Well, all I can say is that it’s about godsdammed time. Today’s big news out of Macworld — that the iTunes Music Store is going DRM-free AND adding a tiered pricing structure — is good news for everyone involved.
It’s good news for consumers because — from the consumer standpoint — DRM sucks fully, totally and utterly. No matter how it was spun as one of those “for your protection” things, or as “protection for the artist,” it’s been proven time and time again to be a big pain in the ass for consumers. Anytime you purchase an artifact — including a digital file — with eithervsome kind of purely arbitrary use restriction and/or dependency on the large corporation that sold you the artifact to keep it working, that’s potential trouble. Period.
Posted by Jim Connelly in Amazon, Apple, DRM, iTunes, Medialoper, Microsoft, Movies, Music, Politics, Television, Unexpected Results on Dec 17, 2008
“Ducking the Shoe” is a phrase coined by Daniel Fienberg a couple of days ago on Twitter to mean “escaping even the most minor of punishments for extended errors or misdeeds.”
So in the spirit of George W. Bush’s ninja-like ability to duck a shoe thrown at him from point blank range, the following people and things spent 2008 getting away with shit that they really should have been busted on.
Circles, my head’s going round in circles
— Pete Townshend
Circles, circles, everywhere I see circles. Right now, on three main things I use to access the world — Microsoft Vista, Firefox, and the iPhone — I’m always seeing circles, making me wait. Or, more to the point, letting me know that I am going to be waiting while an application or my email or a web page loads.
And they’re all slightly different: Apple has their rotating series of lines; Mircrosoft Vista has a rotating blue circle, while Firefox has a series of dots that chase each other. Extra fun: when you load a Firefox page on a Vista machine, you get both of their circles simultaneously!!
My question is simple: when did this happen? When did a rotating circle become UI shorthand for “your request is very important to us, please wait?”
And furthermore, who thought that it was a good idea? Because I’m not so sure that it is.
So here’s the deal: The National Music Publisher’s Association has said that they want to increase the royalty rate for each legal download from $0.09 to $0.15 per song. Apple has responded by threatening to shut down iTunes.
I assume that “iTunes” means “iTunes Music Store,” and this has nothing to do the the TV Shows, Films and Applications that also go through iTunes, because, well, that would just be stupid.
I’m not here to argue the merits of what one side will say is only a six cent increase and the other side will say is a 66% increase, nor am I going to point out that this is Apple’s way of saying that if they don’t continue to get exactly what they want, they’re going to take their ball and go home.
But I will say this: if the iTunes Music Store went away tomorrow, it wouldn’t even be a blip on my radar.
I have an iPhone. Old-school, 4GB, purchased on a whim last summer and, despite a glitch here and there, it’s been an amazingly handy and even transformative device.
That said, I’m dumping it because now that the T-Mobile Google Android-based G1 is out, I’m over the iPhone, which sucks sucks sucks. Not really, though I’m assuming that some of the comments on this article will act as if I said just that.
What is true is this: I didn’t purchase a 3G; and when my original AT&T contract is up next year, I’m going to take a good hard look at whichever version of the G1 is out there vs. whichever version of the iPhone is out there.
And here are some reasons why.