22 May 2001
(updated 22 May 2001 at 03:52 UTC) »
ask, this doesn't really come
with too much
surprise. Universal is the biggest record label around. They
have the most money and have been squeezing artists the
longest. See this
article for some third party insight.
My view on MP3.com history
The most interesting point of this all, is that we started
out MP3.com as an alternative way to distribute music. A way
out about all the different music in the world to find the
you wanted to listen to without having the labels pre-pick
favorite music style for you. We seem to totally have gone
circle to a point to where we aligned with Emusic who had a
different strategy which was very much aligned to the old
label A&R way of doing things.
I guess it is too hard to really find the good stuff via a
big single source like we had hoped. We figured people could
"rate" (download) the songs they liked and therefore bump it
up the charts. This would be a way to provide the music the
not what some folks in the A&R group at a random record
label thought you would want to hear.
So maybe your best bet would still be the small indie label
has interests in the particular style of music you like, as
they do not get corrupted by seeing dollar signs.
Again, this is a good example of what record labels have
well and continue to do well in the past. Use money to make
The original goal of having internet distribution for all
artists without serious costs to provide a closer link
between the artist and
music consumer seems to have been shot. Mass media has
been controlled by only a few companies in the world that
easily leave out important information for financial gain.
proves the fact that money conquers.
Although going public gave us a lot of money and power to
play with it also brought a lot of stock holders and
investors in on the
game that were looking only at profits. This caused the
the company to change drasticly towards making money. At
to me the company slowly changed their goals after IPO. It
no longer the same goal we were fighting for.
Online Audio Distribution Technology
The most interesting part to me would be to see how the
Technology side will pack out now that the majors are
get their feet wet. Will MP3 and Vorbis which still stand as
consumer favorite come out of this alive? Or will DRM-type
surpass the more open standards because consumers want to
for someone to sift through the music (record labels) to
present them with something that has been mass marketed over
the radio and television. My.MP3.com was a great
technological idea that tried to provide a way to deliver
your music to you digitally where ever you where (provided
you had connectivity). Of course this is only useful if you
can store a lot of music and if it would be easier then
lugging around a CD-ROMs with your favorite MP3s on it.
On the streaming side of things it will be interesting to
semi-new IETF streaming standards such as RTSP, RTP, SIP and
the like will be used by any of these companies that are
this subscription service for the record labels. So far the
only a few
that have started using RTSP such Apple Quicktime and Real
Networks RealPlayer and JMF (Cacheflow, Sun StoreEdge and
others have created Servers, Proxies, Mixers and
there is some support for streaming Vorbis and/or MP3 over
RTSP/RTP, but not too much.
From what I know about the Online Music Industry most
that are distributing music are using HTTP derrivates such
as Shoutcast, Icecast or just a M3U based hand off to an
audio client. Although it has been effective alternatives
that are more reliable and scalable (but also more complex
and harder to implement), most distribution companies
advantage of these new standards. Maybe now that it will be
less about investors, it will become more of a technology
gain. Hopefully some of my old co-workers are reading this
and start looking at some of these new protocols.
Maybe I will find some more time to play with this stuff.
the XML/DC/MusicBrainz/ID3v2/CDDB/MPEG-7 stuff is a good
hobby of mine. It is interesting how a lot of this audio
crossing over into my usual XML/HTTP development that is
for work. It is great to have them overlap every once in a
but sometimes I wish they could be two totally seperate
Anyways, back to work. ;-)