Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Media Businesses The Internet

Napster's Learning Curve 185

Chabil Ha' writes "CNET News is reporting on Napter's learning curve. There are some interesting revelations about their dealings with the music industry." From the article: "We made one last effort to convince the labels that they should do a deal with us. A little-known underground product called Gnutella had just surfaced. It was a P2P file-sharing program that required no central server and no company to operate it. If the labels didn't do a deal with us, and instead put us out of business, then Gnutella and its derivatives would become unstoppable. If we worked together now we could convert the market to a paid-subscription model. If we didn't do a deal, chaos would ensue. The labels didn't believe us and didn't really understand what this Gnutella threat was."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Napster's Learning Curve

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    How many justifications of piracy will be posted?
    • How many justifications of piracy will be posted?

      At least 5 [slashdot.org] :)

      (Disclaimer: I do not necessarily agree with the above manifesto, it's just an informational link, yadda yadda all rights reserved etc etc).
    • Justification is pretty irrelevant to the record industries. However, they are facing an economic problem, and rather than being willing to set aside any outdated notions they have about the nature of their product, they would rather remain oblivious to it at their own expense. If you don't want people to do something, banning it is a pretty ineffective way to stop them compared to offering them an incentive to do otherwise. Even if the RIAA were to use far more Draconian measures than they do today in orde
    • This isn't entirely a justification, but if IP owners are worried about abuses of the system, they should set the example and deal with their own abuses first. I don't think 100 years, with extensions every 50, is what the founding fathers had in mind when they said "limited time."

      I happen to think copyright law is a good thing. I just don't think it should take longer than my lifetime for works created today to enter the public domain.
      • That's the rub. I've honestly never run into someone [who wasn't just trying to be reactionary] who thought the idea of copyright was a bad thing. It makes sense -- someone makes something, they should be able to profit from it reasonably.

        What most people disagree with is what we've got now -- someone makes something, and a company profits from it indefinitely by any means necessary.

        Why patent and trademark law differ so much compared to copyright, despite the inherent similarities, pretty much has to

    • How many justifications of piracy will be posted?

      It's not a question of justifications of piracy, but rather legitimizing the net as a distribution medium, having it do for music what radio and television as done.

      Let's face it, there are always going to be traditionalists who will want to go in a store, flip through albums and buy something with the nice silk screened disc, cover and fly leaf artwork. We'll even have those who will collect those special editions, first pressings. But in the digital age w
    • I don't know, but when it comes to copyright infringement on Slashdot, the following is true:

      1.) In articles about GPL violations, copyrights are good and infringement is bad. Violators should be prosecuted legally, preferably by the EFF.

      2.) In articles about games by people we like, copyrights are good and infringement is bad. Be sure to buy John Carmack's game!

      3.) In articles about games by people we don't like, copyrights are bad and infringement is normal. No wonder everybody pirates! The games a
    • None. I don't think I've *ever* seen anyone posting a justification of sailing the seven seas, bringing up ships, killing the crew and stealing the cargo - neither on Slashdot nor elsewhere.
  • bt (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ajdlinux ( 913987 ) on Friday October 21, 2005 @05:23PM (#13848609) Homepage Journal
    And now we have BitTorrent! It doesn't really matter what the labels do, P2P won't go away.
    • well, it does to an extent.
      The more they try to crush p2p, the harder it is to crush the next generation of p2p software.
      "You cant win, corportate fatcats. If you should strike me down i shall become more powerful then you can possibly imagine"
  • Wow RIAA finally made a very stupid decision(big surpise) not supporting Napster, because of this I really think they put themselves in a really bad posistion. People would actually use napster as a subscription for downloading music, pay per song no way. Gnutella needs no subscription or payment per song, people are going to use it if the RIAA/Napster agreement comes about, granted some will still use it after that, but RIAA wil still regain a holding on the music industry and lower the amount of piratin
    • Re:OK? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by uncoveror ( 570620 )
      The recording industry's M.O. is simple: rip off children by selling them pieces of plastic at an obscene markup. They aren't interested in changing that in any way. Let them join other obsolete industries in the dustbin of history. Don't buy CDs. [dontbuycds.org]
      • "rip off children by selling them pieces of plastic at an obscene markup."

        Oh, please. The mouse you're holding, the monitor you're looking at, and the PC that's powering both were likely sold at a higher markup than CDs. That applies at the retailer, too -- Best Buy takes about 15 points on CDs and 40 points on mice. If the profit margin of the record industry is bothersome to you, you would be deeply and profoundly disturbed to learn what the margins are on packaged foods, clothing, and most everyth

        • I'll quibble about the packaged food - grocery stores have a very low margin on canned goods, boxed goods etc. The high volume makes up for low margins.

          The margin is higher on meat/milk/veggies, to compensate for spoilage.

          The really high markup is on chips, soda pop and smokes.

          -=-=-=-

          If the margin on computers is so high, why have so many PC manufacturers gone bust?
        • Manufacture something for less than a buck, and sell it for twenty. No profit margin there, huh?
    • "Wow RIAA finally made a very stupid decision(big surpise) not supporting Napster, because of this I really think they put themselves in a really bad posistion."

      Napster basically said to the record companies: "we've invented this service that allows millions of teenagers to pirate your content. Won't you please work with us?". This was simply extortion. Extortion, legal or otherwise, certainly happens quite often (in fact, many people see the record company lawsuits as extortion), but if somebody tri

      • I don't mind Napster taking credit for the P2P concept. However the paid-subscription service did not come out of the Napster brand first. Correct me if I am wrong, but Listen.com (now Rhapsody) has the subscription service launched in December 2001. Napster reborned some time in 2003 as a subscription service later.

        And my 2-month dual $ubscription test concluded that Rhapsody is superior over Napster in everyway. Mostly due to all the "buy-only" tracks on Napster, that made it a nobrainer for me to kee
  • by voss ( 52565 ) on Friday October 21, 2005 @05:25PM (#13848626)
    The record industry still hasnt rapped its arms around paid download services...try finding one paid service that has ALL of the music companies collections. I dont mind PAYING for the songs if I can actually find them.

    The right service would be one that has all the music companies collections and has a mix of paid and free song files.
    • I don't get why companies don't understand this. Subscription model is the way to go. With blockbuster, I wouldn't give them $25 a month to rent X number of movies. But with Zip.ca, I will give them $25 per month. With media, which costs so little to reproduce, it seems pointless to try to charge a high price for it, and only get a certain number of people to get your product. Why not let everyone have it, and just charge them a small fee every month. The phone companies have made tons of money from g
  • Lessons learned... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by max99ted ( 192208 )
    ...from the article seem to be what the RIAA and the rest of the music industry should be looking at now. For example:
    Understand who your customer is, what problems you need to solve, and how much they are willing to pay for it.
    I guess they know who, just not the what, where, when, why, and how.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Down with the RIAA
  • Ok, the story is interesting and all, but did they really think that they'd change the way that a monopoly does business? It would be like getting them to admit that they're on a sinking ship, and that just ain't going to happen. But this is also why I'm such a big believer in free market economics. About time somebody thinks they own the customer, somebody else will out-hussle them and provide better service at a lower price. Regardless of the lawsuits and the piracy and all of the ugliness that curren
    • the way that a monopoly does business

      It seems, though, that RIAA and company are particularly thick-skulled monopolists - almost as bad as SCO. For all the "progressive" content they push, you'd think they'd have a clue.
    • I'm such a big believer in free market economics...

      See
      http://www.tutor2u.net/economics/content/topics/mo nopoly/monopoly_profits.htm [tutor2u.net]
      For a nice explanation of monopolies. You can also look up oligopolies.

      The sad news is there is no such thing as a perpetually competitive market. The tendency is for one firm to use any means necessary to maintain a dominant position. Therefore, there is no "upstart" no small company out gunning the big behemoth. Small company too big? Crush them. Period. Example, phone
    • "Ok, the story is interesting and all, but did they really think that they'd change the way that a monopoly does business?"

      You may want to double check your undstanding of the word "monopoly." The record industry, like many industries, has a few major players and thousands of little ones. Despite GM, Daimler/Chrysler, Ford and BMW being some of the biggest companies in the world, nobody describes the auto industry as being a monopoly. Lotus was able to successfully build and sell me a car, and bands

  • $0.99 per song (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kihjin ( 866070 ) on Friday October 21, 2005 @05:28PM (#13848659)
    Digital downloads could be much more profitable than CDs.

    Really? More profitable? This wouldn't have to do with the fact that digitally distributed music being more expensive than tranditional optical media. With individual songs at $0.99 and rising, you'd have to be an RIAA executive to think that it wasn't protifable enough as it is.
    • Lower Costs too.
    • Really? More profitable? This wouldn't have to do with the fact that digitally distributed music being more expensive than tranditional optical media. With individual songs at $0.99 and rising, you'd have to be an RIAA executive to think that it wasn't protifable enough as it is.

      Not exactly. Before, they could hype one song and use it to sell a cd. Now, they hype that song and it sells...that song. They spend millions of dollars to hype a single, and even they can't afford to do that for an entire albu

      • Not exactly. Before, they could hype one song and use it to sell a cd. Now, they hype that song and it sells...that song.

        I believe that's part of the reason many albums on iTunes cannot be split up, you have to buy all or none. Not a problem, as long as they let Apple know.
        • That'll drive more people to piracy. I consider a big plus of iTunes the fact that I can get most songs individually. And no, I don't just buy the singles you hear on the radio. Several of my favorite songs were "deeper" in the albums.
    • Re:$0.99 per song (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ciroknight ( 601098 )
      Even if you dropped the price to $0.10/song, online music sales are more profittable. Why? Because 1) you don't have to distribute media, 2) you don't have to have the infrastructure to generate that media, 3) you don't have to have the infrastructure to transport that media, and lastly, 4) every song distributed after the bandwidth cost, server maintainance, etc. is factored in, is pure profit. With a digital model, you can spend a few million a year keeping your servers running (bandwidth, power, etc), an
      • wrong. There are a number of people who do not want "digital" music, they want it on a cd (which is digital too, but...meh). They want to play it in their car, their non-mp3-enabled stero, etc.

        In fact, this is still most people.

        So, that infrastructure has to still be there. There is the simple base cost - once the infrastructure is there, it's there after all. Adding one more cd to the box to ship out doesn't do much to raise that base cost. Printing 10,000 cd's isn't, really, 100 times more expensive
      • Since the iPod is only a music player (heh), the music companies want a slice of the profits made on it, and they'll give a reason like "the iPod promotes piracy with its massive harddrive sizes". Whether or not its true, they're using it to try to manipulate Apple.

        Hmmm, maybe that's why they came out with the video iPod. Now they can say that all that HD is used for showing home video to their grandparents.
    • Re:$0.99 per song (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Psiolent ( 160884 )
      But with the ability of the customers to buy individual songs at their discretion, the labels can no longer force them to also pay for 10 crap songs that they don't want to hear. Ever.

      However, perhaps with the added freedom customers would be a bit more agog in their music purchases, making up for the loss in revenue and perhaps then some.

      Who can say? I am not an economist.
  • Wow, the Napster creaters take a lot of blame for this, and I agree they are partly at fault with the failure of Napster. The part I do not agree with is them taking all the blame.

    The RIAA had a chance to cut a deal with Napster and look ahead to what millions of users already knew about the future of aquiring music, but they decided to sue instead. They had a chance to grab the online industry just as it was starting, but instead took the wrong route and now look at them... Sueing anyone and everyone because they still haven't figured out that they can sell MP3's for cheaper than CD's and turn a BIGGER profit.
  • by vivin ( 671928 ) <vivin,paliath&gmail,com> on Friday October 21, 2005 @05:29PM (#13848668) Homepage Journal
    Well the recording-industry is, and has been suffering from a frog-in-the-well syndrome for a long time. Instead of trying to figure out disruptive technology, and how they can adapt/enhance their business model, they try to threaten it or squash it out of existence.

    Like the article said, the RIAA's biggest mistake was trying to "cure" the symptoms and not the cause(s). So they went after Napster, but they failed to (to use a cliche) see which way the wind was blowing. They should have seen what was coming with napster - how P2P would be a major force to reckon with. Instead of seeing how they could use P2P to their advantage, they decided they wanted to crush it altogether.

    How successful have they been at treating the symptoms? Now what exactly are the causes? Firstly I think it's the completely shitty kind of music that they churn out - the factory made, cookie-cutter style crap. I understand the whole deal about trying to make money for their shareholders, but seriously - a lot of the music is crap (which is why I try to support local bands and listen to indie stuff). A CD may have 1 or 2 good songs, but then you have to buy all the other 10 songs that come with it, and that you may not like as much. Clearly this wasn't good enough for them, because they want you to buy it all.

    I wonder how different the entire scene would have been if they RIAA had seen the changes happening and adopted a model that we see today - where they can charge per song.

    But like I said... frog in the well.
    • What is "frog in the well syndrome"? A quick Google search shows that the expression is mainly used by Indian English speakers. I've never heard it before, and although I know what frogs and wells are, I don't understand the phrase.
      • Heh, it's a literal translation of a beautiful Sanskrit expression, kuupasthamanDuukaM.

        Essentially, it's an allegory on paradigms that limit your view; just as a frog in a certain well might think that the well is the entire world and makes its decisions on that basis, RIAA companies base their decisions on the assumption that CD's are the only medium that can, or should, survive.

    • While I get your point on technologies and crappy music, I'm afraid I will have to disagree on the notion that digital music downloads are a "force to reckon with".

      Fact is, they aren't; even Apple sells its iTunes tracks as a loss-leader for its iPod sales. Music companies have had a slowdown in growth and indeed, in places like Asia, it could be blamed on piracy, but even there, we're talking about "regular" piracy, you know, mostly about those Triad gangsters selling bootlegs at Mongkok in Hong Kong, for

      • "Fact is, they aren't; even Apple sells its iTunes tracks as a loss-leader for its iPod sales."

        That hasn't been true for a couple of years. When iTMS was in startup mode it was losing money (as do many, many startups due to sunk costs of launching a business), but Steve Jobs has mentioned on recent earnings calls that the iTMS is now a profit center.

        iTMS probably doesn't operate at as high of a margin as their hardware business, but that's par for the course for the music industry.

  • Pointless (Score:3, Interesting)

    by obli ( 650741 ) on Friday October 21, 2005 @05:30PM (#13848677)
    Trying to kill off P2P is like squeezing a blob of jelly, it just pours out between your fingers and reassembles after a while...
  • by vivin ( 671928 ) <vivin,paliath&gmail,com> on Friday October 21, 2005 @05:32PM (#13848690) Homepage Journal
    Understand who your customer is, what problems you need to solve, and how much they are willing to pay for it.

    Ohhh! But No! The way the RIAA works now is:

    Have your customers understand you, what problems (ooh!! P2P!! PIRACY!!) you need to have them solve for you, and how much you can make pay for it

    From what I've seen, the RIAA hasn't been about understanding their customers. At all.
  • by glaqua ( 572332 ) on Friday October 21, 2005 @05:35PM (#13848711)
    Napster was clearly the pioneer in the music download business.
    And they clearly forgot the old saying:
    "How do you identify the pioneers? They are the ones with arrows in their backs!"
  • Yeah, that would work with what? a three-person internet startup talking to some guy in a music company? I mean I wouldn't hire any one who came in preaching doom and destruction if I didn't buy into his act. More often than not you'll be right. So when you're wrong and it becomes a huge problem, what do you do, just say "yes" to ever huckester that comes along?

  • by Ahnteis ( 746045 ) on Friday October 21, 2005 @05:41PM (#13848757)
    Let's see -- I can:

    1) Buy music from itunes. It will be in a format that only Apple players can play, will have digital restrictions, and will be at lower bitrate then some competitors. It will cost the nearly the same as the full CD if I buy the album ($14 at Walmart vs $10 on itunes).

    2) Buy music from other server. It will be in a format that can play on many players, but not on the popular Apple players. It will have digital restrictions. Quality may be greater then the Apple offering (depending on the store.) It will cost the nearly the same as the full CD if I buy the album ($14 at Walmart vs $10 online).

    3) Buy music on CD. I get great quality at a slightly higher cost, but I have to buy all the songs on a CD. I also have to travel to the store instead of sitting at home (or work). I do get artwork and physical media, but have no backup unless I make my own. Increasingly, I may be faced with attempts to block me from making a backup or traveling copy.

    4) Buy the music from a Russian site. Incredibly low price, selection of different bitrates. Artists probably won't be paid, but the RIAA won't either. Won't be sued by RIAA for illegally downloading. Morally not quite as "right" as other options.

    5) Download the music for FREE through kazaa / etc. Quality ranges, but I will likely have to hunt for a real copy of popular songs. I risk being sued by the RIAA. Morally, one of the least "right" choices.

    6) Steal the CD from a store. All the benefits of a CD without the cost. Unless you get caught. Still, you will may very well be penalized less if you get caught then if you had downloaded the song from kazaa. Morally a "wrong" choice.

    7) Make a copy from a friend. Quality ranges depending on your friends original source, but it's free and may be legal under home taping laws. Morally questionable.

    Of course, the RIAA isn't interested in choices. They're only interested in money and that's why this article is interesting. As far as I know it's not even a dupe! +1 intersting for Slashdot!
    • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Friday October 21, 2005 @06:27PM (#13849117)
      #7 is morally questionable? Sounds like the RIAA and MPAA are making the impression they've been wanting to make. That people would even consider two highschool buddies going home and making a copy of one's album for the other to use as being "morallyh questionable" is very sad. We might as well not even have a fair use / home copying law.
      • It is morally questionable. If that highschool kid likes his buddy's album that much, he really ought to pay the asking price for it. That's the morally right thing to do - compensate the creator for the time and effort spent creating it.
        • I think I missed that part of the law. Where in the home recording / fair use act does it state that "if you really really like it lots and lots" comes into it?

          The simple fact is, sharing music is not the same as piracy. Copying some songs for and from friends is not the same as running a major bootleg operation where I duplicate movies and albums and repackage them and sell them for a profit as a business.

          I'm pretty sure a good three generations of kids (and adults for that matter) had no problem copying a
          • "Copying some songs for and from friends..."

            If that is all it was we probably wouldn't be having this conversation. However, it is a bit different when you have some 10,000 "friends" you don't know (BT), and you're redistributing someone's else's work to them for free. Sorry, but to my mind the later behaviour stretches the "fair" in fair use.

        • It is morally questionable.

          no, no, It's not. Sharing information is not 'morally questionable.' if 'makign a dub' is morally questionable then 'borrowing ait for a week' is a morally questionable. if 'borrowing for a week' is morally questionable then playing it over speakers, in a non sound proof room, while people other than the 'purchaser' are present is 'morally questionable' i'm afraid not. Sharing information is not a morally questionable act. Quite clearly the information was being shared BECAU
      • Questionable means that some people will find it wrong and others will be absolutely ok with it.

        I'm not making a judgement call, just noting that to some people, copying a CD from a friend feels wrong even though as far as I can tell (IANAL!) it is perfectly legal.
      • We might as well not even have a fair use / home copying law.

        There is no "home copying law" in the US, nor in most of the rest of the world.
    • You forgot:

      3b) Order a CD online. If you look around for a bit, you'll probably get it for less than what you'd pay in a store (although that may be offset by shipping costs); you don't have to get up from your comfy chair to buy it, and if you buy it used on eBay or so, chances are that it'll be even cheaper - and also, the RIAA won't get a share of this particular sale (they already did when the original owner bought it), so you also can feel comfortable that you're not supporting them financially.

      Also,
    • 4) Buy from Russian site... Artists probably won't get paid.

      I think they'll get paid, just at a much lower rate (an order of magnitude less). At least, I believe this to be true of allofmp3.com [allofmp3.com]. The biggest problems with this option are: quality (improving) and selection (improving very, very slowly).
      • allofmp3 is most likely run by the Russian mob. Even if they claim they pay loyalties, it can't be true because they couldn't possibly have all those contracts with the big record companies.

        The truth is they found a loophole in Russian copyright laws (last time I checked it's well described on their site, in not too nasty terms of course), and are exploiting the hell out of it. Besides Russia is a pirate heaven anyway, where copyright laws basically go unenforced, like in all Asian countries but Japan.

        AFAIK
        • The royalties that people pay for the sale of music are fixed by ASCAP [ascap.com]. The reason allofmp3 can charge so little is that with the exchange rate of the crappy Russian currency that rate is cheap for us (paying in US$ converted to whatever their currency is called).

          Does the Russian mob run allofmp3.com? I doubt it. If they are, then they have a credible puppet [museekster.com].

          I've bought quite a few "CDs" from allofmp3.com. Very few of them I'd have bought at the going rate (US$15, or there abouts). I think the point th
    • > 3) Buy music on CD. I get great quality at a slightly higher cost, but I have to buy all the songs on a CD. I also have to travel to the store instead of sitting at home (or work). I do get artwork and physical media, but have no backup unless I make my own. Increasingly, I may be faced with attempts to block me from making a backup or traveling copy.

      Wow. 10/2005, and you've never heard of AMAZON?
    • Two more options ----

      1) Buy directly from the artist at a show. I've been doing this more and more lately, but I live in Toronto and there's no shortage of excellent live music.

      2) Download directly from the artists website. This is still a fairly new option. The Offspring [offspring.com] and Rage Against The Machine [ratm.com] are both on the right track, buyt not quite there. Harvey Danger [harveydanger.com], on the other hadn, have it figured out. I've never listened to them much before, but I downloaded the new album (after sending them a donat

    • 8)Buy CD used at Amazon.com (they offer used from 3rd parties alongside with new in the same listing) or other place.

      Much of the time, price lower than ITunes even with shipping. Great selection and variety, even on CDs released maybe a month ago. Superior bitrate. RIAA doesn't get money AGAIN. Completely legal and ethical. CD can be converted easily to any other format to play on any digital players, including Apple's. Don't have to go to store and waste gas.

      Downside: Waiting a few days for it to get
    • Number six isn't morally wrong if you're stealing from WalMart! ;)
  • Has anyone ever heard that Hindsite is 20/20? Meaning you can look back and see clearly and exactly what you should or shouldn't have done. This sounds like a story of sour grapes! Napster or Shawn Fannigan? whatever the kid's name was is trying to rub this in the Music Industry's face. "See!? If we'd have done a deal then pirating wouldn't be there, Gnutella would never have take off like it has, and all of your music would be safe!" See! If you'd have listened to us, everything would be just fine. I call

    • a) It's hindsight, not hindsite, but that's a minor point

      b) If you have downloaded the entire album already, would you pay to download it again? And even if you are honest enough to do that, do you think everyone else is?
      I don't.
  • It's hardly a surprise that a Napster insider would have a somewhat self serving perspective on what went wrong.

    Other observers might very well conclude, e.g. from books like All The Rave [amazon.com] that Napster was not a trustworthy (or even a competent) partner for a deal.

    Furthermore, today there are all sorts of legal models for online music (subscription, per-song, whatever), and it hasn't exactly stopped piracy networks.
  • When you're challenging a big business model like the MPAA or RIAA...

    Ignorance is bliss for all parties involved.

    Now that Napster came and rocked the boat (can't blame them, though, there was money to be made...) ALL digital downloading of media is being eyed very suspiciously by all sides. Is it legal, illegal?

    Can it be made into paid content? Should we allow X resolution based video out versus X-1?

    Soon we'll all have to pay for that pr0n we download, and the Britney Spears comeback album (Oops, I Ran Ou
  • Record Companies are going to be irrelevant in the years to come. Bands are going to start selling their own music over the internet. Why get pennies on the dollar when you can get the whole dollar? Sell your songs for 99 cents online. Pay your $20 hosting fee. Sell millions.
    • > Sell your songs for 99 cents online. Pay your $20 hosting fee. Sell millions.

      No, sells dozens, or hundreds if you're lucky. Or pay 94 out of the 99 cents on advertising, and sell a few more.

      There are gazillions of bands out there, and to get noticed you have to have a publicity campaign. Which isn't going to be cheap.

    • "Record Companies are going to be irrelevant in the years to come. Bands are going to start selling their own music over the internet."

      To be fair, your sentiment is a common one, but I've also been seeing it for over five years. While there continues to be a certain percentage of unsigned bands who've chosen not to sign record deals (as there always has been), record contracts seem to be in demand as always. So, my question for you is this: when do you expect this to happen? In five years, ten years,

      • Re:Power to the indy (Score:3, Informative)

        by Alioth ( 221270 )

        The classic question for bands choosing the DIY vs. record deal route (assuming they have the required talent and luck to make this choice) is "do I want most of a really tiny pie, or a little bit of a potentially very fucking huge pie?". Another way of looking at it is whether you want to sink $10K of your own money into recording, engineering, producing, promoting and selling your CD (and hoping that you sell enough to make back your investment so that you can actually make some cash), or getting a record

  • Glad To See This (Score:3, Interesting)

    by szyzyg ( 7313 ) on Friday October 21, 2005 @06:38PM (#13849233)
    There were many companies that wanted to sell music the way ITMS does, I remember going to a party in SF with about 10 different companies - including Napster - all wanting to sell music online. Of course, the record business didn't budge and all these companies bit the dust. Napster of course was a latecomer it started out in not so legal forma and tried to become legal, so it's understandable that perhaps the record business didn't want to deal with them, but there were many other companies who didn't have the legal baggage who were stonewalled by the record business.

    Which is why it pisses me off immensely that people described ITMS as 'innovative' when it appeared, elsewhere taleneted developers had innovated and built all the technology several times over.
    • Really? How many of those music stores gave away free music jukeboxes to organize your music? How many of them sold music the same way your music was organized, making finding music as easy as finding songs in your own library?

      When I saw the iTMS for the first time it seemed brilliant? Who else has done this before?

      I mean, at the time iTunes was outstanding; database organization, live search, smart playlists, etc. Now everyone does it, but which online music store was so well thought out in 2003?
  • > Never start a business focused on solving a big company's problem. They don't know they have a problem...and they are probably right.

    Really dumb article - a string of obviously failed business strategies is all it is. In what way did Napster hope to move from a free music model to one in which customers would pay? I still can't see the advantage of something like iTunes considering the very poor quality of files being sold.

    I do see the advantage of buying CDs and ripping them for myself. I also see the
  • Sharing The Pie (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rossz ( 67331 ) <ogre@noSpAm.geekbiker.net> on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:17PM (#13850626) Homepage Journal
    The music industry has had it their way for so long that they simply can not grasp the concept of sharing the piece of the pie, even if it's a huge ass pie. They want it all.

    To put it simply for the record executes (who are too stupid to understand basic math): you can have all of this lovely McDonalds hot apple pie (contents may be hot), or you can have half of this full-sized, deep-dish apple pie.

    The record executives will, of course, take the McDonalds pie and sue the bakery out of existence.

The world will end in 5 minutes. Please log out.

Working...