Because consumers apparently just aren't confused or bullied enough, it looks like things are going to get even worse for those who want to do something simple like listen to music on their computer. Even though we've already got plenty of different formats, the folks at the Fraunhofer Institute, the developers of the MP3 format, have released more details about their copy protection scheme. I'm sure someone else out there knows whether or not this is related to the copy protection scheme for MP3s that Thomson is working on. Either way, it's simply yet another way to limit what consumers can do with their music - which, of course, is not (at all) what consumers want. It seems the entire purpose of the music industry these days is to deliver products that are less useful to consumers than what they already have. That's quite a business strategy. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart has "officially" launched their music store, which isn't really news, because the store's been running for months. Part of the announcement, though, is that some record label will be exclusively providing tracks to the Wal-Mart download store. In other words, fans who really want to hear that music will need to set up another account at another store with its own restrictive policies, and the music won't play with songs that they purchased at certain other stores. Again, a situation where the consumer is worse off.
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