Trent Reznor Explains Why OiNK Was Cool
from the filling-a-void dept
Trent Reznor has certainly been doing some interesting things lately in trying to embrace file sharing and free music in a way that still makes business sense. It sounds like he’s open to plenty of new ideas as well. A few people wrote in last week when it was announced that in collaborating with musician Saul Williams, the two decided to follow Radiohead’s path and offer a new album with a “name your own price” system. They admitted that they had been toying with the idea, but once Radiohead did it, they figured why not do the same thing (how long until someone who is confused about how this all works accuses them of “stealing” the idea?).
However, what’s much more interesting is that in a NY Mag interview with Reznor and Williams, Reznor admits that he was an active member of OiNK, the file sharing site that was recently shut down, and then gives an eloquent explanation for why OiNK exists and why iTunes sucks. It’s not about “stealing,” even though Reznor does refer to it as stealing. It’s about people who love music:
“I’ll admit I had an account there and frequented it quite often. At the end of the day, what made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world’s greatest record store. Pretty much anything you could ever imagine, it was there, and it was there in the format you wanted. If OiNK cost anything, I would certainly have paid, but there isn’t the equivalent of that in the retail space right now. iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don’t feel cool when I go there. I’m tired of seeing John Mayer’s face pop up. I feel like I’m being hustled when I visit there, and I don’t think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc. Amazon has potential, but none of them get around the issue of pre-release leaks. And that’s what’s such a difficult puzzle at the moment. If your favorite band in the world has a leaked record out, do you listen to it or do you not listen to it? People on those boards, they’re grateful for the person that uploaded it — they’re the hero. They’re not stealing it because they’re going to make money off of it; they’re stealing it because they love the band. I’m not saying that I think OiNK is morally correct, but I do know that it existed because it filled a void of what people want.”