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Perspective, Please? Digital Music Edition September 18, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Since I’m dissing the LA Times — you only hurt the ones you love — let me attempt to illustrate why you get what you pay for, even with professional bloggers. Let alone my unedited ramblings.

– I’m with Jon Healy on the value of music industry price elasticity experiments, but not for digital products. How about for CDs? Now, that might show something. And defeat piracy, but nobody’s interested in that. 99 cents is fine for digital singles.

– He also thinks Zune’s most interesting feature is WiFi. (And that MusicGremlin is even more interesting. Yeah, right.) Ubiquitous WiFi is a pipe dream any time soon in the US, and the ability to share songs with other Zune users — there’ll be what, like, 450 of them, right? — is a non-starter. The coolest thing about Zune so far is try-before-you-buy: Once a buddy shared it with me, I could play that song a few times before I had to buy it or it disappeared. If you could do that with PCs, you’d really have something. Unfortunately, besides the lack of a critical-mass network of users, you can’t communicate with the sharer, other than by sharing, if you’re restricted to Zune to Zune. D’oh.

The communists at Weed are trying to do this, but who cares? A big company with big label support, now that’s interesting. What do you think, Apple? Or maybe Real Rhapsody or Napster could try this one on for size, atop their experiments in ad-supported on-demand music.

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