September 23, 2008

The rejection of FLAC

Many people have been getting used to find material available on the internet. When iTunes store was launched back in April 28, 2003 - all of their music files had implemented the technology FairPlay which is a way to protect music from being used illegal. OiNK, a private tracker for music torrents, was launched back in 2004 and soon offered more variety and music in the format users wanted than the legal counter-part.
Reading the history of the torrent society of OiNK you should think that the big vendors got the idea. People don't want bad quality when they buy it online. But what did companies like Warner Music, Sony BMG etc. really learn from this? Nothing. Instead of embracing mass distribution and the community of music listeners, they shut down OiNK. Well, that was a minor set back - but it shook the whole society. The BIG companies see torrent-distribution as this evil thing which has to be destroyed - then tell me why most of these people also buy the music in their local store?

What do we want?
We want to explore music, we want the diversity expected to come with the global community connected to the internet. We like the social (i.e. Zune). We want to be respected as vivid music listeners. We want to download music without having to buy it first, and pay for music and artists we like. 30 seconds isn't enough. In my opinion, Microsoft and other companies which offer "all-you-can-eat" services does something right. But it isn't before FLAC is accepted as the main lossless format that there really is an alternative to the physical CD.

What is inexplainable is how long the industry have waited to do something sincere about this matter. They only think that sites like OiNK is bad for the industry. It is proven that these communities actually buy MORE music than others.

Give us a true service, not something half-minded crap which iTunes has fed us with for five years. Give us the ability to download music - then pay for what we like and get exclusive content, and maybe even get the record sent by mail. Also remember: cross-compatibility and lossless is the way to go. Give us a service which is BETTER than what we already have for free.

You haven't so far. Do it!

What do you think? Comment below!

1 comments:

Nils said...

This is what the record companies should have thought of years ago!

The way I see it the only way a will buy music online is in one or both of the following scenarios.

1. The record companies starts supporting initiatives like last.fm and I will be able to listen to any music I want online (on a computer or on a portable device. Wifi at first then prices will allow me to listen to it with normal HSDPA), when I want and where I want. I will have the entire worlds music library open to me for a monthly/yearly fee.

2. All producers of portable devices (I'm giving Apple the evil eye here) will support free formats like OGG and FLAC (those which does not will be ignored by the marked). Without DRM that is. For this to happen the big producers like Apple, Microsoft and so on will have to implement them and stop pushing ridiculous formats like Apple lossless. This is easy to implement and is free to everyone that wants to do it. A firmware upgrade does the trick, yes it's that easy. Follow the example of Sandisk that recently did just this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SanDisk_Sansa).

Until one or both of these scenarios are proposed to me I will continue to buy my CDs in the store. And the ones that isn't ready to go all the way to a store to find music (and would like to stay away of the overpriced CDs (in Norway that is)) will without a doubt continue the (illegal) downloading. As long as the illegal downloading is a better option (by far) you cannot count on people to use the legal alternative. "The only way to control your content is to be the best provider of it."