Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay
I'd call Real Networks the Sharpton of this race, except that I have too much respect for Sharpton. Maybe Real Networks is the LaRouche and Sony is the Perot.
What caught my attention was the description of how you would manage to "mix and match songs bought at different online music stores." Doing this involves, according to Business Week, a "process that induces hair-pulling and curses for non-techies."
Business Week's procedure: "copy the digital songs you bought online onto a CD. Then you load them back onto your computer, decompress them into something called a WAV file, and recompress them into MP3s."
Sounds to me like there's an extra step in there, but hey, I use a Mac.
At any rate, the headache -- which is quite real -- doesn't have anything to do with technical difficulties, and it's something that probably bothers techies and non-techies alike. It has to do with the time it takes to burn and rip music files just to get them on your MP3 player.
And this matters because the attraction of (legally) downloading music is, more than anything, immediacy. But if that's what attracts you to the process, you aren't going to download, burn, rip, and then, finally, listen. What you'll do is go to the store that has files in the format you use. So if you have an iPod, you'll go to the iTunes Music Store, and if you have a Dell DJ you'll go to Napster or Wal-$%$#@-Mart.
Since you don't have to drive across town to get to ITMS or Napster, and all the online music stores have pretty much the same stuff (or will soon), it's hard for me to see how this Battle of the Network Standards is supposed to get off the ground.
Am I missing something here?
If you've got 99 cents burning a hole in your pocket, I recommend Chet Atkins', "Boo Boo Stick Beat"