found drama

get oblique

more iTunes.

by Rob Friesel

From Ape Infinitum, re: iTunes Music Store: It’s all about recapturing second market revenue.

*shrug*makes-face*

Though I definitely fall in line w/ statements like: I wish I knew how to feel about iTunes. And/or “…people want to do the right thing [and go along with] good services at fair prices…”

First off, $0.99 per song is too much. When you don’t have unlimited personal rights with the file — fuck that. Limitations I know off the top of my head have something to do w/ the standard non-file-sharing jargon, 5x limitation on CD burns (DRM’d s/how), and limited sharing among PCs on your own local network. Easy hacks around all of these true — but I hardly see how those justify the price-per-song. It’s an “almost fair price” and little better.

Apple made it appealing to buy digital files. … More like, Apple timed the iTunes store launch at just the right time. In-w/-RIAA conspiracy theories aside, there’s no better time to launch these kinds of services. High profile hits on ordinary ppl by the Big Bad Music Industry make PAYING for digital music a very attractive option. To enough ppl that it’s starting to matter (BigChampagne’s comments notwithstanding).

So why if the PRODUCT, the COMMODITY of the whole musical-recording package… if that is so valuable and important to the consumer, why is digital music so attractive? The Alarmist at Ape Infinitum references ones ability to sell off CDs to used shoppes, to trade or give away… To buy and sell this commoditized package. If that is so important, why is it so attractive to download music? (Whether you paid for it or not?) Download a gig’s worth of music from Kazaa or Soulseek and you can’t sell that either. Pirate it and you’re not getting the case, the cover art, “the extraneous CD-ROM”… You can’t re-sell that either. You’ve got the idea of the music for free. Great. Wonderful. But if you’re downloading in that fashion, the above Alarmist argument is nowheresville.

Reference above: $0.99 is too much. It’s too much when you’re still (for the most part) paying into an exploitist system. You’re still mostly paying for record label propaganda (marketing), lawyers, contracts, executive salaries, snot-nosed 23 year-old graphic designers, poorly mixed gin martinis in the backs of rented limos to-and-from airports, and DRM R&D. If you’re lucky, 9 of your 99 cents are paying the artists themselves. So yeah, $0.99 is too much.

Asset re-marketing? Recapturing second-market revenues? Yeah. Or in this case, eliminating that second market. But this backlash seems silly. Just beat them at their own game.

$0.99 per song. Or $9.99 for a full album download. OR $6.99 to pick it up at that used record shoppe. And rip it down to a 192 mp3 and burn away.

Or are we somehow back to where we started?

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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