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NY Times: iTunes is best vs. the rest

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Thursday, October 30, 2003
News Categories: iTunes

“The best music store-jukebox is Apple’s iTunes, for a list of reasons as long as a Wagner opera. Its copying policies are by far the most liberal: unlimited iPod copies, unlimited burns to CD as long as you rearrange the song order after every 10 copies, easy re-authorizing. It’s the only service to offer pleasant extras like audio books (5,000), spending limits (are you listening, parents of teenagers?) and gift certificates.”

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Comments

1

http://www.downhillbattle.org/itunes/

iTunes Music Store - Facelift For A Corrupt Industry

People are paying for songs on the iTunes Music Store because they think it’s a good way to support musicians. But by giving musicians just a few cents from each sale, iTunes destroys a huge opportunity. Instead of creating a system that gets virtually all of fans’ money directly to artists—finally possible with the internet—iTunes takes a big step backwards. Apple calls iTunes “revolutionary” but really they’re just letting record companies force the same exploitive and unfair business model onto a new medium.

It’s too expensive
Let’s start simple: the iTunes Music Store is not a good value for customers. Apple says many users are buying whole “albums” for $8-$12 each. That’s less than the $16 store price, but used CDs at Amazon or ebay cost $5, and those come with liner notes. If you don’t care about liner notes, you can burn the CD from a friend for 25 cents and send the musician a buck. In both cases, you end up with a real CD, and you can always use iTunes to rip it onto your computer or mp3 player. And you don’t have to deal with restrictions on how you use it.

etc etc

Posted by corrupt on October 30, 2003 at 9:48 AM (PDT)

2

I admire what the down hill battle site is trying to accomplish but it just seems like the solutions to this “problem” are over simplified and ultimately not in the hands of the consumers. It is up to a few artists to work the kind of deals with Apple and iTunes that the site is advocating. I will gladly purchase legal digital music that does a better job of compensating the artists if the vehicle by which to do so is made available. AT the moment the best I can do is by paying for my music via iTunes instead of obtaining it for free via the P2P networks. Its time for the artists to fight back against the labels. And digital download services is their opportunity. Lets see if someones whose contract with one of the Big 5 Labels begins to sell methods described on the site. I will go out of my way to back that brave soul up. As a consumer I will side with the artist, and not the label, but I just don’t think that site gives me truly viable and available methods for doing so.

Posted by SpideyPod on October 30, 2003 at 10:04 AM (PDT)

3

Spideypod, there are lots of ways to avoid going through explotative RIAA-linked rackets such as iTMS:

http://musiclink.com/
Donate money direct to artists, linked to songs of theirs you’ve enjoyed

http://www.weedshare.com/
Share an artist’s files freely, listen 3 times for free, then pay $1 to unlock. Artists get half and filesharers even get a cut.

http://www.magnetbox.com/riaa/
RIAA Radar. Avoid artists’ releases pimped by corporations that are suing children and destroying families for listening to music.

http://www.emusic.com/
Free, legal MP3s. No DRM. Many artists unaffiliated with RIAA.

Posted by fightdapower on October 30, 2003 at 10:21 AM (PDT)

4

Yea I am aware of these services but very few carry the music I want to hear. If I can avoid music associated with the RIAA I do but you know what? Artists don’t always avoid being associated with the labels that exploit their music. And so if a musician has agreed to the contract they sign, which undeniably screws them, its up to them to make a change once their contract has expired. Until then I won’t feel bad about buying their music via iTunes or any other download service just like I had no guilt buying their CD’s in stores. They signed away the rights to their music, their agreed to the price structure. All I am doing is buying what they are selling. Its up to artists to promote alternate methods of music sales if they feel they aren’t getting a fair shake or align themselves with more services that make sure they get their fair cut. It’s not for me to decide how they sell their music. All I can do is decide whether I like it enough to buy it. They chose the vehicle, I only participate.

Posted by SpideyPod on October 30, 2003 at 10:28 AM (PDT)

5

RIAA sanctioned artists are all super-rich already.  support indie labels and non-RIAA affiliated artists. 

Posted by Phillip E. No on October 30, 2003 at 11:54 AM (PDT)

6

oh, and btw, mainstream music and RIAA affiliated artists suck anyway.  artists that put thought and effort into making new/original/unique/GOOD music generally have nothing to do with the Big 5 and the RIAA.

Posted by Phillip E. No on October 30, 2003 at 11:57 AM (PDT)

7

All RIAA artists suck? Hardly. In addition, quite a bit of it does not live inside the “mainstream” bubble. It may not be perfect, but iTunes is the best option out there today.

Posted by larriveejp in Dallas, TX on October 30, 2003 at 12:16 PM (PDT)

8

Well Phillip that was quite insightful. Thanks for letting me know what you think sucks. Glad to see the world through your eyes. But since the discussion wasn’t about musical tastes but rather the fleecing of artists associated with the RIAA and the purchasing of their music through digital download services you havent really added much useful information to digest.

I am sure there is a plenty of garages out there with bands playing good music right now that hasnt sold out yet in effect making them good music in your elitist musical view. Enjoy it.

Posted by SpideyPod on October 30, 2003 at 12:22 PM (PDT)

9

As much as I dislike the RIAA and its tactics, I don’t see the gain in throwing the baby out with the bath water. There are artists affiliated with the Big 5 that leave plenty to be desired. That cannot be denied. However, there are good artists who sign with the majors and stay true to their craft. It just takes some work to separate the wheat from the chaff. 

Posted by Aries73 on October 30, 2003 at 12:47 PM (PDT)

10

spideypod - as for bands going against the maojor labels, 2 I can think of are Pearl Jam (who I read recently will not be renewing their multi-album deal when it expires, and instead will release their new albums themselves off their website), and Phish (who began selling all the live shows via their own site livephish.com since the begining of this year).  Phish’s plan in particular is good - 10 bucks for a complete concert in ‘no strings attached’ 128 mp3 format or 13 bucks for lossless FLAC.  Each show is typically 2-3 CD’s worth of music, and cover art etc… are free.  Frankly I hope more musicians will take these routes if they prove viable….. 

Posted by me on October 30, 2003 at 1:23 PM (PDT)

11

PhillipE.-What on god’s green earth constitutes a RIAA sanctioned artist?
Also, good luck finding an indie label artist that doesn’t have any of these ties-quiet as it’s kept,a pretty big chunk of indie labels have some sort of tie in with the majors,who also own indie distribution outfits-Sub-Pop and ADA(Warner Music Group) come to mind.
Just an observation.

Posted by Christianicononev.2 on October 30, 2003 at 3:26 PM (PDT)

12

P.S.-as far as I’m concerned, the moment you accept money for a gig,is the moment you sell out.
Also, Aries 73 and SpideyPod-great points-I couldn’t agree more.

Posted by Christianicononev.2 on October 30, 2003 at 3:30 PM (PDT)

13

It’s been very interesting reading but you can’t blame iTunes for the situation it’s only trying to do the best for itself, the artists, the corps and you the user.

The whole debate reallying revolves around the contract signed by new bands and some old bands who should know better.  I put special empahsis on the word ‘con’ in contract because in a lot of cases that what it is. How in the 21st century we have people signing music contracts that wouldn’t be allowed in any other industry is beyond me.  Unfortunately, some of you forget to factor in the greed/fame/riches as the corps can promise it you all and if sure enough sell zillion of units and you’ll get it all, sell zero and you are gone (but still under contract).

The internet model you are talking about hasn’t been done yet as no artist has gotten rich just by selling online from their website (enlighten me if I am wrong). The only mainstream act I can think of is Prince (or the artist formerly known as) who sells CD via his website but still uses retail outlets.

Until a band has the courage, commitment, focus and drive to not sign to a major, distribute btheir nusic via their own website and so cutting out the corps and does it successfully, then we’ll still be debating it in another 10 years.

Posted by mac_gladdy on October 31, 2003 at 11:11 AM (PDT)

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