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music moves

A couple of things of note have happened during the last week regarding digital music. First, late last week a Judge delivered an impressive victory for Grokster and Streamcast (developers of Morpheus). Whether it is upheld on appeal or not is another matter. And then Jobs made Apple-music store rumors history by actually coming out with the announcement as expected (without his usual "and-here's-something-you-didn't-really-expect routine, although apparently the product is very good--too bad it's available only for Mac). Regarding the Apple announcement, Arcterex posted a rant that, although a bit harshly worded :-) is quite appropriate. Whether it was Ogg Vorbis or MP3, Apple choosing yet another digital format wasn't so cool--although it might be understandable from the business side of things, because it's not as if you're going to control where or how MP3s are copied, right? Karling gave it a try and posted her impressions, with an update later.

I'd say that, if anyone can pull this off, it's Apple. It would be ironic if, in a few years, Apple ends up being a more successful music distributor than the record companies themselves. Already Universal Music is shopping itself around. Others could follow if the current slump extends. If the device makers end up owning or controlling the music distribution channels, the world of "music for free" will be pushed underground. Sony already distributes products that exert some level of control over what you can do with the digital media, which is understandable from their POV since they also own Sony Music. Maybe this is what it had to come down to: the record industry couldn't do it by itself. The technology companies were just the next in line.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on April 29 2003 at 9:27 PM

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