Sunday, May 15, 2005

The End of CDs?

I like to buy music. OK, I actually prefer to listen to music, buying it is just a necessary step towards listening to it. OK, perhaps not necessary in these days of easy file sharing across the internet but I always do it anyway. Why? Well, first there is that I am a musician so I have enjoyed getting paid for my music in the past so I'm totally fine with paying for what I listen to. Second, I work in an intellectual property business (software) and I like it when people pay me for my 1s and 0s so again, I am happy to pay for other people's 1s and 0s when I use them.

I prefer to buy CDs of albums I want. I have bought songs from Napster and from the iTunes Music store and if there is only one song I want then it works pretty nicely but if I want the album, I will buy the CD because then I have flexibility. I will always rip it to my computer but then I can listen to it on my computer, on my iPod and on my WMA music playback devices. I can also listen to MP3s on any number of other devices strewn across my house. The CD also serves as a nice backup in case I need to rip it again at some point.

So why the big whoop? Today, I went to buy the new Dave Matthews Band CD. When I got to the store to buy it, there was a little sticker on the front of the disk that said that the disc contained "anti-duplication protection" and it would play in normal players or on computers that were "properly configured". It turns out, you can only play it on their player on your PC but not rip it to MP3s. I assume the purpose of this is to make sure I pay for the music I listen to, but since always do, I was insulted. In fact, I didn't buy the CD. And I won't. I won't buy it because it is a significantly less useful format than a regular CD. I can't listen to the music on my iPod. Can't listen to it in my living room on my Audiotron. Since don't want to install their software on my PC (got plenty of music players already thank you) I can't listen to it there either.

I've been a big fan of the Dave Matthews Band since Under the Table and Dreaming and this is the first studio CD of theirs that I will not purchase. The funny thing is, I bet I could go out on one of the file sharing sites and find the MP3s right now and listen to it for free (I won't). So now the people who would steal the songs still will, and those who would pay for it won't.

Sounds like they've really thought this through.

No comments: