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Buying music without loss

Bjørn Lynne is selling his CDs as downloads. The way I see it, there are a few major problems with most music download shops:

  1. Quality - The sound of an MP3 file varies from reasonable to "omg it bruns teh eaers". Seriously. I put up with it when I download free music, but when paying it's not really good enough.
  2. Software and DRM - RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, and iTunes have all improved recently, but not enough for me to use any one of them all the time. I'd prefer a choice.

    I also don't want to be restricted by silly encryption that doesn't want me to play my music on the computer upstairs, or burn it to a CD, or listen to it without standing on one leg and reciting the DMCA.

  3. Songs cost too much - sometimes buying an album online costs the same or more than getting the CD.

The lynnemusic shop is different. Very different. It uses FLAC, Free Lossless Audio Codec.

Number 1 is solved by the "lossless" bit - decompressing the FLAC will give WAV files identical to the original CD master. The downloads are massive, and FLAC isn't very well known, but that doesn't bother me.

Number 2 is solved by the "free" bit. An open standard and many free players means my music does what I want it to do. Record companies, and sometimes artists, seem to be convinced that not "protecting" their music will lead to piracy, but I don't see that. DRM schemes that are annoying enough get cracked. Then the warezmonkey that gets all their music illegally is better off. Great.

Number 3 is debatable, but Bjørn's FLAC downloads are a few pounds cheaper than the physical CDs. I'll probably buy some after Christmas.

⇐20 Dec 2004 - Into My T-Mobile / 15 Dec 2004 - Desktop Search, Bah Humbug.⇒

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tH