Where Microsoft went, Yahoo will follow

Boing Boing | Yahoo Music shutting down its DRM server, customers lose all their paid-for music the next time they crash or upgrade

“All those years the music industry spent insisting that the only way they’d sell music is with crippling DRM attached managed to totally discredit the idea of buying music at all.”

Techdirt | Did Yahoo Not Pay Attention To What Happened When Microsoft Pulled The Plug On Its DRM Server?

could [Yahoo] seriously not have noticed the massive backlash that Microsoft received for telling people that it was turning off its DRM servers, effectively locking all the songs people had “bought” to their current computers.

I thought I’d written about it a little while back when Microsoft decided that the servers that check to see if the music you’ve “purchased” from Microsoft’s music store is legal or not were no longer necessary. That meant that all the music you thought you “bought” from Microsoft was really just being rented, and now they’d decided to terminate your lease because they didn’t feel like complying with the deal they made with you anymore. And now Yahoo is doing the same thing. All the music you “bought” from Yahoo won’t work anymore if you move it to a different computer. I’ve said this numerous times, and I’m not alone – if you pay for ANYTHING that has DRM attached, you are NOT buying. You are RENTING at the discretion of whoever is taking your money. Some people may be okay with that. I’m not.

More music from Nine Inch Nails

More free music from Nine Inch Nails. Well, sort of. Free download of DRM-free MP3s of one Nine Inch Nails song from the most recent album, The Slip, and four songs from bands touring with Nine Inch Nails. Just downloaded and haven’t listened yet because the Celtics are on, but I recommend that everyone download this stuff. If you like it, consider buying a cd or going to a show or something.

Maybe Metallica finally gets it

Ethan Kaplan, the VP of technology at Warner Bros. Records, just announced a new website for Metallica that makes it look like they’ve finally decided that music plus internet is not necessarily bad. The site looks like it’s trying to build a community of fans by giving them some free stuff, deals on merchandise, and promoting the new album. It’s too bad I’m not still fourteen and eager to buy anything Metallica produced. It’s funny that the crotchety old guys who wanted to kill the entire internet when people first realized they could download music illegally are now near the front of the pack of major (Okay, it’s questionable if Metallica counts as “major” these days, but bear with me) bands embracing a “I can make more money by giving away non-scarce goods to promote the scarce ones” business model.

Man, Trent’s going crazy

It’s only been two months since Trent Reznor released his last album, and now he’s got another one. This one, The Slip is a totally free download. I was listening to it for the first time this morning, and I was wondering if there was a mainstream single on it. He’s releasing one track as a single so far, Discipline, and I have no idea if it will be a hit. I like it, but I like just about every Nine Inch Nails song ever, so I’m hardly a good judge of what others might like. I was talking to a friend and fellow NIN fan about the lack of a single, and he said, “That’s what Trent said about The Downward Spiral, and then ‘I want to **** you like an animal’ became our high school anthem'”. So I guess we’ll just wait and see.

Amazon recognizes that Linux users like music, too

Linux Downloader for Amazon MP3 Store

Amazon’s launched a Linux-based downloader for its DRM-free MP3 music store — fantastic news! Now if they’d only change the terms-of-service for the store to something sensible like “Don’t do anything illegal with this music.”

Well, this is pretty cool. Now I might actually USE the service. Up to now, you could buy single MP3s on whatever computer you wanted, but to get an album discount, you had to use Windows or Mac. A lot of good news from the music industry lately. I might actually give buying music a try again. I haven’t bought or downloaded any music since I bought the last (disappointing) Cake cd a year or two ago.

Trent Reznor and alternative business models

NIN – Ghosts

Nine Inch Nails presents Ghosts I – IV, a brand new 36 track instrumental collection available right now. Almost two hours of new music composed and recorded over an intense ten week period last fall, Ghosts I – IV sprawls Nine Inch Nails across a variety of new terrain.

New Nine Inch Nails album announced today. I’m a little annoyed that I didn’t get an email, since I am signed up for the mailing list. Luckily, Gizmodo and Techdirt let me know. This is pretty cool. He’s releasing the first nine tracks as free downloads. $5 gets you all 36 downloads, DRM-free. $10 gets you the downloads now, and the cds when they’re released April 1. There are two other options at $75 and $300 that I’m probably not interested in. I’m sure the recording industry is watching this carefully. If this works for Nine Inch Nails, others will try similar things. Radiohead’s “pay what you want” experiment worked well, I think. It reinforces the idea that people are not opposed to paying for music from bands they like. We just don’t like to be treated as criminals just for listening to music. Anyway, I encourage you to download the free tracks. If you don’t like them, no loss. If you do, buy the rest. Think of it as listening to a few tracks at a friend’s house to see if you like the band, and then getting the cd when you find out that the band is awesome. Except in this case, your “friend” is Trent Reznor, and his “house” is NIN.com.

Getting back into music

I finally tried out Pandora. If you don’t know, it’s kind of like customized internet radio. You tell them artists you like, and it plays them, plus other stuff it thinks you’ll like. I’m still tweaking the station – at the moment it’s playing nothing but Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson. Now, I like both of them, but I’m trying to find some new music, not just listen to stuff I already like. Crap, now it’s playing Ministry. I’m not sure what I’ve done wrong – it seems to think that I’m really angry now. Quick, what’s a happy band that doesn’t suck?

Longtime reader is fired

You may have seen comments from GayleForceWinds here before, or you may actually know her. I’m now announcing that she’s fired. From what, you may ask. From nothing. Just fired.

As you may also know, Gmail has a built in chat program that can be set to display the music you’re currently listening to.

About ten minutes ago, Gayle was listening to “Heaven is a Place on Earth” by Belinda Carlisle, and now that infernal song is stuck in my head.  I didn’t even hear it, and it’s in my head.

I can’t adequately explain how much I hated that song back in the late ’80s. I didn’t hate it as much as Debbie Gibson’s “Shake Your Love”, but I hated it a little more than Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now”.

And I’m not really sure why.  Sure, they were perky pop stars who seemed way too happy all the time (Well, not so much Tiffany, which is probably why I didn’t hate her song as much), but why that would evoke such a reaction is beyond me.

Anyway, thanks a lot, GayleForceWinds.  I won’t forget this.

F*** you, recording industry

Q & A with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails | Herald Sun Via Boing Boing

And I just said “That’s the most insulting thing I’ve heard. I’ve garnered a core audience that you feel it’s OK to rip off? F— you’. That’s also why you don’t see any label people here, ‘cos I said ‘F— you people. Stay out of my f—ing show. If you wanna come, pay the ticket like anyone else. F— you guys”. They’re thieves. I don’t blame people for stealing music if this is the kind of s— that they pull off.

Great interview with Trent Reznor, who has the fanbase and the morals to tell the record companies that he’d really just like to make his music available to his fans at a reasonable price. If I hadn’t already bought his latest cd, I’d go buy it right now.

Perhaps the coolest part is that he’s planning to ditch conventional recording as soon as his contract is up. The more people who follow him, the fewer people who are going to get turned into criminals for trying to use an iPod on a Linux box, or maybe copy a cd they’ve purchased for their own personal use.

I still remember the first time I saw the video for “Head Like a Hole” on MTV.  I’ve bought every full release he’s put out since then, and most of the remix albums and whatnot.  I’ll pre-order the next one whether or not I’ve heard anything off it.

Anyway, I’m really glad he’s trying to balance making money with trying to get his music to his fans.

As an aside, you may notice that I’ve linked to another post from Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing.  Despite my post the other day, he does write some interesting stuff, and he’s generally on the right side of things.