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Friday, March 04, 2005

On Digital Music Downloads:

I honestly don't think the record companies have a clue. Recently, I've heard a bit of talk about the record companies raising the prices on digital music downloads. Charging the average customer more than the now accepted $.99 per track will simply drive more people back into P2P, IRC, bitTorrent, etc.

The pricing scheme is even more idiotic for whole albums. The idea of album pricing should be to entice the consumer to "buy the whole thing". However, most albums are simply priced as a sum of the parts... a 10 song album generally sells for $9.90. From a business standpoint, this just seems absurd. Why not price the album for $7.99 and induce people to buy the whole thing?

Also, it's a nuisance to try to download some albums in their entirety. I can recall several albums that had only a few tracks available, as if the companies are trying to force the consumer to buy the CD version.

Additionally, try to find some things on iTunes, or Rhapsody, or Napster. Beatles? Nope. Led Zeppelin? Uh-uh. In fact, I had to buy Zeppelin's box set on eBay and rip it into 192 Kbps WMA. Why? Because I couldn't find any of their music to purchase online.

Couple all of this frustration with the highly annoying DRM implementations out there (try running iTunes' AAC on a Dell DDJ without using tools like Hymn to strip the DRM protection from the files) and you have a recipe for failure. Once the record companies address these flaws, I think they will have a good business model. Until they do, I, for one, will look for alternatives.


.: posted by Dave 11:42 AM

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