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Why AnywhereCD Failed 184

Posted by kdawson
from the unblinking-look-at-the-business dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In an obituary for AnywhereCD, which closes in one week, founder (and MP3.com founder) Michael Robertson chronicles how at least one record label wanted him to embed credit card numbers of buyers into songs. A fascinating story about how at least some of the labels still don't get it and why AnywhereCD is about to be buried."
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Why AnywhereCD Failed

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  • FTA (Score:2, Interesting)

    Here is the real reason the business model failed:

    "I believe that if you give people real value (music or anything else) they are happy to pay."
    • Re:FTA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by User 956 (568564) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:29PM (#20745809) Homepage
      "I believe that if you give people real value (music or anything else) they are happy to pay."

      I believe that if the RIAA members were in the business of giving people anything of real value, there would not exist an RIAA.
      • by griffjon (14945)
        It failed because he directly ignored advice of previous failed online music CEOs:

        "As long as you're not trying to deliver music to consumers, you should be fine"
        --Joe Fleischer, former CEO of iCast.
    • by jj00 (599158) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:57PM (#20746223)
      I believe the real reason is that no one has really heard of the service and the site seems pretty amateurish.
      • by nwf (25607) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @03:40PM (#20747519)
        Indeed, it looks just like a domain squatter site. When I first went there I though it was already gone and replaced by an advertisement site.

        Tip for potential businesses: don't make a site whose business model relies on tech savvy people look like a site tech savvy people are trained to ignore.
        • by TommydCat (791543)
          Ditto on the impression of the site...

          I especially love the going-out-of-business "EVERYTHING MUST GO!" banner -- exactly what stock are they trying to move off the shelves and out of the warehouse?
          What was the previous price on albums (GOOB price is $7)?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Scrameustache (459504)

      Here is the real reason the business model failed:

      "I believe that if you give people real value (music or anything else) they are happy to pay."
      So THAT's why iTunes never sold a single song!
  • All about control (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Major Blud (789630) * on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:19PM (#20745681) Homepage
    The reason that Robertson' business didn't succeed is that the record companies are getting tired of dealing with third-party vendors selling their music. They want total control over their content, whether it be distribution, payment methods, and DRM. They want to decide how you buy it, how much it cost, and what you can do with your purchased music. We're seeing this come to light now, with Universal and others pulling out of iTunes and controlling distribution internally.
    • Re:All about control (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Gr8Apes (679165) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:36PM (#20745929)
      And this is where the music industry as it stands fails to see the logical end to their model: If it is more profitable for them to pull out of an aggregating portal site and run their own, then what's to prevent artists from doing the same? Why should artists remain with them in this scenario? Artists could, gasp, make their own deals with iTunes or the like. Odds are that artists will wind up with agents that manage that for them in return for a fee.

      I would not be surprised to see this develop to their logical conclusion where there are distribution sites that offer a range of services to artists to distribute their work but do not "own" the distribution or copyrights to those works. This can only help artists in the long run, although the conversion to that environment will mostly likely have some short-term hiccups as marketing etc is worked out.
      • by compro01 (777531)
        then what's to prevent artists from doing the same? Why should artists remain with them in this scenario?

        usually contracts that state the artists have to pay them $BIGNUM if they decide to cancel the contract before it is fulfilled.
        • by gfxguy (98788)
          True, but contracts end, and newer artists may not sign up at all. Of course, then they lose the promotion, but I wouldn't find it beyond reason that iTMS would be happy to help out these artists seeing as how they could sell for the same price, and both Apple AND the artist would make more money.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        The labels control the radio and most if not all of the traditional channels that people get their music from. If the labels control who knows about the artists, then only the artists that sign with labels will get known. The only artists that have been able to be successful without being whores of the executives are those people who used to be whores but got popular enough that they were able to break away. I don't see any reason this will change in the near future.
        • What do you think could keep Apple from muscling in right there? Either by paying a radio station or opening their own radio station altogether. If there's one thing Apple is REALLY good at, it's capturing trends and the zeitgeist and milking them. They got style. And teenagers dig style more than anything.

          Apple does have the financial background to become a "label" all by themselves. Unless the Beatles object again, that is. :)
          • by LWATCDR (28044)
            Why buy a radio station?
            They have the IPhone. How long before that is streaming audio? I bet it hooks right up to any car stereo's IPod adapter. It lets AT&T compete with satellite radio. Throw in iTv for good measure and you have an Apple dominated supply chain.
            Not any different that what Sony and Microsoft are dreaming about.
            Radio Station? That is so 20th century.
        • by Kamots (321174)
          Depends how you define successful. Personally, I consider making your living from it being pretty successful. I'd consider doing performances nation-wide (nation-wide being all over the US) being successful as well. Just because you're not aware of the groups doesn't mean they're not out there... it's just typically for relatively niche markets. Take a look at the world of Celtic music for an example.
      • by king-manic (409855) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:48PM (#20746103)
        And this is where the music industry as it stands fails to see the logical end to their model: If it is more profitable for them to pull out of an aggregating portal site and run their own, then what's to prevent artists from doing the same? Why should artists remain with them in this scenario? Artists could, gasp, make their own deals with iTunes or the like. Odds are that artists will wind up with agents that manage that for them in return for a fee.

        At the moment the Labels still have control over traditional media. So While you could theoretically make a living via web distribution it still requires people be aware of who you are. Word of mouth can do it but traditional media has the power of hype. Word of mouth is a natural hype. Traditional media brokers in an artificial hype.

        I think it's inevitable that the internet replaces traditional media but it means the death of the super star. We'll go back to more regional artists with few cross region cross overs if there is a lack of a artificial national hype machine like the labels.

        I think that may be a good thing. You don't' need millions to produce good music and may mean that instead of a lottery mentality in artists you'd have more of a real natural industry. Instead of 90% going to the super stars and 10% divided over the desperate numbers of struggling artists you might have a profession where you could actually live off playing music without having to be a superstar or have a second job.
        • Traditional media brokers in an artificial hype.

          Risking being modded flamebait, but Apple is quite good at creating hypes too... So why shouldn't they succeed if they try to cut the studios and signing up artists directly? I could well see them create some kind of "Apple download chart show" on a few networks that only consist of songs downloaded from ITMS.
        • by Prien715 (251944)
          I think it's inevitable that the internet replaces traditional media but it means the death of the super star. We'll go back to more regional artists with few cross region cross overs if there is a lack of a artificial national hype machine like the labels.

          So why aren't podcasts/webcasts and other new media "regional"? Ask a Ninja and other internet shows don't seem to have any geographic area....

          I think fragmentation will occur, but I think it will be along more niche lines, just as we have lately. When
        • by aztektum (170569)

          I think it's inevitable that the internet replaces traditional media but it means the death of the super star. We'll go back to more regional artists with few cross region cross overs if there is a lack of a artificial national hype machine like the labels.

          Why would changing distribution methods effect a company putting advertising wherever they can? The method of delivering content may change, the message will always remain the same: "Buy the hottest new release from $TALENTLESS_HACK!" posted anywhere people will see it.

        • by mochan_s (536939)

          I think that may be a good thing. You don't' need millions to produce good music and may mean that instead of a lottery mentality in artists you'd have more of a real natural industry. Instead of 90% going to the super stars and 10% divided over the desperate numbers of struggling artists you might have a profession where you could actually live off playing music without having to be a superstar or have a second job.

          I don't think this will happen ( I wished it would but I don't think it will).

          The record

      • by Fozzyuw (950608)

        I would not be surprised to see this develop to their logical conclusion where there are distribution sites that offer a range of services to artists to distribute their work but do not "own" the distribution or copyrights to those works.

        I think Garage Band [garageband.com] has been trying to do something like this for a while. My brothers band used it for a while and I know at least one band that made it big, but did so by going through a traditional record label and having only been discovered on the site.

        It's a great

      • Why should artists remain with them in this scenario?

        Artists need a label if they desire a certain level of commercial success. It takes a lot of money to promote an artist and bring them to the attention of the mass national or world market. Artists can not afford to do this on the money they making playing in small venues, among their core audience. If they manage to feed themselves they are doing above average, if they can support a family they are so rare they are nearly an anomoly.

        The label syst
      • by acroyear (5882)
        Why should artists remain with them in this scenario?

        Because there's more to the record label promotional engine than just getting the stuff in the stores.

        When "all things are done as they should be", the label gets you on a larger tour than just your local region, often opening for a much larger band that the label also manages; the label gets you on a network tv show (like Leno or Today); the label gets your video on what few video stations/shows are still on the air; the label (still) uses payola schemes
      • The label fronts the money to cover the production of your album. If you are going to cut them out and go directly to the aggregating site with your record, then you and your fellow bandmembers are going to need to pay out of pocket for studio time, etc., in hopes that you will make it back.
    • by gfxguy (98788) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:42PM (#20746019)
      And they are going to wonder why sales drop further as they pick one form of DRM that many players can't handle.

      So they'll sell DRM WMA files and lose all the iPod users, or they'll sell AC4 and lose all the "Windows" compatible players.

      AND

      They'll piss off people who don't want to go to fifty different sights trying to hunt down the music they want.

      And then they'll blame piracy for slow sales.
      • There's two things that I blame for dwindling sales: Crippling DRM that scares me away, since I don't know whether the CD (or DL) works in my choice of player (and before I buy a CD that I can't even return, I don't buy it altogether, why should the risk be on me?), and the fact that it's really, really hard to find any kind of music today (from the big labels) that doesn't consist of "hype today - gone tomorrow" people supposedly being "artists".
    • by WED Fan (911325)

      The reason that Robertson' business didn't succeed is that the record companies are getting tired of dealing with third-party vendors selling their music.

      Yeah, I noticed that Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, Wherehouse, CDNow, my neighborhood drugstore, Amazon, Borders, hell, every place I can think of that used to cell CD's has gone out of...wait, no, they still sell CD's.

      • They do not sell CDs. At least many of those flat devices containing encoded data supposedly being music are not CDs.

        To be a CD, you'd have to conform to the Red Book standard, which they don't. I dunno what they're called, but if I was Philips, I'd sue if those things are called Compact Discs.
      • by Radon360 (951529)

        Well, one interesting thing to note about all of your examples is that all of them sell other things besides CDs. While CDs might be a sizeable portion of their business, it is not the majority share for any of them. I think record^H^H^H^H^H^H music stores would be a better barometer of measuring music media sales because their business health is much more drastically impacted by it.

        Then again, the control that record companies most likely want lies within the antiquated model of producing and distibuti

        • by WED Fan (911325)
          Hello? Hello? Wherehouse? CDNow? Anyone there? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Hello, McFly! (Yes, I'm mixing my movie metaphors.)
    • The reason that Robertson' business didn't succeed is that the record companies are getting tired of dealing with third-party vendors selling their music.

      Exactly.

      some of the labels still don't get it and why AnywhereCD is about to be buried.

      They knew exactly how to bury Anywhere CD and used it.
  • by LoadWB (592248) * on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:19PM (#20745683) Journal
    I have to agree with his biggest point, that people WANT the music, but they also insist on value. This is an area where The Labels have failed to grasp onto the idea of adapting to the medium of the day: the Internet.

    Isn't there a theory about failing to adapt and thus failing to survive? Sounds familiar for some reason. (Though, in this unfortunate case, failing to adapt to lack of adaptation lead to demise. Sounds soooo bass akwards!)
    • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:42PM (#20746015) Homepage

      This is an area where The Labels have failed to grasp onto the idea of adapting to the medium of the day: the Internet.

      Isn't there a theory about failing to adapt and thus failing to survive? Sounds familiar for some reason.

      Well, the Labels want to make sure that they get paid every time you listen. If they can't do that, they'll try to ensure you only get to play it if you have the original CD (or if they can install a rootkit on your machine, or what have you).

      See, you only have to adapt to survive when you can't have the environment around you modified. When you can get laws passed like the DMCA which allow you to make it a crime to do things that used to be covered under fair use (or, indeed, try to legally remove the concept of fair use altogether), you don't need to adapt.

      In their current business model, they can change the reality around them. I'm with you, hopefully "adapt or die" will have to apply to them. But, I'm not holding out any belief that they're willing to accept any scenario in which I buy music, digitize it, and then listen to it on any device I want to when I want to without further requirements imposed by them. To them, they want complete control of how I use it once it's in my hands.

      Cheers
      • To them, they want complete control of how I use it once it's in my hands.

        I don't know about you, but I would *never* purchase anything under those terms. If I cannot have complete control to do whatever I want with the music or movies that I have purchased short of distribution then I will not buy. It is that simple. Public performance or public sharing is one thing, but dictating how a private user can and cannot use something after they purchase it is something else entirely. DRM == NO SALE.
  • by fishybell (516991) <fishybell&hotmail,com> on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:20PM (#20745699) Homepage Journal
    I think I can offer a better reason why this company failed:


    Raise your hand if you both a) have heard of AnywhereCD and b) purchased anything from them.

    • Even worse, he actually things his "going out of business sale" price of $7 is a good deal for his crappy inventory. I wonder if he'll be shocked when nobody buys.
      • I probably will. In 3 minutes of cursory browsing I found at least 3 albums I'd like. It's really too bad that word of this business didn't get out more, as fishybell alluded to. I'd have definitely been a regular customer, but yeah...never heard of them before just now. He clearly doesn't get advertising these days, as he talked about how he didn't get media coverage. All it takes is getting the front page of Digg / Reddit / del.icio.us/popular once or twice in 6 months and most internet users will kn
    • by jandrese (485)
      Exactly. I went to the website to check it out (and hey, $7 albums aren't a bad deal and I'm willing to risk a few bucks on him closing up shop early and taking the money and running for a deal) and about the best I can say about it is that it looks "clean". While I like clean design, if I had stumbled across this website randomly I doubt I would have bought anything from it. It looks like a phishing site on the front page. The selection is also very thin, so if you're looking for anything specific you
      • Agreed, as nice as it is that it moves quickly, it looks like it's sparse because not a lot of effort was put into it, i.e. illegitimate somehow. Also, I'd like to browse through their catalog by artist, but it's just a random jumble with no option to sort the list. I'll pass.

      • by mbrinkm (699240)
        I agree with you on the looks of the site and the selection.

        I would also add the site lacks a lot of functionality that I require for an online music store that I would frequent for purchases. It doesn't have a description of the album other than the tracks, cover, and title. No reviews, description of the music within the album, no "similar to these artists". Basically, if you're not positive that these albums are exactly what you want you would have to look elsewhere to make sure, then come back to buy
    • The site [anywherecd.com] looks awful. Maybe the selection used to be better, but what I see there now certainly doesn't warrant excitement or press coverage. I generally find the work that Michael Robertson does interesting but this isn't a project I'd have taken much notice to on it's own merits. At least not as it currently stands.
      • The site looks awful.

        My first impression was the site was one of those fake sites with no original content other than keyword ads. The tabular list of category keywords is always a cue for that. And, the yellow banner image looks exactly like a typical banner ad so I completely ignored it at first, which I doubt is intended because it's actually content.

        The design of the site is extremely lacking. I doubt it required more than 20 minutes work. It's hard to take a site seriously when they're unwilling t

  • by bteeter (25807) <brianNO@SPAMbrianteeter.com> on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:20PM (#20745711)
    I'd never heard of them until today - and I practically live online. They must not have been marketing all that much for me to have not even heard of them.

    In any event, it sounds like AnywhereCD had a pretty decent business idea, except maybe that it should be the CD as the "addon" instead of the downloads.

    I wonder if Apple or any of the other major retailers will ever offer an option like "buy this digital album for $x and for $y more get a CD copy". I don't see why not. CD's are so cheap you could sell them as add ons for say $5 dollars more than the download and make a nice profit. Plus the buyer will have the permanency of the CD.

    • by tholomyes (610627)
      $15 for 100 blank CDs is as much permanence as most people need. If you want true longevity, get the vinyl. I've seen vinyl that comes with free MP3 downloads of the songs, at shows. That seems like a good way to do it.
      • get the vinyl.

        The what? Is that the name of a group?

        Oh, got it - the thingy with the little arm that I threw away a decade or two ago.

        But getting a mastered CD with artwork and a cute little box (or a mastered record with artwork sized so you can actually see the details) isn't a bad thing. Just not sure where I'd put them...

        • by tholomyes (610627)

          When my old record player died, I picked up one of these [numark.com], the Numark PT01. It has a built-in speaker, and will run off of batteries, and it even has pitch and tone controls. Best of all, it's light and small :)

          The artwork looks even better on the record covers, too. They do take up a lot of space though. I've long since given up keeping CD jewel cases.

      • by Firethorn (177587)
        Not to be a downer, but a professionally pressed(not burned) CD should have longevity closer to that of vinyl - most burned CD's are only rated for a few decades, a pressed CD should last your children's lives if taken care of properly. And it'll stand much more in the way of playing than the LP.
  • by Alizarin Erythrosin (457981) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:23PM (#20745741)

    Sadly, few press outlets covered our grand opening. Looking back I suspect there were probably many contributing factors.

    I did a search for anything here on the /. and, other than this article, nothing came up. I guess that not even /. wanted to cover a new (and rather interesting) online music store.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jandrese (485)
      Probably he never submitted it anywhere. Even Google doesn't know much about this site; the first page is all new articles about how it is shutting down. I'm wondering if he did any advertising at all (even free advertising by submitting articles to Slashdot and the like)?
      • by Nightlily (140378)
        Or he did post it and it was never approved.

        I am one of the people involved with MidnightBSD (http://www.midnightbsd.org). Several of us tried to get a slashdot article about our first release. None of the articles were approved.

        Sometimes you can't even get free advertising.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by jandrese (485)
          You need some sort of flamebait in the writeup, that way kdawson will approve it for sure.
  • The idea for anywhereCD was great, maybe a decade ago, I remember a few digital music companies tried similar things but nothing ever on the scale of this. However now the labels are starting to change from their 'sue everyone' attitude which has helped contribute to the digital music monoculture where you play with Apple or you don't play at all. Perhaps most radical is Warner brothers who have basicly made their whole catalog available for free, online at imeem.com [imeem.com] - a couple of months ago they were suing [theregister.co.uk]
  • by ErikTheRed (162431) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:30PM (#20745841) Homepage
    unless it comes wrapped in a mountain of DRM. Let's face it - the entire recording industry's existence is based on its ability to gouge artists on one ends and consumers on the other. They could get away with this because they controlled who had access to their expensive studios and who could get heard on the radio (Payola lives to this day), what was carried in stores, and more importantly what was promoted in stores. The value of each and every one of these points of control is diminishing by the minute. The labels are all fucked, they know it and they're grasping at whatever straws they can and dragging their feet wherever possible. It's all just delaying the inevitable - people will buy reasonably priced music (look at the success of iTunes), but they won't get fucked if they no longer have to. Siooma, motherfuckers.
    • Then why don't they bring back the vinyl? Seriously, I'd love for them to go back to producing records. There's something nastolgic about them.

      Don't get me wrong, I love CD's too. There's no way in hell I'd ever use a vinyl record in a car, and I'm even hesitant to use original CD's in cars because the roads suck where I live, but when listening on a HiFi system at home, I'd love to have the option to listen to new music on vinyl. Maybe this would also help protect us against a dramatically compressed
      • by Dogtanian (588974)

        Then why don't they bring back the vinyl? Seriously, I'd love for them to go back to producing records. There's something nastolgic about them.
        Is "nastolgia" something you'd rather forget about? ;-)
      • Vinyl never left for the record (no pun intended), it just hides in choice stores (such as Virgin megastore) and generally only contains new contemporary Pop/Rock, Hip Hop and Dance. Most new dance and hip hop is still pressed to vinyl and sold in stores that cater to DJs and I've seen a lot of contemporary non-club music that's pressed as well. Singles, LPs, 45s, they all still exist but the average consumer doesn't know this. My parents didn't know this and they grew up with vinyl. I'm a college freshman
  • by mlwmohawk (801821) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:34PM (#20745905)
    Sorry, no one is addressing the real problems:

    The music sucks. Maybe one good song on an album.
    Little girls who can't sing dancing on stage with no cloths
    Utter and complete pathological need to control the content
    contempt for their customers
    Failure to recognize that people like music on CDs, MP3 playes, and their computers and don't want to pay three times.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by qweqwe321 (1097441)
      > the music sucks

      Well, yes, the music does suck, but it's not like music overall has gotten better or worse over the years. Remember the old rule, "95% of everything is crap?" It was true 50 years ago when the record labels were making out like gangbusters and it's still true today. The only difference now is that no one remembers lousy bubble-gum pop bands from the early 1960s like "The Archies." "The music sucks" isn't a real problem-- it's code for "get off my lawn."
      • by mlwmohawk (801821)
        Well, yes, the music does suck, but it's not like music overall has gotten better or worse over the years. Remember the old rule, "95% of everything is crap?" It was true 50 years ago when the record labels were making out like gangbusters and it's still true today. The only difference now is that no one remembers lousy bubble-gum pop bands from the early 1960s like "The Archies." "The music sucks" isn't a real problem-- it's code for "get off my lawn."

        You may say that, and while I respect your statement, w
        • I find that comment interesting because me and my dad have always wondered the same thing...the generation that listened to the Beatles as contemporary music did not listen to their parent's music. But the children of the that generation do listen to their parent's music. Whether or not every current generation teenager/young adult listens to rock from the 60s, 70s and (now a bit moreso as we near 2010) 80s isn't the point. The point is that enough people listen to them that they are still popular enough to
        • by Scaba (183684)

          We had the Who, Pink Floyd, Led Zeplen, etc. Want to know what high school kids listen too today? The Who, Pink Floyd, Led Zeplin, etc.

          When unsure of the spelling, try several ways - you're bound to get it right eventually. But at least I've now solved the mystery of the guy from 6th period who kept writing on my desk. Also, it's not Lynryd Skynryd - it's Lynyrd Skynyrd. ;>)

        • by Obyron (615547)
          This is obviously a "get off my lawn" post, but I'll rise to the bait. I'm going from the 80s onward, since that's my generation.

          U2, Metallica, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews Band, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Dream Theater, The Prodigy, The Police and then Sting's solo work, Depeche Mode, The Cure, David Bowie's "rock" era, Nine Inch Nails, The Misfits, the majority of all punk (excepting, most notably, New York Dolls and The Sex Pistols who had broken up by 1980), Tool, etc.
    • by babyrat (314371)
      Little girls who can't sing dancing on stage with no cloths

      Why is this a problem?

      • by mlwmohawk (801821)
        Little girls who can't sing dancing on stage with no cloths

        Why is this a problem?


        It may not be a problem, but it really isn't "music" either.
    • The music sucks. Maybe one good song on an album.

      Then I suggest that you do not care passionately enough about music to be able to justify the time to go and find good music which lasts for a complete album.

      I view CDs as absolutely **EXCELLENT** value for money because:

      1. I have a reasonable hifi and spend time **JUST** listening to music without doing anything else - thus I appreciate it more.

      2. I do a lot of research into music. I read reviews, yes I "illegally" download music from Usenet or Bitto

    • by Schnapple (262314)

      Little girls who can't sing dancing on stage with no cloths
      I guess they don't have time to sew them into articles of clothing...
  • by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:36PM (#20745933)
    Am I the only one whose jaw just about hit the floor when reading this asinine comment? It absolutely amazes me that ANYBODY would make such a suggestion. I could see identity thieves salivating at the thought of this. (Yes, I know you would need more than just the number to really do anything with it)

    That guy should see if the job of CEO at Sony is available...

    • I would us one time use cc#'s, or I can sign up for a CC, use it only for their products, then pay it off and cancel it.

      What's the problem here?

      If it had my address as well, I could use a MailBoxes Etc. mailing address, but I probably wouldn't go to the trouble.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      That guy should see if the job of CEO at Sony is available...
      Looking for a dead-end career path, where your products are full of potential but little value? Do you like insulting your customers and then telling them that they like it? Have I got the job for you!
    • Seems to me you've missed why the labels would want this: If your credit card is embedded in an MP3 file, are you really going to even pass it on to your friends, let alone upload it onto a P2P file distribution network?

      It actually makes perfect sense, and your exact reasons for being horrified at the idea are almost certainly why it was proposed, not something they didn't think of.

      • It actually makes perfect sense, and your exact reasons for being horrified at the idea are almost certainly why it was proposed, not something they didn't think of.

        But this assumes that the only way of getting at the music is by knowingly passing on the songs. Stolen iPods, insecure PCs, worms and the likes would soon be a source for extracting that information. Not good.
    • by jcr (53032)
      That one jumped out at me, too. I'm reminded of one of my sister's law school classmates, who worked at Sears, and whose job apparently consisted mostly of telling their execs on a daily basis that their latest hare-brained scheme was illegal.

      -jcr

  • The Whole Enchilada (Score:2, Interesting)

    by daskrabs (976610)
    The only way the labels can make a profit off of digital downloads is to offer a subscription to their entire library, with on-demand access to any album, available at home and on the road, without any restrictions. That way, you eliminate the need for illegal downloads and file sharing. People will gladly pay for that. I would. And this, of course, does not apply to people who still want to buy CD's for the sake of an official tangible package from the artist. The day this happens, we all win.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by king-manic (409855)
      The only way the labels can make a profit off of digital downloads is to offer a subscription to their entire library, with on-demand access to any album, available at home and on the road, without any restrictions. That way, you eliminate the need for illegal downloads and file sharing. People will gladly pay for that. I would. And this, of course, does not apply to people who still want to buy CD's for the sake of an official tangible package from the artist. The day this happens, we all win.

      iTunes showed
    • Sounds like Rhapsody [rhapsody.com].
  • Rather than just "Download file" you've got to download some random third party app to actually receive your music on MP3.
    • by WK2 (1072560)

      Rather than just "Download file" you've got to download some random third party app to actually receive your music on MP3.

      Not sure I would call flash a "random third party app." I agree that a direct link to the mp3 would be better. A thinking individual would have done both. Although, you know how labels can be.

  • PCI anyone? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by alcourt (198386) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:53PM (#20746179)
    Somehow I suspect the credit card companies wouldn't like that idea. It would use the PAN in an area where it is not required and storing it (presumably) unencrypted.
  • Credit gift cards (Score:4, Informative)

    by Weaselmancer (533834) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:54PM (#20746185)

    Michael Robertson chronicles how at least one record label wanted him to embed credit card numbers of buyers into songs.

    Credit gift cards [google.com] are excellent to use if you're buying stuff online and don't want the vendor to have any personal info. Good for sites like mp3sparks. Or if you're buying modchips. Or any online transaction where you don't want the buyer to know anything about you, or have any access to your accounts.

    Or so I hear.

  • by Lindows.com Michael (550978) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @02:07PM (#20746347) Homepage
    A couple points I might add:

    - Until 9/30 most all of the CDs are $7 which includes a physical CD and 192K MP3 files loaded nicely and permanently into your locker.

    - One poster complained you can't download the MP3 file without installing an application. That's inaccurate. You can download all the tracks individually directly from the locker - no application install required. Just click on the triangle in the flash UI and select "download".

    - We do provide several different applications for your convenience all of which work on Linux as well as the other PC OSes. There's an Album Downloader which will with one click download any new purchases and load into iTunes or your fave media player. There's also Locker Sync 3.0 which will sync your entire music library from locker to PC. So lots of different options.

    - Slashdotters might be interested in our API (see: http://mp3tunes.com/api [mp3tunes.com]). My vision is all your music goes into your personal locker and then with a click can be streamed or synced to ANY device in the world. It's a very open view of the world and of your media. We have 100,000 lockers and a great list of devices coming by this holiday season all of which talk directly to a locker. We're even having a contest to spur developers for $10,000 to come up with new music devices/interfaces: See http://mp3tunes.com/contest [mp3tunes.com]

    -- MR

    • by Reziac (43301) *
      Too bad this is the very first I'd ever heard of the venture. I think the idea is sound enough, tho the firesale pricing is more like what I'd have hoped for as everyday.

      (Too bad this happened when I'm too broke to pick up a bunch of stuff...)

  • by noewun (591275) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @02:23PM (#20746529) Journal

    So, I figure I'd throw a few bucks into the company's till try to find some music I like. I did find some oldish Oakenfold I never got around to buying, so I got it, followed the instructions in the email they sent me and figured I download the mp3s while I ran some errands. The only problem is I can't.

    Well, that's not the only problem. Problem #1 is that I have to download some third party app to download the mp3s, which doesn't make sense: I have downloaded thousands of things off of websites, and none of them has needed a third party app. What does this third party app do? Does it install spyware on my system? Does it report back to the record companies? Where's the info telling me what it does? But I did it anyway, cause I want my music. Only now, it won't download anything: it's stuck in "adding album to queue", where it's been for fifteen minutes. I looked in the email, and it mentioned another way to download the tracks, which is to click on the Playlist in my online music locker. Only problem is that the music I just bought isn't there, so I can't download it. Boy, I hope I get the CD in the mail, or I just wasted $20 on nothing. Or, in other words, I just got ripped off

    So, Mr. Robertson, your idea failed for one simple reason: it sucks. Apple's iTunes Music Store runs circles around CDAnywhere in ease of use and execution. So does eMusic.com. You failed to produce a competitive product, plain and simple, and all the conspiracy theories in the world won't explain it away.

  • by psykocrime (61037) <mindcrime@cpphacker.co . u k> on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @02:32PM (#20746619) Homepage Journal
    doing some advertising? I never even heard of this outfit before today. And I probably would have bought
    some stuff from them, depending on the price. Heck, while I'm at it, I'm taking advantage of the "closeout sale"
    to pick up some stuff I didn't have (a couple of Kix and Skid Row CDs) for cheap.
  • Oh please...its obviously a marketing ploy. Hurry come buy mindlessly while supplies last, only 5 days left on this greaaaat offer.
  • I was tempted by the "bargain sale" and went to the website, which I thought was crudely designed and difficult to navigate. I had a lot of trouble figuring out whether there was anything there I was potentially interested in.

    It was full of problems like this album [anywherecd.com]. The title that shows up in the list, before you go to the album, is

    "Most Popular Tv Themes In The"

    When you click on it, you get to see the cover art, and learn that the album title is "The Most Popular Classical TV Themes in the Universe." And w
  • The real news in this article is that, according to Michael Robertson, iTunes is selling EMI's catalog as MP3 files. Here, all this time, I thought it was an 256k AAC file.

    He stated this fallacy twice. Perhaps the real problem is that he isn't keeping accurate tabs on the competition! (Though, in his defense, his other reasons are all pretty sound as well.)

    Live and learn.
  • In case you don't want to read the article, here's the synopsis:

    "So, I had this idea for an internet start-up. And it looked good on paper (to me, anyway), and so we went forward with it. Problem was, our suppliers were skittish about how we planned to distribute their goods (I mean, who'd have thought that the record companies would be hesitant to change their business model? That's so out-of-character for them...). Then, a huge competitor to us started offering a product more like what we were offering.

  • How sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FreeBSD evangelist (873412) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @07:08PM (#20749957)
    This Slashdotting of the Going Out of Business posting is the first I've ever heard of AnywhereCD. Which is unfortunate, because I'd be a customer.

    I have about 400 CDs, and buy one or two a month from Amazon. If I could get the same CDs, at approximately the same price but someone else would do the ripping for me, I'd be there.

    Where did they advertise?

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