Monday, November 13, 2006

iPod owner=Thief

Or, at least, so says the CEO of Universal Music Group. Apparently, fair use doesn't include using media you have paid for in ways other than direct read and play a la your good ol-fashioned cd player. This has provoked a predictable response from the legions of iPod faithful. It is important to point that out, the LEGIONS of iPod users. The mp3 market is dominated by the little white icon, so it's probably not wise for the leader of a music distribution company to make enemies so quickly. These articles make me laugh for two reasons. First, it's a blatant plug for Microsoft's new product, the Zune, which is supposed to rival Mac's iPod for the digital music player market. Second, Microsoft is paying off the music industry to gain the support of artists and, thereby, create their own distribution network.

The reality of the situation is that the real digital music snobs, the guys who encode in lossless formats with weird names like flac, ogg vorbis, or monkey's audio, don't really care. If anything, these super-users will take their business to a player that supports these special interest formats, or at least will run rockbox. What about pandering to the fringe, or realizing that allowing users to rip cds could save dismal cd sales. Instead, the hardware and music producers would rather make sure they get paid at the cost of software and business innovation. This is what happens in a trust ecconomy.

No comments: