30 Years Of The CD, Of Digital Piracy, And Of Music Industry Cluelessness

from the didn't-see-that-one-coming dept

A post on The Next Web reminds us that the CD is thirty years old this month. As the history there explains, work began back in the 1970s at both Philips and Sony on an optical recording medium for music, which culminated in a joint standard launched in 1982. The key attribute of the compact disc was not so much its small size -- although that was the most obvious difference from earlier vinyl -- but that fact that it stored music in a digital, rather than analog format.

At the time, that probably seemed a technical detail to most people, but it had two profound consequences. First, it began the shift from a world of analogue music recordings -- LPs and tapes -- to one that was digital. And secondly, it created the pre-condition for the rise of file sharing in the 1990s once the MP3 compression technology had been devised, and the Internet became available to general users -- especially younger ones. Services like Napster would not have been nearly so popular had there not been convenient digital files on CDs just sitting there, waiting to be ripped, uploaded and shared. And the reason it was so easy to do that was because CDs came without any copy protection mechanisms whatsoever.

So how on earth did Philips, Sony and the entire music industry make what must appear in retrospect such a huge blunder? Why did they not worry about people copying files from these new CDs? The answer is very simple: because at the time the CD was launched, there was nothing you could copy a CD to.

One year after the CD's commercial appearance, IBM launched its first version of the PC that had an internal hard disc, the IBM PC XT. Its capacity? A roomy 10 Mbytes. The CD holds around 700 Mbytes, meaning that uncompressed songs typically require around 50 Mbytes of storage each. The cost of any hard disc capable of storing even a single song was so great back in those days, that the idea of digital piracy was self-evidently absurd, since it would have been far cheaper to buy another copy of the CD than a hard disc to store it on.

But what that failed to take into account was the steady and precipitous reduction in the price per Mbyte of hard disc storage that would take place over the next few decades. Today we have reached the point where you can buy a 1 Terabyte hard disc for around $80; that means the cost to store the contents of an entire CD as MP3 files is about $0.005 -- and still dropping.

The CD therefore stands as a wonderful symbol of the music industry's inability to see the deeper, underlying trends in technology, and where they would take us. Back then, it meant that nobody was worried about the idea that people would copy digital files from CDs and share them, because they forgot that technology would make possible tomorrow the things that seemed impossible today. Now it means the copyright industries are still trying to preserve unsustainable 20th century business models instead of planning for the incredible technologies we will have in 10, 20 or even 30 years time. They only have to look at the history of the CD and digital piracy to see just how far things can go -- and how wrong our current assumptions can be.

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 7:48pm

    Yeah, it's easy to store, cheap to get, and totally not worth it. The junk put out by the big 3 in music no longer holds any attraction. Simply put, it isn't worth the bandwidth it takes to download it.

    Buy this crap? You gotta be kidding me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 8:00pm

    "The CD therefore stands as a wonderful symbol of the music industry's inability to see the deeper, underlying trends in technology,"

    Are you suggesting they should have found a way to make each some 4TB big, to stop piracy? ;)

    Seriously though, you can get really caught up in looking at the delivery method and totally forget about the product. People don't by shiny plastic discs to decorate their rooms, their buy them for the music on them.

    It's all about the music, hard disk size isn't relevant to people's enjoyment of the music, or desire to have it. It's a red herring to even go down that road.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 8:01pm

    Re:

    Speaking of red herrings...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 9:02pm

    I know you love to use the word "share", but in the case of music that is illegally copied the correct term is "distribute". "Share" is typically associated with a small set of personal friends. "Distribute" is typically associated with the world at large. CDs were often shared. Vinyls were often shared. Tapes were often shared. Digital rips shipped off the "The Land of Torrents and the Like" is not at all even close to being "shared".

     

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    Scott, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 9:05pm

    Re:

    And the rise of more independent labels.

     

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  6.  
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    Kyle Reynolds Conway (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 9:21pm

    Re:

    My reaction to that line in the article was simply that it was a bit unfair. I mean, really, how could the music industry have known that PC's would dominate, hard drives would exponentially grow in size and lower in cost, copying & compression would be simplified for teenagers, and we'd share bits and bytes from the comfort of our cushions with complete strangers internationally at dizzying speeds.

    I'm not saying the industry has been *smart* about much, but I don't see how they could have predicted the past 30 years with any accuracy (and I wouldn't want the transition to digital changed if they could have predicted all this).

    The real issue is their insistence that the digital reality somehow play by physical rules. That misses all the benefits and opportunities that make my mother say "It's the Jetsons" in disbelief about video chat, while penalizing an entire generation for being excited by--and interfacing with--21st century realities.

    The history is nice--and I'm glad they didn't see it coming--I'm just not sure how they could have.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 9:38pm

    ""Share" is typically associated with a small set of personal friends."

    No, it isn't.

     

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    fb39ca4 (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 9:39pm

    So they should release music in 7.1 surround, sampled at 384kHz and 32 bit resolution, all uncompressed, which should fit 80 minutes of music nicely on a 50GB dual layer BR disc, making it once again somewhat impractical to store and transmit copies of the music without additional physical media. (until some guy turns it into an mp3 file)

     

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  9.  
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    Chancius, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 10:01pm

    Re: Re:

    According to the book Perfecting Sound Forever by Greg Milner, there were staff at the major labels who not only foresaw the rise of the internet and mp3s, but were very interested to involve their companies in this new venture. Most of the stories resulted in the higher ups not being interested at all and were completely fine with the status quo, but a few important key players in charge even admitted that they knew so little about technology and computers that they didn't even know who to turn to when it came to the internet, websites, and mp3s. The world and their industry changed so fast that they had no grasp on it. Don't get me wrong, that's not the only reason the majors aren't doing the numbers they once did, but it was very enlightening to discover this straight from the horses mouth!

    Free album download at www.facebook.com/chancius

     

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  10.  
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    Zos (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 10:16pm

    Re:

    speaking of people stuck in the past..

     

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    Wally (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 10:52pm

    "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    Before you could share MP3's in the mid to late 90's, we had boom boxes with tape recorders in them. It took a bit longer then than it did now. An old and fun trick I did with the Titanic sound track was record "My Heart Will Go On" and then enable the high speed dubbing feature in the recording deck of the boom box (open latch, find easily tripped piece of plastic, hold it and press record) and play the song in high pitch (sounds like an 80's pop song done by chipmunks).

    On the flip side if you grew up in a house like mine where most of the wiring was done in the 1970's with outlets attached to switches, and one of them just happened to be a light dimmer, you could turn on High Speed dubbing and dim the switch to make Cher sound like a man (Believe was the song).

    Either way it was fun to mess around with that kind if thing. I was very grateful we could share tapes and swap CD's.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 12:52am

    Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    I still have about a 1000 cassette tapes with music I recorded from CDs I got from the public library and friends. I did this well into the 90s until I finally switched everything to digital. This file sharing is nothing new to me.

     

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  13.  
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    Rekrul, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 1:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's funny that a huge portion of the public was perfectly able to understand the internet, websites and MP3s. Maybe they should have hired some college kids as consultants...

     

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    Rekrul, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 1:23am

    If the music companies had foreseen what would happen with computers, CDs would have both copy protection and region codes.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 1:46am

    Re: Huh ???

    I'm not sure you read the article or comprehended it. There is no red herring.

    The article explains that the reason there was no copy protection on CDs, is because there was not enough storage space in the consumer world to make copying feasible. Hard disk space is not relevant to people enjoying music, but it was relevant when deciding whether or not to release a product that could be easily copied. If the cost of the copy is several times that of just buying a new original, then there is no need to worry about copying.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 2:03am

    Re:

    ""Share" is typically associated with a small set of personal friends. "Distribute" is typically associated with the world at large."

    Would you mind linking to the dictionary that states that? The ones written in the English language, rather than the industry sycophant dialect you seem to speak, state something rather different.

     

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    Richard (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 2:05am

    Re: Re:

    My reaction to that line in the article was simply that it was a bit unfair. I mean, really, how could the music industry have known that PC's would dominate, hard drives would exponentially grow in size and lower in cost, copying & compression would be simplified for teenagers, and we'd share bits and bytes from the comfort of our cushions with complete strangers internationally at dizzying speeds.


    Well Moore's law was already well known in 1980 and had been going strong for around 15 years.

    Andrei Sakharov had already predicted the world wide web.

    The internet already existed.

     

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  18.  
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    PaulT (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 2:10am

    Interesting take on the subject - only, I disagree. File sharing isn't just driven by the ease of ripping, it's the desire to share and obtain music. The need to preview albums, share the music you enjoy, copy to a more convenient format and the rest would still be there even without the CD. In fact, once digital players became possible, file sharing may have been even more popular without the CD as it would be so much easier to grab a track that had already been ripped rather than rip your own.

    On top of that, if copy protection and region coding and the like had been implemented, I guarantee it would be as effective as the ones on a standard DVD. In other words, when the need arose they would be easily bypassable and barely a speed bump in the road to those wishing to use the CD in a way not pre-ordained by the labels. Mid-90s DRM on DVDs only acts as an mild inconvenience to paying customers, and isn't even noticed by pirates. I doubt that early 80s DRM on CD would have been even that effective.

     

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  19.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 2:10am

    Re:

    It's all about the music, hard disk size isn't relevant to people's enjoyment of the music, or desire to have it. It's a red herring to even go down that road.

    No delivery system - no music - quite simple really - how come you don't get it?

    (Unless of course you finally realised the consequences of the fact that LIVE music can't be pirated)

     

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  20.  
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    frank87, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 3:08am

    Sharing and distibuting

    Do you know chain-letters?

    Sharing can be a very effective way to distribute stuff.

     

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  21.  
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    techflaws (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 3:24am

    Re:

    So you actually belive 6 degrees of separation is not enough for people to "share" any music with their circles of friends around the world without using the Internet? Keep dreaming.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 3:47am

    Re:

    And we would have anticircumvention-laws too for both these DRM-mechanics since jailbreaking is such a competition... I do not think the record companies would stand much better anyway.

    They would still need to change their business to a cheaper and more flexible model in the long run!

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 4:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The internet already existed".
    Yep. That Al Gore was way ahead of his time.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 4:22am

    Re: Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    Oh, that's just your imagination. "Because at the time the CD was launched, there was nothing you could copy a CD to". So apparently nobody had tape recorders back then.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 5:07am

    Re: Re: Huh ???

    Still a red herring. The reality is that digital can be copied, and someone would figure out a way. The lack of copy protection is much more attributed to the relatively low tech standards of the day, and the limited processing available to playback a CD.

    The real issue in the end is that computers ended up with CD drives (best way to distribute software), and it wasn't long before people were trying to figure out ways to copy the music and move it to their hard drives. The rest is history - but still not the point.

    All of that concentrates on the delivery system, and forgets that people don't want to copy a random bunch of 1s and 0s for fun. They want the music, the music is key. 78 record, album, 45 single, 8 track, cassette, CD, digital, or brain wave injection, the song remains the same. Focusing exclusively on the distribution side of the deal is probably the best way possible to entirely miss the point of music.

    I can't imagine why Techdirt spends tons of time on the distribution, and none of the time on the music.

     

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  26.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 5:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Al Gore - an inventor in the great American tradition of Columbus...

     

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  27.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 5:25am

    Re:

    "Share" is typically associated with a small set of personal friends

    As in that small group of personal friends that own shares in (say) IBM, or Microsoft or...

     

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  28.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 5:39am

    Re: Re: Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    Nothing that you could copy a CD losslessly to.

    It was implied by the generaol thrust of the argument - but maybe it could have been said explicitly.

     

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  29.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 5:41am

    Re:

    If the music companies had foreseen what would happen with computers, CDs would have both copy protection and region codes.

    Actually - no. The tech of the time could just about hack digital. Adding DRM would not have been feasible.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 5:52am

    Re:

    Why give shit weather or "share" is a legal term?!

     

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  31.  
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    PaulT (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 5:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    "I can't imagine why Techdirt spends tons of time on the distribution, and none of the time on the music."

    Several reasons. The first is the one that's most obvious - while there's plenty of great music out there, it's the marketing and distribution methods that need work. The problem is how to get music into the hands of potential fans in the way they want it, not the music itself.

    On top of that, this isn't a music blog. This is a blog for comment on stories about legal, technical and business issues, which sometimes happens to include those of the music industry. The genre, production style or quality of music being discussed is irrelevant to the scope here. There's plenty of other blogs that focus solely on the music if that's what you want.

    The third is that the distribution IS the story nowadays. From legal online alternatives to SOPA to torrents to CD sales statistics, every problem story has to do with the distribution of the music. You don't read too many stories about problems with the creation and recording of music, because that's not the side of the process that's having so many problems recently.

    Oh, and if you think that CD drives on computers was the big problem, you're the one chasing a red herring...

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 6:02am

    The basic problem facing the content industry is that they think that they they provide content to a passive audience. Culture is always participatory to a greater or lessor degree, and people share the pieces of culture that they particularly enjoy. People also use ideas, and pieces of the culture around them to make various forms of statement. Modern technology makes it much easier for people to be active in culture, and this is in conflict with the passive model of the content industry.
    For the content industry to block videos like this puts in in conflict with most of society. Such use of music does not in any way effect the conten industries income.
    This article is closer to the reality of file sharing, than the its is theft of the content providers. With the use of probable music players largely replacing radio, file sharing, either over the Internet or by direct connection and portable media is the way that people discover music. They go on to buy the music that they like, but cannot afford to every track that they only listen to once.
    The legacy content industry doe snot know how its industry actually works at the customer level, and will eventually lose to direct to fan models if it keeps on its current course. With the dropping costs and increasing capacity of flash devices, the direct to fan model could work without the Internet.

     

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  33.  
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    LivingInNavarre, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 6:09am

    Re:

    Speaking of delivery method...I grew up in the days of the first CDs. I remember all the marketing about how the change to CD was going to bring the price down.
    Funny, after a few years and CDs had gone mainstream the price of CDs didn't go down. In fact they went up even after the distributors admitted the cost of manufacturing them was a fraction of the previous formats.
    And when they could no longer justify the high cost of a CD album that only contain one cover song they roll out the 'enhanced' CD's...which also contained the infamous rootkits.
    There is no argument that can be made about how filesharing is hurting the big music houses that will make me feel sorry for them. They have been ruthless in maximizing their profit and jealously guard antiquated business models.
    If the music companies had spent their money on a new distribution system in stead of buying laws and congressman they might have become a viable profit center instead of an antiquated cash cow that requires convoluted laws just to exist.

     

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    arcan, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 6:16am

    Re:

    I do have big shiny discs on my walls...

     

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    The Real Michael, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 6:25am

    To be fair, even if they stuck with vinyls up until the PC boom, people would've simply recorded the music manually via an audio port, so the entire premise of the article becomes moot.

    Even though both the movie and video game industry put out products which required more storage capacity, that still didn't curb digital transfers. Digital storage costs less and less; you can buy TB's worth of storage for less than $100. Besides, even if tomorrow the music industry's new standard somehow took up 100+ TB, people would simply down-convert it to wav/flac/mp3 and that would be the end of it.

    Instead of music labels trying to wage war against technology, which is a fool's errand to begin with, perhaps they should rethink their entire strategy. What do they have to sell besides a song or music album? There must be a lot of unexplored opportunities if they'd care enough to venture out and discover them. But no ...they're content with rushing product to the market, appealing to the lowest common denominator, so who's fault is it when sales take a nosedive?

    How much longer will this charade with the music labels continue? How many more times will they hawk their back catalogs and force-feed the market its patented brand of corporate-manufactured garbage? ...Then again, who cares either way. If they want to fail, let 'em. Someone else will pick up the the ball and run with it, similar to how Nintendo resurrected the VG industry after Atari crashed it back in the 80's.

     

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    Beech, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 6:29am

    Re: Re:

    DRM would have been easily circumvented. just how it is today.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 6:42am

    i know it is unusual, but the public were lied to by the entertainment industries (sarc comment). after all the hype about the new, indestructible compact discs, it took very little time to find out that wasn't the case. had they have been how they were advertised, there would be no need to take a backup of any disc, so basically, the whole backup scenario has been caused by the industries themselves and on that basis alone, there should be no restrictions to copying discs for personal use

     

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  38.  
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    The Real Michael, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 6:49am

    Re:

    If you can hear it, you can record it. Fighting the format war is a losing battle because the music industry will never win. They need to rethink their entire strategy from the ground up.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    Another stunning post. Let's start at the bottom and work our way up:

    "Oh, and if you think that CD drives on computers was the big problem, you're the one chasing a red herring..."

    No, I didn't say it was "THE" problem, it just happened to be the way that CD drives actually really got wide purchase in the marketplace. At the time (back before you were born, I am sure), people were way more likely to have a CD drive on their computer than a CD player in their house. The prices for a naked CD drive in a computer was much lower than a dressed up player model for your home. It didn't take long for that to change.

    CD burners were also a big deal, the ability for a computer to have two CD drives, one reader and one burner, and to knock out decent digital copies much faster than the play time was another significant part of how CD drives changed piracy.

    "The third is that the distribution IS the story nowadays. "

    No, you guys are making it the story. The story is the music, and for many, the incredible slowdown in production. While some areas are turning stuff out quickly (most of it seems to be quickly forgotten... sad that), the main areas of music such as rock, R&B, and top40 style play lists are often very short of new material. When you have less to distribute, then distribution is only a sideline story.

    Remember, the distribution changes, but the song remains the same.

    "On top of that, this isn't a music blog."

    Well, considering the music industry appears to be topic number 1, it's hard to imagine in not being. I am not talking about music reviews, as much as a more open scope look at music industry as a whole. The myopic stare at the navel of distribution really kills most decent dicussions, because it seems too many here are focused on the rote process of distribution, and not those of actually assuring there is a product.

    "The first is the one that's most obvious - while there's plenty of great music out there, it's the marketing and distribution methods that need work."

    Correction: There is plenty of music out there. Greatness isn't that obvious.

    I left your first point for last because you almost hit it on the head, and then promptly got lost again. "marketing and distribution" doesn't mean only distribution. If it was only about distribution, every band in the world would be equally well known everywhere, and everyone would have their music already. The distribution allows for that. So clearly, the getting the music to the fan / consumer as a pure rote process is more than handled. Spending time refining the process isn't going to do much at this point, it's all but perfected already.

    Marketing is really the key in the game, and marketing starts with... product.

    Ignoring product, and ignoring the effect of product on the rest of the process is to entirely miss the point of the process. There seems to be a denial here that the product matters at all, yet we know how product and the marketing of it are the principal reason why the labels are still the top dogs by far, and the material they distribution commercially is some of the widest pirated stuff as well.

    It's all about the product. The rest is the greasy bits that are unimportant without it.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 7:01am

    And after the stunning revelations of what happened with CD's the best answer they came up for the next generation of plastic discs they planned to sell was CSS.
    It takes something like 10 lines of code to render it useless.

    They spent more time figuring out how to stuff more advertising into customers living rooms, and warnings that making a copy of something you paid for is a crime.

    More development was spent on making sure they could make things unskippable than protecting the content. They assumed no one would defeat their system, it would be to hard to do.

    They cranked that dial up with BluRay plastic discs, now they have control over how and where you can watch it. They went out of their way to make the technology less computer friendly and alienating the people willing to pay them money even more. People purchased new movies only to find out their $300+ player won't play it because they refuse to release updates for the security on that one, but buy version 2.0 and you can watch them... until the next new version comes out.

    They are blinded by their need for control rather than any thought of would this piss me off if I was the consumer?

    They see people who pay them money as the enemy, because everyone just wants to "steal" from them. The more they do to lock it down the more people they push over to the other side.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    "78 record, album, 45 single, 8 track, cassette, CD, digital, or brain wave injection, the song remains the same. Focusing exclusively on the distribution side of the deal is probably the best way possible to entirely miss the point of music."

    Huh. Last I checked, this article wasn't about the point of music, it was about industries failing to adapt. The rest of your points stand fairly well however. DRM may or may not have been beyond the capabilities of the playback hardware at the time, and I'm in no position to make a call on that, but it's certainly worth considering. If your CD players cost an extra 100$ for this 'functionality', they would have sunk their own product after all.

    "I can't imagine why Techdirt spends tons of time on the distribution, and none of the time on the music."

    That one is easy. Techdirt discusses tech, not music. Music is completely irrelevant to the point of tech dirt. HOW you get your music is relevant. You may have taken a wrong turn at the lolcats if you ended up here. For future reference, turn right at the lolcats to get to music blogs/news. Turning left gets you to tech blogs/news.

     

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    Coyo Stormbringer, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 8:03am

    The CD is older than me?!

    I cant believe the optical disk is older than I am! Generally in agreement with the article, the concept of monopolistic publishing and controlled distribution is an ancient concept, and will soon be relegated to the dustbin of history.

    The second content creators, in order words, authors, artists, and studios, begin catching on to the patterns of technological progress, the vast majority of those actually responsible for creating new content will abandon the "big labels" and self-publish, promoting themselves with the newer digital commission model, pay-what-you-want model, or freemium/subscription style business models.

    the old control-based publisher business model relying on the purchase of physical medium riddled with copy-restrictions is going to fail soon enough, despite any lobbying and arm-twisting the old media conglomerates may attempt.

     

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  43.  
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    abc gum, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 8:06am

    The copyright cartel will not satisfied until they have control of the mandatory cranial implants in which the DRM is capable of charging you when ever any of your senses are used.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re:

    Naptster and the like pretty much did the work for them as far as a distribution method, but instead of utilizing and improving and monetizing the method they tried to kill it.

    Then Apple swooped in and ate their lunches.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Re: The CD is older than me?!

    The biggest limitation in the old model is the restriction on what gets published. It works where there is competition for manufacturing resources, but fails when self publishing is easy. While this may reduce the average income per work, by removing the middleman the creator can end up better off as they get more of what the fans play.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    "That one is easy. Techdirt discusses tech, not music. Music is completely irrelevant to the point of tech dirt. HOW you get your music is relevant."

    yes, but in a discussion of successful business models and future planning, you have to consider the whole thing, not just the parts you like. Distribution of nothing leads to nothing.

    " You may have taken a wrong turn at the lolcats if you ended up here. For future reference, turn right at the lolcats to get to music blogs/news. Turning left gets you to tech blogs/news."

    No, rather, I remember that I had to walk past some stuff to get to this point, and without it, this wouldn't be relevant. A discussion that tries to define success only be distribution is doomed to be nothing but a series of red herrings, each more magnificent than the last, because you forget that the people want the music, not the method.

    So yes, discussion the methods are fun. Understanding the method as party of a larger process is key.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 9:05am

    Re:

    This would have a fatal problem for the publishers, no listening without paying, and unless all content is under DRM control people will only try out and support creators that do not use DRM. Tne legacy players do not realize how mush their industry is depend on try before buy. T.V and radio are more or less try before buy for music, so long as the subscription/license is cheap enough.
    The subscription services are conspiring with the legacy publishers to spread content out over the available channel in an effort to get people to subscribe for more channels. This is pushing people to cheaper alternatives, and piracy.

     

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    Spike (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 9:06am

    DRM is simply a massive waste of man-hours and drives up prices of product due to the DRM scheme always having massive licensing fees and development costs.

    It costs a fortune and it isn't effective, so what is the point. You have to laugh at the blu-ray guys continuing to create new DRM schemes at our expense, annoying us with required firmware upgrades for every brand new disk, all while charging extortionist prices for physical disks.

    Whats to love here?

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 9:07am

    Eviscerating the times because you're looking at the sports section...

    > yes, but in a discussion of successful business models and future planning, you have to consider the whole thing,

    That's another article.

    You're basically whining that the New York Times doesn't have news on world events while responding to a Sports article.

     

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  50.  
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    Spike (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 9:08am

    Re:

    The simple fact that CD's didn't have any DRM saved them many millions in development costs....

     

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    herodotus (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 9:09am

    Actually...

    I kind of covered exactly this topic nearly three years ago, here.


    From a slightly different perspective of course, but I get so few opportunities to blog whore that I couldn't pass it up.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    Freeloaders simply don't care about the quality of what they are "stealing". So the whole distinction between "lossless" and not is entirely artificial. It's a fantasy created by A&R men to pretend that piracy today is any different than piracy a generation ago.

    Some of us recorded from boom box to boom box and we didn't care.

    If the rise of MP3's and Netflix streaming have taught us anything, it is that most people simply don't give a crap about quality.

    It's the social networking that's really important (if anything). Rubes have access to old school bulletin boards with a much bigger audience.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 9:14am

    Been there, done that.

    > To be fair, even if they stuck with vinyls up until the PC boom, people would've simply recorded the music manually via an audio port, so the entire premise of the article becomes moot.

    I did that with some snippets from Star Trek movies back in the day. The movies were on VHS and I used an 8-bit sound blaster sound card to do the capture.

    I still have those sound files 20 years later.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re:

    Yes and those labels will have a power level of 9,000

     

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    Scott, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: The CD is older than me?!

    Not to mention more creative freedom with their works as well as more money for it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    "yes, but in a discussion of successful business models and future planning, you have to consider the whole thing, not just the parts you like. Distribution of nothing leads to nothing."

    What does the end 'product' have to do with staying current on technology and trying to make technology work FOR you instead of AGAINST you? The 'product' exists. It IS. Every single publisher can disappear in a giant ball of flame right now, and their product will STILL exist. "Music" is completely irrelevant here, and only shows up because this is about the music INDUSTRY.

    I honestly can't figure out why you want to talk about music here anyways. The product exists, and there is great demand for said product. The major publishers aren't having problems propping up their business model because no one likes Justin Beiber (Hint: Just because you hate him doesn't mean he doesn't have a large market that loves him).

    The only reason "music" can enter this discussion is if you want to push some sort of "I hate popular music" agenda and blame music that everyone else loves for a failed business model.

    The product is a pure given. Why do you want to discuss it here? Go to a music site to discuss the music of music. Here, at best, you might get the technology of music.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    "Freeloaders simply don't care about the quality of what they are "stealing". So the whole distinction between "lossless" and not is entirely artificial."

    Only the most dedicated music lover can tell the difference between a quality ripped mp3 and the most awesomest of awesome lossless codec. And even then, it takes a decent helping of expensive hardware. News flash, the other 99.9% of us aren't trained to hear the almost indistinguishable difference *AND* we don't have hardware that plays back well enough for it to actually be distinguishable.

    Of course, most older mp3's were pretty crappy rips and anyone can tell the difference. Not all mp3 rips are created equal. If you don't have high end hardware and can tell the difference between your CD and your mp3, it's a poor rip, and certainly isn't the fault of the format. So stop making it sound like the plebes just aren't sophisticated enough to enjoy proper music.

    As the tools exist and proliferate to make better copies, the average quality rises. Boombox to boombox recording happened because they didn't have better tools. Poor quality mp3 rips showed up because they didn't have better tools. Now, you can get mp3's that sound close enough to the same to a CD that very very few people can notice any difference at all, and even then, they'll misjudge which is the CD and which is the mp3 sometimes.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    I abandoned cassettes when I could copy onto CD-R simply because it sounded better. Plus it was many years before there were reliable CD players for cars, which kept cassettes alive.

    And my Netflix streaming looks awesome. Better than DVD. It's Youtube that usually looks like crap.

    Quality isn't everything, but it's something.

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 10:10am

    Re:

    They don't want the copies to last forever as they compete with the new content. Also iof they last too long people reduce their music buying, as there is only so muh music that they can listen to.

     

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  60.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 10:12am

    Re:

    This is the main reason I haven't switched completely over to bluray. The quality is awesome, but the hassle and inability to share is not.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 10:15am

    Re:

    And even if you notice the difference, do you care? mp3s win because they're portable. I can take them with me everywhere I go - thousands of them in my pocket.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    Marketing is really the key in the game, and marketing starts with... product.
    Your whole post was funny, but this bit was by far the funniest. Thanks for the laugh

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 10:43am

    get real.

    I take it you weren't alive during those times to understand those times. It wasn't a huge blunder. In fact the recording industry made a killing during those times. Even when the first CD-R's came out that were $1500, the CD-R discs themselves costs as much as prerecorded disc. Hard drive space was equally expensive. Even if you forsaw those items getting much much cheaper, that still doesn't explain file sharing. At that time it was still inconsevable that people would share music on the internet. Most people didn't even know what the fucking internet was. Wake up to reality and do some research before you write some scathing criticism on something you don't know anything about.

     

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    Richard (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    Freeloaders simply don't care about the quality of what they are "stealing". So the whole distinction between "lossless" and not is entirely artificial. It's a fantasy

    Thank you - you just demonstrated how clueless you are.

    The quality degradation from ONE copy is nothing to worry about - true - but here we are talking about many generations of copy. Digital files can be copied and re-copied forever and always remain the same. It IS a huge difference.

    Why do you think that the record companies freaked out over DAT - demanding such huge restrictions on it that it was stillborn as a technology?

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    Re:

    DRM annoys their paying customers, and doesn't stop the pirates. Only one person has to crack the DRM to enable everybody to be able get a DRM free copy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 11:01am

    Re: get real.

    At that time they complained continually about piracy, as the cassette recorder was available. I saw an article somewhere that suggests that the major piracy problem is removable media, which include connecting mp3 players and phones to a computer.
    If the problem is stated as music copying and sharing, then it became a problem with the cassette recorder. It has not destroyed the music industry in its 40+ years of existence.
    The record industry started complaining about piracy as soon as the cassette became marginally suitable for music recording.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re:

    so did stealing the code for the media player on the rootkit discs.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Don't be snide. Columbus was the greatest American of all the time.

     

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    Frost (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 1:07pm

    An opportunity wasted as well.

    CD's were also created to be a better sounding medium than vinyl. Especially dynamic range was a holy grail on vinyl, albums were made to the greatest dynamic range achievable in that medium.

    Then the CD came along and the earliest generations of material was awe-inspiring in that regard. A drum was a drum, that stood out the way a percussion instrument should. And then some jackass figured they'd compress the sound to make it sound "louder" so they stood out when people did trial listening in stores, which leads us to today when the music is so compressed it's total trash, a mush of compressed noise instead of a proper dynamic piece of music.

    The industry should have just focused on quality and continued to focus on quality and not worried about whether or not it could be copied. People buy stuff because they feel it's worth buying, but these days not even audiophiles buy mainstream CD's, because they sound like crap. Well, that and because they hold artists that are crap too, if we're talking major labels.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    Marketing starts with product. Remember that and there'll be no stopping you, young man. Why, as far as I can make out, you're already in the top suite.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 1:15pm

    Re:

    I do getbthe point. It's kind of like when real estate dealers are constantly saying "home" instead of "house" for empty dwellings. Kind of a cloying euphemism.

     

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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re:

    cant agree because of moore's law.
    they should have seen this coming a mile away.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    I like crisp quality independent of legalities.

     

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    Scott, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    Re: An opportunity wasted as well.

    Especially artists that we love are jumping ship and moving to independent or start their own labels. This day in age they could stay there without those majors. More talented unknown artists don't have have to sell their soul for fame they can stay srlf-published or on independent label.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    The Computer and the Internet give the same qualities as DAT along with a means of sharing, and still th record industry survives.

     

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    Wally (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

    Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    It's sad how some just don't understand the nostalgia factor of recording all the songs you want to listen to on one tape. The was the limiting factor right there. CD to Tape recording depended on only two things. Quality of the tape, and how clean your recorder's heads and leads were.

     

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    k-h, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

    Re:

    The junk put out by the big 3 in music no longer holds any attraction.


    What I don't understand is why there are so many commercial radio stations still playing big 3 music: hits of the 70s 80s etc. It's almost like someone's paying them to do it.

     

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    Scott, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re:

    I thought payola was illegal.

     

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  79.  
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    Milton Freewater, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 6:23pm

    Re:

    "I know you love to use the word "share", but in the case of music that is illegally copied the correct term is "distribute". "Share" is typically associated with a small set of personal friends. "Distribute" is typically associated with the world at large. CDs were often shared. Vinyls were often shared. Tapes were often shared. Digital rips shipped off the "The Land of Torrents and the Like" is not at all even close to being "shared"."

    All of these are examples of illegal copying as defined by the RIAA.

    You are completely, perfectly ignorant of your side of this debate, let alone about why TechDirt "loves to use" the terms they do, let alone why people "pirate" and who they "pirate" from.

    I agree with you that mass distribution is wrong in a way that sharing with friends is not. But I'm not going to even bother discussing the subject with you.

     

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    Mr. Applegate, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 6:26pm

    Um, who says CDs couldn't be copied?

    Of course they could be copied, just not in a digital format! Having come from the Pre CD era, I can assure you that CD's were copied, quite regularly, just like LP's and 45s (and 78s if your that old before them). They were copied and shared with friends, some even sold the copies they made.

    However, rather than a digital copy, it was an analog copy made to cassette tape (and before that reel tape). Copying of music has been going on since at least the 1960s! In fact the CD's forced the tape industry to come out with metal particle tapes (as opposed to oxide tapes) to get better quality.

    The music industry introduced the CD which was a huge improvement in quality, and eventually people weren't happy with lesser quality tape copies, so they would buy the CD even though they may have it on tape.

    The same is true for movies. Once VHS (and even Betamax)tapes came out they were quite routinely copied.

    Even from the 70s the copying of music has been a wide spread 'problem' (used to, for the most part, be called fair use). What the music and movie industries have failed to understand is that the 'illegal activity' actually ends up helping them far more than it hurts them. Why? Because in many cases those who get a low quality copy (MP3) will end up buying a high quality copy.

    Well that would be true with two changes that the Music Industry (and Movie Industry) could make today, that would greatly reduce the desire to illegally copy music.

    1. Provide High Quality lossless files for a reasonable price, probably around 25 - 50 cents a song. No they wouldn't lose money. In the days of CD's and Tapes before them the industry had to pay for manufacturing of the CD's, manufacturing of the Album Art and inserts, jewel cases, assembly, packaging, warehousing, delivery... There were risks if the album didn't sell as projected. Today other than the recording and mastering costs (which are negligible compared to all the other costs of providing a physical real product) the industry has no real costs. However, to date they have tried to maintain the cost for a digital copy at or above the cost to provide a physical copy.

    2. Eliminate DRM. DRM is a huge deterrent to a lot of people (including me). I refuse to be treated like a criminal for spending my money on a product. Almost every version of DRM ever put out has been broken within hours, so all DRM does is punish those willing to pay for your product.

    I no longer buy music or movies due to the DRM. In fact I also only very rarely buy software that is DRM'd. Preferring instead to install Open Source and send a donation to the Creator / Maintainers. See I am willing to pay, but I am not willing to pay for the privilege of being treated like a criminal. In fact worse than a criminal who is presumed innocent until proven guilty. When you purchase a DRM'd product you are treated as a known thief with 0 rights. I refuse to pay to be treated like that.

    The music industry made their dinner, now they are choking on it and that is just fine by me. I have no intention of performing the Heimlich on them.

     

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    Milton Freewater, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    CD rips are not always lossless transfers. Try ripping a CD, ripping the copy, and then comparing the sound of the copy to the sound of the original.

    For that matter, shared files can get pretty glitchy. They don't lose "quality" but they degrade.

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 6:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    "What does the end 'product' have to do with staying current on technology and trying to make technology work FOR you instead of AGAINST you? "

    For staying current, it's not really an issue in many senses. There is no benefit to rushing towards the next failing format (the music industury still remember such wonderful ideas as 8 track and DAT tapes. The music doesn't require bleeding edge technology to deliver.

    Since most music is currently available for sale online, they have clearly moved with technology. They aren't ahead of it, they are riding along with it. I don't really think that anything they would have done differently would change the piracy landscape.

    "The product is a pure given. Why do you want to discuss it here? "

    It's not to discuss product by itself. Rather, the understanding that the product is often the reason why things are either successful or not. A great product and a horrible distribution method may still work out, while a horrible product with great distribution may end up as nothing. So any discussion of the business methods in play must start by looking at the source material (and really the artist that made them) to see if it's related to profile.

     

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    nasch (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 7:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    I don't really think that anything they would have done differently would change the piracy landscape

    That's another funny one!

    A great product and a horrible distribution method may still work out

    Only if there's no better distribution method competing with it. The record labels seem to either understand this or have been just forced into it by Apple and Amazon, but the movie studios still don't seem to get it. There will always be another system distributing the same content, so theirs needs to be at least that good to compete.

     

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    The Real Michael, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 7:22pm

    Re: Re:

    Unfortunately, many independent labels are owned, either fully or partially, by the major labels, yet still maintain their "indie" moniker due to its preceived appeal. And most of those labels that aren't owned probably wouldn't turn down a good offer. Therefore, so long as an artist is under contract with an indie label, they're at risk of being absorbed by a major label at any given time.

    If an artist likes artistic freedom, it's best to remain independent of any label involvement.

     

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    fb39ca4 (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 7:57pm

    Re: Re:

    Thats why you remove the DRM. Derp.

     

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  86.  
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    anon, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 8:27pm

    Re:

    Sorry but you are wrong, If i put a cd on a torrent site and share the file with someone even if it is someone i do not know i am sharing, if i ask for any payment to allow anyone to share my cd i am then distributing, a very big difference and one that the Industry should take note of as this is what they are fighting.

    If anything they need to become more innovative, as we have seen on this site and many others there are a large number of ways they could still make a lot of money for there artists, but the greed to make all that money now immediately and not to allow the market to slowly start supporting a new system is not in there book of common sense.

    If anything as people look and invent new ways to share , some that will eventually make sharing anonymous , they lose the chance to start growing a new system to generate money, and as with every modern invention, once it is created there is no putting it back in it's box.

    I suspect that the movie/music/book/game/software producers have a few years to implement a system that provides what the customer wants at a reasonable price, yes they might not make as much as they did in the past but something is better than nothing.

    And before anyone says different just take a look at Steam, they have cornered the games market and made more money for the producers of games than the producers could ever have made otherwise, to the extent that people are buying games they possibly will never play, and why? ...becasue the sytem is easy to use and works and is not so expensive that the majority of the population cannot pay.

    Now the movies industry has a challenge , but with the fact that they only release around 10 real hits every year for the last few years i suspect they will have a bigger challenge.

    Music is also easy to resolve if the studios just got toghter and created a site that sold or made available every single track every created and charged a very low price.

    Software, well we see what is happening with mobile phones where software is free and then a fee charged for wither the next few levels or for dlc.Or software programs that are a few cents or a few dollars, the days of high prices for software is over but happily more programmers can now make money from a very easy distribution path i.e the app stores.

    And finally books. Here i have a problem as the publishers and authors seem to feel they are owed a living, just because they write. Yes it does take time to write a book and the ideas are sometimes hard or complicate to put down on paper that the average person can understand or have fun understanding.If anything i see the publishers and authors having to swallow there pride and accept that the cost of moving into the new age is going to be books that are very very cheap, and free to share. And if they cannot make money from that they will be one of the millions of writers who have never made a penny from writing.

     

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  87.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 8:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    We tend not to talk about the product because the product is what it is. Distribution, in this day, involves a LOT of technology, however. Which would you expect on a technology blog? Seriously, trying to redirect the discussion away from what actually brings most of us here is a little strange. Sure you aren't looking for a copyright discussion, instead?

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 9:24pm

    Re: Um, who says CDs couldn't be copied?

    "I no longer buy music or movies due to the DRM."

    Where is the DRM? There isn't any.

    Self justification for piracy, perhaps?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    Scott, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 10:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    True,That probably the another reason why the major s are "advocating" for likes CCI,SOPA,PiPA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 12:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    "Only if there's no better distribution method competing with it."

    You missed the point. Regardless of their being a better distribution method (and that is debatable, as always), a great musical product will always find it's way to the people who want it. A crappy musical product, even with the best distribution in the universe, is still crap.

    Ask Marcus. He has the whole internet to distribute his stuff, and guess what: nobody wants it.

    All the distribution in the world doesn't mean shit if the product is shit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 1:09am

    Re:

    Maybe the purpose of the blog *should* be music, but it isn't. I don't know how it got the way it was. In any case, once it got this way, it attracted a lot of tech type people who only seem to be interested in laws and news events around copyright and so forth. It gets pretty boring and technical, I can tell you. Definitely not for everyone. If you want to chill out and connect with music...I dunno. You won't be able to relax here enough to do that. You could try.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 1:15am

    Re: Re:

    Secret sharers. I keeled a man.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 1:17am

    Re: Re:

    You'll pluck the apples before they are ripe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94.  
    icon
    techflaws (profile), Oct 21st, 2012 @ 2:58am

    Re: Re:

    What hassle? Rip it to mkv and be done with it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95.  
    icon
    techflaws (profile), Oct 21st, 2012 @ 2:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Stealing from whom?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Oct 21st, 2012 @ 5:15am

    Re: Re: Um, who says CDs couldn't be copied?

    There is literally only ONE form of DRM that I use, and that's by a small company you might recognize: Valve. Because, for all its flaws, it is still the most workable form of DRM for video games. It also provides value in being a place to keep all your games...for as long as the service exists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 5:58am

    Re: An opportunity wasted as well.

    Vinyls can have much greater dynamic range and a warmer sound quality than a CD. But of course now with computers it's possible to reproduce high quality music at 24-bit, 92,000KHz. Most people, however, are not audiophiles, so they probably wouldn't care either way (think SACD).

    You're right about the loudness war. The geniuses over at the major labels decided that music wasn't loud enough, hence the 'brick wall of death' you get when you view most new songs via a DAW. They need to do this in order to compensate for an obvious lack of skill in songwriting, composing and performance. It's much like someone who takes a picture, uploads it to their PC and then turns up the brightness/contrast in order to hide flaws and blemishes, destroying the integrity of the picture in the process.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 6:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    The problem with things like Youtube and jwplayer is that they freeze up all the time. Who wants to spend 7 minutes trying to watch a 3 minute music video?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    Yeah, marketing starts by not knowing or understanding what you sell.

    Yeah.

    No doubt when you start your first job you will learn the hard way. It's called "would you like an apple pie with that?".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Oct 21st, 2012 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    Nobody, but I don't have that problem. Sounds like you either need to reinstall your flash player or check your internet connection.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 6:50am

    Re:

    Yeah, but how long would it take for some guy to turn it into an mp3? Probably just a matter of minutes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  102.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    It depends on how you rip them. If you want to preserve full CD quality, rip to AAC format instead of mp3. Digital files do not "degrade."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  103.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    Due to a slow connection I need to download before listening or viewing. Not everyone had a decent broadband connection.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  104.  
    identicon
    Eric Blair, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 7:23am

    You forgot a factor

    Ignoring the general failure of media company 'protection schemes' there is a factor I did not see in the responses.

    The cost to consumers for that 'protection' would have been in more expensive machines to decode the protection.

    Why would Sony et al want to raise their cost of production, or in fact be unable to deliver a product when they did if the product would have had to decode the CD data?

    Author, get back to us once you have a memo from inside the firms backing up what you are just guessing at.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  105.  
    icon
    herodotus (profile), Oct 21st, 2012 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: An opportunity wasted as well.

    "Vinyls can have much greater dynamic range and a warmer sound quality than a CD."

    This is completely false.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  106.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 21st, 2012 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    A crappy musical product, even with the best distribution in the universe, is still crap.

    Correct, but you're arguing with a strawman. Nobody, anywhere, is saying that people are happy with music they don't like as long as the distribution is good. I think several people have already explained to you why the quality of the music isn't the topic here. If you don't get it by now you probably won't.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  107.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 21st, 2012 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: An opportunity wasted as well.

    They need to do this in order to compensate for an obvious lack of skill in songwriting, composing and performance

    There may be some of that, but it's also been found that most people prefer the sound of compressed (loudness increased) music.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  108.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re:

    You're looking in the wrong dictionary ya dingus. Did you look in a legal volume? It refers to copyright law. e.g. you can watch ("share") a movie with friends at home, but if you play it to a theatre full of people, that's "distribution", and it's illegal if you don't own the rights to it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  109.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 21st, 2012 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Um, who says CDs couldn't be copied?

    Self justification for piracy, perhaps?

    You people. He never said anything about piracy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  110.  
    icon
    blatanville (profile), Oct 21st, 2012 @ 8:25am

    Pricing

    As Jaron Lanier pointed out back in the 90s (and, yes, I am aware that Mr. Lanier is something of a crank, and not always correct), the high price of CDs through to the late 90s gave the labels a huge pool of money to work with. The unit cost of making CDs shrank exponentially, but the prices they sold them to retailers didn't follow the same curve, resulting in massive profits. Some of these profits found their way into the hands of the few sane A&R people out there, allowing them to sign artists from the nascent "alternative" scenes and bring them into the marketing machine that were the major labels.
    It could be argued that the CD, and it's convenience, democratized access to Hi-Fi, and it's huge profit margin greatly benefited the smaller and middle-ground musical artists by getting them major-market attention they might not have otherwise seen.
    As the production costs came down, too, the independent labels were able to find a more competitive ground to work from, enabling them to offer quality goods at reasonable prices while still profiting the label enough to carry on and grow.
    And, I suspect that it was mostly the Olde Men at the top of the Major Labels who failed to grasp the potential value of lossless duplication at home.
    "Wanna tape an LP? Well, okay, we'll kick a little, demand a tax on the tape media, and carry on as usual. Wait: They can make a perfect duplicate of a CD? That's more troubling! What? They can copy a CD, compress it, and transmit it to the rest of the world!? This is WAR!"

    disclosure: I worked for HMV Canada for five years in the early-mid 90s. I know what the costs and pricing models looked like in those days, so I know that the majors were making much bank during those years.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  111.  
    identicon
    Scott, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 10:30am

    Re: Pricing

    I remember having to buy more then one copy of tape of Garbage because I wrecked the tape twice then got CD instead once I finally got CD player.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  112.  
    icon
    Some Other Guy (profile), Oct 21st, 2012 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Over 9000, surely?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  113.  
    icon
    Some Other Guy (profile), Oct 21st, 2012 @ 2:37pm

    30 years? Sheesh that makes me feel old! I remember watching the episode of Tomorrow's World where they announced the new wonder of the CD, and showed how it was so great at error correcting from radial damage (cunningly not showing how CDs are rubbish at coping with scratches arcing around the disc)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomorrow%27s_World

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  114.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Re: Pricing

    I remember an album or two that I (silly me) bought on tape instead of CD only to see them go out of print and become no longer available. I have since been able to download those albums and burn them to CD. So it took a few years, but I finally have them on CD.
    I also have other things from my youth downloaded and burned off that were never made available on CD, such as the "Star Trek" stories from Power Records (I still have my vinyls of those).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  115.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: An opportunity wasted as well.

    That's nothing more than a glorified opinion piece with zero relevant facts to back it up.

    Audio frequency range of LP vs CD -- A visual comparison:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eC6L3_k_48

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  116.  
    icon
    herodotus (profile), Oct 21st, 2012 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: An opportunity wasted as well.

    "That's nothing more than a glorified opinion piece with zero relevant facts to back it up."

    It's a glorified opinion piece written by an electrical engineer who is a member of the AES. I provided it as a form of shorthand.

    I have never read a single statement by any reputable EE that stated that the dynamic range of a vinyl recording was superior to that of a CD. Not one. All of the tales of digital audio being inferior to vinyl are written by audiophiles who rely, not on science, but on subjective opinions and informal listening tests.

    Furthermore, the era of vinyl records was conterminous with the era of magnetic tape, which is known, conclusively, to have a dynamic range of 55 dB without resorting to companding, while the cd has 90-96 dB

    And a youtube video about frequency range differences is completely irrelevant to the claim you were making, which was about dynamic range.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  117.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 21st, 2012 @ 7:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I can hand anyone a DVD and they can play it, but lots of people don't have bluray players or know how/care to watch movies with a computer. It is not ubiquitous technology and may never be. Plus the files are huge.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  118.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    Digital files are content agnostic. The files themselves and their delivery methods are the important aspects of this article, the contents of those files are irrelevant.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  119.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 1:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    Exactly. In other words, the problem is with your end (and that of the AC I was replying to, if that's not you), and not an inherent problem with YouTube/jwplayer as suggested above. If you have a decent connection speed, they work perfectly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  120.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 2:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If by 'American' you mean 'transplanted European'...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  121.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 2:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    You've obviously never read 'Dilbert. I suspect there's plenty of examples there of marketing 'inventing' product... and how else would you explain vapourware.

    Marketing is a kind of product itself. An actual deliverable is a totally different beast.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  122.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 5:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The vast majority of Americans are transplanted Europeans.
    The only true Americans run your casinos!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  123.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 5:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Does this same dictionary have as the definition of "limited time" 70 years plus life?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  124.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 6:25am

    Help keep the government hands off the internet! Vote Libertarian if after you do your research you agree. It wouldn't hurt to "Like" him on facebook either. Thank you

    http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/issues/internet-and-technology
    https://www.facebook.com/govgaryj ohnson

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  125.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: An opportunity wasted as well.

    My mistake -- greater frequency range. Even so, analog is more accurate when it comes to waveform reproduction. Nevertheless, as I said, most people are not audiophiles and therefore don't care either way. Heck, they don't care if they're listening to a .wav file or a 320kbps .mp3 which truncates the frequency range. A simple solution would be to record a vinyl direct to PC at 24bit, 96,000KHz, thereby accurately preserving the sound quality and warmth.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  126.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: An opportunity wasted as well.

    "they don't care if they're listening to a .wav file or a 320kbps .mp3"

    They care but only after they understand where the headaches come from.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  127.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: An opportunity wasted as well.

    Even so, analog is more accurate when it comes to waveform reproduction.

    Do you have a reference for that? Not trying to be belligerent, I've just never seen any evidence for all these claims that LP is better than CD, and I would really like to see it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  128.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: An opportunity wasted as well.

    My mistake -- greater frequency range.

    Even so, what use is greater frequency range outside the range of human hearing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  129.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re: get real.

    Piano players and sheet music were the 'original' music piracy a century+ ago. And even before then some people could write scores down, or play from memory... "plus ca change"...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  130.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 9:08am

    Re:

    Vote libertarian! Guns and no gub'mint are our answer to everything! Screw you if you're poor/sick/unlucky!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  131.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh ???

    Marketing is really the key in the game, and marketing starts with... product.

    Ignoring product, and ignoring the effect of product on the rest of the process is to entirely miss the point of the process.


    All true. Marketing is only successful if you have a thing to sell.

    There seems to be a denial here that the product matters at all, yet we know how product and the marketing of it are the principal reason why the labels are still the top dogs by far, and the material they distribution commercially is some of the widest pirated stuff as well.

    Product and marketing are the key reason the big producers are on the top. And piracy and counterfeiting are responsible for hundreds of consumer deaths.

    It if often said that a good salesman can sell you your own watch, for twice what you initially paid for it. The product is important, and (honest) marketing depends on the inherent salability of the product.

    Marketing takes something sellable, and makes it more appealing. Add a cartoon character, make silly commercials, double the price, and you can make a killing on Cardboard-Os, even though they come from the exact same production line that makes Generic Cardboard Rings.

    The labels don't have the market cornered on quality/salability. They certainly have sellable product, but the key culprit is the marketing. For the longest time, they had the market cornered on marketing - if they didn't push it, it didn't sell. They're losing their stranglehold there. Quality aside, we would have never heard of Gotye or PSY if they retained the stranglehold on marketing.

    The labels have a solid position from inertia, but the edifice is crumbling. Selling yourself on any degree of scale has always been about getting the attention of the curators. The labels had dominance because they controlled the curators. They're losing control because they still think their curators are the only curators.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  132.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    How big can a home theater be before it's a "theatre?"

    If you play a movie on a private livestream and share the link only with close friends you chat with regularly, but have never seen in person, is that "sharing" or "distributing?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  133.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Let them eat dirt!

    > And my Netflix streaming looks awesome. Better than DVD.

    DVD isn't the current standard of quality.

    You kind of just proved my point for me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  134.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    Let them eat dirt! again

    > Why do you think that the record companies freaked out over DAT

    They're idiots just like you are.

    You are applying an industry insiders perspective to people that are more interested in price and convenience and will gladly tolerate tinny little transistor radios.

    That's why no "high quality audio" formats ever gained any traction. That's why low bitrate MP3 became the defacto standard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  135.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Not quite.

    Decryption tech for BD is not nearly as widespread as it is for DVD. BD is designed to be updated. So you don't just need some software. You need a "service". Also, the best known providers of this sort of thing are hiding outside of US and European jurisdiction. That's hardly reassuring.

    It exists but it exist in a grey area and the tech isn't being printed on the back of t-shirts like it was for DVD.

    Still more trouble than your average n00b is likely to tolerate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  136.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 2:35pm

    Re:

    Whoever you vote for, you're voting for government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  137.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Let them eat dirt!

    A pox on both your houses. It depends heavily on the device you use to stream to. My BluRay/Home theater uses NEO DTS 6 and ProLogic II. It also depends on the TV you use.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  138.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Pirating" Chipmonk music old school...and fun

    The bit-rate I use for MP3's is 384Kbps In Joint Stereo. It's roughly 10MB's per 5 minutes of Audio.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  139.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 3:42pm

    Re:

    Sony's BMG copy protection is on CD's dating as far back as 1997...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  140.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: An opportunity wasted as well.

    The difference in sound quality between CD's and LP's is nonexistent. The point of the CD is that it would always sound the same each time you played it. There are a variety of things that can degrade the sound quality of an LP that range from dust and wear to a bad needle.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  141.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 3:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Um, who says CDs couldn't be copied?

    The GCF files act like CD's which is why for Valve-made games like Half-Life 2 and Portal and others that used CD checking DRM work they way they do on Steam. Most non-valve games work offline as a result. Another great digital district site that actually has no DRM in any of the games is GOG.com. You can download games on your account to any computer any time as many copies as you like.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  142.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: An opportunity wasted as well.

    The difference in sound quality between CD's and LP's is nonexistent.

    CDs have a higher signal to noise ratio.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  143.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2012 @ 12:56am

    Re: Re:

    Wally, I found out why I have been targetted. It was a LIE. I helped the police put a couple brothers of someone in jail. She then somehow got in a position of power and has been making my life hell. I figured out who set me up but I ended up on Obama's death list.

    THEY tortured me and twisted me into what I am. I NEVER DID ANYTHING TO ANYONE. I'M ON THE DEATH LIST. WHAT DO I DO?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  144.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2012 @ 1:06am

    Re: Re: Re:

    WE HATED EACH OTHER IN HIGH SCHOOL. WE ABSOLUTELY HATED EACH OTHER.

    ON TOP OF THAT, THERE WAS A NEIGHBOR WHO I GOT INTO A FIGHT WITH THAT WAS FORMER MILITARY. THEY TWISTED ME INTO SOMETHING I WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN AND I STILL HAVEN'T HURT ANYONE. CAN YOU HELP ME AT ALL?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  145.  
    icon
    bratwurzt (profile), Oct 23rd, 2012 @ 2:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Replace transplanted with traveling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  146.  
    identicon
    King, Feb 24th, 2014 @ 6:40am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Oct 19th, 2012 @ 7:48pm

    Hey, Salute!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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