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Barenaked USB Drive 519

Posted by Zonk
from the not-a-bad-deal dept.
CryptoKnight writes "The Barenaked Ladies are releasing their next album via a reusable 128 MB USB flash drive. From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer article: 'Rather than distribute via CD, DVD or download, the Barenaked Ladies are making their newest selection of songs, videos and exclusive material available on a USB flash drive. Nettwerk Music Group is releasing Barenaked on a Stick beginning today, says the Hollywood Reporter. It plays on PCs, Macs and any other audio product with a USB port -- like some car stereos -- and costs $30.'"
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Barenaked USB Drive

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  • by altoz (653655) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:16PM (#14096030)
    I'd buy this thing...

    $30 for some songs?!?
    • Joking aside, 29 songs is probably enough material to take up at least two CDs, hence justify the higher price (along with extra bonus material which BNL has had on some of their previous CDs).
      • Not if the songs are some shitty 128kbps mp3.
        • by cbreaker (561297) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @09:30PM (#14097047) Journal
          Ya that's what I was thinking.. I mean, kudos for it being MP3 and not DRM infested, and it's neat you get a usable USB drive. But 128Kbps MP3 just doesn't cut it anymore - much in the same way MPEG1 video just doesn't cut it anymore.

          MP3 was great when you could use your modem and download a full (Stereo!) song in less then 10 minutes, but I've always hated the heavy distorted sounds with cymbals and guitars. Have you listened to the radio lately? All the big music stations in my area have converted to these digital juke box things - which I'm sure are great for them but it's very obviously low quality 128Kbps encoding and I hate listening to it.

          In the end though I guess I'd rather have 128Kbps MP3's then higher quality VBR 384K WMA's or HQ iTunes songs with DRM.
          • Yes, but if I had my choice I would take at least AAC -audiophile (with no DRM, obviously). A typical 3:30 song is about 7.3MB, so I could still fit around 17 songs. And if space is tight, then just bump it to a 256mb thumbdrive. That would still be economical at the $30 price point, and 256mb is the smallest thumbdrive that I will actually carry anyways.
        • by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @11:00PM (#14097538) Homepage Journal
          I agree that 128Kbps is too low a bitrate for audio that is supposed to be CD quality, but where is TFA does it say the songs will be at 128Kbps?

          Barenaked Ladies' previous album Maroon contains 12 tracks at about 47 minutes of music. I ripped the CD to MP3s with a bitrate of 192Kbps resulting in about 65MB. That's just over half the available space on a 128MB USB drive.

          Just for the sake of argument (this is Slashdot after all) let's say that they release an even bigger album on the USB drive--a full hour of music. That gives us:

          • 122MB of available space (about 95% of the claimed 128MB)
          • 60 minutes or 3,600 seconds of music
          • 124,928KB of space divided into 3,600 seconds of music gives us 34.7KB of space available for each second of music
          • Multiplying by a factor of 8 gives us a final bitrate of 277Kbps for an hour of music

          That is not bad at all. Considering that 192Kbps is very good quality and 256Kbps is considered to be at least CD quality audio (there should be no noticeable artifacts even to the most astute listener), this sounds like a good deal.

          If I were to guess, I'd bet they encode the files with a constant bitrate of 256Kbps. Using this bitrate they could fit about 65 minutes of music on the 128MB USB drive.
    • by jimmyhat3939 (931746) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:22PM (#14096118) Homepage
      If you buy one you can copy the songs off onto your computer and then copy whatever you want onto the USB drive.

      Think of it. With this device you can keep 128MB of raw data under there.

      Hah! I just made you say underwear [twin-music.com]!



      • I think it's a cool idea - definitely new & creative. They'll get a lot of free publicity.

        Keep 128MB? As in recycle it? What for?

        Someone totes a 128MB stick?

        I must be getting lazy. Right now, I only have 2 USB 2GB sticks[1], a USB WiFi on-a-stick, and a Cross Ion pen on my lanyard. I'm shopping for a laser pointer, but I haven't found the right one yet.

        I've thought about getting one of the green ones which melts styrofoam cups from across the room. Think Geek used to have them, but now, I onl
      • barely palatable... come friday circuit city will have 512MB memory cards for $9.99 After Rebates. for $30 I can have 1.5 GB of SD or Compact Flash memory, that will connect to any device with a memory card slot/ide controller... including several portable mp3 players, pdas, digital cameras, some printers, i think they're selling memory sticks for $15 AR so you could get 1 GB of storage that would work in your PSP.. Some TVs even have memory card slots to do photo slide shows!

        USB? great i can use it on a
    • by gwait (179005) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:30PM (#14096201)
      Lets see:
      Ebay plain 128 MB USB drive sells for $15 - $20 US

      Average BNL cd sells for $14 to $15 US on amazon, shipping extra..

      So, it's not an absurd price.

      Oh, and a few details from the amazon page:

      # 128mg Flash Memory USB drive (2.0 technology, also maintains compatibility with USB 1.1)
      # Contains nearly 30 tracks of music (in MP3 file format), PLUS in-studio video snippets, live concert excerpts and more
      # Reusable drive can be used for any and all file types (limited to capacity of flash drive)
      # MP3 files included are completely DRM-free

      Also, it's 29 songs, cost you $29.00 on itunes for the works.

      It's not out of line, an interesting way to attract attention!
      • by skiflyer (716312) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:52PM (#14096398)
        But they're compressed... what a bummer, the reason I don't use iTunes is because I don't want compressed music... now they're not even offering CD Quality music with their new release?

        How much for the 1gigabyte version with the flac songs?
        • The summary is actually wrong -- this isn't a new album. It's been out on CD [amazon.com] for over a year. The concert recordings are likely from last year's holiday tour [werkshop.com], which has been available in mp3, FLAC, or on CD, basically since the shows happened.

          So, you can get most of the music, but it'd cost ~$30, and you don't get the extra stuff or a USB stick out of the deal. (Buying on your own though, you get a CD and a full show in perfect quality, so I guess it's a tossup which you prefer.)
        • by cgenman (325138) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @09:36PM (#14097084) Homepage
          But they're compressed... what a bummer, the reason I don't use iTunes is because I don't want compressed music... now they're not even offering CD Quality music with their new release?

          Even CD's are compressed down to their sample rate. Of course, they're also compressed to maximize volume thus destroying their dynamic range. [georgegraham.com]

          I'd rather have a cassette that was mastered well than a modern CD that has been smashed up against the noise ceiling. A 256 kbps VBR MP3 in the hands of someone who cares will sound a lot better than a studio producer in a Porsche mashing 100 years of audio engineering in a misguided attempt to be louder than Howard Stern.

          • Your post shows (yet again) why a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

            "Compression" -- ie lossy data stuffing -- is a totally different thing to "compression" -- ie fiddling the freqs to make a CD seem "louder". I can understand why you'd be confused, since they use the same word for both. Kinda like "bad" meaning "bad" - but also, if you're Michael Jackson, meaning "really really good". English is a bitch like that. "Bitch" as in "bitching" -- it's a vital feature of all languages that words can mean more than one thing.

            And far from being a common thing, the misuse of the kind of compression you are wailing about is usually limited to the worst of the worst of throwaway pop music.

            Most artists, labels, studios, and mastering engineers are, literally, psychotic about maintaining sound quality, which is one of the reasons a CD that's even just averagely mastered will beat your "well mastered cassette" any day of the week and six times on Sunday.

            Simply _playing_ a cassette stretches the tape and starts scrubbing away at the data. And that's not even to mention the difference in dynamic range. From the article that you linked to yet obviously didn't read:

            "[with CDs] consumers could purchase a recording in a medium whose dynamic range exceeded that of $20,000 professional tape machines."
    • Not to mention it's BARENAKED LADIES. Jeezus.
  • wow (Score:4, Funny)

    by ReKeKt (631870) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:16PM (#14096032)
    Can I pay more for one without Barenaked Ladies songs on it?
    • Re:wow (Score:2, Funny)

      by Griim (8798)
      Yes. Please make cheques/money orders out to 'Griim'
    • Re:wow (Score:5, Funny)

      by MikeXpop (614167) <mike.redcrowbar@com> on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:42PM (#14096323) Journal
      *Police Chief Wiggum pulls out a cassette tape*

      Lisa: Hootie and the Blowfish?
      Wiggum: It's cheaper than blank tape.
    • Re:wow (Score:3, Funny)

      by Husgaard (858362)
      Careful, or one day you may have to pay more for an USB drive without music than you pay for one with music.

      In Denmark where I live we have special taxes for blank media.

      A blank USB drive has a tax of about 66 US cent per piece, and that money goes to the music industry no matter what the drive is used for.

      For blank VHS tapes the situation is even worse. Here it is quite common to find VHS tapes with movies on them at lower prices than blank tapes.

  • Great music distribution method. Perhaps some SD and other memory card-tricks will follow.

    Psst - I went to the web site and there are no naked ladies in the band
  • They're charging $30 for an album with compressed audio? No thanks.

    -Nick
  • I was pushing my company three years ago to do this with user docs....they could toss on some promo videos, etc. This is a good idea, as long as they don't pull a Sony.
  • by GecKo213 (890491) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:19PM (#14096069) Homepage
    I dont' care what people say, compressed audio sounds different/worse than straight recordings. If they are compressing their entire CD down to 128M I wonder what the compression rate will be? I'm also curious if I can buy their USB drive and then receive via download, mail, or other the high quality, non-compressed tracks. Does anyone else agree?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I dont' care what people say, compressed audio sounds different/worse than straight recordings.

      What if it's the artist's intention of creating music that sounds slightly compressed? Think the compression as a sort of an instrument.
    • Two CDs worth of MP3s compressed into 128MB? Assuming that's 100 minutes of music, works out to a bitrate of 192kbps -- or somewhat better than what you'd get off of iTunes or Kazaa. If it's only 55 minutes of music, then they can have a bitrate of 320kbps, which is almost CD-quality.
  • This sounds like sort of a nifty idea, since a USB drive can be handy to have.. but if it were released as a regular CD or online download, couldn't I just put it on a USB drive myself? Also, $30 is pretty steep for a CD's worth of music, even if they do throw in the USB stick. Not to mention that in a few years, the handiness of having this USB stick will be outweighed by capacity increases.. no one will be using 128 MB sticks in a couple years' time. I'm just not seeing this pan out.
    • Also, $30 is pretty steep for a CD's worth of music,

      128MB is a pretty small CD. One of the odd things about the download culture is that people seem to have become used to the idea of paying more for a degraded (ie, lossily compressed) product.

      TWW

      • I think it has more to do with the fact that most people have no idea what "lossily compressed" means. As far they're concerned MP3 = music file. They aren't aware of the existence of FLAC or OGG files, let alone that they have any benefit over mp3s.
  • Not enough bits (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geeber (520231) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:20PM (#14096089)
    The reason I don't buy from online services is I refuse to pay money for lossless codecs. If I am paying for music, I want to get all the bits, and then determine for myself which lossless codec I use to compress the song.

    I would hate to see situations like this, where albums are only avialable in a lossy format, become the norm
    • Re:Not enough bits (Score:5, Informative)

      by bdesham (533897) <bdesham AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:23PM (#14096126) Journal
      Don't you mean "lossy" codec? If the songs are compressed in a lossless codec, you can losslessly re-encode them at will.
    • by geeber (520231) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:24PM (#14096136)
      Oops, I don't refuse to pay for lossless compression! I meant to say I refuse to pay for lossy compression.

      Preview is a good thing!
    • "Compression" (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tepples (727027)

      If I am paying for music, I want to get all the bits

      Are you getting all the bits even when you buy a CD? Nowadays, most pop music is mastered through a limiter and a saturator to make it sound louder on portable CD players. Sending the signal against the -1 and +1 rails discards almost all the information during a drum hit, making the end result much less natural and less "punchy". See also loudness race [google.com].

      • I understand that a lot of pop music undergoes compression. But that is in the mixing and mastering stage, and could be argued that it is part of the artistry that goes into making the music of a particular song. (I'll let others debate on the wisdom of using the words artistry and pop music in the same breath).

        However this is much different than selling music in a lossy codec. Of course many audiofiles argue that the quantization on a CD is not good enough for hi-fidelty. But converting from one lossy
    • I would hate to see situations like this, where albums are only avialable in a lossy format, become the norm

      It did happen. It was the switch from analog to digital. All digital formats are inherently lossy. So the question is, what is the critical bitrate?

      Ultimately, all analog formats are lossy too, since there's a limit to the fidelity of a given format which limits the amount of information that can be stored on a given medium.

    • Re:Not enough bits (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hondo77 (324058) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @09:22PM (#14096996) Homepage
      If an album/single is only available in a lossy format, is it really lossy anymore?
    • by fmaxwell (249001) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @11:31PM (#14097711) Homepage Journal
      The reason I don't buy from online services is I refuse to pay money for lossy codecs.

      Then you're just being silly. "Lossy" refers to the data stream, not the sound. "Lossy" does not mean that the sound is audibly inferior or that you could hear the difference in a blind test. In fact, I've administered such tests to a few fellow audiophiles and proved that I could create a "lossy" MP3 that is audibly indistinguishable from the original recording. (The tests I conducted involved skilled listeners in their 20's and 30's using a Rega Planet CD player through Sennheiser SR-325 headphones and a Creek headphone amp. They selected the music. I encoded it to MP3 and then brought it back to WAV. I recorded a CD with several copies of each track - encoded and virgin. They were unable to detect the difference and their results were, statistically speaking, no better than a coin toss.)

      That said, most of the online services have substandard, low-bit-rate recordings which do sound audibly inferior to CDs. That's the reason to boycott those services, not because the codecs are lossy.

  • by The_Rippa (181699) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:20PM (#14096090)
    Girlfriend: Hey, what do you have on that flash drive?
    You: Barenaked ladies...why?

    SLAP!
  • by sedyn (880034) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:21PM (#14096104)
    "Barenaked on a Stick" describes what it'd be after I formatted it.
  • FTFA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by otis wildflower (4889) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:21PM (#14096110) Homepage
    RTFA:
    "This 128 reusable drive contains 29 songs, including the band's 2004 "Barenaked for the Holidays" album, in MP3 format along with live tracks, in-concert spoken quips, album art, photos, videos and more."

    Reusable. MP3 format.

    I may actually get it. Granted, 128MB isn't nearly large enough for my BNL boot collection (~2gb or so), but I could use a memory key and $30 isn't too bad a price.. Here's hoping _McDonald's Girl_ and/or _Lovers in a Dangerous Time_ are on there...
  • by ip_freely_2000 (577249) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:22PM (#14096116)
    Barenaked has always been a great band that does things a little different.

    In this case the sum of the parts is greater than the items. Sure the music can be delivered cheaper and a memory stick is cheap. But the willingness to try something a little bit different just to see what happens is worth some applause.

    By the way, these guys produce good music. They are worthy of support.
    • by BobNET (119675) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:48PM (#14096364)

      From another article [canada.com]:

      [Steven Page] said he believes if someone purchases a CD or a download, then they should have the right to copy the music to cassette for their car, to CD for their home stereo, or to their iPod.

      "I think largely the paranoia about people sharing music is a construct of the music business trying to find a way for itself to stay relevant."

      BNL didn't always feel that way. In 2000, the band sent out fake songs over the Internet to thwart downloaders. Instead of getting BNL music, people who illegally obtained the songs discovered pitches from the band to purchase their latest recording.

      However, that last paragraph isn't exactly accurate. What you could download was the whole song, but into it was spliced (and not mixed, so it was easily undone) several of the band members encouraging people to go out and buy the album. One segment was an outgoing answering machine message...

      And in 2003 they put instrumental versions of most of the songs on their then-current album on the P2P networks. Not that encouraging karaoke is that great a thing to do, though...

    • by Lihtan (803863) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @10:59PM (#14097527)
      Nettwerk [nettwerk.com], the label that manages BNL has a long history of embracing new technology. They used to operate a FirstClass dialup BBS a decade ago (any music released by them from that era would of had the dialup number on the back of the CD). The BBS had message forums, downloads of Quicktime snippets of various songs, pictures, Macromedia Director "Interactive Press Kits" and other stuff. Nettwerk also broke ground by being the first label to release an Enhanced CD. This being Sarah McLachlan's The Freedom Sessions [wikipedia.org] (with their BBS offering tech support as well!). They also had a very early internet presence. I'm betting Nettwerk came up with this USB album idea or at least endorsed it.
  • by Sinryc (834433) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:23PM (#14096123)
    Everyones complaining about the price, and yet no one is happy that mainstream bands are staring to use technology in a cool way. Also, if yourtoo lazy to RTFA.... "This 128 reusable drive contains 29 songs, including the band's 2004 "Barenaked for the Holidays" album, in MP3 format along with live tracks, in-concert spoken quips, album art, photos, videos and more."
  • by Leomania (137289) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:24PM (#14096139) Homepage
    Hey, while travelling in France I was taken to a small wine shop that sold wine in bulk; bring your container, they'd fill it up from what looked like a gas hose. Wouldn't it be nice to do the same with music and your flash drive? As long as there will be physical buildings where people go to buy their music, it would be great to avoid all the shipping of the physical media.

    Plus I'm sure the music publishers would pass the savings on to us consumers.
    • The other month I was watching a show, I think it was called Beyond Tomorrow, and a bloke from Philips was talking about this very thing. They have prototypes and they aren't restricted to just music. You take your PDA, phone or whatever into a shop and place it on a special docking station. You then choose the song(s) you want, the movie or any other media for sale, pay for it and leave. Then you dont have to wait till you get home to use it. The other cool thing they showed was if for example you bought a
    • Hey, while travelling in France I was taken to a small wine shop that sold wine in bulk; bring your container, they'd fill it up from what looked like a gas hose.

      Ahhh. I see you've met "old gushy."

  • Album Art (Score:2, Insightful)

    by blastard (816262)
    The term seems more than a bit outdated. Will there be any cool graphics on the USB stick itself? Could be quite a collectible if the edition is truly limited.

  • It costs more than a CD
    The audio's lower quality
    It doesn't work in my car ... And if everyone released music like this, I'd have 128Meg USB drives laying around my house all over the place.

    That's only slightly more practical than releasing your album on the first 600 meg of a 500 gig drive, for $200 each.
    • by argent (18001) <peter@slasCOUGAR ... ga.com minus cat> on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:32PM (#14096230) Homepage Journal
      It costs more than a CD
      The audio's lower quality


      You get about 3 times as many songs as you would on a CD.
      You can burn it to CD.

      This is like them releasing it as an iTMS exclusive, except:

      It's not DRMed.
      They throw in a 128M flash drive for free.
    • It costs more than a CD
      yes it does, and has twice as many songs, and extra content. I have been arguing for a while that if the labels want to sell recording, they need to follow the lead of movies on DVD and have bonus content. Anyway, there are ways to lower the total cost.

      The audio's lower quality
      Yes, and I suppose that you are one of those that believe the average $200 home system or car stereo can accurately reproduce the high frequencies and other detail that one loses when one compresses. In

  • This sounds like a unique idea for releasing an album and if they pack it with goodies, I certainly won't complain. Including in-concert banter is a great idea, as that's always one of the things I've missed when I listen to a recording - there's less energy in the studio than there is live. They do offer downloads or CDs of most of their live concerts, for a price, which is a fantastic offer I've yet to actually *try*.

    What worries me is that it'll be a little too easy to *lose* your music from that drive
  • TFA is only 3 paragraphs, yet there are already ~5 comments from people complaining about the price who can't be bothered to RTFA and see that for the $30 you get 29 songs, videos and album art. Oh yeah, and a USB key.
  • I like this not (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lifewish (724999) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:27PM (#14096176) Homepage Journal
    To me that reads as "people being trained to attach little black boxes of music to their computer, with the eventual intention of DRMing said boxes". If people are trained to attach arbitrary boxes to their computer to get music/films, the next step is to have those boxes "streaming" the audio/video straight to a Trusted Output Device [tm]. This probably wouldn't stop piracy, but it'd make backing up your media nigh-on impossible, since you'd no longer be able to copy directly.

    This fits in well with plans [arstechnica.com] to make Windows Vista only play DVDs at full quality using the aforementioned Trusted Output Devices [tm]
  • I got my flash key for school work. I got my flash key for work (which company policy doesn't allow). I got my flash key for my porn collection (girlfriend better not find that). I got my flash key for warez (yeah, it's wrong). I got my flash key for the car. Wait! Was my flash key for music?!
  • This 128 reusable drive contains 29 songs, including the band's 2004 "Barenaked for the Holidays" album, in MP3 format along with live tracks, in-concert spoken quips, album art, photos, videos and more.

    Wow, that's a whole lot of material to try to cram into a 128MB drive. I'm guessing the bitrate and resolutions for all of that stuff is quite low...
    • 192kbps * 74mins == 104.06MiB

      128MB == 125MiB

      192kbps with a decent codec [like lame with q=2] produces sufficiently high quality audio as to be good on a good stereo setup [e.g. one where you can often hear distortions].

      At 128kbps you could cram 133 minutes in 125MiB, though with FAT overhead you're likely limited to about 121MiB which is 129 minutes.

      128kbps though wouldn't be good enough for most music on a sufficently responsive stereo. Maybe good enough for headphones in on a plane or bus :-)

      Tom
  • by gregarican (694358) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:39PM (#14096300) Homepage
    In the "grasping at straws" department we also have Harvey Danger releasing their next album as a 12 three-and-a-half-inch floppy box set. Also the Goo Goo Dolls are planning to cut a new album on recycled AOL CD's...
  • by Devil's Avocado (73913) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:54PM (#14096410)
    This is interesting to me because I think it's a glimpse of music distribution in the near future. No, I don't mean that USB sticks will be the medium of choice in the near future, I mean that music will be released *without* CDs or even DVDs. There's a certain camp of DRM apologists who say, "but I can always just buy the CD and rip the songs myself if I don't want the DRM from the iTunes music store/Napster/whatever, therefore the DRM on those services is OK." Those people don't seem to understand that in a time when CDs are painfully hard for music companies to control (just ask Sony), their sales are plummetting, and iTMS has shown that people are willing to buy DRM-infected music online in large numbers, the days of getting new releases on CD are numbered. If I were a music exec (eew, slimy!), I would be just itching for the day I could do a full-DRM release without releasing CDs at all.

    By the way, I *do* understand that in TFA the tracks are unencumbered MP3, but my point is about the limited future for CD distribution. No slight against BNL is intended, though I'm not thrilled that they're only distributing lossy encodings.

    -DA

    Oh, and by the way, here are a few stores where you can buy unencumbered music electronically:
    www.magnatune.com (lossless even!)
    www.bleep.com (lots of great electronica, including Boards of Canada)
  • Marketing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hoch (603322) <hochhech.yahoo@com> on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:55PM (#14096416)
    The Barenaked Ladies publicists/marketing cooked up a winner here. The truth is that none of us, bar some small minority care about BNL, but it made it to the front page of slashdot. This is called a Press Hit. Their publicists are getting a fat check on this one.

    We seem to enjoy missing the point, so we start arguing about whether other bands will follow. I will put this in for kicks:

    Some might, but upping the distribution costs that much is not profitable long term since consumers wont pay $30 for the same thing everytime.
    • Re:Marketing (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lord_Dweomer (648696)
      "Their publicists are getting a fat check on this one."

      Actually, to clarify a bit as someone who is in advertising and knows a fair bit about how publicists are paid...they typically don't get paid based on the specific hype they generate, since its really a crap shoot. Rather, there services are retained for what is usually a set fee (which may or may not include performance incentives).

      I know you were just using a figure of speech, but just though I'd give an insightful little nugget about them. So yes

  • by gregarican (694358) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @07:56PM (#14096428) Homepage
    "Well it's been five hundred weeks since you listened to me..."
  • Tech Front Runners (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DNA Beast (851563) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @08:35PM (#14096695) Homepage
    The Barenaked ladies have always been at the forefront of using tech to get their music out there.

    I've bought their last three CD's online (including a solo project by Steven Page) with great ease and little expense. The last two were available in flac format so no lossless problems there. They even came with all the album artwork and lyric sheet info available in PDF format.

    When 'Maroon' was released they were one of the first bands to provide dummy versions of the song on file sharing networks. (You could download a 40 meg uncompressed file where the song started up but then to band members came on and started shilling their CD in a good natured way over the top of the tunes)

    When 'Everything to Everyone' was released a few years ago, I recall trying to get a copy of it from a file sharing network because here in Australia I couldn't get my hands on the CD for months. They flooded the network with all the tracks from the new album without the vocal tracks, so I had to wait. Now, because of their embracement of selling on the web, I don't have to.
  • Well, this sucks! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by callipygian-showsyst (631222) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @08:50PM (#14096796) Homepage
    Why should I pay $30 for COMPRESSED music! It seems that the music industry took a giant step backward in audio quality! Generation "iPod" is happy with compressed music. Of course, with the crap that passes for music these days (including BNL!) I guess it doesn't matter.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @09:15PM (#14096957)
    Barenaked ladies also sells full concerts [werkshop.com] online too! You can download any show from some of the more recent tours, either MP3 for download, more for a CD, or (in some cases but not all) just a little more for FLAC.

    The MP3's are really decent too, 192k.

    The great thing is the concerts are not just the songs, but also the extras (like the impromptu raps) - which are really the whole reason to go to BNL concerts in the first place.

    Nettwork is also the company that came out proclaiming something along the lines of them never using DRM on any CD's released by the artists under them.
  • seriously? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @09:22PM (#14096994) Homepage
    This is a terrible idea. Only a small amount of people actually own computers and know what a flash USB drive is, let alone how to transfer the songs to a CD. I think that they are seriously overestimating the computer saviness of society on this one. I know a lot of people that would think this is a good idea. But I'm a big geek, and so are all my friends. We're definitely not what you would call average. If I want MP3s, I'll buy the CD, and rip it to MP3. I'm not going to pay $30 for mp3s on a device I may or may not end up keeping the songs on. I like CDs because they provide pretty much permanent storage, as long as I don't scratch them, and I don't have to worry about losing the music when my hard drive dies. I don't see any advantage over offering the music in this format over a standard audio CD.
  • Make Up Your Mind (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Guido69 (513067) on Tuesday November 22, 2005 @11:20PM (#14097654) Homepage
    First RIAA is bad because they release CD's with DRM to stop us from ripping MP3's. Now BNL does this, which is obviously a slap in RIAA's face, and most of the comments here are pissing and moaning about stupid media or lossy codec?

    Damn, folks. Make up your minds.

    If you like the music, $30 for better than two albums is a pretty fair price. If you would rather purchase a different format, maybe suggest it to them in a constructive manner. You might be suprised.

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