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Old 10-13-2006, 07:33 AM
Jason Dunn
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Default Michael Robertson: Diet Soda and Your Music Going Flat


"My wife got me hooked on diet soda. Each morning I'll grab a Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet Pepsi or Diet Vanilla Coke. They stopped making Diet Vanilla Coke which was my favorite so I bought a big stockpile when I heard the announcement. Unfortunately, I learned that diet drinks go bad fairly quickly. Unlike their sugar laden counterparts which last a long time, the Aspartame in modern diet sodas has a short shelf life. I learned to look at the date on the bottom of the can to avoid a mouthful of brown soda water. Unfortunately, for some music lovers their music library could go flat as quickly as a soda. In 2004, Coke launched an online music store called mycokemusic. They quickly became the #1 online music store in the UK. Well, a lot changes in a couple of years on the net and what was once a shining success is now a distant player behind iTunes UK. So, Coke has decided to shutter the service by the end of July."

This article is a few months old, but it resonated with me: this is the singular fear I have with DRM, and why I have absolutely no trust in it. What's interesting is that subscription music models are a great solution to this: there's no illusion of ownership, you understand that you're renting your music just like you rent your cable service. So the Zune plan for $14.99 a month might be compelling to people for this very reason. Myself, I still prefer to purchase CDs - I have 737 CDs now (there's a reason I know the exact number, I'll tell you why another day) and I really enjoy the physical ownership of the CDs and cover art. Has anyone been burnt like this? Invested in DRM'd music and had it "go flat"? I think we'll see much more of this in the next five years.
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Old 10-13-2006, 10:03 PM
Janak Parekh
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Well, Jason, I have two comments:

1. DRMwise, I use iTunes DRM on occasion when I want music that is difficult to buy elsewhere. I am reasonably confident it will not disappear anytime soon, although the device lock-in is there.

2. There are big problems with relying on subscription content, particularly when the content you want simply isn't there. This happens often enough that I don't view this as anywhere near a complete alternative.

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