I’ve just recently been told I don’t write enough on my / our blog. When I tried to protest, and explain I didn’t really have much to say, I was very quickly informed I have an opinion on most topics. They also did not hesitate to inform me that I’m very liberal with that opinion around the office. So as to share this opinion with the world, I will _try_ to post more often. This is not going to be anything worthy of news print, so don’t expect much.
First off, lets discuss DRM. It’s as hot button an issue for me, as politics, religion, or sports are for a majority of America. As my brother will attest, I’m not a big fan of DRM. Not for the standard anti establishment reasons, while I will admit that’s where my dislike started, but lately its’ just makes most of the things I’d want to to, too much of a pain in the butt. I’m glad iTunes existed without it, we wouldn’t have some of the advances we have. I’m very happy that I can now buy a lot of music online, for a reasonable price. However, when buying a legal copy, and using that copy becomes more difficult that finding it via some non legal means, Its very frustrating. Tasha enjoys the simplicity of iTunes for buying music. I agree, there is nothing simpler than clicking buy an itunes album, and having that music automatically synced to your pod for the drive home.
That’s where the simplicity ends unfortunately. Unlike if we purchased a CD, I can’t just play any of the music she bought. Why? because my computer is authorized for my own iTunes account. We can’t listen to it on our stereo, because our media player, isn’t blessed by apple. This is only one example of DRM making things a much worse user experience, there are so many more. If I were in the media business, I’d be out there pushing to make my products listened to everywhere, on every device, not trying to keep the from the buying public. You’d think the RIAA and MPAA were censors with all the restrictions they want to put on their products, the limitations of where and on what I can watch their content. While a bit out of context, I think this biblical quote applies ‘Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house.’ Musicians put your music up on a stand, for easy access, the people who buy your music will thank you.
With that said, I am quite glad with some of the developments this year (I think they happened this year) in digital media. Amazon’s mp3 service kicks ass. It’s digital music in a format I can buy and play anywhere, for a reasonable price. What’s not to love? No program telling I’ve got the mp3 on too many ipods, or too many laptops, or one to many file servers. They have decent pricing, and even offer regular discount albums. They even tell me what’s on sale via twitter. I’m beginning to sound like an advert for Amazon. For the record, they aren’t paying me to say this, but I just received an email today saying since I spend more than 25 this month on music, they are giving me $5 more dollars to spend.
Hulu, this is another thumbs up, but also includes a slight head tilt. I love being able to watch the shows my Tivo missed. I wish all tv shows were available via hulu. And by all shows I do mean, _all_ shows, not the selection that keeps getting crappier and crappier. They need some real work on their retention policy. There are some series that started this year, that I missed the first few episodes of. By the time I heard about them, the first half of the season had rolled off hulu. I think it’s crazy to clip a first run series off. What they could gain in viewership if they get people hooked, has to far surpass what they’ll get from first year dvd sales.
Next up is boxee / apple tv / streaming netflix. While I just ranted about drm, and limited selection. What boxee is doing for the apple tv is great. It’s blowing the doors off what the apple tv can do. While, I am not currently an apple tv owner, a user of netflix, or boxee, but I love the idea. Netflix stream sounds like a great idea, _BUT_ I’ve been told they have a very limited selection. When I get off my duff and sign up, I’ll let you know. Why is it that people can’t get this right, out of the box? People want it easy, and they want a good selection. To wrap this up, down with DRM, up with people who make more media accessible, at an affordable price, without making me feel like a criminal.