Reporters have no sense of history. For years, we've been pointing out all these breathless articles about "burn-on-demand kiosks" for either software or music in retail stores. Every time, a reporter insists its such a brilliant new invention, ignoring every other time it's been created in history -- perhaps because every time it's been created in the past, it fails. Having worked with a few of these companies quite a few years ago, it's pretty obvious why they fail. Well over a decade ago there was a company doing exactly this called Personics (though, they started with mix tapes in an age before CDs). While they did run into problems dealing with the music industry, logistical issues were a large part of the reason they never went very far. First, using the devices takes time. So, if you're in a store, that means you either need an awful lot of these devices, or you end up with people waiting around to use the machines when they could be at home downloading music the easy way. Next, kiosks in stores break. People bang away at them and they break. Maintaining the machines is insanely expensive. It always makes it nearly impossible to make any money off of these machines. So why is it that the press loves to write the same story every few years when a new company makes all the same mistakes? I have no idea. This time, they try to spin the story as a "legal way to download music." Of course, there already are plenty of legal ways to download music that don't involve having to stand around in a store using a busted grimy computer.
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