I’m not a fan of online music sites. Let’s just get that out in the open right now. My view on online music is pretty simple… if it’s online the only thing I should need to do to play it – is click on it.
I have patiently avoided the Zune-iPod which is better discussion with the persistence of a one eyed peg legged magnet salesman crossing a mine field on ice. But the time has now come for me to weigh in my voice on the whole "Music As A Service" thing.
One: Musicians should be paid – they should be paid large sums for their work. Totally agree with that – what they provide is wellllll worth the effort.
Two: Once I purchase something … I damn well better be able to use it. That applies for a music as well as any other service.
Three: If what you are selling me costs me in time, effort, energy – just to get it to work online over it usual method of reproduction… then by dog, you should give me a cost break.
Now, I don’t care if I play the song on my Zune, my Cellphone, my car – whatever… I paid – for that song. If I bought the CD, and I made a copy of it – as I legally they tell me I have the right to do — then the same rules should apply to computers and the internet.
OH – BUT – BUT – BUT that leads to Piracy!! You say. Fine – then don’t make it legally available for me to download to my computer – so I can listen to music while I work – only for me to discover that if for any reason I have renamed this computer … my music does not work.
Let’s be clear about this… Do not promise me a product you cannot deliver.
I recently made a purchase or two through Music.msn.com – and I’ll be honest the people there rock hard core. Never have I seen a tech support staff work soooooo hard to make something work. Here’s the problem… DRM is a system that is flawed and it doesn’t matter who implements it. Microsoft or Apple or the MuggaMugga of Shalampeck… the whole concept of it is flawed. I say this because this is not a computer program. It’s music.
Something that consumers have – for years now – just loaded up into whatever cardboard box with tin speakers they had and it worked. That is the expectation that people have of music. I put it in the magic box – I press the button … and it works.
If you can’t do that – then the process is broken. You have to adequately simulate the end user expected experience on 99 out of 100 tries… or the process… is broken.
When I downloaded my music – I expected this process. People have given me tons of mp3’s and they’ve always played just fine. But – being the righteous and reborn soul I am – I decided to try the music.msn.com site because hey – it was time I grew up. The process of selecting the music, downloading it – was almost flawless. Worked so well I think I spent like $30 on files – I loved the fact I didn’t have to buy the album – I could just get the songs I wanted. It was a awesome experience. In fact, it worked great until about a week later.
I had to rebuild my computer for work, so I backed everything up and reloaded it. None of the music worked. I would click on it – and it would go on line and try and verify who I was – and then … it would refuse to give me the nasty little file needed to play the song.
Allow me to say – that when I reached maximum frustration … I encountered this at EVERY MUSIC DOWNLOAD SITE – Yahoo, and FYE, and APPLE – all either required me to have some elaborate system to make the music play … orrrrr – they didn’t work if I backed them up without using some jump through the hoop method. So it’s not MS’s DRM that’s the problem here – it’s the entire method used from bottom to top.
Here’s a concept… from now on – I’ll go to the store – I’ll buy my own music and I’ll rip it on my own. It’s easier, it’s cheaper and it’s faster.