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General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Fri 21st Jul '06 4:13PM
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7th Apr '03
I don't really want to discuss the morality of downloading music ilegally as I think that has already been done to death however surfice to say I think if you get hold of some music and you want to keep it you should pay for it.

With that in mind does anyone think that there is anyone out there offering a download service that actually offers some kind of value to the consumer?

I own all my music on CD I can make copies of it at any bit rate I desire and it's all uncompressed so if in the future some new kind of format comes along then I can simply rip it again.

With iTunes I can only use the music in the way that Apple want on their hardware and I can't buy music from anyone else. If my iPod breaks and I decide that I don't want to buy annother iPod then I've just lost my music collection because nothing else will play it. Personally I'm amazed they can get away with this when Microsoft are getting sued for their restrictive ways of working.

The windows based stores are the same (but at least there are a few of them so I'm not stuck in a monopoly) but again in a few years when players are bigger and compression formats are better I'm not going to want 128kbps WMA I'm going to want lossless FLAC or somthing better so I have to buy all my music again.

Napster is an appealing concept. I can have all the music at no extra cost in the world provided I stay subscribed but as soon as I stop I've lost all my music and I have to have a DRM WMA player which I don't want.

AllofMP3 is great and cheap but also just as illegal as downloading from Limewire or bit torrent so there is no real point.

Which leads me to the only two I can see of any value which is wippit and eMusic
Both of these offer downloads in non DRM MP3s and are really cheap so I can do what I like with my music when I get it however the majors won't sign for them because of this so I cant get all the music I want. Wippit do offer one very appealing service which is 60,000 tunes in thier library are free to download for subscribers mostly indie stuff.

So the conclusion I'm drawing from all this is that I would like to give someone a handful of cash for online music but no one can offer me what I need so I'm back to illegal downloads, or buying CDs.

Can anyone suggest a better service?
    

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Fri 28th Jul '06 2:25PM
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7th Apr '03
I totally agree, so many companies are too interested in either working towards a monopoly (like iTunes) or finding a corner of the market that they can reserve as their own that there are no universal standards being used. The emphasis seems to be shifting from owning the music itself to owning it in a particular format.
Once the providers start realising why people are being put off their services they have to start either offering non DRM content or letting you choose from a variety of formats. It's just common sense.

I'm afraid to say I would only use less than legit downloading services simply because they offer me many different formats, sampling rates and bit rates so I can choose exactly what I want.
    

Amanshu*
Giggity Giggity goo
Sat 29th Jul '06 12:58AM
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To be honest I have no real problem with downloading services, I just have a problem with paying more for an album on a tune by tune basis than I'd pay for a cd. If I'm not paying for the physical media than surely it should be cheaper?

I try not to use non-legitmate services for music on the ground that it doesn't benefit the people who make the music. On the same ground I'llhappily download a tv series, and if I like it then I'll buy it on DVD (if I don't like it then I'll delete it, because if I don't like it enough to pay money for it then why would I want to keep it?)

All that being the case - a lot of the intellectual property market comes down to what they think you should pay for something and not what it's actually worth - and as much as consumerisime is an option, it's only as good as the people who are willing to pay that much money.

It would be great to see something that gave you the option to say "this is what I actually think this is worth", but it's really unlikely.
   

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Mon 14th Aug '06 2:02PM
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After having spent a decent amount of time checking out the various options I have decided to go with an e-music account.

The music you can download is all 192Kbps VBR MP3 and happily is free from the evil that is DRM which for the non techy means it's pretty damn good quality and will work with pretty much any player that isn't ancient.

In terms of charging you pay a monthly subscription in return for a number of tracks each month. I'm on the cheapest tarrif which gives me 40 tracks for ?8.99 which works out about 27p a song or somthing like that. You can sign up for a year at 20% off or go for more tracks per month at beter value, but for the moment the cheepest deal is best for me.
You can cancel your subscription at any time and if you do so you keep all your music which is cool.

It's worth knowing that because they don't toe the megacorp line on DRM a few of the majors won't release stuff with them which means you can't get the new Justin Timberlake album etc however a quick trog through shows you can get: Franz Ferdinand, White Stripes, Embrace, Stereophonics, Arctic monkeys, pixies etc so a lot of the popular indie bands are catered for.

At the moment they have a rather snazzy offer which is if you sign up they give you 25 tracks and a free 2 week subscription. If you cancel during the 2 weeks you get to keep all the songs at no charge.

I signed up for this and got through my 25 tracks and half of my first 40 of the first month in about 2 hours, so I'll let you know how I get on.

Also if any of you guys want to sign up let me know so I can recomend you (cos then I get 50 free tracks )
    

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Tue 22nd Aug '06 5:38PM
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7th Apr '03
http://www.myspace.com/weirdal

  

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Tue 29th Aug '06 6:31PM
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I get an extra 25 free tracks if I stay signed up for 3 months.
I like e-music
    

Amanshu*
Giggity Giggity goo
Wed 30th Aug '06 3:32PM
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25th Aug '04
Apparently all our music downloading problems will be fixed before christmas:
http://www.theregister.com/2006/08/29/spiralfrog_launch/

A legal, free music download site. Could be worth a look!
   

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Wed 25th Oct '06 12:31PM
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Oooh someone's cracked Apple's Fair Play system so iTunes downloads can be played on mp3 players other than iPods
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6083110.stm
Best of all they claim that this type of cracking is completely legal
    

Agentgonzo
There's no pee in catheter!
Wed 25th Oct '06 12:51PM
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Spanners was bold enough to comment:
Oooh someone's cracked Apple's Fair Play system so iTunes downloads can be played on mp3 players other than iPods
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6083110.stm
Best of all they claim that this type of cracking is completely legal



It's quite probable that it is. IANAL, but the DMCA (spits) states something along the lines that it's illegal to bypass DRM for the purposes of copyright infringement. This is to allow the user of bought media to use it on other devices that they own (and keep the DRM in place as I recall). It'll be interesting to see whether it stands up in court when someone sues.

The other part of the stuff that they developed is to allow other 3rd party vendors use their library to allow DRMed content to play on iPods which was previously impossible (apple refuses to licence their DRM as they have a monopoly on it).

The BBC article is pretty poor. This has a better account of it.

Footnote. The guy who did it is Jon Johanssen (sp?) who broke the DRM on DVDs all those years ago. He's also defeated the apple DRM a number of times previous years. Search for fairplay (or playfair - I forget) for more info.
  

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Wed 25th Oct '06 12:56PM
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7th Apr '03
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Lech_Johansen


Feck me this guy is clever he's only 23!

Apple DRM is Fair Play

Playfair is altogather more spy flavoured

EDIT: Great article!
    

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Thu 14th Dec '06 9:26AM
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7th Apr '03
http://digitalmusic.weblogsinc.com/2006/12/13/emusic-crosses-100m-mark/

100 million downloads for e-music!

Yay e-music, I'm loving my subscription.
    

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Mon 8th Jan '07 1:22PM
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7th Apr '03
http://www.wired.com/news/columns/0,72412-0.html?tw=wn_story_page_prev2

A very interesting article on the future or lack of future of DRM.

e-music will eventually rule the world!
    

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Mon 8th Jan '07 4:58PM
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7th Apr '03
So has Russia bowed to the US threats yet and done anything about allofmp3.com?

I don't like to see the US's bullying tactics work out in their favour, but on the other hand the site is circumventing the mechanisms by which an artist would previously have made some money from the sales of an album. On the third hand, they're doing it perfectly legally according to their own laws.

I think it's a really interesting case and I'm looking forward to seeing the outcome.
  

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Mon 8th Jan '07 5:15PM
4213 Posts
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7th Apr '03


Demian was bold enough to comment:
So has Russia bowed to the US threats yet and done anything about allofmp3.com?

I don't like to see the US's bullying tactics work out in their favour, but on the other hand the site is circumventing the mechanisms by which an artist would previously have made some money from the sales of an album. On the third hand, they're doing it perfectly legally according to their own laws.

I think it's a really interesting case and I'm looking forward to seeing the outcome.



Personaly I think all of mp3 needs to be shut down as soon as possible.
They don't pay a brass bean to the people who make the music and are basicly getting rich from someone elses labours I would rather use p2p as at least thats honest to goodness theft rather than paying some dodgy russian gangster.
The only reason it is leagal under russian copywright laws is that they basicly don't have any and a few years ago anything creatiive you produced belonged to the state like the guy who invented Tetris who got bugger all money out of it for 20 years.
    

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Fri 9th Feb '07 9:31PM
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7th Apr '03
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070209-8803.html

Please let this be true!
    

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Mon 19th Feb '07 5:20PM
4213 Posts
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7th Apr '03
Interesting article for the non techy of you as to why us techy folks get so upset that Apple/Microsoft/etc criple their products with a thing called DRM

http://blog.wired.com/music/2007/02/how_to_explain_.html
    

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Tue 20th Feb '07 11:22AM
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Beeb have done quite a good explanation too:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6337781.stm
    

Agentgonzo
There's no pee in catheter!
Mon 1st Oct '07 4:55PM
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8th Aug '06
Amazon have recently started offering DRM free downloads of ~2 million tracks. They are in 256kbit/s VBR and do not have DRM.

This is pretty much what the community has been asking for for years and had previously only been available from allofmp3.com.

Tracks cost $0.89-$0.99 and albums $6.99-$9.99, which makes them cheaper than iTunes and other ones that are available.

Only problem is that it's USA only at the moment, but given they don't have to post anything, you can just put in a phony US address and then download the songs.

It's especially a bargain if you get a double CD set as they're still listed as a single album, therefore still only ~$8.99.

http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=163856011
  

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Mon 1st Oct '07 9:41PM
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Interesting...

Have you managed to download any songs yet?
    

Agentgonzo
There's no pee in catheter!
Tue 2nd Oct '07 9:34AM
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8th Aug '06


General was bold enough to comment:
Have you managed to download any songs yet?


I made the order and got the download link. Then their amazon downloader crashed and when I reinstalled it, all the tracks were listed as already downloaded. I contacted them about it and they have re-activated the download. I'll try this evening when I get home and let you know how it goes.
  

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Tue 2nd Oct '07 10:16AM
4213 Posts
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7th Apr '03
I tried to do a similar thing (sans downloader as I'm using Linux) but it asked for a credit card and billing address. When I put in my UK address it promptly stopped and put up a message saying US only.

What kind of card did you use?
    

Agentgonzo
There's no pee in catheter!
Tue 2nd Oct '07 12:56PM
811 Posts
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8th Aug '06


General was bold enough to comment:
I tried to do a similar thing (sans downloader as I'm using Linux) but it asked for a credit card and billing address. When I put in my UK address it promptly stopped and put up a message saying US only.

What kind of card did you use?


I used my normal credit card. When it asked for an address I made one up. Worked fine. People on /. have apparently been using Apple's HQ for their address.
  

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Tue 2nd Oct '07 1:12PM
4213 Posts
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7th Apr '03
Ahh

I think I was too honest. I assumed my payment wouldn't work if I put in the wrong billing address.
    

Agentgonzo
There's no pee in catheter!
Wed 3rd Oct '07 9:02AM
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8th Aug '06
Managed to download all the songs last night. Works fine.

4.89 isn't bad for a double CD album!
  

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Wed 10th Oct '07 1:00AM
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7th Apr '03
http://www.fistfulayen.com/blog/?p=127

Great transcript of a talk, by a guy from Yahoo Music to the record industry saying if you want us to build some flashy, but crap DRM service then piss off we won't do it.
    

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Wed 13th Feb '08 11:04PM
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7th Apr '03
www.play.com have just started selling DRM free music for 65p a track.

Woo Hoo, DRM free downloads here we come!
    

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