Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Our new strategy is to FAIL

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  • Robin Sheat,

    A few minor factual differences: the price hikes aren't (according to eMusic) the result of Sony. My theory is that they figured that if they announce them at the same time, everyone would ignore the huge price changes (in my case, over twice as much per track) and be all “yay Sony music!”, which of course didn't happen.

    Also, we do have album pricing. I think it'll come out about even in the long run, I've seem some cheaper than they would have been, others more expensive. Of course, this now biases me towards the cheaper ones, especially when it's a 45 minute, 7 track album for 9 credits as compared to a 75 minute, 10 track album for 9 credits.

    But yes, there does seem to be a significant amount of failure built into the new changes. Fortunately I'm an annual subscriber, so my current 65 credits per month will hang on until about November. Then I'll re-evaluate sticking around.

    Dunedin • Since Oct 2008 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    There goes my suggestion that we ditch Twitter and move on to communicating exclusively via the flat screen behind Orange Election Guy.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7404 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    I subscribed to eMusic with an American credit card, and didn't experience limitations on the catalogue availability, but I still closed my account when the price rises were announced. I was paying $20 a month for 75 downloads -- they then told me the great news that I'd be paying the same money for 50 downloads. Album pricing or not, I wasn't going to wear that kind of price rise being sold to me as great news.

    I really miss it though -- I always looked forward to the day my subscription rolled over. Nothing like starting a new month with a swag of new, legally gained tunes.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Brownlee,

    The album pricing is a good thing with albums of many short tracks, but it also goes the other way, so that albums of few long tracks (especially classical music) cost significantly more downloads than the number of tracks.
    Also, there seem to be many more albums with 'album-only' tracks, and multi-disc sets which can only be downloaded all at once.
    In the worst case, these cost more credits than anyone has per month (especially if they're not allowing subscribers outside their 'core markets' to upgrade their plans).
    In a very short space of time, eMusic have gone from being a service which served my interests very well, to one which appears to treat me with contempt. Grrr.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    To sidetrack this discussion for a moment (into another medium), I would be interested in postings about film festival offerings. I drove up to Auckland yesterday, to catch 4 films in a row (damn you Bill Gosden, for unfairly cancelling the Hamilton festival).

    Mid-August Lunch, was charming in a slow and Italian fashion.
    Afghan Star was wonderful (I have already used it in my teaching)
    Moon was bloody good (shades of Solaris + 2001 + Alien)
    Humpday was self-regarding tedium. People were chortling all around me and I wondered why.

    2.5 out of 4 ain't bad. But then we experienced our own kind of horror film, trying to remember where I had parked our car in the SkyCity bowels. Found it after 50 minutes of searching! Who is the idiot who devised their parking system? Eventually got home at 3am, after driving through a storm. I might do another trip north at the week's end.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2333 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    But then we experienced our own kind of horror film, trying to remember where I had parked our car in the SkyCity bowels. Found it after 50 minutes of searching! Who is the idiot who devised their parking system?

    Oh. My. Giddy. Aunt. I couldn't agree more Geoff. I have parked there twice in the last month or so, stupidly forgetting 1) how ridiculously they penalise those who park there without patronising their facilities and 2) how hard it is to remember where the bloody car is parked. I and two of the very fine members of this parish can attest to that, having wandered around the bloody thing for at least 15 mins.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    having wandered around the bloody thing for at least 15 mins

    Thank god it isn't just me being a moron. I have had some dreadfully disorienting experiences in that carpark.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3663 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    1) how ridiculously they penalise those who park there without patronising their facilities

    Found out a friend gets $20 casino chips, gets receipt for chips, (carparking)then cashes them in at another window.Bingo $20 validation on parking.That's a win,win.:)

    disorienting experiences in that carpark.

    I figured if you go back in the way you came out ,should find your car if you took platform details when you park.But really it's all a gamble cos you are at the casino in the first place and chances are your car could likely be stolen which is apparently common in that carpark ( no cameras)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6349 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    Russell: Your experience is one of the reasons I've remained wary of online music purchases. Only in the last few months have I dared to buy as many as 10 (ten) songs from iTunes, across 6 months. I used to buy dozens of LPs / month bac kwhen they were $10 each. Then we moved to $32.99 CDs with are cheaper to make and include less art work, and I felt ripped off. As usual, most of the songs on an album aren't worth listneing to, but you have to buy them to get the ongood ones. I more or less stopped buying music.

    Then, for the past several years, the attitude of the RIAA toward music buyers has put me off again and again...and I now buy very little music at all. Their music is essentially imposed on us as our "culture" and they want to own it outright. Sorry......They can keep it. I'll listen to artists I can access by means OTHER than the RIAA and its agents / puppets and clients.

    Sorry artists....the RIAA has cost you this music lover....at least.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 280 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I've simply stopped buying music - I used to spend $1-2000 a year - but the local Real Groovy bought out the competition andthen went belly up - leaving us with the warehouse and one of those top 40 mall hole-in-the-walls - my weekly trip to browse music is no more.

    itunes doesn't work for me (I don't use macs or windows) and my RIANZ instigated paranoia means I want to make sure I can prove I bought stuff "sir, you have 60Gb of music on your ipod, you couldn't possibly have bought all that" "here come and look at the big CD shelf on the wall, I challenge you to find something on the ipod that's not there"

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2187 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Coincidence ?

    downloading is dying

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 730 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Paul, I decided a few years ago that I am not going to store giant plastic proof of ownership tokens for anyone. When I moved to Oz it cost me ~$400 to ship them over here and every time I've moved packing them up then unpacking has been more of a hassle than last time. Plus needing storage space in my house and furniture to put them on. It's just not worth the hassle. So once I'd finished the lossless ripping and 300dpi scanning, I destroyed them (length of threaded rod, circular saw) and went about my business. For comparison, a similar value of software that I own can be validated using copies of emails that fit on a free USB key, or in the worst case domain ownership records. With music it's just more data... why the huge dongle for such a cheap collection of it?

    I've decided that if the PTB want to prosecute me I'll just have to live with it.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 497 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Drummond,

    Here's Derek Browne from dDub on downloading, in Nexus not too long ago:

    Anything you’d like to say to the Hamilton fans out there?
    New Zealand’s full of such creative, talented people, and I would say, support NZ music. Go out and get involved. It’s a real big time for NZ music right now. I think it goes in waves, in cycles, and now it’s a really important time. Ten years ago, there were a quarter of the bands and gigs, and now it couldn’t be more different.
    How’s that?
    We’ve just become a lot more aware the quality of the bands has been a lot better, and the internet - downloading, iPods – has helped spread music around.
    So you’re cool with… how do I put this… piracy?
    I reckon anyway you can get the music out there for people to have a relationship with, it’s great. Downloading is a great way to get it out, and fair enough you might be missing out on a few dollars, but if you’ve got your shit together and put on a good live show you’ve got nothing to worry about. You can’t fight it, so why not work with it? The main aim is to get music into people’s ears.

    Since Nov 2006 • 109 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    To sidetrack this discussion for a moment (into another medium), I would be interested in postings about film festival offerings.

    Red Cliff was wonderful --
    1) Joins the very short list of films that justifies being longer that two hours. (And I would be rather keen to see the two-film five hour version released in Asia.)
    2) Would warmly recommend the likes of Michael Bay, JJ Abrams, Christopher Nolan etc. being forced to watch it, Clockwork Orange style, until they learn how to stage and edit an action sequence that is narratively and visually coherent.
    3) And I say this with love, but may John Woo never, ever work in the United States again. Thankfully, Red Cliff was a sizable enough hit in China and Japan (despite the budget being north of US$80 million) that he might not have to.

    This week, have Ponyo and Coco avant Chanel (or Audrey Tatou chain-smoking hot) to look forward to.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Coincidence ?

    downloading is dying

    Wellll ... in that the kids are apparently happy to use ad-supported music streaming services, rather than buy music to "own".

    The problem is that it's far from certain there will ever be the necessary advertising revenue for YouTube and Spotify to really pay everyone.

    Interestingly, at least some licensing deals for Spotify in New Zealand were done earlier this year. It will be interesting to see if and when it turns up here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, and why do I love Film Festival audiences? Park Road Post did some work on Red Cliff, and received a round of applause when its credit came up.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Stuff story on the impending resumption of the copyright wars:

    Foundation director Bronwyn Holloway-Smith is unsure if the same campaign would be repeated, but says the foundation will be vocal in its opposition if the Government persists with a plan to disconnect the internet accounts of copyright infringers. That might involve finding a fresh approach to drawing attention to the issue.

    Disconnection would be a "disproportionate" penalty that would affect people sharing internet accounts and would lead to people who relied on internet telephony being cut off from using the phone, Ms Holloway-Smith says.

    A survey in Britain concluded most people viewed the internet as an essential utility.

    Ms Holloway-Smith agrees with Labour communications spokeswoman Clare Curran that fines would be a better sanction.

    InternetNZ spokesman Campbell Gardiner says the society also believes termination should be off the table.

    Tony Eaton, director of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (NZFact), which is a branch of the United States' Motion Picture Association, hopes further protests can be avoided.

    Mr Eaton says NZFact agreed with the Telecommunications Users Association, an industry body, prior to the scrapping of Section 92a, that infringers would be able to sign up with another internet provider the day after their accounts were terminated. NZFact had not formed a view on whether they should be allowed to sign back up with their original provider.

    "It is not like the French law; they can go back the very next day and re-sign."

    Disconnection would nevertheless be preferable to fines as it would be an inconvenience, he says.

    That stuff from Eaton is fairly bizarre.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    My sources tell me that, under the revised legislation, offenders will have their iPods crushed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Drummond,

    Disconnection would nevertheless be preferable to fines as it would be an inconvenience, he says.

    In whose world is being fined not an inconvenience?

    Since Nov 2006 • 109 posts Report Reply

  • Robin Sheat,

    @Steve Withers: that is (was) one of the nice things about eMusic: it was a completely RIAA-free zone. Still is if you're not in the US.

    It's also worth keeping in mind that they're not doing anything to the music you've bought, they're just changing their plans. So there is no reason that you would have had to be wary in the past for possible actions in the future. You can always quit.

    Given they give you plain ol' MP3s, they'll be yours forever (provided you keep backups :) It's a nice solution for someone like me who rarely has enough money to buy the CDs I want (especially because 90% of what I want I have to order from the US, UK or Germany) but still likes lots of music. It's just become about half as nice, especially when you consider that you're not getting booklets etc.

    Dunedin • Since Oct 2008 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    Their music is essentially imposed on us as our "culture" and they want to own it outright. Sorry......They can keep it.

    How very ... T. W. Adorno. I like it!

    East Greenwich • Since Mar 2008 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    One is the 'role model' argument. That our sports figures are role models, especially for children. They just ain't!

    I like your argument, but I'm not sure it works. Role models are those whom others (incl. children) model themselves on. Maybe sports figures shouldn't be role models, but that's a different matter from whether they are.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3011 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Oops. Mis-thread.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3011 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Maybe sports figures shouldn't be role models, but that's a different matter from whether they are.

    Maybe they are, but that's a different matter from whether they have a greater obligation than anyone else to be so.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    My sources tell me that, under the revised legislation, offenders will have their iPods crushed.

    Or perhaps sent to Christchurch / run over by a book racers car and then crushed along with the car.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 216 posts Report Reply

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