Saturday, August 27, 2005

Coke

I know we all hate the evil empires and all that, but despite my ethical issues with a drink of pure sugar, I have signed up with Coke Tunes. They don't support ipods (very lame reasoning on the site as to why you shouldn't buy one), but since I've ended up with a PC, that don't bother me.

At the moment they give you $60 credit for $30. Worth it just to download a few tunes I reckon. All I've managed to buy so far is Vienna by Ultravox! However for 5 cents a pop you can listen to anything. It is good fun. And I intend to restore my credibility shortly with some decent sounds.

21 comments:

Brena said...

Just had a looksy too but I think I will pass. To use the wma files on iPod I believe I will have to convert them to mp3 which not only loses quality but I bet it breaks the copyright and I ain't buying another player just for coke. No way bucko...

Alan said...

Of course, an iPod works quite happily on a PC, so don't let that stop you. Local version of iTunes Store is coming, so they say.

I'm not really one for DRM'd downloads anyway.

Martha said...

What is DRM?

David said...

DRM is a way of restricting your use of a downloaded item, for copyright or other reasons. The particular DRM (Digital Rights Management) they're using is a proprietry Microsoft one, not supported by Apple. DRM is a menace... if I download a song then I don't want it expiring in 30 days, or only being able to be played on one specific device, or coming bundled with an advertisement, or whatever odd restriction the vendor decides to impose. So I avoid it like the plague in favour of simple old MP3s.

But this site's biggest crime is having the Rolling Stones on their logo. FFS... these guys are sad old pensioners who haven't written a decent song since the 70s, and who survive by selling overpriced concert tickets to middle aged people who have no concept of cool or talent at all.

Martha said...

Ha! I went to see them about 10 years ago, and they rocked. In fact I think may have been the best "big" concert I've been to. And I'm not a fan, but they were a great show. I guess I was with my somewhat middle-aged husband (to be, at that stage).

Thanks for the info on DRM - does sound very wankerish, and I think once we're through our credit we probably won't buy anymore. I'm having fun browsing at the moment though - so far I've downloaded the Lightning Seeds "Sense" (I'm a sop), and the Magic Numbers. I think it will be quite good for nostalgia really...

Martha said...

Oh and... where do you download MP3s from? The main reason I'm trying the Coke site is I don't know anywhere else to get music from online.

David said...

Steal it, same as everyone else. Use one of the peer to peer file sharing networks. I'm a fan of Shareaza, which hooks in to several of the peer to peer networks but doesn't come riddled with spy and adware. You'd be best running it on broadband rather than dialup.

DRM has applications that aren't music related. You might want to control access to your documents in a similar manner... who can access them and when. Which puts it fair and square in the realm of my work responsibilities. I'm inclined against it at the moment, since it poses problems for long term achival. And do you really want future access to your business information to be at the whim of Microsoft?

Martha said...

Thanks again David. Free and free of Microsoft seem like very appealing properties. Obviously my $30 was poorly spent! It has given me a good lesson in the internet music bizzo though - bless.

Martha said...

One thing I do like about Cole thingy is that some money will make it iinto the artists pockets, which I think they deserve.

Although not the Rolling Stones. They've got enough.

But then, I'm not going to be downloading them anyway.

David said...

Obviously I have sympathy for bands. Except for the Rolling Stones, who should be happy collecting their pensions and playing bingo. But I think you should do stuff to piss off the recording industry, on principle, since they're about as amateurish and unreasonable an industry as you'll find anywhere. And hopefully the bands will eventually pressure their management to get a clue. (I'm mixing up the music and the film companies here since the principles are the same, and often the companies are the same too.)

Take their legal actions against people doing peer to peer file sharing. We've had a few, and they're a sad slap-dash affair. We've had these e-mails with US style dates, and US contact information (addresses and phone numbers) that don't give country information. You're supposed to figure out that "CA" means California, and therefore the States, and that you have to put some sort of country code on the front of their Los Angeles telephone number. The first I ever received had all these faults AND a faulty digital certificate attached. I thought it must be someone in favour of file sharing trying to set up the industry as incompetent, but it turns out that it was real. And that they actually employ lawyers to draft their correspondence. We've investigated every allegation and found none of them to be true. Often the IP addresses they allege to be file sharing aren't even allocated. But it costs us a lot to pull out network log records and to examine PCs, and it also has consequences for the innocent PC user... Our privacy safeguards say that an agency CEO must approve investigations, and some mud must stick when you have to tell them that the reason we need to investigate is because the recording industry is alleging that the person is stealing music. I'd like to see the industry held responsible for their amateurism, possibly by being sued for defamation a few times.

Then take their bizarre position on format shifting. According to the industry, if I go out bicycling with my discman and a CD then that is OK. But if I rip the CD and load it on to my MP3 player and go out bicycling then I'm stealing their music. I know it is their product and they can lay down whatever arbitrary and unreasonable conditions on use that they like. But really? It is bad PR to try and demonise a victimless "crime" that 999 out of 1000 people would have no problem with.

Nextly, consider the industry's odd efforts to use technology to protect their copyright. I'm sure you've heard of people buying copy protected music CDs that refuse to play in one player or another. Or look at DVD region codes, and how difficult it makes it to send a DVD to someone overseas as a present. I've lived here and in Europe and have an industry unapproved region-free player. The industry would have it that I was stealing their films and should replace all my DVDs whenever I move around the world. Or, look at your Coke site which talks about Microsoft as being an "industry standard"... they refuse to sell music to you if you have an iPod, so why not just download it elsewhere for free?

If I could quickly mention the hypocrisy of Sony Records moaning about music theft, while other bits of Sony manufacture tape recorders and computers with built in CD burners...

...before finishing up with the rumours that the NZ recording industry is looking for the government to levy a fee on blank CDs to be paid to them, on the assumption that blank CDs are mainly used to download stolen music. I'm not convinced that anyone actually burns music anymore, but I'm guessing they'll be looking at a levy on MP3 players soon. But the cheek of the people... I use plenty of blank CDs, and not one of them is used for music. It's all data transfer and backup. These guys are trying to get the government to help them steal my money. Fuck 'em!

Sorry to rant in your comments :-)

ben.run said...

I could write sooo much on the topic of DRM. But I will cut it down to a few sentences. I dislike DRM. I shall not pay for something that controls me. I pay for things I control. So if I buy a CD with music on it I shall control how and when and on what I shall listen to it.
I buy CDs and can therefore convert the music to anything I want that will play anywhere. There are times I would like to buy individual songs (for example when an artist has only produced one decent song ever) but the only format I am willing to pay for is an unihibbited mp3 file. The Industry won't sell them because they fear that they would wind up on the internet. Given that the illegal versions already are on the internet in mp3 format, what is the point in not selling them and making some money? It hardly encourages people to buy legitimate versions when the illegitimate ones are more useful!

Okay I will stop now, I have already written more than I said I would!

Ben.

Martha said...

Don't worry Ben, I'm very interested in all this, and you should feel free to write as much as you like.

To be honest I never really even understood what MP3s were until now.

Martha said...

Oh and David, rant away. I have found it quite weird that the people who get all antsy about the technology are the ones making it. Duh.

Alan said...

Ditto to Ben and David.

I'm at the point now where I refuse to buy any CDs with DRM on them (a.k.a. copy control) as they are not fit for my use.

The hypocrisy of the recording industry sickens me. Every time you see a record company nabob with any sort of MP3 player (and they all have them) you are seeing a class A hypocrite.

David said...

We're agreed then... Ben, Alan and I are going out to beat up some record company bosses. And any Rolling Stones we can lay our hands on. Oh, and Bill Gates if we can find him.

Are you in, Martha, or not?

BTW... if you're buying an MP3 player, consider the safety aspects. Since I got one I keep running in to things on my bicycle. The bad thing is that this can hurt, especially when blood that used to be on the inside of my body transfers itself to the outside of my body. The good thing is that it all happens in time to music, and so I really don't care.

Martha said...

Oh yeah, count me in. I'll give anyone the bash who looks at me sideways (menacing grimace).

And I won't be buying an MP3 player anytime soon. Or anything for that matter. I'm not sure if you've noticed, but in the last 6 months I've bought a computer, a car, a scooter, a coffee cart - and several other things I've failed to mention here. The shopping is well and truly at an end.

Kate said...

I was reading this comment string and I was thinking exactly the same thing as Ben. As Ben has said it I won't. So now I won't say a thing...

Em said...

Another thing to look out for when buying an MP3 player is that it ends up loaded with Teletubbies, Sesame Street, Bear in the Big Blue House and so on, and then has to be kept in the playroom for all eternity. Yes, it happened to me.

Another good download tool is Soulseek.

David said...

That makes a gang of Martha, Ben, Alan, Kate, and myself. All cruising the streets looking for Rolling Stones to intimidate.

We're going to need patches.

And motorbikes!

ben.run said...

david said: That makes a gang of Martha, Ben, Alan, Kate, and myself. All cruising the streets looking for Rolling Stones to intimidate.

We're going to need patches.


Yes... Software patches.
Oh ho ho ho. (Geek humour)

Ben.

David said...

That makes a gang of Martha, Alan, Kate, and myself. While Ben stays at home and plays with his 802.11-enabled router and his new Red Hat installation.

Sorry Ben... but when it comes time to scare some elderly rock stars, you'd just be a liability.