Thursday, May 29, 2008

This Just In: Music Industry Greedy

It may or may not come as a surprise, but the music industry is out for your wallet - again - I mean still. It seems that the unlocked MP3 game isn't making them as much money as they expected hoped for will settle for.

So, they have a new latest-and-greatest idea: "Let's RENT songs to people." Yep, now they want to the be Hertz or Avis of the online media world.

Now that you can finally (through huge fits, starts and lawsuits) actually buy DRM-free music and listen to it, download it and *gasp* burn it to CD - they want to turn the model on its head. The only downside is - people will have to think it's a great idea and actually use the "service."

The premise here is that people don't really want to "own" music - they just want to listen to it. So, let's give them a way to "buy" (the rights to listen to) a song for ten cents each. Then, we'll put it into a "locker" for them - and they can listen to that song as many times as they want.

As long as they're online.

Yep, no rights to download to anything, no rights to burn, no rights to nothin' - just to listen to it via a browser. And, after you've ponied up the cash - you can just hope that the company (Lala) will be there a year from now. If not, then thanks for the cash - sorry, you're S.O.L.

Does this sound nuts - to anyone other than me?

Apparently not to Warner Music Group - who quietly invested US $20 million into Lala late last year (2007). At that time they also agreed to put printed advertisement for Lala into 25,000,000 CDs in exchange for the right to greater ownership, and the good folks at Lala have managed to raise a whopping US $34.7 million in funding.

So, will people go for it? I hope not! What kind of half-baked idiot would pay ten cents per tune when there are other services like Napster, Imeem or even YouTube? If you only want streaming - there are all-you-can-eat plans for under US $13 per month - that's the same as "buying" 130 songs on Lala.

It's a pretty stupid idea, if you ask me. I think people want to actually buy their music and and do with it what they would do with any other type of purchased music: download it, rip it, burn it AND play it on their computer. If you're not one of them - or just have money burning a hole in your pocket - here's a secret URL you can use to check it out for yourself.

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