cant even handle DST changes and the audio is a PITA to transfer (altho, from what I've heard, that's gotten better these days).

So instead of one device with all of those things bundled I get to carry all four devices plus the unusable crap in the cellphone which makes that one less useful than it could have been.

What I'd really like would be a standardized personal network protocol that could allow me to have a CPU for the processing, a storage device for saving stuff, a CCD+optics device for taking pictures, a GSM/3G module for dialling out, a display device for showing me information from the various other devices and an audio device/headset for hearing stuff and talking. And no redundant functions between them. No monitor on the GSM module or CCD module, no storage in them, etc. I could take the small function specific devices with me as I wanted, and swap out devices as there were better ones available.

But, well, not going to happen soon. So the next thing I'm looking for is something like the OpenMoko; a general purpose computer that happens to have a GSM module. That one I can at least patch when it craps out and doesnt do what I want it to do.

Re:Because it's not a telephone. (1)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406142)

In the future, look for them to have docking stations with full sized keyboards and monitors, as the cell phone and the notebook merge.

Why not a Bluetooth application that simply lets you access your PDA/MP3/GSM/CAM filesystem remotely?

As far as merging completely, the laptop still has functionality and a desirable interface that will prevent it from going away anytime soon. Namely, screen size, processing power, and comfort while sitting in bed or at a coffee shop ensure the laptop's future success. Instead of "merge", the words you were looking for is "become more closely integrated".

Re:Because it's not a telephone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22408180)

1. Cell phones have had browsers for a long time. They suck real bad.

2. Why would anyone want to do any real work on their phone? It's junk! The processing power on a phone is low, the memory on a phone is low, and the long term storage is low. With the exception of the iPhone and possibly some of the newer windows mobile phones, a laptop from 10 years ago would be better than any cellphone in every respect, except size and weight.

Not to mention the fact that manufacturers can't even agree on a common charging port, but you somehow expect them to agree on a docking station port? And you don't think carriers will try to get in on this, trying to cripple it as much as possible? It's a pipe dream. Getting all of that stuff resolved would take forever and ultimately it'd still suck.

Plus, who wants a pda/phone/camera/music player anyway? Going by what's available now, any device that combines at least two of these has a bad implementation of at least one of the features. Need an example? Take a look at the Samsung Sync (m620?). That's a phone/musicplayer/camera that sucks completely.

Re:Because it's not a telephone. (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408468)

look for them to have docking stations with full sized keyboards and monitors

Nokia N95 has composite TV-out so connect it to a TV. Add a bluetooth keyboard.

Anyhoo, I doubt phone and notebook will merge. Mostly because putting the computing core (i.e cpu and ram) inside something the size of a phone and having it be energy efficient enough to run comfortably off a phone battery cost you a lot in terms of performance. A real notebook will always be a lot more powerful than a phone+dock. In addition there is the issue of OS and UI, phones are still not powerful enough to comfortably run a desktop OS and a mouse/keyboard/monitor UI is very different from a phone UI.

That's not to say that you can't use a phone plus some accessories like keyboard/monitor as kinda sorta a notebook replacement. You can sort of do that today with devices like N82/95/96 or top of the line WinMobiles. But the tradeoffs in UI and performance means that phone and notebook won't merge in the same way that phone/pda, phone/snapshot camera, phone/media player and (soon) phone/gps has.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402366)

And in the age of the lemming, words of wisdom get modded down with prejudice.

I'm in this boat with you; a phone is a phone is a phone. Every single one of its features should be directly tied to communication. If I wanted a cheap chinese gadget that tries (and fails) to be a game boy, media player, webcam, AM radio, IUD and chia pet all at once, well... I'd have to hire someone to end my miserable brainwashed life.

My ideal phone features ? address book, call history, voice mail, SMS / pager, maybe a simple date planner and/or notepad. No camera, no music, no Java, not even a stupid web browser.

I might be less opposed to convergence if they could actually do it decently. The last thing I need is yet another overpriced fragile thingamajig that can't do anything right. I'd much rather buy separate devices that each excel at their single task.

To compound things, I really don't understand why the music "industry" is trying to shove tunes into people's cell phones. Perhaps I'm being far too logical for the common peon, but I would assert that the type of person who listens to music on an LG cell phone probably isn't the biggest music fan on the block. I'd be surprised if that individual were more inclined to buy music on other platforms, if they're content with the free low-bitrate junk they save to that stupid little memory card sticking out the back of their phone, piped over those horrible earbuds that come from wherever Taiwan outsources the work even their sweatshops consider too cheap.

I'm certainly not plugging a phone into my lovingly-tuned DRM-free car stereo, or my carefully selected home speakers. I wouldn't even disgrace my Sennheisers with such a perverted audio source. Once again, the music industry has failed the very people that once consumed its wares. There's already so little music worth hearing these days, if you're going to shove it into a pathetic cell phone, well you might as well just go deaf once and for all.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22406652)

...but I still don't get why a telephone should have any functions other than MAKE PHONE CALLS and STORE PHONE NUMBERS.

You don't have to get it, you have to get over it.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407208)

It's the same thing I keep telling Batman: dude I still don't get why a belt should do anything other than hold your pants... err... briefs?... up.

Can't touch this! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22401454)

Hammertime! [thepounder.com]

They still be full of DRM (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401466)

Apparently nobody with power has been listening at the **AA, not even a little bit. I couldn't even work up a yawn for this new service, never mind enough excitement to contemplate what missing features will be on the phone and what 'extra' goodies will be there to track my every move or some attempt at that.

ooops, there, I yawned.

Did I hear someone just call them fucking idiots?

Re:They still be full of DRM (1)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401898)

It is exciting to me in the sense that it's a small sign that some companies (LG) and the 4 major labels are starting to glimpse the potential of the technology developed 5-10 years ago.

You're right, in everyday use, this announcement means very little. However, I see it as a social worker might see a drug addict. The addict has stopped using cocaine, but still uses acid and meth almost daily. It's a small sign of growth that could come later.

I would accept DRM'd music on my phone if I the ability to download virtually *any* song to virtually *any* cellphone, use it as ringtone, copy it to my computer, and share it. For no extra charge, no 'step up' in my plan, no ad ware, and a large per day song download limit (say 10 songs per day).

All phones would become defacto mp3 players.

Of course I would want the ability to put any file from my laptop onto my phone, just as if it was an external flash drive, and not have those files take DRM.

So, yeah I'm not holding my breath, but this is a small sign of progress.

Godwin's Law... can't help myself here (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402280)

So, yeah I'm not holding my breath, but this is a small sign of progress.
I'm reasonably certain that is what some of the Jews in Germany said about the new Jewish ID badge they were given.

Yeah, yeah, I know it's a real stretch to compare the two, but I'm still waiting to see what the penalties are that come with use of the device/service. A gilded cage is still a cage.

Re:They still be full of DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22402298)

Of course I would want the ability to put any file from my laptop onto my phone, just as if it was an external flash drive, and not have those files take DRM.

What phone are you using that this isn't possible? I've been doing this on my RAZR for over a year now using the bluetooth connection.

Well (2, Funny)

Idiot with a gun (1081749) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401506)

All 4 major labels are involved, why didn't they include the part about getting sued?

Re:Well (3, Funny)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401768)

All 4 major labels are involved, why didn't they include the part about getting sued?

The announcement if by the lables, not the RIAA. In other news, The RIAA to sue all four lables for making avaliable songs.

Re:Well (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401790)

The big 4 are virtually the RIAA, so I don't think that will be the case.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22402836)

Whoosh....

Little Earthquakes (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22401522)

I do not see the little detail of advertising in the write up. There is no free lunch, even for a pre-announced product (*vapour-ware*, cough, *vapour-ware*).

Why buy music now? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22401574)

This doesn't add up to me. Free downloads, no subscription fees, transferable to your home computer - so why will I need to buy any music ever again?

What's the business model for the record labels?

Re:Why buy music now? (1)

Lewrker (749844) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401628)

To kill competition and then actually start charging ?

Re:Why buy music now? (5, Informative)

ipsi (1181557) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401630)

If you read the article, it does say that you'll need a special contract and a special phone. And in addition to that contract, I believe you'll need to buy an unlimited data plan as well. Woo.

And it's not like you can put them on your iPod. If you want to use them on the computer, you'll need to use an approved player. Which I'm sure will be *fantastic*, the best *ever*!

Re:Why buy music now? (1)

Idiot with a gun (1081749) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401710)

Looks like an investment in this, another hard drive, and DRM breaking technology is in order!

Re:Why buy music now? (2, Insightful)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401728)

But it's free! Sure it costs you $$$$ but it's FREE. Free I tell ya! Free! It just costs ya $$$$$$$$ but it's free!

It's funny but that's not what I call free. What's wrong with people? How can you even consider this free? It's a service.

Re:Why buy music now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22402154)

It's funny but that's not what I call free. What's wrong with people? How can you even consider this free? It's a service.


You must be new to telecom. Haven't you noticed that that $25/mo plan that you signed up for actually costs you $45/mo. System access fee, 911 surcharge, interstate transfer fee, infrastructure improvement fund, transit levy, etc etc etc. I was seriously wondering why they just don't advertise all of their plans as $0.99*/mo or somethings and make the extras in the fine print cost the $40. It's clear that they don't have to be truthful with the advertised price.

Re:Why buy music now? (1)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406386)

So what you are saying...

Cons:

  1. $20 a month for an Unlimited Cell Phone Data plan
  2. 5 minutes Searching and Downloading songs on an tiny cell phone screen
  3. DRM'd music that will only play in controlled environments

Pros:

  1. Downloading incremental songs is free (if your time is valueless)

Sounds like the equivalent of buying a subscription to use an iPod and then download from iTunes for free. Only, the iPod is known for a crisp User-Interface, above average sound quality, and pretty good battery life. Whereas cell phones ARE NOT!

It is funny, though, that the only actual "Pro" can be written off by the same "time is valueless" that people would write-off Linux for ten years ago. Funny, and promising that maybe ten years from now things will be different.

Re:Why buy music now? (1)

soupforare (542403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22409828)

1. $20 a month for an Unlimited Cell Phone Data plan

Actually, that's crazy cheap... are there serial cables availible for these new phones?
I wonder if they throttle soulseek.

Re:Why buy music now? (1)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410388)

soupforare,

My estimate of $20 per month was not based on any knowledge or research and was, in fact, pulled straight from my ass. I hope this news doesn't disappoint you. I was just throwing a number out there that would make it too expensive for me to consider it.

My apologizes.

Re:Why buy music now? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22401786)

They will make money by sharing revenue with the mobile carriers. They have been struggling for ever to find a way to sell their data plans and now here it is.

Re:Why buy music now? ADDING IT UP - DUH??? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407354)

This doesn't add up to me. Free downloads, no subscription fees, transferable to your home computer - so why will I need to buy any music ever again?

It adds up perfectly well the moment you realize that this shuts out all the Independents. And the significant possibility that the four Major Labels have a deal that they're only In on this while the Independents are Out. That's a trade that I think their bean-counters would consider worth making.

I was excited... (5, Insightful)

ipsi (1181557) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401576)

And then I saw that it had DRM. And was limited to certain LG phones. Wow. Underwhelming, sad to say. Not that it'll appear down here, like, ever. Moving on.

And hell, it's *NOT REALLY FREE*. You need a special contract. Oh yeah. Sure, each track is free, but you're still paying a premium for it. I don't mind that, but it's a bit misleading. Not that I'm surprised.

They haven't even said which player will be able to play the files. It looks like Windows Media Player is a contender.

All-in-all, not impressed.

Re:I was excited... (1, Redundant)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401696)

NOT REALLY FREE because the rate plans haven't been set up yet. Once you subscribe to the plan $$$ then you can download for FREE????? How is this FREE??? Sh1t has marketing gone so far that we call this free? If that's the case I'd like to give you a car for free provided you subscribe to one of my lease services. I'll even let you choose the car.

Re:I was excited... (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401752)

Not to mention that a lot of the phone companies charge an arm and leg for data plans, even if it is small MP3 file that "free music" ends up being expensive fast.

Re:I was excited... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22401880)

I was excited...
You obviously haven't yet learned the proper technique. You're supposed to read the entire thing, all the while expecting to be less than disappointed. There is no such thing as exciting news with this industry. Ever.

Re:I was excited... (1)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402232)

So, basically, it's a subscription service, with the extra caveat of being tied to your phone? What a pain.

Won't download for free (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401592)

I'm not willing to download 98% of the music they produce these days, for free via P2P. However, I'm at the point in my life where I could maybe afford an album per month... sucks for them I guess.

Re:Won't download for free - MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22404522)

Wish I had mod points for you.

Agree 100% - There are very few tracks I couldn't download for free right now if I wanted but 99% are not even worth the bandwidth. That is the problem they need to fix.

Keep it (1, Redundant)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401614)

Dear first-hit-is-free music companies.

Keep your DRM music. I don't want it and I don't want to get hooked on your free sample. (One day I may change phones and I'll still want that music). Nice try though.

Re:Keep it (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402702)

You should add "redundant" to your sig. I've been burned with that one a few times.

Go ahead mods, mod me offtopic: I deserve it ;)

Nothing Free here, move along please... (3, Insightful)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401642)

It's DRMed service which you will pay for. Nothing FREE in any sense of the word.

Limited songs on limited phones with limited transfer on limited equipment....

Have it right now MP3, BitTorrent, Piratebay and my WiFi enabled smartphone...

This just in! (4, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401664)

Music companies just found another tech company to take a bajillion dollars to promise them that sweet, sweet DRM.

How many times does that make now? I can think of no better evidence that cocaine makes you dumb.

I think it's a great business model (-1, Flamebait)

myspace-cn (1094627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401846)

I think it's great, everyone has been bitching that the music business has an outdated fucking business model.
Now they have a nice shiny new business model one.

What's that, I still hear bitching out there still? Shut the fuck up.
If you don't like their DRM go elsewhere. It's really that simple.

Sony BMG, Universal, EMI and Warner have a right to make money.
Sony BMG, Universal, EMI and Warner have a right to put DRM in their music.
You have a right to hate DRM.
You have a right to refuse to run DRM in the first place.

Tell your favorite band to switch labels.

Fuck man, go visit Nuclear Blast, Astralwerks, Reprise, Relapse, Atlantic, Caroline, Warp, Touch and Go, Vagrant, Columbia, Caroline, Myspace, Drive-Thru, MetalBlade, Octone, Mute and on and on and on... there's thousands of labels out there.

Shut the fuck up already. If you don't like DRM, don't buy their shit. If your such a purist, then the first thing you'll want to do is check what label a band is with.

I am glad they finally came up with a business model for hard working musicians. Who knew it was going to be on Cell Phones. From the Gramaphone to the Cellphone amazing.

This doesn't harm you, you can still create your own ringtones, so shut the fuck up.
Jesus Tit's get a job and go fucking buy something.

I can't fucking believe you guys are still complaining when they actually fucking came up with a good business model.

Anything on your phone, Come On, That's the shit man!

One of my favorite bands is U2, what are they on? Universal--IIRC. Now I could get it on my phone -- that's just awesome. What the hell is wrong with that. That's MORE choice.

Re:I think it's a great business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22402046)

And we have the right to think you're a moron for thinking this is a good business model. You must be one of the geniuses who sat down with the labels and conjured up this stinking pile of crap. They're not too far off from having what most people would consider a business model worth paying for... just drop the DRM, and allow downloads from any phone capable of downloading the music files. I'll even pay the ~$1 per song. Requiring a specific phone when there is no reason for it other than locking down rights is pure idiocy.

The labels just don't get it. Fuck your DRM. Until you come up with a *real* business model that doesn't treat me like a criminal, I *will* be a criminal. If I'm going to feel like a criminal either way, I may as well take the path that gets me DRM-less music.

Re:I think it's a great business model (1)

myspace-cn (1094627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22404696)

Oh that's right. What was it you said again?

"I *will* be a criminal. "


Nice. Your words not mine.

Mod me down in to oblivion as flamebait, I don't care, I only pointed out that finally Labels are essentially agreed to have Free Music Downloads to Cell Phones, which I thought was a great business model and all the responses are fuck the DRM.

Well fuck you. Don't buy their fucking phone.

I already pointed out a ton of other labels that don't have DRM. Right?! How is that flamebait?

Who cares who buys it. Does it hurt you? How does selling a fucking phone hurt you, when there's a million phones you can buy out there?

It's no wonder there's not many new bands that kick ass like in the 60's.
No wonder there's barely any protest music. Who the fuck want's to be in
the music business. If your the band you get a shitty contract, and from the
label you hire retards to protect your product.

You want flamebait.

FUCK YOU YOU STUPID PIECE OF SHIT.
IF YOU WANT DRM FREE SHIT GO PAY UNIVERSAL 9 or 10 Grand (or whatever the fuck it is now) a year for access to all their shit, then hit SONY, then EMI, and finally WARNER, whatever they ask, pay it.


Now you have a *reason* to mark me as FlameBait you stupid fuck.

It's not a bad model ...BUT (5, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401852)

Bundling some sort of a music fee into digital items is not a bad business model. The record companies get their piece of the pie, consumers can get a set of appliances where they can have their music.

This actually isn't that different from the software model, pre-Microsoft. Software was ultimately bundled in with the hardware and service contract costs and so everyone could just sorta of copy software all over the place. Heck, Microsoft owes a lot of its success to this sort of model for Windows largely due to its lack of DRM. If Microsoft required the sort of authentication with DOS and Windows 3.1 that it requires for Vista, it is very doubtful they would be in the dominant position they are in today. DOS used to be $10!!!

Of course, this bundling sucks for Linux and completely free software, but one could envision a distro actually having a service plan with it for DRM content. If you throw in a few extra bucks, the content plan could actually be used to help fund further Linux development. Thus, tacking a few bucks onto teeny boppers wanting to get the latest Hannah Montana on a Linux box could actually be used to help pay for things like additional FireFox, Open Office and other Linux core applications development.

The one thing that really hurts the credibility of the music industry, aside from the obvious and vile thuggishness with which RIAA presses its claims, is that, the artist's share of the proceeds is rather small. In the CD / Vinyl days, a large cut for the industry was reasonable because of all the people that the business needed to pay to make physical copies. Now, with electronic distribution, there's really no moral reason why the artist can't get a larger piece of the pie. But as we have seen with the writer's strike, it seems that the content industry isn't really interested in promoting, well, the truly gifted people that make content, but rather, exploiting them, and that completely undermines any legitimate claim onto the advantages of copyright. The recording industry isn't really an enabler of artists, as much as it is more like the Islamic caliphs of old sitting on overland trade routes, exploiting them until the Europeans figured out how to sail around them and avoid the ridiculous surcharges.

To have an efficient capitalistic economy, you want to reward investment in people that actually add value, and record companies don't. So, having a more consumer friendly business model won't fix the problem. Record companies have to actually pay the artists a real percentage of the music sales. IF shareware distributors can thrive taking 10-15% of a sale, leaving artists with the lion's share, then so can record companies. The situation is different with movies, which are much more collaborative and capital intensive thing, but, even there, there's no reason that the principals of a movie can't get a bigger piece of the pie.

Re:It's not a bad model ...BUT (1)

SlashWombat (1227578) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402068)

H'mm, Its not really free!. To start with, the typ of DRM they will undoubtedly employ is the one that "phones home" every time you play a track. On a mobile phone, that could come to a substantial charge very rapidly. (AKA: "protected" Windoz Media files). The music will probably be preceded by advertising of one sort or another. (this could easily be tied in with the DRM phone home ability) ... Analysis of the dross you listen to would enable targeted advertising... There is no such thing as FREE, there will always be a hook hidden somewhere in the bait.

Re:It's not a bad model ...BUT (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22404562)

There is no such thing as FREE, there will always be a hook hidden somewhere in the bait.

Well even "Free" software isn't really free. Its costs of development are picked up as part of a consultancy arrangement, or, through funding by companies that distribute that software as part of some other bundled service. Like, Apache is free, but its funded, IIRC, by a coalition of large ISPs that use it. They in turn recover the costs from their hosting customers.

Re:It's not a bad model ...BUT (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402104)

... It seems that the content industry isn't really interested in promoting, well, the truly gifted people that make content, but rather, exploiting them, ...

It seems most big companies aren't interested in anything but exploiting. Take the software industry as an example. Most of them seem to be taking advantage of unknowing users. You could expand that to lawyers, auto mechanics, and so on.

To have an efficient capitalistic economy...

Psychopaths don't care about the economy in general, they just care about the most efficient way to take advantage of people. Most of them do not seem to care if they harm their own long term welfare, as long as they screw someone over, they've "won."

ROM BASIC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22403756)

Reminds me of when Microsoft included basic in rom in the early home
computers. Microsoft got their royalties (or one time fee with
certain computer manufacturers) upfront and the consumers
didn't feel like they were paying for basic separate from the
computer hardware.
This avoided the problem they were having with their paper tape
basic being copied.

Sounds good, but... (2, Insightful)

Superpants (930409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401992)

I only wish the major labels would get some talent to make this service worthwhile.

Not just DRM, but rootkit as well (3, Insightful)

dogs4ar (1072988) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402166)

I started reading the original article, and stopped at this line:

"Every time you download a song to your phone, the same song is downloaded to your computer for playback through your PC speakers."

Just how the heck do they know when my PC is on, much less download songs to it? I don't want them downloading songs onto my PC without my knowledge. This service seems insidious. So you're saying every time I want to download a song, your proprietary player needs to be on a computer that's on and hooked up to the internet? Gee, there's no potential for abuse there.

What if someone sends me a rogue music file? If the same file is downloaded to my computer, isn't that going to mess up my machine? Virus writers are going to have a field day with this. Shame on Omniphone for promoting this garbage, and what is LG thinking, buying into this deal?

This will not replace p2p. It will barely make a dent. How can you justify charging for premium unlimited data when the same thing can be done with any smart phone on a wifi network for free? Really, these companies need to go back to their boardrooms and either disband or think of a better business model.

I'm not worried about the DRM. Whatever DRM these files come with will be broken the day that the first music file is downloaded from this service. I just don't understand why they even bother, anymore.

Can't teach a dinosaur new tricks, I suppose.

Re:Not just DRM, but rootkit as well (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22404014)

I have a small portable device that allows me to listen to music and I believe that some mobile phone already have this built in ... it's called a Radio! unencrypted un DRM'ed free music ....?

Re:Not just DRM, but rootkit as well (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406338)

Just how the heck do they know when my PC is on
Probably with the software that you install on your computer that polls their server every N minutes.

much less download songs to it?
How does Windows Update, Adept, etc. download updates? It periodically asks a server if there's anything new to download.

I don't want them downloading songs onto my PC without my knowledge.
Except you would know when your computer was downloading a song. Assuming you know what you're doing with your phone, anyway.

So you're saying every time I want to download a song, your proprietary player needs to be on a computer that's on and hooked up to the internet?
I haven't bothered reading about it, since I don't really care, but if the system is sane, having their software running on your computer won't be required for downloading a song to your phone. In theory, their server would keep the songs in a queue that your computer would get the next time you run their software.

What if someone sends me a rogue music file? If the same file is downloaded to my computer, isn't that going to mess up my machine? Virus writers are going to have a field day with this.
I would guess that your computer only downloads songs that you download from their server to your phone. To do what you describe, the system would have to work in such a way that your phone tells their server every time someone else sends a file to your phone (which can't be done without your knowledge unless you've really screwed up the Bluetooth settings on your phone), your phone uploads that same file to their server, and your computer downloads the file from their server. It seems fairly reasonable to assume that the system would not work this way.

so... (1)

SleepingWaterBear (1152169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402906)

It's going to be what? Six months to a year before we have open source phones via Android [google.com] or OpenMoko [openmoko.com] . I'm guessing some sort of music downloading software via either WiFi or cellular internet won't be far behind. Limewire's already written in Java, so a port for Android can't be that hard. Even ignoring open source phones, we're not far from the day when internet through the cell phone is standard. Especially as free WiFi becomes more widespread, people are going to start to expect their cell phones to tap into that even if they aren't paying for internet packages and the cost of those internet packages is going to have to drop as people get used to the idea of free internet. I think it's pretty clear who's going to win when MusicStation Max is forced to compete on an open market against the likes of iTunes. I hope the people behind MusicStation Max have to sense to realize that their business model is only going to be any good in the very short term.

How Many Times Do I Need To Say This.... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22403542)

...shop around, buy the CD as cheaply as possible and rip it yourself. No DRM plus a nice shiny disk and plastic case to file alphabetically on a shelf and gaze lovingly at.

And if you think a CD has "one or two good tracks on it" then please be a little more selective in your music choice. Don't buy the dross in the charts, there are thousands of classic albums out there that are good from start to finish and are worth every penny you pay for them.

Please don't entertain these idiot music moguls - they want to ***RENT*** you your music and rip you off in the process.

BUY THE CDs - then it's yours to KEEP.

Re:How Many Times Do I Need To Say This.... (2, Interesting)

Lunarsight (1053230) | more than 6 years ago | (#22404528)

If you do go this route, be sure to purchase albums from independent artists and labels.

If you DO plan on purchasing RIAA-stuff, at least buy used copies. You don't want to feed the proverbial bears if you don't have to.

In fact, these particular bears I'd love to see die of starvation. Oops - is that sort of comment going to get me in trouble with the animal cruelty people? I mean it figuratively, of course.

No real bears were harmed in the posting of this comment.

the impression of piracy (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22404692)

isn't giving people the impression that they're now allowed to commit piracy a really bad idea, even if they are technically paying for it? I think this service will just legitimize and thus boost actual piracy.

Just give me a flash capable cellphone (1)

illectro (697914) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405590)

And I can listen to any tune instantly, between imeem.com, last.fm, deezer and one of the other less legal sites one of them is bound to have the exact music I need. Downloads are of course needed so that the internet connection isn't continually active which will never scale.

DRM Sorrows (2, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407278)

So suppose this is a hit. Everyone gets this phone and this music service. At that point, what point at all will DRM serve, since User A thru User Z can all get the same free music?

While the obvious answer is "None!", somehow I still suspect that DRM would remain, and User B copying a file from User A, instead of downloading it for free from the overloaded servers would still be inviting an RIAA lawsuit!

Labels Agree On Free Music Downloads To Cell Phone (1)

MagickalMyst (1003128) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410118)

My cell phone battery says 'thank you'.

Doubtful... (1)

mikeinwa (1237758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410604)

This sounds a lot like that one other site that claimed the same.. what was its name again? I already forgot. Although it does say 4 labels are already onboard.... I wonder how true that is. If so, it might work out.
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