You know you’re getting old when the CD turns 25 (years old that is!).
Wow. I have fond memories of pestering my folks to buy a microwave sized CD player back in the mid 80s. All we used it for was listening to Brothers In Arms and classical CDs in all their digital glory. At least we could listen though – according to Wikipedia:
This was also the first album to sell one million copies in the CD format. Indeed, when the disc was released, it was said that more people owned a copy of the CD than owned CD players.
What were they doing? Maybe they were trying to jam it onto their turntables. Interestingly, this kind of reminds me of the current situation with iPods – I’d bet money that not all iPod owners have a computer.
cd, digital, media, music
I know people who bought a Creative Zen player instead of an iPod because they have FM tuners. The Zen players are also cheap and they can timeshift radio by recording FM broadcasts – handy for picking up news or current affairs when it suits best – some of the users I know are sports nuts that just want to listen to programs like the sports shows on NewsTalk 106 or Gift Grub on their own time. Â I almost bought a Zen recently but instead I upgraded my phone to a k800i to get both MP3 playback and FM receiver into one pocket device. (Alas, Sony being members of the OMA implement OMA DRM 1.0 in the k800i so recording from the radio is a no-no.)
Today there is a storm brewing because Creative, at the bidding of the RIAA apparently, have released a software update that removes the player’s FM recording feature. How about that for an update, something that removes functionality! Man, I’d be pretty annoyed if I owned one. Hybrid software/hardware devices and their draconian EULAs eh, who needs them. Me, I’d want my money back. I also wouldn’t buy Creative again.
Since it’s inception I have bought a few tracks from the iTunes Music Store, initially one out of curiosity and subsequently a few out of necessity and then occasionally one or two because I came home drunk from the pub and just wanted to hear a particular song. Happens to the best of us I’m sure. So probably no more than 10 or 15 in total – now that I try check, I can’t find a way to get a total from iTunes.
Two home macs and a few of windows (work) machines later and I’m now noticing that there are some tracks I cannot authorize on my current work laptop. I was aware of the 5 machine authorization limit when I bought the tracks but I’m now, sooner than expected, discovering that even seemingly flexible DRM like that does not suit my digital lifestyle.
Now I know that my digital lifestyle tends to be an accellerated version of that of normal computer users (I bought my first MP3 player back in 1998) so I’m now finding myself pitying the fools who are buying large quantities of digital content from the iTunes Music Store (soon to be a Movie Store too?). They could use something like QTFairUse6 (hey, that would be illegal!)to strip the DRM and yes they can burn everything onto physical media for safe keeping but does anyone think online purchasers do that? Right after they do regular backups of the rest of systems (yeah right!). There will come a time when they will realize their purchased digital media collection is no longer acessible – man I’d be pissed.
All in all, the whole thing is kind of putting me off listening to music. I’ve even coined a term for it – DRM fatigue – and the same phenomenon seems to be affecting sales of Blue Ray and HD-DVD drives. When system vendors and/or content rights owners make it that difficult to access content (intentionally or unintentionally) consumers eventually get tired of bothering (remember programming VCRs, anyone?)
apple, drm, hardware, music
It took a while, but those there is apparently now a tool to strip Windows Media DRM (not that I’d be able to verify, being a mac bigot and all) – those monthly subscriptions from Yahoo and Napster are suddenly looking mighty attractive! I wonder will they have to suspend distribution for a while (someone think of the media!)
Microsoft are very quiet on the whole affair, probably hoping that Big Media do not notice while they try patch up this almightly mess. Meanwhile, expect a critical software update to install itself on your machine soon to seek out and update all the poor vunerable wma files on your machine, in the name of fair use of course.
I guess that’s the thing with these content protection genies, once they get of the bottle it is damn hard to get them back in.
This just blows me away – grab Democracy from the folks at the Participatory Culture Foundation, browse the various RSS feeds and end up watching content like this or this (yes, Democracy loads torrents too). Then check out their sister site Video Bomb and if have your own content set up a Broadcast Machine or your own.
Awesome stuff, with quality free software and content like this, who needs broadcast TV?
internet, movies, music, oss, software, tv
I fired up Front Row this morning for some background tunes to my Saturday-morning-flaffing-about routine and discovered to my shock that suddenly my mini is “not authorized” to play a significant chunk of my DRM-free MP3 files. My mp3 files, that I ripped from my CDs and I’m not authorized to play them on my computer. My microwave never tells me that I am not authorized to nuke my food.
It turns out others have recently encountered this issue with FrontRow too yet there is no admission from Apple (that I can find) that this is a bug they will fix which begs the question- was this implemented in the latest updates by design? Meanwhile I have to either move my mp3 files onto the Mini’s internal hard drive (where there is no space) or mess around with ID3 tags in the files. Baah!
I started buying Macs because I was sick of this sort of low level mucking around on machines running the Windows. I do enough of that at work every day, I don’t want the hassle at home.
I’m beginning to sympathise with all this talk of switching.
drm, mac, music
The (free) quicktime video for song #1 from the () album, well worth 6 minutes of your time. It fits perfectly with the song.
the band’s third video, ‘untitled 1′ (aka vaka), was directed by the highly respected italian director and photographer floria sigismondi, and was released in february 2003. the video was a considerably dark affair, featuring playing children in a post-apocalyptic playground covered in black snow, where they must play under the protective guise of gasmasks. the video garnered mtv’s attention and was awarded the best video of 2003 at the mtv europe music awards.
Of course I can stand watching MTV (there is no music there) so I never knew.
AnimÃ© music video (AMV) is another one of those facinating internet subcultures that should be allowed to grow and influence mainstream media in the future (just as machinima will). If you are a fan of Daft Punk’s One More Time video then this stuff is right down your alley. The creativity and skill exhibited in some of the remixes produced by these amateur artists really is a sight (and sound!) to behold. Cowboy Bebop 007 and Euphoria are two excellent examples of these Anime/Music mashups. (hint: register on the AMV site above to get full access to the download links).
Alas, as Lawrence Lessig points out in his recent article in FT.com, the powers that be (copyright holders) don’t like this creativity one bit and their reactions is predicitable – they are threatening the AMV community. But what exactly are they scared of? Free promotion of their content? As Lessig surmises,
But perhaps a beginning would be a question that one might imagine asking the lawyer, or better, the chief executive, at Wind Up Records:
â€œNow that youâ€™ve succeeded in stopping thousands of kids from spending hundreds of thousands of hours to make fantastically creative content that promotes your work for free, do you really expect to sell more records next year?â€
If you want to find some new music to listen to, you can build your own radio stations try using Pandora – a great Flash application that alows you to ‘tune’ the playlist selection to your preferences. The interface is simple:
Positive votes leave the song playing (and hints to Pandora that you’d like more of the same), negative votes moves to the next song in the queue (and again hints to Pandora). You’d be surprised how quickly it tunes to your tastes/mood…
Apple’s iTunes podcast directory has 4 free audio podcasts of some of the content from Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home documentary of the early years of Dylan’s life (up to After The Crash in 1966). The documentary itself is fantastic, and this set of podcasts are also keepers.
Here are the links – they will redirect to launch iTunes (apologies, I can’t find any direct HTTP or FTP URL).
I’ve no idea why these are free, but if the labels like Sony BMG want to promote their artists, this is a good way to do it.