This service rocks. It’s free, has a pretty good range of music, and is guaranteed to make me buy more music (on CD, because all electronic music download services are still either illegal or stupid).
The Flash player kicks butt (there’s a desktop one coming soon), and intelligently hooks into the webpage’s markup to update the title with every new song. It’s gold. Song Title by Artist from Album Name. It says Album Name! I’m sitting here scribbling down must-acquire ‘90s music.
It uses AAC2+ apparently… all I really know is that it sounds great and is stupidly easy to use.
But possibly unsustainable… none of my money is going to them. They’re launching hardware devices, so this might just be a ploy to get people to buy them, but I’m more interested in who’s doing all the work. There’s absolutely zero crowd-sourcing going on here that I can see… which means that “Related Artists” list is all professionally programmed. I know the Top Stations are, but the artists bit is going a little far perhaps…
Triple J Unearthed and Myspace and PureVolume, etc., all do it the other way around, which seems infinitely more sensible… but you need critical mass to get there, I suppose.
One to watch. And listen to.
I want to buy a CD right now. I’ve heard an artist I love, I want to hear more of it, and I can’t buy it online. Well, I possibly could (though as an artist on an Australian indie label they’re probably not exactly available through URGE or iTMS) but certainly not in any instantly-gratifiable way. Which is really the rub, isn’t it?
If I bought DRM’d music, I could have it now. If I wait a few days, I can have it DRM free. This applies as much to obscure artists on indie labels as it does to top 40 hits: even so-called ‘enhanced’ CDs are close enough to Red Book spec that you can rip the guts out of them to beautiful lossless FLAC files without much difficulty.
That’s what’s so bloody illogical about this whole conundrum: I can still get content in better-than-iTunes quality without DRM. I just can’t have it now.
Why not just let me have it now as an MP3 (OGG or FLAC would be nicer, but I’d settle for less ;-)) whilst I wait for the CD to arrive? What about this model doesn’t make sense? I would buy so much more music if licensers played to my at-computer (or, in this case, in-room at-radio) impulse buying tendencies. I doubt they’re ever going to get it.
In today’s news, iTMS Australia launches without Sony, presumably because they’re greedy, uncompromising bastards. I’d like to be sued for defamation on that comment (because, you know, they’d get awarded such massive damages for a blog this size), because then at least the real reason would come out, either way. I’m inclined to think they’re far more evil than Apple, but perhaps that’s just PR spin. Having said that, here’s evidence to the contrary from an AppleTalk Australia interview with CD Baby founder, Derek Sivers:
Keep in mind : Apple is not screwing musicians. Labels are screwing musicians. Apple pays 70 cents per 99-cent download. If the artist has signed their music over to a label, they don’t own their music anymore. The label does. So Apple pays the label 70 cents per song, and the label pays the artist… what… a penny? Two? Nothing at all? But when an artist is NOT signed to a label, when they’re going through CD Baby for example, we only keep a 9% cut and pay 91% of all income directly to the artists every week. Our accounting is wide open so they can see every dollar every day, and it all goes to the artist every week, without fail, for over 7 years now.
Also, I’ve just discovered that iTunes users, even on Windows, can rip CDs with supposed “Copy Control” technology without even having to resort to the typical Shift key “hack” (heh, and, in the US, pressing Shift at that point in time is entirely illegal. Remove those copyright circumvention devices from your keyboards, America!!) to prevent the loading of supposed restricting technologies. I guess this means iTunes is now illegal under the DMCA, too?
For the record, the CD in question was Placebo’s 2003 “Sleeping with Ghosts” album, published by Virgin. At least they didn’t have the audacity to use the standard CD logo on it (because these copy-control things are outside of Red Book spec).
by Josh Street on October 25th, 2005 Tags: America
, Baby founder
, CD Baby
, copyright circumvention devices
, Derek Sivers
, iTMS Australia
, Sleeping with Ghosts
, supposed restricting technologies
, United States
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