Forget Carrying Around 40,000 Songs; Think Infinite Music Storage

from the it's-in-the-cloud dept

Last month we wrote about how the economics of music were changing so rapidly that it highlighted how out of touch the record labels are when they still think charging $1 per song makes sense, just as Apple is releasing an iPod that can hold 40,000 songs. Of course, that’s only looking at the present. We all know technology is rapidly changing, and Princeton computer science professor Ed Felten notes that it won’t be long until anybody can carry all music ever recorded in their pocket. In fact, everyone will be able to do that. At that point, the economics of the industry are totally out of whack with what the recording industry still believes. Felten notes that if anyone can buy a bit of storage that contains all music ever recorded, just think how impossible it will be to shut down file trading operations. All of the music will be out there available to everyone. As long as one of your friends has access to all that music, you just need to create a private sharing network with them — and the RIAA’s goons will never know about it. Felten suggests this leads to a world where the industry is finally going to need to accept some kind of universal licensing plan — or they might just realize that letting the music go free has plenty of benefits elsewhere in the music business model ecosystem. Of course, that would take more forward thinking record industry execs… and we may be waiting a long, long time for that to happen.

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Comments on “Forget Carrying Around 40,000 Songs; Think Infinite Music Storage”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Don’t forget as bandwidth speeds increase the potential for file sharing increases as well. Look at the **AA showing fear in the face of the internet2 100Gbps. Fuck all that science crap, they gotta protect their bottom line!!!

It is only a matter of time until storage and bandwidth makes sharing all music ever the norm. Personally, I don’t like 80% of the music ever created anyway and I’d hate to use my ipod to scrollwheel through all music ever to find that one song.

Freddy says:

“and the RIAA’s goons will never know about it. Felten suggests this leads to a world where the industry is finally going to need to accept some kind of universal licensing plan”

NooOOooo!!!!! At least for now. Let all the dinosaur record companies die in the tar pit, then maybe institute some kind of universal licensing plan that gives the money directly to the artists.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Storage

That’s about 3,944,615,750 four minute songs. Or, at $.99 a piece, about $3,905,169,592.50
I might need to get a second millionth job…

But, honestly, nobody would ever have that much music. Since the average life expectancy in the US, if I remember correctly, is only 75, or about 9,861,539.38 songs, there really isn’t need.

Richard The Realist says:

The obvious solution - what was done for videotape

Just give RIAA and the recording companies 10% of the profit on every means of digital storage sold from now on. Though they might ‘prove’ in court that they should get more. Surely their own products are the only REAL reason people buy storage.

And what about the rights that lens makers have to the pictures you take – huh? Surely they own part of those!

But should we tithe to the church for the photons and sound waves we use with no payment whatsoever? Aren’t we ripping the creator(s) off?

anthony says:

napster 1999

yea, i have a fileswapping network, me and my buddies have gotten together and i have a slavanap server at my house and we all have clients (10 of us all together) and its nice cuz its free of spyware and that garbage.

Idea : im sure you all know the way dc++ works with ynhub. maybe is someone could create a server on the napster RFC, that could be linkable to hubs and nodes that we could create the worlds lagest MP3 network?? hows that for the riaa to find and trace 🙂

Anthony (user link) says:

Totally agree

I’ve been saying this for years. If “record companies” made it easy to be honest, and realized that the days of their racket are numbered (that is, charging absurd amounts of money for packaging and slick marketing of marginal talents), they might be able to spur a renaissance in music artistry. But I’m not holding my breath, I think they’ll just die fighting.

donkey donny says:


the music business is primarily involved with promoting the present and the future of pop music. no ipod can carry music that will be created tomorrow. the only thing that will change is the “hit life” of a song will shorten from a month, to a week, to a day, to us getting emails in the future promoting the next song of 12:00 pm on Oct 18th.

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