Amazon is the first major player to release a “cloud music player”. The way this works is you upload your music into a server controlled by Amazon and then you can access it from whatever computer, phone, or tablet you choose (though this is not compatible with Apple…yet). The numbers vary but depending on the size of your files you could get up to 1000 songs stored on 5 gigabytes. After that you pay one dollar per gig. For someone that rotates from device to device it’s a fairly sweet deal.
This is not ideal for me because I store everything with as big of a sample rate as possible. Nearly all my bootlegs are lossless wav files and if I rip a CD, I always go to a wav. For the equipment I play back on, there is an audible difference. So on my external hard drive there is a good 400 gig of music. Nope, the cloud is not for me.
I do think that your average device user is going to find this a bargain. And you know that people will figure out a way to share music on this. So the record companies are having some differences with technology again.
There was a recent post on streaming music services on Progressive Ears. The owner of a small record label was very much against it because the reimbursement was so ridiculously low (hundredths of a penny per play). I can see his point. According to this, Lady Gaga got $167 for one million plays on the European service Spotify.
Now I can see where the record companies would be a little paranoid about this. They could lose their shirts if these players get popular. But I feel more for any artists that get burned. At this point Lady Gaga probably is not hurting but this kills the everyday joes making music. Bottom line: the ones that produce the art should be compensated. However my sympathy stops at major labels and the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). You know, the bastards that sue housewives for using Limewire.
I think the RIAA needs to pull its sanctimonious head out of its collective ass and realize that technology has changed the game at least three substantial ways since the mid-90s (file-sharing, iTunes, and now cloud/streaming). They need to stop with the obstinate behavior, change their way outdated business plan, and learn to adapt. Because if they do not find a way to work with this it is going to kill them. I will not mourn the death of major record labels (note I said major, not my beloved prog labels). And once Google, Apple, and the boys in Redmond WA get into the game they are well and truly fucked. They just do not have the money or muscle to play with those guys, let alone Amazon.
Here’s some independent labels to support if you are so inclined.
And here’s a plug for my former coworker Christian’s band.
And a few of my friends on PE:
Remember, if it’s too loud, you’re probably working in a cubicle and should play your death metal at home.