Pin It
Favorite

High Tech Tip 

By Marty Demarest


Back when MP3 music files became prevalent, and Napster was zipping them across the Internet for anyone who was interested, the music industry got scared. Here was something truly subversive, and the digital revolution threatened to take away a lot of consumer spending. The fears were well-founded, it turns out. CD sales have dropped considerably recently, driving the music industry to explore methods of distributing their wares online - and collecting payment for them.


This spring, Apple became the first to put forth a major model for the new music economy - its iTunes service (www.apple.com). Browsing through Apple's library of more than 200,000 songs is free, and those who own a Mac can burn them on CDs and/or listen to them at their leisure (at their desk or on the R2D2-ish iPods), all for 99 cents a song, or $9.99 an album. The bad news is that first, at least for now, it's only official for Macintosh users: No supported Windows version is due until the end of the year. But worse news, at least for Apple, is that iTunes' convenient, inexpensive business model got major competition just a few weeks after hitting the Ethernet. Rhapsody (www.real.com), just started offering people a free trial for their standard $9.99 per month service, which lets you listen to their complete library of songs as often as you want, and charges you 79 cents for each song you download and burn on CD. And it's PC-compatible.


And that's where this battle will be won or lost - on the tools of the consumers. After iTunes officially hits the PC market, it will be tapping into a much broader audience. However, consumers will have to pay song by song, and listen on $300+ players or their Macs unless they want to burn a CD. Rhapsody, which allows subscribers unlimited access to listen to their entire collection, in any order that they decide (the same is true of iTunes), isn't compatible with any audio players unless the songs are burned onto a CD and converted to digital files again.


Sadly, both options - iTunes and Rhapsody - support the same old music industry doing the same old stuff in a new way. Far from shaking up the status quo, the services are merely couriers for it. Forget the revolution. It's enough to make you want to download a Dead Kennedys album onto your iPod to see if it blows up.





Publication date: 06/05/03

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Between Love and the Law
  • Between Love and the Law

    He was a criminal. She was a crime fighter. Their relationship would cost them both dearly
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • 'All Lives Matter'
  • 'All Lives Matter'

    A deeper look at Pasco as it grapples with the police shooting of a vulnerable man
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • Promise Keepers?
  • Promise Keepers?

    The city of Spokane tries to keep its promise not to raise taxes; plus, the fight against public nudity
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
BHA National Rendezvous & Brewfest

BHA National Rendezvous & Brewfest @ Red Lion Hotel at the Park

March 6-8

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • 'I Do Not Trust Muzlims'

    Comments by the wife of Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell have raised questions about his office's impartiality
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • Fagan's World

    City councilman Mike Fagan has unconventional views on vaccinations. So, what else does he think?
    • Feb 18, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation