Linked by alcibiades on Tue 30th May 2006 20:40 UTC
In the News Dell and its business model has been the focus of a lot of comment on Apple oriented forums in recent months. The Dell model is said to be unviable, and Dell's recent news is said to prove this. A limited endorsement of sorts for the so called "end to end model" in music has been published by Walt Mossberg in the WSJ. Recently a real sky-is-falling article with this theme has appeared here. This is a subject that matters. If the advocates of the so-called "end to end model" are right, it implies that the industry structure which allows us all to source hardware from wherever we want, and run a variety of OSs on it, is in danger.
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cr8dle2grave
Member since:
2005-07-11

PC or Non-PC, it's irrelevant. The music industry has always been a commodity market. Being tied to Apple hardware when purchasing from iTMS is, in principle, no more acceptable than it would be if I were to required to purchase a Virgin branded CD player to play CDs bought at a Virgin Record store and a Wallmart CD player to play music bought at Wallmart.

Once the novelty of online distribution wears off, consumers will demand the same type of interoperability they've always had with music.

Reply Parent Score: 1

atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

They have it.

It's called an audio CD. You can make one right from iTunes.

Or use the analog hole and your cutting-edge 8-track recorder. Whatever suits your needs.

If you want the full quality of the original file you downloaded, you have to play it through iTunes or an iPod, or just leave the house and get a real CD, but it's not like people are buying iPods because they're locked in. They buy them because they're better. Fairplay just offers much more flexibility than WMDRM ever will.

Reply Parent Score: 3

cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

They have it.

Only if you find a further degradation in sound quality an acceptable trade off for the interoperability you've had all along. I don't and I see no reason to believe that consumers in general will over the long run.

Fairplay just offers much more flexibility than WMDRM ever will

False. On the technical side, MS's DRM scheme offers a greater range of enforcable policies than FairPlay, making it more attractive to publishers, and it's available on a far greater range of devices, which will eventually win over consumers.

Reply Parent Score: 3

atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

Only if you find a further degradation in sound quality an acceptable trade off for the interoperability you've had all along. I don't and I see no reason to believe that consumers in general will over the long run.

Which is why I buy CDs, and then rip them in iTunes so I can listen to them on my iPod. People who buy from the iTMS have their own reasons. For one, it's instant music that may be hard to find in stores. Or maybe because they just want one song and not a whole album. Or again, because you get the neat previews and then can't resist the impulse buy. But I think the big seller is that "plays for sure" is a fact, not a slogan. If they currently or ever don't have an iPod, they can burn a CD for the car, or hook up a Mini or any other computer to a stereo. It's a few clicks to move their entire downloaded library to a new computer. Also, on top of being the best service, iTMS has a great amount of momentum. Other music download services may be gone in the morning.

False. On the technical side, MS's DRM scheme offers a greater range of enforcable policies than FairPlay,

What good is a range? Customers don't get to choose which DRM policy their files will have on them. Fairplay has one policy, and it's very pro-consumer.

making it more attractive to publishers,

Because they can more effectively restrict the customer's freedom. This is why a "range" is bad.

and it's available on a far greater range of devices, which will eventually win over consumers.

You'd think so, but it ain't happening. The iPod gets more popular with each iteration. MP3 players that aren't iPods are a true anomaly in the wild.

Reply Parent Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Once the novelty of online distribution wears off, consumers will demand the same type of interoperability they've always had with music.

Or simply demand that DRM is not used; the only people who want it are the music industry - the tech industry? hell no, its yet another damn thing they have to maintain, audit and provide security updates for, the less they have to worry about, the better; the last people who will want DRM, along with consumers, tech companies.

At the same time, however, tech companies know that if they don't provide DRM technology/facilities, the chances of them being able to offer online services, music players etc. would be gone.

If people *really* wish to vent their anger at the DRM issue, target it at the companies who are demanding that DRM to be used; simply refuse to purchase their music; purchase off independent labels who refuse to offer their music protected by DRM, who offer vanilla mp3's for download rather than extorting money out of customers per month as with the subscription models do today.

Reply Parent Score: 3

cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

Agreed. With the exception of DVDs, where the protection scheme is trivial to circumvent and there exists no other alternative, I personally refuse to purchase DRMed media. While I find it heartening that eMusic is doing as well as it apparently is, I think it's highly unlikely that major content cartels will agree to such a distribution scheme anytime in the near future (although that might be their eventual undoing).

Also, while I'm kinda reflexively opposed to DRM, I must say that I have a hard time seeing anything inherently wrong with rental models such as the ones currently used by Napster and Real. The price is still too high for what you get in my view (not to mention that their services aren't available on my operating system of choice), but the model itself seems basically fair to me. If Netflix were to sell a closed piece of hardware and corresponding service which downloaded DVD quality video from the internet and allowed me to select from among their entire catalog (essentially changing their turnaround time from 48 hours to 4 hours), I'd be very tempted even if the device was heavily locked down and limited to playing the content on a single display.

Reply Parent Score: 1