Music

Sony just don’t get it…

Music Pass CardsThis has to be one of the stupidest stories I’ve read for a while. Sony BMG have finally decided to catch up with their competition and start selling DRM free music. The downside is that you have to go into a store and buy a “Platinum Music Pass” that contains a download code, before you can download your album from MusicPass.com!

I would love to say that Sony are stupid and that they’ve messed up, but I think it’s more likely to be a calculated move. As TechCrunch say, when Sonly BMG fail to sell a large quantity of DRM free songs via this system, they can claim that there’s no demand for DRM free music, and go back to selling DRM protected ones.

It’s a shame that Sony are so short-sighted, most of the music I buy online is done on impulse; I decided to get a new album and within a few clicks the download has started, I’m sure the majority of others buy music on impulse too. If I have to go to a shop to buy a card with a code then I’ll just look for similar music from their competitors that’s sold without DRM.

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If you are looking for legal DRM free music then check out 7digital or Amazon MP3 (USA only for now).

Last.fm and other musical things

Last.Fm LogoI’ve been a huge fan of last.fm since I started using it back in 2006 (for those who don’t know, it’s a social music website that logs every song you listen to, and connects you with people of similar taste, and suggests other music that you might like), but one feature that I’ve often overlooked is the stand-alone last.fm player.

On windows it’s the main tool that scrobbles your tracks as you listen to them in iTunes or Windows Media Player, but you can also type an artists name, or a specific tag, and listen to a stream of similar music; something I’ve been using a lost this Christmas. It’s been great to fire up the player on a laptop and listen to music tagged with ‘acoustic’ while I cook dinner, or type in an artist like ‘John Mayer‘ and find similar artists.

Last.fm Player (streaming)

A side-effect of this is that I’ve also discovered 7digital, an online music store that offers DRM[?] free music (last.fm direct you to 7digital if you want to buy an album electronically) which is perfect now that I’m using Linux. There’s also a Linux version of the stand-alone player, and other options like built in support for scrobbling and listening to last.fm streams in Amarok.

One issue that I have experienced since I switched to Linux, is the downside to DRM. I’ve purchased quite a bit of music over the past few years from the iTunes Music Store, which is copy protected and won’t play outside of an authorised copy of iTunes, which is a problem if you’re using Linux and can’t actually run iTunes. Thankfully it’s a pretty common issue and thanks to the Hymn Project I’ve been able to get all of my purchased music into a Linux friendly format!

Happy days.

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