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This would have been awesome.... 5 year ago. I think iTunes (and Amazon.com, and all the other online sellers) have more than proven that the days of the physical format are waning. People want the ability to choose individual tracks, DRM free.

And for those that do enjoy a physical format, these micoSD cards are all but useless. The most popular music player on the planet (the iPod) doesn't accept cards of any kind, and many other MP3 players and phones don't have microSD slots. Very few car and home systems support them either. Not a good choice in my opinion.
 

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g011um, totally agree with you.
 

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"These new albums will come with a small USB dongle that lets buyers use them with computers, too."

Ugh. How wasteful is this going to be? If I want four albums, I'll end up with four adapters too?

And charging the same price as a CD...people want to see less physical material used in order to pay less, as well.
 

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this is perhaps the stupidest idea i have ever heard from the music business. how about this? drm-free music at reasonable bit rates (at least v2 vbr mp3) for a reasonable cost that reflects the lack of reproduction and most retail costs. maybe 40-50 cents per song or $4-5 for an album. once the music business does that, they'll find people would rather obtain their music from legal channels rather than illegal channels.

my new mantra - legal methods to consume media must be as easy to use as illegal methods

john
 

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I think even the 99 cent price tag is OK, so long as it's DRM free, and we still have the choice of buying individual tracks. I don't want to be forced into buying the whole crappy album. Even "back in the day" I'd buy cassette and CD singles (and 45's way before that) when I wasn't sure the whole album was worth it. This notion the record companies have that single-track sales are hurting their business is retarded, and nothing new.
 

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the idea about dropping the price is also about getting people to change their behaviour and buy music. a much better idea than the record companies' "get a bigger hammer" strategies.

it actually comes from terry mcbride, one of the only people in the music biz who i think actully gets it.

http://www.nettwerk.com/terrysblog/2008_01_01_archive.html

john
 

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Consumer insistence on never-ending price decreases aside, a buck a song is a very reasonable price. Existing music stores could set up kiosks to allow buyers to preview music and then to download high-quality copies of their selections onto their portable devices: flash drives (their own, or, say, ones dispensed by the music store for a buck), music players, a cellphones, etc.
 

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eljay, i don't think we're talking about consumer insistnece on price decreases. we are talking about:

- changing consumer behaviour - maybe you're not in this group, but a good chunk of a generation has grown up with p2p and bittorrent as the way they consume music. if the music biz is going to monetize these folks it will have to make the price point attractive and get rid of drm. they also need to make it as easy to find and purchase music through legitimate means as it is through "alternate" means.

- paying for what you get - if a cd is $9.99, and a lossy version is $9.99 there is no contest. the physical version has a reasonably durable, lossless version of the music with artwork. the digial version is lossy, and comes without artwork (in most cases). durability is open to debate. i think the emusic price point is just about perfect for lossy mp3s.

also, lots of people have a bad taste in their mouth with regard to drm. i know that i won't buy music with drm and if i'm absolutely desperate for a song an i can only get the drm version, i burn to cd and rip it back right away so i have a drm-free copy to work with. look at microsoft, yahoo and walmart who all decided to abandon their customers with regard to their drm licencing.

john
 
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