August 29, 2006

Some rambling on how much the digital music sucks...

So let’s try a online music store…

Today, I visited the Yahoo Music Store. Found some artists I like (I already have the album but I was just trying it..) I clicked buy, and… oh, I can’t see what the popup says because it is displayed behind the advertisement. Ok, I can’t buy music here. Close the window.

I have been searching for long time a nice way to buy legal music, because I just don’t buy CDs anymore. The online stores I have found:

  • Are from russia, and other countries claim music bought there is ilegal.
  • You get files with DRM, so when you want to move your files, backup them, carry them on a device, etc, you can’t.
  • You get files in proprietary formats.
  • The store decides which player you use.
  • Stores without DRM (usually mp3 format) lack content, because music labels won’t work with them.

Any Linux user has tried ? Any experiences? Which other systems do exists? independant music?

I support of copyright. I do think people should pay for the media they want to see. But I do think the topic is manipulated:

  • FUD against peer to peer technologies, by the recording industry, whose managers has been sleeping in terms of innovation and did not see the digital age coming.
  • RIAA using every trick that the law allows to spread fear, at the expenses of, sometimes, innocent people.
  • FUD against encryption
  • DRM, technology that tries to control what you can play or not. As every technology has problems, sometimes you will find yourself not being able to play stuff you own.
  • Artists still the forgotten part of the story.

Conclusion, today, the whole system sucks.

To educate yourself about the topic, some interesting readings:

Napster 2.0 and many services like it provide celestial music jukeboxes, but you’d better bring a sack of quarters. Using DRM, they charge extra for many traditionally free uses of your music.

For a monthly subscription fee, the Napster Unlimited music rental service offers you the ability to stream and download as much as you like from its entire catalog. If you miss a monthly payment, the DRM renders the downloaded music unplayable.

Even while your subscription lasts, however, the DRM ensures that you don’t get to use the music “any way you want.” Want to move your music to a portable player? That’ll be an extra five bucks per month for Napster To Go — and you’ll still only be able to play it using software or devices licensed to play WMA-protected subscription content, which excludes the iPod and most other portable players. How about burning a song to CD? Napster’s DRM requires you to cough up 99 cents more. What if you want to copy music to more than three computers? Pay another monthly subscription fee, or 99 cents per song. And what if you want to mix a song snippet with a home movie? Forget it—the DRM forbids that entirely.

Other stuff…

It’s easy to download files with BitTorrent, but sharing your files over BitTorrent is somewhat complicated. You have to generate torrents for each file you want to share, run a tracker, and run a seeder. Most people don’t even know what any of that means. It’s much more complicated to share files using BitTorrent than with a webserver. To put your files on the web, you just drop them in the correct folder and then webserver does the rest.

“Steal This Film is the first part of a free documentary series about file-sharing. This part focuses on The Pirate Bay, and copyfighters Piratbyran. From their website: “There have been a few documentaries by ‘old media’ crews who don’t understand the net and see peer-to-peer organisation as a threat to their livelihoods. They have no reason to represent the filesharing movement positively. And no capacity to represent it lucidly.”“The film is free for you to share, watch on your DVD-player or on your iPod, or show in cinemas.” Torrents are available on their website, or watch part one, two, three and four on YouTube.”

Torrent here