Starting today, Warner Music songs are now available on the Amazon MP3 music store, in DRM-free formats and at prices competitive to what iTunes charges. According to Reuters, Amazon has now reached “deals with music labels Universal Music Group, part of Vivendi, and EMI. The remaining major recording group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, has yet to offer its songs for the service.” Sony BMG, you guys are very, very old dorks.
The RIAA wants you to know that everyone loses with pirated products, so they’ve put together a fake news story and sent it out to TV stations around the country—maybe it will show up on your cash-strapped local news over the next few days, if you’re lucky. We’re torn, though, on posting this because it’s being leaked (promoted?) heavily by the video news release (VNR) company that produced it—we want you to scoff at it with us, but keep your bullshit “stealth marketing” sensors up.
Remember Sony’s cringe-inducing copy protection scheme a couple of years ago, where they secretly installed rootkits on millions of customers’ PCs and then pretended it was no big deal? (“Most people, I think, don’t even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?” — Thomas Hesse, Sony BMG’s President of Global Digital Business.) There’s a new article (PDF) about to be published in the Berkely Technology Law Journal called “The Magnificence of the Disaster: Reconstructiong the Sony BMG Rootkit Incident.” It’s a very detailed and entertaining read that examines the conditions that led Sony BMG “toward a strategy that in retrospect appears obviously and fundamentally misguided.”
Ars Technica says that Walmart has given an ultimatum to “some of the largest record labels, including Warner Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment, to provide more of their respective music catalogs in MP3 format (that is, without DRM) next year.”
Warner Music profits down 58%. Discuss. [NYT]
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, a Brooklyn judge made a defendant in an RIAA lawsuit very happy when he ordered the RIAA to document the actual expenses incurred per downloaded song.
The RIAA defendant who lost her jury trial, Jammie Thomas, is telling her side of the story on p2pnet. Of particular interest: She claims that Best Buy made the decision to replace her hard drive, under the terms of her extended warranty, 6 months before she was served with the RIAA’s subpoena.
Trent: I’ll admit I had an account there and frequented it quite often. At the end of the day, what made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world’s greatest record store. Pretty much anything you could ever imagine, it was there, and it was there in the format you wanted. If OiNK cost anything, I would certainly have paid, but there isn’t the equivalent of that in the retail space right now. iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me.
Here’s some news for those of you out there who have so much money you literally can not think of anything else to do with it: AT&T has announced a partnership with Napster in which you can download songs to your phone for “only” $1.99 a track or 5 for $7.49.
Radiohead may have moved 1.2 million copies of its new album “In Rainbows” when it was released last week, but according to industry analysts, over 500,000 copies were downloaded through old-fashioned file sharing networks, eroding the perceived success of the distribution plan and possibly hindering similar release plans for other artists in the future.
Plug in your work headphones and get ready to rock out classic-easy-listening-style.
Okay, we’ll say it, and understand that we’re writing this post on an old iBook: the iPod line is starting to look tired. Sure, that Touch is elegant in the same way as the iPhone—but its capacity is similar to the Nano, and what if don’t want to carry around a Kubrick-style slab of minimalism? There are now some really nice alternatives out there if you’re willing to walk away from the perks of being a member of the Apple camp.
The first RIAA jury trial has ended and the single mom accused of sharing 24 songs has been ordered to pay $222,000 by a jury of her peers.
Radiohead’s pay-what-you-want experiment is going well, according to a band spokesman, who says that “most people are deciding on a normal retail price with very few trying to buy it for a penny.” Most pre-orders so far have been for the more expensive (we guess?) disc-box version, which comes with a book, two CDs, vinyl copies, more songs, and a ringtone of Thom Yorke mewing like a hurt cat. Oh, wait, no ringtone—that would make it a Ringle. [Wired]
A reviewer at TidBITS gives a non-technical review of the new Amazon music store, a direct competitor to iTunes Music Store that Amazon launched last week. Their verdict? The download software could use work, but overall it’s “not too shabby.”
I wanted to acknowledge something I thought was very cool. I purchased a pair of BOSE TriPort IE headphones about ($99) a year ago. The Silicone earbuds are interchangeable for different sized ear canals. After some use the earbuds fall off quite easily, and rip. I chalked it up to my frequent use and was planning on buying replacements.