There’s been so much music-biz news to think about recently: CD sales decline, Mark Cuban predicted the death of the CD in a post that correctly prefigured the demise of DRM; but be careful, as Paul Kedrosky points out, we geeks need to do a way better job of explaining DRM to civilians.
First of all, I have a question: is that 256kbps AAC really “indistinguishable from the original” as Apple claims? CD is 44.1K 16-bit PCM samples per second per channel, for a gross bandwidth of 1.4mbps or so if the back of my envelope is right. Now, intelligent lossless compression can take you a long way, but reduction by a factor of over five? I’d be happy to hear that I’ve missed something obvious.
I really hope those guys are wrong about the demise of the CD. It’s such a great way to buy music; portable, reliable, excellent sound quality when produced and mastered competently, unencumbered; and usually comes with a helpful little leaflet full of background.
Finally, I remain astonished that the subscription model hasn’t caught on; it seems like awfully low-hanging fruit. There are any number of artists I’d subscribe to for ten or twenty bucks a year in exchange for an irregular flow of new material; live cuts, studio work, collaborations, whatsoever, along with discounts and front-of-the-line access to their regular output. Which is ten or twenty bucks a year more than they’re getting out of me now. The technology wouldn’t be hard to set up, either.