by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jan 25th 2010 5:02pm
For quite a while now, we've been hearing how many in the recording industry don't like selling pure music digital files, because they leave out the rest of what people like to get with an album: the booklet, images, lyrics, etc. Lately there have been a few different attempts (with a whole bunch more on the way) to add that sort of information to digital music files. Not so long ago Apple introduced its iTunes LP which hasn't exactly taken the world by storm yet. Now there's another competitor in the space, called MusicDNA, which includes all that additional content. It's main differentiator, though, is that the content can be regularly updated -- but only if you have the official copy, rather than an unauthorized one. I certainly understand the thinking here (it's an attempt to create a "freemium" type situation which encourages people to buy the version with all that other (updating) content. But I do wonder if the updating will freak some users out -- knowing that they want to buy something that isn't going to change over time in any way. I like the basic idea that content could be added to (which certainly could be a reason to buy) so long as old content can't be tinkered with/deleted (it's not clear in either article here). Another article suggests that the updated content would be for things like concert listings or Twitter feeds, which actually makes sense. Though, seeing all that, I wonder if this file format actually competes with the new trend for musicians to put out iPhone apps that sound like they basically do the same thing as this new MusicDNA format does.
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