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Music Media

The Death of the Music CD 483

Posted by Zonk
from the ding-dong-the-witch-is-dead dept.
Rick Zeman writes "According to the Washington Post, the next new music format will be...no format. From the article: 'What the consumer would buy is a data file, and you could create whatever you need. If you want to make an MP3, you make an MP3. If you want a DVD-Audio surround disc, you make that.'"
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The Death of the Music CD

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  • Sound's Great... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yotto (590067) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:40PM (#11660720) Homepage
    ...Until they DRM it every way but sideways.
    • by LourensV (856614) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @02:07PM (#11660986)

      Actually, that may not be so bad. The reason that policy issues like extending copyright or introducing DMCA/EUCD-like laws are so hard to decide in 'our' favour is that nobody cares. And the reason for that is that these laws aren't enforced all that much.

      If Microsoft really cracked down on Windows piracy, many more people would consider an alternative. GNU/Linux can compete with Windows on price and freedom to help your neighbour, but only if people actually are forced to pay for Windows, and kept from sharing proprietary software.

      Indie music that is sold on reasonable terms (unencumbered CDs or DVDs, non-DRMmed Ogg Vorbis or MP3) or distributed under a Creative Commons licence that allows redistribution can compete with RIAA music on ease of use (i.e. pay once, listen anywhere), but only if the RIAA's restrictions are enforced.

      I say let them DRM the hell out of everything. Hundreds of millions of people and the whole open counterculture that's come into being in the last decade versus the powerful media conglomerates. I think we'll win.

      • by kenthorvath (225950) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @02:31PM (#11661175)
        I say let them DRM the hell out of everything.

        Sure, just don't legislate DRM making it illegal for me to use the product the way I want. Make it a challenge, but don't put me in jail for coming out on top.

    • I'm sure some quantum mechanics geek will figure out how to use the Hall effect to read the disc sideways.
    • Re:Sound's Great... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by EpsCylonB (307640) <eps@NOSPAm.epscylonb.com> on Sunday February 13, 2005 @02:47PM (#11661301) Homepage
      It will take more than DRM to safegaurd digital media. The problem is the existance of formats that don't have DRM, as everyone on /. knows you only need to break the DRM once, convert it to a non DRM format (say Ogg Vorbis) and then the cat is out of bag. It's foolish to think that Microsoft and the media companies don't realise this, which is where TCPA comes in. Their ultimate goal is not to allow a user to access DRM media on any device that also lets the user encode or decode non DRM formats.

      The repurcussions of this are that in the future we may see normal PC's and media PC's become seperate markets. The media companies won't allow you to download or play a DRM media file on a normal PC but they will on your **AA company approved media center PC.

      The future could be very bleak for the computer as we know it.

    • Exactly (Score:3, Interesting)

      by serutan (259622)
      The ideal:
      "What the consumer would buy is a data file, and you could create whatever you need."

      The real:
      Napster's To Go subscription service allows buyers to essentially rent an unlimited amount of music for $15 per month. A subscription-based service will be built into the latest version of Microsoft Windows; for between $10 and $20, users will access songs for a monthly fee but will be unable to burn them onto CDs.

      You'll get the data files, but not the "buy" or "create whatever you want" parts, beca
    • ...Until they DRM it every way but sideways.

      No. I am pretty sure they will DRM it sideways as well.
  • IOP (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:40PM (#11660722)
    Newsflash!

    Not everyone in the world is a nerd.

    Keep things simple. Buying CDs are simple. Hence, people will buy CDs.
    • Re:IOP (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TekMonkey (649444) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:47PM (#11660801)
      Millions of people download music and movie files from P2P networks. They know how to play an mp3, and how to burn it to a CD; I'm sure they will be able to figure out how to do this too.
    • Re:IOP (Score:3, Interesting)

      by museumpeace (735109)
      I RTFA... the people being quoted are the ones who are not nerds
      WTF does "no format" mean? analog? there is no such thing as data with no format. The article is talking about business trends, not techology and it is so light on facts that you can make up your own story about whether this unformatted "data" is lossy or lossless and otherwise just make guesses about the "stuff that matters", as we say. DRM, as it is implemented and embedded in various technologies is always tied to a format.
    • Re:IOP (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nkh (750837) <exochicken&gmail,com> on Sunday February 13, 2005 @02:37PM (#11661223) Journal
      Even though I'm a nerd, I refuse to buy "binary data sent over the internet". I demand a physical CD I can carry home and play in my car, computer or any electronic device I have. When my hard disk can crash or refuse to work, I'll never have problems with my CDs for the next 20 years (I just have not to walk on them...)

      OTOH, buying CDs is simple while they are not crippled with DRM. When 100% of the new CDs are sold with spyware-hidden-macrovision-drivers, people will understand what the word DRM means and maybe switch to another media.
    • Newsflash 2!!

      Not everyone is confused by downloading.

      Dragging a file to a folder in the comfort of your home is easier than driving to the mall. Hence, people will shift to downloads.

    • Also, many people like to collect tangible things, and show off their collections. While CD never was as cool as the LP for collectors, you can't show off vapor like MP3s to friends and family. I suspect there will always be something collectable.

      That being said, the recording industry as they now exist, with their RIAA and new ways to screw both artists and fans each day, need to die a slow horrible death.

  • Not gonna happen (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Never in a million years. The music industry wants to give us LESS and charge us MORE. This scheme would mean them giving us MORE and charging us... well, who cares. They're not going to give us more.
    • Wrong (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Donny Smith (567043) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @02:56PM (#11661382)
      >The music industry wants to give us LESS and charge us MORE.

      A tipical /. comment appropriately modded insightful. At the same time it's completely wrong.

      Because all the music industry has rights to their content, there is nothing to "give you*", so it's stupid to claim they want to give you LESS.
      * For example, they can simply allow you (i.e. make it legal) that you can keep downloading shit via P2P networks. They even don't need to provide download service as the content is mostly out there on the Network.
      Do they want to charge more?
      As profit-making enterprises, they should be trying to charge more, which is no problem if they offer disproportionately more in return. If you're currently a net-thief (i.e. you steal more than you buy), you'll pay "more" if you buy everything. Folks who pay for all their content will probably pay (relatively) less than they do now.

      >They're not going to give us more.

      They don't care - they can give you use-rights to everything they own as long as you pay more. For example, if you approach a studio and offer them $10K in cash for "all you can see" I believe they'd accept it as they know they now squeeze (say) $3K per lifetime per customer of your traits. The fact that the average $3K customer sees 1,935 movies for those $3K and you'd see 24,292 titles for your $10K is of no importance whatsoever.

      The article is correct in saying that the format of the future is no format at all but not because you buy data (and convert it any way you want) but because you buy use-rights to a song and you don't even need to own the data.
      Music can be played someplace else and delivered to your earphone's via GPRS phone or DSL.

      • Re:Wrong (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gilroy (155262)
        Blockquoth the poster:

        ecause all the music industry has rights to their content, there is nothing to "give you*"

        Semantically true yet semantically null... interesting. The GPP was not talking about "give" as in "give away" -- he/she meant, they want to exchange less and to charge more... which is, itself, a pretty null statement of capitalism.

        If the GPP's point is, the music industry will not go this way on its own, he/she was right. Of course if the new model provided more beneift for them, they'll

      • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pla (258480) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @03:31PM (#11661670) Journal
        Folks who pay for all their content will probably pay (relatively) less than they do now.

        You mean like what happened with the switch from the (relatively) mechanically complex and expensive to manufacture cassettes, to the mind-numbingly simple and cheap CDs?

        Hmm, does $4-$9 in 1980-dollars equate to $12-$25 in 2005 dollars? At 2.5% inflation per year, it doesn't even come close. Bummer.


        A tipical /. comment appropriately modded insightful. At the same time it's completely wrong.

        A tYpical **AA apologist comment modded insightful. At the same time it directly contradicts historical evidence.

        Tell me, do you guys really believe this crap, or do you just post it as a form of trolling? Or do you all work for the **AA and they actually pay you to betray the rights of your own species to your soulless corporate masters?
        • Re:Wrong (Score:3, Informative)

          by radish (98371)

          A typical non-economist (and non-mathematician) slashdot post modded insightful. At the same time it's completely wrong.

          Hmm, does $4-$9 in 1980-dollars equate to $12-$25 in 2005 dollars? At 2.5% inflation per year, it doesn't even come close. Bummer.

          Actually, $9 in 1980 with 25 years of compound @ 2.5% inflation (your figures, not mine) is ~$16, so it's actually a pretty good estimate. I buy CDs at the rate of maybe 5 or 6 a month, and they're usually in the $12-$18 range. But that's just your random 2.
  • No..format? (Score:5, Funny)

    by NorthWoodsman (606357) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:42PM (#11660740) Homepage
    So in other words, the format is WAV.
    • Re:No..format? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dotwaffle (610149)
      But that uses digital sampling, forcing you to use 44.1kHz or whatever they use these days... I'd prefer a pristine analogue copy that I could convert myself...

      Of course, that'd be ridiculously expensive and stoopid. A losslessly compressed non-DRM'd RAW/WAV file suits me...
      • Erg, um, WAV files can be any khz rate up to 192 (and higher probably -- but I dont know of any hardware that can *play* anything higher then 192khz) and the bit rates may be 8, 16, 32, and 32 bit float.
    • Re:No..format? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by lxrhee (841652)
      so is this goodbye to analog? photography is saying goodbye too, but the 'artists' prefer analog there.. musicians don't seem to care
  • I doubt it (Score:3, Informative)

    by magefile (776388) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:42PM (#11660749)
    I mean, at first glance, I thought: "hey, this is a great use for FLAC". Then I realized that because FLAC takes so much CPU time to decompress, CD players that could play it don't exist (if they did, they'd be more expensive). Just give me a standard CD and I'll rip it myself, thanks.
    • Re:I doubt it (Score:5, Informative)

      by tuffy (10202) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:49PM (#11660813) Homepage Journal
      I mean, at first glance, I thought: "hey, this is a great use for FLAC". Then I realized that because FLAC takes so much CPU time to decompress, CD players that could play it don't exist (if they did, they'd be more expensive).

      FLAC actually takes very little CPU power to decompress; less than MP3, certainly. But they only compress to about 50% so a CD full of them could only hold two albums instead of one, which isn't gaining a whole lot. So I tend to leave my FLACs at home and convert them to something lossy to take with me.

      • Re:I doubt it (Score:5, Interesting)

        by BossMC (696762) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @02:23PM (#11661104) Homepage
        But they only compress to about 50% so a CD full of them could only hold two albums instead of one

        I used FLAC for a while, and I found that it compressed rock to about .75 of original size, and G'd up thuggin' west coast gangsta rap to .60 of original size. I assume that rap compresses better because it has much more redundancy, that is, "wut wut wut" and some bassline will compress better than your everyday rock song.

        In terms of cpu draw, I found that ripping a CD was not CPU bound when using FLAC, but limited to the speed of the cdrom drive. Even still, PC cdrom drives can process the audio off of a CD on their own (See grey cable) which is a testament to how little processing raw PCM data must take.
        • Seems like one could make a service which tells you how "musical" your music is.

          Just take the FLAC compressed size/the original size * 100 and output that is the music's "quality rating". ;)

    • Re:I doubt it (Score:5, Interesting)

      by toddestan (632714) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:56PM (#11660877)
      It takes a high end 486 to a Pentium to decode MP3 files in the x86 world, yet there are MP3 players that last a long time on a single AA battery. All that someone would have to do is create a dedicated FLAC decoding chip.
      • Re:I doubt it (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tuffy (10202)
        All that someone would have to do is create a dedicated FLAC decoding chip.

        That's probably overkill. FLAC decoding is all integer ops so you could do it on some cheap ARM chip without any problem. The ease of it is likely why FLAC is already supported [sourceforge.net] on various bits of hardware.

  • by ErichTheWebGuy (745925) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:43PM (#11660753) Homepage
    Sounds good on the surface. But this is only another way for them to force DRM down our throats to the point that we have no other choice but to either accept it or not buy music. My choice? Not buy music...

    I'm also willing to bet Microsoft conveniently has patents on whatever technology would be proposed to "secure" the digital file.
    • My choice? Not buy music...

      There is always an alternative. Many smaller and fringe musicians, groups and labels have nothing to do with the RIAA or any sort of DRM. Alternative computer OS's will never force DRM upon you.

      In my opinion, many of the non-mainstream groups produce better music. At the very least, their music is different, unique, and new to my ears. New is good.

      If you want to listen to the Beastie Boys or Christina Agulera you'll have to deal with DRM. But there are always alternatives.
      • You're absolutely right, and I mis-spoke. I meant not buy mainstream music. Some artists out there realize the great publicity value in being open with their music. I remember when Keoki released one of his songs on Kazaa his new album sold a lot more than his previous albums. That's hard to prove that it's due to Kazaa, but it certainly didn't hurt.
        • Only last week I listened to some music in, of all places, a bar. And - get this - the musicians were right there, in person, playing it! Maybe I should patent it - anybody think it will catch on?
      • In my opinion, many of the non-mainstream groups produce better music.

        You're absolutely right. Great music is coming from all over the world, but remains obscure because it doesn't get the promotion that the corporate packages get. The real revolution will come when people - and I'm talking especially to you, kids! - start buying music because it's good, not because it's famous.

  • by FlunkedFlank (737955) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:43PM (#11660754)
    poor usage of an ellipsis in the submission ... I read it as ".no" format, thinking ".no" was some kind of new file extension.
  • Shoot... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Avyakata (825132) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:43PM (#11660757) Homepage Journal
    Now indecisive people like me will be completely immobilized...
  • by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) <almafuerte@@@gmail...com> on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:43PM (#11660760)
    A file format will _allways_ have to be involved, even what this people call "no format", will be a format, raw audio is also a file format, The point is that raw, uncompressed formats are not really very usefull to transfer over the net, compression is fundamental, unleast you want to remix it, or do some quality job over the audio, in which case, you need the full, uncompressed, high quality original, people will want a compressed, small format.

    ALMAFUERTE
    • by OverlordQ (264228) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @02:00PM (#11660922) Journal
      Nah, they'll just throw out random bits and call it music, atleast that's what they do nowadays
    • by Anonymous Coward
      VERY wrong.

      Few things computerwise are increasing faster than the capacity of bandwidth. Hard drives are outpacing CPU's, but bandwidth smokes them both. Compression will be VERY undesirable in the future. Something like music subscription services will probably rule the future. Purists of course will swear by the viceral pleasure of having the CD, but the convience of being able to get whatever you want streamed directly to the players of choice as desired will carry the day.

      If I were Cingular, I'd t
      • Compression will be VERY undesirable in the future.

        Maybe you mean that lossy compression will be undesirable. What could be undesirable about lossless compression? Does .zip decrease the quality if the files in it? No. Therefor FLAC may be a winner for audio files.
  • data file? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Coneasfast (690509) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:44PM (#11660762)
    the consumer would buy is a data file

    you mean raw pcm data, kinda like a wav file, or CD audio.

    and you could create whatever you need

    so basically encode into whatever format you want.
    can't we already have this for quite some time now? most players play only mp3 and wma, so for now, you're stuck with those formats.

    the CD will very likely be surpassed as the album format of choice.

    you still need some media to transfer the original data. the CD will remain.
    • Re:data file? (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      you still need some media to transfer the original data. the CD will remain.

      Why do I need a physical medium to transfer data? I have cables and wireless connections for that kind of thing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:44PM (#11660763)
    The music industry would *LOVE* to get rid of the music CD, so I see this as a trial balloon.

    CD's are great because they have really good quality music in non-DRM format.

    Keeping the CD's lets you rip to whatever new format or device that comes along.

    Think it through...CD's are the consumer's best *and only* friend in the music business right now.
  • by DuctTape (101304) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:47PM (#11660798)
    I'm starting to get a little weary of these, "The Death of ..." articles. It'll happen when it happens. Or is it that the authors are hoping that the thing whose turn it is to be dying will die of this quasi-self-fulfilling prophesy?

    Is there a place in my preferences where I can turn off viewing "Death of ..." articles?

    DT

  • by mikael (484) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:47PM (#11660802)
    ... maybe they will just be booths where you could have a CD/DVD/whatever burnt with the tracks of your choice and label printed out there and then.
    It would certainly reduce the problems with shoplifting. Although you could do the same with a home PC if you had the bandwidth and a color printer.
  • no format? (Score:2, Interesting)

    i think what the article was trying to say was that in the future, we wont own a cd, or a tape, or an LP, we'll own a limited license on a song that we can use with the format of our choice.
  • RIAA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MagicDude (727944) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:48PM (#11660806)
    The death of the CD will come from RIAA tactics. Leave aside their random lawsuits of 80 year old grandmas, the reason people will stop buying CD's is because they are made to pay $20 for 15 tracks from an artist when only 1-2 of them are good. Back in the day when LPs were popular, you could buy a disc with just the one song you wanted. Now you're force fed tripe from the industry pushing their flavor of the month, big breasted, tiny brained, diva wannabes. Why would I want to pay $20 for a Jessica Simpson CD when there's maybe one track on there that I might like. Much better to be able to pay a buck and get the one song I want and put it on my Rio. That's actually another point, media size. When's the last time you've seen anyone walk around with a discman?
    • Re:RIAA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kasek (514492) <ckasek.gmail@com> on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:54PM (#11660863)
      if you pay $20 a cd, you are buying them at the wrong places. If there are only 1-2 tracks you consider 'good', you must not care for the artist too much, so why buy the CD in the first place? I can't think of any CD i have bought recently where I didn't enjoy the entire CD.

      if you are buying the flavor of the month pop garbage, it's your own fault for contributing to the studios coffers, so they can have someone new on the lineup next month.
    • Re:RIAA (Score:3, Funny)

      by stinerman (812158)
      I use a walkman, you insensitive clod!
    • Re:RIAA (Score:3, Informative)

      by GoofyBoy (44399)
      >they are made to pay $20 for 15 tracks from an artist when only 1-2 of them are good.

      Thats the artist/producer control. Not RIAA.

      >Back in the day when LPs were popular, you could buy a disc with just the one song you wanted.

      You can do that today. Its called CD singles.

      Example;
      http://www.mattscdsingles.com/acatalog /Online_Cata logue_Jessica_Simpson_409.html
      • Actually, in Jessica Simpson's case, it's probably all the producer. I don't think she has much say in what she sings.
    • Re:RIAA (Score:4, Insightful)

      by LocoSpitz (175100) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @02:08PM (#11660994)
      "Back in the day when LPs were popular, you could buy a disc with just the one song you wanted."

      Well, as long as it was the single.

      "Now you're force fed tripe from the industry pushing their flavor of the month, big breasted, tiny brained, diva wannabes."

      No you're not. The industry has always promoted the artists it thought would sell big, regardless of quality. If you're too damn lazy to look for music that you like, that's your own problem. There are hundreds of CDs released each week, and any good music store has hundreds or thousands of CDs available for purchase. If you go online, you can purchase just about any CD you want. Quality music publications are available both online and off and are filled with reviews of a variety of albums. Take advantage of these resources and find music for yourself instead of complaining that the music industry is still promoting easy to sell artists after all these years.
  • Hmm, and to think, I just bought 3 CDs yesterday.
  • Proof of ownership (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MiKM (752717) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:49PM (#11660811)
    The nice thing about owning the CD is it gives you proof of ownership (unless you physically stole it).
    • by bob beta (778094)
      The other nice thing about owning the CD is that you've got something twenty years later.

      I have many, many LP albums that are greater than 20 years old. I have a bunch of CDs that are older, too. (the CD media itself might die, of course).

      The people with bits spattered all over hard drives and CDR disks in various formats don't have anything that maintains 'collector value' nor anything that anybody will want to bother sifting through in twenty years.

      But we live in a 'short attention span' era- buying
  • by slithytove (73811) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:50PM (#11660824) Homepage
    but, so far, all the major only music distribution has been in formats inferior to cd (probably all of it started out as the same bits as the cd release).
    I buy loads of music, and have a reasonably high-end computer-as-transport, headphone rig to listen to it. But I've yet to buy a single track online because of the quality issue (and drm). I buy and rip around 10 cds a month. Its a pain in the a$$ for me to find the music that suits my eclectic taste in CD form and then rip it to .flac. I'd pay a little more than the cost of a cd to download the .flac out of a vast library including all the stuff I want and have yet to find. And it would cost the distributor far less as well.
    If we could buy stuff in whatever format the artist wanted to output it in (pre-mixing/rendering even (opensource music)), the last remaining desire to have hard copy would be nullified for me:)
    • by JawaSpot (773789) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @03:27PM (#11661633) Journal
      The online music store Magnatune [magnatune.com] already does this.
      From the FAQ:
      When you buy music on Magnatune, you can download the music
      in a variety of formats -- and you can download all the different
      versions you want.

      There are 5 major formats availabe to buyers:

      44k/16bit WAV: zip file of perfect quality WAV files.
      FLAC: zip file of perfect quality FLAC files.
      OGG: zip file of high quality OGG files.
      128kb MP3: zip file of 128kb MP3 files.
      MP3 VBR: zip of high quality MP3 VBR files.

      In addition, you can download individual songs as either 128k
      MP3s or WAV files.
      Other nice things about Magnatune are:
      • You can listen to every song all the way through (in streaming 128kbps mp3) as much as you want before buying
      • You decide how much you want to pay for an album, and exactly half of your money goes straight to the artist

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:51PM (#11660835)
    That'd be pretty cool...

    To prevent the industry (CD Retailers) from going entirely bankrupt though, perhaps the CD stores (current ones) could instead become "customizing stations", in which customers could request certain songs and have a professional (label, case, everything)CD made for them. Sure you could do it at home, but couldn't you always order a CD from Amazon? And since all the shop would really need is a burner, access to a database of songs, and a computer, it could be as small as a stall!

    From the way I see it, the CD Retailers will:

    A) Go out of business...

    B) Take their shop online!

    C) Merge with an existing online retailer (most likely)

    D) Do the CD creation for customers by downsizing their shop to a music stall (in the mall).

  • already. Just a stream of samples. If you want to do anything else with it, you have to encode it. So what exactly do they want to change?
  • Um, hello! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Thats what we have right now. CD audio is uncompressed and sampled at 44100 hz 16bit. Wee can do whatever the hell we want with it.

    The only improvement to be made is to up the sample rate and bit depth.

    The increased sample rate would more accuratly represent the music especialy at higher frequencys. This is because the nyquist sampling therom (1/2 sample rate = highest detectable freq) is a minimum requirement for capturing a frequency at that limit -- it doesn't mean that it's at all accurate.

    The highe
    • Re:Um, hello! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 26199 (577806)

      Hmm. Actually the theorem says that once you sample at twice a frequency, you can use the samples to exactly reconstruct anything at that frequency. So it's exactly accurate, if you do the right thing when you play it.

      That's for unlimited precision samples, anyway.

  • In preparation for the inevitable collectors purchasing "classic" CDs, I would suggest buying CDs now.

    Store them in your basement for about 10 years and make a killing on EBay!
  • by Jozer99 (693146)
    But in order to convert the DATA file to any format you want, it has to be in a format, after all, it is audio. Also, if they are going to make it easy to convert, then there would be a standard format to convert from.
  • by PrayingWolf (818869) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:58PM (#11660899) Homepage Journal
    Fine, as long as they still sell the lossless version for the same price as the lossy compressed one...
    and to me even a high quality mp3 is lossy.
  • There seems to be no real "meat" to this article, they talk about how we will get "raw data files" which we can encode to anything we want. That's really nothing new to me, and I get the feeling that the article is written for people who are not techinically inclined and don't care about the details (which basically renders it useless to me). I mean "the new format is no format, what we will get is a data file"...but what format would the datafile be in?

    One interesting thing that the article almost hints

  • Dumbest quote... (Score:2, Informative)

    by porcupine8 (816071)
    In an article full of dumb quotes...

    "If you just want to listen to music on your computer, think about what you have to go through to listen to that Ashlee Simpson song.

    "There is a simplicity to the CD player."

    Ok... So to listen to that Ashlee Simpson song on my computer using a CD, I have to either go to a store and buy the CD, or order it online and wait for it to get to my house. I also have to shell out $12-18 for the whole CD (depending on whether or not it's on sale), even if I only want that

  • Music Hell (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Space_Soldier (628825)
    Do you know when it will be music hell? It will be hell when you can only listen to music on a device like the iPod, where you pay a monthly fee, and you stream that music via a satellite. The service will only be by subscription only. There will be no CDs, no formats that you want, and no choice. The only way to get around this is to circumvent the hardware on that device and record the streamed music in whatever format you want. What if they make chips and memory cells that are sensitive to air? You
  • So, some joker is bound to make an Edison wax disk engraver, or a 78rpm engraver...
  • by adeyadey (678765) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @02:05PM (#11660967) Journal
    Most ordinary people like the idea of buying something "real" - they will even collect the CDs/LPs of a band (sometimes buying the same recording again) just to have a complete collection. The most famous cover artwork is also a factor, an item people like to own, and have on their bookshelves. The old 33 LPs were superior in that regard- have a look at the prices people are paying for certain old vinyl LPs on ebay..

    MP3/downloads-type purchases will saturate out at a certain level - the general public will always go for the "real thing", which will probably still be CDs for the forseeable future..
  • Not everybody is or wants to be computer savvy. I think something like the USB flash sticks would be a better consumer format than disks. For one, the "surface" of the data is not exposed, reducing read problems that were annoying with disk surface scratches etc. They just need to make the sticks a bit less fragile. They tend to crack in my experience because of all the wiggling needed to get it in place.

    If internally something better than flash memory comes along, that is fine, but it should not change th
  • A case for DMML (Score:3, Insightful)

    by symbolic (11752) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @02:25PM (#11661121)

    Just think...a new public, open standard called Digital Music Markup Language. Then you can use a convertor utility similar to XSLT to decide on what format you need...only problem is converting digital music to text is very costly in terms of space requirements. 2-3GB per song, as opposed to 2-3MB.

    Kidding aside, it would be cool if there was a public standard for a raw binary format, where you *could* use an XSLT-like translation utility to turn it into whatever format you want.

    I see people moaning about how the record companies won't "give" this to consumers. I'm cool with that. It's just one more reason to keep me from "giving" them any of my hard-earned money.
  • There will always be new physical media formats. People have way too many habits with handling physical objects to abandon them for virtualization. Beaming contacts hasn't really replaced bizcards; eVites haven't replaced flyers - they'll coexist for different complementary purposes for a long time. But the WP is clueing into the disappearance of physical formats for media storage. No one wants to have to swap media containers; we all want our media online all the time. So there will still be literal "hando
  • Random thoughts (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    1. CD is a standard. An old standard, but a standard. A CD will play on any appliance that can hold the disc whether it be the first CD units that rolled off the line 20 years ago, or a brand new crappy thing from a big box store, or an audiophile-grade playback unit. It 'just works' with no additional fiddling needed from consumers.

    Given the number of clocks flashing 12 in this world, don't understimate that value.

    2. I've invested in an audiophile grade system--I've got two Macintoshes--one next to my de
    • With electronic distribution, there's a tempation to distribute cut-down copies to save bandwidth (even allowing for more modern codecs). If I've got a pressed CD from a company, I can tell there's a certain minumum.

      Fair nuff, though any decent content download system would provide different bitrate versions of the same content. Audible does this, for example, giving you the choice of bitrate/format when you download audiobooks.

      The point being don't spend forever telling me how much you love your music
    • Re:Random thoughts (Score:5, Interesting)

      by danila (69889) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @04:54PM (#11662226) Homepage
      1. MP3 is a standard too. It plays on all computers, all digital players (except the few old Sony players that noone bought), many cellphones and portable game consoles. And I bet that CD didn't become the standard it is today overnight.

      2. I won't trust you, because it was proven time and time again, that audiophiles lose their ability to distinguish 128 from 192 and CD from MP3 as long as the testing is blind. 128Kbit MP3s are good enough for more than 90% of the people. And the latest OGG/AAC/WMA/MP3Pro are good enough for 99%.

      3. That doesn't work. You are not an authority figure, so there is no reason to repeat after you anything. We can all think for ourselves and it is obvious that you can buy an album digitally just as you can buy a single track. In fact, right now I am playing an album (5 albums, to be more exact) and it is in MP3 format. BTW, I am quite happy that I don't have to change CDs...

      4. You can't piss people off with that. We will just pity your stupidity. You can eat your placebos as much as you want, of course, but everyone else knows that there is no way to tell iPod playing MP3s from your super-dooper $3k device playing 48bit DVD-audio or whatever else, as long as the testing is done blind.
  • by Simonetta (207550) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @05:09PM (#11662322)
    They sure have a difficult time understanding that the old 20th century way of buying music is pretty much over.

    The old way being you pay them 30-50% of the hourly minimum wage for a three to five minute recording on a stable physical medium.

    They keep squeezing their heads to come up with new ways to keep this old form of business going, but it's fading every day.

    The new music transaction format is much different. There is a completely different amount of music that the consumer gets for the same amount of money.

    Now you buy an old hard disk that has 10 to 100 Gigabytes of MP3 or OGG compressed format audio of hundreds of albums in a certain genre or era of music. Some of it you keep, some of it you discard, some of it you will never listen to, some of it you pass on to others, some of it you alter, sample, or mix, and some of it you never know who the artist is.

    Of course, you don't buy or trade these old hard disks full of unknown music from the music industry companies. It's not their business model. They couldn't even conceive of selling music in this way. They are doing everything that they can think of to actually put people in prison for selling or tranactioning music in this format.

    But it doesn't matter. There has been a fundamental change in the nature of the distribution and storage format for audio in the past ten years. The music industry, which is a contradiction of terms in this new era, will have to come to terms with it.

    Our terms.

    One last thing, guys, don't put anyone in prison for listening to music. It will have long term nasty consequences, even including bloodshed when the penality for copying and listening to illegal music begins to approach the penality for kidnapping and killing music industry executives. And it won't stop or change the transformation that is happening in the entertainment industry. the new technology is a marketing challenge, not a criminal act that requires inprisonment.
    We'd like to think that you won't let all this tough talk and macho posturing about putting people in jail and conficating their life savings for listening to music get out of control. But, frankly, we're losing our confidence in your ability to think rationally.

    After all, it's only rock'n'roll.
  • by microcars (708223) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @05:51PM (#11662663) Homepage
    from the article (emphasis mine):
    "Indeed, Napster's To Go subscription service allows buyers to essentially rent an unlimited amount of music for $15 per month. A subscription-based service will be built into the latest version of Microsoft Windows; for between $10 and $20, users will access songs for a monthly fee but will be unable to burn them onto CDs.
    The only way they'll be able to listen to them is via a digital music player such as the iPod, or on a computer.

    That's nice except that according to Napster: You can't listen [napster.com] to NAPSTER-downloaded songs on an iPod.
    So you won't really be able to listen to them via a digital music player such as the iPod.

    more confusion for the consumer who doesn't follow this stuff blow by blow.

  • Data file? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 42forty-two42 (532340) <bdonlan@nosPAm.gmail.com> on Sunday February 13, 2005 @11:43PM (#11664960) Homepage Journal
    So it's a data file... but it doesn't have a format? Huh?

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