Buying legal online music may be cheap, but it’s still a pain in the ass

arts and entertainment, business and consumers

I think this IM exchange pretty much says it all.


Friend: hey can you download a coldplay song for me?
Friend: i don’t want to install napster
Me: heh heh, such a lazy bastard.
Friend: http://www.napster.com/bestbuy_coldplay.html [promo entitling him to a “free” and legal download]
Friend: i bought the CD
Friend: and it’s a stupid gimmick for me to download it
Me: I thought it was a pretty smart gimmick 😛
Friend: Promo code:
Friend: not smart enoughMe: Unfortunately, I won't be able to directly download 'n' transfer to track to you...Friend: oh no?Me: 'cause it still will have DRM on it tied to my Napster installation.Friend: why?Friend: if it's a free songFriend: wouldn't it be ownable?Friend: otherwise, it's not freeMe: so what I'd have to do is download it, then play it, record the stream, save the new file, and send you the new file.Friend: then forget itMe: Dude, free is not free in today's music world. It's sad.Friend: this is stupidMe: Of course it's stupid.Me: but it's the same with iTunes.Me: you "buy" a song... you don't own it, no matter what the iPod fanboys gush.Friend: i'll get it from the p2p nets

* * *

Adding insulting to injury, my friend just informed me that he can't even play the CD he just purchased in his computer's CD-ROM drive, likely due to some (@*#&! copy-protection. Unsurprisingly, he's returning the CD to the store where he bought it.

May the recording industry not only die a painful death, but may it do so at an enhanced pace.

2 comments… add one
  • Bee Jun 8, 2005

    My CD player can’t play some of the copy-protected CDs… but I’m lucky that I can still play it on my computer’s CD-ROM drive.

    I also do not like the fact that I can’t rip those copy-protected CDs without all the noise…I just want to listen to them from my mp3 player!

    Ah… i just googled and got to know there’s a way! Read this http://www.suslik.org/Writings/musicrip.html

  • Ian Jul 12, 2005

    If you listened to Ween or the Dead (or Swervedriver, which is what I’m listening to now), you wouldn’t have this challenge. (You’d get some unique bootlegs too). Not all artists are in league with some money-grubbing distribution/production racket, and sometimes people make music because it’s what they like to do, not because they want to make money off the broadest possible demographics. Not exactly targeted traffic…

    Okay, enough out of me. Nice blog!

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